Learn About the Convenience of Bed Trays

by Calyn Ehid
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Everyone understands how difficult it is to get out of a warm bed on a cold winter day. For some people, though, getting out of bed isn’t an option, as they are bedridden for one reason or another. Whether it’s because of a long-term condition or a short-term illness, when you can’t get out of bed, the best thing to do is make the most of the situation. One of the ways you can do that is by using a bed tray. Using a bed tray allows you to safely and efficiently enjoy many normal activities while you’re still in bed. You can get work done, eat meals, read a book, and perform many other activities with greater confidence than you would have without a bed tray.

Learn About the Convenience of Bed Trays

Another important benefit of a bed tray is allowing you to maintain good posture while in bed. Since a bed is made for laying down, when you try to sit up in it to get things done, it can lead to poor posture, resulting in back pain or even weakening of the back muscles over time. By introducing a bed tray, you’re able to utilize pillows behind you and around you to put your body in a comfortable and safe position, while the tray holds everything you need to easily do the tasks you need to do.

Especially for someone who is confined to a bed for a long period of time, this regular period of being able to sit up provides a much-needed change of pace, as well as some relief for their body to help prevent bed sores. Additionally, it assists caregivers by allowing them the convenience to serve the individual who is confined to bed without using any specialized equipment or lifting the individual, which could put their own back in danger.

What Is A Bed Tray?

A bed tray is as simple as it sounds: it is a tray that is specifically designed to be easily used by an individual who is in bed. If you’ve never used one yourself, you’ve likely seen one used in a movie or TV show when a caring spouse or child serves breakfast in bed to a spouse or parent for a birthday or other special holiday. Bed trays are designed to provide stability and support to items that an individual needs to use in bed, providing the convenience of a flat surface and a space to accomplish tasks without having to leave the bed. The tray can have a flat bottom, have short legs that rest on the bed, or be in the form of a cart whose wheels slide under the bed to position the tray at the correct height for the user.

These trays are useful for seniors who have a hard time moving around. They can do crosswords or other puzzles in bed without having to leave the room. For those who are bedridden, a bed tray allows a caregiver to offer meals and entertainment without having to transport the individual elsewhere to do these tasks. For a working professional, a bed tray allows an opportunity to get some work done in the morning while still enjoying the comforts of a nice, warm bed.

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Who Needs a Bed Tray?

As mentioned, a bed tray is useful for anyone who wants to accomplish just about anything in bed. No one has a totally flat lap, and especially in bed, it’s hard to not have your lap at some sort of angle, so a bed tray is useful to just about anyone. If food will be served on the bed tray, it’s a good idea to use a bed tray that has a lip around the edge to contain any spills that may occur. All that said, bed trays are not just for seniors or individuals who are bedridden or handicapped. All the different benefits that a bed tray offers can be enjoyed by anyone. Many times, they are especially convenient for someone who has a short-term illness who finds it difficult to get out of bed, but doesn’t have any special equipment to get out of bed since they aren’t normally confined. This makes it easy for others to provide them what they need without risking their own health by trying to move the person.

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Where Can You Buy a Bed Tray?

Given their multiple uses and wide-ranging benefits, you can purchase a bed tray at just about any store. Some bed trays, such as those that roll, can be found more easily at a medical supply store, since these types of trays are often used in home care and hospital applications. Beyond that, bed trays of different sizes and styles are available at big box retailers, specialty retailers, boutique stores, and online. The type of tray that you want or need will ultimately determine the best channel to purchase one from. Additionally, many stores offer bed trays on major discounts periodically, so if you’re considering purchasing a bed tray, it’s important to search for any current sales to ensure you get the best price.

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Average Cost of a Bed Tray

Trays can be obtained for less than $10, but can cost $100 or higher, depending on the size, style, and materials used. Some types of bed trays are meant to stretch across an entire bed and include wheels, and those will obviously be more expensive than a simple plastic unit that is designed to be used by one person. Many bed trays offer special features such as racks specifically intended for reading materials, or even powered fans to cool a laptop for someone who uses their bed tray to do work in bed. These add-ons will increase the price, but again, bed trays can often be found on sale, so even the price of the same bed tray can vary widely. Just decide in advance what size you need, and start there to determine which one to purchase.

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Different Size and Shape of Bed Trays

Given their wide variety of uses, bed trays come in a wide variety of sizes and shapes, as well. The smallest and simplest trays are a simple rectangle with a small base which are intended to be used by one person. Some bed trays, though, are extendable, with steel legs on both ends, and wheels to move them around. These trays can be shared by two or more people, and tend to slide up from the bottom of the bed or couch to span the entire width of the bed or couch. Some trays are specifically designed for laptops, and so are less wide than traditional bed trays, as they are only intended to hold a laptop computer, and nothing else. Most bed trays, though, share a similar square or rectangular shape, regardless of their purpose.

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Finding Bed Trays Online

The Internet has opened up a large market for bed trays of all kinds, including designer trays mostly used for an occasional breakfast in bed. These trays are typically handmade from some type of reclaimed wood, and are found on craft-selling sites. However, all the major chains sell trays on their websites, as well, and are just as functional and can be found to match just about any d├ęcor. Most trays can be easily shipped to your front door, although some larger units may require a longer shipping time or a nominal fee. If you start by simply searching for “bed tray,” you can begin to get an idea of what’s available, and then refine your search as you start to understand the features you need in your particular unit.

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Other Uses for Bed Trays

As has been eluded to, bed trays enjoy great functionality far beyond the bedroom. Bed trays can be utilized to enjoy snacks on the couch while watching TV without having to worry about spilling anything. Some bed trays can be used on a desk to provide a little extra height to a computer monitor so that it sits at a more ergonomic height for the user. Bed trays also make great utility trays for use in the car by children for long trips. Trays that are designed with lips around the edge will ensure that nothing rolls off the tray and gets lost under a seat while you’re driving, so your kids will actually enjoy the road trip, rather than constantly asking, “are we there yet?” The bed tray is a utilitarian powerhouse that allows you to get more done, more confidently, just about anywhere you are.

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