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What Are the Best Writing Desks?
Yes, technically any surface — be it a dining table , kitchen counter, or mattress — can function as a writing desk. But for many people (and according to a Harvard productivity study), having separate spaces to work from and live in is crucial, especially within your own home. That means, even if your desk is in the kitchen , simply having one can make you more focused and efficient.
While most desks have surfaces you can write on, for the purposes of this story, we’ve defined writing desks as ones used by folks whose workdays consist mainly of writing, be that novels , articles, or just emails. Which means you won’t find architects’ , illustrators’ , or gamers’ favorite desks below, but you will find the favored desks of some cool writerly people we admire, from fiction writers to book critics to journalists who report on topics like crime, design, food, travel, politics, and more. Since most of their desks serve the same function (but contain slightly different features), we’ve grouped them by price to make it easier for you to find one that works for your budget.
Best under-$200 writing desks
We learned about this ingeniously designed coffee table from Jacob Gardenswartz, an associate White House producer for NBC News, who tells us it’s pop-up mechanism allows him to have a desk in front of the TV by day and a coffee table by night. Because his job requires him to “spend most of my days watching a whole lot of screens while I work,” he likes that he can have a desk in front of his TV without having, well, a desk in front of his TV. “I know you’re not supposed to work on the couch,” he adds, “but I’ve found this set up works great for me.”
Marko Gluhaich, an associate editor at literary journal Cabinet magazine, says, “When I’m working, I need enough space for my books, notes, and laptop.” While “no-frills,” he says this “cheap” table from Ikea offers ample desk “space so that I never feel cluttered.” He’s worked from it for more than two years and notes the minimal design means it’s simple to put together.
Also from Ikea’s Linnmon line, this table is what fashion designer Niyi Okuboyejo, the founder of Post Imperial, uses as his desk. Okuboyejo tells us that “I used to have a really heavy, wide table for my desk that came in handy for cutting and pattern-making,” but as he “transitioned into focusing more on the design and strategic aspects of my career,” he no longer needed the extra space to accommodate hands-on work like pattern making. Instead, he needed something simpler that would allow him to manage his business and inbox. “I wanted something much lighter and easier to assemble, and this did that for me.” That assembly, he notes, is basically one step: “Just place the tabletop on the legs.”
Rachel Charlene Lewis, a senior editor at Bitch Media who moonlights as a freelance writer, told us that while working from home, she and her girlfriend take turns using this desk from Target. “It’s a simple writing desk,” she says. “We like it because it has drawers, so you can hide away extra papers and the sort of nonsense that accumulates on your desk.” Lewis adds that this has the type of “nice, open surface” she looks for in a writing desk, which allows her to organize her supplies and décor in a way that lifts her mood. “I have a stack of old issues of Bitch in a magazine rack to the right of my Bluetooth keyboard and the little stand I keep my laptop on,” she says. “I also keep a speckled vase on the desk, which holds cheap, fresh flowers from the grocery store.”
Reporter and podcast host Sylvia Obell recently told us about her favorite desk, which she says suits her minimalist aesthetic while also “forcing” her to keep tidy because of its open-facing drawers. Obell adds that the marble is a perfect canvas for the “pops of color” she likes to decorate her desk with, “from a stack of books to a cute tray shaped as red lips.” Lastly, she says it’s “easy to assemble, which I appreciate as a single woman. All I had to do was screw on the legs.”
[ Editor’s note: This desk can be purchased now and usually ships in one to two months, according to the retailer. ]
Best under-$400 writing desks
Gabriela Ulloa , a writer and the assistant to Architectural Digest ’s editor-in-chief, told us she bought this writing desk as one of her “more practical” pandemic-induced purchases. “Equal parts adult and aesthetically pleasing, it motivates me to be productive and get all of my articles and Zoom calls done,” she says. When work ends, she’s been sitting at it to edit videos for her Instagram Live series “and, most importantly, to unsubscribe from all of the workout memberships I oh-so-naïvely joined in March.”
