The Best Computer Desks of 2021

Improve your workflow while reducing clutter with one of the best computer desks.

By Tom Scalisi | Updated Oct 29, 2021 6:53 PM

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The Best Computer Desk Option

Photo: amazon.com

Your computer desk is a place of productivity. From finishing work reports to hard-core gaming, school work, or hosting a 10-person Zoom meeting, you need a home office space that works for you, while you work in it.

Choosing the best computer desk just got a little easier with this guide. You’ll learn about the essential factors and features, while also shopping through some of the top models available.

  1. BEST OVERALL: Brayden Studio Thaxted Desk
  2. BEST VALUE: Tribesigns Computer Desk with Hutch
  3. BEST LUXURY: Crate&Barrel Kendall Walnut Desk
  4. BEST FOLDING: Coavas Writing Computer Desk
  5. BEST SMALL: Coleshome Computer Desk
  6. BEST L-SHAPE: Red Barrel Studio L-Shape Desk
  7. BEST FLOATING: Haotian Workstation Computer Desk
  8. BEST STANDING: SHW Electric Height Adjustable Computer Desk
The Best Computer Desk Option

Photo: amazon.com

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Computer Desk

You’re already familiar with computer desks, no doubt. But there are a few things to keep in mind before shopping for one to match your work or gaming needs. It’s important to find the right size, the best shape, and a proper level of durability for your needs.

Desk Type

Computer desks are just one type of desk to consider for a home office. While you may want a desk for your computer, you may not want a standard computer desk.

  • Computer desks provide a surface for a computer. Standard computer desks are minimalist, with enough space for a computer, laptop, and monitor(s), depending on size. Some models include a keyboard tray, but that’s the extent of the storage they offer.
  • Writing desks are another basic design that offers minimal storage. These desks include one or more drawers below the desk surface or along its side. These desks typically don’t provide much of a work surface, so they’re best for a laptop or smaller desktop computer.
  • Executive desks provide ample workspace for multiple computer monitors, notebooks, and ledgers. The popular L-shape orientation allows for placement against a wall or as a room divider. Some executive desks include a matching hutch for additional storage without the requirement of extra floor space.
  • Corner desks facilitate smart utilization of corner spaces while providing a surprisingly large work area. Many come with tabletop shelving, lower storage compartments, and drawers to maximize space.
  • Folding desks make a versatile option when you need to create a mobile or non-permanent workspace. These desks are lightweight yet durable enough to stand up to the demands of repeated storage. Plus, most folding desk models require little to no assembly.
  • Floating desks provide another space-saving solution for work-from-homers. These wall-mounted desks include a work surface and storage shelving or drawers. A nice option for a laptop and a few notebooks, floating desks do have weight limits.
  • Standing desks allow users to move between sitting and standing as they work. These adjustable desks help improve posture and support healthy blood flow to your lower extremities. Sit/stand desks come with either a hand crank or electronic controls.

Size and Weight Capacity

Overall size of a computer desk, including height, factors into a desk’s suitability for your space and work style. A desk needs to be large enough for users to work comfortably but small enough to keep the workspace functional and aesthetically appealing. Taking measurements of the room will help narrow down dimensions that work for the space.

Whether you prefer to work sitting or standing will determine a suitable desk height. If you prefer to sit, make sure the desk accommodates a comfortable office chair. On the other hand, those looking for a standing or sit/stand desk should focus on a height or range of adjustability that suits their own height. With these types of desks, the work surface should be around elbow height.

Also, choose a desk with a weight rating that suits your needs. It’s not just the weight of your laptop that you need to consider. If you think back to your textbooks in school, you’ll remember how quickly their weight added up. Now add a monitor, a desktop tower, and your gaming accessories, and you might find it adds up to a significant number of pounds.

Material

Office desks are designed using a variety of materials. These are the most common:

  • Wood products like solid wood and plywood are popular for computer desks, but they tend to be expensive. You’re likely to find these in custom desks built by a furniture maker. They look classy, but are also cumbersome.
  • MDF and particle board desks are much less expensive to produce. Manufacturers cover them in laminates, so they don’t feel nearly as luxurious as real wood. They’re usually lightweight, but not as durable.
  • Metal computer desks (whether all-metal or with metal components) are a popular middle ground. If designed well, these desks are sturdy and long-lasting, yet usually cost and weigh less than solid wood.

Aesthetic

A piece of furniture contributes to the overall look and feel of the room it inhabits, and computer desks are no exception. Naturally, style preferences vary, as does the preferred atmosphere of a workspace. To some people, an ornately carved, bohemian-style desk could act as a beautiful design statement and liven up the room. Others may want a minimalist desk that draws as little attention as possible.

If you want the desk to blend in with its surroundings, opt for a neutral finish, ideally one that matches the other furniture in the room. A simple metal computer desk is great for creating a minimalist, utilitarian space. These desks match well with modern and industrial-style decor. On the other hand, a wooden desk can add a warm and rustic or country look to the space, depending on the design. Let your style guide you and picture what the desk will look like in the intended room.

