Whether you need a serious space to work from home, a quiet spot to pay bills, or an oasis to get the creative juices flowing, the right home desk is the key to being better organized and more productive. Designed specifically for residential spaces, today’s desks add both function and aesthetical appeal to any room with innovative storage options, customizable designs and an endless array of inviting finishes from classic to contemporary.
Best Home Desks Buyers Guide
No matter what your style, there’s a desk solution for you, but no one model is right for everyone. Before investing, consider these important questions first:
- What’s your budget for a desk?
- Where does it need to fit?
- Do you need a large surface area?
- Does the desk need to accommodate electronics?
- Are you hoping for lots of drawer space?
- Do you need a desk that can be moved from room to room?
- How important is the style, color and finish?
For any desk to be a true work space solution, it needs to blend in seamlessly with your lifestyle. If you’re ready to buy, but aren’t sure where to begin your search, let’s look at what’s most important in a home desk.
Chances are you’ve measured the space you want to put your new desk in, but it’s also critical to look at the entire space from the front door to its final resting place. Will the largest piece fit through every narrow door, hallway and staircase in your home? When it’s assembled, will there be enough space behind it for a comfortable chair, and will the desk’s doors and drawers be able to open fully without hitting walls or other furniture?
When evaluating the space for your desk, it’s important to look at it from all angles, and don’t forget to consider height. Look carefully at the desk’s dimensions when fully assembled and make sure that top-mounted shelves won’t interfere with your access to a window or light switch.
Choosing the right desk shape is the key to maximizing floor space. Traditional rectangular desks are the most common, but corner styles, wall-mounted units, and versatile L-shaped models are excellent alternatives for fitting larger desks into less space.
L-shaped desks are particularly popular because they can fit into virtually any corner, utilizing space that is often unused. More importantly, their flexible, left or right orientation offers more potential placement options and makes them comfortable for both right- and left-handed users.
Popular desk materials include wood, laminates, metal and glass. Each has its distinct pros and cons.
Wood is a timeless choice offering both durability and an infinite array of finishes. The clearest advantage to wood is that if it’s marred, or your décor changes, it can be refinished. With the exception of select styles, however, wood desks are heavier and come fully built, making it a challenge to get them through small or narrow spaces.
Laminates are a combination of a thin, but durable top layer bonded to MDF, or medium-density fiberboard. Desks typically come in pieces for the buyer to assemble, but they’re budget-friendly, require no maintenance and come in a variety of wood-like finishes. The downside is that because the surface layer is thin, if it’s damaged, it’s tough to repair.
A popular new option for desks is tempered glass or MDF surface panels that fit over simple metal frame. The look is sleek and the lightweight, modular design is easy to assemble and disassemble, making it a cinch to move it to another space if your needs change. The obvious disadvantage is that this style of desk has no interior storage.
The type of materials and general construction is what determines the overall feel of a desk. Wood and laminate are heavy, help dampen sound and look like traditional furniture. For a bedroom or living area, both come in enough finishes to match existing pieces.
Glass and metal desks have more of an industrial appeal, but are generic enough to look good in most settings. While they may seem a little out of place in certain décors, their open frames and see-through tops are ideal for making small spaces look larger than they are —but don’t depend on them mitigate noise.
Ultimately, function is what a desk is all about, and it’s unlikely that any single feature will determine which one is right for you. To help you get a sense of the big picture, here’s a snapshot of ten different models to help you compare and contrast the many important features that make a home office desk great.
Best Home Desks Reviews
1. GreenForest L-Shape Corner Computer Office Desk
This L-shaped desk is a perfect example of how materials can be mixed to provide the right blend of form and function. This model starts with a lightweight, but rugged metal frame that when topped with MDF panels in your choice of black or wood finishes, complements any decor. Measuring 58 x 44 x 29 inches and weighting only 37 pounds, it’s a breeze to move and can be assembled in minutes.
Stand-out features include substantial crossbar supports for stability and adjustable feet to customize the height. For gamers and students, this desk offers tons of surface space for multiple monitors or stacks of books. The only caution is that while the MDF panels look like wood, they’re not as hardwearing and the corners are vulnerable to damage during shipping.
2. Z-Line Belaire Glass L-Shaped Computer Desk
If you need maximum working space out of a desk with a small footprint, consider this Belaire computer desk from Z-line. Not only does it offer the flexibility of a standard L-shaped desk, it’s appointed with both a slide-out keyboard tray and a top-mounted shelf for a monitor or other peripheral devices.
The reinforced black steel frame is fully powder-coated for durability and the clear glass top is tempered for safety. At 60 x 24 x 37 inches assembled, it’s a good candidate for small spaces. The only caution is that at nearly 100 pounds, this desk is no lightweight to assemble alone.
3. Monarch Specialties Hollow-Core Left or Right Facing Corner Desk
For a real furniture look, this hybrid L-shaped desk is highly versatile and offers significant enclosed storage space. It’s a little different than similar desks in that the entire top surface isn’t level because the “L” portion of the desk is really a separate shelf unit, but the addition of this bookcase-style storage is a stylish and functional compromise.