“Whether I’m conducting an interview or just staring off into space, I’m doing it at my ‘Big Ideas Factory,’ a.k.a. my yellow desk,” says Emma Orlow, a freelance design and food writer for T magazine, Bon Appétit , and our sister site Grub Street. While some “might find a neon work area distracting,” she told us that having a bright yellow desk actually helps her get into the headspace to pitch and write the kind of “cuckoo stories” she enjoys, “like a recent ode to collectors of tiny dollhouse food.” Orlow adds that she “dresses up the desk with accessories, such as a ’70s era Mad Libs set,” and that “clacking away on my computer while sitting at it makes me feel like a modern day Ms. Frizzle.” While her yellow desk is a vintage find, given that its color is the main reason she loves it, we think this bright-yellow alternative channels the spirit of her recommendation.
Reporter Ashley Southall, the New York Times ’s police bureau chief, says the desk she now works at began as a plan to “teach myself to sew .” As part of that plan, she bought an iron Singer sewing-machine base like this and a piece of glass from Ikea to go on top of it — but instead of using them to become a seamstress, she Frankensteined the perfect desk. “I live in a studio, so my furniture needs to take up less space and do double duty,” she explains. “Now my desk has almost six square feet of space for my laptop, notebooks, and story board,” but its most clever element can be found beneath the surface. “Underneath, I use the base’s sewing-machine pedal to stay alert and (I hope) prevent blood clots that can form in your legs when you’re sedentary and kill you.”
While travel journalist Sarah Khan normally spends most of her time writing on the road, the arrival of COVID-19 forced her to revert to doing her work from this desk that she bought “a few weeks before the pandemic hit.” She purchased the three-drawer desk thinking “it would make for a nice pop of color in my apartment,” telling us it hasn’t disappointed in that regard. “Honestly, it’s been pretty nice having it liven things up now that I’m spending way more time at it,” Khan says.
[ Editor’s note: This desk will be back in stock on October 4, according to the retailer, which can send any interested buyers an email notification when it returns. ]
Best splurge-worthy writing desks
New York Times book critic Parul Sehgal’s exact desk is also a one-off vintage find, but we were struck by how similar this CB2 desk is to hers (which you can see in this photo Sehgal sent us). Of her own desk, she says that “the marble is warm to the touch, and the surface is so narrow it affords no distraction; there’s no room to pile up books or papers.” (The CB2 desk appears similarly slender.) The marble-top design, Sehgal adds, makes sitting at it feel more like working from “a bar” than from a desk. In terms of décor, she adds “I leave it empty, save for a lamp, so when unused it has a bare, expectant look, which I like.”
Writer, critic, and novelist Adam Dalva describes himself as being a supine writer pre-pandemic (“couch on good days, bed on bad, laptop burning my thighs,” he says). But seeing as “the world is a wreck, and the lying-down Zoom angle turns out to be unflattering and disturbing, I decided to get this excellent desk.” It has been, Dalva declares, “A revelation!” He continues that this desk (like any desk) means “no more coffee stains on my sheets and another flat surface for my beloved detritus.” But he likes it for more than just these universal qualities. This desk, he says, is “easy to assemble — just an extended sequence of Allen wrenching” and has a truly unique look. “The work surface feels like it’s floating, and that the desk looks like it’s confidently striding back toward me whenever I approach.”
While he hasn’t sat at it much lately, Dalva says he bought this sturdy oak desk for his office at Rutgers University where he teaches creative writing. To maintain its pared-down appeal, the desk has a discreetly hidden power-cord compartment at the back to help keep it free of tangled cords and cables .
Author Elisabeth Thomas invested in this three-drawer desk right out of college, telling us it was the “first piece of grown-up furniture I bought with my own money when I started working.” Her reasoning for splurging? “A real writer works at a real desk, I thought.” You could say that paid off, because Thomas is definitely a “real” writer following the publication of her debut novel earlier this year. (Though she does admit that she has since learned real writers also work on the couch.) As for the desk itself, while Thomas can’t promise buying it will lead to a book deal, she does promise that the piece, in all its “warm, cherry wood” finery, “is lovely.”
