With more and more people working from home, the demand for desks for small spaces has only gone up. But a good smaller desk can go beyond just being a place to do your work. "It can also help to define the space and create a sense of organization and structure within a room," says Simone Elderot, interior designer and founder of the Scandinavian-inspired interior design firm Stockhomed.
After speaking with Elderot to glean insight into what people should specifically seek out from a desk for smaller spaces, we used that insight to guide us as we scoured products and numerous customer reviews. Our top picks excel in their storage capabilities, aesthetic looks, and added features.
Mercer 41 Micah Desk
L-shaped legs provides more leg space
Only one color available
Uses manufactured wood
Lack of cable cutouts
The combination of style, attention to detail, and a quality warranty help to put Mercer 41’s Micah Desk at the top of our list. We love the sleek white surface and the gold-painted frame which makes it a great match amongst other modern contemporary pieces of decor. Additionally, the gold hoop hardware adds a pop of style as well, while the two drawers, each with 22-pound weight limits, help to make this a very functional piece.
In addition to the overall style, this desk comes with a 100-day trial and a lifetime manufacturer’s warranty. It’s that attention to detail that makes it worth every penny. It is also structurally well-built, boasting a 220-pound weight limit and reviewers love it for its ease of assembly. Just note that, while this desk is great, it doesn’t feature any cutouts to manage your cables. We also wish it was available in more colors, but the oak is still versatile enough to suit a variety of different spaces.
Price at time of publish: $349.99
Dimensions: 20” x 42” x 30” | Material: Oak
CB2 Monte Nido Oak Wood Secretary Desk
Made with hardwood
Cord management in the back
Only one color available
Smaller working surface
CB2’s Monte Nido Oak Wood Secretary Desk may cost more than the other options on our list, but its style and durability justify the higher price tag. The right-hand side features a flip-down door that provides a writing surface, a letter tray, and storage. On the left-hand side, an extra cabinet can be used to store whatever other essentials you may have. The overall design is sleek with clean lines, and it’s made with oak, which is known for its durability. Additionally, it’s Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified, which means that the wood is responsibly sourced.
The one drawback with this option is that it has a slightly smaller working surface than other desks on our list. But the versatility to keep it closed for decorative purposes and the cord management in the back make it a clear winner in our books.
Price at time of publish: $1,999
Dimensions: 16” x 48” x 45” | Material: Oak
Latitude Run Ninave 31.49'' Desk
Two color options
64-pound weight limit
Priced at $80, Latitude Run’s Ninave Desk is perfect for someone who is looking to maximize their limited space on a budget. It features a simple yet sleek design, and it is available in both black and white to ensure that it can fit in with most styles. While it does have a lower weight capacity of 64 pounds, it's still sturdy enough to hold a laptop and other basic desk supplies. Plus, it’s collapsible, so you can store it when you don’t need to use it. Just note that assembly can be tricky, with some buyers reporting that the holes are tough to align properly.
Price at time of publish: $79.99
Dimensions: 17.7” x 31.49” x 29.33” | Material: Manufactured wood
Sand & Stable Jetty Desk with Hutch
Has a hutch for extra storage
Made with engineered wood
Only one color option
Sand & Stable’s Jetty Desk features mixed materials in a minimalist design that makes it as welcome of an addition in a modern space as it is amongst farmhouse decor. At just a little over 35 inches wide, you can easily fit it into even the smallest of spaces. While small in stature, it has a surprising amount of space. In addition to the working space, a hutch above that is a great option to store books, photos, or a lamp. We really love the modesty panel and finished back on this model because it means you can put it anywhere in the room and don’t have to hide it against a wall.
One thing to be aware of with the Jetty Desk is that it is made with engineered wood, so the top isn’t as durable as other options. However, for the lower price, reviewers still appreciate the style and durability, regardless of the material.
Price at time of publish: $183.57
Dimensions: 20'' x 35.5'' x 35.88''| Material: Engineered wood, metal
Anthropologie Quincy Desk
Made with wood
White glove delivery
Features three drawers
Delivery is $149
For the clean lines associated with mid-century modern furniture, you can’t beat Anthropologie’s Quincy Desk. The simplicity of the design allows the grain of its eucalyptus wood and acacia veneer to do the talking. Additionally, the brass hardware only helps to further compliment that grain while three spacious drawers provide you ample space to store everything you need. Reviewers also appreciate the quality of the drawers, which they note are dovetailed.
