Best Lap Desks iMore 2019

Gaming on a laptop on the couch is comfortable and all, but it's not good for your back or wrists. The same goes for trying to put in a few extra hours of work while sitting up in bed. Working, gaming, reading, and writing on the couch or in bed is easier on your body when you use a lap desk. Whatever your needs, we have a lap desk that will fit the bill and your budget.

Best Overall: Sofia + Sam Oversized Desk

The oversized lap desk from Sofia + Sam is so brilliant that it continues to be my top choice for a lap desk. This portable workspace is lined on the underside with furniture-grade memory foam, so it always sits evenly and comfortably on your thighs and never feels tippy or unstable. There's enough real estate on the top of this model to accommodate a 20-inch laptop and still have room to spare for a mouse.

This lap desk is on the heavier side, but its weight works to your advantage and helps to keep everything balanced. It's also tough as can be. A detachable USB light sits in the upper right-hand corner and it's powered by replaceable batteries or the USB port in your laptop. The lamp gives off just the right amount of light for crafting, tackling paperwork, reading, or pecking away on your keyboard. If that weren't enough, this lap desk also includes memory foam wrist support and a handle for portability. The only downside is that it's a bit heavy, but that helps it feel more stable overall.

Pros:

  • Detachable USB light
  • Wrist support
  • Super roomy
  • Built-in handle

Cons:

  • Heavy

Best Overall

Sofia + Sam Oversized Desk

A big lap desk at a small price

This is an affordable lap desk with an abundance of room, wrist supports, and a detachable USB lamp.

Best Value: Mind Reader Adjustable Desk

The Mind Reader lap desk is a budget-priced offering with a few expensive-feeling surprises. The desk adjusts to eight positions for optimal viewing. This model is large enough to support a laptop up to 15.6 inches, yet folds down flat for storage and travel.

The cushions that sit on your lap are dual-bolster microbeads, which means they conform to any shape. Super comfortable! There's also a carry handle at the top and a small clip toward the bottom that holds laptops, tablets, or books in place. This whole setup feels a little bulky, but it's well-made, and the oversized design is just right for those with larger laptops.

Pros:

  • Adjusts to eight positions
  • Folds down flat for storage
  • Carrying handle

Cons:

  • Bulky
  • Only supports laptops up to 15.6 inches

Best Value

Mind Reader Adjustable Desk

A big lap desk at a small price

The Mind Reader is a large lap desk that supports big laptops and eight viewing positions. At this price, it's a steal.

Best Portable: Honey-Can-Do Portable Desk

The lap desk from Honey-Can-Do has a smooth surface on top that's suitable for holding your laptop, tablet, or even for writing letters. Unlike other plastic lap desks, it does not absorb heat, so you can work as long as you like. A 13-inch laptop fits comfortably on top with enough room to spare for a mouse or small writing tablet. The built-in handle and flat style (sans removable cushion) are fantastic for travel.

When comfort is key, attach the removable foam pad to the underside to give your legs a bit of cushioning. There's also a cord protector at the back of the cushion to help prevent cord tangles and keep your AC cord out of the way. The reflective surface on the Honey-Can-Do has some issues with optical mice. They simply don't track well. If you can live with that, this model comes in six color choices and is worth every penny.

Pros:

  • Built-in cord protector
  • Removable cushion
  • The surface does not absorb heat
  • Carrying handle

Cons:

  • The reflective surface doesn't work with an optical mouse
  • Could be bigger

Best Portable

Honey-Can-Do Portable Desk

A go-anywhere desk

The no-frills Honey-Can-Do can support a 13-inch laptop, has a cord protector and removable cushion so it packs down small.

Best for Kids: ECR4Kids Surf

The ECR4Kids is a mobile desk for those six and up. This intuitively-designed lap desk is lightweight enough for kids to carry from place to place, and units can be stacked together to save space. Smart! Using this desk, kids can construct work or play space in any room of the house or even outside.

