Best Keyboard Trays

Updated May 2021
Header Image
Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
Bottom Line
Pros
Cons
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

40 Models Considered
8 Hours Researched
2 Experts Interviewed
60 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for Best keyboard trays

Most of us spend quite a bit of time each day on the computer. Whether it’s for work, catching up on social media, or playing your favorite video games, you’re likely using your keyboard for at least a few hours every day. And if you don’t have the right setup for your computer, you can experience neck, shoulder, back, and wrist pain. To help avoid the pain, you need a keyboard tray.

A keyboard tray is a surface that attaches to your desk, wall, or chair to hold your keyboard. It positions the keyboard at the perfect height to use and slides out of the way when you’re not typing. Most trays also have room for a mouse. You can also adjust the keyboard tray to change the height and tilt based on your particular needs. You can even find models with special ergonomic features.

Get emails you’ll love.
Learn about the products you’re wondering if you should buy and get advice on using your latest purchases.
I1 
A keyboard tray doesn’t just provide a more ergonomic setup for your computer. It frees up space on your desktop for other tasks, too.

Key considerations

Type

You can choose from three main types of keyboard tray: under-desk, chair-mounted, and wall-mounted trays.

Under-desk keyboard trays are the most common type. The tray attaches to the underside of your desk with a rail system, adjustable arm, or clamps.

Chair-mounted keyboard trays connect to the arms or central column of your desk chair rather than your desk. These keyboard trays don’t offer the most ergonomically sound setup, but if you’re more comfortable reclining while you type, this might be a better fit than an under-desk model.

Wall-mounted keyboard trays have an arm that attaches the tray to the wall. These are highly adjustable, so they work well with nonstandard desk shapes, standing desks, or other unconventional workstation configurations.

Size and fit

A keyboard tray is useless if it isn’t large enough to hold your keyboard. If you use a specialty keyboard that has extra keys or a built-in wrist rest, it’s especially important to measure the keyboard’s dimensions before you start shopping to make sure that any tray you consider is both long and wide enough.

Adjustability

Many keyboard trays allow you to adjust their position in terms of both height and angle, but the  mechanism used to make those adjustments varies.

Double-arm or drawer keyboard trays are the most basic models. These pull out from beneath your desk, but they don’t allow for any adjustments. They’re a budget-friendly option and typically more stable than the other types. 

Standard keyboard trays typically have a knob that you turn to adjust both the height and angle. These trays work well when standing or sitting, but adjusting them generally takes more time and effort than other types of trays.

Lift-and-lock keyboard trays are much easier to adjust. You simply lift the tray to the height you prefer, and it locks in place. You turn a knob to change the angle.

Sit-stand keyboard trays can raise the tray to an ergonomic position whether you’re sitting at a desk or using a standing desk.

Platform

Shape: Most keyboard trays are rectangular to be compatible with most keyboards. Some trays have an extra-large or wide platform, which is a good option if you want to position your keyboard and mouse side by side. You can also find keyboard trays with an ergonomic platform that works well with an ergonomic keyboard.

Material: The platform is usually made of plastic, laminated wood, or metal. Plastic trays are the most affordable, but they aren’t the most durable. Laminated wood trays are popular because they match many desks and are usually extremely durable and stable. However, they can be pretty bulky and difficult to adjust. Metal trays are the most durable. They’re extremely stable and have a slimmer design that allows for plenty of knee clearance, but you’ll pay more for one.

Dyk1 
Did You Know?
Some keyboard trays are ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliant, so they’re safer and more user-friendly for anyone with limited mobility.
Staff
BestReviews

Features

Assembly

If you want to set up your keyboard tray right away, it’s important to consider how difficult it is to assemble. Some models don’t require any tools and use adhesive to attach the tray, while others require attaching clamps or screws to the desk to install rails.

Mouse area

Most keyboard trays have a space for your mouse, making it easier to place your mouse in an ergonomically beneficial position to reduce wrist and hand pain.

Fixed: Some keyboard trays have a fixed mouse platform that connects to the tray but doesn’t allow you to move the mouse around.