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Writing Desks : Desks
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Whether you’re freelancer or you like to work from the comfort of your home a work desk is a must-have to get you into the work mode. Finding the right furniture to set up your home office can be a task, whether you are working in your living room , bedroom , kitchen or game room . But at Target we’ve made it super easy to find a desk that’s perfect for your work, space and also your wallet. Based on your work, pick a desk that gives you ample storage and table space for your essentials . If your work involves a desktop, then an executive desk , computer desk , standing desk or a gaming desk will work for you. writing desk , with drawers for minimal storage, are easy to place anywhere and are perfect for your laptop . Wall shelves , L-shaped desk , secretary desks , corner desks , ladder desks , and wall mounted desks are a compact solution to your office furniture needs in small and tight spaces. Find desks in modern or traditional design that match the traditional of the room you want to place it in. Once you have your favorite desk, make a checklist of all office essentials like a lamps , cubbies , picture frames , wall décor , accent chairs , throw blankets , rugs , throw pillows , artificial plants , , candles , clocks , wallpaper , office chairs , office supplies and other must-haves for a complete work station. You can browse by color white desks , black desks , gray desks , metal desks or glass desks. Whatever desk you need Target is the place to find exactly what you are looking for.
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Antawan Commercial Grade Office Computer Desk and Home Office Desk
by Ebern Designs
Rated 5 out of 5 stars. 80 total votes
Whether you need a computer desk to furnish your new office suite or are working from home this commercial office desk offers a clean modern look that is built to last you for years. Dependable computer furniture is necessary as you navigate your business and team members towards success. The strong metal frame has adjustable floor glides to accommodate uneven flooring for a level work surface. No complicated setup means you'll have full use of your office desk in about 10 minutes without breaking a sweat. Set up an office space in your loft, living room, or bedroom while maintaining an open concept. The open-framed office table was built for commercial settings but is well-suited for home-usage. With its minimalistic style, you can convert this office table into your game table or dining table.
- Top Material: Manufactured Wood
- Base Material: Metal
- Assembly Required: Yes
Super, super happy with this desk! Not only was it super easy to assemble, it is perfectly stable for my laptop, display monitor, Mac and an electric sit/stand riser. The color is as it was described and the desk is simple, yet light enough I can move it around as needed. Very happy customer!. Grace. Lone Tree, CO. 2022-07-26 02:41:20
Chanc 47.24'' Desk
by Latitude Run®
Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars. 199 total votes
Pairing space to work and spots for storage, this rotating office corner desk with 5 shelves bookshelf is an ideal anchor for small-scale offices and multi-purpose rooms and features an original rotating design that can be adjusted to your needs and contains plenty of additional storage space. The modern look adds a touch of class to your office or home and is crafted from high-quality particleboard and metal frame composition. The space-saving design allows it to rotate a 90 degree L-shaped or 180-degree straight line-shaped according to your individual needs and home space requirements. When not in use and makes it ideal for the most space-saving shape.
- Base Material: Steel
Had a few minor scrapes and dents upon arrival but am happy with the finished product!. Anonymous. LOS ANGELES, CA. 2020-12-23 20:59:45
Waynoka 39.4'' Desk
by Union Rustic
Rated 5 out of 5 stars. 681 total votes
Get it by Fri. Mar 10
Specifications: - Color: Rustic Brown - Material: Particleboard, Steel Frame - Product Size: 39. 4” L x 19. 7” W x 29. 5” H (100 x 50 x 75 cm) - Product Weight: 24. 9 lb (11. 3 kg) - Max. Static Load Capacity: 110 lb (50 kg) Package Contents: - 1 x Computer Desk - 1 x Accessory Kit - 1 x Assembly Tool - 1 x Instructions Notes: - Children are not allowed to climb or play on the product for safety reasons.
