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Best desks 2021: Work from home in comfort with these stylish and practical desks and workstations

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Create a workspace in your home that works for you with our pick of the best desks

With a decent percentage of the country’s workforce now working from home, the demand for good, affordable home office furniture has never been higher. Second only to an office chair, desks are one of the key elements of any home working setup, and it really does pay to make sure that you buy the best desk for you and your working habits.

You may already have seen our rundown of the best office chairs, newly updated to include the latest affordable buys. But don't overlook the humble desk. It's far more than just a flat surface: when you spend hours at that desk, ergonomic details such as the height of your monitor and the option to stand while working are vital for health and productivity (Ergotron's Workspace Planner helps you suss out your perfect setup). You may also want useful features such as built-in drawers and shelves to fit the way you work or study. And, of course, a desk that looks good in your home.

In a moment we'll reveal the best desks you can currently buy. First, here's a quick round-up of desk types and factors to consider when choosing your ideal working surface.

Best desks: At a glance

How to buy the best desk for you

What shapes of desk are there?

Corner desk: Handy for rooms where you’re short of space and don’t want to give up a whole wall.

Straight desk: The most common type of desk, this type is available with or without drawers or cupboards, but all sport a simple rectangular desktop. They’re usually made from wood or – increasingly – glass.

Wave desk: Similar to corner desks, these desks are slightly curved at one end to enlarge the workspace

Curved desk: Often used by the Big Cheese in workplaces, you can also buy statement versions for the home to sit either at the centre of a room or against a wall.

What size desk should I buy?

Shape aside, this is your most important consideration. Do you often spread out large pieces of paper such as maps or architect plans, or need to have lots of books open at one time while you work? Or are you simply after a modest space on which to pop your laptop? Also, think about what needs to sit on your desk. Do you have a large computer, paper trays and a pen, for example?

Perhaps you want to brighten up your desk up with plants and framed photos, too. The size of the room will be significant, too; it’s helpful to mark out the template of the desk on the floor using a tape measure or paper. If you’re likely to be working at the same time as your partner or child, you might need a desk for two or more people to work at simultaneously.

How much should I spend?

You could spend anywhere between around £50 and £650 on a new desk. When it comes to price, some key factors to consider are size, material, and any extra features such as drawers and cable tidies. Some of the more expensive entries in our roundup are made from solid wood rather than cheaper manufactured materials such as MDF. While it’s not essential to its performance, we’d argue that the quality and feel of a solid wood desk is well worth the investment if you’re going to be working at your desk frequently and for long periods of time. Some desks, such as the Vox Lori featured below, are also customisable – allowing you to add extra storage options such as desk tidies at incremental costs. Ultimately, with the variety of desks available, you should easily be able to find the right desk for your budget and needs.

What else do I need to consider?

Think about whether you want drawers and/or cupboards. A sliding drawer for your keyboard and cut-outs for cables can be useful. Is the height right for you? And don’t forget to get the right office chair – click here to find our pick of the very best.

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The best desks to buy

1. John Lewis & Partners Mix it Dressing Table/Desk: Sleekest desk under £100

Price: £99 | Buy now from John Lewis

For a sleek and affordable option, consider this desk from John Lewis. Designed as both a dressing table and a work desk, it’s simple and unassuming, but looks pretty good as a piece of minimalist furniture.

Be warned though: That’s one big drawer, not two, so those of you looking for more conveniently arranged storage space might not be too impressed. John Lewis offers an assembly service for an additional £76 but, according to several customer reviews, it’s easy enough to assemble yourself.

Key features - Dimensions: 76.5 x 100.2 x 43.8cm (HWD); Main materials: Foil-wrapped MDF; Number of colours: three

Buy now from John Lewis


2. Argos Home Malibu 3 Drawer Office Desk: Best budget desk

Price: £70 | Buy now from Argos

This desk from Argos is made from chipboard and MDF wood, so the material quality isn’t going to be as good as some of the more expensive solid wood products on our list - and it’s worth pointing out that there are no cable tidies or holes.

