The Best Lap Desks for Working, Gaming, and Watching ‘The Bachelor’

March 22, 2023 Off By Adam Rothbarth

The human lap was designed to handle a lot of action. Just consider steel guitars, the TV dinner, and the lap dance—these activities put a lot of pressure on the lap, and us humans, somehow, can take it every time. Some laps (like those of Santa Claus and yuppie parents) can even support the weight of small children; other, more delicate laps only endeavor to support a comfy pillow or two. Indeed, the lap is one of the great phenomena of human evolution.

When there’s actual work to be done, however, we desire a buffer zone. For some reason, when it comes to intellectual labor via computers, it seems less fun to have direct contact with the lap. Thus, lap desks were invented. Some of us work-at-home geniuses might think we have it all figured out: We’ve got our favorite pillow (or knee) that perfectly supports our beloved laptop (whoa) while we watch Stranger Things process TPS reports. Listen to me, my WFH giants: You can be even more comfortable.

All lap desks are not created equal. Some are meant to straddle our legs or hover above, so it doesn’t fully rest on us, while others have nice, fluffy cushions that go [slaps thighs] right here, baby. Some newer models even have features like recesses for phones and pencils and space for mousepads. Here are a few good lap desks for the next time you can’t be bothered to walk to your goddamn desk.

A comfy, minimalist option

To paraphrase over 11,500 people on Amazon, this is one of the best things you can put on your lap. It’s got a little bank to prevent your stuff from sliding off (it’s also a fluffy wrist/forearm rest, if you need it); and there’s a little hole to prop up your tablet, if you’re going that route. Our editorial director bought one of these so that her laptop would stop frying her thighs, and now she considers it an absolute essential for WFH or just online shopping while watching TV.

An aesthetic, inspirational beauty

This bright, bamboo-looking desk looks like the perfect option for when you’re researching local day spas, watching yoga videos, or filming reviews for your (soon to be) viral TikTok account. It will surely inspire you to be your best and most abundant self (or at least fill out that darn doctor’s appointment questionnaire already).

For great artists only

Listen, we get it—you’re the next J.M.W. Turner. This wooden lap desk lets you reconnect with your Romantic roots; and it also turns into an easel or magazine holder. Plus, there’s a secret drawer to hide your “creative inspiration.”

Get in the game

What, you thought lap desks were only for productive business people who don’t like standing up to go to a real desk? This gaming lap desk is ergonomically and texturally designed to be extremely comfortable when you’re doing 12-hour marathons of intense Elden Ring or Animal Crossing. Mountain Dew sold separately.

Preserving your lap energy

Planning to eat ramen in the car on your way to get a personal dance at the strip club? Well, you’re going to need your lap plenty rested before your big night, meaning you don’t want to drain your battery by using a dang lap desk all day long. Oh, what’s that? You also don’t like sitting up at a desk, but need to get some work done before you go out? This adjustable desk is perfect for saddling up to the couch or a bed, but not putting any pressure on your body. It’s also a good option if you’re, you know, sick or something.

To quote Rihanna, “Work work work work work.” So, she probably has a lap desk, right?

The Rec Room staff independently selected all of the stuff featured in this story. Want more reviews, recommendations, and red-hot deals? Sign up for our newsletter.