Buying a small office desk is high up on many peoples’ “to-get” furniture list because so many households have more and more computers and therefore need little work areas for those computers.
Accordingly, there are many compact desk options available for computers, writing and even roll-top desks. Small is great because it can be added to a room, an upstairs landing, an existing office or a small nook somewhere.
We scoured many different types of desks and came up with this list of 10 excellent options.
Table of Contents
- A. Small Computer Desks
- B. Compact Writing Desks
- C. Roll-Top Desks
A. Small Computer Desks
1. Sauder Beginnings Computer Desk
Some quirky design choices mean that this computer desk stands out from most small office desks. There’s an elevated mini-desk that comes up from a small drawer at the base and connects to the corner of the main desk. It’s a non-traditional design choice, as it’s not easy to reach from a seated position, but it may be ideal for decoration or for putting papers out of the way. It’s also good for keeping a printer, or for elevating a monitor.
Furthermore, the gap between it and the floor-based drawer is big enough to fit a small desktop. As for the main desk, it has a roll-out shelf for your keyboard and mouse.
The main desk is 27.5 inches in width, and you have almost 25 inches of legroom up to the base of the roll-out shelf. The desk itself only weighs 14.6 pounds, though you may want to disassemble it before moving it.
- Interesting design choices make this desk look unique compared to other small office desks
- Offers plenty of legroom between the floor and roll-out shelf
- Some may balk at the elevated secondary desk
- Only available in cherry red
2. Bell’O CD8855 Computer Desk with Keyboard Tray
A modern take on the traditional computer desk design, this has clear surfaces with a black lining. The legs look great too, as the curve past one another in a crisscross pattern, rather than being panels that obscure whatever’s underneath the desk. It’s one of the better small office desks for modern offices and looks great in a room with lots of windows.
The desk and shelf use tempered safety glass, so you don’t have to worry about shattering it and injuring yourself. Further reinforcement comes from the steel frame, plus the whole thing’s scratch resistant too.
The sliding keyboard shelf looks great, but can’t take a lot of weight. It can hold 15 pounds at most, which is fine for a keyboard and mouse but also means you don’t want to lean your full weight on it.
The main desk holds 125 pounds and measures 31.5 inches by almost 19 inches. There’s also a little bar running across the back of the desk, which you can use as a footrest.
- Beautiful clear glass design with a sturdy black steel frame
- Nice open space underneath the desk and keyboard shelf
- The keyboard shelf can’t handle a lot of weight
3. Modern Small Work Computer Desk
Minimalistic is the word when it comes to this small office desk’s aesthetic. However, the simple frame manages to pack a lot into a small space. Beyond the standard computer desk, there’s a small shelving unit on the left-hand side, which you can use to store stationery, and any other decorative items you want in your office.
While the four shelves provide storage space, the desk itself has a scratch-resistant coating. Made using MDF, it’s sturdy enough, but it could do with a slightly stronger frame underneath it.
You do get 47 inches in width though, with a 19-inch length. It’s 28 inches high, so it offers a decent amount of leg room. Unfortunately, there isn’t a rolling shelf for your mouse and keyboard.
The desk does require assembly, but you get all of the hardware necessary alongside an instruction leaflet.
- Minimalistic design makes it a good fit for modern office spaces
- The four shelves offer plenty of storage space
- Doesn’t have a separate rolling shelf for a keyboard and mouse
- It’s not the most stable of the small office desks on this list
4. L-Shaped Desks
Salina L-Shape Corner Desk
This compact L-shaped desk fits snugly into the corner of an office, meaning you don’t have to deal with the desk dominating the room. Alternatively, you can slot four together in a cross-shape formation to maximize your space.
There are no real surprises to be found with this small office desk’s shape, though the curve at the right-hand end is a nice touch. It offers plenty of leg room, plus it has two shelves on the right side. These have pillars running through them, which lends the desk an elegant look.
You have a choice of dark russet cherry, black ebony ash, and white for the color, though the latter two come at an extra cost. There are also grommets built into a far corner and the left-hand side, so you can pack those pesky cables away.
Made using MDF, the desk weighs 70 pounds. Each side of the “L” shape is over 50 inches in length, though there’s some crossover when they meet in the corner. At 28.31 inches high, it also offers plenty of leg room.
- Simple design makes it perfect for a small home office
- Comes with two shelves built into the right-hand side
- Scratches a little too easily
5. Whalen Newport Wood and Glass L-Desk
The desk itself is black tempered glass, so you get a nice smooth surface without it being see-through. Its heat and stain resistant too, so you don’t have to worry about causing any issues if you absent-mindedly forget the coaster for your morning coffee.
Each side of the L is 61 inches in length, though there’s obviously some crossover where they meet. It’s also 30 inches tall, so it offers more leg room than most small office desks. It weighs 83.78 pounds and comes with a one-year manufacturer’s warranty.
