Its expertly crafted materials are engineered for durability and stability. Offers a file cabinet drawer and hutch with extra cubby storage.
Weighs close to 400 pounds and is difficult to move after construction.
Provides an astounding 67 inches of workspace which can accommodate up to four monitors.
Does not have the bells and whistles of some of the more expensive desks.
Features under-the-desk keyboard storage and abundant cubicle shelving for books, office equipment, and knickknacks.
At 35.5 inches, its work surface is on the smaller end, but its superior vertical storage capacity compensates nicely for this.
Earns our praise for its attractive design and sturdy construction.
Must go in a corner because of its unfinished back.
We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.
We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.
Creating an effective home office starts with the right desk. A good desk fits the available space in your home and has the surface area you need to keep your equipment and supplies organized.
But desks come in all shapes, sizes, and finishes. It can be hard to know where to begin your search. With the right tools and some well-researched suggestions, we can help you find a desk that meets your needs.
We’ve put together this home office desk shopping guide to give you an idea of what’s available as well the top features you should consider. When you’re ready to shop, be sure to check out our five recommendations.
Before you begin shopping for a new home office desk, it helps to have an idea what you’ll be looking at. The market offers many different types of home office desks, including the following.
These space-saving desks can tuck nicely into a corner. They usually offer some extra storage space and a good amount of surface area.
To assemble most desks, you’ll need a screwdriver and hammer. Some manufacturers do not recommend using power tools for assembly because they can drive screws too far into the wood.
These large, expansive desks are meant to be the focal point of the room.
They have impressive surface area and storage space with enough room for files, office supplies, and a computer tower.
Designs range from ornate and decorative to simple and streamlined.
Executive desks come as standalone pieces or as part of a suite.
The RTA L-Shape home office desk comes with a keyboard tray and detachable rolling CPU cart. The 67-inch L-shaped work area is ideal for people who operate multiple monitors at one time; up to four monitors can be used at once. The elevated center shelf on this desk is a perfect storage area for small accessories.
The open, simple work area of a writing desk allows it to perfectly complement minimalist décor. Writing desks may have one or two drawers, but many designs have none. This type of desk has one function, which is to provide you a place to write.
A computer desk has functionality at its base. There is more surface area to spread out monitors, keyboards, printers, and other office equipment. Some computer desks have drawers while others may only have a keyboard tray. Many come in an L-shaped configuration that fits nicely into a corner.
A keyboard tray isn’t a necessity, but it can clear space on the desktop. Even if you only use a laptop, you might want to consider a desk with a keyboard tray in case you ever want to use a wireless keyboard.
Credenza desks are popular because they are usually beautiful yet multifunctional. This type of desk combines a work desk with the display area of a credenza. Credenza desks are big and utilize vertical space.
Roll-top desks have lots of storage space and cubbies for stashing office supplies and keeping papers sorted. If you’re using a computer, however, a roll-top desk works best with a laptop. That’s because the roll-top leaves little space for a monitor, and there is not enough room for a computer tower underneath it.
Desks come in large boxes. Many sellers offer delivery free of charge. Some also offer assembly for a small fee.
Elegant but smaller than roll-top desks, secretary desks are more ornate, can be closed, and offer a little extra storage space. They work with a laptop but don’t have adequate space for a computer tower or monitor.
Standing desks are similar in design to writing desks, except they are tall enough that you can stand while you work. Some standing desks offer a drawer for storage space.
Some high-end office desks come with felt-lined drawers with drawer organizers to keep office supplies separated. If a top-of-the-line executive desk is out of your price range, drawer organizers could also be purchased separately.
The desktop is your work surface, so it’s important that you like the material with which it’s made. The material needs to be durable enough to withstand daily use.
Popular desktop materials include the following.
A glass desktop exudes a modern look and makes the desk appear lighter in weight. It usually sits atop wood or metal legs. Glass desktops are easy to clean, and many are removable for deep cleaning.
A credenza desk or a desk with a hutch makes use of vertical space. This extra storage allows you to keep books, reference materials, and office supplies organized.
Warm and inviting, it’s hard to beat the classic look of a wood desktop. And with wood, you get a lot of color and finish options.
For example, if you’re trying to blend your home office furniture with another area of your home, it’s fairly easy to find a type of wood that looks good with what you already have.
