This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Which TV tray is best?

TV trays have been a staple in American homes for the last 70 years. Originally intended as a portable table for your dinner while you watched your favorite shows, they quickly became a popular alternative to the traditional dinner table.

Today, there are many styles of TV trays, as well as many additional uses for them. They’re often used at parties as side tables. They’re also useful for holding laptops or as modified craft tables. Anything that requires a flat surface while you sit in bed, on the couch or in your favorite chair can be accomplished with a TV tray.

Their solid wood manufacturing and easy opening make Winsome Alex TV Table Trays the best choice.

What to know before you buy a TV tray

There are two types of TV tray

TV trays come in two distinct styles.

  • Attached: Some trays attach by sliding underneath the furniture for support. These are semi-permanent and usually stay in the same place all the time.
  • Freestanding: These have two or four legs and are easily moved around your home. Freestanding trays offer a lot more versatility but must be taken down when not in use.

There are advantages to buying a set of TV trays

Even if you only need one tray, consider buying a set of two, four or six. The cost for a set is usually not a lot more than an individual tray, so your cost per unit is much less. You also can use the extra trays as side tables or for other projects around your home. And if a tray unexpectedly breaks, you’ll have a backup nearby.

TV trays fold in different ways

Most trays sold today are designed to fold down and set up quickly. They often have a mechanism underneath the top that lets the tray collapse upon the legs and be easily stored in tight spaces.

What to look for in a quality TV tray


A wide variety of materials can be used to make TV trays — wood, bamboo, metal and particleboard. Each has a different price and level of quality. Work within your budget but remember that wooden trays likely will last longer because of wood’s durability.


Some TV trays come with adjustable height and tilt settings. The height setting can be important depending on the height of your furniture so that you are not seated too low or too high in front of the tray. The tilt feature is helpful when using the tray for a laptop or reading a book. Most adjustments are made with a peg mechanism, although a few models have a hand-turned crankshaft.


If you plan to move your trays around a lot, look for ones with wheels attached. This can make it easier to move the trays instead of having to break them down and set them up again each time. Some wheels have locking mechanisms for when you need them to remain in one position for a while.

How much you can expect to spend on a TV tray

Basic trays sold individually run $40-$50, while midrange trays with longer-lasting materials are often sold in sets for $60-$100. Higher-end trays with adjustability and greater weight support are priced between $100-$175.

TV tray FAQ

How can I extend the life of my TV trays?

A. If you have a set of trays, consider rotating them on a regular basis so that the same tray doesn’t get used every time. Consider placemats and coasters, which protect the trays from spills and condensation rings, and limit placing heavy objects on the trays.

What if I need to quickly move an attached TV tray?

A. Many attachment-style trays come with a swivel feature that lets the tray top be pushed aside. 

What’s the best TV tray to buy?

Top TV tray

Winsome Alex TV Table Set

Winsome Alex TV Table Set

What you need to know: Easily opened and closed, this two-piece set is made from solid wood with a lacquer finish that showcases the wood grain.

What you’ll love: The trays are rectangular with curved corners and open easily to an X-frame that holds the tray firmly in place. They are ideal for watching TV, working on your computer, or simply using as a side table.   

What you should consider: These trays are a bit heavy and may not be as easily moved as some others.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Kohl’s

Top TV tray for the money

Ameriergo Folding TV Tray Table

Ameriergo Folding TV Tray Table

What you need to know: This tray is sleek and lightweight for easy transportation and has multiple uses.

What you’ll love: It’s fully assembled and can be used as soon as you open the shipping container. It folds up into a convenient size that can easily be stowed under a bed or against a wall. It blends with most home decor.

What you should consider: Some reviewers said the tray top can peel over time with regular use.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Table-Mate Folding TV Tray

Table-Mate Folding TV Tray

What you need to know: Lightweight and adjustable to different heights and angles, this tray fits just about any space.

What you’ll love: Holding up to 40 pounds, this tray has six height adjustments and three tilt angles. The L-shaped legs let the tray fit over any surface. It comes with a built-in cup holder.

What you should consider: The cup holder may struggle with the weight of larger containers.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon 

Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals. 

Steve Ganger writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

Copyright 2022 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.