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Best Desks of 2018
A desk gives you a designated spot to work, shop online, or pay bills. Our shopping guide is here to help you find the best desk for your work-at-home needs.
Home Office: Your Guide to the Best Desks
Whether you work from home or just need a designated place for paying bills, a desk provides the space required to stay organized. Desks come in a wide variety of styles, so you're sure to find one that's both functional and attractive.
However, with more people working from home, finding a desk with enough storage space is an increasingly common problem. How do you find the best desk for your home office?
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Which Type of Desk Is Best?
The modern computer desk caters to the needs of the home office. These desks are built to store a computer tower and office accessories and provide cord control and extra storage space. Many computer desks include a keyboard tray that slides under the desktop when not in use. Some computer desks have open shelving, while others use doors to hide the tower and other accessories from view. If you work from home or need a functional home office space, a computer desk offers enough storage and organization to keep everything tidy and, oftentimes, out of sight.
These compact desks turn an empty corner into an office or homework space. Basic corner desks fit into a corner with enough surface area for a monitor or laptop. Other corner desks have some storage space and may have a designated storage area for a computer tower. Some large L-shaped desks include a corner desk at the center. This type of desk maximizes space, while providing the square footage for extra office equipment like lamps, printers, and scanners.
Growing concerns about the health risks involved with sitting at a desk all day have made standing desks popular. Also known as adjustable-height desks, standing desks provide a way to mitigate some of the problems that come from a sedentary lifestyle.
There are three types of standing desks available.
- Static Standing Desks: Static standing desks have more design elements, so they look more like furniture than office equipment. Their height is not adjustable.
- Adjustable Standing Desks: Adjustable standing desks can be adjusted to the optimal height for you.
- Standing Desk Accessories: A standing desk accessory sits atop a normal desk and has a platform that can be raised or lowered to the best standing height for you.
L-shaped desks are versatile, and many can fit in a corner to maximize space. L-shaped desks work well if you need a desk for multiple functions. There's often enough surface area for several monitors, or you can use one side of the desk for a monitor and the other for paperwork or another project. Some L-shaped desks have drawers and shelves, while others have a hutch for vertical storage space. Minimalist L-shaped desks are often nothing more than L-shaped tables.
Down to Business: What to Consider When Buying a Desk
Size is one of the most important features to consider when choosing a desk. Too small and you won't have enough workspace. Too big and the desk might not fit in your work area. Carefully measure the area where you want to place the desk. If the desk will be under a window, check the height of the desk against the height of the windowsill to be sure the desk won't partially block the window.
How you intend to use the desk will determine the surface area you need. If you have a lot of office equipment or if you like to spread out papers and books while you work, you're going to need a desk with more surface area. If all you really need is somewhere to put your laptop while you work online, you can get by with a standing desk or corner desk that doesn't take up much space. Corner desks offer a large surface area in a small space, making them a good choice if your space is limited. L-shaped desks take up a lot of room, but they also offer a good amount of surface area.
Some desks have drawers, shelves, and hutches to store books, binders, and extra office supplies. The more people who use the desk, the more storage space you typically need.
- Wood: Wood brings a natural warmth to a room. Wood desks can be found in many finishes, from dark to natural. All-wood desks are less common than they once were. Many modern wood desks include metal or laminate pieces and components. While wood looks nice, it can dent or scratch more easily than other desk materials.
- Glass: Glass gives a modern look to a desk. Glass-top desks appear open and airy, making them a good choice in a small, contemporary space. On the downside, a glass desk will chip if a hard object falls on the edge or corner.
- Metal: Metal desks look both industrial and utilitarian in design. While there are some all-metal desks, most modern metal desks pair a metal desktop with a wooden base.
- Laminate: Laminate desktops often protect a wooden base underneath. Laminate desks look clean and resist wear and tear. Though not luxurious, they offer durability at an affordable price.
Some desks have adjustable legs, so you can comfortably work at the desk. If you're particularly tall or short, you may want to look for a desk with this feature. Of all the desk types, standing desks most often offer height adjustability. Standing desks are easier to adjust than other desks as well.
How Much Should You Pay for a Durable Desk?
- Budget-Friendly: You can find a small basic computer desk or corner desk with some storage space for under $50. You might also find a standing desk accessory that can be placed on top of a regular desk. You'll see more laminate, plastic, and cardboard components on desks in this price range. For $50 to $100, you'll find desks of all types. You'll find metal accents on many of the wood desks. Desks at this price may also have a drawer or two, along with open shelves.
- Mid-Range: The size and quality of desks improves from $100 to $200. You'll find larger L-shaped desks that include a corner desk as the centerpiece, as well as small glass-top desks. Computer desks may come with monitor stands, storage drawers, shelves, and a hutch. Desks in this price range often come with more design features, from industrial accents to minimalist open-leg designs.
- Expensive: Desks priced at $200 to $400 often have larger surface areas and more design features like shaped drawer pulls, unique wood finishes and colors, and more intricate storage hutches. For $400 to $600, you'll start to see solid wood desks, metal desktops, and more glass desktops. Large computer and L-shaped desks usually include extensive hutches, too.
- Premium: Desks continue to go up in price well above $1,000. These luxury desks may be part of an office suite or be made of solid wood. They often include matching bookshelves or file drawers.
Tips for Keeping Your Desk Organized
- A hutch allows you to use vertical space for extra storage. If you've got limited floor space, a desk with a hutch might be the way to go.
- Solid wood and metal desks are very heavy. Heavy desks may be difficult to move once they're assembled.
- Standing desks work best with laptops and take up little floor space.
Q. If I don't own a desktop computer, do I really need a computer desk?
A. That depends on how you want to use the desk. If you use a laptop, you probably don't need a desk with designated tower storage. However, you can use that same storage space for something else like binders. It's more about how much space you need to do your work. If you do most work online and paper-free, you may only need a corner desk. On the other hand, if you need to look at reference books, charts, and guides while you're on your laptop, you may need the extra surface area offered by a computer desk or L-shaped desk.
Q. What are the benefits of a standing desk?
A. Standing desks don't take up much floor space, and they offer a healthy alternative to sitting for most of the day. This type of desk encourages the use of leg and back muscles and gives you the opportunity to move around or march in place while you work.
Q. Is a glass desktop easy to keep clean?
A. You clean a glass desktop with glass cleaner just like you would any other glass surfaces. Glass desktops can also be removed for cleaning the edges.