4 Expert Tips To Choose A TV Tray

TV trays are accent pieces that multitask to serve many purposes in your home. A mindfully chosen tray can add chic to the charm of your home or become the focal feature of your living area. Let us help you choose the right one for your home.

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What can I use a TV tray for?

TV trays are like Swiss knives; they do much more than what their name indicates. This is largely due to their light-weight and portable designs. Some practical uses:

  • Store the books you are currently reading; they are especially helpful if you have the habit of reading multiple books at a time. Users also place magazines and entertainment media on them.

  • How often have you forgotten where you placed your car and home keys? Use this tray to overcome the problem.

  • Place your lucky bamboo plant, a retro analog alarm clock, or a small artifact on it to lift the looks of your room.

  • Your morning cup of coffee will sit pretty on it, and so will an evening glass of drink in your porch or balcony.

  • Students and work-from-home professionals have used them for writing and taking notes.

  • Singles and couples use it for a quick breakfast or cozy dinners.

  • TV trays are veritable fruit bowls and snack-tray holders.

  • And of course, use of laptops is common on these trays.

Which styles and designs to look for in TV trays?

Foldable/collapsible

They are ideal for small homes and small families, and versatile enough for indoor and outdoor use. Be it your child's homework or brief cake-cutting occasion, they will multitask efficiently for your many needs. Opt for them if space-saving, portability, and easy storage are your vital considerations. They are usually available in a cross-legged design, so check for the stability of the model that you buy.

Additional tip: Buy a set of two or four foldable TV trays and convert them into a cozy dinner table or use them for a game of cards.

Low-height

Users find it a valuable accent piece that allows floor-seating as well as sofa-seating work posture, with the tray in your lap. Bring home one if you like the floor as your working or relaxing plane - for example, a floor mattress to sleep on and a bean bag to relax.

Sofa couch tray

This is a bespoke design innovation for arm sofas. The tray is not the conventional standing type but is a lay-flat platter made of wood or plastic slats. They are flexibly joined, so they fit the armrest in a tight-hugging position when opened. The design usually has a center panel with a depressed plane to safely hold a drinks glass or a coffee mug.

You will love this type instantly if you are an out-of-box person and like innovative solutions to furniture design. Elegance and simplicity are the hallmarks of a sofa couch tray, so they will best suit decent, single-shade cushioned sofas and soft-shaded walls.

Snack TV Tray Table Set
Elegant Foldable TV Tray in Wood
Low-height Wooden TV Tray
Height Adjustable Standing TV Tray
Sofa Arm Tray in Black for Two Glasses
Black Wood Sofa Arm Tray

What materials are prevalent in TV trays?

The following materials are popular when it comes to TV trays:

  • Wood. Teak, birch, cedar, and oak are commonly used to manufacture TV trays, because of their strength and unmatched surface texture and grains. Wood can be finished in different ways to match various interiors. Apart from the popular French polish, varnish, stain, lacquer, shellac, and oil paints are the other elegant finishing options.

  • Manufactured wood. It is an affordable option with real-wood looks and appeal. Although durable and strong, it is more porous than hardwood such as teak, hence, it expands and gets affected by climatic factors. Nevertheless, it is ideal for indoor designs.

Wood TV Tray Table Set
Small TV Breakfast Tray in Brown Wood
Solid Wood Low-height TV Tray Table
Wooden TV Tray Table
Brown Solid Wood TV Tray Table Set
Wood TV Tray Table in Teak Brown
  • Metal. Mostly steel and aluminum tubes and pipes are used for the frames of foldable models. These metals are light-weight and portable yet strong. Like wood, metal also offers wonderful finishing options that gift the TV trays their elegance and style. Buff and brush finish will be natural, while dry electro-coating will give a matt finish in many colors. Bronze, brass, chrome, and other finishes are also available.
Metal Folding TV Tray Table Set
White and Golden Metal TV Tray
Black Fabric and Metal TV Tray Table
Metal Acrylic Serving Tray Table
Metal TV Tray with White Top
Metal and Glass TV Tray Table
  • Plastic. Plastic furniture including TV trays is one of the most affordable products in the market. Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) and high-density polyethylene (HDPE) are manufacturers' choices. These thermoplastics are strong and durable, yet affordable and light-weight. And they can be produced in attractive colors that harmonize with many types of decors.

    If you choose a plastic TV tray for exterior use, keep in mind that it will chip, crack, or become brittle over time when exposed to UV rays. For this reason, be ready to trade their longevity with their looks and appeal.

Foldable Portable TV Laptop Tray
Clear Plastic and Metal TV Tray Table
Acrylic Plastic Modern TV Tray
Plastic TV Tray Table with Gold Accents
Acrylic Sofa Arm Tray Table
  • Natural materials such as bamboo, cane, rattan, and wicker. Their strips and strand are finely hand-weaved to make the tray-top over a metal or plastic frame. They often have paneled edges.

Caution: All natural materials will degrade over time, and they can breed bacteria. This type of TV tray will need regular cleaning and upkeep, even if the surface is seasoned and laminated.

What are my TV tray styling options?

TV trays' legs play a major role in styling. These are the prevailing trends:

  • Legs angled at around 30° for low-height trays. They create a pleasant slant and offer an ergonomic surface to work on.

  • Cross legs are prevalent across designs, especially the light-weight foldable and portable ones. They offer good stability because the tray weight is distributed evenly due to the X angles. They also collapse the tray in a perfect 2-dimensional lay-flat position, making them easy and safe to store.

  • You will also come across pedestal or pole-mounted trays and L-shaped 2-legged designs with the tray-top opening up at 90 degrees. Both are distinct styles; more bespoke than universal. Choose them if they make good accent pieces with your pre-existing furniture and décor.

Modern TV Tray Table with Cross Legs
Round TV Tray Table with Foldable Stand
Square Wood Contemporary TV Tray
L-shaped TV Tray Table in White
White TV Tray Table with Cross Legs
Round Wood Top TV Tray Table

The other styles:

  • Round tray-tops with or without depressed sections to hold a coffee mug or a flower-vase. It will match your room decor if you have other curved or round furniture.

  • Tray-tops with surface decoration. The range includes:

  • Carving in various forms and shapes that have retro chic.

  • Hard screen-printed forms, objects, symbols, and animated characters. This could be anything - from a soccer ball to your zodiac sign. This style adds a personal touch to the tray.

  • Marble, granite, or other stone texture on faux rubber tray-tops. This is a unique style meant for kitchen utility but can match living-room décor if there are other similar elements.

  • Victorian motifs and other classic prints. Choose them if they accentuate your décor suitably.

  • Slatted tray-top, wooden or plastic. This is a contemporary minimalistic style that will suit your décor if you have other slatted furniture such as a chair or a work-desk.

Lily is a modern designer with great appreciation for sleek architecture, a love for art in its many forms, and a passion for sharing her experience with people. If you’re looking for advice on how to modernize your old-fashioned place or make your new restaurant a visual blast, she’s definitely the one to ask.