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The Best Laptop Bed Desks for Freelancers, Slackers, and Overachievers

A laptop, cup of coffee, and notebook on a small desk beside a bed
Foxy burrow/Shutterstock.com

As my friend’s roommate’s father once said, “If you wanna be a millionaire, invent something that makes people lazier.” As if in answer to a wastrel’s prayer, the laptop bed desk was born. If you’re on a quest to recline more, these ingenious babies can help!

Many reasons exist for why someone might want (or need) a laptop bed desk. Maybe eight-plus hours of work per day just isn’t enough for you, and you’d like a more comfortable way to continue your masochism when you get home. Or, you may be in college and just want a more comfy way to do your homework.

Perhaps, after a six-pack you were sure you could still skateboard like you did 20 years ago, and you’re now confined to your bed with a broken leg. Or, maybe you work from home, and some days, that walk from the bedroom to your home office is just too long.

Whatever your reasons, you’re likely to find the perfect laptop desk for you and your bed below. And yes, you can eat your breakfast on most of them, too!

How to Choose the Right Bed Desk

Before you can pick the perfect accessory for your sedentary lifestyle, you may want to ponder a few things regarding what you require from a laptop bed desk, such as:

  • How you plan to use it: Will this be your regular work desk, or will you only use it a few hours here and there? Do you plan to use it for work or to randomly surf the web while you watch your favorite prime time cop/fire/medical drama? Do you want to use it for meals, too? Do you plan to ever leave your bed?
  • Design: Do you prefer tray-style bed desks, or would you like a larger one that roller skates? How many adjustments do you want? Most bed desks feature height adjustment and tray-tilting options.
  • If you want a charging station: Some desks also have built-in USB ports so you can charge your phone or laptop right from your bed desk.
  • Surface requirements: It’s a good idea to measure your laptop so you can choose a desk that will accommodate it and enable you to use it comfortably. If you also use a mouse, you want to make sure there’s adequate space for that, too.
  • Height: Sit on your bed with your laptop and figure out at what height it should sit to be comfortable to use. If you prefer the tray style, just measure from the mattress to your desired height. If you prefer the rolling style, measure from the floor to your preferred height while you’re sitting on the bed.
  • Beverages: We don’t recommend drinking or setting beverages near your laptop—especially on a movable surface like a mattress. That way lies disaster (and a trip to the Apple Store or PC repair shop). However, if they’ll have to pry your Yeti from your cold dead hand, you’ll want a desk that’s either sturdy enough to hold a beverage or one that has a dedicated cupholder.

After you take your measurements, figure out which style you prefer, and decide whether you’re willing to risk a brewsaster, it’s time to get (more) lethargic!

Best Overall: LANGRIA Laptop Rolling Cart

The LANGRIA Laptop Rolling Cart with an open laptop and mouse on it.

If adjustable height is a priority for you, the rolling style is probably best. The height on the LANGRIA Laptop Rolling Cart starts at 23.6 inches and goes up to 35.4 inches. To adjust it, you just loosen the twist knob on the metal support post, position it at the height you want, and then retighten the knob. We recommend you preadjust it, though, as it’s inconvenient to do if you’re already in bed with the cart positioned over you.

The desk’s surface is split into two sections: one for your laptop (15.8 inches wide), and one for a mouse (7.9 inches wide). Again, you can use twist knobs under each tray section to tilt it up to 180 degrees. Both sides have stoppers at the bottom to prevent anything from sliding off.

This cart is designed to slide under the right side of the bed (that’s your right when you’re lying in it). The tray swivels 360 degrees if you want to use it on the opposite side, but you won’t be able to tilt it—the stoppers will be at the top, and your laptop will slide right off. You also need at least two inches of clearance underneath for the casters.

It’s easy to assemble, and the waterproof dark walnut finish is stylish enough to suit any décor—except maybe a jungle room.

Best Overall

LANGRIA Laptop Rolling Cart Table Height Adjustable Mobile Laptop Stand Desk

If you want the height of adjustment (get it?) and 180 degrees of tiltable goodness, the LANGRIA Laptop Rolling Cart is the stuff your dreams are made of.

Most Versatile: EXYST Adjustable Laptop Table Stand

The EXYST Adjustable Laptop Table Stand in six different positions with laptops or magazines on top.

If options are your jam, get versatile with the Adjustable Laptop Table Stand by EXYST. No assembly is required—the 360-degree push buttons enable you to position this tray at multiple heights (1.5 to 18.89 inches) and angles. This range means you can set it up anywhere—not just in bed.