- Base Material: Manufactured Wood
Good quality desk! Fits my laptop and small printer just fine. Jody. New Market, MD. 2020-11-18 17:36:08
Octavian 47" Width Industrial Computer Table home office desk
by Wade Logan®
Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars. 155 total votes
This modern writing desk brings minimalist style with a contemporary feel to your bedroom or office. Crafted with engineered wood and a metal frame, it's made with a two-toned finish that pairs well with transitional styles. A sleek silhouette shows off a rectangular tabletop balanced on four slim legs with an X-shaped support. We love that its top provides plenty of space for your laptop, study materials, and a favorite plant or picture. At 45.9'' wide, it's a great fit in a dorm room or playroom.
I needed a simple desk that wasn’t dark or bulky and could fit a rolling cabinet underneath. This fits the bill perfectly! It has a light wood veneer that goes well with the white metal and fits in with a variety of decorating styles. The instructions were clear and all the pieces were labeled. Took me all of 20 minutes to unbox and put together by myself! My only complaint is that the crossed support bars use a long screw that would scratch the wall if installed that way, but run the risk of scratching your foot when placed the other way. We don’t have little children or pets, so it isn’t the biggest concern, but I would suggest that the manufacturer review part D to see if a shorter screw and or bolt could be used.. Heather. Margate, FL. 2022-03-19 16:15:04
Spickard 41.7'' Desk
by 17 Stories
Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars. 308 total votes
Featuring an iron frame with a stronger polygonal design, this large-capacity desk is extremely stable. Four adjustable feet keep the table stable, even on uneven floors. One wooden drawer and two fabric bins can better meet your different storage needs and better categorize the required items.
- Base Material: Iron
- Drawer Glide Mechanism: Ball Bearing Glides
- Number of Drawers: 3
For the price, I’m pretty happy. I’m using this desk as a makeup table, and it serves the purpose. The front piece came with a chip, but I’ll use a furniture marker and get over it. I also didn’t realize the side drawers were canvas- maybe I didn’t read closely enough ♀️. Heather. newhall, CA. 2021-02-21 12:51:05
Decameron 51.25'' Desk
by George Oliver
Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars. 557 total votes
Enhance your work space with a desk that offers your office a sophisticated atmosphere of stunning design. With a tempered glass tabletop and rich acacia wood base, this modern desk will instantly add refinement and class to your work station. This table is finished with gorgeous A-shaped frames that bring both a mid-century modern vibe as well as incredible durability. This bold accent piece will spur your creativity during work and uplift your mind with inspiration for years to come.
- Top Material: Glass
- Base Material: Solid Wood
- Base Wood Species: Acacia
Solid desk. Easy to assemble. It would be best to have two people to place the glass on the top of the desk for alignment, but I managed to get it after a couple of attempts. Good value for the price. Perfect for my small space office.. Joe. Portland, OR. 2022-01-08 09:59:40
Haigh L Shaped Desk with Shelves 86.6 Inch Reversible Corner Computer Desk or 2 Person Long Table
by Zipcode Design™
Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars. 371 total votes
This L-shaped executive desk helps you create the ultimate productivity station in your office. Its design fits into a corner, so it works in even small spaces.
The desk is L - Shaped however you can make it straight if you like. Super versatile table. Which is what my husband wanted for his soon to be home office. This desk fit in the space perfectly. Took about an hour to assemble alone. Quality material. I would recommend this desk.. Shawn. NJ. 2022-02-05 19:23:40
Oldcastle 47.2'' Desk
Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars. 204 total votes
Get it by Thu. Mar 9
Whether you are studying, gaming, or relaxing, this stylish desk with a drawer provides you extra space to store and organize all your goodies. The moderate size makes it fit just right in your office, dorm, or living room.
- Drawer Glide Mechanism: Wood Slide
- Number of Drawers: 1
Sturdy desk, that’s deep and wide enough to hold all of my hardware. There’s great storage space too so that I can keep my desk neat and organized. It also has such a modern look that really ties in well with the rest of the house. Would highly recommend!. LAURIN. Fort Mill, SC. 2021-02-07 10:59:58
Arturs 41.5'' Desk
Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars. 5649 total votes
Create a convenient spot in your home where you can sit down and get some work done or just simply write out your grocery list with this single pedestal desk from the North Avenue® collection. This simplistically designed desk offers a spacious top surface that provides you with all the room you need for your must-have desk essentials like your laptop, collection of notepads, coffee mug, and even a charming accent lamp. It also features two large open shelves that are ideal for easy access storage of items like work binders, books, organizing bins, and even a little home décor. It's finished on all sides for versatile placement throughout any room in your home – in your home office or cozied up in the living room. It adds beautiful style and designs no matter where it stands. Finished and detailed with a durable metal frame, this handsome desk is everything you need and more.