- Looks stunning as an office centerpiece thanks to the curved legs
- Combination of wood and metal make it sturdy
- Black tempered glass offers a smooth surface
- A little bit tricky to put together
6. Space Saver Computer L Desk
There’s a lot going here, making it one of the most versatile small office desks around. As well as the usual space-saving benefits of the L-shape, it also has a corner mounted shelf that’s ideal for a printer or monitor. There’s also a sliding keyboard shelf located at the left-hand side of the desk.
Beyond that, each of the four wooden supports split off into two legs at the bottom. Stability shouldn’t be an issue, but you may find that these legs take up a little too much of the space underneath the desk if you like to stretch your legs out.
Though it looks like mahogany, the desk is actually made using fiberboard. As a result, it’s not quite as strong as the finish may lead you to believe, though it should still be perfectly fine for regular office use.
The larger side of the L measures 41 inches, with the smaller side dropping 10 inches. There are also a couple of protective screens running along the bottoms of the desk. You can’t have people seeing what your knees get up to, after all.
- Packs a lot of features into such a small desk
- Wooden supports improve stability
- Isn’t made using mahogany, despite what the finish looks like
B. Compact Writing Desks
1. Annie Writing Desk with Hutch
An elegant and simple desk, this has three tiers so writers can store their paper, pens, and other stationery. The middle tier acts as the main desk and has just enough space to fit a small laptop or notebook. Above that it a small shelf tier, that’s ideal for little decorative items.
The third tier is almost at floor level, and it perhaps the most confusing of the three. It offers a little space for storage, but it’s also too easy to kick things off the shelf because of its position. However, it does make a nice little footrest if you want to relax a little before getting your nose back down to the grindstone.
Having said all of that, it certainly looks the part. Made using MDF, the legs lean outwards to offer support to all three shelves. It’s also made using 95% recycled materials, so the environmentally conscious among you will surely want to give it a home.
- Gorgeous wooden design means it looks great in quirky offices
- Multiple tiers for storage
- Made using recycled materials
- Poorly positioned bottom tier is too easy to kick
2. Poly and Bark Ralston Writing Desk
That does the desk a bit of disservice though, as it looks pretty cool. The legs have the strange wire share, where one end starts from the underside of the desk and then curves round to form the foot before connecting back to the desk. It’s a unique design choice and lends the desk a surprising amount of stability given the curved feet.
Poly and Bark use fiberboard for the desk itself, though it does have a pretty melamine veneer. It measures 40 inches by 19.8 inches, with 29.5 inches of leg room. The minimalistic design also means it only weighs 30 pounds, so you won’t have any problems moving it to a new position if you’re finding its current place uninspiring.
- Lightweight makes it easy to move around
- Interesting design choice for the legs
- One of the most bare-bones small office desks on this list
C. Roll-Top Desks
1. International Caravan 3820-IC Roll-Top Desk
As much of a cabinet as it is a desk, this small office desk has a traditional aesthetic. It wouldn’t look out of place in a period piece, but it’s available to add a touch of class to your home office too. The roll-top portion has two handles and reveals the desk when you pull it back.
Once you open the desk, you’ll spot a couple of little drawers at the back, in addition to the three drawers that line the top of the desk. The desk itself has a brown stain, which is used throughout, and measures 31 inches by 17 inches.
It’s the height that really separates this from most other small office desks. From top to bottom, it measures 42 inches. That means a lot of legroom alongside those traditional-looking table legs.
This is a very niche desk though, and it won’t suit your home if you’re going for a contemporary look. Still, if you have the right décor, this makes a nice decorative item as well as being a decent desk.
- Offers plenty of storage options thanks to the five shelves and roll-top
- Unique sense of style
- Does not work well when put alongside modern décor
2. Windsor Hand Carved Roll Top Secretary Desk
Hand-carved is always nice to see in a product name, as it implies that a certain amount of care has gone into the item. You’ll see that extra effort immediately, in the little pattern that adorns the front of the desk, as well as the vertical lines on the roll-top.
It’s made using top-quality hardwood and features a walnut finish. It also has five drawers, three of which run across the top, with the other two hidden behind the roll-top. There are also four little mail slots to complete the traditional theme.
It weighs 47 pounds, so it’s not too difficult to move around. Once opened, the desk provides 28 inches in width, and has a 15-inch depth before you hit the shelves. It’s big enough to hold a 10-inch laptop with the roll-top closed.
- An excellent addition to any traditionalist home
- Beautiful hand carved patterns throughout
- The drawers don’t have any stops
- Doesn’t mesh well with modern décor
Your desk is an important part of your office setup, as you’ll spend most of your day sitting at it. Make the wrong choice and you have an expensive piece of wood that you’ll resent until you get a new one.
Regular computer desks do the job if you’re working from a desktop, or want to save some desk space with a rolling keyboard shelf. L-shaped desks fit snugly into corners and allow you to maximize your floor space when several people work in the office.
Those who prefer more individualistic designs may gravitate towards writers and roll-top desks. Both varieties tend to offer unique designs, while still being surprisingly practical. However, they’re probably more suited to pen and paper than they are computers.
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