Do you eat in bed or share one with someone who does?
You’ve come to the right place.
What’s In This Guide?
Table of Contents
In this solutions guide, we discuss the most common issues people who eat in bed face and recommend & review the best products to solve these problems.
Problems Caused By Eating In Bed
Before we review our top picks, let’s discuss the most common challenges faced by people who eat in bed.
You may also encounter these issues if your partner eats in bed, or your kids often eat on your bed.
Food Crumbs On The Bed
No matter how careful you are, it’s inevitable that bits of food will end up on the bed.
Food crumbs are uncomfortable to sleep on, and can make your sleeping environment less hygienic. They can also attract bugs and pests to your bedroom.
To deal with this problem, we recommend keeping a handheld cordless vacuum cleaner nearby. That way, you can quickly vacuum the bed after eating.
Our favorite one is the Shark WV201 WANDVAC handheld vacuum.
Roaches In The Bed Frame
Bedbugs are not attracted to human food. That’s a common misconception. Eating in bed doesn't make it more likely that you’ll get a bedbug infestation.
That’s not to mean no bugs will bother you. Bed bugs are not attracted by food crumbs on the bed, but roaches are.
The smell of sugary and starchy meals, as well as meat and dairy bring cockroaches to your bed. You may not see them on the mattress; they tend to hide in cracks and crevices in the bed frame.
Lift up your mattress and you may see them scampering, especially after dark.
The best way to keep roaches away from your bed is to keep the bed clean and free of food. As soon as you finish eating, use a vacuum cleaner to clean up any bits of food left on the bed.
Don’t forget to vacuum around the bed area as well. Every few days, lift the mattress and vacuum under it to get any food crumbs hiding in the slats and bed frame.
You can use any vacuum cleaner, but a handheld one like our top pick, the Shark WV201 WANDVAC, is easier and more convenient to use.
Rodents And Other Pests In The Bedroom
It’s not just roaches you need to worry about. Food waste, crumbs and spills in and around the bed can attract other pests to your bedroom.
These include rodents like mice and insects like ants.
Again, regular and thorough cleaning is the best way to keep away pests.
In addition to vacuuming, make sure you put away any food waste and scraps where pests can’t reach it. We recommend an airtight bedside trash bin. Our most favorite one for the bedside is the Lunies 2.4 Gal trash can.
Stains On Bedding
Food stains are some of the most difficult to clean. Stains from turmeric, tomato sauce, and wine take a lot of effort to get rid of.
So it’s best you avoid them in the first place.
There are a couple of solutions to this problem.
One, place your food on a bed tray or overbed table. That reduces the risk of food spilling on the bed. Our top pick is the Pipishell bed breakfast tray.
If you prefer a bedside overtable like those used in hospitals (great for seniors and those recovering in bed), we recommend the Vaunn Medical adjustable overbed table.
The other solution is a mattress protector.
Stains on your sheets or duvet are not so bad because you can put them in the washing machine. You cannot wash your mattress.
The best way to keep it stain-free is using a waterproof mattress protector. Our top pick is the PlushDeluxe Premium bamboo mattress protector.
Keeping Food Hot/Cold
Unless you are sleeping in your kitchen, it’s hard to keep food at the right temperature when you are in the bedroom.
Hot food quickly gets cold, and unappetizing. Food that needs to stay cold gets warm and can even go bad at room temperature.
The solution is to bring a couple of appliances to your bedroom.
To keep food warm, we recommend an electric lunch bag, also called a portable mini oven. It keeps food warm and can reheat cold food (no need to go to the kitchen to use the microwave).
Our favorite mini oven right now is the HOTLOGIC Mini Portable Oven.
To keep food, drinks, and snacks cold, get a small refrigerator for your bedside like this stylish Galanz Retro compact refrigerator.
Lack Of A Proper Eating Surface
Placing food on your lap or directly on the bed makes a bigger mess. It also increases the risk of food spills and stains on the bedding, not to mention that it’s uncomfortable.
