"All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy," goes the old adage. And it's right — just watch The Shining. Sure, we often need to get our heads down and crack on, delivering presentations, revising for our finals, or hopping on Zoom calls, but there's no need to set up camp in the office or library. These days, our workspace can be a little more flexible, whether that's a chic WFH setup, complete with a cute desk, or a hybrid work schedule that has you in the office a couple of days a week and working from your dining table the rest of the time.
Of course, no matter how cushy our home office or study station is, sometimes, the allure of the couch or garden is all too much — especially when things are brightening up. Fortunately, there's a solution. Enter the lap desk, an ingenious invention that almost makes us love working 5 days a week.
Designed so that you can sit somewhere soft or outside without straining your neck, the lap desk comes in a variety of styles, from pillow to portable, plus designs with handy storage features. As such, there's a lot to choose from. That's why I've done the honors and whittled it down to a tight pick, using shoppers' honest reviews to pinpoint only products worth your while. Expect nothing less than four stars and rave reviews from these pieces. Now, enough chat — let's get into it.
The best lap desks to buy
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The prices below were correct at the time of publishing.
Lap desks with storage
Lap desks are often compact, designed to save as much space as possible. However, there's no reason you can't opt for something with a little extra in the way of drawers or storage pockets.
Size (in.): H11.02 x W23.62 x D15.75
Made from: Solid wood
Price: From $41.99
Honestly, what else could you need from a lap desk? This checks every box, offering up four USB ports, a complimentary desk fan and lamp, a stationery drawer, a tablet holder, and a cup holder. Now, that's bang for your buck. Available in a selection of pastel hues, such as lime green and blush pink, as well as simpler black or white colorways, this earned rave reviews among shoppers, who found its legroom and easygoing design perfect for days when working in your office just ain't it.
Size (in.): H3.54 x W17.48 x D13.35
Made from: Manufactured wood
Price: From $46.99
With two pockets to keep your office or study staples, plus a handy cupholder, this design was built with you in mind. Yep, that cushioned wrist pad means the standard aches and pains of typing all day are but a distant memory, while the padded bottom makes for one cozy working setup. Angled for an optimal working posture, this is the lightweight answer to home and nomadic working. According to shoppers, it's great for helping late-shift workers and students with little space alike.
Wake and work
Size (in.): H8.06 x W25.37 x D13.78
Made from: Hardwood
Price: From $44.99
Simple but classic, this solid wood piece is a must for anyone breaking up their day with a bit of couch or lounge-based work. Thanks to its tilt top, the adjustable design works wonders for the modern-day WFHer, allowing users to adjust the angle to their specific needs. Goodbye, eyestrain. Hello, peak productivity. And yes, there's a handy drawer on its right side, perfect for keeping everyday work essentials, whether that's pens and pencils or simply your smartphone. Where shoppers were concerned, this was a real lifesaver, ideal for anyone that likes to ease themselves into the day (guilty as charged).
Lap desk pillows
Now that working from home is the norm for so many, there's a lot to be said about work-from-home comforts. Which is why these cushioned delights are a must in any hybrid worker or dorm-dwelling students' roster.
Size (in.): H2.75 x W17.75 x D13.75
Made from: Fabric and faux wood
Price: From $34.99
If you're keen to bring a little pizzazz to your study sessions or Teams meetings, then this lap desk is the one for you. Whether you opt for the palm leaves, buffalo check, or aqua florals, one thing is sure — you'll be making a statement. Of course, the best part about this is its ultra-cushy cushion, generously filled for comfort and stability. Oh, and don't fret over your laptop overheating. The smooth surface top keeps it aptly ventilated. Elsewhere, it offers room for your smartphone, pens, and post-its thanks to a slot and elastic strap. The reviewers take? Your back and neck will thank you.
Size (in.): H11.61 x W22.8 x D19.69
Made from: Solid wood
Price: From $65.99
Scandi cool meets rustic minimalism in this curvy and cool design. The perfect way to handle your morning emails, this features a bean-bag-filled cushion bottom, a stand for angling your laptop, and — perhaps the most me thing ever — a coffee holder. As for the surface, it's primed with a subtle woodgrain and knots, plus a carefully placed panel to prevent laptop slippage. The scores on the doors with shoppers? It's a dream, making work al fresco or al coucho (it's a thing!) that much simpler. College finals? Bring it on.
