The 10 Best TV Trays of 2023

West Elm's Butler Tray is our top choice

We independently evaluate all recommended products and services. If you click on links we provide, we may receive compensation. Learn more.

Best TV Trays

The Spruce / Chloe Jeong

A tray table allows you to enjoy a meal while watching a movie in the living room or work on your laptop from the sofa. And while your first image of a TV tray might be of the ’80s TV dinner variety, this humble home accessory has come a long way. "TV trays can be functional and super stylish," says Havenly design editor Heather Goerzen. "The trick is to make them look purposeful."

We researched standout options of various sizes, materials, and styles, including foldable models and designs you can leave out as part of your permanent decor.

We rounded up some of the best TV trays below.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall

West Elm Tall Butler Tray Stand

Tall Butler Tray Stand
Courtesy of West Elm.
What We Like
  • Aesthetically pleasing

  • Customizable

  • Collapsible legs

What We Don't Like
  • Pricey

  • Tray sold separately

When it comes to TV trays, West Elm's Butler Tray Stand is hard to beat. Sitting 31.5 inches from the floor, it has sturdy metal legs in your choice of shiny brass or glossy nickel. The legs are conveniently collapsible, so you can fold the unit up when you want it out of the way. But it's also stylish enough that you might want to leave it on display.

One thing to note is that the tray top is sold separately. You can pair it with any of West Elm's rectangular Lacquer Wood Trays or the large Mirror Wrapped Serving Tray. This gives you the opportunity to mix and match colors and finishes that complement your decor. Alternatively, you can buy it as a pre-coordinated set. The price is a little steep for just a stand, but considering the functionality and customizable design, we think it's worth the investment.

Price at time of publish: $125

Material: Metal | Dimensions: 31.5 x 28 x 18 inches | Weight Capacity: Not listed

Best Budget

Lifetime Adjustable Folding Laptop Table TV Tray

Adjustable Folding Laptop Table TV Tray
Courtesy of Amazon.
What We Like
  • Generous weight capacity

  • Easy to clean

  • Adjustable height

What We Don't Like
  • Basic design

Looking for something more wallet-friendly? The Lifetime Folding TV Tray is a great choice. It has powder-coated steel legs and a thermoplastic resin tabletop, ensuring sturdiness and easy cleaning.

With a 40-pound capacity, you can place anything from a laptop to a stack of books to a pitcher of iced tea on top. This tray table is 28 inches tall, but you can adjust it down to 26 or 24 inches. And it folds flat for storage.

Price at time of publish: $33

Material: Thermoplastic resin, powder-coated steel | Dimensions: 28 x 26 x 18 inches, 30 x 21 x 19.5 inches | Weight Capacity: 40 pounds

Best Design

Article Portima C Side Table

Portima C Side Table
Courtesy of Article.
What We Like
  • Functional yet elegant

  • Adjustable height

  • Arrives fully assembled

What We Don't Like
  • Pricey

  • Doesn't fold

Article's Portima C Side Table is the perfect balance of functionality and elegance. The mid-century modern design features powder-coated steel for the base and leg and a solid oak or walnut tabletop.

While this table doesn't fold, you can easily adjust the height by turning the brass knob. We also like that the base slides under your couch or chair to keep everything within reach. It's a little pricey, but it arrives fully assembled, and you can count on quality.

Price at time of publish: $199

Material: Solid oak or walnut, powder-coated steel, brass | Dimensions: 25 x 23 x 17 inches | Weight Capacity: Not listed

Best Acrylic

CB2 Novo Acrylic Folding Table

Acrylic Folding Table

Courtesy of CB2

What We Like
  • Contemporary design

  • Multifunctional

  • Compact and foldable

What We Don't Like
  • Pricey

With a crystal-clear acrylic surface and brass-finished legs, this folding table makes a cool, contemporary statement. The materials are durable and easy to clean—just wipe everything down with a damp cloth as needed.

You can use this table as a TV tray, a nightstand, a serving table, an end table, or a makeshift desk. The compact design takes up minimal space in your home, and when you want to put it away, it folds up into a slim configuration.

Price at time of publish: $179

Material: Acrylic, metal | Dimensions: 27.5 x 20 x 15 inches | Weight Capacity: Not listed

Best Wooden

Terrain Folding Teak Tray Table

Folding Teak Tray Table
Courtesy of Anthropologie.
What We Like
  • Foldable legs

  • Easy to clean

  • Indoor/outdoor design

What We Don't Like
  • Pricey

If you're partial to wooden designs, check out the Terrain Folding Tray Table. It's made of solid teak wood, an inherently strong and moisture-resistant material suitable for indoor and outdoor use. The weather-proof finish is also a breeze to clean with soap and water.

This stylish yet versatile table has a removable tray, making it easy to serve guests or transport a meal from the kitchen to the living room. And the legs fold up flat for compact storage.

Price at time of publish: $198

Material: Teak wood | Dimensions: 29.5 x 25 x 18 inches | Weight Capacity: Not listed

Best Metal

Hay Tray Side Table

Tray Side Table
Courtesy of Hay.
What We Like
  • Minimalist-modern design

  • Removable tray

  • Seven colors available

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

  • Doesn't fold

We also like the minimalist-modern Hay Tray Side Table. It's made of powder-coated steel and comes in your choice of several chic colors ranging from warm toffee to dove gray to playful peppermint. The material is not only durable but also super easy to wipe clean.