There's plenty of room on the flat top for creative activities and studies. This is both a seat and a desk. Kids must sit on the chair for the attached desk to remain upright. That's both a genius design and its downfall because this desk doesn't stay upright unless the child remains seated on the base. All in all, this is a stackable, durable, and spacious workspace for kids that your family will love.

Pros:

  • Stackable
  • Lightweight
  • Spacious work area
  • Solid construction

Cons:

  • A child must sit on it for desk to stand upright

Best for Kids

ECR4Kids Surf

The desk for tots to teens

This versatile unit is a great combination of lap desk and seat. It can be positioned on a bleacher, the floor, or even a chair.

Best Multipurpose: Avantree Adjustable Lap Desk

This is a clever desk that does it all! The large surface can support a 17-inch laptop plus pens, pencils, a mouse, and other necessities. The legs on the desk are height-adjustable so you can work on a flat surface if you're in a chair or raise the legs to work on a couch. The unique swivel tabletop can also be adjusted, so you can create the right angle to use as an ergonomically-friendly standing desk.

This smartly-built desk can be adapted for a multitude of activities and works with all age groups thanks to its adjustable height frame. Auto-lock buttons hold the desk firmly in place and can be released and readjusted as needed. There's a bit of a learning curve when it comes to engaging the height-adjustable feature, so younger kids may need some assistance at first. This lap desk from Avantree comes in two colors and is perfect for everyone in the family.

Pros:

  • Works as a standing desk
  • Perfect for all age groups
  • Durable yet lightweight
  • Folds up for storage

Cons:

  • Takes practice to maneuver the tilt function

Best Multipurpose

Avantree Adjustable Lap Desk

From lap desk to standing desk

When you need a do-it-all desk, this is the one you want. This adjustable unit can serve as a lap desk or standing desk.

Best Wooden Lap Desk: Nnewvante Lap Desk

Handmade from environmentally-friendly natural bamboo, this multi-use desk has been polished to a smooth finish. This all-wood model works as a laptop desk, dinner tray, makeshift easel, kids creativity center, reading table, writing table, and has hundreds of other uses.

This wooden wonder is height and width adjustable, comes with a removable baffle (added to prevent books, laptops, and writing utensils from sliding off), tilts to any angle needed, and has a storage drawer. The top is a little slippery, so you may have trouble writing when not using the baffle. This portable lap desk can fit a 15-inch laptop and a writing tablet or mouse, and because it's made of wood, it absorbs heat naturally so your lap and laptop never get hot.

Pros:

  • Has a wide variety of uses
  • Adjustable
  • Beautiful
  • Comes with storage drawer
  • Excellent craftsmanship

Cons:

  • Top is a little slippery

Best Wooden Lap Desk

Nnewvante Lap Desk

Beautiful and functional

This versatile wooden model can function as a lap desk, easel, play table for kids, reading table, and more.

Bottom line

When extra room is what you need, the Sofia + Sam Oversized lap desk is the one that most closely mimics an actual office desk, and that's one of many reasons why it's my best overall choice. With plenty of room to spread out, this desk is an excellent fit for those who work or game on the couch, do crafts while sitting in front of the TV, edit photos from a hotel bed or anyone who needs ample space to get stuff done.

Aside from the impressively large workspace, this lap desk includes a detachable USB light that plugs directly into the desk or your laptop's USB port. Brilliant! The underside has a memory foam cushion that holds the desk level on your lap and also provides comfortable cushioning. Rounding out this near-perfect lap desk is a padded wrist rest to protect your joints from repetitive strain injury and fatigue. There's also a handle to tote the lap desk from room to room.

Available in burgundy or black, when you need a one-size-fits-all desk for any task you can imagine, this is it. This portable workspace is large, but not too big to fit in your lap while you're relaxing in a chair, on the couch, or in bed. Sofia + Sam's lap desk is nothing short of amazing for a wide variety of purposes, and it's an affordable investment that's easy on your checkbook and your body.

Credits — The team that worked on this guide

Jodi Owan is a freelance writer and photographer who has been published in print and online. When not hiking through the backwoods with a camera, she can be found testing and writing about technology. Find her on Instagram and her website.

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