Whether you work from home or just need a designated space for paying bills and emailing, a good desk is always useful. And when considering different options, you'll find that there are plenty of options—from modern styles with minimal storage and glass tabletops, to more utilitarian designs with built-in shelving or cabinets.
But beyond just style or material, the number-one factor that you might want to consider when making your final selection is its usability (that is, how well-suited it is to your particular needs. "Finding the right desk just requires having an understanding of how one works," says interior designer Ahmad AbouZanat of Project AZ Design. "For example, someone who works on a laptop has completely different desk needs than someone who works on multiple screens."
Keeping AbouZanat's insight in mind, we researched stylish, functional desks, evaluating appearance, durability, and standout features like extra storage and standing functionality. Our top picks are versatile, functional, and suited for a variety of different budgets.
Pottery Barn Mateo 56" Rustic Desk with Drawer
Versatile and timeless
May take weeks to ship
Some assembly required
If you're looking for a well-made, midsized workstation with a classic silhouette, Pottery Barn's Mateo Rustic Desk might be the one. Made of solid pine wood, tongue-and-groove joinery and stretchers between the legs offer durability to ensure it lasts for several years—decades, maybe.
Available in your choice of light natural wood, gray wash, or rich blackish-brown, this desk features rough-sawn detailing and is hand-sealed to create a "salvaged" look. While this certainly gives it a rustic appeal, the weathered aesthetic adds character without affecting its versatility. From industrial and coastal to modern and traditional, the Mateo will complement a wide range of design schemes. What's more, the multitoned finish is actually designed to look better over time, which only adds to the long-lasting appeal.
This timeless desk is 56 x 30 x 26 inches and has one spacious drawer (24 x 17 inches) with brushed gray hardware. Unlike many furniture items from Pottery Barn, it won't arrive fully assembled, but you'll only need to attach the three pieces. Just note that, depending on the finish you choose, the desk can take several weeks to ship.
Price at time of publish: $699
Dimensions: 56 x 30 x 26 inches | Weight: 55.5 pounds | Material: Solid wood, wood veneer | Storage: 1 drawer
Ikea Micke Desk
Made from recycled materials
Not solid wood
Ikea is one of our go-to destinations for affordable furniture, and its home office offerings really deliver. We're partial to the Micke Desk, which has a slim design that's ideal for smaller spaces. Available in four versatile colorways, this desk is made of particleboard and fiberboard with recycled honeycomb paper filling.
With two drawers and a three-shelf cabinet, this desk has enough storage for basic office supplies, files, and books (you can mount the cabinet to either side). The finished back gives you the option to place it away from the wall, and a cable outlet provides a more streamlined, minimalist look. Like all Ikea furniture, you'll have to put this one together at home—but reviewers say it isn't too arduous.
Price at time of publish: $99
Dimensions: 41.5 x 29.5 x 19.5 inches | Weight: Not listed | Material: Particleboard, fiberboard, recycled paper, plastic | Storage: 2 drawers, 3-shelf cabinet
Pottery Barn Dillon L-Shape Rotating Desk
Only available in one color
If you have room in your budget (and space), the Dillon L-Shape Rotating Desk from Pottery Barn might be just the thing for you. With a flexible design and open bookcase, it's a versatile option that should suit a variety of needs. We also love that it's ADA-compliant, easily accommodating a wheelchair on the desk side with a 27 1/2-inch clearance.
This desk has two different possible configurations: L-shaped (pictured) or side-by-side, with the desk area next to the bookshelves. Both would work well for a variety of spaces, and the flexibility of changing the orientation depending on your needs is nice.
In terms of construction, this desk is made with a combination of kiln-dried oak and medium-density fiberboard, a manufactured wood that's durable and resistant to warping. Consistent with many of Pottery Barn's furniture offerings, the oak is responsibly sourced, meeting strict social and environmental standards to ensure a low environmental impact.
While this is certainly a splurge, and we wish it came in more than one color option, the Dillon L-Shaped Rotating Desk is a versatile option that should last you for years to come.
Price at time of publish: $1,698
Dimensions: 70 x 20 x 2.5 inches (package dimensions, actual dimensions not listed) | Weight: 73 pounds | Material: Oak veneer, metal, marble | Storage: 6 drawers
Best for Home Office
Nathan James Telos Home Office Computer Desk with Drawer
Need something for your home office? The Telos Desk by Nathan James might be your best bet. This Scandinavian-inspired piece is made of wood and features a contrasting white surface with a built-in drawer.
