How to work in bed with a laptop - Complete Guide
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We’ve all been there; you have a ton of work to do while at home but the thought of leaving your warm and cozy bed feels like a crime.
The next best option (other than not working at all) is trying to setup a workstation on your bed and use a laptop to get some work done.
While it sounds easy enough, there’s more to it than you might think.
The biggest challenges you’ll face when working in bed is maintaining high concentration levels, not injuring yourself while sitting in bed and possibly damaging your laptop while working.
In this guide, we’ll go through the ins and outs of working in bed with your laptop and highlight the best practices you need to adopt in order to actually get some work done.
We’ll also highlight some products that can make your life easier and more comfortable while working in bed with your laptop.
Plan on how long you'll be working in bed and schedule breaks
Before you start doing any work on your laptop, first decide on how long your bed session will be. For example, you might decide to put in 3 hours of work in the morning while in bed and do something else in the afternoon.
The main aim of this step is to plan for regular breaks where you’ll get out of bed and stretch. As much as it’s tempting to stay in bed entirely when working on your laptop, breaks are non-negotiable.
This is especially true if you want to avoid injuring your body or developing posture problems. It’s recommended to take a break of 5-10 minutes for every hour you spend working on your desk. This also applies for working sessions in bed as well.
A good way to make sure you get out of bed and move around is to continuously sip some water while working. This will not only ensure you stay hydrated, but it will also force you out of bed to empty your bladder frequently. Aim for one small glass of water every hour or so.
Below are some simple stretches you can do while standing during break time to help keep your body mobile and joints healthy.
Be aware of your posture and body position while working in bed
Now that you have a work schedule that includes breaks and drinking water, the next step is being aware of your posture when using your laptop in bed. This step goes hand in hand with taking regular breaks to stretch and walk around.
While most of us work in bed when we’re feeling a bit lazy or cold, avoid staying in one position for an extended period of time. Bad posture positions such as crossing your legs or not supporting your back and neck are notorious for causing muscle strain and pain in your body.
The video below shows common bad body positions while in bed that you should try to avoid as well as the best position for supporting your whole body using just pillows.
Invest in equipment for ergonomic support
Our beds were never designed for working on a laptop. In order to make yourself as comfortable as possible while working for extended periods of time in bed, it’s worth investing in items that will provide the needed ergonomic support.
Reading pillows are an easy and affordable way to add support and make working in bed comfortable. While you could just use your normal pillows for support, it’s worth investing in more comfort and support for your back especially if you frequently work in bed with your laptop.
The reading pillow below from ComfortSpa has many positive customer reviews making it easy to recommend to anyone working in bed.
Laptop Bed Desk:
If you want to get some serious work done while in bed with your laptop, then a bed desk is worth considering.
A laptop bed desk gives you a firm working surface to place your laptop on. Many come with added space for tablets, keyboards, mice and smartphones.
Try to stay away from the cheaper models which are notorious for having weak support legs.
From our research, we recommend the SAIJI Adjustable Laptop Stand below. It has numerous adjustment options and is very well made. The customer reviews are also reassuring and many buyers are happy with their purchase.
Ensure you have proper lighting for working in bed
Since our bedrooms are designed for rest and sleep, many of us use soft or dim lights. If you fall in this category, it’s advisable to invest in additional lighting to protect your eyes from unnecessary strain.
If your eyes start straining, you’ll get tired quickly and working in bed will suddenly become binge-watching the boys for four hours!
It’s recommended not to have your light source over your shoulder as this will cause glare. If you need more light, consider the below LED table lamp. It has touch control, a USB charging port and three brightness levels for whichever mood you’re in.
Is it okay to put your laptop on a pillow?
It’s not advisable to put your laptop on a pillow. The pillow may block the laptop’s ventilation holes which may lead to overheating.
While your laptop isn’t likely to burst into flames or catch fire, your fans will be working overtime to cool the machine. The hot temperatures may damage internal parts and impact performance negatively. In the worst case scenario, you’ll have to replace your laptop sooner than you planned.
Consider investing in the laptop bed desk we recommended above for a firm and safe surface to place your laptop on when working in bed.
How can you use your laptop in bed without it overheating?
To prevent your laptop from overheating when using it in bed, don’t block the laptop’s ventilation holes. This means not placing your laptop on a pillow or any other soft surface such as a comforter.
A laptop bed desk is worth considering as it provides a flat surface for the laptop to sit on. This allows the laptop’s cooling function to work normally which will in turn prevent overheating. Check out the bed desk we recommend above.
Is it bad to put your laptop on your lap?
It’s not advisable to put your laptop on your lap. This position forces you to look down when using your laptop. If done for extended periods of time, it contributes to poor posture and may cause neck pain.
Aside from the bad effects on your posture, some people believe the heat from a laptop may cause infertility in men and women. There are no conclusive studies that back this line of thinking though, meaning it’s debatable.
To be on the safe side and not have to worry about who’s right or wrong, we recommend putting good posture first. Ensure you lift your laptop to normal eye level by sitting on a desk or using a laptop stand. Remember to support your back and take breaks to stretch every hour or so as we discussed above.