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 we never accept free products from manufacturers. 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 we never accept free products from manufacturers. 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
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 we never accept free products from manufacturers. 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 we never accept free products from manufacturers. 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 
How we decided

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

23 Models Considered
6 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
351 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 kids’ portable lap desks

Last Updated August 2020

Unlike adults, kids don’t spend too much time worrying about neck, back, and shoulder strain. They prefer stretching out on the floor to sitting in a chair. It might not matter so much when they’re just watching TV, but if they’re doing homework, working on crafts, drawing, or playing on a tablet, proper posture can make a big difference. With a portable lap desk, your kids can have a convenient work surface for a variety of activities that they can use while sitting on the floor, bed, or couch.

Some kids’ portable lap desks have folding legs that elevate the desk surface, while others feature a cushioned back that rests comfortably on the lap. Because they’re compact and lightweight, these desks also easy to take on the go, so your child has a usable work surface anywhere. But there are quite a few lap desks to choose from, so shopping can get confusing.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the possibilities, our buying guide is full of tips to help you find the best kids’ portable lap desk for your children’s favorite activities. You can even use our specific product recommendations as a jumping-off point for totally confusion-free shopping

Some kids’ portable lap desks have an attached seat. Your child’s body weight helps hold the desk in place.

Key considerations

Function

When you’re shopping for a kids’ portable lap desk, start by figuring out how your child is primarily going to use it. If your child is going to use the desk with a laptop or tablet, you might prefer a desk with folding legs that elevate the work surface over the lap. If your child is mainly going to use it to draw or write, a desk with a cushioned back that sits in the lap may be more comfortable.

For children who will use their lap desk for arts and crafts, it helps to choose a model with some sort of storage space for crafting supplies so small pieces won’t get lost. You can also find lap desks with a cord keeper to manage device cords when your kid is working.

Size and weight

Size: When it comes to the desk surface, you want to be sure it’s large enough for your child to work on comfortably. If your kid plans to use the desk with a laptop, measure the computer to make sure that it can sit securely on the desk. For children who sketch on pads or in large notebooks, check that the desk surface is large enough to accommodate the paper with room for your child to work.

Some kids’ lap desks fold to become more compact, which makes them even more portable. With most desks, it’s the legs that fold, though some models have additional work surfaces that fold up into the main desk for storage.

Weight: For a kids’ lap desk to be portable, it shouldn’t be too large or too heavy. Some models weigh less than 1.5 pounds, which makes them extremely lightweight and easy to carry around. Other lap desks can weigh as much as 4 pounds, but they’re not so heavy that it’s difficult to take them on the go.

EXPERT TIP

Laptops can get uncomfortably warm. If your child uses a laptop for school or playing games, a portable desk keeps the device off their lap.


Staff  | BestReviews

Features

Materials

With any lap desk, you want to choose a model made of a sturdy, durable material that holds up well to repeated use. Kids can be tough on a lap desk, and because they’re prone to making messes, it’s also essential to choose a material that’s easy to clean. That’s why plastic is an ideal material for a kids’ portable lap desk. It’s durable but still lightweight enough for easy carrying, and you can wipe it clean if your child spills something on it. Some kids’ lap desks are made of wood, which is highly durable but heavier and trickier to clean.

Cushioning

In addition to hard surfaces, some lap desks also have a padded cushion on the bottom, which can help make your child more comfortable when the desk is sitting in their lap. Keep in mind that cushioned models include fabric, which can stain easily if your child isn’t careful. Some cushions have a removable cover, so you can machine wash it if an accident occurs. If the cover isn’t removable, you’ll have to spot clean any stains.

Handle

To make a portable lap desk easier to take on the go, many models feature a carrying handle. It allows your child to tote the desk without requiring a separate bag or carrying case for it.

Adjustability

Some kids’ portable lap desks are adjustable, allowing you to position the legs to adjust the height of the desk over the lap. You can also find models with an adjustable top, so your child can control the angle of the surface for their book, tablet, or sketch pad.

Storage

Kids can lose track of their belongings pretty easily, so it helps to choose a portable lap desk with built-in storage. Some models have simple cubbies or pockets to hold items like pencils, markers, or toys. Other lap desks have a top that lifts to reveal a built-in storage compartment that can hold larger items like notebooks, coloring books, or crafting supplies.

