Best Folding Table of 2021
If a good investment is what you seek, the Lifetime 4-Foot Commercial Adjustable is our top recommendation. This high-quality table features three adjustable heights (34 inches, 29 inches, and 24 inches) and a durable design. The steel hardware is smooth and easy to operate. We used it for home construction projects and as a part of our events arsenal for our main tester's outdoor school. Adjusting the height is easy, even with items on the table. The tallest setting offers more height than any other option, while the medium setting is the same height as a standard table. The shortest height is great for sitting children, making this table ultra-versatile for any family or household. At the lower heights, it's stable and provides an unbeatable level of performance. It's easy to clean, painless to maneuver, and made of high-quality materials.
While the legs of the Lifetime do indeed fold in, the table itself doesn't fold. As a result, it's longer than other standard folding tables, taking up more storage space. And while we appreciate the stability at medium and low settings, the tallest setting shakes and has some side-to-side movement. Still, this is an excellent choice for any family or household due to the exceptional versatility offered by its adjustable height.
The Cosco Deluxe Fold-in-Half Table is a simple table with a 6-foot length that locks into place when set up. It utilizes a plastic composite tabletop that is relatively durable and a straight leg design that creates a wide, stable base. It sets up in just a few seconds, locking into place to enhance maneuverability. The table proved to hold a lot of weight, easily accommodating our welder and other construction gear while testing. It can be used for both indoor and outdoor use and stands at a height of 29-inches when set up. We think it's a great deal because it performs well, is large, and comes at a good price. This table is also available in an 8-foot version.
On the downside, we have slight concerns about the craftsmanship. Though overall we found the table itself pretty stable, the tabletop is thinner than other products we tested, and it flexed somewhat under larger amounts of weight. Also, when we unboxed it, we noticed that the plastic was 'bubbled' in one spot. The hardware looks solid but is thinner and lighter than other contenders. All this leads us to believes it's not as high quality as more expensive options. However, if you're seeking a good deal, this table is a steal and will do everything you need a 6-foot table to do.
For a small personal table at an approachable price, check out the Lifetime Adjustable Folding Laptop Table. This table measures 26 inches long (it also comes in a 30-inch version) and boasts three height adjustments (28, 26, and 24 inches). It has a solid and durable 2-inch plastic composite topper that proved to be scratch-resistant after our testing. It can be used for multiple purposes, such as a laptop station, tv tray, small crafting table, and more, tucking away easily underneath any piece of larger furniture when you're done using it. In comparison to other products with similar construction, this table proved to be more durable and easier to adjust. We also appreciate its ergonomic shape, which features an inward curve at the torso, allowing you to get a little closer.
There is the tiniest bit of shake when typing or eating on this table. Additionally, to adjust the height, you have to flip over the whole thing. Once you get there, adjustment is simple with a squeeze design that allows you to easily adjust the bars. We didn't find the shorter heights to be very helpful for taller folks but, depending on your needs, that might be perfect. If a small multi-use personal table is what you seek, this is our top recommendation for its high-quality tabletop and easy adjustments.
The Office Star 3-Piece Folding Bench and Table Set is a great setup that can easily be used inside or outside. Each of the three pieces is six feet long and folds in half. This set can accommodate a variety of uses; for example, we used it as a coffee station during an astronomy night event outdoors, while eating outside with friends, and as a construction table for home projects. Even on uneven ground, it maintained stability and performed well. The thick tabletop doesn't flex under large amounts of weight and stood up better than others to our scratching and slicing tests. We love that the benches and table store flat and take up little storage space when not in use. The carry handles are also well padded, making transport a cinch.
Our biggest caveat with this product is that it doesn't lock into place when set up. When trying to pick it up after being set up, both table and benches fold in, making it impossible to move it with anything on the table surface. The benches aren't as stable on uneven ground as the tabletop, though on flat ground, the whole system performs as it should. If you're looking for a table and bench set that functions as a picnic table and can accommodate 6-8 people, be sure to consider this beauty.
If you're headed out on an adventure, the Coleman Roll Top Aluminum Camping Table is a classic must-have. We've used this table throughout the years on river rafting trips, car camping adventures, and at home. The aluminum construction is very light, with a roll-up table top that easily fits into a carry case. It cleans up nicely and has proven its tenacity on a number of our camping trips over the years. Set-up requires putting together the frame and attaching it to the elasticized roll-up top. When assembled, it's stable enough to move around without it collapsing. We've cooked on it with a full two-burner stove, accompanying utensils, and accouterments. Over sand, snow, and dirt, it can easily be stabilized, especially when you load it up with a little extra weight.
