Top Ergonomic Keyboard Tray Reviews

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Top Ergonomic Keyboard Tray Reviews

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What is an ergonomic keyboard tray?

An ergonomic keyboard tray is any keyboard tray that corrects two problems caused by placing your keyboard directly on your desk. The first is height—without a keyboard tray, most desktops are too high for strain-free typing, causing you to engage muscles that should be more relaxed. Just about any under-desk keyboard tray will alleviate this issue. The second problem is tilt. For your wrists to be properly aligned, your keyboard should be able to achieve a negative tilt of around 15° when seated, up to 30° when standing, and potentially more if working at a treadmill desk.

Ergonomic keyboard trays overcome the innate inadequacy of desks, allowing you to type in a way that’s more neutral for your upper body. This results in decreased likelihood of developing RSIs (repetitive strain injuries) and carpal tunnel syndrome. Below, you’ll find a list of keyboard tray reviews to help you choose the right addition to your workstation.

“Negative Tilt” Explained

In general, keyboard trays allow you to tilt the front of your keyboard up, bringing it into a negatively-inclined position. While this may depart from old-school, pre-ergonomic keyboard design (pop-up tabs on many keyboards let you elevate the back,) it’s actually ergonomically proper to tilt the keyboard the other way. We’ve never been able to figure out how the computer industry started down this path of tilting keyboards in exactly the opposite direction as is ergonomically correct; the myth has persisted for decades, and most users are still unaware.

Key Considerations

Here are the specs you want to keep your eye on when reading keyboard tray reviews:

    • Compatibility – If you have a standing desk, check underneath the desktop and make sure there is enough room to install the keyboard tray. Most keyboard trays install in a long track that can run into the crossbars beneath most standing desks, rendering them uninstallable. There are workarounds, however. See this article for alternative approaches to installing a keyboard tray on a standing desk.
    • Tilt – The standard for ergonomic keyboard trays is up to -15° of tilt, which should be adequate for most users. There are a few models (that we rate the highest) that can achieve -20°. However taller users, and especially treadmill desk users,  may prefer keyboards that allow even greater tilt angles, because the steeper you go, the more neutral the position, and the less muscle strain . This ultimately translates to higher typing proficiency and work endurance.
    • Size – Make sure your keyboard fits the dimensions of the tray. Some split keyboards such as the GoldTouch or Kinesis, or even the uber popular Microsoft Natural and Microsoft Sculpt, don’t play well with some keyboard trays.
    • Mouse platform – An independently adjustable swiveling mouse platform is best, as you can position it closer to your body, reducing the need to reach. One of the golden rules of ergonomics is to keep your upper arm straight up-and-down; reaching out to use a mouse can give you shoulder problems.
    • Sturdiness – Key to a comfortable typing experience is sturdiness. This is doubly important when treadmill desking. In fact, many keyboard trays are simply not suitable for treadmill desking due to the extra stresses of movement, so stability is king for them. With the minute keycap travel distance of modern day keyboards even a small amount of shaking can result in typing errors, reduced typing speed, and excess strain on the hands, wrists and up the arms.

1. iMovR Elevon

iMovR Elevon Standing Desk Keyboard Tray

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Experts’ Rating
Price: $399
Tilt Range: Essentially infinite, but can hold keyboard up at up to a -85°
Tray Dimensions: Main tray: 19.75” x 10.25”, Side trays: 12” x 12”
Compatibility: Installs on all standing desks
Warranty: Lifetime on frame, 5 years everything else

Summary: The Elevon is the only product in this category that does it all. Its price point is higher, but it’s the only keyboard tray add-on that we recommend for treadmill desking, due to its best-in-class stability and adjustability. The Elevon surrounds you in an ergonomic arc, ensuring strain-free typing for all users. It also installs in less than one minute with no tools. Its main downsides are its price and size. Read our full review.

Where to Buy

2. iMovR Trackless Keyboard Tray

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Experts’ Rating
Price: $275
Tilt Range: -15° to +10°
Tray Dimensions: Main tray: 19.4” x 9.4”, Mouse platform: 9.04” diameter
Compatibility: Installs on all desks
Warranty: 15 year warranty

Summary: Sometimes less is more. The iMovR Trackless Keyboard Tray attaches directly to the bottom of your desk, resulting in a more stable product than any tray that uses a sliding track (99% of them). Made in the USA from high-quality components, it’s backed up by a strong 15 year warranty. The Trackless Keyboard Tray is surprisingly easy to adjust, and a joy to type on—we recommend it for all popular standing desk models. Read our full review.

