The Best Keyboard Trays For Improved Ergonomics | Tips & Tricks
If you spend a lot of time at your desk, it’s important to arrange your workspace to minimize strain on your body and maximize comfort. Proper keyboard placement is a big part of that, so we’ve rounded up the best keyboard trays for improving your posture and typing comfort.
Ergonomics play a valuable role in ensuring that you avoid any potential repetitive strain injuries to your hands, wrists, neck, or other limbs. In the case of typing, it’s vital that your wrists or fingers aren’t being forced to stretch further than need be, or at an awkward angle. So, we’ve looked at keyboard trays that are highly adjustable so that you can get the position just right for your height, size, and the way you type.
The majority listed here require a little bit of DIY and drilling, but we haven’t forgotten about those who can’t or don’t want to drill into their current desk—there’s a great clamp based option here too. Regardless of which option you chose, they’re perfect for breaking free of typing on a keyboard perched on a desk that’s not lined up just right for our body.
Here’s the best keyboard trays for every budget and requirement.
Best All-Rounder: 3M Keyboard Tray ($160)
The 3M Keyboard Tray isn’t a cheap upgrade for your desk, but it does offer plenty of features. It conveniently slots underneath your desk where it can slide out of the way when not in use. You can easily lift it to adjust the height or tilt to get it at just the right angle for you. The height adjusts between 4.5″ and 6″ depending on the direction, with a 10 to 15 degree tilt option too.
It’s sturdy so there’s minimal bouncing during use, plus it easily swivels left and right so you can safely store it under the desk when not in use. It comes with a gel wrist rest too, so your wrists enjoy some protection. It’s pretty easy to install in under an hour with the included mounting brackets.
Best Premium Choice: Fellowes Professional Executive Keyboard Tray ($192)
The most expensive entry here, the Fellowes 8036101 Professional Executive Adjustable Keyboard Tray does at least ooze class. It offers separate gel rests for both the keyboard and mouse sections, with extensive tilting options. You can tilt and adjust the height of the keyboard and the mouse platforms separately so that things feel just right for you. It’s even possible to slide the mouse platform over the keyboard numeric pad because, really, who uses the numeric pad that often anyhow?
Despite the wealth of options sounding intimidating, a simple one-handed motion instantly repositions the keyboard height so you can easily get back to a neutral position before retweaking.
Installation should take less than an hour but bear in mind that this is hefty item. It’s a little heavy to install on your own and unless you enjoy sweating under your desk we’d recommend enlisting a friend to brace it while you attach it to the desk.
Best For Standing Desks: Cartmay Adjustable Keyboard Tray ($127)
The Cartmay Adjustable Keyboard Tray is particularly great for adjustments. It’s possible to push or pull the plate to adjust the horizontal position while picking it up or down to adjust the height. It’s great if you don’t want to spend time poking around with levers and delicate settings. But that’s not what makes the Cartmay our top pick for standing desks.
It’s very difficult to retrofit a standing desk with keyboard tray because the vast majority of adjustable-height standing desks have a heavy crossbeam spanning the underside of the desk. This beam interferes with the steel-plate sliding track found on nearly every premium keyboard tray (and the side sliders found on more inexpensive models). This design from Cartmay gets around that issue by using a bracket-style slider that screws securely into your desk with an elongated U-shape so the slider track can sit comfortably below the crossbeam. It’s a clever workaround and one we’ve never seen in another keyboard tray.
In addition to the clever design, it’s made from Phenolic Resin with a solid steel construction that ensures stability and minimal bouncing during use. There’s a gel wrist pad too, for both the keyboard and mouse.
Note: Shortly before publication, the product went out of stock. We’re leaving it here for now in hopes that it is quickly restocked and all our standing-desk loving readers (and staff members!) can snatch one up.
Best For Sturdiness: VIVO Adjustable Computer Keyboard & Mouse Platform Tray ($66)
The very nature of a keyboard tray means they have to be pretty sturdy anyhow. In the case of the VIVO Adjustable Computer Keyboard & Mouse Platform Tray, this tray is really sturdy. Consistently garnering praise for just how sturdy it is, it’s built like a tank and you should feel nary a wobble while using it. That means it’s also pretty heavy so expect to grab a friend when it comes time for installation. It’s worth it though.
It uses heavy gauge metal as its supports with the slide plate mounts involving about a dozen screws. This keyboard tray is never going to let you down. Fortunately, it’s still fairly easy to adjust. You can slice the keyboard forward and back on an 18″ track (so make sure your desk can cope with that length), as well as utilize full side to side rotations and up to a 5″ height adjustment.
Predictably, this tray is never going to bounce either.
Best Budget Choice: Fellowes Office Suites Underdesk Keyboard Drawer ($24)
A lot of the options here are pretty expensive but you don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars to benefit from some form of keyboard tray. The Fellowes Office Suites Underdesk Keyboard Drawer is a good budget option, providing you’re not too fussed about adjustability and incredible stability.
Easy enough to install, you have 3 height adjustments at your disposal—but due to the nature of the design, don’t expect any tilt adjustments on account of the side-rail design. The mouse tray can be positioned either on the left or right hand side of the keyboard, or you can even store it underneath if need be.
It may feel a little flimsy at times, but it stays tight to your desk, and is easy to install.
Best For No DIY Needed: Clamp On, Sliding Desk Keyboard Tray ($50)
Either you don’t want to go to the hassle of screwing stuff into your desk, or you can’t for whatever reason—maybe building management frowns on you drilling holes in stuff, go figure. In which case, buy the Clamp On, Sliding Desk Keyboard Tray, if you have the space. It’s pretty cheap, it’s sturdy enough, and it fits to your desk through clamps rather than screws.
The keyboard tray accommodates most oversized keyboards with numeric keypads, as well as a standard mouse pad. Although, admittedly, you are super limited with adjustments. As in, there are none. It just hangs 6″ below the desk which might not be ideal depending on how your desk is currently set up. Still, it’s a perfect height for an adjustable standing desk setup as you can tweak its height with the desk adjustor itself.
The best part is it takes literally only a few minutes to install, and it’s pretty much idiot proof.