You may have bought a laptop to get away from working at a desk but that doesn’t mean you should just plop your laptop on, well, your lap. A lap desk is the perfect place to park your laptop while working from the comfort of your couch or patio furniture. Here are our top picks.
The advantages of having a lap desk are numerous. Notably, you don’t have to worry about your laptop overheating or your legs getting too warm from having the system resting on your legs for too long. Further, It’s often a far more comfortable way of working as your laptop is elevated and stable. There’s also the extra space that comes from using a lap desk, along with additional slots to store your phone or tablet. Here are some of our favorite options with their key features outlined.
Update, 5/8/22: Verified content and links still good. Replaced the LapGear XL for the newest version.
What to Look for in a Lap Desk
Best Overall Pick: LapGear Home Office Lap Desk
Colorful & Fun: Honey-Can-Do Portable Lap Desk
Small & Portable: Mind Reader Portable 8 Position Lap Desk
A Budget-Friendly Pick: LapGear Student Lap Desk
Retractable Mouse Pad: AboveTEK Portable Lap Desk
Comfy Support: Sofia + Sam Mini Memory Foam Lap Desk
Spacious Wrist Rest: LapGear Home Office Pro Lap Desk
These desks all have a fairly similar size, and they share the same end goal: making it easy for you to work on your laptop wherever you go. However, there are still a few features that can change from product to product worth thinking about before you make a purchase. Here’s what you need to know:
- Size: Believe it or not, these desks come in a variety of sizes. Some are just big enough to hold a small laptop. Others can hold large laptops (about 17 inches) and have room on the side for a mousepad and a phone holder slot. Smaller desks tend to be more portable, too, making them a good choice for working in your car, couch, or campsite.
- Comfort: Some lap desks have cushions on their undersides to keep your legs comfortable and cool while you use them. Others don’t and are just straight-up slabs. We like the desks with the cushions, as comfort is king, and they can prop up your laptop a bit, too.
- Ventilation: Having a big lap desk on top of you all day can get super hot, especially if you’re using a gaming laptop. We recommend choosing a lap desk with space between the cushions to help airflow so you stay cool while you work.
- Built-in Extras: Do you want a dedicated slot for your mouse, with a built-in mouse pad? Do you want a slot for your tablet or smartphone so you can read incoming text messages at a glance? Do you want a lap desk with a wrist rest for extra support? Do you want a lap desk with legs, like a breakfast-in-bed tray? Not every lap desk offers all (or even one) of these wonderful extra features, so take a moment to note what you need.
Available in two colors—Espresso Wood and Silver Carbon, seen here—the LapGear Home Office Lap Desk is both stylish and spacious. It has enough space for up to a 17-inch laptop, and its microbead dual-bolster pillows ensure it’s a comfy fit for your lap and legs, moulding snuggly to you. Even with the soft pillows forming to your legs, the channeled design help keep the bottom of the desk cool.
It’s a chunky size, to be sure, on account of the built-in mouse pad and the phone cradle. Those are great features if you’re using it in one place but this definitely isn’t the kind of lap desk that will pack well if you’re looking for something to take on a business trip.
LapGear Home Office Lap Desk
Looking for a sturdy, spacious lap desk that's comfortable, stylish, and fits large laptops? This is your lap desk.
Vibrantly colored, the Honey-Can-Do Portable Lap Desk is squarely aimed at a more casual market than most lap desks. It’s lightweight and made from laminated MDF, so it’s easy to clean and maintain. Underneath the surface is a soft wedge-shaped cushion attached with velcro so it’s easy to remove if it needs laundering (or, you know, if you’ve got something against comfort).
It’s not as professional looking as other lap desks here, but it’s great for portability. Lighter than most, it’ll work just as well in the car as it will on your bed. Unlike other options in our roundup, however, it’s got a particularly slick surface on account of the laminate. As a final consideration, if you’re not picky about color choice the plain white variety is a few bucks less than the more vibrant options (like blue or bright pink).
