I’m sure popular and medical wisdom would both indicate when you’re injured, you should rest. Similarly, when you’re recuperating in bed, working on your laptop isn’t helpful for faster recovery. That said, this week I found myself in a situation where I had to spend a considerable amount of time in bed (ironically, I threw my lower back out rearranging furniture in my home office, and the first few days immobilized me), but I also had to keep working (I’m a freelancer and can’t afford to miss my deadlines).
Even though I know this is a temporary situation, I decided it would be wise to plan for a better work-from-bed system, should another injury befall me in the future.
Looking over this diagram of laptop pain points we wrote about in 2010, I concur that sitting up straight and lying down flat are extremely uncomfortable, as is relying upon my standard sleeping pillows for support or as a laptop cushion. My body was most comfortable with the laptop angled and slightly elevated, and my back required firm support while in a reclining position. If I had really big bucks to devote to the cause, I might invest in a Reverie adjustable bed — this company has the design down, avoiding a nursing home appearance — it even comes with an iPad app for adjusting the head and foot of the bed.
But let's get back to my reality: a lap desk or bed laptop stand is much more affordable, but when I delved into the available products, I mostly came up with black plastic and metal or veneered particle board. I don’t know about you, but putting those items in my lovely bed would make me cringe to the point of relapse. Here are five bedroom-worthy items I discovered to help me use my laptop comfortably the next time I’m bed-bound.
1. Tembo Laptop Cushion, $35
These cushions in soothing colors can be paired with one of Tembo’s hard laptop boards or used alone. They provide a slight incline to angle the laptop up a bit on your lap.
2. EJButik Chevron Lap Desk with Pillow, $78
This Latvian Etsy seller features hundreds of lap desk designs. One of them is bound to work in your bedroom. The fill is foam plastic balls.
3. Lamidea Bravo Tray Table, $224
This Italian design seems perfect: it raises the laptop off the legs and provides two tiers of workspace: one for a laptop, and another for a mouse and cup of tea.
4. La Vela II Extendable Bedside Table, price upon request
With all of these other lap desks, I’d have to worry about where to store it when not in use. This lacquered night stand could simply stay at the ready with its pop-up top.
5. Levenger BedLounge Pillow, $154
At first glance I thought this was one of those uncomfortable chair pillows found in college dorm rooms. Its not. It was designed specifically for writers with several points of adjustability, full upper-body support and back strain relief. It could be used in conjunction with any of the four lap desks above.
(Images: Lamidea, as linked above)