While this setup is light and easy to take with you, it can also fly away if you're not careful. On a rafting trip during a wind storm, this table was lifted and sent into the river. So as a warning, if high winds are in the forecast, put it away or weight it down strategically. We've also experienced the plastic tips of this table breaking in the past, which deems it useless, so be careful when setting it up and with how you store it. These warnings aside, if you're in the market for a portable and stable camping table, this is a top-shelf option.
The Flash Furniture Black Folding Card Table is a vinyl square top table that features a fairly stable construction when set up on carpet. At a standing height of 28-inches, it fits up to four people. The vinyl tabletop offers a non-slip surface, excellent for playing cards or other larger board games. The table legs are a little thin, with each individual leg supported by its own locking mechanism. The functionality of these parts is smooth and easy to use. We tested it while playing big board games like monopoly as well as regular card games. Of the tables in this review, this is our favorite for game nights. It's also easy to transport and bring over to a friend's house.
After just a few weeks of use and storage, we noticed some scuffing of the vinyl on the Flash, though it did remain resistant to full-on scratches. This wouldn't be our first choice for construction, gardening, or other hobbies where sharp tools are involved. During our scratch and slice tests, we were able to, no surprise, easily cut the vinyl with a small blade. Also, it's not the most stable on solid floors. However, if you're looking for a table for a game night, we think this is a great option with a classic appeal.
The Iceberg IndestrucTable TOO Personal Folding Table stands out for its larger tabletop and ultra-stable design. For laptop use, it's our favorite, hands down. It features three main height adjustments (29.5, 25.5, and 19.5 inches) suitable for folks of all heights. It can be used to turn a regular desk into a standing desk or used on its own with any chair or couch. We even used it as our personal aid station when using a treadmill during our workouts. In all cases, we found it to be very stable because of its wide base. It can easily be stored underneath a couch, and the legs can be separated completely to make storage simple.
The tabletop quality is our only letdown with this product. Even though it's called the "IndestrucTable," it is far from it. After just a few weeks of use, we noticed scratches and scuffs. We also noticed that the plastic polymer on the top sheet starting bubbling, which infers poor craftsmanship. The height adjustment process is also a bit of a pain. Both legs can come out, and they need to be pushed into the slots, which requires a bit of muscle to release and set. Caveats aside, we found ourselves reaching for this table when we needed to set up a personal laptop station in our living room. If you're in the market for a smaller personal table with a larger desktop space and stable design, we don't think you'll be let down.
If you're looking for a round table that'll look good in your living space, the Flash Furniture Round Rattan Folding Table should be considered. This super cute option looks great and has oodles of uses, from morning coffee to afternoon crafting to evening game night. Its hardware is quality and operates smoothly. It also folds up easily with one single action and can be easily carried by one person and loaded up into a car or truck for transport. The plastic legs have protective caps for interior floors, while the plastic construction also does well outdoors.
While this table easily folds flat, the tabletop doesn't fold in half, so it takes up a bit more storage space. It's also a little smaller than it looks. We originally brought this to a friend's house to play monopoly to learn there wasn't enough room to set up the board game and host four people. As a result, we'd recommend it for smaller games or fewer people. If you're seeking a good-looking round table, this one looks great indoors or on a patio and can accommodate a wide range of uses.
The Linon Home Decor Tray Table Set features a faux marble surface that'll look chic and sophisticated in most living rooms. The set comes with four tray tables and a storage rack that requires installation. This product is a good solution if you prefer to do dinners in front of the TV or need several matching side tables around your home. We appreciate the user-friendly dimensions that will do as a small laptop station in a pinch and the attractive smooth surface. These also seem to be built of higher quality materials than other contenders of a similar style in this review, and they won't scratch your floors.
While this set will look great in any living room, it's not the best-performing. When using it for eating or computer work, it wobbles side to side on both hardwood and carpets. It doesn't lock when set up, making it seem unstable and impossible to move with items on the tabletop. The biggest caveat, however, is the price. While it's got a cute look and comes in a set of four, it's still expensive with lackluster performance and construction. As a result, it's not one we'd recommend to our friends or family. However, if you like the faux marble look and stability isn't crucial, you might find value in this set.
The Mainstay 5 Piece Tray Table Set offers the right amount of functionality you'd expect from any low-priced tray table set. It's got a wooden particle board construction that'll allow you to eat a meal or do small crafts in front of the television. The smaller table dimensions will still fit any laptop, and the trays stack nicely on their storage rack. There are five tables in the package with a price that is hard to beat.
Unfortunately, this is a lower-quality product with rough edges that'll scratch your floor. It doesn't lock into place, causing wobble and instability, and since it doesn't lock, you can't pick it up and move it with anything on the tabletop. It also takes some time to install the storage rack — if you decide to use it. Even though this isn't the highest quality product, it still performs similarly to others that cost almost twice as much, making it a good bargain option if you're in the market for a wooden tray table set.
