Working long hours fixated on your computer can be very tiresome, both mentally and physically. This is why doctors suggest that maintaining a proper posture during extensive long hours is key to minimizing the physical strain on your body.
Experts recommend proper adjustment of your mouse, keyboard, monitor and chair to ensure you do not fall victim to muscle fatigue and Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSI) such as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Surprisingly, in the United States Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is one of the most common surgeries.
A great way to reduce the physical arm and wrist fatigue is to utilize an ergonomic keyboard tray. These are essentially under-desk keyboard trays that attach to your work desk and provide your arms with the proper support posture required to minimize strain and keep your muscles relaxed.
Chances are your keyboard currently has an improper incline, it is recommended that your wrists be properly aligned with the keyboard and have the required tilt angle, which if too high or low can cause serious issues due to the strain caused on your nerves.
Apart from the apparent benefit of ergonomics, under-desk keyboard trays can also save you valuable desk space and provide a number of handy attachments. Keyboard trays are more commonly installed by drilling or clamping, this ensures that whatever type of desk you have, with the right choice you will be able to get an appropriate keyboard tray.
With all the options available in the market, we bring you an extensive product review of all major under-desk keyboard trays so that you can choose the best under-desk keyboard. Our expert reviewers ensure that each product is carefully evaluated to help make the buying process easier for you.
Buyer’s Guide to Under Desk Keyboard Tray
Before you decide which product to buy, you need to understand what to look for in a good product. The best under-desk keyboard trays provide you additional benefits as well. It is also important to choose a keyboard tray that fulfills your needs, is durable and attaches to your desk easily.
Benefits of Ergonomic Keyboard Trays
You must be wondering now, what makes under-desk keyboard trays so important and how much effect can they have on your day-to-day work. Below we outline some of the major benefits:
This is perhaps the biggest advantage of keyboard trays. Under-desk keyboard trays support your wrist and arm posture, preventing fatigue, Repetitive Strain Injuries and even tendonitis. Doctors recommend maintaining proper back and arm posture by adapting supportive practices in your daily life. These issues can cause great pain and hinder your ability to work the best you can.
Having a proper workstation plays a great part in making sure you are able to give your best. With a keyboard tray you can rest assured that you will not be distracted by frequently occurring wrist and back pain. This in turn will increase your focus allowing you to work to the best of your ability.
You may not primarily be buying a keyboard tray for the additional storage space, but it is a benefit welcomed by all, especially if your desk space is already limited. Think of a keyboard desk tray as an additional shelf, with your keyboard not on the desk surface anymore, you are free to utilize that space for other needs, making your workflow much more productive and seamless.
Key Features to Consider When Buying A Keyboard Tray
Every under-desk keyboard tray will give you a different feature, it is important to understand which tray suits your needs and integrates seamlessly into your workstation.
Although keyboard trays consist of a few simple parts, you need to look at the track bracket that will mount to your desk and its adjustability to choose the ideal platform to rest your keyboard on. By carefully looking at the individual aspects of each design, you will be able to make your best selection.
Having a keyboard tray that integrates well into your existing work is a very important requirement while buying under-desk keyboard trays. You do not want to get trays that stick out of your desk and make mobility difficult for you. While this may solve your basic requirement, it can cause a great hindrance to the overall workflow at your desk.
Ideally, you want to choose a keyboard tray that adapts well to your desk and fulfills the space you need for peripherals. Trays with separate extensions for mouse pads can be a welcome benefit for some as well. There is also the possibility of purchasing a separate mouse tray.
With under-desk keyboard trays it is important to consider how you will attach the tray to your desk. You can either choose a design that needs to be drilled into the table or can be clamped to the sides.
If your workspace is a temporary arrangement or you do not want to drill holes then we would suggest getting a clamp on keyboard tray. Whatever your choice, you have plenty of different options to choose from.
Keyboard desk trays need to be adjustable enough to fulfill your needs properly. This includes being able to modify the amount of clearance the keyboard tray offers. Another additional feature to look at while buying keyboard desk trays is the tilting angle so that you can adjust the angle of the keyboard tray as well. These customizations allow keyboard trays to provide a wider range of sitting and standing postures.
An important feature on under-desk keyboard trays is retractability, this can greatly ease movement and make it easy for you to make your workspace more accessible at times. However, one of the most important things to consider when purchasing under-desk keyboard trays is the amount of clearance and leg-space you will have after installation. It is recommended to measure your under-desk space so that you can make a better decision and are satisfied with the amount of leg-space available to you afterwards.
