Baths have long been one of life’s greatest joys. There’s something magnificent about stepping into a tub full of enticingly hot water and floating there mindlessly for as long as you choose. Showers can be equally cathartic, but they tend to involve some amount of work—you’re usually expected to shampoo your hair, to shave, or at the very least, to wash up. But baths come without requirements. The goal is mere luxury, indulgence, relaxation—delight.
Given the bath’s myriad strengths, it’s hard to imagine anyone improving it. How can you make something better, when it’s already closer to flawlessness than any other thing on Earth? But somehow, the bath tray has managed exactly that.
For the uninitiated: Bath trays are rectangular, often wooden planks that stretch across the width of most tubs. They act as portable desks—small shelves you can use to rest things on mid-bath. And they solve problems you didn’t even know you had.
Sure, you’ve long been able to watch Netflix from your bathtub, but only by resting your laptop on your toilet seat or on the floor. But bath trays come with a slot designed to hold tablets and horizontal phones, so you can devour your latest binge on a screen that’s mere inches away. (Bookworms can, of course, repurpose the slot for their favorite reads.)
You’ve likely figured out how to drink wine while bathing—simply place the glass on one of the corners of your tub (or on the ground beside it, if your tub is freestanding), and pray you don’t accidentally knock it over. But bath trays come with slots designed to keep your wine glasses safe, sturdy, and upright, ridding the possibility of slips, spills, and snafus.
Bath trays are also designed to hold phones, candles, snacks—really anything that could make your coveted bathtime better and more luxurious than it already is.
And what’s perhaps more shocking? Bath trays are decidedly budget-friendly. While some excessively fancy options will run you $175 or more, you can score a sleek, minimalist (but still veritably well-rounded) bath tray for just $35 on Amazon—and receive it within 48 hours.
I know—it’s hard to imagine anything elevating bathtime. And it’s even harder to accept that you can transform your entire bath experience by ordering a $35 plank of wood on Amazon. But friends, we live in a beautiful world. And thanks to the bath tray, it just got even lovelier.