Best desks: 8 practical (but still stylish) picks for working from home

Our pick of the best desks cover computer desks, ladder desks, stylish desks, small desks and more...

Included in this guide:

Best desks
(Image credit: John Lewis & Partners)

Investing in the best desk if you now regularly work from home is definitely a good idea. Sure, you might have been fine working from the kitchen table/bed/the sofa for the last few months but since WFH looks like it's going to become a more permanent set up for a lot of us, picking out a good desk is essentially for your productivity. A practical desk is also a good investment too if your children are going back to school or uni having a dedicated 'office' in your home is ideal for a homework spot. 

But with so many options out there – corner desks, ladder desks, adjustable desks, fold-away desks – how do you know where to start? We suggest here, with our guide to the best office desks. And need something to pair with your new desk? Check out the best office chairs.

1. John Lewis Calia Desk

This industrial-look desk takes first place for its great build and even better design

Size: 75 x 135 x 65 cm
Colour: Oak/black
Material: Solid oak, veneered MDF
Storage: 3 drawers and 1 cupboard
Reasons to buy
+Outstanding build quality +Perfect for industrial schemes 
Reasons to avoid
-Grained surface isn’t the smoothest to write on 

Sturdily built and beautiful, this solid oak desk from John Lewis takes our top spot for best desk. Its rustic distressed wire-brushed wood and welded iron legs are totally on-trend, but the high-quality construction and heft mean it's built to last. You get three deep drawers that are perfect for storing papers and stationery, as well as a cupboard that will fit your laptop so you can pop it away at the of the day. 

Small wayfair desk

(Image credit: Wayfair )

2. Wayfair Jillian Desk

The best small desk that is both stylish and storage savvy

Size: H124.5cm x W74.93cm x D55.88cm
Colour: White and oak
Material: Metal
Storage : 1 drawer and 2 shelves
Reasons to buy
+Has built in cable management+A mix of shelf storage and drawers
Reasons to avoid
-Not the widest desk although this could be a plus for smaller spaces

A desk we certainly wouldn't complain about having in our home office, this Scandi-esque tall work station ticks all the boxes. Those who hate having loose cables around them whilst working will be happy to hear that there's handy cable management in this desk, and if you need a drawer to store important things, the one included can easily fit a laptop, keyboard and much more. There's another shelf which would be handy for those who use a printer, or just to store more paperwork, and there's a slot on top of the desk for your smartphone or tablet to comfortably sit on. The best part? It's compact, so can be moved around easily, and because it's oh so stylish, it'll look good pretty much anywhere in your home. Our pick of the best standing desk for those after something stylish.

Argos desk

(Image credit: Argos)

3. Argos Home Ladder Office Desk

Make use of vertical space with this Nordic chic small ladder desk

Size: H179.5cm x W60cm x D40cm
Colour: Wood effect and white
Material: Wood
Storage: 3 shelves and a drawer
Reasons to buy
+Space-efficient desk solution +Stylish design 
Reasons to avoid
-Top needs to be fixed to wall; not great for rentals -No closed storage

For minimalists and fans of that stripped-back Scandi aesthetic, this is the one. A clean-looking, bamboo desk that leans against the wall for a tiny footprint, it’s a great addition to a small home office. It also boasts a couple of shelves to boost storage and keep essentials within easy reach. 

  • Shop Argos Home Ladder Office Desk here desk

(Image credit:

4. Esme desk

A simple stylish small desk that's perfect if you don't have a dedicated home office

Size: 94 x 120 x 62 cm
Colour: Asj
Material: Ash veneer, Plywood, Solid ash
Storage: 5 shelves
Reasons to buy
+Compact freestanding desk +Cool minimal design 
Reasons to avoid
-No closed storage

Unlike the ladder desk, this compact desk is completely free-standing so is a good alternative if you’re after a space-saving workstation but don’t want to screw anything to the wall. It’s simple, clean, and bang on-trend, so it’s perfect for any teen’s room or light, bright home office. The storage space isn’t huge, as you’d expect, but it’s just right for storing a laptop and a few supplies when not in use. 