This desk is true to its picture! It has a very sleek minimalist look and it fits perfectly into my industrial cottage! LOVE THIS DESK! Good quality, not too heavy, prefect little computer spot! (Sorry, I can't get my picture to upload straight so here ya go). Kalea. CLINTON, UT. 2017-06-21 09:09:58
Careyann 42'' Desk
by Winston Porter
Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars. 3036 total votes
Looking to round out an unused corner of your living room with a handy study space? A Careyann Writing Desk like this is a space-conscious option for adding a workspace to your home. Crafted from a blend of pine and manufactured wood, it features an understated design perfect for a variety of home aesthetics. A single soft-close drawer and lower shelf round this piece out with handy storage space for office essentials.
- Top Material: Manufactured Wood + Solid Wood
- Base Material: Manufactured Wood + Solid Wood
I really, REALLY like this little desk and it fills the bill for what I needed. The ONLY reason I am giving it 4 stars is that my husband about lost his mind trying to get the drawer in. In defense of the desk, it only took a little more patience than he was willing to give it and only took me about 5 minutes. I bought this to function as a little vanity/desk in my guest room. It's surprisingly sturdy and small enough to tuck away in a corner to utilize an otherwise waste of space. Follow the directions and it comes together quite quickly and follow those directions even right down to putting in the drawer! Oh heck, I'm changing this from 4 stars to 5!. Sheryl. Russell Springs, KY. 2018-12-10 18:26:08
Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars. 726 total votes
Computer writing desk, school student desk, home office desk for small space, study kids desk with headphone hook.
I was nervous that my three monitors was not going to fit but it is a perfect space￼! Happy with my purchase.. Deania Landfair. Tea, SD. 2022-02-15 11:16:45
Genthner 39'' Desk
Rated 4 out of 5 stars. 9685 total votes
With its clean lines and compact size, this writing desk is ideal for smaller spaces like dorm rooms, or for turning an unused corner of your living room or bedroom into an unobtrusive office area. It’s made from engineered wood, with a solid finish in the color of your choice. This desk has a 39" wide work surface and its drawer gives you a place to stash pens, papers, and chargers. We love that it has a finished back, so you’re free to place this desk anywhere you like.
It was simple to put together with only the legs needing install. The pieces were all in perfect condition without damage. It feels sturdy for my vanity needs and look forward to dressing it up with a mirror and shelves alongside. The wood appearance is very nice and would not hesitate to buy again. The single pull out drawer is small and only pulls out as far as seen in picture. (5”).. Sara. Madison, WI. 2018-10-27 14:09:00
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43 in. Rectangular White 5 Drawer Writing Desk with Locking Feature
Halssey 78.74 in. Rectangular Brown Wood Writing Desk with Shelves
by TRIBESIGNS WAY TO ORIGIN
53.5 in. W Brown Industrial L-Shaped Computer Writing Corner Desk with 2-Shelves
55.1 in. L-Shaped White Wood Writing Desk Corner Gaming Desk With 2-Tier Shelves and 3-Drawers Home Office Use
30 in. Rectangle Brown Teak Wood Drafting Style Computer Desk with Tilting Top and Crank Height Adjustment
by Litton Lane
44 in. Rectangular White 4 Drawer Writing Desk with Built-In Storage
48 in. Rectangular White/Haze Wood 5-Drawer Writing Desk with Open Shelf Hutch
by Home Decorators Collection
Eldridge Wood Desk with Drawer in Haze Brown
Bradstone Walnut Brown Wood Writing Desk
Craft 54 in. White Writing Desk with 2-Drawers
44 in. Rectangular White 4 Drawer Writing Desk with Solid Wood Material
51 in. Rectangular Natural Writing Desk
by Noble House
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The Power of the Writing Desk
The power of the writing desk lives in its versatility. The writing desk has been around a long time, before computers were ever on the scene to alter the look and function of the desk.
