Which bed tray is best?

A bed tray often evokes the image of bringing someone breakfast in bed on a special day, but a bed tray can have a place in everyday life. Bed trays are useful when you are feeling under the weather, when you’re injured or when you just want to relax in comfort.

A bed tray needs to be sturdy to avoid unnecessary spills and function to keep everything organized while you are lying in bed. Bed trays are good for holding television remotes, books, pen and paper, glasses and other small objects. You also can use a bed tray to hold up a laptop, tablet or book to a comfortable reading angle while in bed.

If you’re looking for a versatile bed tray, our top choice is the SONGMICS Bamboo Bed Tray, for its aesthetically pleasing design and ventilation holes.

What to know before you buy a bed tray

Stability

Stability is a big consideration. You don’t want everything on top of the tray to go flying across your bed and possibly spill if a leg collapses. The ideal bed tray has legs that lock in place with a sturdy latching mechanism if they are foldable.

 

Finding the right size bed tray is important. If it’s too big, it might be unwieldy and hard to use. Figuring out the best size for your bed tray needs is key. Decide what the bed tray will hold most frequently to determine the best bed tray size.

Portability

Bed trays are not exclusively meant to be used in bed. You can use one while sitting on the couch, on the floor or even while traveling.  A lighter weight correlates to better portability.

What to look for in a quality bed tray

Flip-up top

A flip-up top is a useful feature. The tilting function can enable someone whose range of motion is limited to get more use out of the bed tray. This helps for books or tablets to be visible when the user is not able to sit up completely or move their body. Flip-up tops can be useful for anyone and are an optional feature on a bed tray.

Storage

Whether it’s a built-in cup holder or a small drawer underneath the bed tray, storage can be a necessity or a nice additional feature. Small drawers are mostly equipped to hold items like a pen, a small pad of paper and perhaps a charger cord. A cup holder is ideal for someone using electronics on the bed tray because it will keep any liquids from sloshing around.

Foldability

If the bed tray has legs you can’t fold, it’s harder to find a place to store it. Legs that can fold up or down make the bed tray more functional when it is in use, depending on how the person using the bed tray is situated. 

Materials

A bed tray can be made from wood, metal, plastic or a combination of any of these materials. What the bed tray is made of will determine the cost of the tray.

How much you can expect to spend on a bed tray

Bed trays range from $20 to $60, depending on the material and features.  The more features, the more the cost may be. Most bed trays are in the $30 range, making them an affordable way to incorporate better ergonomics into your life.

Bed tray FAQ

Does a bed tray need ventilation holes to keep your laptop cool?

A. Ventilation holes help but are not necessary to keep most laptops cool enough to operate.

How do bed trays hold up to spills?

A. Depending on the bed tray’s finish, it can handle being spilled on occasionally. Use a wet rag to wipe it clean, and use a dry cloth to remove any residual moisture to keep your bed tray in good condition.

What’s the best bed tray to buy?

Top bed tray

SONGMICS Bamboo Bed Tray

SONGMICS Bamboo Bed Tray

What you need to know: This lightweight tray with a tilting top and ventilation holes is perfect for holding laptops, books and more.

What you’ll love: The ventilation holes improve airflow for a laptop.

What you should consider: Small items can fall through the ventilation holes.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top bed tray for the money

Winsome Wood Breakfast Bed Tray

Winsome Wood Breakfast Bed Tray

What you need to know: This no-frills bed tray has foldable legs, a wide lip to keep items from falling off the edges and a plain but pleasing design.

What you’ll love: This is one of the least expensive bed trays available, but it is sturdy.

What you should consider: The lip around the perimeter of the tray may limit the size of items you can place on it.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Extra-Large Adjustable Laptop Stand for Bed

SAIJI Adjustable Laptop Stand for Bed

What you need to know: This space-age-looking bed tray has all the bells and whistles, such as a small drawer, tilting top and ergonomic armrest.

What you’ll love: This bed tray was designed for the laptop user, with ergonomics and convenience in mind.

What you should consider: This is one of the priciest bed trays available, and it is quite large.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

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April Blake writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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