4 Expert Tips To Choose A Computer Desk

A computer desk is an important purchase. Odds are you'll be sitting at it for hours, so it has to be comfortable. Plus, it often makes up a larger focal point in an office area or has to match existing décor in other parts of the home. So below we'll cover how to choose the type, shape and material in computer desks, and also cover some important features.

How to choose the right type of computer desk?

You may want to start by assessing the different types of computer desks on the market, each of which works best in certain situations.

Technically, a computer desk is known as its own type of desk in and of itself. These are types of desks that give you enough room for monitors, mouse pads, printers and towers, if you have a traditional computer type. They often have holes in them for running wires down to outlets. There is often plenty of storage for extra cables and other computer accessories. Many also have trays you can place the keyboard on so it's more level with your elbows and wrists. They often come in an L-shape so that you can access all of your gadgets easily.     

The main downside to a traditional computer desk is that it takes up a lot of space, making it a less attractive option for smaller office spaces or desks you plan to fit off to the side of another room. Since computers have only gotten smaller, you simply might not need all that space.

Traditional Brown Wood L-Shape Computer Desk
Traditional Brown Wood Computer Desk
Traditional Wooden Computer Desk
All Black Traditional Computer Desk
White Traditional Computer Desk
Grey Wood Traditional Computer Desk

That's why it's common to see the traditional writing desk pop up whenever you search for computer desks these days. Writing desks are minimalist pieces with a small amount of desk surface. They're perfect for fitting laptops onto, making them a modern take on the computer desk. They fit well off to the side of a room or in small offices, too. In short, if you only work on a laptop, consider writing desks.

Dark Wood Writing Computer Desk
White Writing Computer Desk
Writing Desk and Chair Set
Wood and Metal Writing Computer Desk
Simple Wood and Metal Writing Computer Desk
L-Shape Writing Computer Desk and Chair Set

Another common type of desk that pops up when you search for computer desks is the credenza desk. This type of desk has space for your computer in the middle, but also has a wide array of cupboards and shelves surrounding the desk's surface. If you have a large amount of space, many different items to display or store and you want a regal-looking desk, choose a credenza desk.

L-Shape Credenza Desk with Hutch
Grey Wood Credenza Desk with Hutch
Large Dark Wood Credenza Desk with Hutch
Wooden Credenza Computer Desk
Dark Wood Elegant Credenza Computer Desk
Black Rectangular Credenza Computer Desk

Another main type of computer desk you might see is the adjustable standing desk. These have one minimalistic surface that's usually enough to fit a laptop and maybe a couple of other small items like pencil holders. They are often reversible and highly adjustable. As the name suggests, they allow you to adjust between sitting and standing, making them a must if you are at your computer for long stretches and need to stand after a while.

Adjustable Standing Computer Desk
Metal Adjustable Standing Computer Desk
Electric Height Adjustable Standing Desk
Black Metal Gaming Computer Desk
Black Slim Gaming Computer Desk
White Electric Height Adjustable Standing Desk

Gaming desks have also become more popular. These may have additions like headphone holders, drink holders, tablet and phone stands, colored LED lights and space for multiple monitors. It's the ultimate station for the serious PC gamer.

How to choose the shape of a computer desk?

Another important consideration is the desk's shape. Computer desks could be considered to come in three main shapes: L-shape, long and compact

If you plan to put your desk in the corner, an L-shape desk is often a great way to fit additional counter space without any wasted room. This style is also wonderful if you tend to have many different printed materials and memos around, as you can organize them in more visible spots as you see fit. As mentioned above, they also make great ways to organize your many gadgets around you if you have items like a larger computer or a printer.

Long desks tend to work if you plan to place them away from the wall so that they are facing out into the middle of the room. If you have people coming in to meet with you as part of a self-employment situation or a homework arrangement, long desks work well for these purposes. However, long desks also work along narrow wall spaces.

Compact desks cover anything that has as a small surface meant to hold a laptop. These are good for fitting to the side of a kitchen, living room or dining room. They can also work in hallways. They're good for small or micro offices.

Large L-Shape Executive Computer Desk
Large Wood L-Shape Executive and Computer Desk
Dark Wood Corner Computer Desk with Hutch
Regular Rectangular Computer Desk
White Ladder Compact Computer Desk
Wood and Metal Compact Computer Desk

Which materials are best in computer desks?

Different materials also match certain décor styles. The main types of materials include:   

  • Wood: This category can cover anything that is solid wood or has a wood appearance, as many desks have a laminate to give them a certain visual texture. Wood works well in a variety of styles, from classic to transitional to regal, since wood furniture is a mainstay in many home styles. However, the most textured and knotted wood tends to look best in rustic or country spaces. For regal looks, choose dark or deep wood textures like cherry wood. Solid painted wood can look good in modern or transitional spaces, especially in white or black.     

  • Metal: Some desks come in a metal design. Choose these for modern or industrial looks.

  • Glass: You can also find desks with a glass countertop, often with a metal frame. These look great in modern spaces. They can also work in smaller spaces to keep the room more visually open.

Manufactured Wood Computer Desk
Dark Wood Computer Desk with Hutch
Solid Wood Writing Computer Desk
Wood and Metal Computer Desk
Small Metal Standing Computer Desk
Glass L-Shape Computer Desk

What are some features to look for in computer desks?

You can also find a variety of different features in computer desks, in addition to the features mentioned above.

  • Electric stand desk: Some desks adjust in height electronically, allowing you to adjust to programmable settings. 

  • Easy assembly: Most desks you have to assemble. But some brands went out of their way to avoid the confusion associated with furniture assembly, allowing you to assemble in under five minutes.

  • Adjustable additions: Some types of desks don't look like they'd be adjustable. But sometimes you can also find a more traditional desk, like an L-shape, that has a part of the counter switch into a standing height.

Lily is a modern designer with great appreciation for sleek architecture, a love for art in its many forms, and a passion for sharing her experience with people. If you’re looking for advice on how to modernize your old-fashioned place or make your new restaurant a visual blast, she’s definitely the one to ask.