Table Of Contents_
To determine the best portable desk we considered the following factors: desk style, height, adjustable legs, and angle adjustments, portability, ease of use, and additional features. You’ll need to decide which desk style is best for you and if you want one where the angle or height can be adjusted. Think about whether you want a desk that can be folded and put away when not in use, or one that is portable but is fixed. Left-handed people may find some of the value-added accessories such as built-in mouse pads or wrist pads frustrating as most brands tend to default to positioning these features on the right side of the desk.
After considering all of the above, we selected the Seville Classics 23.6” Solid-Top Height Adjustable Mobile Laptop Desk Cart as our Top Pick. It’s an ideal option for someone who works from home or even for offices that need an additional desk for a meeting. We liked that it was the only portable desk with wheels and that you can adjust the height to make it more comfortable. Keep reading to learn more about the rest of our top picks.
Award: TOP PICK
WHY WE LIKE IT: A truly portable desk that’s easily adjusted to create the right height for you and features castors for repositioning it wherever you need to set up shop.
If you’re thinking about a portable desk, nothing is more portable than something that’s on wheels. The Seville Classics 23.6” Solid-Top Height Adjustable Mobile Laptop Desk Cart is the perfect solution for someone who needs a small workspace that can easily be moved from one room to the next. We like that this is the only desk in our guide that features castors, two of which can be locked into place for added stability.
Related: Also check the best little desks.
You’ll also like that you can easily adjust the height from 20.5 inches to 33 inches thanks to the twist-lock knob on the back of the stand. Plus this model is available in three colors to best match your office or home office design. While it doesn’t come fully assembled, putting this portable desk together is fairly quick and easy to do. It could double as the best gaming desk.
Award: HONORABLE MENTION
WHY WE LIKE IT: A lightweight foldable tabletop style desk that can be used on soft surfaces like beds or sofas with built-in bumpers and wrist pads to keep your laptop or mouse in place while you work.
A common complaint with basic laptop desks is that they don’t keep your laptop, tablet or mouse from sliding into your lap if you move. But the Kavalan Portable Laptop Desk Stand offers the perfect solution thanks to the built-in bumpers for your laptop and mouse. While it assumes that everyone keeps their mouse on the right side of their laptop, we do like that this model comes in three colors.
Related: Go over our list of the best autonomous standing desks.
You’ll also like that this large lap desk is designed with an adjustable slant from zero to 36 degrees, making this ideal for use on the couch or in a bed where you might be reclined. And the fact that you can easily adjust the height from 9.4 inches to 12.6 inches in five different positions is ideal. Plus the bumper for the mouse also serves as a wrist pad to help cut down on discomfort as you work. And we liked the fact that this can be folded flat, making it ideal for storing under your bed or couch when not in use. You can also compare this to the best standing desk.
Award: BEST BUDGET
WHY WE LIKE IT: A simple cushioned lap desk with eight adjustable height ticks to create the perfect angle as you work, and an included carrying handle make this a truly portable solution.
If you’re looking for a truly portable solution for using your laptop, then the Mind Reader LTADJust-BLK Adjustable portable desk is the best laptop desk for couch use. We like that this model is compact and is a cushioned lap desk for added comfort against your legs. While this option is best for use with smaller laptops, we do like that you get eight height adjustment ticks to create the perfect angle while you work. Younger children might also like that this is a great lap desk for coloring.
The overstuffed cushion pads help to create a more comfortable working environment. And we like that the surface also includes a foldout bumper to help keep your laptop in place as you work. You’ll appreciate the built-in handle that makes this a truly travel-friendly solution. Plus this is our Best Budget pick, making it an easy option that’s affordable too. For added comfort, try the best standing desk mat.
Award: BEST ECO FRIENDLY
WHY WE LIKE IT: An environmentally-friendly yet easy to use Birch wooden lap desk with a minimalist design and seven adjustable positions makes this the perfect standing desk for the person who wants to reduce their carbon footprint.
If you’re focused on your health, you know that standing desks have been all the rage in the past few years. But you might also prefer a more minimalist design than some of the larger standing desk options on the market. While the Readydesk Allstand Universal Laptop Standing Desk isn’t a bamboo lap desk, we think it’s the perfect solution for someone that wants a sturdy standing or even a wooden lap desk that’s lightweight and easy to use.
You’ll appreciate that this desk is designed from sustainable birch wood and features a simple design that’s meant to be disassembled when not in use, but can be quickly erected when you need it. You’ll appreciate the five horizontal slots that allow you to adjust the height and the fact that the desk insert features a slot that can be used as a smartphone stand. You can also position the desk insert into the angled notches on the legs or the top of the stand to create a book stand. You can use this with the best standing desk chairs for great results.
Award: LIGHTEST WEIGHT
WHY WE LIKE IT: A comprehensive adjustable lap desk with a mouse pad that’s made from lightweight aluminum, full 360-degree rotating legs, built-in USB powered CPU cooling fans, and a quick collapse design for the ultimate in portability.
