Buyer's Guide

Types of Desks

You can find a desk in wood, glass, metal, and even marble in a wide variety of designs and styles. Here’s a quick look at the different desk designs available.

collage of all the desk types available


Writing: Writing desks feature simple, clean legs and a flat top and typically have minimal storage options.

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Executive: Often heavy and decorative, these desks are typically made of solid wood and feature a front panel that hides the legs of the person sitting behind them. They tend to have significant storage space.

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Shell: Shell desks are made of flat panels around a large, hollow alcove that is good for leg room or chair storage.

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Drafting Table: The tabletop on these otherwise simple desks can be positioned at an angle. Drafting tables are optimal for visual artists.

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Floating: This wall-mounted desk design can be folded into itself for efficient space usage.

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Secretary: Classic in design, small yet hefty secretary desks have a smaller set of storage units on a desktop that often folds in to save space.

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Leaning & Ladder: These minimal, contemporary desk designs lean against the wall and are equipped with a lot of shelf space.

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Desk Dimensions

The average desk is between 28” and 30” tall. To find out how tall a desk should be to best suit your height and improve your posture, divide your height by 2.5. If you want to be able to adjust the height of your desk or if you prefer standing while you work, check out our selection of height-adjustable and fixed standing desks.

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You can also choose a desk based on the width of its tabletop to either fit your room or your workspace needs.


Small: If you’re choosing a desk for a smaller space or a children’s study room, you might want to browse smaller desks that are under 40” wide. Though they have a smaller tabletop area than other options, they keep your room feeling open and spacious.

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Medium: At between 40” and 60” in width, these are standard-sized desks that will suit almost any size and style of room.

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Large: Large desks have a tabletop width of over 60” and are optimal for large spaces and busy tabletops. Large desks also tend to have more storage features like hutches, drawers, and cabinets than other sizes.

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Be sure to leave between 2’ and 3’ of free space behind your desk for your desk chair.

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Desk Shapes

Rectangular: Standard desks have rectangular tabletops and are well-suited to almost any room design.

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L-Shaped: If you need a lot of tabletop space or you want to put a large desk in a corner, the L-shape is the desk shape for you.

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Corner: If an L-shaped desk is too large for the corner where you want to put a desk, go with a compact triangular corner style that nestles snugly where two walls meet.

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U-Shaped: These cove-shaped styles take up the most space but offer the most storage options. They’re excellent for a more professional setup.

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Oval: For a more organic look for your workspace, go with an oval-shaped desk.

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Desk Storage & Other Features

Drawers, Shelves & Cabinets: If you work with a lot of different files and other materials, look for a desk with a lot of storage space so you can stay organized.

Hutch: If you need a lot of storage space and your room can accommodate it, a hutch desk has vertical storage options and will fill up an emptier room.


Cable Management & Keyboard Tray: Worried about electronics cluttering up your space? Check out desks that come with built-in cable organization holes and a slide-out tray for keyboard storage.

If you have a rolling chair, you might want to try out a chair mat. These mats can reduce back stress from rolling, protect your floor from scuffs and spills, and reduce static electricity that can damage electrical equipment. Even if your floor is protected by a carpet, you may still want a chair mat – carpets make it difficult to roll your chair, increasing your chance of back pain from the strain of rolling. A chair mat will make it far easier to roll and subsequently reduces back pain.



Though some large, multi-piece, ornate executive desks can cost between $1,000 and $10,000, a more standard home desk typically costs between $150 and $700, with a wide variety of options on the lower side of that range. If you’re looking for a piece that won’t break the bank, there are certainly lower-cost options in the style you want.