While this table doesn't fold up, the tray lifts off the base. It comes in two sizes, both of which are pretty expensive for this type of product. But with Hay, you can count on quality.

Price at time of publish: $175

Material: Powder-coated steel | Dimensions: 17 x 16 x 16 inches, 23.5 x 21 x 16 inches | Weight Capacity: Not listed

Best C-Shaped

Carolina Cottage Fletcher Computer Tray Table

Fletcher Computer Tray Table
Courtesy of Amazon.
What We Like
  • Easy-reach design

  • Base slides under sofa

  • Compact

What We Don't Like
  • Some assembly required

  • Doesn't fold

C-shaped tables are nice because you can scoot them right up to where you're sitting and keep your food, drink, or work essentials within reach. We like this one by Carolina Cottage. It has a sturdy steel frame and an MDF (medium-density fiberboard) surface with an oak-stained wood veneer.

This piece calls for partial at-home assembly, but it comes with all the necessary tools and should be a simple process. The only other thing to note is that it's not foldable. However, the compact design takes up minimal space, plus the base slides under your sofa or chair. Surely, an ideal piece of furniture for small spaces.

Price at time of publish: $42

Material: Steel, MDF, wood veneer | Dimensions: 25.5 x 16 x 10 inches | Weight Capacity: Not listed

Best Swivel

Able Life Comfortably Independent Universal Swivel TV Tray Table

Universal Swivel TV Tray Table
Courtesy of The Home Depot.
What We Like
  • 360-degree rotation

  • Adjustable height

  • Base goes under chair

What We Don't Like
  • Assembly required

  • Accessories sold separately

You might also consider a swivel table, like the Able Life Universal TV Tray. This thoughtfully designed piece has a bamboo surface that can rotate 360 degrees in either direction.

Not only that, but the base goes directly underneath your seat of choice, and you can adjust the height from 24 to 32 inches. This table is compatible with a cup holder, utensil tray, and storage organizer, but these pieces are sold separately.

Price at time of publish: $125

Material: Bamboo, aluminum | Dimensions: 24 x 20 x 15 inches | Weight Capacity: 30 pounds

Best for Lap

Pipishell Bamboo Bed Tray Table with Foldable Legs

Bamboo Bed Tray Table with Foldable Legs
Courtesy of Amazon.
What We Like
  • Foldable legs

  • Media slot

  • Three colors available

What We Don't Like
  • Medium may be too small for adults

Want something you can place directly on your lap? Go with the Pipishell Bed Tray. Made of solid bamboo, it has a removable serving tray with handles and a media slot for a tablet or smartphone. And the foldable legs can be laid flat for storage.

There are three colors (white, black, and natural) and two sizes available (medium or large). Just bear in mind the medium option might be too small for adults, so go with the large to ensure plenty of legroom.

Price at time of publish: $22

Material: Bamboo | Dimensions: 16 x 11 x 6 inches, 22 x 14 x 9 inches | Weight Capacity: Not listed

Best Set

Ebern Designs Hussey Tray Table Set (Set of 2)

Hussey Tray Table Set (Set of 2)
Courtesy of Wayfair.
What We Like
  • Lipped tray

  • Foldable legs

  • Arrives fully assembled

What We Don't Like
  • Tray isn't removable

  • Only one finish

Interested in a pair of matching tables? We like the Ebern Designs Hussey Tray Table, which comes in a set of two. It's made of manufactured wood and solid bamboo and arrives fully assembled, unlike many others on this list.

While the trays aren't removable, the X-shaped legs fold up for easy storage and transport. We also like that the raised lip keeps food and drinks from sliding off the surface.

Price at time of publish: $86

Material: Manufactured wood, bamboo | Dimensions: 25.5 x 20 x 15 inches | Weight Capacity: Not listed

Final Verdict

Our top choice is the West Elm Tall Butler Tray Stand, a sleek and stylish design you can customize with a wood or metal tray top. Article's functional yet elegant Portima C Side Table is also an excellent choice, with an adjustable height and a base that slides under your seat. And if you're looking for a more basic, budget-friendly design, go with the Lifetime Adjustable Folding TV Tray.

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.

  • 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 newfangled 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. 

  • 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. 

  • What can TV trays be used for?

    TV trays are useful for so much more than just enjoying a meal while watching a show or movie at home. As Havenly design editor Heather Goerzen puts it, "Those old microwave dinner sidekicks are long gone." You can use one as a makeshift desk, a serving tray when hosting guests, an end table, or even a nightstand.

    "Small apartment residents and studio dwellers know [the importance of] functional furniture that's also stylish," says Goerzen. But if you plan on keeping your tray table out rather than storing it when it's not use, look for something that complements the rest of your decor.

Why Trust The Spruce?

Theresa Holland is a freelance copywriter specializing in home improvement and lifestyle within the commerce space. She interviewed Havenly design editor Heather Goerzen and researched today's best TV trays and considered dozens of models from myriad brands before narrowing it down to the most functional, versatile options with standout designs.

Holland has been covering furniture, home decor, and organizational solutions at The Spruce since 2019. You can check out more of her articles on Travel + Leisure and MyDomaine.

Article Sources
The Spruce uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Wanneng P, et al. (2014). Physical properties of tectona grandis grown in Laos. Journal of Tropical Forest Science. 26. 389-396.

Continue to 9 of 10 below.