something for everyone

32 Desks, Vetted 32 Ways

Photo: Hayneedle

Here at the Strategist, we know that finding the “best” product really depends on exactly who you ask — which is why we’ve devoted a new series to squeezing in as many informed, trustworthy opinions as possible. And we’ve come up with dozens of ways to do this, among them: surfacing reader reviews from across the internet, taking quick polls (among our most insane friends and fellow shopping-obsessed Strategist editors), and partaking in some advanced internet snooping.

With that, we’re rounding up the best desks, according to the everyday people and experts. Our recommendations range from a folding table that allows one editorial director to work from their couch to a treadmill desk that will help you meet your step goals — all at different price points, from $44 to over $1,000 if you feel like splurging.

Ask a Cool Person: Best console that doubles as a desk

While a traditional desk may not fit a small city space, a narrow console table is an easier fit, according to interior designer Pramiti Bhargava of BlueGrape Staging. If you live in a one-bedroom apartment, you will need to get more creative. “Replace a nightstand in the bedroom with a small console,” said Bhargava, who likes this two-shelf console from Article. Keep the top clear and a stool nearby and it easily turns into a desk.

Snooping: Kiss the DeeJay’s Closet Desk

JaKissa Taylor-Semple, known as DJ Kiss, posted a desk set up few years back that was so enviable, we still think about it. The glass top gave us a clear view of her fabulous shoe collection — rows and rows of beautiful heels — in the background. While that shoe wall might be harder to replicate, we found this glass top writing desk with chrome legs that’s a pretty spot-on dupe for hers for less than $300.

Editor’s Choice: A Lap Desk for Working Outside

New York Magazine’s senior art director and visuals manager, Stevie Remsberg, stocked a workstation on wheels to work from wherever (like the park on nice days). Her set up includes this lap desk from Ikea. “The laptop gets hot, so you can’t put it right on your lap,” Remsberg explains. “I needed something to sort of prop it up, and it just seemed crazy to bring a whole table. It made more sense to have my laptop on my lap. This thing works great. It has a beanbag cushion on the bottom, so it’s comfortable, too.”

Photo: Courtesy of Blair Donovan

Ask a Cool Person: A dupe for Apartment Therapy’s style shopping editor’s vintage desk

Blair Donovan, a style shopping editor at Apartment Therapy, has a vintage writing desk that she loves. “The desk has been in my family for a few generations, so I’m obviously attached to it for the sentiment, but I love it most for the vintage, old-school style,” she says. “They don’t make legs like this anymore.” Finding something even close to Donovan’s desk would require a lot of brick-and-mortar vintage shopping. But you can get the look with a new, but traditional-style desk like this one from Wayfair. You won’t get the clawed feet , but this desk has the same single-drawer design and similar curved legs. “The rest of my furniture’s pretty modern, and this contrast strikes a nice balance in my bedroom,” says Donovan. “Because it’s so simple and classic, too, I’ve been having a lot of fun playing around with different desk accessories.”

Strategist Pick: An L-shaped desk for under $100

Hago Modern L-Shaped Desk
$125
$125

When searching for affordable desks on Amazon, we found this gem: an L-shaped desk for well under $100. As you can see from the other L-shaped desk on the list, they can easily cost over $1,000, so this one, with plenty of space for storage underneath, and surface area sufficient for two monitors, is a steal.

Ask a Cool Person: The fold up desk M.A.C’s editorial director uses

If you’re really tight on space, you might need a desk that can completely disappear at the end of the work day. Khalea Underwood, the global editorial manager for M.A.C Cosmetics, who typically works from her couch recommends this folding table. It’s a suitable height, as compared to a coffee table and works as a “desk, table, and workstation,” she says, and can easily be tucked away at the end of the day.

Expert-Approved: A chiropractor’s pick for a treadmill desk

From $1,949

If getting your steps in during the work day is important, consider a treadmill desk. “Too often we work too many hours in a day and not enough hours exercising and moving,” says chiropractor Daniel Huang of Level Up Sports Chiropractic. “A sedentary lifestyle increases your risk of cardiovascular disease, joint pain and other systemic issues that can be prevented if we just simply move.” With something like the Lifespan treadmill, you can create an “active workstation” and get the recommended 10,000 steps a day while getting your work done. You can build a desk customized to your expected activity level and choose desk widths between 38-, 48-, and 60-inches.

Ask a Cool Person: Photographer Raquel Hendriksen’s Desk

“I am a very minimalist person,” photographer Raquel Hendriksen says. “So having a clean and uncluttered space is relevant to my overall sanity. I do not like cords.” A clunky desk would just add to chaos, so she was happy to find this simple, all-wood desk from Dims. It has nice clean lines, and is wide enough to spread out any essentials so it doesn’t interfere with her minimalist aesthetic. She has it in the natural ash pictured, but it’s also available in ink black.

Snooping: Interior designer Justina Blakeney’s desh-slash-bar

When Blakely remodeled her Los Angeles home, she installed a mid-century modern secretary desk with two drop-down shelves that create “the perfect small-space desk and bar.” Though there’s no exact replica for Blakely’s vintage piece, AllModern’s multipurpose white floating desk has two drop-down shelves and a modern look.