A breakfast bed tray is the best bed dining surface. It makes eating in bed more comfortable and reduces spills and food crumbs on the bed.
Our favorite breakfast tray is the Pipishell Bamboo Bed Tray.
Discomfort When Sitting Up In Bed
When sitting up in bed to eat, a traditional pillow is usually not enough to support your back. It can work in a pinch.
But if you are a regular bed eater, it can cause or worsen back pain especially if you also like to watch, read and work when sitting up in bed.
The best solution is a backrest pillow, and our most favorite one is the Milliard Double Reading Pillow.
Unpleasant Food Smells
Your food may smell nice when eating it. But lingering food smells long after you’ve eaten are usually unpleasant.
Your partner may also be sensitive to the food smells.
An odor filter or eliminator is the best way to reduce and eliminate these smells. One of the best room odor eliminators is the Hamilton Beach TrueAir.
Frequent Coffee Trips To The Kitchen
If you also often drink coffee in bed, it can be frustrating to keep getting out of bed to make coffee in the kitchen.
If you are sick or bedridden, it is hard or impossible to go make coffee for yourself.
An easy solution is a bedside coffee maker like the Wirsh Single Serve Coffee Maker.
Top 10 Products For People Who Eat In Bed
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Best Solutions For People Who Eat In Bed
These solutions are not just for people who like to eat in bed; they are also helpful for those who have to eat in bed because they are elderly, ill, or recovering from a medical procedure.
Handheld Cordless Vacuum Cleaner
Even if you are a careful eater, don't risk getting stains on your mattress. They can be hard, if not impossible, to clean off the mattress.
Stains on the mattress can also void your mattress warranty or return warranty.
A waterproof mattress protector keeps any liquids from reaching the mattress, thus preventing stains. It also helps keep away pests and bugs by preventing food crumbs from settling in the mattress.
Currently, our top pick for mattress protector is the PlushDeluxe Premium bamboo mattress protector.
Don't leave food scraps or waste exposed. They’ll cause bad odors and attract flies, ants and other pests.
Get a bedside trash can to dispose of food waste as well as food packaging. Make sure it is airtight to keep smells from getting out.
Our top recommendation is the Lunies 2.4 Gal trash can.
Electric Lunch Bag/Mini Portable Oven
A regular insulated lunch bag like this one from Lifewit works great for keeping food hot or cold.
We think an electric lunch bag is even better for people who eat in bed. That’s because it’s more versatile.
It can keep food hot, and can also re-heat food, meaning you don’t need to go to the kitchen to use the microwave.
Our favorite electric lunch bag is the HOTLOGIC Mini Portable Oven.
Bedside Mini Fridge or Cooler
Breakfast Tray or Bedside Overbed Table
A breakfast tray provides a convenient place to dine on when in bed. It reduces spills and crumbs on the bed, and brings food to a more comfortable height.
Our favorite breakfast tray is the Pipishell bed breakfast tray. It has handles and collapsible legs.
Alternatively, you could get a bedside overbed table like the Vaunn Medical adjustable overbed table.
Bedside Coffee Maker
You could set up a complete breakfast station like the Nostalgia BST3AQ on your bedside. But that’s a bit much for most people, and your partner may not take it kindly to you frying eggs and sausages in the bedroom.
What you can get instead is a coffee maker. Our most favorite one is the Wirsh Single Serve Coffee Maker. You can program it to automatically brew coffee at a specific time.
To protect your back and enjoy more comfortable meals, get a proper backrest pillow instead of using your usual pillows to sit up in bed.
A backrest pillow supports your back and neck. Most also come with armrests.
You can use it for eating, watching, reading or working in bed. It pairs perfectly with a breakfast bed tray.
Our top backrest pillow pick is the 2-person Milliard Double Reading Pillow. It even has cup holders.
You’ll be grateful to have some napkins nearby when your hands and mouth get messy when eating. Instead of stacking napkins on the nightstand, get a stylish napkin holder like the Ironwood Gourmet Acacia Wood napkin holder.
Keep the trash can nearby to dispose of the dirty napkins.