Keyboard trays need to be durable and last as long as possible. In case there is an unexpected issue with your keyboard tray, you will want a warranty to help safeguard your little investment. Therefore, consider the different types of warranties available that can range all the way from six-months to life-time warranties.
6 Best Under-Desk Keyboard Trays
1. 3M Keyboard Tray
The 3M Under-Desk Keyboard Tray is one of the most popular products in the market at the moment. 3M is renowned for their quality and durability in office equipment, this keyboard tray is no exception.
The tray is not compatible with standing desks, but if you need this for under-desk usage then this might be one of the better options. 3M products have been consistently well designed, affordable and durable, the AKT60LE under-desk keyboard tray is no exception.
The most important feature of the AKT60LE 3M keyboard tray is the wide range of adjustability it offers. This keyboard tray can easily be adjusted to match your required height and tilt requirements with a tilt range of -15 degrees to +15 degrees. However, the biggest benefit is the added comfort brought through the built-in gel wrist pad that ensures your wrists are properly aligned as you go about your daily routine.
3M has made sure that the keyboard tray is large enough to hold both your keyboard and mouse easily and measures 25.5” x 12”. The mouse pad can be adjusted to the left or right of the tray depending on your preference.
Another great reason to buy the 3M Keyboard Tray is the lifetime warranty on the keyboard arm, 3M offers a five year warranty of the keyboard platform and a one year warranty on the gel-wrist rest.
To install the keyboard tray you simply need to mount the arm onto your desk. However, some consumers have complained that the instructions are not clear enough, and installation can be a hassle.
|Fully Adjustable Keyboard Arm||Installation can be tricky|
|Comfortable Gel-Wrist Paz||Unclear Instruction Manual|
|Extended Mouse Pad|
|Lifetime warranty of Keyboard Arm|
2. Bush Business Furniture Articulating Keyboard Tray
Bush Business have created a very durable and sturdy design in this under-desk keyboard tray. The extensive adjustability makes this keyboard trays one of the best in this list.
The keyboard tray measures 22.5” x 24.5” x 7.4”, which makes it quite spacious and able to hold both mouse and keyboard. The keyboard tray also has two non-slip strips that prevent the keyboard from falling off.
What makes this keyboard tray one of the best options is the incredible range of tilting angles, height and swivel. It can tilt from -17 degrees to +10 degrees, and has an height adjustment range of 5.3”. These features have given users maximum flexibility to find the perfect posture for them.
Manufacturer proficiency is apparent in high-quality design and sturdiness of the keyboard tray. This articulating keyboard tray can also be retracted completely under the desk when not in use, making this another useful feature for users.
Installation guidelines for the under-desk keyboard tray are detailed in the accompanying manuals, but do not hesitate asking a handyman to help you out in case things get complicated.
Nevertheless, some users have also complained of installation being unnecessarily difficult on non-Bush Business office desks.
High-quality build design and the range of articulation make this one of the best choices of under-desk keyboard trays for both standing and sitting desk users.
|Extensive Adjustment Range||Installation difficulty on common office desks|
|27 degree tilt range|
|Solid Sturdy Design|
3. Safco Adjustable Keyboard Platform with Swivel Mouse Tray
If you are looking for the best under-desk keyboard tray that offers you value without breaking your bank then this might be what you are looking for.
Safco has integrated superior ergonomic comfort within this under-desk keyboard tray and it will make sure you stay comfortable and away from wrist pain.
Like the 3M AKT60LE Keyboard Tray, Safco has also included a super comfortable gel wrist pad that makes it ergonomically superior.
The keyboard tray is enhanced for wide range adjustability, and can be tilted from -15 degrees to +10 degrees.
It has a slim lightweight design, and measures 9.5” x 18.5” x 0.5” which makes it ideal for smaller desks.
The under-desk keyboard tray comes with an integrated swivel mouse tray which can be adjusted on left or right sides, making it a very popular choice.
One common issue with the Safco 2135BL Under-Desk Keyboard tray is the difficulty in installation. The manufacturer recommendation is to mount the keyboard tray to the under-side of your desk. But, with unclear instruction manuals installation can be a pain.
Moreover, some customers have also complained of missing parts which have made the mounting process even more difficult.
|Comfortable Gel-Wrist Pad||Missing Parts|
|Slim Lightweight Design||Unclear Instruction Manual|
|Mouse Swivel tray|
4. VIVO Ergonomic Under-Desk Keyboard And Mouse Tray
The VIVO under-desk keyboard tray is a very good value choice in its price range. The under-desk keyboard tray is ergonomically enhanced for those long hours at the office.
