how to use laptop in bed (best Position & Setup)

Updated on June 11, 2020

One of the best features about a laptop is the fact that it is portable meaning you can use it even in bed. However, if you are going to be in bed while making use of your laptop, you need to know the perfect posture.

According to a case study by Dave Malouf the best posture for using a laptop in bed is having a pillow support your head and neck while your knees are raised up to the same height of your head.

How to Set Up a Laptop In Bed For Proper Positioning

Choose An Ergonomic Laptop

A laptop is called ergonomic if it promotes efficiency, comfort, and convenience of use. Laptops that have such a name are usually:

  • Flexible: easily maneuvered to fit different angles
  • Portable: lightweight and easy to carry around
  • Adaptable: fits any environment or setting in which it is being used whether work or home.

Nowadays, the laptops that fit such features are either 2-in-1, have detachable keyboards or can be maneuvered into any position. Some ergonomic laptops you can check out include:

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Although most chiropractors advise against the use of laptops in bed, there is still a way to go about it. With the proper tools and set up, it is possible to get the best ergonomics which will allow you to use your system in comfort on the bed.

Get a Pillow

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Regardless of where you are using your laptop, proper back support is essential for the health of your spine. However, to use your laptop in bed, the pillow is a must-have accessory.

Seeing as most beds lack backrests that are present in chairs, the best alternative is to purchase pillows. When these pillows are strategically placed on the bed, you can support your back.

Position Pillow In The Right Place

To position, the pillow for back support, follow these steps:

Step 1: ensure you are close to the headrest of the bed or a wall close to your bed. 

Step 2: then place a pillow or several pillows depending on your body mass behind the lower back. Doing this gives additional lumbar support to your back to prevent discomfort.

Step 3: get another pillow and place it under the knees. This action prevents you from hunching over or bending sideways.

Note that this position ensures that you are directly positioned in front of the laptop, thereby preventing cricks in the back and neck.

Buy The Right Type Of Pillows

For the type of support you want to get for your back and knees, not just any pillow can be used. It is important that you get a lumbar support pillow for the following reasons:

  • Maintain good posture, 
  • Maintain proper circulation and 
  • Prevent muscle fatigue

However, pillows are made from various materials and some of the most common ones include:

  • Feather pillows
  • Memory foam
  • Latex etc.

For the purpose of using a laptop on the bed, the best type of pillow to get is the memory foam and this is because of the following reasons:

Reasons to Get Memory Foam Pillow

The reasons why memory foam pillows provide the best form of lumbar support for the laptop in bed posture include:

  • They contour to the spine, neck and head
  • They provide adequate support for pain relief
  • They exist in different shapes and sizes
  • They are durable

Some of the pillows that fit the above include:

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Have Adequate Lighting

The bedroom is a location in the house that has the primary function of allowing an individual to sleep or rest. Therefore, the typical setting of a bedroom would be geared towards ensuring the user is able to sleep.

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One typical characteristic of a bedroom is the subtle lighting. Although the lighting will ensure that the homeowner is not disrupted by the harsh glow of light, this is not suitable for laptop use.

The lighting of your bedroom makes a big difference in how well the eyes and posture of the laptop owner handle stress of laptop use. Poor lighting conditions can cause eye strain.

To avoid this ensure:

  • You are not facing a window with direct sunlight flowing through
  • Sources of strong light are not aimed at your position
  • Other sources of light are not reflecting on the laptop’s glass
  • Ensure the room is not too dark

Seeing that the light within the bedroom is crucial to enable ease of use of the laptop in bed, the following are the items that must be present:

Mind Your Window Blinds For Proper Lighting

Using a laptop requires having proper lighting to prevent strain on the eyes. However, the lighting ought to be controlled. Installing Windows blinds in the home will ensure:

Privacy and Security: this will prevent information on your laptop from being seen by intrusive parties.

Energy Saving: they help save on the cost of electricity based on the fact that they prevent sun rays from coming into the bedroom. Therefore, the heat that comes with these sunrays is dealt with thereby reducing the need to crank up on air conditioning. 

Protection: the window blinds help to minimise damage caused by sun rays. Exposure to constant sun might lead to the laptop overheating.

Adjust Your Bed Lamps

If you want to make use of your laptop at nighttime but have a partner who cannot sleep well with the light on, bed lamps are a good tool to have. Instead of turning on the central lighting, you can instead use the lamps by the bed to ensure adequate visibility of the screen and keyboard.

Get A Laptop Desk or Stand

To make your use of your laptop in bed, there are some tools that could make it more comfortable and ease your posture. Although these equipment are good to have, they are not necessarily compulsory.

