If you're enjoying the advent of WFH life, studying for your finals, or dotting between the office and your apartment as part of a new hybrid scheme, one fact remains: a desk with storage is essential. Yep, without a place to get your head down for some deep work or space to store your paperwork, files, and stationery (and even your handy desk organizers), you'll struggle to hold down a job or get that major. Indeed, a clean and tidy desktop, plus room to keep your WFH essentials is not only a matter of tidiness but also sanity. I, for one, know that a messy desk equals a messy mind.
Fortunately, keeping your work-life balance ticking over requires little in the way of prep. Besides your laptop, charger, and office chair, the rest is done online. Of course, finding the right desk can be a little tricky, especially if you're on a budget or — like many of us — tight on square footage. Curating a tight roster of nine designs, I've made my selections on the criteria of affordability, functionality, and aesthetic excellence. Oh, and before you ask, yes, they're suitably sized for the average student, first-time buyer, and apartment renter's home. I know how important it is to nail your furnishings when you're short on space but big on taste.
9 desks with storage that you'll honestly love
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Less is more
Size (in): H29.75 x W49.6 x D19.75
Made from: MDF
As simple as it is sleek, this desk scored high with shoppers, who praised its sleek design and value for money. Granted, the assembly time ranges from one to three hours depending on how good your focus is, but it's worth the effort. Bringing subtle, Scandi vibes to your home office, this piece is primed with two storage drawers for your work supplies, a lower drawer for filing, and a handy tiered bookshelf for any literature or sizeable folders you need. Very here for it!
Size (in): H30.1 x W40 x D15.8
Made from: Manufactured wood and steel
Another Scandi select, this Denmark-made delight comes at a price few can argue with and features clean, handsome lines and a sturdy, powder-coated base. Personally, I adore the oak color, but I'd be lying if I said the high-gloss white number doesn't raise my pulse (the glamour!). Oh, and as for the walnut hue, you can't go wrong. With two drawers, it has room aplenty for all the pens, pencils, paper, and sticky notes you could ever need. Of course, if you're anything like today's millennials and Gen-Zers, there's probably a host of tech to keep in there, too.
A splash of color
Size (in): H30 x W42 x D28
Made from: Pine and manufactured wood
If you're anything like me, you know about adapting your decor to your means. Teeny bedroom? Lego-sized study? Don't sweat it. This ingenious corner desk works wonders, offering a sizeable drawer, ample desk space, and shelving for your books and magazines. The best part, though, is undoubtedly the playful shades on offer. Including blush pink (my fav), baby blue, mint, and hunter green, it's a spectrum with something for every color scheme.
The student pick
Size (in): H36 x W36 x D21.3
Made from: Particleboard and metal
Look, we get it. Being a student is hard, at least where money's concerned. That's why this no-nonsense, modern design is a must for anyone trying to do up their otherwise measly dorm. Available in a natural, wood-grain color or a pared-back white, it features three side shelves and a sturdy frame. Exceptionally affordable, it provides more than enough desk space for your laptop, textbooks, and any late-night essays (no judgment). Oh, and it's an absolute breeze to set up, perfect for time-tested seniors.
Size (in): H30 x W39 x D19.7
Made from: MDF and laminate
Serving up a fresh and stimulating palette perfect for a productive day, this modern design is both impressively inexpensive and bursting with panache. With clean lines, it features a spacious drawer below the desktop, ideal for contemporary minimalists. Oh, and it doubles up as a more decorative side desk, making the most of its understated allure. As for the set-up, it's a piece of cake, ideal for those like me who shudder at the mere mention of DIY.
Size (in): H30 x W48 x D24
Made from: Wood
Consider this a go-to for first-time buyers or home-sharers who want to inject their humble abode with a smart, warm design. Outfitted with two pull-out drawers to keep documents and any stationery, it's a UO exclusive, made from sengon tekik wood. As for maintenance, it's a wipe-clean design, and the sturdy construction should see you through years of use. And honestly, can you really say no to that rich, knotted woodgrain? I know I can't.
The eco pick
Size (in): H37.14 x W40 x D19
Made from: MDF
Designed using eco-friendly MDF, this modern piece features solid wooden legs and comes in a light gray or white finish. Matching seamlessly with most spaces, it's a robust piece you can trust, promising plenty of wear thanks to its sturdy base and low maintenance. Providing serious storage space for users, it has two soft-close drawers, cable openings, and an additional flip drawer — complete with a built-in hutch. As for the details, think natural, tapered legs and a compact, sophisticated silhouette.
The statement piece
Size (in): H30 x W42 x D23.75
Made from: Wood
If you're after something with a little more pizzazz, this has your name on it. Coming in a slew of poppy shades, it's fitted with soft-close drawers and an X-frame base, making for one ingenious unit. Ideal for modern-day creatives, it features considered details, such as French dovetail construction and trunk-style corners, plus two drawers that more than cover your needs. Together, you have a simplified but functional desk in a big-hitting color that'll keep anyone inspired. Writer's block, who?
Size (in): H39.3 x W29.7 x D18.9
Made from: Wood and metal
Color: Brown and black
This one's a slight wild card, but, boy, does it work! With an anti-scratch, waterproofed melamine board table top, incorporated double silent-slinging drawers, and a powder-coated heavy-duty steel frame, it ticks all my boxes, making one unforgettable style statement. Sure, it's a little different, but that's its beauty. Doubling up as a study desk and a bedroom storage unit, all it needs is a quick 15-minute set-up and it's the easiest to clean. The dream, right?
How much storage do you really need in a desk?
While it depends a little on the kind of person you are (I'm personally quite the minimalist), your desk's storage space shouldn't be too generous. I speak from experience when I say that fewer drawers mean less clutter. If you've ever wondered how and why your WFH station became so littered with random documents you no longer really need, it might be down to too much storage space.
Provided you have the odd drawer or two, you're covered. All the more so now that everything is kept in the cloud. That said, if you're still a little analog in your ways, you'd be best to opt for something with drawer and bookcase space. Alternatively, you could deal with the problem more directly and invest in a small storage cabinet to keep your lesser-used items. Then, you can access the essentials — charger, notebook, and cable — without having to rummage through reams of junk. Do yourself a favor: Recycle that giant stapler — it's 2023.
Next on the agenda: your guide to the ultimate WFH Amazon office chairs.