One thing to be aware of with this option is that it can take between 2-4 weeks to arrive and Anthropologie charges $149 to deliver the furniture. Worth noting though, is that that fee is for white glove delivery, so this will be delivered, assembled, and the debris will be removed for you. Also, Anthropologie does offer a 30-day return option, providing you a chance to make sure it is the right fit for you.
Price at time of publish: $698
Dimensions: 20” x 40” x 30” | Material: Eucalyptus, engineered hardwood, acacia veneer
Best for Apartments
Zipcode Design Baber 2-Drawer Writing Desk
Easy set up
Uses manufactured wood
Prone to scratching
Finding a good desk for your apartment will require something that is stylish without taking up much space. Fortunately, Zipcode Design’s Baber 2-Drawer Writing Desk offers the best of both worlds. Measuring just 39.4 inches across, it is smaller than most other options on our list, so it won’t take up too much precious space in your apartment. While the desk features two drawers, which are removable, the drawer space is small enough that you can easily fit your legs and a chair underneath it. Meanwhile, the simple white top with oak-colored legs makes it a great option for most apartment decors.
One thing to be aware of with this option is that it is not made with the most durable of materials, and some reviewers have noted that it can scratch easily if you aren’t careful.
Price at time of publish: $139.99
Dimensions: 19.7” x 39.4” x 30.3” | Material: Manufactured wood, oak
Best for Bedrooms
Pottery Barn Mateo Mini Writing Desk
White glove delivery available
Adjustable levelers help to keep it steady
Pricier than other options
Measuring just 33 inches wide, Pottery Barn’s Mateo Mini Writing Desk is a perfect addition to a smaller bedroom. It’s made with pine and is available in either salvaged black or salvaged gray coloring, so you’ll be able to accommodate both lighter and darker palette bedrooms. In addition to using pine and poplar veneer, it features tongue-and-groove joinery that is specifically intended to ensure that this desk lasts. It also includes a pull-out drawer, making it a viable option to store jewelry or makeup and to be used as a vanity.
One drawback with this choice is that it shouldn’t be exposed to direct sunlight. Fortunately, the brand includes a 30-day return period to make sure it’s the right product for you. And if assembly seems tedious, for extra money Pottery Barn does offer white glove delivery.
Price at time of publish: $499
Dimensions: 22” x 33” x 30” | Material: Pine, poplar veneer
ODK Small Computer Desk
One year warranty
Lower price point
Uses particle board
Designed with computer usage in mind, ODK’s Small Computer Desk doesn’t sacrifice style for functionality. It features metal legs and a rustic brown top, making it a versatile option. This choice also includes two shelves; a smaller one designed to hold your monitor and provide you with better posture, and another to place your keyboard or to write on. The monitor shelf can be lowered as well to provide you with a larger working space. Spacing between the shelves enables you to run wires should you need to, while an additional shelf beneath offers more storage space.
One thing to note with this option is that it has very sharp corners. So if you have a child running around, you will want to be mindful to keep them safe from the corners. Also, it comes with a one-year warranty for added protection.
Price at time of publish: $74.99
Dimensions: 27.5"D x 18.9"W x 32"H | Material: Particle board, metal
Best with Storage
Jiexi Small Computer Desk
300-pound weight capacity
Doesn’t use real wood
The Small Computer Desk from Jiexi is perfect for the person looking to maximize the small space that they do have. It features two-tier drawers that you can use to store all of your valuable books and documents while working. In terms of structure, the MFC top is waterproof and anti-scratch and the powder-coated metal frame is also designed to withstand daily use and last. And at under 40 inches wide, this is a great option for anyone who is really limited on space. Minimalist in design, the wood accents for the drawers add a pop of texture that reviewers appreciate. Reviewers do note that the assembly of this desk is tedious and is better handled by two people.