Additional Features

Office desks have come a long way. Although some people prefer the aesthetic of a simple tabletop with legs, others place extra features high on the priority list. Think about which features matter most to you. Besides storage options, computer desks may include:

  • Cable management (typically holes at the back of the desk) keeps cords and chargers organized and away from the workspace.
  • Ledges built into a desk help keep items from slipping off the work surface.
  • Adjustable feet provide an even workspace on uneven flooring.
  • Rolling casters facilitate moving a desk around the workspace.

Our Top Picks

These top-quality computer desks can help streamline your workflow and create the ideal home office space.

Best Overall

The Best Computer Desk Option: Brayden Studio Thaxted Desk
Photo: wayfair.com

Those looking for a modern computer desk that doesn’t look like all the rest should check out the Brayden Studio Thaxted Desk. This desk measures 55 inches long, 23.5 inches deep, and 29.5 inches tall, which provides plenty of space for a monitor or two. Two built-in drawers and a cabinet, each with soft-close drawer slides, and a slide-out keyboard tray offer ample space and storage.

The Thaxted desk comes in two colors, cappuccino (dark brown) and white, each with modern silver metal hardware and feet. A downside of this desk is a relatively low weight capacity of 66 pounds.

Product Specs

  • Size: 55 by 23.5 by 29.5 inches
  • Type: Computer desk
  • Material: Manufactured wood

Pros

  • Handsome modern aesthetic
  • Built-in storage cabinets
  • Soft-close drawers

Cons

  • Relatively low weight capacity (66 pounds)

Best Value

The Best Computer Desk Option: Tribesigns Computer Desk with Hutch
Photo: amazon.com

Productivity and progress don’t require an expensive desk. Tribesigns’ computer desk with hutch offers a sturdy work surface and built-in storage at a low price. This model is 47.2 inches wide and 23.6 inches deep, providing a reasonable amount of work surface from a relatively compact footprint.

Two open shelves, one above divided into three sections and one underneath, offer storage the full length of the desk. A manufactured wood desktop and metal legs make this desk both affordable and durable.

Product Specs

  • Size: 47.2 inches by 23.6 inches
  • Type: Computer desk
  • Material: Manufactured wood and metal

Pros

  • Two full-length open shelves
  • Compact design
  • Durable metal legs

Cons

  • Overhead bookshelf may limit monitor size

Best Luxury

The Best Computer Desk Option: Crate&Barrel Kendall Walnut Desk
Photo: crateandbarrel.com

Those looking for something a bit more high-end may love the Kendall desk from Crate&Barrel. This mid-century style executive desk is hand-made from solid wood and plywood veneers topped with an oil finish and wax topcoat for a luxurious look and feel.

Crate&Barrel’s Kendall offers a massive work surface as well. It measures 65 inches wide, 29 inches deep, and 30.25 inches tall, allowing for multiple monitors, desk blotters, decor, and other office items. It also features 4 built-in drawers for plenty of storage, each with full-extension ball-bearing glides. Each drawer has a matte black finish drawer pull as well.

Product Specs

  • Size: 65 by 29 by 30.25 inches
  • Type: Executive desk
  • Material: Solid wood and plywood

Pros

  • 100 percent real walnut
  • Spacious work surface
  • Full-extension ball-bearing drawer glides

Cons

  • Expensive

Best Folding

The Best Computer Desk Option: Coavas Writing Computer Desk
Photo: amazon.com

If you want to keep your workspace neat and minimalist, the Coavas desk is worth considering. Its hinged legs make for an incredibly easy setup. Simply swing the legs into place and clip the rear support for a desk that can hold up to 200 pounds of equipment and supplies.

The Coavas desk measures 39.5 inches wide, 19.75 inches deep, and 28.75 inches high, which makes it an excellent solution for college dorms or other small spaces where less is more. Its structure consists of a metal frame and an MDF desktop with a faux wood laminate.

Note that this is a writing-style desk, so it might be too small for multiple monitors or electronics. It does not include any built-in shelves or pull-out drawers.

Product Specs

  • Size: 39.5 by 19.75 b 28.5 inches
  • Type: Folding writing desk
  • Material: Metal and engineered wood

Pros

  • Affordable price point
  • Compact footprint
  • Easy to fold down
  • 200-pound weight capacity

Cons

  • Writing desk may be too small for multiple monitors or storage

Best Small

The Best Computer Desk Option: Coleshome Computer Desk
Photo: amazon.com

Coleshome’s computer desk doesn’t offer many conveniences or much storage, but it offers an excellent value at its price point. While there are few frills, the Coleshome has the durability of a powder-coated steel frame and a waterproof engineered wood work surface.

The compact desk measures 39 inches long, 20 inches wide, and 29 inches high, which provides ample workspace without taking up too much space. This customizable minimalist computer desk comes in a variety of finishes.

