The best desks are essential for working from home, studying, reading or even gaming. Not only does it have to be functional, sturdy and suitable for your needs, but a best desk should also be the centrepiece in any home office or space.
But with so many different types and designs available, it can often be tricky to know which one is suitable. Plus, the best desks should be a good balance of functionality and style.
Before you buy though, there are a few considerations to make. First, measure up your space properly to determine the size, height and assembly of a desk. Other things to consider are design, and what type of material you prefer. Also, if you have plenty of things, find out what storage it has to offer, as some come with a couple of pull-out drawers or storage cubbies. You can also find desks with handy cable management systems, designed to hide unsightly cables or chargers.
Also consider, there are L-shaped or small desks available that might be more suited for a compact kitchen. We’ve selected the best desks to suit every lifestyle, office and budget.
The quick list
Here’s the best desks you can buy right now based on our comprehensive online research. Scroll on for our full in-depth reviews.
If you’re after a durable desk that is practical, the Topsky Computer Desk is a great option overall. With its sturdy design, it has a large surface with a reinforced steel frame. It also has a handy shelf that can hold books and office supplies, while a metal cable hole cover keeps computer wires out of sight.
Best under $200
Best under $200
For those after a functional, attractive desk under $200, this Coavas is sturdy yet stylish. It’s easy to set up as there is no assembly required — simply snap the particle board surface onto the black metal frame and you’re all set. It may not be as strong as other materials, but you’ll definitely get your money’s worth.
Best under $100
Best under $100
If you’re after a sturdy yet inexpensive desk, this IKEA Pahl is ideal. With its simple design, it has a large workspace and comes with stow away cords with the two cable holders between the front and back legs. You would need to purchase in IKEA only, however, the Pahl desk can be paired with other IKEA units like a desktop shelf or cabinet add-on.
For those who prefer standing while working, the Flexispot is the ideal choice. Easy to assemble, it goes between a height of 28 to 47.6 inches, at a rate of 1 inch per second. Plus, the large, sturdy surface area could hold any number of monitor and laptop set-ups. Bear in mind, there are no memory settings.
Best gaming desk
If you’re a regular gamer, this L-shaped desk has plenty of space for multiple screens and consoles. Designed well, it has sturdy, steel legs, while the thick tempered glass gives the desk a modern, attractive look. One side of the desk has a sliding keyboard tray which is always handy.
If you want to space-save with an L-shape desk, the Red Barrel is a great choice. The back of each part of the “L” is spacious, five feet long, and one side is a frosted-panel computer tower cabinet. It also comes with two sliding drawers, a four-port USB station and a cubby shelf to reduce desktop clutter. Bear in mind this will take a little longer to assemble.
The best desks for the home office
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The Topsky Computer Desk is our choice for best desk overall due to its combination of design, durability and affordability. The large surface area is made of thick, sturdy particle board and the frame is made of reinforced steel. The feet are adjustable in case your floors are uneven. A handy shelf can hold books and other supplies, while a metal cable grommet hole cover keeps computer wires organized and out of sight.
Amazon reviewers give the Topsky Computer Desk an average of 4.5 out of 5 stars. One wrote, “I absolutely love this desk. It's huge and can easily fit my two monitors, a keyboard, my printer, my huge mousepad, my Nintendo Switch, and there's still plenty of room for drinks/various other objects on the desk.” Another noted, “It was very easy to put together. Surprisingly it’s very sturdy and the materials are very nice. Oftentimes when buying furniture or you get cheap particle board that breaks when you’re putting it together, not the case with this.”
Best under $200
If you’re looking for a simple, functional workspace that requires little assembly and costs under $200, then the Coavas Industrial Folding Desk is the perfect solution. Yes, almost no assembly required – just snap the particle board surface onto the black metal frame and you’re all set. The desk is even portable — it’s that easy to put together.
