Our list of the best office desks in 2021 means that no matter whether you're after a desk (or as some call it, a workstation) for home or the office, this list will have some ideal choices for you.
We've included the best corner office desks, as well as compact desks and budget desks too. Standing desks are also becoming increasingly popular, so we've included some in this list as well, along with double-length desks that can accommodate two people (and larger desks still for bigger office settings).
Whatever your particular needs for an office desk, we’ll attempt to point you in the right direction, and ensure that you’re making a sound purchase which isn’t one you’ll live to regret.
With the Covid-19 pandemic still sadly ongoing, and fresh lockdowns coming into play in some cases, many people are finding they are still working from home, which is why buying the best office desk is a good idea to ensure good working practices even if you’re not currently in the office.
If you’ve got children, be sure to check out our picks for the best desks for kids as well.
The best office desks of 2021
Office Hippo’s professional desk is our pick for the best all-rounder. It’s suitably well-built and sturdy, as well as offering a good range of different sizes, with a palatable price tag.
The desk is fairly easy to put together – we own one ourselves, and managed the task with no bother – and it’s very solid, with the actual desktop being an inch thick.
As mentioned, you can get it in a variety of sizes, including the largest model which is 180cm wide, and comfortably allows for two people to work side-by-side, with plenty of space for a couple of monitors, and a printer or multifunction device between. The smaller models, at 80cm or 120cm, are perfect for a single desk, or in the latter case someone who wants a roomy single desk to fit plenty of stuff on. The Office Hippo is plenty deep enough at 80cm, as well.
One neat extra worth mentioning is that there are nifty cable management holes on either end of the desk. As mentioned, we’ve owned this desk (which comes in a range of different woods and colors) for some years, and have been very happy with it, so can definitely recommend it as great value for money considering the not too wallet-damaging asking price.
You should be able to get hold of this in the US as well as the UK, but those State-side who can’t find the Office Hippo (or an economical way to get one shipped over) should look at this Bush Office Desk from Walmart, which is another sturdy product that’s a very similar size and style, complete with cable management holes.
If you need an L-shaped desk to go in a corner (or elsewhere for that matter), then this model sold on Amazon represents great value – particularly with a $20 off coupon at the time of writing.
The frame is made of steel and the desktop itself is MDF, plus a neat extra touch comes with the addition of leveling studs on the feet which can be adjusted in order to provide extra stability on an uneven floor. Not only is it sturdy, going by online feedback, but this office desk is easy to assemble.
The Casaottima also comes with a small shelf – for a monitor, or perhaps speakers, for example – which can be attached to the left-hand or right-hand side of the desk.
Going by customer reviews, perhaps the main niggle with this product is the occasional complaint of a missing screw or other element, but customer service seems to resolve any such problems promptly. Overall, this L-shaped desk is great value for money.
Buyers in the UK can’t get this particular model – although could get it shipped from the US, but at considerable expense. A better alternative for UK consumers is the Vasagle L-shaped desk which is a similarly robust and well-liked desk in the same price bracket that also has adjustable feet. The Vasagle model in question also offers two shelves underneath the desk, rather than a small monitor shelf.
- Buy the Casaottima L-shaped Desk at Amazon US here
- Or UK buyers can get the Vasagle L-shaped Desk at Amazon UK
A standing desk is motorized to allow the desktop to be raised or lowered to different heights, allowing you to vary between sitting and standing during your working day, with the health benefits this can potentially bring.
If you fancy going the standing desk route, then we can offer no better recommendation than the Uplift V2. This office desk oozes quality, and is rock-solid stable, in contrast to some standing desks which can get a bit wobbly when they are fully extended to their highest levels.
Its motorized action is smooth and quiet, there are a huge range of different choices for the size of the desktop, and you get cable management chops thrown in. All this is backed by a confidence-inspiring seven-year guarantee, plus the Uplift V2 allows for a great deal of customization with various accessories.
The Uplift desk comes in a standard model, plus a commercial version (with even more stability, courtesy of a crossbar). Folks in the UK can have an Uplift shipped, but it’s a sensible idea to only purchase the frame and get your own desktop locally (otherwise shipping could be prohibitively expensive).
Whatever model you buy, this desk is far from cheap compared to the other products we’ve listed on this page – but given the engineering and motors involved, that’s hardly surprising.
You can read up more about standing desks, their potential benefits, and other good alternatives (that those in the UK might want to consider in particular) in our full roundup of the best standing desks.
