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, some specialty writing desks are out there. 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 a beneficial 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.
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 will want your next writing desk to 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 slightly, too, so consider how tall or short you like your desk to be.
- Storage: A suitable writing desk should provide you with some breathing room regarding storage. Whether the desktop offers more space or you find a product with built-in drawers and shelves, your next desk must offer enough space 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 are similar 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 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: This model aptly proves that not all writing desks have to be huge and bulky. Sleek and minimalist, it provides good writing space without taking up more than its share of space. It also leaves plenty of legroom 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 many 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.
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 handcrafted from oak and only gets moved once a year. If you want something more minimalist that 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 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 plenty of legroom underneath the desk 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 consists of 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.
Nathan James Parker Writing Desk with Open Storage Cubby
A modern update with classic appeal, this compact desk is perfect for writers who want to create a workspace in smaller homes or rooms.
Pros: Contemporary and classic designs mesh perfectly in this little writing desk. The modern layout combined with the walnut brown wooden finish ensures that this writing desk is aesthetically pleasing and fits a wide range of home decor styles. There are also several other color choices if you prefer something darker, lighter, or more colorful. The desk’s slim, compact size ensures it’s a great option for those living in apartments or smaller homes or those who don’t need much storage space but still want a functional and stylish writing space. It also has a cubby and a drawer, so you get the best of both worlds.
Cons: Despite its appearance, this desk isn’t made of real wood. It’s mostly engineered wood (aside from the rubberwood legs), so it won’t be 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 or are after something with more storage space. It’s also quite expensive, especially for its size.
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, all while providing a classic, natural look.
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 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. The laminate finish also helps to prevent the material from minor scratches and scuffs.
Cons: This desk has no other size or color options, 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, so it has less room for 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, this model will fulfill that need without breaking the bank.
ADORNEVE Writing Desk with USB Port
This writing desk offers modern convenience and a good amount of storage space in an elegant design.
Pros: While a more elaborate or sophisticated writing desk isn’t necessary for everyone, there’s nothing wrong with wanting something as decorative as it is functional. And this particular writing desk nicely fits the bill for both. The white color complements just about any decor style, and the main body of the desk comes pre-assembled. Yet this writing desk’s appeal isn’t all decorative— it’s got seven total drawers for stashing your writing or drawing supplies, plus three cubbies and a small built-in hutch shelf. It also features a handy plug on top for your computer or lamp, plus a USB port for charging devices.
Cons: Although most of the desk comes pre-assembled, you may still experience some assembly issues. Namely, some screws may be broken off at the tip during assembly, and the hutch attached to the desktop is not sturdy. You may also find that the white finish chips and peels over time.
Bottom Line: This writing desk perfectly blends aesthetics and functionality. Its rich, white finish and modern frame may make you feel like writing and working from home can 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 a cozy, personalized space to write or type away and a convenient place to store your writing and mailing utensils.