For elderly and disabled persons who eat in bed, consider getting an adult bib. It’s also great for anyone who eats on bed and wants to prevent messes on the bed and their clothes.
Our favorite adult bibs are these Elaine Karen Premium Adult Bibs made with terry cloth.
Top 10 Products For People Who Eat In Bed: Product Reviews
The Shark WV201 WANDVAC is a bit pricier than most other handheld cordless vacuums, but it’s worth it.
Using a high speed motor, the vacuum creates powerful suction. Of course, it doesn't compare to a full size vacuum cleaner.
But for the size of the vacuum, the WANDVAC is surprisingly capable. It picks up food crumbs from the bed with ease.
It’s also great for vacuuming up pet hair, dust, food spills and everyday messes.
The ultra-light design (just 1.4lbs) of the WANDVAC vacuum makes it highly maneuverable and easy to use.
Use the vacuum with the crevice tool to clean tight spaces (e.g. between the mattress and headboard) or the multi-surface tool for cleaning surfaces.
The filter is super easy to remove and empty. You can wash and reuse it.
The Shark WANDVAC comes with a built-in lithium-ion battery that’s good for a few minutes of cleaning. You also get a dock that holds and recharges the vacuum.
Issues & Limitations
The powerful suction of the Shark WV201 WANDVAC comes at the cost of battery life. It operates for about 10 minutes before you need to recharge it.
So we don't recommend it as your main vacuum. It’s good just for quick cleanup jobs on the bed and other surfaces. Then you immediately dock to recharge the battery.
The PlushDeluxe bamboo mattress protector is super comfortable while also being 100% waterproof.
To make it comfortable, the top is made with an ultra-soft bamboo fabric. It’s much more comfortable than plastic or terry cloth mattress protectors.
In addition, the bamboo fabric is breathable, so you don't overheat or sweat too much.
The PlushDeluxe mattress protector comes with deep pockets that fit mattresses up to 18 inches thick. So it can fit a thick pillow top mattress or a mattress plus a topper.
It also has an elastic band to keep the mattress protector in place.
The PlushDeluxe bamboo mattress protector is machine washable. So after an accident, you can throw it in the washer.
Issues & Limitations
Like many mattress protectors, the PlushDeluxe bamboo mattress protector is only waterproof at the top.
The sides are not waterproof. If the mattress protector rides up and the sides come over the mattress, any liquid on them will soak through to the mattress.
You need to regularly check to make sure the mattress protector is properly fitted.
The Pipishell bamboo bed tray is available in two sizes: medium and large.
Unless you are getting it for a child, we recommend getting the large one. Many customers say the medium size is too small.
The large tray is 21.7 by 14 inches, providing a surface large enough for one or two people to dine on.
The tray has a lip all round to keep plates and mugs from sliding off the tray. It also has side handles for lifting and carrying the tray.
The legs underneath the tray can fold flat, so you can use the tray without the legs supporting it.
In addition to holding food, the Pipishell bamboo tray has a slot along the edge where you can place your phone or tablet, so you can watch while eating.
You can also place a laptop on the tray when you want to work in bed.
Issues & Limitations
Overbed tables are typically used in hospitals, but they are also perfect for home use.
An overbed table allows someone who is bedridden to eat, read, and work while in bed. It’s also a good alternative if you are not a big fan of breakfast bed trays.
The Vaunn Medical overbed table features a steel frame and a laminated walnut tabletop.
The tabletop measures 30 by 15 inches, large enough to hold food and drinks or a laptop. Weight capacity is 50lbs, so you can place a number of things on it without any problem.
Using an easy to access lever, you can adjust the height of the table from 29 inches to 40 inches.
The steel frame has small wheels, making it easy to roll the entire overbed table on the floor. When you are done, you can simply push it out of the way.
Issues & Limitations
The tabletop has a small lip all around the edge, but it’s too low to stop things from sliding off. So be careful when moving the table with food on it.
The 24 hour timer on the Wirsh coffee maker lets you set a specific time when the coffee will be brewed. So you can set it to have your coffee ready when you wake up.