Furinno makes a lot of desks, and this one’s a tempting proposition for those who don’t want to part with all that much cash. Naturally, you can’t expect top-notch build quality at the bargain basement end of the desk market, but you get a solid enough product here, and it’s relatively easy to put together.
What you also get is a very compact computer desk – this is a good option for those looking for a space-saver – and you can slot your PC in the right-hand side shelf, plus you get a slide-out tray for your keyboard and mouse. There’s a bonus drawer included as well.
Now, when you consider the recommended price of the Furinno, coupled with the reality that most online retailers offer it with quite a substantial discount compared to that MSRP, this is a great buy for those who really don’t want to spend much at all on their office desk.
Those in the market for a solid desk which offers good storage options should consider heading to IKEA to fulfil their needs.
The IKEA Linnmon desk can come standalone or be equipped with Alex drawer units underneath: either one or two units. So obviously if you want maximum storage, you can plump for a pair of drawer units positioned at either end of the desk.
With three large drawers and two small drawers each, that gives you a total of six plus four large and small drawers respectively – 10 in total. That’s plenty of room for your bits and pieces, paperwork and folders, or whatever else you need. The desktop itself is also impressively roomy at 150cm long by 75cm deep (note that there is also a smaller variant which is 120cm by 60cm).
All in all, you’re getting a good value proposition here, and pretty good build quality relative to the asking price. We’ve seen a couple of comments online observing that the top of the desk may be a little prone to potentially getting chipped, but equally, that could be down to carelessness – and there seem to be plenty of happy Linnmon owners with no such complaints.
6. Piranha Unicorn Large Reversible Corner Desk
This is a flexible corner desk which can have the longer portion positioned either on the left or the right, depending on your needs (which is what the ‘reversible’ reference in the name means). Either way, it provides a seriously large chunk of working space, and is a smart, robustly-built piece of furniture. At the time of writing, UK buyers will find that Piranha stocks the Reversible Corner Desk in oak and dark walnut-effect finishes, as well as graphite black and white woodgrain.
7. John Lewis Abacus Small Desk
Those who don’t have much space in their office or study seeking a smaller desk would do well to check out this product from John Lewis. It’s very compact at 80cm long by 42cm deep, and it’s good quality – made of oak – with an optional keyboard tray which can be slotted in. UK readers can purchase the Abacus desk directly from John Lewis, plus there are also options on an Abacus corner desk, and one with a set of drawers.
8. Mind Reader Home Office Sit and Stand Desk
Folks looking for a space-saving desk (like the above model) in the US should consider the Mind Reader Multipurpose Home Office Sit and Stand Desk from Walmart. This product is not only very wallet-friendly, but as the name suggests, it allows the height of the desk to be manually adjusted, so you can stand or sit as required.
9. FlexiSpot EN1
If you’re hunting for a more budget-friendly product in terms of a standing desk, then this is about as good as it gets. Despite its relatively cheap nature, this FlexiSpot standing desk still comes with some nifty features, including a quiet motorized lift with three preset heights, and an alarm which alerts you to when it’s time to change from sitting to standing (or vice versa). US readers can buy direct from FlexiSpot, and the company now has a UK store too.
10. Branch Six Person Desk
Those who wish to cater for multiple people with one office desk should consider Branch’s Six Person Desk, which, as the name suggests, sits six people (complete with cable management ports for all, to keep things nice and tidy). You get a modular steel frame, flared desk legs, and a weight bearing capacity of some 295kg, as well as some neat options like the ability to install privacy panels. If you need a truly expansive high-quality office desk, grab this at a competitive price (with monthly payment options available) direct from Branch in the US.
Ergonomic desk vs normal desk: What's the difference
We asked Elsa Sinjaga, marketing manager at Treston, what are the most notable differences between an ergonomic desk and a normal desk:
- The requirements for desks and benches in industrial and technical environments are inherently different to those of other areas, such as offices. The jobs carried out at manufacturing workstation may involve force, precision skills and repetitive movements, and it is not always possible to adopt and ideal posture in relation to the work piece. An ergonomic workbench must adapt as well as possible to the working environment and to the operator without adapting unhealthy working positions or unnatural postures, and all this without affecting productivity and efficiency negatively.
- An ergonomic workbench with easy height adjustment and large range of accessories differs from a normal, non-height adjustable desk that has a limited range of accessories in many ways.