Size (in.): H3.93 x W21.25 x D12.59
Made from: Faux leather and silicone
Price: From $49.99
Lightweight? Check. Understated? Double-check. Yep, this nails the assignment for flitting between work and play on your own schedule. Thanks to the high-quality materials, overheating is but a memory, while the texture of the surface works perfectly as a mouse pad. Unlike other imitation leathers, this is both parts breathable and chic. Oh, and it's uber-soft, warding off any unwanted strain on your legs throughout the day. Throw in a handle and storage space on either side for small items, and you have one serious steal. The shoppers' verdict. If you like to move seats a lot while working, it's a must.
Portable lap desks
As any modern-day professional or student can attest, work can happen anywhere, and so, being able to log on, email, or study from any given coordinates is a must. Fortunately, these easy-to-carry picks have your back.
Pretty in pink
Size (in.): H2 x W13.7 x D10
Made from: Plastic and fabric
Price: From $11.99
With a specially designed bottom, fitted with two bolster cushions, this adorable addition to your workday encourages ventilation to ward off sweaty thighs. Laptops that sound like they're going to take off, farewell. Featuring a handle for easy carriage, this is designed to fit a 13-inch laptop and comes in five different shades, spanning rose pink to Alaskan blue. Elsewhere, a handy spot to keep your pen sits up top. Whether it's for paperwork or online work, this left shoppers thoroughly pleased, providing a dinky but dandy option.
Size (in.): H2.36 x W16.53 x D11.93
Made from: Bamboo and fabric
Price: From $29.99
Your answer to sturdy but mobile design, this provides enough space for 16-inch laptops, an understated handle stitched on its side, and a handy sleeve back to store your laptop. As for the surface, it's simple but chic, featuring a spot to slot smartphones and tablets. Of course, bamboo is never going out of style, so your purchase will is a true aesthetic investment. Oh, and reviewers couldn't praise it enough, mentioning its perfect height for typing and squishy, pillowed back.
Size (in.): H2.5 x W17 x D12.5
Made from: Foam cushion
Price: From $41.99
Wherever you go, this handled design has you prepped for one productive day. Primed with a softly angled design, it's oh-so light, making it an easy-to-carry number, perfect for any 13-inch laptop. And yes, that cushioning is indeed memory foam, serving up the easiest working experience yet. As for its glossy surface, this adds a grippy bit of glam, preventing unwanted slippage while you prep for your finals or deliver that big presentation. Shoppers, as it goes, thought it was well made and ideally sized. Count me in.
Are lap desks good for you?
Absolutely! In this day and age, many of us work from home, so why not enjoy the full benefits of that package? There's a science behind it as well. "Lap desks can be a great resource when working from home," says chiropractor Dr. Matthew Cavanaugh. "It provides an ergonomically sound surface to work on by keeping your shoulders, elbows, and wrists in the proper position as opposed to having your computer sit directly on your lap." In other words, your neck and back will face less strain. Consider this your sign to buy one stat.
Is a lap desk worth it?
If you work from home a lot, it certainly is. As outlined by chiropractor Dr. Matthew Cavanaugh above, it offers a way to work from your lap while reducing the strain on your back and back. As he puts it, "Lap desks are an excellent choice for improving postural health when working from home, and they are well worth the money when you find the right one for you." Finding your perfect one is of course easy when the glut of options has been whittled down to a stylish pick like mine. So, get stuck in.
Where to buy a lap desk
Not yet found your must-have lap desk? Don't fret. We've listed the top retailers to try below, where you're sure to find the perfect match.
How we chose these standing desks
When it comes to honest opinions, there are none quite like those of shoppers. That's why when sourcing the products in this list, we took the time to read and check the reviews and ratings given, so you can be sure you're getting something other buyers loved. While we haven't tested each and every product ourselves just yet, you can rest assured that the shoppers' verdict never lies. Oh, and it goes without saying that, like everything we recommend, these were picked for practicality, style, and their genuine improvement on a user's life