The design is sturdy and consists of a gel wrist pad for added comfort as well. A major reason for its popularity among customers is the large keyboard tray which can accommodate a generic keyboard and mouse.
Adjustability is an important aspect to consider when looking at keyboard trays, and VIVO has done a phenomenal job here. The mounting bracket allows a range of tilt, height and swivel adjustments, making your dream posture a reality.
Another important feature that sets it apart from competitors is retractability, with efficient sliding action you can easily slide in the keyboard tray when not in use. The keyboard tray comes with a 3 year manufacturing warranty as well which is quite good compared to other products.
However, several customers have complained that the gel pad is actually hard rubber and not a soft gel as advertised. Another popular concern with customers is that the sliding movement is very stiff due to high friction, the instruction manual however suggests using grease for smoother movement.
It seems that not providing adequate instructions is an issue with many keyboard tray products, and the VIVO Keyboard Tray is no exception. The adjustment knob for the tray is too big and bulky which might end up protruding or hitting against your knee.
|Durable design||Stiff sliding movement|
|Easy height and swivel adjustment||Bulky adjustment knob|
|Large keyboard tray|
5. Uncaged Ergonomics Under-Desk Keyboard Tray
When working long hours at a standing desk, wrist and arm fatigue greatly increase. Uncaged Ergonomics have created this intelligent design that offers unprecedented adjustability.
The highlight feature of this under-desk keyboard tray is the mouse surface which can be easily adjusted independent of the keyboard platform. This is ideal for standing-desk users who often require their mouse at a different angle compared to their keyboards.
The keyboard tray is fully articulating and utilizes a relatively low-profile design which caters a wide range of tilt and height adjustments. You can easily swivel, tilt, slide the keyboard tray until you find your perfect position.
This keyboard can be installed by mounting it to the underside of your desk. Installation is rather easy thanks to the detailed instructions.
One major issue with this particular under-desk keyboard tray is the bulging adjustment knob which can be a real obstruction in case you’re at a sitting desk.
Frequent collision of your knee with the knob can be expected, but if you’re at a standing desk you need not worry.
|Independent mouse platform adjustment||Inefficient knob placement|
|Premium build quality||Not ideal for sitting desks|
|Exceptional adjustment range|
6. VIVO Under-Desk Pull Out Keyboard Tray
It is not easy to find durable clamp-on keyboard trays, but this specific product just might be what you are looking for.
VIVO has incorporated a sturdy C clamp mount system in this keyboard tray that allows it to serve the ergonomic purpose without permanent damage to your table.
The under-desk pull out keyboard comes in two sizes, to cater even those with limited space available. The larger keyboard tray has dimensions of 27” x 11” which can hold most generic keyboards and mice. The smaller keyboard comes in a more compact size of 20” x 11” which is very efficient for smaller desk spaces.
The best feature about this tray is its sliding tray, which can be smoothly retracted inwards or outwards depending on your use. Another important benefit is the 3-year manufacturer warranty that protects you in case of any damage in the future.
The C clamp mount system is fairly easy to install and does not require any extensive effort to set up. All necessary hardware and instructions are provided for assembly, so as to not make installation difficult for you.
A major drawback however, is the inability to be adjusted to a different height or tilt, which does not make this an ideal choice if you require a keyboard tray for a standing desk.
|Easy to install||Non-adjustable|
|2 different sizes||Not suitable for standing desks|
Buying the right under-desk keyboard trays for your necessary requirements is very important. Considering the variety of products available in the market, the buying process becomes much more difficult, however it is crucial to understand what features make a good under-desk keyboard tray.
If you primarily need to get a keyboard tray for a standing-desk then we would recommend the Uncaged Ergonomics Under-Desk Keyboard (KT1-b). Its wide adjustment range and independent mouse platform make it the best ergonomic choice for standing desks.
For sitting desks, we particularly loved the 3M Keyboard Tray (AKT60LE) for its articulation range and the enhanced gel-wrist pad. The Bush Business Furniture Articulating Keyboard Tray is also a very good option owing to its sturdy design and high-quality.
Clamp-on keyboard trays and sliding keyboard trays have the benefit of easy installation, and our personal favorite is the VIVO Under-Desk Pull Out keyboard tray, because of its intelligent design and retractability.
Ergonomic under-desk keyboard trays are a great investment to boost productivity and prevent muscle soreness and injuries. We hope this product review has made your selection process a bit easier and you will soon be adopting a healthier posture.