Buying Guide to Lap Desks

If you are tired of trying to balance your laptop on your knee, or if you just want to write in your favorite chair, a lap desk is a great solution. A good lap desk is more than just a simple piece of wood. It is a piece of furniture with real function that can help you increase your productivity, enjoy working and ergonomically balance your life. Before you buy a lap desk, you’ll need to make sure you are getting a model that is perfect for your needs.


A lap desk can come in several different materials. Wood is by far the most popular, but synthetics are quickly catching on. Keep in mind that with many models, you’ll still be balancing the lap desk on your legs, so a heavy wooden desk may be too much. If you plan to use your desk frequently, try to find a synthetic material that is lightweight but still provides enough substance for your tasks.

Many lap desks are now coming with built-in bottom cushions to help take the strain off of your legs. These models come in either wood or synthetic and feature a neoprene or similar fabric cushion underneath. If you prefer this type of lap desk, make sure that the fabric is long wearing, stain proof and can be spot cleaned to ensure it will last longer.

Size and Weight

Before you purchase your lap desk for use with your computer, it is a good idea to measure your laptop. Sizes and shapes vary widely and it is easy to find one that is too narrow for your computer. You should also select a lap desk that is sized appropriately for your lap and chair. You should measure your chair from side to side and the length of the seat to find out which size will work best for your needs.

Another size consideration for stand-up lap desks is height. If you plan on using a lap desk that rests on the surface instead of on your lap, you will need to make sure that you are not straining your arms to reach it. In order to determine how tall your lap desk can be, sit in a chair or on your bed and hold your arms out straight in front of you. Bend them like you would if you were typing or writing. This is the optimum height for your needs. If you have to tip your arms up or down to use your lap desk, you can end up straining your arm muscles and it is possible to develop repetitive stress injuries.


As mentioned previously, a lap desk is a whole lot more than a piece of wood. New lap desks now offer slots for correspondence, pen holders, elastic bands to hold paperwork in place and much more. They also come with tilt functions, adjustable heights and other important features. Before deciding which extras you will need with your lap desk, try to think of how you plan to use it. For example, if your lap desk will be used for manual writing, look for a model that can store paper, pens and other writing materials. For a lap desk that will be used to hold a lap top, look for cord keepers, attachable reading lights and a tilt function.


A good lap desk can cost as little as $40 or as much as $300. Try to find a model that will work for you first, and if it is too expensive, you can look for a similar model made of a different material. For expensive lap desks that offer more features, just remember how much use you’ll actually get out of it to help justify the expense.

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