Using a laptop in your lap is surprisingly uncomfortable, awkward, and limiting. But a lap desk can turn your lumpy lap into a portable, ergonomic surface for doing work or browsing the internet.
What to Look for in a Lap Desk
Like regular desks, lap desks come in all shapes and sizes. Some are geared for comfort, while others are ridiculously large or ugly. If you buy the first one that comes your way, then you might end up disappointed.
So before buying a lap desk, you should consider common lap desk features:
- Size: A super small lap desk can be a bit awkward to maneuver around. We suggest buying one that’s big enough to accommodate some of your accessories, like a mouse, tablet, or notepad.
- Portability: Lap desks are usually portable. They’re just slabs of plastic, after all. But if you plan to take a lap desk everywhere, then we suggest getting one with a handle, or one that’s fairly small (but, you know, not too small).
- Cushioning: If you’re worried a lap desk won’t be comfortable, then try to find one that’s super cushiony. Ideally, a lap desk’s cushions will also tilt your laptop for ergonomic typing.
- Ventilation: Some laptops need a ton of ventilation, especially gaming laptops. If your laptop tends to overheat, then we suggest buying a thin lap desk that has built-in ventilation holes. (If your laptop doesn’t overheat at a regular desk, don’t worry about ventilation).
- Extra stuff: Most lap desks listed in this article have built-in mouse pads, phone holders, and tablet holders. These extra bells and whistles are a necessity if you plan to use a mouse, phone, or tablet at your lap desk.
And that’s all there is to it. Now you know what you’re looking for in a lap desk, it’s time to start shopping.
Best Overall: LapGear Home Office Lap Desk
Lap desks should be simple, comfortable, portable, and stylish. If you’re looking for a lap desk that ticks all the boxes (and more), then you should check out the LapGear Home Office lap desk. It’s a cushioned lap desk with a built-in mousepad, phone holder, and laptop ledge. Designed to accommodate large 15.6-inch laptops, it has a handle for on-the-go use and large bolster cushions that will give your laptop the perfect typing tilt.
LapGear Home Office Lap Desk with Device Ledge, Mouse Pad, and Phone Holder - Silver Carbon - Fits Up to 15.6 Inch Laptops - Style No. 91585
LapGear's Home Office lap desk is stylish, full-featured, and affordable. It is built to accommodate large 15.6-inch laptops and even has a carrying handle.
Best Budget Pick: LapGear Cushioned eDesk
Trying to get the job done with an inexpensive lap desk? The LapGear eDesk is a bare-bones lap desk with a tilted bolster cushion and a built-in wrist rest. It’s built to accommodate large 15.6-inch laptops, and it even has a large holder for phones, tablets, or writing materials.
This lap desk doesn’t have a ton of bells and whistles, and it’s not big enough to fit a wireless mouse. But hey, it’s a cost-effective option for people who use the trackpad on their laptop or people who work from a phone or tablet.
LapGear eDesk Lap Desk - Cool Gray - Fits up to 15.6 Inch laptops and Most Tablet Devices - Style No. 91305
The LapGear eDesk is affordable, cushioned, and built to accommodate laptop or tablet users.
Best Premium Pick: HUANUO Wood-Grain Lap Desk
The HUANUO wood-grain lap desk is a full-featured piece of lap real estate. It has slots for tablets and phones, a built-in mouse pad, and a handle. Its bolster cushions and wrist rest encourage you to type at an angle that’s ergonomic and comfortable.
This lap desk is large enough to fit 15.6-inch laptops, but it can accommodate a 17-inch laptop if you don’t mind sacrificing the mouse pad and tablet slot.
HUANUO Lap Desk - Fits up to 17 inches Laptop Desk, Built in Mouse Pad & Wrist Pad for Notebook, MacBook, Tablet, Laptop Stand with Tablet, Pen & Phone Holder
The HUANUO lap desk is large, stylish, and comfortable to use. It's a great option for people who plan to spend a ton of their time at a lap desk.
Best for Ventilation: LapGear BamBoard
Worried about ventilation? The LapGear BamBoard is made from lightweight, perforated bamboo that’ll keep your gaming laptop from overheating. It’s large enough to accommodate 15.6-inch laptops (or 17-inch laptops if you don’t mind covering up the mouse pad), and while it doesn’t have any built-in cushions, it does have slots for tablets or phones.
LapGear BamBoard Lap Desk with Phone or Tablet Holder - Natural Bamboo - Fits up to 15.6 Inch Laptops and Most Tablets - Style No. 77001
The LapGear BamBoard is a simple, lightweight lap desk that's well ventilated for super hot gaming laptops.
Best Legged Lap Desk: Neetto Standing Lap Desk
Sometimes you need a lap desk that can do a little more. A good standing lap desk can quickly morph from a typical lap desk into a standing desk riser, a desk for your floor, or even a TV tray. They’re also great for drawing or writing on the couch, as they can be adjusted to a height that’s comfortable for you.
We’re big fans of the Neetto standing lap desk from Avantree. It can be adjusted for height or tilt, it’s large enough to work with a 17-inch laptop, and it’s really not too expensive (considering its features).
Neetto Laptop Height Adjustable Bed Table, Portable Lap Desk with Foldable Legs, Breakfast Tray for Eating, Notebook Computer Stand for Reading Writing on Bed Couch Sofa Floor - American Cherry
The Neetto standing lap desk from Avantree can quickly morph into a standing desk riser, a floor desk, or a raised skating desk. It's large enough to fit 17-inch laptops, and it's not too expensive.