Why You Should Trust Us
Our main tester Amber King and her testing team bring a whopping 7 years of experience to the table (see what we did there?). Amber has tested and written over 30 different categories for GearLab, covering electronics, outdoor gear, and household items. She is the founder of a local non-profit in Ridgway, Colorado called Treeline Education, which is an outdoor enrichment program. On school days, she uses folding tables regularly. She also uses them during community astronomy events and at home. You can find her working on household projects where each table is regularly employed. In addition, she works remotely part-time, using smaller personal tables as workstations in different locations around her home.
The testing for these tables began with deep research. We looked at over 40 different products before selecting some of the best to test side-by-side. Then the real-life testing began. We measured dimensions, shook each at different heights, scratched and sliced tabletops, scrubbed them down, timed setup and breakdown, and used them in the field. We used them for crafting projects, gardening sessions, with kids at work, and for events. We objectively tested quality by assessing the smooth operation of hardware and key craftsmanship details. All to help you find the best folding table for your specific needs.
Analysis and Test Results
This review covers a wide range of folding table options. From full length to personal use tables to tray sets. When using each, we note key differences and similarities to help you understand how each product compares. We assess each on the following key metrics: stability, ease of use, portability, storage, and quality.
A table that doesn't shake and stays put while you use it is of utmost importance. What good is a table that you can't trust to hold up the items you put on top of it? To test this metric, we shook each table and evaluated its stability elements. We also set it up over uneven terrain, carpet, and hard floors to test lateral movement. We then used each while doing household projects, working on them daily.
The most stable contenders proved to be the Iceberg IndestrucTable TOO, Cosco Deluxe, and Lifetime 4-foot Commercial Adjustable. The Iceberg is a smaller-sized personal table with a base that's almost as wide as the table itself. The larger and thicker tabletop design absorbs shake and movement, making it an excellent laptop table, whether on hardwood or carpet. The Lifetime Adjustable is another personal-sized option that earns a high score because of its durable tabletop design, but it's not nearly as stable as the Iceberg IndestrucTable.
Both the Cosco Deluxe and Lifetime 4-Foot Commercial are longer full table options. The Cosco is 6-feet long (and also available in an 8-foot length) with a straight wide leg structure and several stability slats, providing limited movement once setup. It locks across all the folding hinges, ensuring it won't fold in on itself. The OfficeStar Bench and Table set is also quite stable with a thicker tabletop and a similar level of stability to the Cosco Deluxe — though it doesn't have the locking features. The Lifetime 4-foot Commercial is a straight leg design with multiple heights. Its stability varies, with it being the most stable at the lowest setting. Since it doesn't fold in half, its stability comes in the form of its full-tabletop construction. Overall, of the larger tables, if you want the best in stability, go with the Cosco Deluxe.
All of the table tray sets we tested proved to be relatively unstable, with lots of shaking and lateral movement and no locking mechanisms to speak of. For mid-range sized options, the Flash Furniture Round Rattan is stable on carpet and hardwood, as is the Flash Furniture Black Folding Card Table. The Coleman Camping Table stands out for being stable over uneven terrain, designed for adventures into the backcountry.
Ease of Use
How easily can you take your table down and put it back up again? To test this metric, we fiddled with all the parts and practiced putting our tables together and taking them down to understand which are the easiest to use. We also evaluated which are easiest to clean and maintain and assessed their ability to set up and be functional on a variety of surfaces.
A key trait of any folding table is its ease of use, so most tables did well in this metric. The Lifetime 4-Foot Commercial earns top marks in this category since there is no need to fold the table in half to get it going — only the legs collapse. Plus, we love the easy adjustment buttons on each leg that allow you to adjust the height, even with items on its tabletop. None of the other long tables in our review have this level of adjustability, making it one of the most versatile. It takes about 10 seconds to take down and put up.
Our other large table options, like the Cosco Deluxe and Office Star Folding Bench and Table, took about 20 seconds to take down and put up. Both have hooks or latches to open them up, with legs that easily open up for quick and easy setup. Cleaning on all three is simple with a hand wipe or sanitizer. The Cosco proves to clean up a little better than the others because of its dark color that doesn't show dirt as readily.
The Flash Furniture Round Rattan also has a super quick setup (about 8 seconds) that requires just one simple movement to erect and take down. Cleaning it, however, proved to be a little harder due to the weaved finish. The Flash Furniture Card Table, in contrast, requires opening each leg separately, which takes a little more time (20 seconds), but the smooth vinyl surface is a breeze to clean.
