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TV trays were invented so that you could dine in front of the television in the comfort of your couch or armchair without balancing your plate and your drink on your lap. But these versatile, stylish, compact, and often collapsible little tables also come in handy for those who work from home, for kids, and for people with mobility issues. Many TV trays were designed to fold up and be stored away when not in use, but there are plenty of stylish options that can function as occasional side tables or as a station for appetizers and drinks when you entertain.
Below, the best TV trays available online.
CB2 Novo Acrylic Folding Table
The Novo Acrylic Folding Table from CB2 is a sleek, modern product with an elegant design. It has a clear, acrylic top with antiqued powder-coated metal legs in a brass finish. Designed by husband-and-wife duo Courtney and Robert Novogratz, the TV tray is 27.5 inches tall with a 15 x 20 surface. Best of all, this space-saver folds up, allowing you to tuck it into your closet, behind your sofa, or even underneath your coffee table when it's not in use.
Andover Mills Paredes Tray Table Set
The Andover Mills Paredes Tray Tables are another standout set. It comes with four foldable TV trays and a convenient storage stand to tuck them away when they're not in use. Each elegant table has a faux-marble laminate surface with solid rubberwood legs in a deep brown finish.
They measure about 26.4 inches from the floor, and the tops are 18.9 x 15.8 inches. The stand comes with a convenient handle, which makes it easy to move the tables from room to room or into storage as needed.
Urban Outfitters Metal Folding Side Table
The Metal Folding Side Table from Urban Outfitters is an incredibly chic and versatile product with a contemporary design. It has a round tray top with a slightly raised perimeter and X-frame legs that effortlessly folds up when you need to keep it out of the way. This UO-exclusive TV tray is made of lightweight yet durable metal with a powder-coated finish in either sleek black or blush pink. It's 20 inches tall with a 17.8-inch surface diameter and weighs under 7 pounds.
Latitude Run Vincente Folding Tray Table
If you enjoy eating dinner or having a glass of wine in front of the TV, the Vincente Tray Table from Latitude Run might be just the thing you need. The X-shaped legs fold up easily into a slim configuration. There are also handles on each side for easy lifting and a pull strap underneath for effortless unfolding.
This light TV table weighs just 6 pounds and is 24.5 inches tall. The tray top measures 22 x 13.8 inches. It's made of solid wood and comes in six gorgeous colors.
Atlantic 2-Pack TV Tray
The Atlantic TV Tray offers excellent value and versatility. It comes in a set of two foldable tray tables, each 26 inches tall with an 18.9 x 15-inch surface. The X-shaped frames are made of durable metal, and the tops are manufactured wood with a plastic veneer. Choose from solid black, printed black, or black and white chevron.
When folded up, the trays are notably slim. And since they weigh only 7.5 pounds, storing them, transporting them, and moving them around your home is a breeze. Aside from having a meal while watching your favorite show, these tray tables are perfect for working on your laptop, gaming, or entertaining guests.
iNSPIRE Q Darley Mid-Century Tray Top Accent Table
Another round-top option we love is the iNSPIRE Q Darley Accent Table. The circular lipped tray top has an 18-inch diameter, and the table itself sits 21.5 inches from the floor. With a sturdy metal surface and solid wood legs, this midcentury-modern TV tray is just as durable as it is visually appealing.
Choose from six different colors that range from neutrals to punchier shades like red. The colored portion of the table extends down the legs, leaving a few inches of exposed natural wood on the bottom. With a 30-pound weight capacity, this tray table can be used to eat dinner, to entertain guests, as a nightstand, or as a living room end table.
Project 62 Glasgow C Table
The Project 62 Glasgow TV tray is another excellent C-table option. It's made of durable powder-coated steel in either black or white and has a 16 x 16-inch square surface. The table is 26.3 inches tall and weighs just under 8 pounds.
It has an endlessly versatile industrial-modern vibe that can align with minimalist and contemporary decor themes. Despite its chic appearance, this TV tray can hold a dinner plate, cocktails, appetizers, or snacks. When you're not using it for food and beverages, it's the perfect resting place for a laptop, book, or paperwork.
What to Look for When Buying TV Trays
Pay attention to the surface area of the tray to make sure it’s roomy enough for your essentials. If you are using a TV tray as a work from home station, be sure there’s enough space for your laptop, phone, paperwork, and whatever else you need at hand. Consider smaller options that can function as occasional tables and don’t need to be stowed away when not in use. Adjustable TV trays can be used with seating of varying heights and by family members of different ages, making them great for families.
Ease of Use
TV trays were originally meant to be folded up and stored when not in use, which is particularly handy for those who live in small spaces. Look for TV trays that have quality construction that will ensure they feel comfortable to use. In addition, look for added features that might correspond to your needs, such as built-in cup holders, or wheels for ease of use for people with limited mobility.
TV trays come in a variety of materials and finishes, from wood to powder-coated metal to plastic, acrylic and more, making them easy to integrate into a range of décor schemes. If you plan to use your TV tray on a daily basis, choose a durable material that can withstand a lot of wear and tear, won’t scratch easily, and is easy to wipe clean. Solid wood is heavier and prone to watermark stains from glasses or mugs. Manufactured wood is more lightweight but less durable and sustainable. Acrylic has a transparent quality that will take up less visual space but scratches easily.
How tall are TV trays?
While there is no standard height for TV trays, they generally range in height from 19 to 27 inches. To figure out the right height for your TV tray, be sure to account for the height of the couch or armchair you plan to use it with, paying special attention to ergonomics if you plan to use it as a mini home office. Adjustable height TV tray tables can be adapted to different users and seating.
How can you stabilize a TV tray?
If your TV tray has gone a little wobbly, first check to make sure that you’re setting it on a flat surface. Look for loose screws that might need tightening. Add rubber grips to the bottoms of tray table legs. Remember that a TV tray is a lightweight piece of furniture, and centering and distributing objects placed on it will help keep it from tipping.
What are TV trays?
TV trays are small, freestanding pieces of portable, collapsible furniture that were first invented in the 1950s so that families could eat dinner in the living room in front of the new fangled invention known as the television. The TV tray table inspired the invention of the retro frozen TV dinner. Unlike a lap desk or breakfast tray, a TV tray allows you to enjoy your takeout, work on your laptop, or play a game of cards from a couch or armchair without having to balance anything on your lap or knees.