Honey-Can-Do Portable Lap Desk
This lap desk has a fun design and comes in a ton of bold colors, making your home office more exciting.
The Mind Reader Portable 8 Position Lap Desk isn’t the most stylish, but it’s small and highly adjustable. As the name suggests, it’s adjustable to eight different angles giving you plenty of different options for hands-free use and optimal viewing.
This is a lap desk that’s best suited for watching videos or reading a manuscript, rather than for working extensively on. With so many options for adjustments, you can tweak it according to how you’re sitting or laying, without missing out on seeing a thing. It offers a dual-bolster pillow too, which takes the edge off heat going to your legs, as well as provides a stable surface. There’s no slot for your phone though, and did we mention this isn’t a stylish solution? It really isn’t.
Mind Reader Portable 8 Position Lap Desk
This lap desk is a smaller option that works with laptops, books, and more.
A budget-priced alternative to the Lap Desk, the LapGear Student keeps things simple. It’s a comfortable surface on both sides, fitting up to a 15-inch laptop, but without any room for phones or peripherals. It still keeps you comfortable though, and there’s an airflow channel for reducing unwanted heat.
Underneath the desk is a dual-bolster pillow that keeps your lap happy, while the top side is slightly textured so there’s no risk of your laptop sliding off. Keeping it so simple also makes it the perfect surface for reading or writing on too. It’s fairly no-frills but it’s perfect for budget-conscious users.
LapGear Student Lap Desk
Want a simple lap desk that won't bust your budget? Go with this one!
The AboveTEK Portable Laptop Lap Desk is a fairly typical lap desk, but it offers one crucial feature that makes it stand out amongst the rest—a retractable mouse pad tray. You might not always want to use a mouse with your laptop, so the tray goes inside the desk any time you’re not using it. Plus, it’s ambidextrous, so left-handed folk won’t feel like they’re missing out.
Besides that, a textured rubber surface ensures a strong grip at all times, with a non-skid base. A thermal-resistive heat shield protects you from excessive warmth, although there’s no cushion underneath, nor is there a slot for your phone. However, it’s the right size for pretty much any laptop imaginable, and the retractable mouse pad keeps your work options flexible. Between the cushion-free design and the retractable pad, this is a perfect suitcase-friendly option for business travelers.
AboveTEK Portable Laptop Lap Desk
If you use a mouse some days, but not every day, this lap desk's retractable mouse pad makes it the desk to buy.
The Sofia + Sam Mini Memory Foam Lap Desk keeps things simple. Its focus is on comfort, with a memory foam style cushion ensuring your legs and lap feel as comfortable as if you didn’t have a laptop resting on it. It’s a little smaller than others, so it won’t fit a laptop bigger than 15 inches, but that should suit most users.
It might lack a slot for your phone or a place for a mouse, but it’s distinctly lightweight and easy to fit into your backpack or store at home. A fabric handle is conveniently hidden away for when you’re not carrying it around, and it’s ergonomically designed.
Sofia + Sam Mini Memory Foam Lap Desk
This simple lap desk has memory foam comfort for all-day use, but it's for small laptops only.
Want lots of space and a supportive wrist rest? The LapGear Home Office Pro Lap Desk is it. The desk is a hefty size—measuring 21.1 x 14.1 x 2.6 inches—and provides plenty of room for a mouse pad and a slot to vertically stand your smartphone. There’s even a padded mat on the right side for your mouse, with plenty of space to move it around.
There’s a thick padded wrist rest that will support your wrist all day long and keep it cool, not sweaty. Two padded beams on the underside help prop up the lap desk for better ergonomics and allow airflow in between so you stay cool as well. The Home Office Pro comes in four finishes—gray woodgrain, natural woodgrain, black carbon, and white marble—so you can choose a design that best matches your personal style.
LapGear Home Office Pro Lap Desk
Get wrist support, a built-in mouse pad, and a smartphone stand all in one.