The right desk lamp is a reliable light source and a stylish accent for your workspace.
We evaluated dozens of lamps, evaluating brightness, design, value, and added features. Our favorite, the Brightever Industrial Dimmable Desk Lamp, is small but effective and can also charge your smartphone.
Here are the best desk lamps.
Best Overall: Brightever Industrial Dimmable Desk Lamp
Has USB charging
360-degree adjustable head
No wireless charging
Only one color offered
What do buyers say? 87% of 1,300+ Amazon reviewers rated this product 4 stars or above.
When you're working at home, an ideal desk lamp is bright enough to keep you focused and comes with features for greater efficiency. Our best overall pick, the Brightever Industrial Dimmable Desk Lamp, soars above the competition in those areas. Not only does this lamp have multiple light settings, but it also has two USB charging ports and an outlet to power your phone, laptop, smartwatch, or wireless headphones.
With three dimmer settings, this light is excellent for bright light in the morning and throughout the day, and slightly dimmer light once dusk falls to help your eyes adjust. You don't have to hit a particular button to see this effect—simply touch any part of the lamp to activate the dimmer settings. You can also move the 360-degree rotating head for the best lighting angle.
If you want a multitasking lamp for your desk, the Brightever checks many boxes. It's compact, made from durable metal materials, and is reasonably priced for the quality you're getting.
Price at time of publish: $50
Best Budget: Simple Designs Basic Metal Desk Lamp with Flexible Hose Neck
Comes in various colors
Might be too small for larger desks
No charging capabilities
For a lamp that'll get the job done without breaking the bank, consider the Simple Designs Basic Metal Desk Lamp with Flexible Hose Neck. The budget-friendly style is offered in a few colors and is pretty small too, so it won't take up too much desk space. It has a minimal design as well, so it'll pair well with any desk accessories you already have. Plus, it has a flexible neck that allows you to adjust the lamp, so you'll always have your preferred lighting. Although this lamp doesn't offer much in the way of charging capabilities or modern design, it's simple enough for someone looking for a no frills, reliable desk lamp.
Price at time of publish: $11
Best Industrial: IKEA FORSÅ Work Lamp
Shade may get hot
While this lamp design may have been made famous by Pixar, it has long been the go-to light source for architects and computer whizzes alike. The IKEA FORSÅ work lamp is an affordable desk lamp that can be adjusted at all junctions to achieve your ideal lighting scenario. The steel body with nickel plate gives it a classic finish that won't obstruct any other design elements you have in play. It also has a surprisingly small footprint, so you can be sure there's plenty of work space left on your desk. Be cautious when adjusting this lamp after it's been on for a while, as the shade may become hot with extended use.
Price at time of publish: $30
Best Cordless: Baseus LED Rechargeable Desk Lamp
Large illumination area
Short battery life on high brightness
While this best cordless pick may look similar to our best LED pick, the illumination power and integrated features differ slightly in each design. We love this Baseus LED Desk Lamp as a cordless option because of its large illumination area that's 47 inches wide—enough to cover an average-sized desk. You'll get up to 13 hours of illumination on a full charge when this lamp is operating in low brightness, but it only lasts about 3 hours if used on the highest brightness setting. Definitely a drawback in regard to its design, but not a dealbreaker.
The brightness also auto-adjusts by using an ambient light sensor, but it also can be manually adjusted via the touch sensor. The battery light will flash when it's low on battery and you can charge this lamp through a USB port in just 3 hours. It also easily folds up so you can carry it with you for an on-the-go lamp at the library or in the office.
Price at time of publish: $50
Best with USB Ports: Dreamholder Desk Lamp
5 charging ports
Slots for phone or table
Linen shade offers warm light cast
Not the most attractive design
Larger base footprint
If you're looking for a lamp that doubles as storage space, check out the Dreamholder Desk Lamp, which has three slots to support your electronics while they charge. This lamp has five charging options—three USB ports and two 3-prong AC outlets—so you can charge all your devices at once. The toggle switch on the base also turns the light on and off without affecting the charging ports' power.
We recognize that this lamp's aesthetic may not be the most fashionable option on the market, but if your priority is utility, it more than satisfies in that category. The charging ports and phone slots do make this lamp's base a tad larger than others, but you can consider it an organized trade off to finding space on a smaller desk for all of your charging devices.
Price at time of publish: $40
Best Modern: SIN MIMA Lamp
Comes in various colors
Bulb is included
The SIN Handmade MIMA Lamp is so pretty it could double as a work of art, and it’s compact enough to put on just about any desk—even a very crowded one. The lamp stands at 4 inches tall, 4 inches wide, and 3.5 inches deep, so you can rest assured knowing it won’t demand much space on your desk. And since half of its form is an exposed lightbulb, you can trust that it’ll emit plenty of light, despite its small size.
Price at time of publish: $180
Best Vintage: Three Posts Teen Totnes Desk Lamp
Fabric-covered cord length
Only comes in one color
Wayfair’s Three Posts Totnes Desk Lamp offers a budget-friendly way to add some vintage style to your home. The lamp is crafted from metal and finished with a matte black coating and brass hardware that leaves it feeling just a little antique. Of course, these brass joints aren’t merely aesthetic—the lamp hinges at each of them, so you can adjust each one to expand or contract your lamp until it perfectly suits your space. And since the lamp boasts a conical lampshade, you can direct light exactly where you want it.