The Coavas desk has over 8,000 reviews with an average of 4.7 out of 5 stars. One Amazon reviewer raved, “I love this desk! It is just the right size, sturdy, and extremely easy to assemble.” Another also praised the ease of putting the desk together: “It is extremely easy to assemble; I was done in five minutes and it required no tools or glue. The desk is surprisingly stable and the top, while thin, does not feel flimsy.”
Best under $100
The IKEA Pahl Desk is meant for children to use as they grow up, but adults could also adjust it to the maximum height of almost 28.5 inches. The design is clean and simple, perfect for anyone who just needs a large, flat workspace. You can stow away cords with the two cable holders between the front and back legs. And like many other IKEA products, the Pahl desk can be paired with other units like a desktop shelf or cabinet add-on.
One IKEA website reviewer said, “I bought this desk for myself, as an adult, because the price is right and it goes to the same height as a regular desk. It is great quality!” Another bought it for their children and praised the easy assembly: “I love the look and the quality is great! The kids loved helping put it together. Very simple.”
Sitting at your desk all day isn’t ideal for anyone’s health, so an adjustable height desk is a great option that lets you alternate between sitting and standing. At the push of a button, the Flexispot standing desk goes between a height of 28 to 47.6 inches, at a rate of 1 inch per second in a fairly quiet, smooth motion. The large, sturdy surface area could hold any number of monitor and laptop set-ups. And it’s easy to assemble.
One Amazon reviewer said, “This desk is really as good as it gets. It was extremely easy to set up; all the tools except a screw driver were included, and the instructions were very easy to follow.” Another reviewer praised the affordability: “I think it's an extremely fair price for what you're getting compared to other electric desks."
The Walker Edison L-shaped computer desk has a ton of space for multiple screens and electronics — perfect for gamers. The steel legs provide sturdy support, while the thick tempered glass gives the desk a clean, modern look. But don't worry, it's fingerprint-proof, according to reviewers. One side of the desk has a sliding keyboard tray.
Some Best Buy reviewers noted that assembly is fairly smooth, though it helps to have help. Most had positive things to say about the desk. "A great size, one side is for gaming and the other is crafting! The tower fits perfect in the corner against the wall. Love it," one raved. Another wrote, "There’s so much room to put the things you need on it. I have a 32” tv, my PS4, a gaming monitor, a computer, and a WiFi router all on this one desk."
If you want a true executive office experience, then Red Barrel Studio’s Hillsdale L-Shape Desk will make you feel like you’re in the C-Suite at a reasonable price. The back of each part of the “L” measures almost five feet long. One side is a frosted-panel computer tower cabinet; on the other are two gliding drawers. A four-port USB station and a cubby shelf help reduce desktop clutter.
With over 5,800 reviews, the Hillsdale has a 4.5 out of 5 star rating on Wayfair. One reviewer said, “I love, love, love this desk! It has plenty of space for my laptop monitor and for spreading out documents. It also has ample storage for my office supplies, my hanging file folders, binders more.” However, several reviewers noted that assembly isn’t easy. One noted, “Assembly took about 3 hours. While this may sound daunting the instructions and videos referenced detail every step needed.”
If you're after functionality, high-end style and wish to splurge, the gorgeous Twist Grey Ash Rotating Desk comes tops for its design. Made from FSC ®-certified ash veneer and engineered wood, this twist desk pivots on a round hub to suit your needs. Its 360-degree rotation means it can be expanded to become an expansive executive desk or angle as a corner desk.
What's more, its drum-shaped hub has a push-open cabinet with a fixed shelf for storage, which comes in handy. It also available in ash and grey ash to suit your home office. In fact, many customer reviews state how flexible and functional the desk is. While others commented on the sheer beauty of the design.
The Twist Grey Ash Rotating Desk is definitely a splurge item for shoppers who can afford a workspace that doubles as an art piece.
