Yes, you can use the lift-top coffee table in the living room to give yourself a functional work desk at home. However, that means you will be intruding on anyone trying to watch a movie, a show, or a game on TV. Same thing when you turn the dining table into a makeshift office. If you want to work from home without disturbing people’s routines, setting aside a dedicated workspace is the way to go.
No, you don’t need a spare room to do that. Just put a small desk in a small vacant space and you’ve got the barebones setup required to do remote work from home. Fortunately, the events of the last two years have made furniture brands more receptive to the idea of small at-home workspaces. As such, there’s a healthy selection of space-efficient desks designed to help you make the most of limited room.
These are the best small desks to let you do just that.
This small, minimalist desk measures just 29.5 x 28.75 x 19.6 inches (height x width x depth), allowing you to set up a proper workspace while taking up a minimum of space. It comes with a full-length drawer, so you can tuck away your laptop when you’re not working, along with a cable outlet in the back to keep things neat and tidy. The desk is finished from all angles, by the way, so you don’t have to push it back against a wall, with one side of the supporting legs made from steel and the other from particleboard. You can install the supporting legs on either side, too, so you get the option to outfit it however you prefer, with the table able to support loads of up to 110 pounds.
Novogratz Athena Desk
This desk is pretty wide at 40.5 inches, but should fit just fine in smaller spaces with a 21.7-inch depth. It’s a good choice if you like to have a work with a few more stuff than just a laptop, as you can easily fit a second monitor, a mousepad, and even a small lamp in there. The top comes with shallow open cubbies underneath, with a divider in the middle, so you can stash a good load of stuff in there, while a table-width cubby in the back lets you keep your power strip and cables out of plain sight. The tabletop is made from PVC-laminated particleboard with powder-coated metal hairpin legs.
Linon Coy Folding Desk
If you want a desk you can deploy and put away as needed, then a folding desk like this one should make for an ideal work-from-home setup. When set up, it gives you a tabletop measuring 34.25 x 18 inches (width x depth), complete with a raised platform in the back where you can put an external monitor if you need it. Once you’re done, simply fold the table’s legs to collapse the whole thing, allowing you to free up the space like you were never set up there. Features include fiberboard construction, a 100-pound payload capacity, and four available finishes.
Williston Forge Bowie Corner Desk
If all you’ve got to work with is a small corner somewhere in the house, this corner desk offers the best way to maximize that space. It uses a five-sided tabletop that gives you enough room to fit a laptop and some desk essentials while putting the corner space to good use, while a mesh metal back offers a handy place to stick notes and clip stuff. A removable pencil cup mounts at the edge of the metal back for tidying up your office supplies, while a cord management hole at the center corner allows you to run wires without the mess. It comes with metal legs and frame, along with a wooden top.
CB2 Helix 70-Inch Walnut Desk
This ladder-style desk and shelf combo integrates a functional work top at the bottom and two shelves at the top, making it look like a regular shelving fixture that just blends in with any home interior. Seriously, the vertical frames really allow it to blend in so much more nicely compared to the slanted frames of typical ladder-style desk and shelves. Only the top of the steel frames need to be screwed down to the wall, by the way, since the legs should handle keeping it stable on the floor. The tabletop measures 30 x 20 inches (width x depth), so you get enough room for a laptop and a few choice peripherals, with both the tabletop and shelves cut in engineered wood that’s covered with walnut veneer.
PBTeen USB Folding Wall Desk
We like this folding wall desk because of the hinged supports at the base, which makes it feel really sturdy, so you don’t have to watch yourself when putting your weight on the tabletop. It combines a tabletop measuring 31.5 x 13.25 inches(width x depth), with two storage slots and a central tray in the back that you can use as a phone or tablet stand. The tabletop folds down when not in use, so it takes up a minimum amount of room, although it’s not the most sightly-looking thing (it literally looks a piece of wooden board hanging off the wall). Features include a large cord cutout, two USB ports, and fiberboard construction.
Menu Rail Desk
While it is a little pricey, we love the design of this wall-mounted desk, which uses just two components: a minimalist steel bracket and a wooden tabletop that sets down snugly onto it. With a top that measures 36.2 x 17.7 inches (width x depth), it offers enough room for a laptop and a few choice items you need to get your work done. Unlike typical wall desks, this doesn’t fold up, by the way, so it’s more of a permanent fixture once you set it up anywhere, which you probably won’t mind since the darn thing looks way too nice (much nicer than other wall desks we’ve seen). Because it’s wall-mounted, you can set it up at any height, too, allowing you to put it at the most comfortable position of your choosing.