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The best desks in 2021

best desks in 2020
(Image credit: Phoenix)

Getting one of the best desks is essential if you're working from home, participating in online schooling, playing computer games or completing household-related tasks. A desk, paired with one of the best office chairs, is the centerpiece of a home office or workspace. 

The best desks come in many different styles and at many different price points, so there's an option out there for everybody, whether you want a cheap desk, an L-shaped desk or a wall-mounted desk. There are also the best gaming desks.

The materials, style and look also matter: You might want natural wood over manufactured wood, or a more industrial look that involves steel and iron. Shelves, drawers and cord management are all features that could make a desk more convenient and comfortable. Here is our guide to the best desks for your home office.

What are the best desks?

The best desks come in different categories, because people have such different needs and budgets. Our top choice, the Topsky Computer desk, is not only affordable but has a large table top and shelf to accommodate multiple items. Not to mention it sports a clean, sleek design and sturdy construction. 

For those on a reduced budget, the Coavas Industrial Folding Desk and IKEA Pahl Desk are both cheap yet well-made options. 

The Flexispot Standing Desk is perfect for workers who like to balance sitting and standing as they work. And while the HOMFA Bamboo Laptop Desk initially seems like it’s made just for sitting and using a computer, clever users have figured out it can also be used as a standing desk. 

For those who can afford to splurge, Crate and Barrel’s Phoenix Rustic Work Table is a desk and art piece all in one. Other desks targeted for specific lifestyles include IKEA’s Fredde Desk, which is ideal for gaming, and Red Barrel Studio’s Hillsdale L-Shape Desk, which seems designed for executives. 

The other items on our list of best desks are suitable for small spaces, such as Urban Oufitters’ Mid-Century Fold Out Desk, the Latitude Run Suave Floating Desk and Andover Mills’ Daniel Corner Desk. 

The best desks for the home office

(Image credit: Topsky)

1. Topsky Computer Desk

Best desk overall

Dimensions: 55" L x 23.6" W x 29.9” H
Weight: 62 lbs.
Materials: CARB P2 Class Board Product, reinforced steel
Max bearing weight: N/A
Reasons to buy
+Large surface space+Sturdy design
Reasons to avoid
-Made of particle board

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.”

(Image credit: Coavas)

2. Coavas Industrial Folding Desk

Best desk under $200

Dimensions: 39.4” L x 19.7” W x 28.3” H
Weight: 21 lbs.
Materials: MDF, metal
Max bearing weight: 200 lbs.
Reasons to buy
+Easy to assemble+Lightweight
Reasons to avoid
-Flimsy particle board surface

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.”

(Image credit: IKEA)

3. IKEA Pahl Desk

Best desk under $100

Dimensions: 37.75 ”L x 22.88” W x 23.25 to 28.48” H
Weight: 31 lbs.
Materials: Particle board, fiber board, steel
Max bearing weight: 110 lbs.
Reasons to buy
+Inexpensive+Easy to assemble
Reasons to avoid
-Only available at IKEA

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.”

(Image credit: Flexispot)

4. Flexispot Standing desk

Best standing desk

Dimensions: 48”L x 30”W x 28 to 47.6” H
Weight: 102.8 lbs.
Materials: Chip board, steel
Max bearing weight: 154 lbs.
Reasons to buy
+Quiet motor+Easy set-up
Reasons to avoid
-No memory settings

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.”

Best desks

(Image credit: Walker Edison)

5. Walker Edison Modern L-Shaped Tempered Glass Computer Desk

Best gaming desk

Dimensions: 51” L x 20” W x 29” H
Weight: 57 lbs.
Materials: Glass metal
Max bearing weight: N/A
Reasons to buy
+Large size+Sturdy, modern design
Reasons to avoid
-Keyboard tray may be too low

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."

(Image credit: Red Barrel Studio)

6. Red Barrel Studio Hillsdale L-Shape Desk

Best L-shape desk

Dimensions: 59.5” L x 59.5” L x 30.25” H
Weight: 142.5 lbs.
Materials: Laminate wood
Max bearing weight: 200 lbs.
Reasons to buy
+Upscale design+Spacious
Reasons to avoid
-Longer assembly time

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.”

