Your writing space is your sanctuary — a little sliver of the world where you can dream, imagine, and create as you please. While it doesn’t need to be anything fancy, it should feel cozy and joyful, inspiring you to perform your best work. The best writing desks are an excellent way to make the space your own, providing a foundation for all those big ideas and artistic endeavors.
Technically, any desk you write on can be considered a writing desk. But the following options expertly blend classic writing desk features (like woodgrain surfaces and convenient nooks) with more modern necessities. Whether you’re a novelist, journalist, or hobbyist seeking a more personalized writing environment, these desks will help you put pen to paper — or fingers to keyboard — in comfort and style.
At a Glance
Here’s a quick overview of my top recommendations. Click the links to automagically leap to my in-depth analysis.
The Best Writing Desks
Let’s start with a look at the best writing desk overall. Then, we’ll check out a few specialty options.
Maker: IKEA | Dimensions: W48″ x D21.5″ x H29″ | Materials: Solid Pine, Fiberboard | Finish: Brown | Price: $199
Many writers dismiss IKEA as a cheap, low-quality retailer without any options worth considering. While I understand this sentiment (cheap often means low-quality), I’ve encountered many excellent products from the Swedish furniture store. The IKEA HEMNES illustrates this beautifully.
The IKEA HEMNES is a gorgeous, study-style writing desk built from a slab of genuine pine. It also incorporates a touch of fiberboard in inconspicuous areas like under the drawer and on the back panel. While some furniture purists detest any use of engineered wood, the fiberboard makes this desk much more cost-effective without sacrificing the premium look and feel.
Concerning storage, the desk comes with one right-side drawer and a left-side cabinet. Although you can use these as you please, the drawer is perfect for stashing pens and paper, while the cabinet is ideal for larger items.
One of the best parts about the desk is its size. The solid pine surface measures 48 inches wide. This generous surface area ensures plenty of room to stretch out with notes and various equipment. The desk also sits at a reasonable 29 inches tall. Since the industry average of 30 inches is too high for most users, this is a nice touch that’s more comfortable and ideal for postural health.
You will have to assemble the HEMNES yourself, but that’s the norm for these types of desks. If assembly isn’t your forte, IKEA partners with TaskRabbit, meaning you can have it professionally assembled at your home or office for a nominal fee. Although some online reviewers mention issues during or shortly after assembly, I haven’t encountered this myself.
The good news? Should anything go wrong, the HEMNES comes with an unbeatable 1-year return policy and 10-year warranty. It’s the best writing desk your hard-earned money can buy.
The best writing desk on a budget
- No assembly required
- Affordable $60 price tag
- Folding design is extremely versatile
- Lower-quality materials prone to minor defects
- Quite small, with no drawers or nooks
Maker: Amazon Basics | Dimensions: W40″ x D20″ x H30″ | Materials: Chipboard, Steel | Finish: Natural, Wood | Price: $60
No matter how you feel about Amazon, there’s no denying the eCommerce company’s convenience and exceptional pricing. The brand’s new Amazon Basics lineup channels this philosophy into physical goods, and the Study Desk fits the narrative to a tee.
This desk comes in at roughly $60 and features a foldable frame that’s ready to go seconds after arriving at your door. Even though it lacks “extras” like drawers, the minimal design is quite elegant, and the two color options fit into any room.
Of course, the tradeoff is a lower-quality chipboard surface that’s prone to dents and edge wear. But even with the more fragile surface, only a small percentage of reviewers encounter issues. Meanwhile, the steel frame is surprisingly robust and sturdy, even if the weld points look a little weak.
Amazon assigns the desk a whopping 200-pound weight capacity, which may be possible but is probably a little overgenerous. Considering the materials and craftsmanship, I’d recommend sticking closer to half of that.
My biggest grievance with the Amazon Basics Study Desk has to be its small size. I suppose the 40-inch width and 20-inch depth could be considered a boon for small rooms, but it doesn’t give you much space to work with. The desk also sits 30 inches high, which is standard but still quite tall. I recommend pairing with the Amazon Basics footrest (here’s the one I use), as it provides better ergonomics and postural support at a similarly great price.
The best traditional writing desk
- Beautiful rustic finish
- Central drawer offers easy storage
- Durable design; rated for up to 100 pounds
- Tedious multi-hour assembly process
- Private-label design; lacks a traditional warranty
Maker: Walker Edison | Dimensions: W46″ x D20″ x H30″ | Materials: MDF, Laminate | Finish: Barnwood, Brown, Grey, Marble, Walnut, White Oak | Price: $149
The Walker Edison features a classy, minimal aesthetic that looks straight out of an 1800s farmhouse. It’s constructed from a high-quality MDF, or engineered wood, and comes with a durable laminate top available in several finishes. Underneath, you’ll find a criss-cross pattern that plays double duty — providing structural integrity and a charming rustic aesthetic.
My favorite design element on the Walker Edison is its center drawer, which provides just enough room to tuck in your notebooks and supplies. If you write with just a laptop, you can even fit that in there, ensuring a clean desktop that looks as great in the office as it does in the den. Meanwhile, the horizontal pull makes it easy to open and close the drawer while providing a modern pop of silver to contrast the traditional wood design.
Concerning measurements, the Walker Edison comes in around 4 feet long, which is probably the best size for most users. It strikes an ideal balance, offering enough length for your gear without overburdening its surroundings.
It’s important to note that Walker Edison deals primarily in private-labeled products. In other words, another company built the desk and branded it with Walker Edison’s labeling. It’s not an uncommon practice (Amazon Basics does the same thing), but Walker Edison chooses not to warranty its private-labeled products outside the standard 30-day return period. While this is an unfortunate oversight, I don’t believe it should pose an issue for most users.
