Office Desk Buying Guide

Choosing the right office desk can be a matter of personal preference but the type of desk you choose is also largely based on your needs. The day-to-day tasks you need to accomplish at the desk will help you narrow down what type and size will be best for you.

Types of Office Desks

Computer Desk

Computer desks have become the most popular type of desk as they accommodate the needs of using computers, printers, scanners, and other technology all from one workstation. They provide enough area for computer towers, cord ports, and often have a retractable keyboard shelf. They also have storage to hide your office equipment or shelving on top to store other office supplies. If the majority of your work takes place at a computer, a computer desk will provide what you need. They are usually utilitarian and functional in design and appearance.

Writing Desk

The writing desk is a minimal desk with a large surface area and little storage. They can work for a laptop but are not ideal for a desktop computer. They are open and will blend well with their surroundings.

Executive Desk

The executive desk has lots of surface area and storage space. These desks are big and often have ornate woodwork as part of their design. They can range in appearance to a large rectangular table to an entire matching office suite.


A credenza combines the writing desk with shelving often found on computer desks. They give you the benefit of both and are popular in living or family rooms as they can blend with many décor styles.

Corner Desks

These desks provide the extra benefit of fitting nicely into a corner out of the way. They also have extra leg space under their corner component.

Secretary Desk

This traditional form desk has a hinged desktop with a bookcase for office supplies. They were originally designed for those that did not have room for a roll top desk. They can be closed when work is done leaving a clean appearance.

Floating Desk

Floating desks are mounted directly to the wall saving floor space. Some even come as a murphy desk that folds into the wall. They work well for those with limited space.

Pay Attention to


Measure the office space or space in your home where you will be placing the desk. Then double check the measurements of the desk you are considering. The desk should be proportional to space in which it will be used. There is nothing more frustrating that buying a new piece of furniture that won't fit.


Know how you plan to use the desk before purchasing. If you need space for a keyboard, printer, and computer tower a writer's desk isn't going to provide enough storage space. Look for separate ports for power cords and retractable keyboard shelf to save space. If you primarily use a laptop that wirelessly connects to a networked printer, a small writer's desk maybe all that you need. Measure file drawers so you know if the size of files you use will be able to fit.


An office desk should last you for years. If you want wood, look for a desk made with hardwoods. Glass top desk should be purchased with a solid base as they can easily be broken without a solid base. With a metal desk, look for steel and aluminum as they are the most durable materials.


You may use your office desk all day so it should visually appeal to you. It should also fit in with the room décor. Keep in mind that the aesthetics should add to the utility of the desk if possible.


The desk should be comfortable for you to use. Check the height and depth of the top. Some desks have adjustable legs to allow to you to get it to the right height. If not, you may need to have an adjustable chair that puts the desktop at the correct height for you. Most desks should be between 26 – 30 inches high with a 32-inch depth. Be sure to check for leg space as well.


Having a locked drawer allows you to secure files while away from your desk. If you work with sensitive information this will be an important feature for you.


In an office that often moves employees, a lightweight desk maybe a logical consideration. If you are in an environment where desks are moved frequently, look for a desk that can be easily moved with one or two people.

Top Brands and Product Lines

Bush Furniture

The Cabot L-Desk provides ample surface area while also having storage space above and below. It can easily fit into a corner saving you floor space.

Coaster Fine Furniture

Coaster Fine Furniture makes an ornate executive desk that will add elegance and sophistication to your office. It is a heavy piece of furniture that you aren't going to want to move once it's installed.

Monarch Specialties

Their hollow core desk has shelves to display artwork or to store books and files. This desk blends well with décor. It is minimal in design yet offers good storage space.