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3. iMovR Stowaway Keyboard TrayiMovR Stowaway Keyboard Tray

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Experts’ Rating
Price: $275
Tilt Range: -20° to +10°
Tray Dimensions: 21” L x 11.1” W
Compatibility: Installs on all desks
Warranty: Lifetime

Summary: The iMovR Stowaway adheres to a different philosophy than its brother, the Trackless Keyboard Tray—rather than skipping the track altogether, it mounts to a sideways track. This allows it to fit all standing desks, at a slight expense of stability (inherent with any sliding track). Made in the USA, the Stowaway features a category-leading -20° of keyboard tilt and a lifetime warranty – two things that are very hard to find elsewhere without paying twice as much. As the name implies, rather than sliding the keyboard back under your desk, you can slide it left or right and then rotate the entire tray under your desk when you want to stow it away (works best with a 47” or wider desk.) Read our full review.

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4. Humanscale Keyboard Tray SystemHumanScale Float Keyboard Tray

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Experts’ Rating
Price: starts at $329
Tilt Range: Varies
Tray Dimensions: Varies
Compatibility: Installs on most desks (requires minimum of 11” under-desk space)
Warranty: 15 years

Summary: Humanscale allows you to build the perfect keyboard tray for any setup. They offer a dizzying array of options to suit your preferences, allowing standing desk users of all sizes to find what works for them. You’ll pay a pretty penny for this, however, and you’ll have to wait for your product to be built if you don’t choose a “quick buy” option, but you can rest assured that you’ll receive a quality, made-in-USA product. Read our full review.

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5. Uncaged Ergonomics KT1 Keyboard Tray

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Experts’ Rating:  
Price: $85
Tilt Range:-15° to + 50°
Tray Dimensions: 18.5” x 8.75”
Compatibility: 16” track not compatible with most standing desks*
Warranty: 90 days

Summary: At a competitive price to 3M’s AKT60LE, the KT1 by Uncaged Ergonomics is built to the minimal quality level that its short 90 day warranty implies. (Our rule of thumb? Expect to replace a product as early as at the end of its warranty term.) The KT1 offers the height and tilt adjustment one would expect, and it feels sturdier than average to type on. However, it also has a number of design flaws that we discuss in the full review, including an unfortunately-placed component that’ll bang the heck out of your kneecap. The KT1 falls under the description of “you get what you pay for.” Read our full review.

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6. Humanscale FloatHumanscale Keyboard Tray System

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Experts’ Rating
Price: $222
Tilt Range: up to -15°
Tray Dimensions: 25″ L x 8.4″ W
Compatibility: Installs on most desks (requires minimum of 11” under-desk space)
Warranty: 15 years

Summary: The Humanscale Float is one of the best looking under-desk keyboard trays we’ve seen. A shorter 11″ track allows it to install on just about every standing desk, however, which is a huge plus. However, it lacks some core functionality (like easy height adjustment) that we would like to see in a product of this price range, and for that reason, it’s not the most versatile solution for a standing desk user compared to others we’ve reviewed. Read our full review.

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7. 3M AKT60LE Adjustable Keyboard Tray3M AKT60LE Keyboard Tray

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Experts’ Rating
Price: $89
Tilt Range: -15° to +15°
Tray Dimensions: 25.75” W
Compatibility: 17” track not compatible with most standing desks*
Warranty: Lifetime on arm, 5 years on platform, 1 year on gel wrist rest

Summary: A popular bargain choice keyboard tray that offers tilt, height adjustment, and a lifetime warranty on the arm, 3M’s AKT60LE Adjustable Keyboard Tray is a great choice… for anyone who can install it. If you have a standing desk, the 17” track will not fit (unless you turn the track sideways, which is not manufacturer recommended and could lead to unforeseen problems.) Also, it won’t accommodate larger keyboards and a mouse at the same time. For fixed-height desk users, this long-time staple of big box office supply stores is remarkably stable and a steal of a deal, though it lacks a separate mouse platform and other ergonomic enhancements you’ll find on pricier models. Read our full review.

