The Ultimate Desk Buying Guide

The Ultimate Desk Buying Guide

With the right desk, you can create a cozy writing retreat or a high-tech gamer haven. Learn how to choose the perfect desk size, features, style, type, material, and price to upgrade your home office.


Desk Size

From sprawling executive desks to compact laptop tables, determine the ideal desk measurements for your home office. While the best desk size varies for each person depending on their height and the desk’s intended use, allow at least 24 inches of horizontal space and 18 inches of depth for each user.


The standard desk height is 29 inches, but the best desk height for an individual user is the one that reaches their elbows. If your favorite desk doesn’t have an ergonomic height that fits your needs, pair it with an adjustable chair for a flexible, comfortable setup.


An ergonomic desk setup helps keep your joints and spine healthy, creating an efficient workflow and enhancing long-term health. Ergonomic desk setups generally encourage a level head position and a distance of 41 to 53 inches between your eyes and the screen.


Most importantly, consider your desk’s footprint. Small desks such as writing desks and convertible desks help you make the most of your floor space, while big desks provide the space for hefty equipment and organizational tools. A lofty secretary desk can offer the best of both worlds, combining a compact build with multiple shelving and storage options.


Get a full breakdown on how to measure a desk in our Desk Size Guide.


Desk Features

Your work style is as individual as you are. Find a desk that works with you when you customize your space.


Consider desks that go wherever you do. Standing desks support joint and cardiac health, while rolling and folding desks can keep you connected. Electric desks adjust their height up and down at the touch of a button, creating a customized fit that keeps you sitting or standing comfortably. Perfect for smaller spaces, convertible desks fold down from low-profile wall cabinets to help you maximize floor space. A wheeled desk can help you take advantage of natural light or a change of scenery.


To stay organized, explore storage desks for an array of shelves, drawers, and integrated filing cabinets. Desks with drawers let you keep office necessities from paperwork to paper clips close at hand, and desks with shelves help you stay current with space for books, documentation, and trade publications.


Desk features can also maximize available floor space. Corner desks turn little-used nooks into efficient workspaces, helping you make the most of a window niche or unoccupied alcove. Tuck a corner desk into your craft room to make the perfect space for sketching and design. For ample space to spread your work, look to L-shaped desks. Their angular design fits into corners or along walls.


Check out a complete list of considerations in in our Desk Features Guide.


Desk Styles

Coordinate your desk and your decor for a personal touch! From ornate French country curves to streamlined, minimalist angles, the right desk can really put the home in home office.


Complement your industrial loft or your open-plan apartment with a sleek contemporary desk. Weathered or distressed metal finishes can also evoke a time-worn appeal suitable for industrial decor. If you love the idea of celebrating vintage beauty, try a rough-hewn rustic desk.


Talk about timeless. Scandinavian and mid-century modern desks have their own retro charm. The inviting natural woods and low-slung, relaxed silhouettes are perfect for an informal home office.


Prefer something upscale? Set off your favorite Persian rug with an elegant traditional desk. For a more carefree vibe, bring home a touch of the exotic with a boho desk that showcases rich wood grains and textured surface. Glossy painted desks in this style can brighten your space with a pop of color.


Check out the top trends in our guide to available Desk Styles.


Desk Types

Whether you’re checking your e-mail or coding up a storm, it’s easy to find a desk that’s designed for the way you work and play.


Computer desks are the go-to. You’ll find versatile pieces that are at home in your rec room, office, or bedroom. Choose from simple, modest models or more elaborate pieces with bookshelves, keyboard drawers, and cable managements.


Need a desk specific to your hobbies? Adjustable art desks help awaken your creative instincts. Many art desks feature tilting work surfaces that help you find the most comfortable angle for drafting, painting, or drawing, making them perfect for your craft room or rec room. If you’re rec room is more of a tech room, consider gaming desks. These desks take it to the next level with glossy finishes and the occasional colorful accent. Integrated headphone hooks and cup holders keep stray snacks or tangled cables from getting in your way.


If you prefer a desk to encourage good learning habits, student desks have a teen-friendly design and a compact footprint that fits easily under a loft or in a corner of the bedroom. Kids’ desks attract little ones’ attention with cheerful colors and invitingly low heights. They’ll brighten your youngster’s room with playful designs.


When you just need a space to jot down a quick note or catch up on correspondence, slide in a bedroom desk with an open top. A desk vanity combo is the perfect example, elevating your personal space with a touch of feminine glamour.


Check out the variety of desk shapes and styles in our guide to Desk Types.


Desk Materials

Construction and craftsmanship say it all where desks are concerned, whether you want the subtle texture of wood or the sheen of cutting-edge glass.


Wood desks lend themselves to all decor styles, but their natural look and unique grain shines in traditional, rustic, or farmhouse spaces. Choose an oak desk for classic elegance and lasting sturdiness, or opt for lightweight pine or acacia for small spaces such as a dorm room or first apartment.


Metal desks evoke contemporary chic and industrial grit, but a metal desk with a smooth finish or streamlined design can blend smoothly with casual or mid-century modern homes. These desks’ sturdy materials ensure lasting durability, making them ideal for frequent movers or families with children.


Boasting an elegant appearance that’s as suitable for the living room as the office, glass desks add a sophisticated note to your home. Break-resistant tempered glass construction keeps these stunning pieces safe and sturdy. Stay on-trend with a sleek glass desk that doubles as a console table or boost your studio with a gleaming glass top on a cappucino-finished wooden base.


Investigate the pros and cons of construction by reading our full guide to Desk Materials.


Desk Prices

You don’t have to break the bank to outfit your study or game room in the style you want. Pay a cheap price without buying a cheap desk when you browse through our collection of clearance and liquidation desks. Overstock offers a limited number of reconditioned or refurbished desks, which are sanitized as needed and examined for condition before being offered for sale.


We provide free shipping on furniture to the lower 48 states, giving you an effortless and budget-friendly update to your workspace, and our desks are delivered through all three major mail carriers. Overstock desks offer a wide selection, ensuring a choice that fits your taste. If you want to outfit your teen’s bedroom or dorm room with an easy to assemble desk, we ship your furniture within one or two days of purchase, and if you need protection for your furniture, most desks offer extra security with a Platinum Protection Plan.

The right desk keeps you comfortable and productive. Complete your workspace with our gorgeous Home Office Ideas for every decor and work style.