We also appreciate the black and white fabric-covered cord, which gives it an elevated look compared to a standard plastic-covered cord. This lamp would be great for a smaller desk space thanks to its small footprint, but it would also be a great statement on a larger desk.
Price at time of publish: $78
Best LED: Himigo LED Desk Lamp
Has multiple modes and brightness levels
Available with either wireless or USB charging
Not the most attractive option
For a desk lamp that perfectly pairs style and function, you can't go wrong with the Himigo LED Desk Lamp. Designed with an LED panel, it has a modern style that may not be everyone's cup of tea, but certainly delivers on brightness. A rotating arm makes it easy to pivot the lamp to your liking, and you can choose whether the lamp has USB or wireless charging capabilities, depending on your preferences. It also has five color modes and five brightness levels, so it'll give you perfect lighting both day and night.
This lamp is also listed separately as having a rechargeable battery, so that it doesn't have to remain plugged in, which would be especially helpful if you're cramped for wall sockets. We also appreciate the reading timer on this lamp, which allows you to set a 30 or 60 minute timer that automatically turns off the lamp. While this function is primarily designed for reading before bed, we also think it would be a great study tool for college students or young children.
Price at time of publish: $20
Best Swing Arm: Pottery Barn Ridge LED USB Task Lamp
Wireless charger and USB port
Easy-to-use adjusting arm
Available in two finishes
Classic, eye-catching, and incredibly useful, Pottery Barn's Ridge Task Lamp makes a great addition to any home office. The lamp boasts a swing-arm design, which means its base is made up of two different bars that connect via a hinge. Since this hinge is totally adjustable, you can extend the lamp to make it taller—or contract it to create a more targeted spotlight. And of course, you can change the lamp’s angle at any time. This makes it easy to customize the lighting set-up at your desk, giving you the exact ambiance you need at all times.
This lamp also has a wireless charging pad—for any of your QI-compatible devices—plus an additional USB port. The integrated LED light should last up to 30,000 hours, but unfortunately cannot be replaced. Although this lamp is certainly luxe in design, we don't love its high price point, given it has features comparable to other lamps on our list. However, if you're set on a swing arm lamp, then this lamp may be worth the splurge.
Price at time of publish: $229
Best Clamp: IKEA NÄVLINGE LED Clamp Spotlight
Built-in LED light
Only comes in one color
Clamp lamps make it easy to bring light into your office without wasting precious desk space. These lamps can be a little tough to find, but IKEA has a few options on hand, including the NÄVLINGE LED Clamp Spotlight. This low-profile desk lamp is crafted from plastic and metal, and its powder-coated finish leaves it looking both matte and modern. The clamp lining the lamp’s base promises to be easy to adjust, and built-in flexibility of the lamp shaft means you can reliably angle proper lighting.
Price at time of publish: $22
Our top pick is the Brightever Dimmable Desk Lamp. Its small footprint, affordable price tag, and convenient charging port make it an easy win for any home office. Looking for something more affordable? Try the Simple Designs Basic Metal Desk Lamp with Flexible Hose Neck, a super budget-friendly option that is small and convenient.
What to Look for in a Desk Lamp
Desk space is precious, so you don’t want a desk lamp that demands too much real estate. Look for a low-profile lamp that will stay out of your way while still offering plenty of light. If you really have a small desk, consider a clamp lamp that attaches to the side rather than sits on top, or a wall lamp.
Desk lamps come in an array of different styles, including swing-arm lamps, classic task lamps, and more. Snag an option you’ll love looking at throughout the workday—and make sure it offers the kind of light you’re looking for.
Many desk lamps come equipped with extra features, like built-in USB ports or wireless charging pads. These add-ons aren’t necessary, but since they can make your set-up more efficient, they can be really nice to have.
Are desk lamps bad for your eyes?
Desk lamps aren’t necessarily bad for your eyes, but working in an environment that’s too harshly lit or too dimly lit may cause eye strain. If you notice that your eyes feel unusually sore, dry, or watery when you use a desk lamp, consider talking to an optometrist. They can help you understand why you’re experiencing these symptoms, and they can also let you know whether you need to switch up your desk lamp.
How do you design a desk lamp?
If you’re struggling to find a desk lamp that ticks all the boxes, you may be tempted to design your own. And while that might sound like a lot of work, there are a few different ways to pull it off. The easiest option is to combine a lamp base with a lampshade you’ve found somewhere else. But if you don’t mind a DIY project, you can also make your own desk lamp using plywood or cement. Finally, if you want to go all out, you can design a desk lamp from scratch using a 3D modeling program, then, you can talk to a manufacturer about bringing your vision to life.
What essentials belong on my desk?
When deciding which essentials belong on your desk, consider what items you use most frequently. If you reach for a notebook, planner, or folder every day, keep it nearby. And do the same with other go-to supplies, like pens and pencils. By focusing on making things convenient for your future self, you’ll end up with a desk that feels organized and easy to navigate.
Why Trust The Spruce?
As a seasoned lifestyle writer, Lindsey Lanquist understands what a difference a great product recommendation can make. That’s why she makes sure to recommend products that are sleek, reliable, and well-reviewed by those who’ve tried them. To write this article, she selected lamps based on their materials, extra features, and style.