Although notebook computers are often referred to as laptops, anyone who’s ever used one on their knee for more than a few minutes will tell you that this setup doesn’t work. Wobbly legs and overheating are the main issues, but poor ergonomics are at play, too. When you have to work from home due to the weather or to meet an important deadline you can find yourself dreaming of the Operator Chairs from that you have at work. Rather than the uncomfortable dining chair you are trying to use at home.

This all means the rise in lap desks has been astronomical. Anyone who doesn’t have the space for a home desk set up or wants to create a work space for the odd occasions when they work from home will want to find some alternative options. With so many on the market, the big question is: how do you choose a good one?

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Really, it’s all about what you’re looking for in a lap desk. Some offer optimised angles to keep the notebook at eye level and help to prevent RSI, while others have built-in niches for your phone. For those working with graphics programs, ventilation holes and electric fans can also help stop hard-working computers from overheating.

Portable Cushdesks such at the Belkin

Part cushion and part desk, these models offer a soft beanbag underlayer to lift the desk off your legs and make it feel lighter. They are great for those who like to wiggle but don’t want to lose their computer in the process.

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Anti-slip surfaces like the Bosign

Whether it’s wood or another ergonomic non-slip surface, these trays keep everything in place more easily. The texture can also be very assuring. The one thing to bear in mind is cleaning. Some of these surfaces attract oil, which collects static dust. Once it’s been exposed, it might never be as good as new again.

Eco-friendly options

The slimlined, bamboo desks have less wood, which offers great ventilation, but there is no cushion underneath. If saving the planet is important to you, however, you can probably get past this downside.

The personal touch

There has been a surprising surge in the popularity of personalised lap trays in the last few years. You will be able to find some with images and pictures of your favourite animal, sport or landscapes.

The professional couch typist

For those who prefer to recline and type, a Lapgear model might be the answer. These cushioned boards feature all the pockets and straps, plus an ergonomically designed concave front for your tummy.