Having one of the best desks isn't a luxury, it's a necessity, especially if you are one the thousands of people who right now are working from home time. Making sure you've got a comfortable set up is vital – anyone who has sat at an uncomfortable desk all day will know the associated woes. A desk that’s too low or too high can cause you back problems; too much or too little space can hinder your organisation and distract your creative flow. So when it comes to buying a new desk, where do you start?
There are a few key factors to bear in mind when buying the best desk, and you’ll need to decide which are most important to you. Are you all about ergonomics? Do you want an adjustable desk so you can sit or stand as you work? Is cable management important to you? Overall design? Does the desk need to match your chair (see our best office chairs (opens in new tab) post for inspiration)? Are you solely basing your decision on price? Or do you just want something with a decent warranty in case something goes wrong? Whatever your requirements and budget, we’ve got an option for you right here.
With more and more people setting up home offices, the best desks are in short supply across the globe. With that in mind, our handy price comparison tool below, which updates every 30 minutes, has a variety of options available right now. Scroll further down for our in-depth round up of the best desks of 2021. Also see our guide to the best standing desk converters if you'd prefer to spend some of your time on your feet.
- Jump straight to the best desks in the UK
The best desks in the US
If you want to keep things simple, try Tribesigns' Modern Minimalist desk. The legs are made from heavy-duty power-coated steel, which might be more hardcore than is strictly necessary for most of your design studio or home office needs, but will certainly take anything you can throw at it (and the industrial look is pretty cool, too).
At 42-inches wide, this is the smallest desk in the range. But there's a number of handy storage shelves, including one on the top to help save space. The top shelf can also be removed, should you wish. What you see is very much what you get here, which, for this price, you can't really argue with.
Although it's pitched as a 'student' desk, this Mainstays Metal Desk is a great budget option for your home office too. As you'd expect for the price, it's quite basic, but we like the simple, compact design. The inbuilt shelves give you space to neatly store anything you can't fit on the top (the upper shelf can be removed if you want to use the space for something taller, such as a CPU, if you need). It's available in a range of colourways and is very well reviewed at Walmart, with customers saying it's a good size and sturdy for the price. You will need to assemble it yourself, and it's a two-person job, so make sure you have someone around to give you a hand.
If you're discovering aches and pains from sitting hunched over a desk for long periods, a sit-stand desk converter could be a great option. Place the Ergotron Workfit-TL (opens in new tab) on top of your existing desk or table, and you can raise and lower it to switch between sitting and standing throughout your work day. The mechanism is smooth and very easy to use, and graduated raising means you can have it exactly the height you want it. The only real down-side is that you might need to tidy up your desk a bit (although helpfully, there are zip ties and cable management piping included to keep your wires under control when raising and lowering).
Another good option for small studios, the Ameriwood Home Haven Retro Desk with Riser (opens in new tab) is a stylish addition to any room. And it doesn’t scream ‘work desk’, either – which is great if you want it to blend into your bedroom, say. It has two levels, allowing you to have your laptop on the lower level and plants, design books or whatever else keeps you inspired on the top.
It doesn’t have any drawers, forcing you to keep things clutter-free, and the thin spindly legs mean you won't be in danger of constantly knocking your knees against them. Make sure you have a flat floor surface though, otherwise it has a tendency to wobble.
Overall this desk is quick to put together – it should take around 20 minutes, maximum – and is a solid option that should please anyone looking for an affordable and compact desk that doesn’t scrimp on style. It’s available in four colours – walnut, espresso, sugar pine or weathered oak.
The best desks in the UK
If you need one of the best desks for space saving, look no further than John Lewis’ Bow desk (opens in new tab). It's a handsome solution for anyone looking to save space in their office or studio. There’s a drawer and lots of cubby holes on top for storing notebooks and stationery. The Bow Desk is available in oak and white, which is super-stylish. Matching cabinets are also available, and John Lewis has a generous two-year warranty period. Note that this desk can be a bit tricky to put together due to its various cubby holes. And at 28kg, it’s also pretty heavy, so your best bet is to enlist some help when assembling it.
Next up in our ranking of the best desks is the Vaillancourt at Wayfair. The design is simple, with a wooden top and shelves, and sturdy black steel legs giving a slightly industrial vibe that we think would suit a range of rooms. The two shelves can be fitted on either side to suit the layout of your office. Like many of the desks on our list, you'll need to put it together yourself, but previous customers say this is very straightforward, and praise how good the instructions are.
Ergotron produces a whole range of ergonomically focused desk options, but our favourite is perhaps the Workfit-TL (opens in new tab). This is a desk topper – it sits on your existing workstation. You can switch between standing and sitting by lifting the paddle on either side of the desk and raising or lowering it. The process is smooth and the tabletop remains well balanced throughout (you won't need to worry about your Macbook sliding off).
The lowest setting is just an inch or so above your existing desk, and the topper can be raised up to an extra 15 inches (a good level for even the tallest users). There are zip ties and cable management piping to keep your wires under control when adjusting your desk – one of the best desk options around.
If you have a bit more room to play with and fancy a corner desk, our favourite is the Dillingham L-Shape Desk (opens in new tab). The simple, sturdy, L-shaped design, with black steel frame and wooden tops, will fit in a variety of rooms. There's an extra shelf that can be fitted anywhere along the desk, and used as a raised monitor or laptop stand – or you can stick a pot plant or some books on it if you prefer. If we had one complaint, it would be that we'd like a few more shelves, but you do have plenty of surface space to play with. However, if shelves are a priority, see what our list of the best L-shaped computer desks has to offer.