Price at time of publish: $111
Dimensions: 18.9"D x 39.3"W x 29.7”H | Material: MDF, metal
Branch Standing Desk
Multiple color options
Heavy to move
With two motors and three-stage lift columns, Branch’s Standing Desk is perfect for the person that is tired of sitting to work all day. Four memory presets allow you to set it to your preferred heights while features like built-in cable organization only help to further solidify it as a great work option. Should you need to sit, centimeter-level precision can allow you to adjust it for that as well. And with the option of four tops: woodgrain, white, walnut, and fog, as well as white and charcoal leg options, you’ll be able to design the desk to be perfect for your space.
While durably made, this desk does weigh 115 pounds, making it a hassle to move should you ever need to. But that is just the price of its durability. We also appreciate that Branch offers a 10-year warranty.
Price at time of publish: $699
Dimensions: 30” x 48” x 25-52” | Material: Laminate MDF, powder-coated steel
Costway Folding Computer Desk
Four color choices
Not sold in Target stores
Nothing saves more space than a desk that can be simply dismantled and tucked away. Costway’s Folding Computer Desk does exactly that but without sacrificing any bit of style. The simple design with clean lines makes it a good option to compliment many different decor styles, and it features cross bars for added stability and durability. When not in use, all you have to do is remove the top and fold the legs for storage. It also comes in four color choices to make sure you get something that is a perfect fit for your space. While it is made with engineered wood, reviewers note it is of high quality, and it can handle weights of up to 250 pounds.
One thing to be mindful of with this choice is that it comes with a warranty for only 90 days. However, for an added fee, you can get a 2-year furniture protection plan.
Price at time of publish: $119.99
Dimensions: 39.5 inches” x 19.5 inches x 29.5 inches” | Material: Wood composite, metal
West Elm Ladder Shelf Wall Desk
Three color schemes
Made with solid wood
Needs to be mounted
20-pound capacity per shelf
If you’re living in a space that is limited but has higher ceilings, a ladder desk is a great choice. In addition to the sleek look and height that it can add to a space like a living room, it also offers additional storage without having to hang shelves high on the wall. The desk itself also offers storage for you to keep your laptop or other valuables. West Elm’s Ladder Shelf Wall Desk provides the brand’s well-known quality, using solid wood for the desk and the shelves as well as three color schemes: white lacquer/espresso, sand/stone, and an all-white option.
One thing to note with this option is that it will require some additional assembly. Beyond just the assembly of the furniture itself, you will need to mount it to your wall as West Elm notes that it cannot stand independently.
Price at time of publish: $329
Dimensions: 19" x 28” x 77" | Material: Solid wood, metal hardware
George Oliver Gilus Desk
Cabinet is not movable
Only has a weight capacity of 75-pounds
seeking, while still accommodating your smaller space. It’s designed in the spirit of a modern farmhouse, with a natural rattan door. Inside, an adjustable shelf lets you cater to your own specific storage needs. To top it all off, antique gold hardware adorns this desk, providing you with a classic feel that still has elements of the ornate. An additional shelf under the top provides extra storage, and is open in the back should you want to run a cord through.
Do be aware that the cabinet is fixed, so if you would prefer a drawer on your right side, this desk may not be ideal for you. Overall, though, reviewers do love it for the simple yet sleek style, the ease of building, and the overall sturdiness. You also have 30 days to make sure it’s the right fit for you!
Price at time of publish: $380
Dimensions: 18.8” x 46.8” x 29.6” | Material: MDF
Allmodern Duran Desk
Easy to assemble
Lower weight capacity
Only one color available
For the person with a modern aesthetic in their home, Allmodern’s Duran Desk is an excellent addition. It features the clean lines that are associated with the style, and also uses a variety of materials. The base is constructed of steel that has a blackened bronze finish. On top, glass helps to create an added feeling of airiness in the room. There’s also an additional shelf below to store important items and it’s specifically designed to fit into smaller spaces, like the corner of a room.
One thing to be mindful of with this choice is that it has a lower weight capacity than other choices, and is able to only withstand 40-pounds. Overall, though, reviewers love it for its ease of assembly and elegant design.
Price at time of publish: $190
Dimensions: 20” x 46” x 30” | Material: Glass, steel
17 Stories Miniature Desk
200-pound weight capacity
5-color options available
Drawer can get stuck
Corner desks are a great way to optimize space by functionally using an area that tends to see less foot traffic. 17 Stories Miniature Desk is a perfect example that corner desks can also look great. It’s ideal for traditional decor, featuring a metal frame and MDF board. In addition to the tabletop, it also offers a smaller desk for storage of items like keyboards. While it does use MDF instead of hardwood, reviewers do note that it is a particularly durable piece of furniture.