A writing desk’s versatile nature means it can be used in many ways from a functioning work area to a style piece that makes a statement in different areas of the home. And with more work from home coming into play, furniture that can multitask has become worth its weight in gold.
Writing Desk Designs
Writing desk designs can invoke visions of an artist and writer tackling the task of creating, and many are just right for that. Writing desk designs are sophisticated and perhaps can inspire and stimulate the imagination. Others, and likely the majority, are used to carve out a simple work space, some fitting a limited space just right. The more traditional style writing desks are used to draw some attention to spots in the house like the home office, living room, entryway or den.
A writing desk provides a flat surface to work at, and some have a drawer or two for storage. They don’t offer a lot of room to spread out, usually enough space for your laptop and a notebook perhaps. If you’re looking for room for computer equipment or additional storage, a writing desk is not the design for you. If you’d like to use a writing desk for paying bills and working on your laptop, consider adding a small hutch with compartments for storage, or be sure there are a few drawers that can offer space.
Let’s look at different ways to use writing desks.
Trying to find a way for your foyer to stand out? If space allows, a writing desk can contribute to an attractive entryway, with style elements that will make a statement. In addition, there’s a surface to set down a purse or briefcase upon entry, plus a few drawers make a good spot for keys and mail.
Perhaps you don’t have a home office or room in the living room for a work space. A quiet bedroom corner with a small writing desk can create the perfect spot for bills, correspondence and laptop time.
Of course the home office is a great place to set up a writing desk. Conduct work, get creative and balance the office with a writing desk centerpiece.
The living room is another great place to set up a small writing desk and create a workspace where you need one. Their versatility lets them blend in nicely with other furniture.
Writing Desk Benefits
A versatile choice.
Whether you use them in a quiet corner of the bedroom or in the den, the writing desk design fits in nicely. Some writing desks styles look a lot like tables, and they can be used for work, crafts or other projects.
Sizes and Styles
Writing desks are available in a number of sizes and styles, making them popular for a variety of areas all over the house, from office to entryway to bedroom or living room.
Writing desks can serve as desk, work table or craft space, and depending on the design, can add a little storage too.
Amish Writing Desks
Amish-made writing desks are handcrafted with premium quality woods. They’re full of strength and function, supported by fine craftsmanship. There’s a range of styles available, from traditional elegance to mission style simple. Amish writing desks can be customized to match your office, living room or bedroom. There’s a variety of wood types and stain colors to choose from, along with a variety of sizes to fit your space. Additional custom options that add to a luxurious look include leather inlays for the desktop, grommets and power stations so you can plug in.
Consider the writing desk for a modest workspace with or without storage drawers, depending on your needs. They are a powerful choice to offer function and attract attention with their designs.
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Amish wood desks are special. Not just because they’re pretty and made with solid wood, but because they are customizable Read more
While a desk is essential to supporting our work, we don’t sit in the desk. It’s understandable that significant funding Read more
What Are the Best Writing Desks? ; Linnmon Adils White Table. $25 ; Linnmon/Lergerg Table, Black Brown · $53 ; Loring Wood Writing Desk with Drawers.
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Writing Desks Desks & Computer Tables : Create a home office with a desk that will suit your work style. Choose traditional, modern
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The CubiCubi Study Computer Desk 40” Home Office Writing Small Desk is
With a sizable desktop and flexible storage, this corner desk will not cramp your style.
What Are the Top-Rated Writing Desks? How do you know what's the right stuff for your writing desk? Is drawer space essential or unnecessary? To know what other
Browse a large selection of desk and hutch designs for sale, including corner and L-shaped desks as well as writing and standing desk ideas for your home
A writing desk provides a flat surface to work at, and some have a drawer or two for storage. They don't offer a lot of room to spread out