Measuring 42 x 29 x 20 inches, it's plenty big for a monitor and keyboard but also compact enough for small spaces. You'll have to put the Telos Desk together at home, but if you buy it from Amazon, you can add expert assembly to your order. The price is more than reasonable, and to sweeten the deal, it's backed by a lifetime warranty.
Price at time of publish: $160
Dimensions: 42 x 29 x 20 inches | Weight: 37 pounds | Material: Wood | Storage: 1 drawer
Article Baarlo Oak Desk
Sleek, Scandinavian-inspired look
Hidden cabinet with adjustable shelf
Cable management system
Some assembly required
Light on storage
With its smooth curves and natural oak wood construction, Article's Baarlo Oak Desk is a Scandinavian-inspired option that's sure to make a statement. Despite its sleek look, you'll still find some storage options here, including a hidden cable-management system and a spacious cabinet with an adjustable shelf.
This desk measures about 59 inches long and 30 inches high, making it a bit taller than some other options. This desk is expensive, and you'll have to assemble some of it at home, but it might be worth investing in the design. (Plus, you can coordinate it with the brand's other offerings in the same line, like the Baarlo Side Table or Baarlo Coffee Table.)
Price at time of publish: $999
Dimensions: 58.5 x 30 x 27.5 inches | Weight: Not listed | Material: Solid/veneered oak | Storage: Cabinet, cord management
Poppin Series L Adjustable Height Single Desk
Meets BIFMA standards
If you want the option to stand (but maybe not all the time), go with an adjustable model. Poppin's Series L Desk comes in three sizes, ranging from 47 to 72 inches wide. We also like that each size can be adjusted from 25 inches up to 50.5 inches tall.
This thoughtfully designed workstation plugs into a standard outlet and has an LED control panel, making it easy to adjust with the push of a button. The price is steep, and it doesn't have any storage. However, the Series L meets BIFMA (Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturers Association) standards for durability, and it's backed by a 5-year warranty.
Price at time of publish: $1,039
Dimensions: 4 sizes available | Weight: 108–139 pounds | Material: Engineered wood, metal, laminate | Storage: None
Sand & Stable Jetty Desk with Hutch
Good for small spaces
Easy to assemble
Only one color
Working with limited square footage? The Jetty Desk might be just the thing. It's 35.5 inches wide, 20 inches deep, and 36 inches tall (including the attached hutch shelf).
Though this desk only comes in one color, it's versatile enough to go with various design styles. And the compact size is perfect for a small office, teen's bedroom, bonus room, or guest room. Keep in mind that assembly is required, but it should be quick and easy.
Price at time of publish: $137
Dimensions: 35.5 x 36 x 20 inches | Weight: 25 pounds | Material: Manufactured wood, metal | Storage: Hutch shelf
Best with Drawers
Homary Mular 3-Drawer White Writing Desk with Storage Cabinet
Reversible drawer orientation
Only one color
May take weeks to ship
Desk drawers are an integral part of any workstation, allowing you to stash essentials (and non-essentials) out of sight. If you're looking to upgrade your desk in this department, Homary's Mular Desk is a great option. This desk has three drawers on one side, with generously sized pull-outs that provide plenty of space to stash your pens, papers, files, batteries, cords, and other necessities. For extra versatility, the drawers can be placed on either side of the desk, so you can customize the piece to your space.
In terms of design, this option delivers with rounded corners and a hyper-modern flair. Though we wish this desk came in more colors, it's available in two widths—47 or 63 inches. We love the rounded corners and hyper-modern flair. It's available in two widths, 47 or 63 inches. Just a heads-up, it might take weeks to ship, depending on the size you get. And while the larger one is pricey, the Mular is backed by a three-year warranty.
Price at time of publish: $1,507
Dimensions: 47.2 x 19.7 x 27.6 inches | Weight: Not listed | Material: Manufactured wood, metal | Storage: Drawers
Best for Students
Haworth Jive Desk with Post Leg Color Pop Collection
Simple and versatile
The Jive Desk is perfect for students, telecommuters, and large offices with cubicles or shared workstations. It has a high-pressure laminate surface in your choice of five faux-wood finishes. Plus, the recyclable metal post legs come in a range of neutrals and statement hues.
You can choose from 48 or 60 inches wide and 24 or 30 inches deep, with four size configurations in total. Note that you'll have to assemble the desk yourself, and it doesn't have any storage. Still, there's a lot to love about this simple desk—and the company that makes it. Haworth boasts a zero-waste headquarters and strives to make its designs as sustainable as possible.
