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Hybrid office life is here to stay, according to a Gallup poll — but not everyone has figured out how to best work from home. Lack of space, privacy or comfort have made remote work a challenge for some. But you don’t necessarily need a massive desk to function from the confines of your house or apartment. Indeed, there are plenty of handy tools — such as portable monitors, Zoom-ready screens with webcams, laptop stands and wireless chargers — to ensure that your home office setup still feels functional.
Another one of those work-from-home essentials is a good lap desk. Compact and functional, most portable laptop desks can hold all of your essentials while also being comfy enough for all-day use on the couch. However, there are some factors to consider when selecting the right one. Whether you’re using a laptop or tablet, it’s essential to know what space you’re working in (such as your couch or on the floor of your university library), how big of a surface you’ll need and how much flexibility you’ll require. The good news is that there’s a lap desk for pretty much any space and size of device.
Ahead, we’ve rounded up some of the best lap desks for working at home, school or any other place that you need to turn into an impromptu office.
1. LapGear Home Office
LapGear’s Home Office lap desk (also available in the larger Home Office Pro size) has room for more than just a laptop. It’s carefully organized with allocated spots for your main device, as well as a phone and mouse pad, plus slots and notches to make sure everything stays in place. It’s sufficiently comfy, with a lightweight cushion attached to the bottom, ensuring that you won’t get too warm. And at just two pounds, this light desk won’t put too much additional weight on your legs. It comes in a range of different colors including hot pink and an espresso wood finish for switching up the daily work grind.
OTHER BUYING OPTIONS: LapGear | Amazon | Bed Bath & Beyond | Office Depot | Staples
2. Room Essentials Lap Desk
BEST WITH OVERSIZED PADDING
Measuring 16 inches wide by 13.77 inches tall, Target’s under-$20 Room Essentials lap desk has a sturdy wooden top, a thick bean-filled corduroy cushion and a carrying handle so you can turn any corner or chair into a comfortable work station.
3. Max Smart Laptop Stand with Mouse Pad, Cushion and USB Cooling Fan
BEST LAP DESK WITH COOLING FAN
For laptops that tend to overheat, Max Smart’s portable laptop desk has a built-in fan to keep your device cool. It can accommodate devices up to 17 inches, and ergonomic features include five angle adjustments, a detachable mouse pad and a removable air-mesh cushion.
OTHER BUYING OPTIONS: Amazon | Walmart
4. Harry Potter Super Storage Lap Desk
COOLEST LAP DESK FOR STUDENTS
Whether you’re in House Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Slytherin or Ravenclaw, this Harry Potter-themed lap desk includes a storage area for stowing away your magic wand (or Muggle school supplies). If you’re not a fantasy fan, PBTeen has other student-friendly storage lap desks, including ones with sports team logos and fun cushion prints.
5. Project 62 Lap Desk
BEST WITH BUILT-IN CHARGER
This bamboo top lap desk (from Target’s midcentury-inspired Project 62 brand) has a built-in USB-A to USB-C charger to keep your laptop and other tech powered while you work. The tablet or smartphone slot lets you prop up your screen comfortably and you can run the charging cable conveniently underneath. It measures about 11 inches tall by 15.4 inches wide by about 3 inches deep.
6. Saiji Portable Desk
MOST VERSATILE LAP DESK
While many sleep and productivity experts suggest avoiding using your bedroom as an office for work/life balance, there are days when we all want to get tasks done under the comfort of our own blanket. Whether you’re eating breakfast or working in bed and need more flexibility and stability, the Saiji portable desk is perfect for that challenge. Able to rotate 36 degrees and with five inches of height adjustment, it can be adapted for a wide range of seating positions so legroom isn’t a problem. The non-slip leather surface can easily fit an 18-inch screen, and features such as a book stand, tablet slot and foldable legs make it a perfect device for the confines of your bed.
7. Arlo Skye The Lap Desk
Perfect for 15-inch laptops, this lap desk from stylish travel accessories brand Arlo Skye works great as a comfortable breakfast tray, too. It has an integrated phone and tablet dock to help manage your cables, a built-in storage tray underneath, a smooth white oak melamine veneer surface, an angled stand for hands-free reading and a comfy microbead cushion. (Other cushion colors are available.)
8. Amazon Basics Adjustable Laptop Tray Table
BEST ADJUSTABLE LAP DESK
Sometimes there’s more to a lap desk than simply getting work done, and that’s the appeal of Amazon Basics’ versatile option. It’s one of the best portable laptop desks that offer flexibility, as it can be tilted into a book stand or a functional on-the-go workspace, or extended into a riser to turn your desk into a standing one. It’s available in a medium size that measures 11.8 inches long by 20.5 inches wide or a large option that’s 13 inches by 23.6 inches. The detachable mouse and notebook slip pad let you customize your work surface, and the legs fold up for easy storage.
9. Mind Reader Adjustable Portable Lap Desk
BEST BUDGET LAP DESK
If all you need is a basic laptop stand, Mind Reader’s portable desk is an ideal pick. It has enough space to fit a device of up to 15.6 inches and can be adjusted to eight different pre-set positions. It has a padded bottom for comfort, and it’s an absolute bargain for a functional lap desk.
OTHER BUYING OPTIONS: Amazon | Bed Bath & Beyond | Best Buy | Walmart
10. Huanuo Lap Laptop Desk
MOST COMFORTABLE LAP DESK
A sense of comfort should be a prerequisite for a good lap desk. After all, they’re no good for work if they constantly need adjusting. Huanuo’s portable laptop desk is particularly notable for its comfiness, from the anti-slip wrist rest to the cloth under-pillow. It can be used as a stand for laptops up to 15.6 inches in size and has a handy phone stand.
11. LapGear Bamboo Lap Desk
BEST FOR LARGE LAPTOPS
An admittedly relevant gripe you might have with a lap desk is a lack of space. After all, they won’t compete with the surface area of a table. However, LapGear’s portable bamboo desk measures 22 inches wide, so it fits 17-inch laptops and has room for a mouse. You can easily use it for laid-back graphic design or gaming (when you don’t necessarily need a headset or serious mouse). And when you’re not using your computer, this lap desk is great as a portable writing surface.
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