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8. Fellowes Office Suites Underdesk Keyboard Drawer

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Experts’ Rating
Price: $24
Tilt Range: No tilt
Tray Dimensions: 22” 11.6”
Compatibility: 16” track cannot install on most standing desks (track does NOT rotate)
Warranty: 3 years

Summary: Super-popular and super-cheap, the Fellowes Underdesk Keyboard Drawer is the lowest price you can pay for a functioning product in this category. As the name implies, it’s a “drawer,” not an ergonomic keyboard “tray,” Lacking tilt adjustment it does nothing to prevent wrist strain, which can lead to repetitive strain injuries (RSIs) that are much cheaper to avoid than to remedy after the fact. We recommend this product only for those on the tightest budgets, as it provides a decent option for sliding away your keyboard below your desktop. But for folks who spend hours a day in front of their computer we strongly recommend  shelling out for an actual ergonomic tray. Read our full review.

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9. Fellowes Professional Series Sit /Stand Keyboard Tray

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Experts’ Rating
Price: $179 and up
Tilt Range: -15° to 0°
Tray Dimensions: 19” L x 10.5” W
Compatibility: For fixed-height desks only
Warranty: Lifetime

Summary: A pricey, niche product without a strong use case. The Sit / Stand Keyboard Tray by Fellowes raises up to 6” above your worksurface, thanks to its Humanscale-built arm. Not only does this present stability issues, but it’s also a flawed concept in general, as you’ll end up looking down at your monitor if you try to use this keyboard tray while standing. We think this product only makes sense as a hack for taller users (think 6’5” and over) whose sit-stand desks can’t reach high enough for their stature. . (A better way to go would be to switch to a modern standing desk that can reach much higher than the common 47” top height limit of earlier generation standing desks; new models can reach up to 55”.) Read our full review.

Where to Buy

10. Ergotron Neo-Flex Underdesk Keyboard Arm Review

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Experts’ Rating
Price: $130
Tilt Range: up to -15°
Tray Dimensions: 26.93” x 9.9”
Compatibility: 17” track not compatible with most standing desks*
Warranty: 3 years

Summary: The Neo-Flex is distinguished by its easy-attach mount. However, it still requires a track for optimal stability so standing desk installation becomes problematic. We also are not a fan of the “long” style of keyboard tray—we’d prefer a shorter tray with a separate mouse platform. A fatal design flaw is the tray’s inability to lock securely at the tilt angle you want. Read our full review.

Where to Buy

*Trays with long tracks were not designed to be installed on standing desks, due to the crossbars underneath most standing desks. However, you could circumvent this by installing the track sideways. This should be considered more of a DIY project than a standard installation, and you should know that you may give up some functionality. For more information, see this article.

 

Special Considerations for Treadmill Desk Users

Treadmill deskers have the same issues as standing deskers, and then some. With the treadmill’s belt continuously pulling the user backwards, and their bodies gently swaying side-to-side, their natural response is to press down harder on their palms in order to anchor their hand position over the keyboard. The faster the belt, the harder they press down, and the worse their typing speed and accuracy degrades. That palm pressure can leads to all sorts of painful maladies over time, and nobody wants to see their productivity gains smashed by typing difficulties.

Fortunately there is a solution for these issues, and it is the iMovR SteadyType built-in keyboard tray. Its clever, patented design eliminates that palm pressure by allowing the user to dial-in steeper typing angles; -20° to -30°, or even -40° is achievable, comfortable and ideally ergonomic for most users. At these angles the palms can stay relaxed and good hand position is easy to maintain, eliminating the potentially dangerous ergonomic issues. Both typing speed and typing accuracy are significantly improved, even at higher belt speeds. We can’t recommend SteadyType desks enough for treadmill station workers.

Electric SteadyType Desks with Built-in Keyboard Trays:

Once again, for users that already own treadmill desks, the only keyboard tray add-on that we think is truly up to the task is the Elevon. It’s our highest-rated keyboard tray for a reason, with superb stability and ergonomic adjustability that no other desk add-on can provide.