Although it is called a laptop, this does not necessarily mean that should be placed on the lap. There are some side effects from doing so. Also, placing the laptop on the thighs leads to a slouched position with the head jutting forward to the screen.

As a result, there is extra pressure on the spine. In such a situation you cannot use your pillows or blankets to support the laptop due to the fact that your laptop can burn hot. Pillows and blankets are great insulators of heat and using them to prop the system can lead to overheating.

It is essential that the laptop receives proper ventilation to prevent it from crashing. Therefore, a laptop stand or desk is important.

Benefits of a Laptop Desk or Stand

  • They can be positioned above the leg making it easier to stretch
  • Some laptop stands are adjustable such that the height can be customized
  • Most are lightweight and portable making it convenient to store them when not in use.
  • They promote better posture as they can be set it in any position.

Selection of a Laptop Desk or Stand

The two options to choose from are :

Laptop Desks: placed on the lap

Laptop Stands: prop computer over the body.

Therefore, when buying either of the above, the following are primary features to look out for:

  • Ergonomic: must be adjustable and versatile
  • Portable: light and compact to allow for easy movement across locations 
  • Cooling: laptops emit heat, therefore the laptop stand or desk should allow for cooling of the system.
  • Strong: must be durable

Recommendations for Laptop Desks or Stands

The following stands embody the feature listed above:

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Get a Separate Keyboard and Mouse

When using your laptop in bed, the inbuilt mouse and keyboard may not make it easy to attain the right positioning. Therefore, getting an external mouse and keyboard is essential. When these devices are positioned at a height that allows the shoulders and arms to relax, it helps relieve possible posture problems.

In setting up these external devices, ensure that your elbows will be positioned at a 90-degree angle close to the body to prevent any strain on the neck and shoulders.

How To Sit In Bed With A Laptop (2 Dos & 2 Don’ts)

After looking at the necessary tools and conditions that should be in place for laptop in bed use, the next thing to examine are the rules. The fact that you have the necessary tools in place to enjoy the convenience of using the laptop in bed does not mean, the right positioning will follow. There are still certain tricks to this.

We look at them below:

Do – Lie With Your Head and Knees Raised

..the best position requires propping the computer above the knees at an angle of 45 degrees…

When using your laptop in bed, the best position requires propping the computer above the knees at an angle of 45 degrees. To attain this, you need to place a pillow under your neck to ensure your head stays up. The head and knees should be at the same level.

With this position, you can look at the laptop at a good angle similar to using it on a desk. Also, placing the laptop above your thighs using a desk or stand prevents the application of pressure to other areas of the body. 

Do – Get Up to Stretch

Even with the right ergonomic equipment, there is still no escaping the truth that the bed is not the optimum location to use a laptop. Therefore, it would be best to get up at certain intervals to loosen up the body. 

..Get up after a certain period to stretch and allow blood to flow to all parts of the body..

Laying in bed for long intervals can have an adverse impact on parts of the body. So, to prevent this, play close attention to the amount of time spent in bed with the laptop. Get up after a certain period to stretch and allow blood to flow to all parts of the body.

Don’t- Place Your Laptop on a Pillow or Blanket

You run the risk of letting your laptop crash or overheat by placing it on a pillow or blanket. This is due to the fact that these accessories for the bedroom are insulators of heat. The laptop emits heat from the bottom and sides and if there is no way for cool air to enter, it leads to overheating.

Don’t – Sit Cross Legged With the Laptop At Your Front

If you adopt this position to use your laptop on the bed, it places stress on your neck as you look down. Also, your back will end up hunched in order to adopt a close position to the laptop screen. While you use your system in this position, you may not feel it, but the impact will definitely be felt the next day.

Is It Bad To Use Laptop On A Bed?

Due to the portable nature of laptops, it is assumed that they can be used almost anywhere. Although this is true, it still does not change the fact that certain locations will not allow for optimum use. Using a laptop in bed is not bad if the right measures have been taken to ensure convenience and comfort.


Once you make a conscious decision to use your laptop in bed, ensure that you have the right environment for this. Having the right pillows, laptop stands and lighting are not the only factors necessary to prevent issues of bad posture or eye strain.

You also need to ensure that the rules of the laptop in bed use are followed. If not, you can end up with bad posture which can lead to long-term damage of the spine.

Article by:
Sarah Adedun
Sarah Adedun is a technology enthusiast. When she is not reviewing tech products, you can find her sharing personal thoughts on Medium and researching ways to merge Finance and Technology together.

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