The biggest complaint among reviewers is the desk’s tedious assembly process. I haven’t gone hands-on with this particular desk, but from what I can gather, installation is best left to a handy person who can fix or adjust any issues that arise. While frustrating, it still doesn’t outweigh Walker Edison’s attractive design and reliable craftsmanship.
The best workstation for writers
- Features a sleek, two-tone design
- Rated for up to 200 pounds; backed by a 5-year warranty
- Comes with a side shelf, monitor mount, and pegboard organizer
- Lacks the traditional writing desk aesthetic
- The 30-inch height is a little tall for some users
Maker: Eureka Ergonomic | Dimensions: W55″ x D23.5″ x H30″ | Materials: Engineered Wood, Steel | Finish: Archaize Brown, Wood | Price: $189.99
Eureka Ergonomic is among my favorite office desk manufacturers. The business creates dozens of attractive, durable models for a range of users. This particular model — the SS140B — isn’t just stunning, but loaded with features to enhance your writing workflow.
The first thing you’ll notice about the desk is the side shelf, which has three levels for accessories and (optionally) your desktop computer. The top shelf is all-black, which creates a striking separation between the desktop’s wood grain. You’ll also notice a pegboard on either side of the desk, a thoughtful inclusion that lets you hang notes and peripherals within easy reach. Lastly, there’s the monitor riser, which holds your display at a more appropriate, ergonomic level.
Aside from its array of add-ons and accessories, the most unique thing about the SS140B is its modular design. You can attach the side shelf and monitor mount on either side, meaning the layout is entirely up to you. No matter how you piece it together, the unit also remains as solid as stone, capable of carrying 200 pounds, no problem.
Even though you can configure your SS140B, the desk is still designed for the modern office. It lacks the traditional writing desk elements seen on IKEA’s HEMNES and Walker Edison’s Writing Desk, and I’ve found that it works best when used as a computer workstation rather than a standalone writing space.
I may sound like a broken record here, but the SS140B’s 30-inch height is — like others on this list — too tall. If you’re not 6 feet or taller, I recommend a footstool. Eureka Ergonomic is happy to sell you one for a paltry $29.99.
The best standing desk for writers
- Suitable for all users
- Promotes a more healthful writing environment
- Simple Touch controller adjusts the desk’s height 25 inches with a single press
- Pricey, starting at $699
- Lacks programmable height presets
Maker: Steelcase | Dimensions: W48″ x D24″ x H” | Materials: Laminate, Steel | Finish: Archaize, Arctic White, Ash Noce, Clay Noce, Clear Oak, Storm Noce, Virginia Walnut | Price: $699
Steelcase creates the best writing chair, so it’s not surprising to see the company features on this list of best writing desks. The funny thing is, you don’t even need a chair for this desk (though you’ll probably want one). That’s because the Steelcase Solo is a standing desk, moving from 22.5 inches to 48.5 inches high at the push of a button.
Because of its unique adjustability, the Solo isn’t your typical writer’s desk. It doesn’t have any nifty drawers or shelves, and the modern design doesn’t evoke that traditional writing-by-the-fireplace imagery. But what it lacks in aesthetics, it makes up for in ergonomic bliss.
The Solo is suitable for every height. Users as short as 5 feet and as tall as 7 feet can sit or stand at the desk and write to their heart’s content. Better yet, you can swap between the two, counteracting the harmful effects of sedentary sitting and promoting circulation for boosted productivity.
Although you can select from various finishes, the Solo always comes with a laminate top and three-stage legs that move up and down via a Simple Touch controller. With all these elements working in tandem, the Solo can accommodate up to 360 pounds — or about 6,000 Moleskine notebooks stacked towards the heavens.
Of course, the Steelcase Solo is pricey. The desk starts at $699 and goes up to $840, depending on its kit. But I find its health-oriented benefits, performance-enhancing features, and 15-minute assembly worth the price.
My Writing Desk Review Process
I’m a freelance writer by trade, and I have years of experience writing about ergonomics and office gear. I’ve gone hands-on with many of today’s most popular office desk brands, including IKEA, Eureka Ergonomic, and Steelcase. For this guide on the best writing desks, I combined that knowledge with a fresh round of research and consideration.
Here’s a look at my process and the criteria used to determine which desks make it to the top of the list.
1. Sizing. A spacious surface allows you to spread out and reduce clutter. I usually recommend a minimum width of 42 inches and a depth of 20 inches, though writers with smaller rooms can get away with less.
2. Ergonomics. The best desk for writers is only useful so long as it helps you sit down and write. For that, it should be comfortable, with a smooth tabletop surface and a maximum 30-inch height (26 inches is my sweet spot, albeit hard to find). Adjustable legs, drawers, and shelves are other things to look out for, as they let you customize the workspace to your specific needs.
3. Design. Writing desks are traditionally wooden, with little nooks and crannies for stashing things like pens and writing pencils. Although modern writing desks vary in material and desk, they should maintain a sophisticated look and feel that suits your writing workflow.
4. Durability. Most writing desks aren’t worth your time — they’re flimsy and easily damaged. That’s why it’s crucial to seek out natural wood and metal finishes when possible, as well as manufacturer warranties that cover any potential issues.
5. Pricing. Few of us fit the starving artist stereotype, but that doesn’t mean we can drop hundreds on a brand new writing desk. I tried to include the best writing desks in every price range, ensuring a quality selection for folks with $50 and $500.
Although many excellent desks failed to make this list, that only serves as a testament to the quality of these options. I’m confident in recommending every model on this list, and I firmly believe that they represent the best desks for writing.