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The best little desk you can buy today is the Sauder computer desk. Despite it being a little desk that fits in smaller spaces, it has an executive-style design. It also has quite a few compartments, including hidden storage, a dedicated computer tower space, and an elevated monitor or printer shelf. The Ameriwood Home also deserves an honorable mention because of its slim profile yet attractive, industrial aesthetics.
We spent over 15 hours researching and independently selected the best little desks. We looked for those with an excellent style or finish, small space accommodations, and a bevy of support features like built-in storage or a folding setup. Keep reading to learn more about our top picks.
Award: TOP PICK
WHY WE LIKE IT: This desk is compact, perfect for smaller spaces, but also has an executive-style design. It also has quite a few compartments, making it an excellent option for those with desktop computers and more substantial home office setups.
This desk has an executive-style design albeit in a more compact form. It’s adorned with a dark cinnamon cherry finish, with black styling for the accents — like the cabinet handle. There are multiple shelves and compartments including an elevated monitor or printer shelf, slide-out keyboard tray, and hidden storage. The top of the desk is 39 ⅝” long with 19 ½” dedicated to the elevated shelf.
Above the hidden storage, there is a dedicated space for a vertical CPU tower, plenty accommodating for mid-ATX to full-size ATX cases. The entire desk is American-made, with engineered wood. The wood material is essentially a composite, including high-quality trimmings and post-milling leftovers, like sawdust. Compare this with the best standing desk to find out what’s best for your office.
Award: HONORABLE MENTION
WHY WE LIKE IT: This low-profile desk has an industrial style, with a tabletop surface and sturdy metal hairpin legs. It offers a sizable workspace that’s ideal for busy work and working with more portable computers, like laptops and tablets.
Closer to a slim profile table, this desk has an elegant industrial feel. It’s made of laminated particleboard in a weathered oak color, with metal legs that have a black powder-coated finish. The material and design make it extra easy to clean — just wipe it down with a dry or slightly damp cloth. Also, it’s easy to assemble as it only requires fastening the legs to the top surface. The work area is 40” long with 19.5” of width, and it stands 26.75” tall.
Unfortunately, there is no built-in storage nor is there a keyboard tray. The slim setup means the desk can be placed just about anywhere. It’s an excellent desk for writing, reading, or working with smaller systems like a laptop or tablet and keyboard combo. For an option that will get you on your feet throughout the day, take a look at the best sit-and-stand desk instead.
Award: BEST SPACE-SAVER
WHY WE LIKE IT: This convenient desk is ideal for permanent or temporary home office setups, because it breaks down for easy storage at the end of the day.
This desk is excellent for those with a home office that either has limited space or is used for multiple purposes. The tray can be removed and the sides fold in so the desk can be flattened for easy and quick storage. When deployed, it has a mission-style design with a flat tabletop surface and a slide-out keyboard tray underneath. The work area is 40” long, 20” wide, and 30” high.
Unlike some of the other desks, this one is composed of solid beechwood and has a natural wood finish. The slatted sides and open back not only provide a more airy look but give it more of a floating desk feel, as opposed to a solid piece of furniture. Even so, the construction is plenty durable. The desk would be an excellent all-purpose option whether used for laptops and portable configurations, or work from home desktop and monitor setup. If your office is still missing a chair, take a look at the best standing desk chairs to find the perfect chair for your space.
Award: BEST TEMPORARY
WHY WE LIKE IT: This secretary desk has an all-purpose setup, as it, folds-up but also employs a smaller and more lightweight setup that can be used for virtually anything. The elevated shelf is a fantastic place to display plants, trophies, photos, and more.
This desk has one of the best folding designs as it folds flat for easy storage which also helps save space. Although it has a limited work space of 29.5” long, 20.5” wide, and 27.6” tall, it does include a built-in elevated shelf. The top shelf is not wide enough for a monitor or anything substantial, but it can accommodate books, plants, decor, and more. The desk is made of medium-surface fibreboard — MDF — with metal legs set in an X shape. The legs keep the desk stable when in use, but also tuck away nicely when folded.