(Image credit: Phoenix)

7. Phoenix Rustic Work Table

Best designer desk

Dimensions: 72”L x 30” W x 30” H
Weight: N/A
Materials: Reclaimed wood, steel, iron
Max bearing weight: N/A
Reasons to buy
+Beautiful design+Real wood
Reasons to avoid
-Very heavy

Combine a desk and decor into one with the gorgeous Phoenix Rustic Work Table, which is made from reclaimed Brazilian telephones and then hand-crafted in a small factory in Puebla, Mexico. The polished steel legs give the desk an industrial look, while the holes in the surface are both visually interesting and useful for cord management. The Phoenix is definitely a splurge item for shoppers who can afford a workspace that doubles as an art piece.

A reviewer on Crate and Barrel raved, “This desk is the centerpiece of our home office. Love it, love it, love it.” Another gushed, “This desk makes me happy all day long. The wood is beautiful. The holes add character. It feels so heavy and substantial. This is the nicest piece of furniture I own and everyday I smile with satisfaction about this phenomenal purchase.”

Best desks: Elle Decor

(Image credit: Elle Decor)

8. Elle Décor Dani Writing Desk

Best small desk

Dimensions: 47.75" L x 13 to 24.75” W x 30.25” H
Weight: N/A
Materials: Wood, metal
Max bearing weight: N/A
Reasons to buy
+Solid wood+Simple, clean design
Reasons to avoid
-Drawers can stick

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!"

(Image credit: Latitude Run)

9. Latitude Run Sauve Floating Desk

Best floating desk

Dimensions: 28” L x 22” W x 30'' H
Weight: N/A
Materials: Manufactured wood
Max bearing weight: 35 lbs.
Reasons to buy
+Great for small spaces+Chalkboard surface
Reasons to avoid
-Difficult to assemble

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.”

(Image credit: Andover Mills)

10. Andover Mills Daniel Corner Desk

Best corner desk

Dimensions: 42” L x 28” W x 30” H
Weight: 39 lbs.
Materials: Manufactured wood
Max bearing weight: 40 lbs.
Reasons to buy
+Great for small spaces+Simple design
Reasons to avoid
-Drawer can stick

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.”

(Image credit: HOMFA)

11. HOMFA Bamboo Laptop Desk

Best lap desk

Dimensions: 21.7' 'L x 13.8'' W x 11.4' 'H
Weight: 5.5 lbs.
Materials: Bamboo
Max bearing weight: N/A
Reasons to buy
+Adjustable and portable+Convertible to standing desk
Reasons to avoid
-Very small drawer

If you prefer working from home on the couch or from bed, there’s even a desk for you. The HOMFA Bamboo Laptop Desk is made of eco-friendly wood 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, “This lap desk is great for the price. I like the cutouts for the vents on my computer. It has a cute drawer to put things in and a spot for a cup.” Another noted, “It has taken the pressure of the laptop off my kneecaps and feels so much better.” Some reviewers have even found different ways of using the product: “I use this beautiful bamboo tray on my kitchen counter as part of my standing desk.”

How to choose the best desk for you

When looking for the best desk for your home office, start with a budget. There are a ton of options out there at every level, so narrowing it down to a price point will help in your search. 

Then, consider what you’ll use the desk for and how much you’ll use it. If you’re working from home every day, map out what electronics and items the desk will hold. If you require two monitors, a laptop and a desktop machine, you will need a desk with ample surface area and storage capacity. 

If you need the desk for just a laptop or for writing purposes, a simpler design may suffice. Also, the amount of space you have will be a major factor. If you live in a tiny studio apartment, a floating desk or fold-up desk could be ideal. 

Lastly, think about how the desk will look. This is a significant piece of furniture and you’ll have to live with seeing it on at least a semi-daily basis, so make sure it’s pleasing to your eye.

Kelly Woo

Kelly covers streaming media for Tom’s Guide, so basically, she watches TV for a living. Previously, she was a freelance entertainment writer for Yahoo, Vulture, TV Guide and other outlets. When she’s not watching TV and movies for work, she’s watching them for fun, seeing live music, writing songs, knitting and gardening.