The 10 Best Computer Desks
This wiki has been updated 28 times since it was first published in March of 2015. As more and more employees have the ability to work remotely, a quality computer desk has become an increasingly essential piece of furniture for the home. These options, of sizes both large and small, will help make you comfortable and productive, whether they're used in a study or as a station for gaming. We've also included some that are sturdy enough for use in any office. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
December 09, 2020:
Upon consideration, we have opted to replace the ApexDesk Vortex, instead selecting the popular Fully Jarvis. The Jarvis has a greater height adjustment range than does the former, and it comes in three top sizes to the former's two. This allows it to suit a bigger range of users, tall and short, who require a lot of real estate or just a little.
If you'd rather not spring for an electric desk, there are still plenty of great choices, including the handsome Leick Furniture Corner, the heavy Sauder Harbor View, and the L-shaped CubiCubi Table. This last is a new addition, taking the place of the WE Furniture Soreno. We removed both it and the Z-Line Designs Cyrus over concerns about the strength of their glass tops. While rough treatment and user error are surely the cause of many reported problems, we felt it was wise to stick to more rugged models with this update. Glass tops are certainly attractive, but for most users, a traditional wood choice usually stands up to the daily grind better.
This gave us the opportunity to add the FituEyes Study, as well, which is a helpful choice for those trying to work from home in a small space. You can't fit tons of notebooks, coffee cups, or even an oversized desk pad on it, but it should hold most laptops or moderately sized desktops. The Prepac Floating also makes a good choice for saving space, as does the Origami Foldable, which you can put away easily when it's not needed.
December 02, 2019:
This list didn’t require many adjustments, as all existing models remain available with no glaring quality concerns. After noting that a number of users love how clean and modern the Prepac Floater looks, we decided to give it a slight upgrade. It's super useful for people in condos and apartments where extra space is at a premium.
We dropped the Z-Line Designs Cyrus down a couple of spots, noting that setup can be time consuming and taking into consideration some user complaints regarding its flimsy keyboard tray and lackluster finish. It’s still a serviceable, portable model for the money.
Added the Workrite line of height adjustable desks to the Special Honors section. It includes a range of offerings that may be of interest to business owners looking to build out a new office space. Most are suitable for use in a home office as well.
Crate & Barrel Phoenix Rustic Don't be surprised if the Crate & Barrel Phoenix Rustic work table becomes the focal point of any room you place it in, as this large, farmhouse chic piece was designed to turn some heads. Each is unique, too, since this desk/table is crafted from reclaimed Brazilian telephone poles and finished by hand in Mexico. crateandbarrel.com
Workrite Sit Stand Convertible desks that allow you to switch between sitting and standing continue to grow in popularity, and Workrite offers a wide selection of these workstations in various styles. They’re modern and professional in appearance, and most come with a healthy, long-term warranty. workriteergo.com
Herman Miller Nelson Swag Leg Desk Few names are as synonymous with stylish, modern furniture as Herman Miller, and the Nelson Swag Leg Desk definitely lives up to the reputation. As you would expect, it's quite an investment, but its graceful legs, uncluttered design, and robust construction are sure to bring you joy for years to come. hermanmiller.com
Your Ideal Work Or Gaming Station
When most people use the term ergonomic, they are doing so in the vein of that last point, the physical.
The word ergonomics comes to us from Greek. It is a composite of two words, ergon, which means work, and nomoi, which refers to "natural laws." At its most basic definition, you can think of ergonomics as the relationship between human capability and the demands of work with which they are challenged. Of course it has also come to refer to the tools and methods used to heighten the former and lessen the latter.
The bonafide study of ergonomics began in the middle of the 19th Century thanks to publications by a Polish scientist named Wojciech Jastrzębowski, who conducted research on everything from botany to physics to zoology to horticulture. The term and the study would not enter the mainstream until the middle of the 20th Century, however, when it was finally used by a British psychologist named Hywel Murrell in 1949.
In modern parlance, ergonomics refers to three distinct areas of attention, which can be defined as: organizational, which refers to how systems and planning impact achievement, production, and progress; cognitive, which relates to how a given environment or methodology works with varied thought processes; or physical, which speaks to how the actual tangible properties of a space impact the work or thinking that is done there.
When most people use the term ergonomic, they are doing so in the vein of that last point, the physical. One will hear of an ergonomic show, an ergonomic chair, and so forth. The design of the chair in which you sit during long hours working, writing, or gaming is indeed important, but of equal importance is the design and layout of your actual work or gaming desk. The easier you make it to interface with your computer and your various monitors and hardware, the more comfortable your body will remain, and the more productive and high quality your work output will be, or the more enjoyable your gaming or web surfing session.
An ideal work or gaming station -- which for simplicity's sake we'll just call a desk -- easily accommodates all the hardware you use. That means ample space for as many monitors as you need, room for a keyboard, and space for your mouse, a joystick, and a notepad and a cup of coffee. On the other hand, if all you use is a single laptop, then your ideal desk might be quite small, occupying minimal space in your home or office yet more than adequately supporting your computer. Don't commit to this or that computer desk until you first know what hardware you will be using; it's much easier to spend the time researching a desk before buying it than it is trying to retrofit a unit to suit your needs later.
The Compact Computer Desk
If you have limited available square footage in your home or office but you need a good computer desk, you will be pleased to know how many options you have at your disposal. Many smaller computer desks have clever features like drop down keyboard trays that help you make the most of your limited desktop space, while others are designed to fit snugly into corners.
If you have limited available square footage in your home or office but you need a good computer desk, you will be pleased to know how many options you have at your disposal.
Still other computer desks save you space overall by incorporating the drawers and cabinets you would usually have in separate filing and storage cabinets into their design, reducing the need for additional pieces of furniture. These hutch style desks are perfect for the working professional with a smaller apartment or for the student's bedroom.
To make the most of your smaller desk, take a clue from one of the areas of ergonomic study: organization. When you have a designated place for all your paperwork, pens, discs, and so forth, it's easier to keep your desk free of clutter. Look around the average person's desk, both at their job and their home, and you'll realize how much of the stuff there really is superfluous. In fact most of us would do fine with much smaller desks than we use.
One good "hack" for dealing with a small desk when you use a fair amount of hardware is to wall mount your monitors, freeing up desktop space. Also consider using a wireless mouse and keyboard, both of which can easily be tucked away elsewhere when not in use without the annoyance of unplugging wires.
The Large Work Station
On the other hand, if you have ample space in your home or in your office, there's no reason not to enjoy a spacious desk that affords you plenty of room to spread out. When possible, designate one area of your desk for computer hardware -- keyboard, mouse, monitors, and so forth -- and leave another clear for writing or reading. Large corner desks make this type of organization easy, almost serving as two separate desks at one time.
Large corner desks make this type of organization easy, almost serving as two separate desks at one time.
A large desk can also allow you to set up two different types of work station: you can accessorize your large desk with an elevated tabletop unit, creating a standing desk in one area while maintaining a standard seated desk in another.
And of course a large desk is a must for the programmer, designer, or diehard gamer who works with two or even three monitors. Again, first take stock of all the hardware you will use and what other activities will take place at your desk, such as spreading out blueprints or newspapers, and then choose which large unit suits you and your workflow best.