With four color choices including white and black, this desk looks at home anywhere and its three full drawers will help keep supplies organized and secure. The biggest drawback is that the largest of the three looks like it should hold vertical files, but it doesn’t. Still, it offers a lot of storage space for its meager 60 x 47 x 30 inch footprint.
4. Coaster Barritt Industrial Antique Nutmeg Writing Desk
The look of this antique-meets-industrial desk is both traditional and contemporary. With one of the smallest footprints on the list at roughly 24 x 47 x 30 inches, it will fit in spaces other desks may not. The surface is large enough for a laptop or small desktop computer and its three drawers keep clutter under control. Coaster also makes shelves and rolling file cabinets to match.
The only complaints about this desk concern the surface. It’s a thin laminate over MDF and some users have noticed it scratches easily. With additional surface protection, however, reviews have been exceptionally positive.
5. The Office Oasis Computer Desk w/Cable Organizer
If simple is your style, this 55-inch table desk comes in six pieces and can be put together faster than you can brew a pot of coffee. Available in three colors, it’s essentially a heavy-duty tubular steel frame with a MDF top that’s protected by a waterproof coating. At 55 x 24 x 31 inches, the working surface is large, but the footprint is a space saver.
Several things set this substantial desk apart. First, it has an extended weight capacity of 400 pounds, so there’s no danger of heavy computer components causing the top to sag or warp. Second, it comes with a cord tray that helps you tuck away piles of messy cords where they’re accessible, but out of sight. Finally, in a world where most complaints about home office desks relate to shipping damage, The Office Oasis offers a 100% damage-free warranty.
6. Sauder 418270 L-Desk in Salt Oak
This L-shaped desk is made of MDF that’s been well-appointed with a durable, but easy to clean laminate finish. It’s big at roughly 69 x 69 x 32 inches, but the spacious work surface and user-friendly features like a CPU cabinet, roller-set drawers and hanging file capacity make it a solid choice for a comprehensive home office.
Unlike similar desks, the back is finished, so it’s attractive from any angle. Each cabinet has precut holes for peripheral cords, and the central drawer that holds the essentials you need most can be installed on either the right or left for comfort. A top rail around the desktop looks refined and keeps items from slipping off.
The sole issue with this desk is that the price is comparable to real wood desks which for some, seem like a better investment, but functionally speaking, if you need a large desk — especially one that’s delivered in a box — this one might be for you.
7. SHW L-Shaped Home Office Corner Desk
For small spaces, this L-shaped desk is a budget-friendly pick. The 19 x 51 x 29 inches size works well in small spaces and the metal frame can be topped with your choice of tempered glass or wood-finish MDF panels. For comfort, SHW has added a lower crossbar to the frame to act as foot rest.
At just 32 pounds, this desk is easy for a single person to move and assemble, but one caveat is the 25-pound weight limit. It can handle a computer, a few books, and the usual home office accessories, but it’s limited to light-duty use only.
8. Kings Brand Furniture Contemporary Style Home & Office Desk
For a modern look in a small space, this 46 x 22 x 31 inch desk features a chrome-finished x-frame with a glossy, water-resistant black or white finished top. It’s small, but still features a center slide-out for a keyboard and a drawer on each side for essentials.
The frame is metal and the top is wood, so it’s a little heavier than similar-sized desks, but that contributes to its overall stability. The majority of users like the chic look of this desk and report no performance issues, but several buyers did report damage during shipping.
9. Sauder 418646 Executive Desk in Milled Cherry
For meeting with clients in a home office, this executive desk has both traditional appeal and tech-friendly features. A flip down panel that looks like a drawer front conceals a sliding keyboard drawer, while low-profile grommet holes keep device cords accessible, but tucked away.
At 65 x 30 x 30.5 inches and weighing 185 pounds, it’s substantial, but still compact enough for most spaces and features the most interior storage of any model on the list. The sole drawback is that it’s not real wood, but users have complimented its durability.
10. Ashley Furniture Signature Design Cross Island Large Office Desk
This mission-style desk is made of wood covered with a thick, well-crafted veneer. The desk alone is a space-saver at 60 x 28 x 30 inches, but it offers no storage save a sliding keyboard drawer. Ashley does offers matching pieces including a full hutch and rolling file cabinet, but check the costs before committing. It’s not cheap.
Aesthetically, the desk is beautiful and it comes closest to the look of boutique furniture, but like others, it’s been subject to shipping damage and a few minor quality control complaints. As with most things, it’s always best to contact the seller in advance to clarify the return policy.
Whether you work at home or just want to make everyday tasks easier, it’s worth investing in a desk with the look and features that fit your busy lifestyle. Start with these ten choices, but do your homework and measure your space carefully. Choosing the right desk is the cornerstone of a well-organized, functional, and attractive home office.