Price at time of publish: $449
Dimensions: 4 sizes available | Weight: Not listed | Material: High-pressure laminate, metal | Storage: None
Best Solid Wood
Castlery Seb Desk
Versatile medium finish
Some assembly required
Short return window
Prefer solid wood? Take a look at the Castlery Seb Desk. It's constructed from solid acacia lumber and features a medium-toned muted honey lacquer. This desk is 51 inches wide, 23.5 inches deep, and 29.5 inches tall. In addition to a generously sized work surface, you'll get a spacious drawer and an open cubby.
With slightly flared legs and rounded corners on the storage compartment, it has a tasteful midcentury modern appeal. Beyond the steep price, we should mention Castlery only accepts returns within two weeks of receiving the desk.
Price at time of publish: $749
Dimensions: 51 x 29.5 x 23.5 inches | Weight: Not listed | Material: Solid acacia wood | Storage: 1 drawer, 1 cubby
AllModern Embassy Desk
Two colors and sizes
Arrives fully assembled
We also love this modish transparent option from AllModern. The Embassy Desk is made of 100 percent acrylic. Since the surface and legs are one piece, it arrives fully assembled. This desk comes in two sizes (43 x 30 x 22 inches or 50 x 29 x 27.5 inches).
You can also choose between a colorless clear or a black-tinted hue. It doesn't have any storage, but a drawer or cubby might actually detract from its striking simplicity. And while the Embassy is hyper-modern, the pared-down design will go with minimalist, contemporary, Scandinavian, and industrial decor schemes alike.
Price at time of publish: $490
Dimensions: 43 x 30 x 22 inches; 50 x 29 x 27.5 inches | Weight: 127 pounds | Material: Acrylic | Storage: None
Overall, we like Pottery Barn's Mateo Rustic Desk. Made of solid wood, this mid-sized workstation features a spacious drawer and a versatile, timeless aesthetic. But if you're looking for something smaller or more affordable, the Nathan James Telos Computer Desk is an excellent choice.
What to Consider When Buying a Desk
One of the most important considerations when buying a desk is the size. Interior designer Ahmad AbouZanat of Project AZ says to get a "big enough worktop surface for everyday use." On the other hand, you'll want to make sure you have plenty of room to fit it. Before buying anything, carefully measure your space and double-check the dimensions.
You'll also want to think about the design, including the material, shape, color, and style. Wood desks, like the Mateo Rustic Desk from Pottery Barn, feature natural finishes that are typically durable and versatile enough to go with various decor schemes. Laminate, acrylic, and metal desks usually lean more modern or industrial.
Leg style matters too. For example, flared peg legs present a midcentury aesthetic, whereas X-shaped cross beams give off a farmhouse vibe. For something more timeless, look for a straight-leg desk in a neutral color.
AbouZanat recommends getting a desk with storage, whether it's drawers, cubbies, built-in cabinets, or shelving. Unless you have another designated spot for your office supplies, this will help you keep clutter out of sight.
"A few ideal features to look for are a back or side panel, as well as cable trays to organize and hide unsightly wires," says AbouZanat. Some desks also have modular configurations. For instance, you might be able to adjust the angle of an L-shaped model or move a stack of drawers to the other side.
How tall should a desk be?
For adult desks, AbouZanat recommends a minimum heigh of 29 to 30 inches. "This is to ensure the person working on the desk is sitting up straight," he says.
What's the best way to organize a desk?
Generally speaking, you should have your computer (or monitor) in the middle, with the keyboard centered in front. You can place a few other things around it, such as a mouse pad, a pen holder, a phone stand, maybe a notepad, and a decorative object like a small plant or candle. Still, it's usually best to keep the surface relatively clutter-free, which is why desks with built-in storage are ideal.
How often should you deep-clean a desk?
It's a good idea to dust and disinfect your desk about once a week. Beyond that, you can do deeper cleans every month or two to remove grime and oily residues. While you're at it, you may also want to take everything out of the drawers or cabinets, wipe down the interior, then put it all back in an orderly fashion.
Why Trust The Spruce?
Theresa Holland is a freelance commerce writer and product tester specializing in furniture and decor. She interviewed interior designer Ahmad AbouZanat of Project AZ for this article, compiling their insight into the different types and styles of desks. After reviewing dozens of models from various manufacturers, she ultimately chose durable, versatile desks with thoughtful designs and useful features. Holland has been contributing to The Spruce since 2019, where she covers home improvement and remote work essentials. You can find more of her bylines on MyDomaine, Travel + Leisure, Byrdie, and People.
The Spruce's Lily Sperry performed additional updates, adding two additional picks from Pottery Barn and Article.