10 best trays | The Independent

Whether it’s for dining in the comfort of your bed or favourite armchair, serving drinks or canapés to guests or simply an attractive addition to compliment your home decor – every home can benefit from a stylish tray.

But even for a versatile home essential, there are still things to consider when buying. Is it anti-slip? How easy is it to wipe clean? What shape suits your lifestyle?And how many things can you carry on it without making countless trips back and forth to the kitchen?

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Here are our favourite trays on the market, tried and tested for everything from grip and durability, to design, value for money and practicality.

Wildon Home anti-slip serving tray: £17.99, Wayfair

If there is one pet hate when carrying an overloaded tray, it’s doing a balancing act with sliding plates and glasses. This tray does the miraculous job of making sure everything stays in place (literally). While they may look like decorative white polka dots, this rectangular tray is covered with rubber, TPE (thermoplastic elastomer) dots to give it its clever non-slip, stick property. Two handles, also TPE, allow a firm grip making it light-weight and durable. Ideal for avoiding any accidents.

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IKEA groggy tray stainless steel: £8, IKEA

This contemporary round tray is ideal for carrying a round of drinks as well as holding a dinner plate. The stainless steel is easy to wipe clean, but prone to scratching – so be sure to use a non-scratch cloth. Overall, considering the reasonable price, it has a quality finish, does a decent job, and looks stylish too. A worthwhile investment.


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Wayfair malu serving tray: £25.99, Wayfair

Perfect for entertaining comes this premium-looking tray by Wayfair. Generously sized at 36.8cm, the tray allows for an array of glasses, side plates and other necessary items while serving. Made from copper with a dimpled-effect across the circumference, its eye-catching style merges with durability. It looks stunning in any kitchen, and the copper design is right on trend in contemporary interiors.

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Lakeland moderna long serving tray: £7.99, Lakeland

This mini serving tray is ideal for those smaller yet all-important items. Whether it’s carrying snacks or a glass of wine, this tray is great for making an entrance. Its contemporary design of contrasting marble and oak textures gives it an attractive matt finish. With such versatility and style, you could even use this to display your favourite candles or home accessories.

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M&S geometric melamine tray: £12.50, M&S

With its bright geometric print, this practical tray gives a modern makeover to the regular style. Made from sturdy melamine and with two handles, this can carry several items including your breakfast delights. It’s glossy, easy to wipe clean, and can be easily stored away. Its monochrome colourway makes it a perfect addition to any kitchen.

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House by John Lewis bamboo tray: £20, John Lewis & Partners

This modern tray catches the eye with its striking, bamboo wood design. Part of Our House by John Lewis collection, it features a warm coloured raised edge that can sturdily carry essential items. Well made and presented, serve drinks and snacks in style with this minimalist tray.

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OKA hazda round tray: £40, OKA

Beautifully hand-crafted, this tray brings a warm boho feel to your home. Woven from natural materials – rattan and nito vine –which are native to the Philippines, this is best suited to serving an array of fruit or snacks. As it is intricately designed, it’s best to avoid any liquids that may stain it. However, with its natural, rustic look it’s practical and makes a charming home accessory.

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India Jane al fresco large tray, Cape Cod: £7.80, India Jane

Perfect for hosting dinner parties, this art deco tray is suited for canapés or a couple of glasses. Designed in the spirit of the traditional art of decoupage, its redeeming feature is India Jane’s Cape Cod design, applied to a resin base before lacquering. It looks so luxe, you would be hesitant to put anything on it. But this makes for a unique serving tray and is great to display.

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HAY kaleido tray medium dark green: £25, Amara

If you prefer style over substance, this geometric shaped tray ticks all the boxes. Don’t be fooled by its small stature, as it is solid and sturdy enough to carry essential items. Just be careful not to overload it. The kaleido is part of a series of trays which are all different shapes, colours and sizes, designed to be mixed and matched – working as a functional puzzle on your table. It’s a high quality, contemporary tray that is certainly eye-catching.

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Argos Home lap tray: £8, Argos

For those with comfort in mind, this soft cushioned lap tray guarantees exactly that. Surprisingly sturdy, this cosy tray is ideal for TV dinners, using a tablet or laptop, children’s drawing, or a nice cuppa. Its versatility makes it practical for every family member. With its contrasting design of black circles and mustard, it looks tasteful and is easy to wipe clean. Definitely one that puts practicality and comfort first.

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The verdict: Trays

If you’re looking for a practical tray that puts substance before style, the anti-grip serving tray from Wildon Home is our best buy. While it may not be the most attractive, it does do what it promises, and ensures everything stays firmly in place. And for a more chic, decorative feature, the malu serving tray is versatile and its eye-catching, copper design keeps in style with today’s contemporary interiors.

IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.


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