Wood is a durable desktop material, though softer woods may show scratches, dents, and marks faster than harder woods.
Most desks should be assembled in the room where they will reside. Be sure you have all the tools necessary to put the desk together before you begin assembly.
Laminate desktops can look somewhat like wood, but they also look a bit like plastic. However, a laminate desktop is usually a durable desktop, and you don’t have to worry about stains, scratches, or dents.
Metal desktops are built to last. This material resists scrapes and stains, but it may be prone to dents. It’s easy to keep a metal desktop clean. You’ll often see a metal desktop paired with a nice-looking wood or metal frame.
Desks made of all wood or all metal have the best construction and durability. Particleboard, MDF, and other less-durable materials may not hold up over time.
Desktop material is important, but it’s not the only thing to consider when shopping for a new home office desk. Desks come in all sizes, and of course people use them for all sorts of purposes. The space you have available and how you plan to use the desk helps determine the type and size of desk you’ll need.
If you need a lot of surface area but want something that doesn’t look like it takes up the whole room, a computer desk with a glass top might be the right fit for you.
If you’re running a home-based business, you’ll likely need a desk that accommodate a filing cabinet, an area for your printer and other devices, and storage space for your office supplies.
If your office is only used as an office, the desk may be the main feature. In that case, a large desk makes sense as the focal point of the room. If you have a small corner or maybe a wall in the kitchen, a corner or credenza desk would work better. Measure the length, height, and depth of the available space to be sure you get a desk of the right size.
Regardless of why you need the desk, you should assess what you want to store in it before buying it. Some people might want to be able to hide a computer tower in a cabinet. Others may care more about tucking away a laptop than securing a large computer monitor.
Be sure to safely attach any hutches to the desktop and wall for greater stability.
For under $300, you’ll find basic writing, computer, and standing desks with laminate tops.
Desks in this price range are small and offer little extra storage. Most are basically a table with one drawer and/or a shelf.
The Bush Cabot L-Desk offers storage options galore. Highlights include a file cabinet drawer to accommodate legal and letter-sized files, six cube-shaped bookshelves, and a hutch with extra cubby storage. Stylish fluted glass doors adorn two of the desk's cabinet drawers. This model uses both closed and open storage for a modern, functional look.
In the $300 to $700 range are larger computer desks, many with an L-shape design that provides more storage.
Some come as part of a suite that may include a matching hutch, file drawer, or bookcase.
There are a few inexpensive executive, secretary, and roll-top desks at the top of this price range.
Desks with soft-close drawer slides prevent drawers from being slammed. They automatically slow down the drawer before it closes completely.
For $700 to $1,200, you’ll find solid wood and metal computer desks, executive desks, credenza desks, and roll-top desks. These desks offer extensive surface area and lots of storage space for office equipment and supplies. Some may come as part of a suite.
Desks that cost greater than $1,200 are typically ornate executive desks, some of which are in L-shaped configurations that come as part of an office suite. These large desks may have felt-lined drawers and/or intricate cosmetic designs. Prices for these desks can go well above $5,000.
Q. I don’t have much space for a home office; just a corner of my kitchen. I use a laptop and don’t need much storage space. What are some good desk options for me?
A. A small writing desk would fit nicely in the corner. Writing desks have a minimal appearance and fit well into modern design. You could also use a standing desk if you want to be able to come and go as you please. If you’d like a little storage space, a small computer desk with several drawers could also work.
Q. How much assembly do most desks require?
A. Most desks arrive in one or two large, flat boxes and include all hardware. You’ll have to put on the sides and top and assemble the drawers. In most cases, you’ll have to use your own tools.
The larger the desk, the longer assembly will take. A simple writing desk may take you as little as one hour while a large corner desk with a hutch may take four or more hours.
Q. I’ve seen some desks that have a wood-like appearance but aren’t actually made of wood. How durable are these desks?
A. Most desks that have a wood-like appearance but are not actually wood are made of an engineered wood product called medium-density fiberboard, or MDF. Not all MDF is of the same quality. High-grade MDF withstands temperature changes and high moisture levels better than solid wood. MDF of this quality rivals solid wood for durability, though you won’t get the beauty of the wood grain.
Low-grade MDF is sometimes used to make cheap desks. This material tends to warp and separate into layers if exposed to excessive moisture.