People living in small spaces need desks, too, and Elle Decor's Dani desk is a lovely piece that doesn't take up much room and looks great, to boot. The simple, elegant lines have that Midcentury modern look that never goes out of style. There are two drawers to keep pens, notepads and small work accessories stowed out of sight (though some Office Depot reviewers note that the drawers can stick).
Otherwise, reviews are almost universally positive. “Very stylish, sturdy, affordable desk. I recommend it and it's easy to assemble," one buyer said. Another wrote, "Recently downsized our home and needed a smaller desk. This desk was perfect as it is stylish and functional!"
If you’re really cramped for space, a floating desk is a good option. They’re mounted to the wall and fold up when not in use. Once the The Latitude Run Suave Floating Desk is folded out, it becomes a convenient surface for typing on a laptop, working on crafts or even eating meals. When you need space, just fold it back up and it becomes a chalkboard-fronted cabinet.
One Wayfair reviewer said, “Very convenient and what a great idea to conserve space!” Another noted, “My daughter loves it! She uses it every day for her schoolwork.” Some reviewers said the cabinet was somewhat difficult to assemble, saying the “instructions are not really clear,” “parts were mislabeled” and “definitely a two person job.”
Continuing in the theme of desks for small spaces, a corner desk like Andover Mills’ Daniel model fits neatly in an area often reserved for dust bunnies. The simple design and neutral off-white color could blend in with any decor theme. A soft-close drawer and a bottom shelf can be used to store books and other office supplies. And if you don’t use it as a desk, it’s also convenient as a stand for a microwave, photo frames or other knick-knacks.
Wayfair reviewers give the desk 4.5 out of stars. One said, “It was easy to put together and has plenty of space. I liked it so much I bought another one.” Other reviewers noted the fairly easy assembly of the Daniel Corner Desk. “This product came out of the box perfectly. All the pieces were there and the quality is very sturdy and has a nice, clean, smooth finish to it.”
If you prefer working from home on the couch or from bed, there’s even a desk for you. The Bamboo Laptop Desk (from Himini) is made of hand-made polished bamboo and features adjustable legs, which can be folded up for use as a flat tray. There are five levels of tilt to provide the best screen experience, as well as a convenient cupholder and small drawer for storage.
Amazon reviewers give it an average of 4.6 out of 5 stars. One said, “The design covers everything that I wanted. Portable, holds pens and small items, has a cup recess, lifts at an angle for laptop with many choices of angle.” Another noted, “it's exactly like what it sells for! I love it so much because I could work in the comfort of my bed rather than my desk. Also, my computer tends to get a little heated after long periods of time but; the ventalation holes make it so much cooler! I highly recommend buying this product!”
How to choose
How to choose the best desk for you
First of all, consider your budget. There’s a huge range of desks out there to suit every price point, so narrow down your search by deciding how much you want to spend.
Next, think about what the desk will actually be used for and how often you will use it. Will it be relied heavily upon or is it just for occasional use? If you’re choosing one for working from home, consider what electronics and paperwork the desk will need to hold. If you need two monitors as well as a laptop and a desktop machine, you’re going to need a larger desk with additional storage.
On the other hand, if the desk just needs to hold a laptop or it’s predominantly for homework, a more simple, compact design might be best. It’s also worth thinking about how much space you have to fit the desk as well. Floating desks and fold-up desks can be ideal if you’re tight for space.
Finally, there’s the aesthetics to think about. It’s a large piece of furniture and you don’t want it to stick out. So, make sure you pick one which you feel looks good and will suit your home.
How we tested
Our guide for the best desks were based on extensive, consumer report research and online reviews. We rated things like durability, materials and how sturdy each desk was. In addition, we looked at how user-friendly and ergonomic it was to use, design, size and notable features such as storage space.
Where is the best place to put a desk?
The ideal place to put a desk should be close to a natural light source, such as a window. If you find looking out of a window too distracting, you can place your desk perpendicular to it. Natural lighting also helps to encourage productivity, and make the space airy.