It’s no secret that laptops get hot while you use them. And if you’re concerned about your hard drive overheating, the Executive Office Solutions Portable Adjustable Aluminum Laptop Desk is the portable desk you’ve always wanted — and that’s why we’re making it our Best Quality recommendation. We love that this desk comes with a host of essential accessories that are intuitive for mobile productivity, making it the best lap desk with a mouse pad.
First, this is the only portable desk in our guide that includes built-in CPU fans. This is important since we all know that a hot laptop can impede performance. You’ll also like that there’s an optional mouse pad that can be clipped onto the desk frame — although it’s only designed for use on the right side. The 360-degree rotating legs can be positioned into a range of angles and the height can be adjusted into a range of angles making it perfect for work at a standing desk. We also liked the fact that this could be quickly folded flat for easy storage or to take with you in a backpack or laptop bag. Sit in the best office chair and this desk will be great for work.
Award: BEST TRAVEL DESK
WHY WE LIKE IT: A versatile desk with three height adjustments and slim fold-flat design makes this the best folding desk that can be used in a wide range of scenarios.
A compact design is an important feature in a portable desk. And that’s why we’re including the Redcamp Small Two Foot Folding Table. This is the best folding desk because it can be folded flat to just three inches thick. To us, this also means that it’s ideal for more than just holding your laptop. So, while it’s not a traditional laptop desk, we do like that this is the perfect option for an impromptu party in the backyard or for camping, where portability is important.
When fully assembled, this desk measures 24 inches wide and 16 inches deep but folds down to 16 by 12 by three inches. This lightweight table can be adjusted into three different heights up to two feet tall using the adjustable feet. Setup and breakdown are easy too, helping to add to the travel-friendly nature of this portable desk. Park the best paper shredders beside it and get some quality work completed.
Portable desks are a great accessory that can improve your productivity around the house, especially if you’re working from home. But there are a lot of options on the market, and picking the right one can be overwhelming. To make our recommendations, we prioritized the following features — desk style, height and angle adjustments, portability, ease of use, and additional features.
In our guide, you’ll see a range of portable desk styles. The most common include portable lap desks, laptop standing desks, and even rolling desks, our Top Pick is the only option in our guide that comes with wheels. Except for our Best Budget, the remainder are all variations of standing desks — some with the ability to also double as lap desks based on their design (such as our Honorable Mention and #4 choices).
For the height and angle adjustments, (and to optimize your work surface) you’ll want to consider how high you would like to reposition a desk and what angles are most comfortable. Some models feature both height and angle adjustments such as the Honorable Mention, #4, and Best Quality. In contrast, some options like our Top Pick and #6 choices don’t support angle adjustment. And our Best Budget — being a true lap desk — can only provide angle adjustments.
Portability is an important feature, especially if you’re hoping to take a portable desk with you to the office or while you travel. Our Top Pick is the only option that isn’t truly portable because it can’t be folded down. The remainder are all designed to be folded down, which is ideal if you want to store them out of sight in your home or take them on the road with you.
Ease of use might seem like an odd option considering that portable desks are fairly straightforward products. But if you’re left-handed, you know the world isn’t always made for you. One issue we noted with portable tables that featured mouse pads, cup holders or wrist pads (our Honorable Mention and Best Quality) is that they defaulted to right-side placement. For left-handed people that prefer to use their mouse with their left hands, this is a problem. The best lap desks are those that ideally cater to every user, left or right-handed. However, if you’re right-handed, or are a lefty who’s learned to adjust to life in a right-handed world, these features would be welcome, making them great value-added accessories.
Even if you have a traditional desk in your house or home office, a portable desk can come in handy if — for example — you want to use your laptop while sitting on the couch or in bed. Instead of laying your laptop directly on your legs, a portable desk provides an even surface, and can also provide better ventilation for your laptop. Plus it keeps your legs from getting hot from the heat emitted by your laptop.
Both standing desks and lap desks are portable desks, and the one you opt for is going to depend on how you plan on using your laptop. A standing desk is ideal for people who already own a traditional desk but want to incorporate standing into their routine. Since sitting for extended periods is now considered just as unhealthy as smoking or an unhealthy diet, standing for periods can help to reduce those risks. However, if you want to use your laptop in bed or while sitting in a recliner or couch, a standing desk wouldn’t make much sense. In this case, a cushioned lap desk is a better bet and more comfortable.
If portability is a priority, look for models that can fold down into compact designs. Specifically, the best folding desks will have legs that can be compressed and a desktop that can be folded flat. These types of desks are perfect for storing out of sight when they're not in use, and won't take up too much space. If you plan to do a lot of work or spend hours at your portable desk, consider options with a slightly wider work surface with space for small items such as pens, notepads, or perhaps a cup of coffee.