Of the smaller personal use tables, the Lifetime Adjustable Folding Laptop Table is by far the easiest to use. Both it and the Iceberg IndestrucTable Personal Folding Table have three main adjustable heights, with the Iceberg having a few more options as you can remove both legs and choose which slates to adjust it into. However, it advertises only three main heights (29.5, 25.5, 19.5 inches). The Lifetime Adjustable is preferred because of its easier-to-use adjustment system. For both, you need to flip the table upside down to adjust the height, but the Lifetime Adjustable has a handy spring bar that makes the adjustment much easier. The Iceberg IndestrucTable, on the other hand, has a bar that you need to pull out with a little muscle and push back in manually.
The Coleman Camping Table, Mainstay 5-piece, and Linon Home Decor Set are all easy to use as well. The Coleman takes a little more time to put together (about three minutes) and is best over uneven surfaces. The tray sets are ready for use right away, setting up in under 10 seconds.
Most tables that are folded are transported either around the house or from place to place. As a result, we think that portability is very important. To evaluate this metric, we looked at each table's design and how easy they are to transport. We also opened each up and tried to move them around to see if any fold back in on themselves or can't maintain their shape. Those that are lighter with a great carry mechanism that locks on the folding hinges do best in this category.
The most portable full folding table is the Cosco Deluxe and the Lifetime 4-Foot Commercial. The Cosco Deluxe boasts a six-foot design with a sturdy handle for carrying. In addition, when set up, it locks into place, making it easy to move around. The Lifetime Commercial Adjustable scores a little lower — it's bulkier to carry because it does not fold in half; however, the handle is more sturdy than the Cosco Deluxe. The Office Star 3-Piece Folding Bench and Table Set is great to move from place to place. Both benches and the table fold in half and lock for transport, with great handles. However, it earns lower points because it doesn't lock once set up. As a result, if you try and move the table or chairs, they collapse, meaning you can't move the tables after set up when things are on top of them.
Of the personal-size folding tables, the Lifetime Adjustable Laptop Table and Iceberg IndestrucTable TOO are the most portable. Neither fold up, and neither have handles, but they are incredibly light, and the legs bend down flat for easy maneuverability. The Lifetime Laptop Table earns an extra point in this category because it is slightly lighter and smaller than the Iceberg IndestrucTable. The Flash Furniture Rattan and Flash Furniture Card Table both fold down and are relatively light, though neither have handles. However, they both lock into place, so you can easily change their position when set up, even if you've got the tabletop littered with cards or a game.
A folding table should also store easily in a closet, basement, or under a piece of furniture. To test this, we simply packed each one up and noted the profile and space they took up. Those that stash away the best earn the highest kudos in this category.
The most storable tables are the smallest, which isn't too surprising. The Coleman Roll Top Camping Table is the cream of the crop in this department as it breaks down completely and fits into a handy carrying bag. The Lifetime Adjustable Folding Laptop Table and Iceberg IndestrucTable TOO Personal Folding Table both fold up flat and fit under a piece of furniture. The Lifetime Laptop Table is a touch smaller, but the Iceberg IndestrucTable has the ability to remove its legs completely, earning it a slightly higher score in this category. The tray table sets, including the Linon Home Decor Tray Table Set, and Mainstay 5 Piece Tray Table Set come with their own storage racks that easily stack next to a couch or in a closet. If you prefer to keep them out of sight, they slide underneath furniture easily as well.
A product that you won't have to buy again or that will last you a long time is an important consideration, especially when it comes to the wallet. As a result, we looked at the hardware, materials, thickness, and critical hinge points to assess quality. We also scratched and sliced each surface to see which ones can handle the inevitable scrapes and scuffs of life and which can't.
Of all the tables tested, the Lifetime 4-Foot Commercial Adjustable and Lifetime Adjustable Folding Laptop Table have the most durable tabletops. The components are solid, smooth, and don't stick. The Office Star 3-Piece Folding Bench and Table Set comes in a close second with a thicker scratch-resistant tabletop and burly hardware. The Cosco Deluxe pales in comparison to these full folding tables in this metric. While it seems sturdy enough, the plastic tabletop is thin and showed craftsmanship issues upon unpackaging.
We also like the Flash Furniture Round Rattan and Flash Furniture Vinyl Card Table. Both have smooth components that can scuff, but use a darker color so you can't see the damage as easily. The Iceberg IndestrucTable scores fewer points because the tabletop, despite being thick, has scratched deeply with minimal use. The tray table sets score even lower, with the Linon Home Decor Tray Table Set, a faux marble set, looking to be a touch more high quality than the particleboard Mainstay 5 Piece Tray Table Set.
While the folding table market is vast, there's a light at the end of the shopping tunnel. We've done the hard work, testing some of the most popular products, so you don't have to guess your way through your shopping experience. We hope that our unbiased review will help you find an excellent folding table for your needs and budget.
— Amber King