Overbed tables aren't just something you'd find in a hospital – they're helpful pieces of furniture that make eating, drinking and reading easier when you're lying or sitting in bed at home. There are all sorts of styles nowadays, including tables on wheels, ones with storage and those with an adjustable width and height to fit single, king size and double beds alike.
Unsure of what to look for when purchasing an over the bed medical or laptop table? We've put together a buying guide with key information to help you pick the best one for your needs. After that, take a look at our reviews of the 10 best-rated overbed tables to buy in the UK, including top products from Aidapt and NRS Healthcare who supply to the NHS.
You've probably seen overbed tables in hospitals, but they're also great for the home. You should consider buying one if you have mobility issues, a physical disability or are resting after an injury. They slot over a bed, chair or wheelchair, making it easier to eat, drink and read whilst lying down or seated.
They're not only for medical-related purposes, however – anyone can make use of an overbed table. They're especially good if you like to watch TV on your tablet or laptop in bed, as devices can become hot and uncomfortable if you rest them on top of your covers.
You know why you should buy an overbed table, so now it's time to learn what you should consider before making a purchase. If you follow our advice, you're sure to find the right table for your specific set of needs.
You can either purchase an overbed side table or a full table that fits over the top of a bed. Before you go ahead and buy one, you should check and see whether the table will work with the size and style of bed you have. Here's what to look for.
Some tables are designed to fit over the side of a bed, utilising a C-shaped design where the legs are tucked out of the way and the tabletop fits over your lap. For this design to work, your bed needs to be raised with sufficient space underneath.
Side tables have a set width that's much smaller than a full overbed design and are, therefore, best for those only wanting to set out a few main items. The compact size is perfect for a single bed or a double bed where only one person needs access to the table, as well as if room space is limited.
Full bed tables have lots of benefits, the big one being that they offer plenty of space as their tabletop stretches the full width of the bed. This design is more practical for use over an ottoman, divan or any bed that doesn't have space underneath to fit a side table. They can be used effectively with both double and king size beds.
Plus, they have an adjustable width that you can change to fit your exact bed size. However, you should check the maximum measurement as it can vary between products. All overbed tables will fit single beds, but look for one that's over 135 cm wide if you have a double and over 150 cm if you have a king.
It's important to check the height of your overbed table to make sure that it fits properly and can be easily reached. To ensure that both of these requirements are met, look for designs that can be adjusted – but again, make sure to check the minimum and maximum measurements.
Be careful buying overbed tables with a set height that you can't adjust, as these may not offer a comfortable fit for everyone. If in doubt, measure from the floor to the mid-chest point of the person sitting on the bed to check whether a table's height will be suitable.
Regular, static overbed tables are ideal for serving food and drink, but some designs have a surface that tilts, making it easy to read or use a laptop when lying down. Either the whole surface will tilt, or part of it will while the side/s remain static.
If you want to drink whilst reading or using your laptop, look for a table with part-tilt, as you can safely store a beverage on the static part while tilting the other section to make it easier to see your device. On the other hand, if you plan to eat or drink separately, a surface with full-tilt will do the job.
Do you need to move the overbed table around, or will it be staying in one place? If you want to use it while seated in a chair or on a sofa too, look for a design that's mounted on wheels. They're also useful for easily pushing the table out of the way once you're done eating or watching something.
A design without castors has benefits too, however. They're sturdier, and there's less chance of the table accidentally moving out of position. Or, look for products with the option to choose whether you'd like the table to have wheels or not, which means you can find a specific design you like and better adapt it to your needs.
If you have permanent mobility problems or are on bed rest for a while, look for designs with extra storage space. Some overbed tables have one or two shelves, racks and boxes, so you can keep more things close by to entertain yourself.
You'll even find designs with more creative storage options like a sling or phone slot. Fabric slings can be used for various purposes, but one of them is for a cat! Your furry friend can jump up and rest for a while to keep you company. Whether you just want a basket for a few magazines or you'd like something akin to a bedside table, storage can really come in handy.
Ready to see our ranking of the top 10 best overbed tables available to buy in the UK? We've included a great selection of products with handy features that will make reading and eating in bed as comfortable as possible.
|Storage||Shelf, sling, rack|
|Height||61 - 95 cm|
|Height||63 - 95 cm|
|Width||90 - 110 cm|
|Height||70 - 90 cm|
|Tilt||Middle section only|
|Height||70 - 84 cm|
|Width||100 - 130 cm|
|Height||60 - 76 cm|
|Height||53 - 82 cm|
|Height||74.9 - 106 cm|
|Width||120 - 190 cm|
|Height||56 - 85 cm|
|Tilt||Central tilted section, static sides|
|Storage||Rack, box, phone slot|
|Height||74 - 90 cm|
|Tilt||Main tilted section, static side|
Deluxe Multi Purpose Overbed Table
Overbed Trolley Storage Desk
Overbed Table With Castor Wheels
Adjustable Overbed Table With Tilt Facility
Overbed Laptop Trolley
Overbed Table With Wheels
Wheeled and Tilting Overbed Table
Height-Adjustable Overbed Medical Table
Canterbury Static Multi Table
Storage Overbed Table
Top Marks for Functionality, Design and Looks
A Fully Kitted Out Table for Double and King Size Beds
Portable and Easy to Clean Thanks to a Plastic Top
A Side Table That Slips Underneath Small Spaces
Extra Sturdy With a Large Weight Capacity
Modern Furniture Ideal for Longer-Term Use
Read and Snack at the Same Time
Easily Height Adjustable With an Air-Lift System
A 45-Degree Tilt Ideal for Laptops and Reading
A Stylish Pick With Lots of Storage Space
|Width||80 cm||120 - 190 cm||61 cm||53.3 cm||100 - 130 cm||80 cm||90 - 110 cm||78 cm||41 cm||66 cm|
|Height||74 - 90 cm||56 - 85 cm||74.9 - 106 cm||53 - 82 cm||60 - 76 cm||70 - 84 cm||70 - 90 cm||63 - 95 cm||61 - 95 cm||75 cm|
|Tilt||Main tilted section, static side||Central tilted section, static sides||Entire tabletop||Entire tabletop||-||-||Middle section only||-||Entire tabletop||-|
|Storage||-||Rack, box, phone slot||-||-||-||2 shelves||-||-||-||Shelf, sling, rack|
Things can get boring fast if you're confined to a bed, but luckily, there are a few things you can buy to keep yourself entertained! You could purchase a new thriller to read, a radio to play stations from all over the world or even a 3D jigsaw puzzle. Here are our picks of the best you can buy.
We hope you've found our ranking and buying guide informative and that they've helped you to pick out a product. These tables are a lifesaver if you're confined to a bed because of injury or disability, as they make eating, drinking and staying entertained so much easier.
Author: Rosa Fairfield
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