We’ve all sat in positions—hunched over a screen or a book—that were objectively terrible for our bodies. It’s easy to fall back into, even after investing in an ergonomic desk setup. After all, who wants to get out of bed and sit at a desk just to read on an iPad or Kindle or write in a notebook? An ultra-portable lap desk with an adjustable easel helps remedy these problems, by providing that little ergonomic lift. It’s also great for wheelchair users, and others with mobility issues.
We’ve chosen some of our favorites.
Perfect for working from the couch or painting watercolors. Amazon
This lap desk is our favorite pick because it’s the most versatile in the bunch—thanks to a design where one half of the desk lays flat, while the other can be tilted like an easel, at a variety of angles. The flat surface can be used for your mousepad or a to-do list, while you find the right height to set your laptop. It’s also a great artist’s companion—a small drawer on the side can stow a small watercolor set or colored pencils—and a much lighter alternative to hauling a full easel to the location you want to sketch.
Can also place on top of your existing workstation. Amazon
Saiji’s laptop tray table is one of the most adjustable, with an entire tabletop that rises up to 15.4 inches and swivels up to 36 degrees, to meet your needs. This makes it not only a great lap desk for working from a couch or coffee table—or even from the floor—but also an excellent standing desk converter for your existing work setup. The boost can save your back, and create a more flattering camera angle for video calls.
A place for your drink. Amazon
Enjoy breakfast in bed before getting to work with Asltoy’s laptop tray. This one is extremely easy to use, with legs that pop out just like a folding table, and four different angles to set your work surface. A cup holder, on the flat portion of the laptop tray, keeps mugs of coffee and tea from spilling—making this a great pick for even the clumsiest among us.
Soft enough to drag into bed. Amazon
Sometimes you just want a wedge that will prop up your books while you read in bed, without having to worry about stubbing a finger or falling asleep near the hard corners and sharp surfaces of a traditional lap desk. This foam block is firm but soft, with a washable ultra-suede microfiber cover. The ridge at the bottom—which keeps your laptop or Kindle from sliding down—doubles as an orthopedic wrist rest, to help ease carpal tunnel or prevent wrist pain in the first place.
For when you want to sit cross-legged. Amazon
For the best of both worlds, this laptop tray has a reliable tabletop surface, with a soft underside. The two parallel cotton cushions at the bottom are set wide apart enough for you to sit cross-legged with the desk on your lap. Where other stands get their range of motion from an adjustable base, this stand makes up for it with an easel that has eight different angle settings, perfect for boosting a laptop to the right height. It’s even got a handle for easy transport.