All you need to do is fill the water reservoir, place a cup underneath the spout and set the timer.
The Wirsh single serve coffee maker is compact, and takes up very little space on your bedside table.
It works with ground coffee. There’s a permanent filter basket that you fill with your preferred ground coffee. A free scoop is also provided.
The basket is fine enough to keep coffee grounds from getting through, so you don't need paper filters.
The Wirsh coffee maker comes with a 14 ounce travel mug. It fits under the coffee maker, so you can dispense brewed coffee directly into it.
The stainless steel mug is insulated, so it keeps coffee warm for some time.
Note that you can also dispense coffee into a regular mug.
Issues & Limitations
Instead of leaning against the headboard or your bed pillow, the Milliard backrest pillow is much more comfortable to lean on when sitting up.
Pair it with a breakfast tray or overbed table and it’s like you are sitting at a dining table.
The shredded memory foam in the Milliard backrest pillow provides both support and pressure relief. Two roll pillows at the top provide support for your neck and head. The pillow also has armrests.
The Milliard pillow is designed to fit one or two people. It measures 30 inches wide.
The armrests have built-in cup holders, so you have a place to keep your drink even if you don't have a tray table.
As for maintenance, the Milliard pillow has a removable and machine washable outer cover.
Issues & Limitations
The HOTLOGIC mini portable oven consists of an electric hot plate set inside an insulated lunch box.
Unlike normal lunch boxes that just keep hot food hot, the HOTLOGIC electric lunch box can actually heat food.
So you can put cold food in to heat it. You can also put hot food in it and because the lunch box produces its own heat, the food will stay hot for as long as the lunch box is plugged in.
The best part is that the amount of heat is low enough that you don't have to worry about burning or overcooking food. You can leave food inside for hours and it’ll stay perfectly hot.
The HOTLOGIC mini portable oven is compatible with different kinds of containers including metal, plastic, cardboard and aluminum foil.
So you can put tupperware or a takeout food box directly in the lunch box.
You can get the HOTLOGIC portable oven in a range of colors including black, blue, red, pink and others.
Issues & Limitations
The HOTLOGIC electric lunch box works great as long as it's plugged in. Once you unplug it, the thin insulation quickly loses heat and doesn't keep food hot for long.
But if you’ll be using the HOTLOGIC mini oven mostly in the bedroom, it’s easy to keep it plugged in all the time (don't worry, it uses very little power – 45W max).
If you are going to put a fridge in your bedroom, it’d better look good and the Galanz mini fridge does.
We love the green one, but you can also get it in red or blue. All the styles have a cool retro design that’s perfect for any bedroom.
Even the door handle looks like that of old fashioned refrigerators.
The Galanz mini fridge has a 2.5 cubic feet capacity, enough to fit a decent amount of food and drinks. You can also get it in two other sizes: 3.3 and 3.5 cubic feet.
The 2.5 Cu Ft one measures 17.6” wide, 21.02” deep, and 28.15” high. Check whether it’ll fit in the space you have in the bedroom.
Inside, the mini fridge has a regular and an enclosed chiller section with a manual temperature control knob.
The fridge section has removable glass shelves for easy organization. You also get storage pockets on the fridge door.
The compressor on the Galanz mini fridge is quiet. It makes a very low hum that most people don't even notice when they are asleep.
Issues & Limitations
One of the complaints from customers is that the retro looking handle is plastic with a metal finish. It looks good but there are concerns about how well it’ll hold up to repeated use.
The Lunies trash can measures 10.3” wide, 5.1” deep and 11.6” high. It takes up very little space on your bedside.
In fact, you can put it on your nightstand if you want, or place it on the floor or under the bed. There’s also an option to hang it from a cabinet door or the wall using the included hook.
The 2.4 gal capacity is enough for one or two people. It can hold several days worth of trash and food scraps before you need to empty it.
The Lunies trash can comes with liners, but you can also use your own liners. Look for small liners with a capacity between 2.4 and 3 gallons.
