The 9 Best Desks for Small Spaces in 2021
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Desks are essential to creating the perfect home office setup. However, for those working in a small apartment or room, finding a desk that'll fit the few inches of space you have left can be a challenge. To choose the right desk for your office, you’ll need to find the perfect confluence of utility, aesthetics, storage, and price. There are also a lot of styles to choose from, including standing desks, floating desks, and even lap desks. Whatever your need, here are the best desks for small spaces.
Best Overall: Ameriwood Home Parsons Desk
The Parsons table, created by the Parsons School of Design in the 1930s, has stood the test of time and with good reason. This simple desk, which has a rectangular top and four square legs with the same thickness as the top, fits into virtually any space.
While this Ameriwood Home desk doesn’t have a ton of bells and whistles, it doesn’t eat up a large footprint in your room, and it’s decidedly utilitarian. With an ample 39-inch working surface, it also features a built-in drawer that’s suitable for small office supplies. The sleek design gives this desk a high-end look without the hefty price tag, and it’s available in a variety of elegant colors.
Best Budget: CubiCubi Study Computer Desk
Perfect for those on a tight budget, this simple yet modern desk from CubiCubi features a 32-inch work surface. It takes a minimal design approach, so there’s not a lot going on; it's still plenty functional and is a great serviceable desk for a small space. It has a solid metal frame with adjustable leg pads, iron struts for added stability, a discrete side storage pocket, and a convenient hook for your headphones. The desktop is made from particle board, and per the manufacturer, assembly is relatively easy and should take about 10 minutes.
Related: The Best Home Office Desks
Best Splurge: Seville airLIFT Computer Desk Table
If you’re going to splurge on a desk, it should probably do more than just sit in a corner—enter the Seville airLIFT desk. It has plenty of features to justify its price point, including dual USB charging ports, three touch-sensitive memory buttons, and an LED height display. With its tempered glass surface, beveled edges, and metal frame, this adjustable desk works well with any office decor. While the desktop features a 47-inch work surface, this is an ideal option for small spaces because it can be used as a standing desk, eliminating the need for a chair. If you have room to spare, however, you can use it in a standard seated position—just lower it to the appropriate height. What’s more, the tabletop is dry-erase ready, so you can take notes directly on the desk and wipe it away when you’re done.
Best Standing Desk: FlexiSpot M2B Standing Desk Converter
FlexiSpot’s standing desk converter moves up and down in its own footprint, so it’s ideal for small spaces. Still, at 35 inches wide and 30 inches deep, there’s enough room to get your work done without missing a beat. Operating the desk is easy with a single side-handle control for height adjustment and 12 preset height levels with a pneumatic assist. While it comes with a full-size keyboard tray, it’s easily removable with a quick-release mechanism if you mostly work without a keyboard. Even better, this standing desk converter assembles in minutes, and it’s compatible with ergonomic monitor mounts for a multi-monitor workstation.
Related: The Best Standing Desk Mats
Best Floating Desk: Wade Logan Floating Desk
Wall-mounted and out of the way, the Wade Logan floating desk is the ultimate space saver because it doesn’t take up actual floor space. While it features a long work surface at 63 inches, it still works for small spaces as it's only 9 inches deep.
This desk is pretty sleek but still offers a good deal of storage, including two dropdown shelves, an open cubby, and plenty of room on the top. The body of the desk is also made of manufactured wood, while the top is made of solid wood (pine).
Best Corner Desk: Costway Corner Computer Desk
Corner desks are ideal for small spaces because they make excellent use of otherwise dead spaces. This elegant Costway corner desk is no exception. With its widest point at 41.5 inches and at 28 inches deep, the dimensions render it fully functional without taking up a lot of precious real estate. This desk features solid wood construction, slide-out drawers for pens, cables, and other small items, as well as bottom bookshelves for extra storage.
Best Value: Zipcode Design Stephon Desk
This computer desk from Zipcode Design is a great value for the features it offers. The desktop work surface measures 29.6 inches, though the desk measures just over 39 inches wide. It also features a storage cube, a 10-pound capacity printer shelf, and a keyboard shelf that frees up your desk space. With shelves of varying heights, this desk lets you pack a lot into a relatively small space. It’s also made of manufactured wood with laminate veneers, and while there are several colors available, each color may differ in price.
Best Lap Desk: Mind Reader Laptop Lap Desk
If you’re really short on space and the couch or bed seems to be your new office, this Mind Reader lap desk provides a good assist. It features a tilting desktop with three angles to choose from, and you can adjust the height of the legs so you can work comfortably. Additionally, the legs fold flat for easy storage when not in use.
This desk also features a generous work surface measuring 21.3 inches, and there’s even a lip that prevents your laptop or book from sliding off when viewing at an angle. Even more, it features a small side drawer that’s perfect for storing pens, pencils, and other small supplies, and it’s made from 100 percent bamboo.
Related: The Best Lap Desks
Most Versatile: Mind Reader Mobile Standing Desk
For small spaces, an adjustable desk on wheels might be one of the most versatile desk setups ever. This Mind Reader desk is height adjustable, so you can sit or stand when the mood strikes, and if you'd like a change of scenery or want a better view, it’s mobile to boot. The workspace measures 27 inches across, and it has two tiers—making it perfect if you have multiple monitors or require a keyboard tray. Additionally, the bottom tier can be angled for comfort, and if you’re going to stay put for a while, the wheels lock in place.
The Ameriwood Home Parsons Desk (view on Amazon) is the best overall desk for small spaces. The classic look will never go out of style, and the 39-inch work surface is small but still plenty utilitarian. The drawer also offers hidden storage for small items, and for its price point, this desk offers excellent value.
What to Look for in Desks for Small Spaces
While you may need a desk that fits into a small space, it still needs to be serviceable. A 32-inch surface may fit into your existing space perfectly, but if you need multiple monitors and a keyboard, this size may be too small. So, be sure to consider all the items and accessories your desk needs to accommodate.
Small desks often sacrifice storage in exchange for a smaller footprint, but in the end, that could spell messy work areas and clutter. If you feel the need to have a place for everything, you may want to consider that when shopping for a desk. Small drawers and built-in shelves can make a difference to your design aesthetic, your productivity, and your peace of mind.
MDF (medium-density fiberboard) isn’t for everyone. While engineered wood might be cheaper, it does have its limitations. For example, MDF can’t hold a lot of weight as it’s heavy and easy to damage. But it isn’t the only medium with flaws—glass can break or get scratched, and natural wood tends to be expensive. When looking for a desk, think about long-term use, its durability, and what type of material fits into your decor.
Meet the Expert
This roundup was written by Sharon Brandwein, a lifestyle writer who specializes in commerce content and buying guides for The Balance Small Business.