The desk comes pre-assembled, which means it can be used right out-of-the-box. The portable design means it’s perfect for small spaces like a studio apartment where square footage must be repurposed wisely. It’s a great option for those with portable setups — like a laptop or tablet — or anyone that wants a space to do some paperwork, writing, reading, art, or similar tasks. If you’re looking for a base for your new desk, take a look at the best standing desk mat too.
#5 Coavas Writing and Computer Little Desk
Award: MOST DURABLE DESIGN
WHY WE LIKE IT: With a unique surface that’s water-resistant and resists deformities, this desk is one of the more durable options for long-term use. Even so, it can fold up for quick storage and portability with underside clip brackets that hold the desktop in place.
While this desk is made of MDF wood — medium-surface fibreboard — it does have a waterproof finish on the top that helps prevent deformation when it’s exposed to liquids. That means you can safely rest or coffee or beverage on its surface without fear of water rings and damage. It features an industrial aesthetic with black powder-coated steel silver tubing for the frame. The desktop is 39.4” long, 19.7” wide, and stands 29.5” tall.
No assembly is required, however, the frame needs to be opened and the desk surface must then be attached using the unique clip brackets. When you’re done, you can detach the brackets and the desk folds up nicely. Overall, it’s an excellent home office, writing, kitchen, foyer, or even children’s desk thanks to its feature set. If you need to take work home with you from the office, then check out the best portable desk instead.
Award: BEST FOR WRITING
WHY WE LIKE IT: For those that want to maximize workspace yet still limit surface area that a desk takes up this is the best option. It’s composed of solid wood materials with an antique visual style, and it has two storage shelves built-in.
This solid-wood writing desk is designed and made by Ashley Furniture. That means not only does it have a reliable build, but a beautiful antique appearance. It’s composed of genuine wood, veneers, and engineered wood, and it’s covered in a teal, distressed finish. It offers one of the largest workspaces on the list, too, with a surface that’s 42” long, 24” wide, and stands 30” tall. It also includes built-in storage, with two-tier shelf space on the left side.
If teal isn’t your style, you can also choose from a distressed, antique white and a solid black finish. The desk is designed to be static, as opposed to having a fold-up and a more portable setup. Therefore, it’s best for use in more permanent configurations like a small home office desk, writing cubby, or something similar.
Award: BEST STORAGE SPACE
WHY WE LIKE IT: This desk has two bottom-mounted drawers and so it’s the best for those that need built-in or extra storage options. It’s also a lot taller than most comparable models, with a durable steel frame to hold everything up.
This desk has the best storage, with two bottom-mounted drawers that are perfect for storing stationery, office supplies, and belongings. The surface is made of particle board with a printed drift board-style transfer across the top — it has a realistic wood grain appearance. The frame is made of sturdy steel, with a black powder-coated finish. The workspace is 43 ⅞” long, 18 ⅞” wide, while the entire desk stands 30” tall.
The desk does not come assembled, however, putting it together is relatively simple. It does not feature a folding design, so it’s meant for static use. It would be an excellent writing desk, especially with the built-in drawers, but it would also work great for computer setups, of either the laptop or desktop variety. Primarily, it’s an excellent choice when space is a concern, yet there’s still a need for a desk with some storage options.
One of the first things we considered when selecting the best of the little desks, is the build quality and material. While it’s not feasible to expect solid wood for every potential desk, any materials used should provide adequate support. It is especially true of a portable and fold-up style desk, that could otherwise end up being flimsy and impractical due to poor construction. All desks on the list feature either wood or a composite material that is capable of withstanding general wear and tear.
The size was also a major consideration because we are talking about little and compact desks for limited spaces. The largest desk is 40” long, but still has an incredibly slim profile which means it can be pushed right up against a wall, and still works even in a smaller residence like a studio apartment. Many of the desks can be folded flat, which offers an excellent grab-and-go solution that doesn’t take up much room when it’s tucked away.
Function and style were the final considerations, with function taking priority. All of the desks would work well in a writing, stationery, reading, or similar craft space. Most would also work well for use with laptops and more portable working conditions. They also look fantastic, whether set up and in use, or folded up and stored away.