The Lunies bin comes with a lid that closes tightly to keep smells in. Even food waste, which stinks quickly, doesn't smell at all when it’s in the trash can.
You can open the lid in two ways. Lift it up to quickly dispose of something or slide it forwards and down to get full access to the trash can opening.
Issues & Limitations
The Lunies trash can has no major issues.
There are customers saying it doesn't hang on their kitchen cabinet doors, but this is an issue with how their cabinet doors are designed, and not a problem with the trash can.
In any case, you likely won’t be hanging it in your bedroom. It works just fine if you place it on a surface. If you want to hang it, you can hang it on the wall if you don't have a door to hang it from.
There are plenty of ways you can tackle food smells in your bedroom including charcoal deodorizers, odor eliminating candles, and deodorizer spray.
But the Hamilton Beach TrueAir is one of the most effective methods. It’s like an air purifier, but just for odors.
A small fan pulls air through three carbon filters that trap all kinds of smells. Activated carbon is highly effective at capturing smells.
The Hamilton Beach TrueAir is designed to be most effective in a room measuring 100 sq. ft. or smaller in size. If your bedroom is bigger than this, get two units.
The carbon filters last about three months. An indicator will light up when it’s time to get new filters.
The Hamilton Beach TrueAir also comes with a scent cartridge, but it’s optional. Some users don't like how it smells. If you also don't like it, you don't have to use it.
Tip: For smaller rooms or mild food smells, you can get the cheaper and smaller Hamilton Beach TrueAir Plug-Mount odor eliminator.
Issues & Limitations
Frequently Asked Questions About Eating In Bed
Is it ok to eat in bed?
There are several problems with eating in bed. It makes it harder to keep your bed clean, it can invite pests and rodents into the bedroom, and it can affect your sleep quality if you often enjoy nighttime snacks.
But as long as you are aware of the issues and take steps to mitigate them (e.g. vacuuming often, avoiding midnight snacks etc.), you can eat in bed with minimal problems.
Is it ok to eat while lying in bed?
Eating while lying down can cause reflux if you have GERD. It can also increase the risk of developing GERD.
If you want to eat in bed, it’s a good idea to sit up. You can lean against your pillow or headboard. Even better, get a backrest pillow with armrests.
Another issue with eating while lying down is that you are likely to make a bigger mess compared to sitting up.
Does eating in bed cause bed bugs?
No, eating in bed does not cause a bed bug infestation. It’s a common misconception.
Bed bugs are attracted to warm blooded animals, not food.
Does eating in bed attract roaches?
Yes, eating in bed increases the likelihood of a cockroach infestation. That’s because roaches are attracted to human food and will come looking for the food crumbs or scraps that you drop on and around the bed.
What’s the best way to keep food hot in the bedroom?
You can use an insulated lunch box or any insulated container like a cooler to keep food hot. Another option is a portable mini oven, also called an electric lunch box.
What’s the best way to keep food or drinks cold in the bedroom?
An insulated container or bag like a cooler or lunch box will keep cold food cold for several hours. You can also get a mini fridge for your bedroom or a thermoelectric cooler.
How do I get rid of food crumbs from the bed?
A handheld cordless vacuum is the easiest way to clean food crumbs off the bed. It’s light and you can easily maneuver it.
To keep crumbs from getting on the bed in the first place, get a breakfast tray and eat from that instead of placing food on your bedding.
How do I get rid of food smells from my bedroom?
Get an air filter like the Hamilton Beach TrueAir. You can also use charcoal filters or a deodorizer spray to refresh the room after you’ve eaten.
If you don't want to buy anything, try opening the windows during and after your meal to quickly get rid of the food smell. And don't forget to clear away utensils and food scraps to prevent lingering smells.
As a degreed engineer, I love new technology as much as you do (perhaps more). I also understand how to sort the best products from the rest. My team and I spend dozens of hours each week reviewing the best & latest products for your bedroom. Many are tested in-house, and others we break down based on our technical understanding. Whether you need a bed-cooling system, an adjustable bed, or a new CPAP machine – we've got you covered.