When you inch up to your workstation to lay down a few extra lines for your half-finished screenplay, your new and exciting novel, or the normal batch of everyday paperwork, what kind of writing desk do you picture? Is it solid, sturdy, and needs three people to move it? Can you sprawl your work out onto it? Does it fit the tone of your surrounding house or apartment? Whatever it may look like, a writing desk is an important spot in the home.
Why buy a writing desk?
While any desk can technically serve as a writing desk, there are some specialty writing desks out there. These desks are made to make writing (specifically writing by hand) easier. They’re designed to be flat-surfaced, at an ideal height to write comfortably, and with a compartment, cubby, or drawer or two to give you a convenient place to stash writing materials such as pens and paper. More sleek, modern desks don’t always have this latter feature, so a writing desk can be an especially useful choice if you want to keep your notebooks, pencils, letters, stationery, etc. close at hand. Despite the name, this also means that writing desks are useful for artists who like to draw, paint, or sketch by hand too.
Writing desks also tend to be a lot more slender and less bulky than classic desks, so they should be able to fit in pretty much any room in your home, even if you don’t have a huge apartment or house. And they can be as large or small as you want, whether you like a cozy little writing station or prefer lots of space to spread your papers out.
What should you look for in a writing desk?
- Size: You’re going to want your next writing desk to actually fit in the dimensions of your workspace. Map out whichever room you intend to place your desk before you add anything to the cart. This way, you don’t end up with a desk too large or too small for your tasks and purposes. The height can vary a bit, too, so be sure to consider how tall or short you like your desk to be.
- Storage: A suitable writing desk should provide you with some breathing room in regard to storage. Whether the desktop itself offers more space or you find a product with built-in drawers and shelves, it is important that your next desk offer enough space for you on some of those more hectic workdays.
- Construction: A desk is a desk, but some are undeniably more considerate of your environment than others. How will your next desk handle coffee stains or pencil markings? What about your height? You’ll want to take the time to weigh your concerns and what specifically you would like out of your next writing desk.
What’s the difference between a writing desk and a computer desk?
Computer desks serve a similar function to writing desks, especially if you write on a laptop rather than by hand, as many people do these days. However, there are a few small but notable differences between the two. Computer desks are usually bulkier and more heavy-duty since they may have to support several monitors and/or laptops instead of just a single laptop and a notebook or two. They’re often larger but tend to offer less drawer space than writing desks and are usually taller since the monitors should be at eye level to help prevent neck strain. And computer desks almost always have a hole or place to thread cables through for better cord and cable management and organization.
CubiCubi Writing Desk
If you're short on space but still need a writing desk, this slim, minimalist model is a great workstation.
Pros: Not all writing desks have to be huge and bulky, as this model aptly proves. Sleek and minimalist, it provides good writing space without taking up more than its share of space. It also leaves plenty of leg room underneath the desk, with no wooden back to unintentionally bang up against. And while calling it “lightweight” is a bit of a stretch, it is lighter and easier to move than a classic bulky wooden desk with tons of drawers. A side storage bag and hook (designed to hold headphones) also come included, providing storage space that won’t take up space on your writing surface. Multiple color and size options are available to better fit your home and available room. And you shouldn’t have any trouble following the instructions and getting this writing desk assembled.
Cons: This desk doesn’t have as much storage space as many other writing desks. Aside from the included side pocket, there are no drawers or compartments for writing supplies. And even with the iron braces, you may find this desk slightly wobbly once assembled.
Bottom Line: You don’t need a desk that’s handcrafted from oak and only gets moved once a year. If you want something that’s more minimalist, won’t take up as much space, and is easier to move as necessary, this deceptively simple modern writing desk will be right up your alley.
ODK Writing Desk With Storage Bag
If you're someone who needs the extra room, this large writing desk offers plenty of space to spread out on.
Pros: If you like to spread out your materials while writing or creating art, this writing desk will suit your needs nicely. It’s 63 inches long, providing plenty of space for multiple notebooks, papers, and more, and it’s strong enough to support more than one desktop computer, laptop, or gaming device at a time. The size and design also ensure that there’s plenty of leg room underneath the desk for you to stretch out, even if you’re on the tall side. A handy storage bag and headphone hook come included to attach to the side of the desk, and the bag includes a couple of pouches for small and thinner items like notebooks or your phone. Several smaller sizes are available if you like this desk but don’t need something quite so large, and there’s a good array of color choices too.