Color and design

Kids’ portable lap desks are available in a wide range of colors and designs. Many feature bright hues like red, yellow, or purple that children enjoy. Others with a more elaborate design resemble animals or other fun characters that are sure to capture your child’s imagination.

Look for a lap desk with a ledge or rim around the work surface, so your child doesn’t have to go chasing after pencils or crayons that roll off.

Accessories

Kids’ tablet: Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Edition Tablet
With a lap desk, your child can safely use a tablet to watch their favorite movies or play their favorite games without any damage to the tablet. This 8-inch one from Amazon is a favorite because it’s highly durable and specifically designed for kids.

Coloring book: Little Bee Books My First Big Book of Coloring
A coloring book is an ideal way to keep your child entertained when working at a lap desk. We love this option from Little Bee Books because it contains almost 200 pages of artwork to color and thick black lines that even young kids can stay inside.

Art or craft kit: Crayola All That Glitters Art Set
A lap desk is the perfect place for your child to work on their favorite art or craft. We love this one from Crayola because it comes with everything your child needs to make sparkly masterpieces, including glitter glue, glitter chalk, and glitter crayons.

EXPERT TIP

Some kids’ lap desks have built-in drawers for organizing small items.


Staff  | BestReviews

Kids’ portable lap desk prices

Kids’ portable lap desks vary in price based on the materials they’re made of and the features they offer. Most models cost between $8 and $45.

Inexpensive: The most affordable desks are models with a cushioned back and plastic work surface. Most of these don’t have any special features beyond a carrying handle. You can expect to spend between $8 and $19 for these lap desks.

Mid-range: These desks are typically wooden with a cushioned back or plastic with legs. Some have special features, such as built-in cubbies for pens and pencils. You’ll typically pay between $19 and $33 for these desks.

Expensive: The most expensive desks are plastic with folding legs for easy storage and carrying. They offer special features like built-in cubbies and storage compartments and are extremely lightweight. These desks generally cost between $33 and $45.

Tips

  • Encourage good posture. While your child can use a lap desk while sitting on the floor, it’s best if they set up where they can at least rest their back against a wall. Using it in bed or on a sofa with pillows or cushions to prop them up can work, too.
  • Take the desk along on trips. A portable lap desk comes in handy on road trips when your child is drawing or doing homework in the back seat of the car.
  • Serve meals on the desk. A lap desk doesn’t just come in handy when your child has work or hobbies to do. It can serve as a tray when your child is sick in bed, too.
A lap desk with built-in storage makes an ideal portable crafting or art studio for your child. Fill the storage compartment with all their supplies and tools, so everything is all in one place when it’s time to create.

FAQ

Q. What are the benefits of my child using a lap desk?
A.
A lap desk allows your child to study, work on hobbies, or play games comfortably. That’s because they don’t have to hunch over, so they’re able to improve their posture and prevent neck and shoulder strain. If your child can work more comfortably, there’s also a better chance that they’ll focus on the task at hand, which is especially important if they’re taking care of schoolwork.
 

Q. How do I clean a portable lap desk?
A.
Most of these portable lap desks are made of plastic, so you can easily wipe them down with a damp cloth. If your child spills something on the back of a cushioned model, you should spot treat the stain the same way that you would any fabric. Removable cushion covers can usually be tossed in the washing machine.
 

Q. What features are important in a lap desk for an older kid?
A.
Older children typically use a lap desk with a laptop or tablet, so a model with a simple work surface is a good choice. Look for a desk with an adjustable top, so your child can angle the surface to suit their preference. Also older kids usually don’t want a desk with a cutesy animal or cartoon character design, so look for a desk with a pattern and/or color scheme they like.

The team that worked on this review
  • Bronwyn
    Bronwyn
    Editor
  • Ciera
    Ciera
    Digital Content Producer
  • Erica
    Erica
    Writer
  • Jennifer
    Jennifer
    Writer
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer
  • Melissa
    Melissa
    Senior Editor

BestReviews wants to be better. Please take our 3-minute survey,
and give us feedback about your visit today.

Take Survey