- First of all activities carried out in industrial and technical benches are often complicated, sometimes require force, sometimes fine motor skills. In addition, in shift work desks are shared by several operators, often different in size. Height adjustable workbench with easy height adjustment method is a key factor in ensuring correct working height and proper ergonomics for all workers, no matter what sized operator you have, no matter big or small work piece and not dependent on the working position (sitting, standing, semi-sitting). We recommend desks either with hand crank or electric height adjustment.
- Second, the reach range in industrial tasks can be large, depending on the work piece size and materials and tools you need to have in reach within the workstation. Your bench has to flexible in terms how it gives maximum adaptability without compromising ergonomics. This is achieved with modular workbenches that have a wide range of accessories. Height adjustable accessories above the workbench ensure ergonomic working postures for operators in all sizes and accessories with arm allow you to work in your primary and secondary working zones and eliminate unnecessary reaching.
- Workstations and industrial furniture design and implementation always begin with the person performing the work. Ergonomics, functionality and efficiency should be at the forefront of your furniture provider's mind; look for designs that re cost-effective and comply with the principles of the LEAN philosophy.
Office workstation and a home workstation: What's the difference
We put that question to Anna Bettina Pangalangan, a spokesperson from Flexispot, what are the most notable differences between an office workstation and a home workstation:
Setting up a dedicated spot for work is essential for productivity. Whether you are back in the office or still doing remote work, knowing the characteristics of an office workstation and a home workstation can help you achieve your ideal workspace.
An office workstation goes beyond the usual desk with a computer. It is a place where employees can concentrate and work on their tasks without any distractions. In the traditional setting, office workstations are often enclosed in a cubicle for privacy. However, offices with modern interiors offer open workstations or co-working spaces where employees can share their work areas.
The best setup depends on your office environment. If your company encourages open communication, teamwork, and togetherness between employees, it’s best to go for the open workstation, provided that social distancing is practiced. But if employees need to take calls or need solitude in finishing tasks, putting a workstation in a cubicle is the best choice.
Just like an office workstation, a home workstation is a place in your home where you can work without interruptions. A home workstation offers more flexibility since you only have to think about your needs.
Ensure that your home workstation is ergonomic can be challenging, but it will set you on a better course for a healthy body. An ergonomic home workstation provides a healthier environment because you have the option to sit and stand on the fly. Some of the benefits of staying active at work include improved productivity, better mood, and fewer body pains.
Many brands offer ergonomic furniture. It can be overwhelming to look for affordable and high-quality ergonomic furniture. But here are some hints to make your search easier.
Look for height-adjustable models with features such as a tempered glass desktop, powerful motor and legs, a built-in drawer and an advanced keypad with an up-and-down button, memory height buttons, a child-lock button, and USB charging ports.
Define your workspace
Take your time in assessing what you need for your workstation. Even if you work in the office or from your home, the important thing is to have a workstation that will work for you.
What is a workstation desk then?
A traditional office workstation desk carries office equipment such as a computer, keyboard tray, mouse, and supplies. The standard seated-height desk is often accompanied by an adjustable chair and under desk storage spaces.
But if you are working from home, you have the liberty to redefine the workstation desk to make it more suitable for your work style. With the plethora of furniture choices out there, it is easy to have a workstation desk that reflects your personality.
It might be tempting not to build a proper workstation desk. After all, you have the kitchen table or the bed as an alternative workstation desk, right? That might be an alluring idea for a couple of weeks. But if you are going to work from home full-time, it pays to have a dedicated workstation desk where you can focus on work as you would in an office setting.
Tips to nail the ideal workstation desk
You can spend some time to make your workstation desk more ergonomic. Poor ergonomic practices can lead to lower productivity and even physical injury. If you are worried about the experience, we want to let you know that there are ergonomic furniture brands that guarantee quality and affordability. It is all about finding the right products that will help you to stay productive and healthy.
For example, you can try a height-adjustable desk so you can alternate between sitting and standing. Likewise, an ergonomic chair will help you to sit with your thighs parallel to the floor and your feet flat on the floor. Having an ergonomic workstation desk will have a positive impact on your overall physical and mental health.
Your workstation desk must have enough space to allow your body to move in a neutral position. For example, you might want to check your workstation desk's height and make sure that your computer or laptop is within eye-level. This position would prevent slouching, which can affect your posture and spine health in the long run.
Create a workstation desk that shows your personality. Have fun decorating your workstation desk. You can put up a pegboard to put the fun in organizing. Visit Pinterest for layout and design inspirations.
Remember, your working environment can affect the way you work and think. Invest some time to create the best workstation desk for a sound body and mind.
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