The 6-by-7-inch mousepad tray is also detachable. The black aluminum alloy work surface measures 16.54 by 10.24 inches, and it’s vented to help keep your laptop cool.

With so many possible configurations, though, it takes a long time to get it set up the way you want it. This is mostly because you have to press the push-buttons really hard while simultaneously moving each leg where you want it.

It’s not incredibly sturdy, either, so we definitely wouldn’t recommend it for food or beverages. The cheap plastic clips meant to prevent your laptop from sliding off the tray also broke immediately. Fortunately, the lip at the bottom of the tray curls up enough to prevent this with slim laptops.

Most Versatile

Adjustable laptop table stand - lightweight vented collapsible desk tray for work/bed/sofa/couch with mouse pad - black

If you plan to use your laptop tray in various and sundry positions, just consider this one by EXYST the Kama Sutra of bed desks.

Sturdiest: NEARPOW Laptop Desk for Bed

The NEARPOW Laptop Desk for Bed with an open laptop and mouse on it.

If you want something more heavy-duty or you have a larger laptop, the NEARPOW Laptop Desk may be your best option. The polished wood surface, aluminum legs, and ABS wrist rest make it ultra-durable and reliable. The surface measures 24 x 14 inches, which easily accommodates a 17-inch laptop and mouse.

You press the buttons on the sides of the legs to adjust the desk to the five different height settings (9.4 to 12.6 inches). The tray also tilts forward and locks in three positions from 0 to 30 degrees, so you can type, read, or stream with ease. Two clips at the bottom prevent your items from sliding off when you tilt the tray.

You can get to work immediately with the NEARPOW bed desk because there’s nothing to assemble; you just unfold the legs. This also makes it incredibly convenient to store—fold it up and slide it under your bed or into a closet.

Premium Pick: Sharper Image Laptop and Tablet Tray with Built-In Charger

The Sharper Image Laptop and Tablet Tray on a bed, with a man's outstretched legs underneath, his hand resting on a tablet on the tray.
Sharper Image

If you’re life just won’t be complete until you have a bed desk and money is no object, the Laptop and Tablet Tray by Sharper Image could be the yin to your yang. This tray-style bed desk features a 26-inch work surface that folds down to an extremely portable 13 x 12 x 2 inches. (Tt would easily fit in a suitcase.)

The legs adjust up to 11.5 inches if you need more height, and you can also use the bracket on the back to tilt the tray to several different angles.

What makes this tray premium, though, is its power bank. You get dual USB ports (one micro and one mini with cables included) and a nifty 10-LED lamp if you need to keep working while someone else is asleep. The fully charged battery should give you up to 40 hours of use on your phone and 8 hours on your tablet. It takes about 22 to 24 hours to charge the table with the included USB power cable.

Dishonorable Mention: Symple Stuff Laptop Tray

The Symple Stuff Laptop Tray with a tablet on top and a cardboard cup in the cupholder.
That’s not a cupholder, boys and girls. Symple Stuff

If you love danger and dumping your morning java on your laptop and down comforter, you’re one of the few the Symple Stuff Laptop Tray won’t disappoint.

It’s a shame because when it comes to surface space (27-inch length x 13.75-inch width), this one had potential. Again, there’s a split top with a smaller tray for a mouse. It also has a sturdy stopper on the bottom to prevent slide-offs when you use the metal bracket on the back to tilt the laptop side.

Did we say “bracket”? We meant “finger-remover.” Yes, any time you adjust the tilt degree of the tray, you’ll be lucky if your digits make it out still attached. They’ll definitely get pinched.

Next, we come to the metal circlet holding a bit of mesh the company calls a “cupholder.” The thing is so flimsy, we wouldn’t drop a flash drive in it, let alone a piping hot cup of coffee.

By far, the biggest issue with this tray was that the legs don’t lock—kind of a necessity for a work surface meant to be used on a bed. During our test, it was like a newborn deer trying to walk. But, yeah! Put your coffee in that little mesh pouch!

In the wise words of Carol, a Wayfair customer from Flintridge, California, “The legs fold too easily, and I smashed my finger. Not a fan.”

Amanda Gambill Amanda Gambill
Amanda is the Staff Copy Editor and a contributing writer for How-To Geek, and its sister sites, Review Geek, and LifeSavvy. She’s been writing and editing professionally since 2004. In her spare time, Amanda reads stuff no one else does (classics and historical bios), watches documentaries that put others to sleep (ancient cookware archaeologists found under a McDonalds), and writes stories about things that go bump in the night. Read Full Bio »