Best Computer Desks

Updated May 2021
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Pros
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How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

64 Models Considered
20 Hours Researched
3 Experts Interviewed
96 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best computer desks

Whether you're checking your emails, watching funny YouTube videos, or getting on with your day's work, you'll be much more comfortable doing so from a good computer desk.

But what type of computer desk is right for you? It can be tough to select the best computer desk with so many options available, particularly if you've never before given more than a fleeting thought to different varieties and their properties.

At BestReviews, we're here to help you take control of important purchasing decisions. We've done extensive product research, gathered information from customers who use these products every day, and spoken with our expert consultant, Matt. The result? A thorough review that will aid you in selecting your ideal computer desk. Read on for our full guide to learn all you need to know about computer desks, and you'll soon be typing away in comfort and style.

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An at-home computer desk is a must for people who work from home, but it can also be used for non-computer-related tasks, such as drawing or crafting projects.

Why buy a computer desk?

In this day and age, when most people use laptops, why should you get a dedicated computer desk, rather than simply curling up on your couch or in bed? Here are some of the benefits of using a computer desk.

  • Using a computer desk and a good desk chair at the correct height can help you avoid back pain or repetitive strain injury, especially if you use your computer for several hours each day.

  • Many computer desks give you plenty of storage space, and you can never have too much of that.

  • If you use your desk to work, you'll find yourself much more organized than you would be without one, as you'll know where everything is.

  • You can use your computer desk for other things when you're not using your computer, so it won't be wasted space.

  • If you use a desktop computer, a proper computer desk is a must-have.

  • A computer desk can also hold a printer, scanner, or other computer-related items.

Types of computer desks

Full-size computer desks

Full-size computer desks are standalone pieces of furniture that are fairly large.

Pros: Usually have plenty of storage space, enough room for a computer and printer, good for working comfortably.

Cons: Take up a lot of space, and high quality models may be costly.

Price: From about $50 for a basic model up to $5,000 for a designer executive desk — we recommend spending at least $100 to get a durable model.

Compact computer desks

Compact computer desks are similar to full-size models, but smaller.

Pros: Small footprint so don't take up too much room if you're pressed for space. Most still have some storage, and you can find models that focus on upward storage so it doesn't expand the footprint of the desk.

Cons: Less storage than full-size models, not ideal for people who need a desk to work from.

Price: Starting at around $30, up to $300. You can find simple, yet durable, models from around $50.

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Did you know?
Pull out keyboard trays can help save space on compact computer desks.
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Wall-mounted computer desks

Wall-mounted computer desks attach to the wall, giving you a little cubby to work from without taking up floor space.

Pros: Ideal for homes where floor space is at a premium, can be placed at any height to suit the user, and often look more attractive than standard computer desks.

Cons: Require specialist tools to install and can't easily be adjusted once in place. Also, they don’t offer much working space.

Price: Around $60 to $200.

Considerations for selecting a computer desk

Size and weight

Think about the dimensions of any computer desks you're considering and make sure they'll fit into the space you have available.

Take measurements, if necessary, to avoid disappointment once the desk arrives.

Also, consider how much surface space you'll need. If you work from your desk and need plenty of room for your non-electronics, or space for drafting, you'll need a larger desk than someone who'll simply be using it recreationally.

Material

You can find computer desks in a range of materials. Common choices include laminate, real wood, metal, and glass.

Some materials cost more than others. For instance, a real wood desk is likely to cost at least twice as much as a similar desk made from laminate, but it will be more durable and long-lasting.

Storage space

How much storage do you need?

Do you require a number of drawers and cubby holes, or are you fine with a plain desk, without much storage?

Bear in mind that you need to assemble most computer desks yourself, so those with lots of drawers will be more difficult to construct than a simple desk without any storage.

Style

Some computer desks have a classic style — looking like an antique — whereas others are slick and modern in appearance.

Think about the style of the room in which you'll be placing your desk and choose accordingly.

You might like an ultra-modern desk, but if the room it would be going in is filled with quaint vintage decor, it will look out of place.

Shape

Straight rectangular desks are by far the most common type, but you can find computer desks in a range of shapes.

Other common choices include U-shaped desks and L-shaped corner desks. These are ideal for people who need a lot of room on their computer desk. It makes more sense than having a very long straight desk, as U- and L-shaped models use space more effectively and also make it easier for the user to reach all parts of their desk.

You can also find more unusual shapes, such as bow desks, P-desks, and bullet desks.

Tips

  • If you spend a lot of time on your PC, consider buying an ergonomic computer desk that can be adjusted to suit your height, to help avoid back pain, joint problems, and repetitive strain injuries.

  • Look for computer desks with grommet holes, which allow you to pull any wires through from underneath your desk, without them tangling or trailing all over the place and looking messy.

  • Some computer desks come with a hutch on top of the desk for extra storage.

  • If you're not much of a DIY person, consider buying a fully-assembled computer desk or paying a handyman to assemble it for you. It may be worth the extra money in the long run, as a properly assembled desk will last longer.

  • If you get a standalone computer desk, consider placing furniture sliders under the pieces that will touch the floor in order to avoid scratching.

  • If space is at a premium, consider a wall-mounted or compact computer desk.

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It's getting more common for heavy computer users to opt for adjustable/ergonomic desks. Look for options that can reduce strain on your back and wrists in particular by matching your body height when sitting.

FAQ

Q. If I use a desktop computer, where on the desk do I put the computer?

A. Desktop users have a range of options as to where they position their computer. Of course, the monitors sits on top of the desk, but the computer itself doesn't have to, unless you want it up there. Some computer desks have a shelf or compartment where you can put the computer, but this is becoming less common with the prevalence of laptops, so be sure to check your chosen desk has one, if it's an important feature for you. Otherwise, you can simply set the computer on the floor under the desk and run the lead to the monitor up the back or through the grommet hole.

Q. Do I need any special tools to assemble my computer desk?

A. Most computer desks should come with any tools required for assembly. However, you'll probably need an electric drill with a masonry drill bit in order to attach a wall-mounted desk to the wall.

Q. Which computer desk materials are the most durable?

A. If you're looking for a durable desk and you have a large budget, a solid wood option could last a lifetime. Metal computer desks are also very durable, but not everybody likes the look of them. If you want a wood-effect desk, wood veneer is a good option — it's more durable than laminate but less expensive than solid wood.

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