  • Shop Esme desk here

Celine Desk by Nazanin Kamali

5. Celine Desk by Nazanin Kamali

A dainty desk with an elegant stance that's perfect for smaller home offices

Size: H75cm x W110cm x D55cm
Material: Solid walnut, veneered carcass
Colour: Walnut or oak
Storage: 1 shelf and 1 drawer
Reasons to buy
+ Made from solid wood + Fairly compact in size  
Reasons to avoid
- Lacks significant storage space 

Working with a small home office? Just because you lack space doesn’t mean you should compromise on style, as this desk designed by Nazanin Kamali demonstrates. This desk ticks the boxes when it comes to style, with its dainty aesthetics and flash-of-white drawer. There’s subtle contrast in the square, linear design of the worktop and the pin-like form of the legs, too, making it the perfect statement piece for your home office.  

  • Shop the Celine Desk here 

Best standing desk for minimalist design: Teknik Office Industrial Bench Desk

(Image credit: Ryman)

6. Teknik Office Industrial Bench Desk

A minimalist standing desk which would suit any style and any room

Size: H71.2cm x W105.4cm
Colour: Black, oak
Material: Metal
Storage: 2 shelves
Reasons to buy
+Includes shelves for easy storage+Stylish design
Reasons to avoid
-No closed storage

If you’ve got the space for this minimalist looking desk, it’s certainly one to think about popping on your shopping list. It has two shelves so you can easily store paper work, printers or anything else away, and its 360 degree all round finish allows it to be placed anywhere in your home office, whether it be in the middle of the room or tucked in the corner. Why settle for a boring looking desk when you can get one like this, for a good price, too? The best standing desk for those after something to fit in with the rest of their minimalist decor, we think!

  • Shop the Teknik Office Industrial Bench Desk here

John Lewis corner desk

(Image credit: John Lewis)

7. John Lewis & Partners Abacus Corner Desk

A high-end looking corner unit to fit in any room

Size: H74 x W137 x D80cm
Colour: Light oak
Material: Oak veneer
Storage: 4 shelves
Reasons to buy
+Lots of surface space and storage +Lovely, sturdy wooden design 
Reasons to avoid
-No closed storage 

A great buy for strange-shaped spaces, this wooden corner desk unit from John Lewis looks smart and is sturdily built to last. The classic wood and simple design of this desk look less corporate and more cosy, especially if your office adheres to a warmer, more traditional scheme. It offers a great amount of storage and a roomy surface that’s great for those working from home who need space for a computer, huge sheets of paper, and all sorts of other bits and bobs. 

  • Shop the John Lewis & Partners Abacus Corner Desk here

Fénon Reversible Desk with Bookcase

(Image credit: la redoute)

8. Fénon Reversible Desk with Bookcase

Plenty of storage and a stylish design this is a fab corner desk

Size: L119cm x H72cm x D59cm
Colour: White
Material: MDF, melamine
Storage: 6 shelves and 3 drawers
Reasons to buy
+ Large amount of desk space + Contemporary design
Reasons to avoid
- Perhaps too large for some home offices 

With a length of 199cm, this white corner desk offers plenty of workspace. It features a shelving unit which is both stylish and functional, giving you plenty of space to store files or home office gadgets. It also has three drawers to store those more important documents away. Ideal for those who like everything to be organised, and want their home office to look the part. The winning attribute is its interchangeable layout, which can be easily swapped around, allowing you to rejig the layout of your office or if you move house.  

  • Shop the La Redoute Fénon Reversible Desk here

How to buy the best desk 

There are a few things to consider before purchasing the best desk; here is what we think should be your biggest focuses:

Not a huge deal if you've a large space to fill but important if you're thinking of moving your desk around the room every few months or you've a certain size space to fill. 

Of course this is down to personal preference and your home office decor, but we have specified the colours available for each of our best desks to help you find what you are looking for. 

This is also pretty much all down to how you want your desk to look but you also might want to think about the practical side of it too. A wooden desk, for example, looks lovely but might scratch and is not ideal if you use your desk to write at. 

In terms of practicality, storage is the most important part of your new desk. Think about how much space you need to store documents, stationery and tech. Do you need closed storage to hide away your items or are you happy to have it on show on shelves?

Looking for more home office ideas?

Hebe Hatton
Hebe Hatton

Hebe joined the Real Homes team in early 2018 as Staff Writer. As a renter, she is always looking for creative ways to make her flat feel like home. She loves boho and 70's style and is a big fan of Instagram as a source of interiors inspiration.