Product Specs

  • Size: 39 by 20 by 29 inches
  • Type: Writing desk
  • Materials: Engineered wood and metal

Pros

  • Affordable price point
  • Compact design for small spaces
  • Available in multiple colors

Cons

  • No drawers, shelves, or storage

Best L-Shape

The Best Computer Desk Option: Red Barrel Studio L-Shape Desk
Photo: wayfair.com

Make the most of a spacious office with this L-shaped desk by Red Barrel Studio. This desk features a massive L-shaped design that measures 60 inches long on both sides of L shape, 23.5 inches deep, and just under 30 inches tall, providing plenty of room for monitors, computers, an office phone, decor, and more.

Red Barrel Studio’s desk features one cabinet and a pull-out drawer with ball-bearing glides. Both top and base are made of manufactured wood, which helps keep the overall cost down and provides a bit of stability in changing environmental conditions. Keep in mind, however, that this desk requires a good bit of space.

Product Specs

  • Size: 60 by 23.5 by approx. 30 inches
  • Type: L-shaped
  • Material: Manufactured wood

Pros

  • Sizeable work surface
  • Built-in storage
  • Versatile orientation

Cons

  • May be too big for certain spaces

Best Floating

The Best Computer Desk Option: Haotian Workstation Computer Desk
Photo: amazon.com

Small apartments, offices, or other tight spaces that may double as offices could benefit from a space-saving floating desk like this model from Haotian. This workstation computer desk measures over 32 inches wide, 23.5 inches tall, and 15.25 inches deep, providing just enough space for a laptop, mouse, and other necessities.

Haotian Workstation’s Computer Desk features 8 shelf spaces for books, decor, notepads, and other items. Built-in cable management keeps the workspace neat and tidy, regardless of the room it occupies. While it only has a 66-pound weight capacity, that should be enough for most of the items that can fit on it.

Product Specs

  • Size: 32 by 23.5 by 15.25 inches
  • Type: Floating
  • Material: Manufactured wood

Pros

  • Cable management
  • Enough space for a laptop and other necessities
  • Built-in storage

Cons

  • Relatively low weight capacity (66 pounds)

Best Standing

The Best Computer Desk Option: SHW Electric Height Adjustable Computer Desk
Photo: amazon.com

In recent years, the importance of ergonomics and the health risks of prolonged sitting have spurred a movement toward standing while you work. SHW’s adjustable standing desk addresses these concerns. A sizable 47.25-by-24-inch workspace adjusts from 28 inches to 46 inches in height, which allows the user to alternate between sitting and standing throughout the workday.

Users may program the desk with up to four preset heights, which makes it ideal for multiple users. Beware: This desk has a maximum weight capacity of 110 pounds: perfect for a laptop and light equipment but not necessarily suited to a stack of heavy textbooks.

Product Specs

  • Size: 47.25 by 24 by 28 to 46 inches
  • Style: Sit/stand
  • Materials: Metal and manufactured wood

Pros

  • Height adjusts for sitting and standing
  • Electric motor for easy adjustment
  • Large work surface

Cons

  • Not particularly attractive

Our Verdict

Anyone looking for a desk with a modern design and quality hardware will enjoy the Brayden Studio Thaxted computer desk. But, office dwellers who are looking for a more high-end approach with a mid-century twist should give the Crate&Barrel Kendall desk a try.

How We Chose the Best Computer Desks

There is more to choosing the best computer desk than simply pulling links from the Internet. We put quite a bit of thought and research into each product to ensure we had something to offer everyone. First, we looked for desks that met our shopping considerations. We compared weight capacities, materials, looks, and additional features to ensure that products were top-notch.

We wanted representation from as many styles as we could find. We looked at each of the best in the given style and compared materials, price, and the features outlined in this article. Finally, after extensive product research, we assigned each an award so shoppers could find the best computer desk for their needs.

FAQs

Q: Can a writing desk hold a computer?

Writing desks can handle the weight of a computer, but they might not have the space for a desktop model. These desks are best suited to laptops.

Q: Is an L-shaped desk the same as a corner desk?

L-shaped desks aren’t necessarily designed for corners, but they serve the purpose. Corner desks are typically shaped like triangles to tuck into the corner and make the most of the space in the room. L-shapes, typically larger than corner desks, take up more space and can sit in corners or serve as room dividers.

Q: What wood is best for a computer desk?

For most computer desks, simple hardwoods like oak and maple are fine. However, luxurious executive desks are often made from mahogany, cherry, and walnut.

Q: What should I look for when buying a desk?

Before buying a desk, be sure it has all the features you might need. Some things you might need are storage, cable management, adjustable height, plenty of workspace, and more.

Q: What is the perfect height for a computer desk?

The ideal height for a computer desk is between 28 and 30 inches. This depends on your height and proportions, but desks in this range are the most ergonomic.