Swivel: Other trays have a swivel surface for the mouse, so you can push it out of the way when you don’t need to use it.

Detachable: Some platforms also have a detachable mouse platform, which allows you to place it at the front, back, or either side to create the setup you prefer. It’s an excellent option if more than one person works at a desk.

Wrist support

Some keyboard trays have support for your wrists to help you keep them straight and comfortable. The support is usually padded with foam or gel and is often removable to allow for easier cleaning. Some trays also have palm supports to make using your keyboard even more comfortable.

You can find keyboard trays with wrist padding made of antimicrobial materials to prevent bacteria and mold growth.

Staff
BestReviews

Accessories


Ergonomic keyboard: Microsoft Sculpt
For the most ergonomic setup for your home office, you’ll want an ergonomic keyboard on your keyboard tray. This one from Microsoft is partially split to help keep your hands and wrists at the proper angle.

Ergonomic mouse: Logitech M570 Wireless Trackball Computer Mouse
For greater comfort, pair your keyboard tray and ergonomic keyboard with an ergonomic mouse that keeps your wrist in a comfortable, straight position. We love this option from Logitech because it doesn’t require a mouse pad and is easy to clean if the trackball slows.

Dyk1
Did You Know?
If you don’t want your keyboard tray to bounce or move around, opt for a metal model. It offers more stability than a plastic or wood tray.
Staff
BestReviews

Keyboard tray prices

Keyboard trays vary in price based on size, type, material, and special features. Most cost between $17 and $300.

Inexpensive: The most affordable keyboard trays are basic models that are usually made of plastic. They don’t have many special features, but they may include room for a mouse. These trays cost between $17 and $30.

Mid-range: These keyboard trays are usually adjustable models that are made of high-quality plastic or wood laminate. They’re large enough to fit your keyboard and mouse and usually easy to install. They also have some special features, such as a wrist rest. These trays typically cost between $30 and $100.

Expensive: The most expensive keyboard trays are adjustable models made of high-quality plastic, wood, or metal. They have a surface for a mouse in addition to space for the keyboard and allow for a high level of adjustment. They also offer special features like a wrist rest. These trays cost between $100 and $300.

Tips

  • Position your keyboard correctly. Your keyboard tray should position your keyboard approximately 4 to 6 inches beneath your desktop to improve your posture and form while typing.
  • Position your body correctly. The best form for typing is for your elbows to be positioned at a 90° angle with your hands at the same height as the keyboard, so you’re able to keep your wrists straight.
  • Type with a light touch. If your keyboard wobbles a bit, try using a lighter touch when typing. Not only will it prevent the keyboard tray from shaking, but it can also help reduce wrist and elbow pain.
  • Use the wrist rest while resting, not typing. To avoid repetitive stress injury, tilt the keyboard down away from you and keep your wrists above the pad.
I2 
If you’re concerned about knee clearance, opt for a lower-profile keyboard tray to provide more space beneath your desk.

FAQ

Q. Why should I use a keyboard tray?

A. A keyboard tray helps position your keyboard at the perfect height to improve your form and posture while typing. This can help prevent hand, wrist, and elbow pain, as well as inflammation. Having your keyboard on your desk actually puts it too high and doesn’t allow you to keep your wrists straight, which is what causes most hand and wrist pain issues.

Q. Can I use a keyboard tray if I have carpal tunnel syndrome?

A. A keyboard tray can be extremely helpful if you have carpal tunnel syndrome. Placing your keyboard below your desk and monitor relieves stress and pressure on the median nerve, reducing pain related to carpal tunnel syndrome.

Q. How long does it take to install a keyboard tray?

A. It depends on the type of tray you choose. Those that use clamps that you simply twist into place to attach the tray are pretty easy to install, and you can do it in a matter of minutes. Other trays that require you to install tracks under the desk can take up to an hour.

Other Products We Considered
The BestReviews editorial team researches hundreds of products based on consumer reviews, brand quality, and value. We then choose a shorter list for in-depth research and testing before finalizing our top picks. These are the products we considered that ultimately didn't make our top 5.
See more
Our Top Picks