Did you know the Romans used to lie down while they ate their meals? I probably learned that fun fact in middle school, but I think about it a lot nowadays, because being an adult means you can eat your meals wherever you damn well please, and for me, that usually translates to stuffing my face while I lounge on the couch. When in Rome, ya know?
I want to blame my couch-eating habits on the fact that my first New York City apartment was too small for a dining room table, so the couch was literally the only seating in the whole place, but really, it started before then. I’m fairly certain that I ate most meals in college while reclining in some fashion, too, which was probably some form of rebellion after 18 years of “family dinners” at the dining table. And it makes sense! Especially for those who dine solo, it’s nice to sort of leisurely eat while watching TV, and more often than not, the couch is in a prime TV-viewing spot.
There are virtually no downsides to eating meals on your couch, save for two issues: 1) There’s a high risk of spilling food and subsequently staining your couch (cc: Jolie Kerr), and 2) You cannot eat a meal on the couch that requires cutting something with a knife and a fork. It simply requires too much coordination, and the risk of spillage is too high. But fret not, for there exists a product that significantly reduces the risk of either of these common problems occurring in your living room, and it is a bamboo sofa tray.
The tray can mold to fit the arm of any couch, allowing you to create a makeshift table on which to balance your plate whilst dining. I wouldn’t call it the most stable of flat surfaces, but it’s at least one more thing between your food and your sofa’s vulnerable fabric.
When you’re just relaxing sans food, the mat rolls up for easy storage. But I’ve taken to using it as a spot to keep the remote, my phone, or any other things that tend to get lost in the couch cushions. Plus, it’s a nice place to rest of a mug of coffee in the morning, or even a laptop—no more overheated laptop legs!
Looks-wise, the bamboo is sort of a neutral home decor element, and the reverse side of the mat is covered in water resistant fabric for easy clean-up if (when) spills do happen. Not to mention, the fabric provides a bit of traction so the whole tray doesn’t go sliding off the sofa.
So don’t live in shame. Be proud, couch eaters! And just be sure to roll out the
red carpet bamboo mat for yourself before every meal.