One thing to be aware of with this option is that some reviewers note the drawer for the keyboard can be fussy. Fortunately, 30-day returns gives you ample time to make sure that isn’t a problem for you. Overall, reviewers appreciate how sleek and space saving it is.
Price at time of publish: $140.99
Dimensions: 28” x 41” x 30”| Material: MDF, iron
Our pick for the best overall desk for small spaces is the Mercer 41 Micah Desk for its sleek design, its lengthy lifetime warranty, and its spaciousness for your legs. If you’re looking for something at a lower price point, we highly recommend Latitude Run’s Ninave Desk for its multiple color options, collapsible design, and the fact that it comes with free shipping.
What to Look for in a Desk for Small Spaces
Finding the proper desk for your space will really depend on how much room you have. As Elderot, who specializes in Scandinavian design, tells us, “A low desk will not only take up less vertical space, but it can also help create the illusion of a larger room.” For a slightly smaller profile, we recommend the Latitude Run Ninave Desk.
It is important to note that while a larger desk may look great in larger rooms, if you don’t have much space, it will just look out of place. As a result, it is wise to be sure to try and find something that fits the proportions of your room.
Much like other pieces of furniture in your home, a space saving desk can come in a variety of materials. If you are looking for something more sturdy that will last longer, it’s always a good idea to look into durable materials like hardwoods or metals. If durable material is your aim, we highly recommend West Elm Ladder Shelf Wall Desk, which is made with a solid wood frame and features metal hardware.
Space saving desks come in a variety of shapes, each with their own benefits. Elderot tells us that more compact desks can help by fitting into tighter spaces, while still providing enough area for you to work on. Another great idea is a corner desk, like the Miniature Desk by 17 Stories, which she says “can be a great option for smaller spaces as it can utilize an otherwise unused corner of the room.”
Considering how you intend to use your desk will be vital when deciding which one is best for you. If you are just looking for something that can be converted into a vanity with very minimal storage, we love the Pottery Barn Mateo Mini Writing Desk. Conversely, as Elderot tells us, “Desks with built-in storage can be especially helpful for small spaces as they can provide extra storage solutions without taking up additional floor space.” If that sounds like what you need because you’re looking to do some more serious work from home, we recommend Jiexi Small Computer Desk.
When purchasing a desk, being honest about your own ability and desire to assemble it is important. For the DIYer, something that is more involved will not pose a problem. But if you’re someone who hates assembling furniture, you’ll either want to purchase something with a white glove delivery option, or something with very minimal assembly required. For the latter, we recommend the Zipcode Design Baber 2-Drawer Writing Desk that only requires attaching the legs.
What desk size is best for a small space?
As every space is unique, there is no one size fits all answer to this question. A better thing to be concerned with is the overall style of the desk. For example, “wall-mounted desks can be a great option for small rooms as they take up no floor space," says Elderot. "Folding desks are also excellent choices as they can be easily stored away when not in use," she adds.
Should my desk be high or low?
While accounting for your own individual space will be the ultimate guiding decision-maker for this question, Elderot prefers a low desk. As stated above, this can create the illusion of the room being larger than it is.
Does the shape of a desk matter?
The shape of your desk will absolutely be important because no two rooms are identical. If you have slightly more space and you are looking for more surface area, an L-shaped desk can be a great idea. As stated above, Elderot notes that corner desks can be a great way to occupy space that would go otherwise unused. Assessing the current furniture that you have and looking at what your needs are will help you to understand which shape is best for your space.
Why Trust The Spruce?
Jack Byram is a freelance writer who covers everything home related. He has written numerous articles with expert insight into the best of the best products to complete your space. For this article, he spoke with Simone Elderot, an interior designer, decorator, and the founder of Stockhomed, to glean expert insight into the best desks for small spaces, how they can be beneficial, and what to look for in one. From there, he scoured the internet, reading countless customer reviews to find the best desks for small spaces across a wide spectrum of needs.