Cons: Since it’s a larger piece of furniture, it’s not the best choice for small apartments and condos. It also doesn’t have any storage space beyond the side pouch.
Bottom Line: Wide and strong enough for multiple electronic devices and notebooks, this writing desk provides great space for busy but organized people. The 63-inch wide table offers more than enough room for you to work or study with complete comfort.
Caffoz Brown Mahogany Writing Desk
A modern update with classic appeal, this desk offers users ample workspace and storage for writers of all ages.
Pros: Contemporary and classic designs mesh together perfectly in this little writing desk. The modern layout and industrial metal legs combined with the brown mahogany wooden finish ensure that this writing desk is very aesthetically pleasing and fits a wide range of home decor styles. There’s also a dark wooden finish if you prefer something a bit deeper colored. The powder-coated metal legs offer plenty of strength and sturdiness, and the laminate finish helps protect the desk from minor scratches and some of life’s daily wear and tear. This writing desk also features two wide storage drawers for notebooks, pencils, paper, and more. The 48-inch side also ensures that it’s nice and compact to fit smaller rooms or homes with ease.
Cons: Despite its appearance, this desk isn’t made of real wood. It’s engineered wood, so it won’t be quite as strong or hard-wearing as the real thing. It also isn’t available in any alternative sizes, so you’re out of luck if you want something a bit larger.
Bottom Line: An ideal desk choice for smaller home offices and students of any age, this writing desk is compact yet sturdy. It can fit into those smaller spaces where bulkier desks can’t.
FURINNO Jaya Writing Desk
Simple yet effective, this inexpensive writing desk is ideal for those on a budget.
Pros: This model is perfect for those who don’t want to shell out hundreds of dollars for a new writing desk, as it has a much lower price tag than most of its cousins. Even with the more reasonable cost, it’s still plenty useful and functional. There’s plenty of surface space to work with despite its 39.2-inch width, making it a nice choice to fit into corners or smaller spaces. And its small size isn’t a substitute for strength either, as it’s perfectly capable of supporting a desktop computer if need be. The laminate finish also helps to prevent the material from minor scratches and scuffs.
Cons: There aren’t any other size or color options for this desk, so if the all-black design or 39.2-inch width isn’t right for your space, you’ll have to look elsewhere. It also only has a single storage drawer, which is quite small and thus doesn’t have as much room for desk or writing supplies.
Bottom Line: Furniture is an overall pricey investment, and writing desks are no exception. It may not be the grandest or most decorative choice, but if you’re in the market for a new writing desk with a limited budget to work with, this model will fulfill that need without breaking the bank.
CosmoLiving Cosmopolitan Camila Writing Desk
If you want something with a little more color or flair, this is the writing desk for you.
Pros: While a more elaborate or sophisticated writing desk isn’t a necessity for everyone, there’s nothing wrong with wanting something that’s as decorative as it is functional. And this particular writing desk nicely fits the bill for both. It’s incredibly elegant and modern-looking and much more colorful than the average writing desk. You have the choice between emerald green, graphite gray, pale pink, and white. Each color has elegant golden brassy accents that only add to the elegance of the desk. Yet this writing desk’s appeal isn’t all decorative. It’s got two spacious drawers for stashing your writing or drawing supplies, sturdy metal legs to offer extra strength and support, and even a built-in wireless charging spot that allows you to charge your smartphone, no cord needed.
Cons: This writing desk does come with a higher price tag than other models, so it won’t fit in everyone’s budget. Many buyers also found the assembly to be trickier than average. There aren’t any alternate size options either.
Bottom Line: Through and through, this is one of the most visually pleasing writing desks you can buy. Its rich, colorful finish and modern designed frame may make you feel like writing and/or working from home can actually be fun again.
Whether you write professionally, semi-professionally, as a hobby, or you simply like to write letters and thank you cards by hand, a writing desk could be a worthwhile investment. They’ll provide you with a cozy, personalized space to write or type away while also giving you a convenient place to store your various writing and mailing utensils.