Nevertheless, you still get some decent storage options, including a set of three drawers and three fixed shelves. At this price, there’s not much to complain about. In fact, judging by the army of four and five star customer reviews on Argos, very few people have.

As a simple WFH option, or as a teenager’s study desk, this should more than suffice. If your remote working needs are fairly basic, you don’t need to spend hundreds of pounds on a desk - save the money for a decent chair instead.

Key features - Dimensions: 72.1cm x 120cm x 49 cm (HWD); Main materials: chipboard, MDF; Number of colours available: Four

Buy now from Argos


3. Nazanin Kamali for Case Celine Desk: Best slimline desk

Price: £530 | Buy now from John Lewis


John Lewis has one of the widest selections of attractive desks on offer, to fit every style of home and budget – but this is our firm favourite. Available in walnut or oak, both with a single white drawer, it’s a delicate-looking statement desk that’s functional, too. The slight tapering of the legs, unfussy storage areas and the slimline look give it a designer aesthetic, while the drawer and laptop compartment make it more than just a showpiece as it’s purposeful too. Ultra-stylish, this looks a picture in homes where space is at a premium.

Key features – Dimensions: 75cm x 110cm x 55cm (HWD); Main materials: tempered glass; Number of colours available: two

Buy now from John Lewis


4. John Lewis & Partners Loft Desk: Best affordable desk for tidy storage options

Price: £199 | Buy now from John Lewis

Those who like to keep their stationery, notebooks and other desk paraphernalia organised will no doubt find plenty of options to do so here.This desk from John Lewis has five shelves and a central drawer, as well as a cable hole at the back for your laptop charger or any other unwanted wires.

At 105cm wide, it’s rather unassuming and will fit neatly into reasonably small spaces. Plus, the pull-out desk top is a very nice space-saving solution which has been designed, according to John Lewis, to encourage you to keep your desk tidy.

As we’ve already established, John Lewis is a bit of a treasure trove when it comes to desks that won’t break the bank, and this one from the brand’s affordable ‘Anyday’ collection is no exception to that, comfortably priced at just under £200.

Key features - Dimensions: 95 x 105 x 52cm (HWD); Main materials: Poplar wood, MDF, veneer; Number of colours available: One

Buy now from John Lewis


5. Jahnke Cuuba Libre L-Shape Desk: Best corner desk

Price: £316 | Buy now from Wayfair

If you’ve got a spare corner in your home office, an L-shaped desk can do wonders to maximise workspace and storage options. Our pick from Wayfair delivers on this promise while looking pretty stylish to boot.

The Cuuba Libre (yes, that’s the correct spelling), is made from manufactured wood, and comes in a choice of two colours: “Sanremo Oak” or “Riviera Oak White”. There’s plenty of storage space from the desk’s smaller unit, including an open shelf as well as a spacious cupboard and drawer.

Another great feature of the Cuuba Libre is that it can be constructed in a left-handed or a right-handed orientation, to suit the layout of the room and your work setup. Bear in mind, though, that you may want to enlist the help of a friend when assembling it.

Key features – Dimensions: 76 x 140 x119cm (HWD); Main materials: Manufactured wood; Number of colours available: Two

Buy now from Wayfair


6. Hashtag Home Floating Desk: Best desk for small spaces

Price: £113 | Buy now from Wayfair

For something a little bit different, this floating desk from Wayfair is a pretty quirky piece and is still very affordable at just north of £100. You get a modest amount of storage space, with one full-length drawer as well as an upper shelf.

The desk has just two slanted legs and you’ll need to put it together yourself, which might be a tricky task for some - particularly as you’ll need to fix it to the wall for stability. Once assembled, though, it’s a stylish desk and one that is very economical in terms of space.

Key features - Dimensions: 91 x 94 x 50cm (HWD); Main materials: Chipboard, solid wood base; Number of colours: Four

Buy now from Wayfair


7. La Redoute Topim: Best desk for retro style

Price: £575 | Buy now from La Redoute

This 1950s-inspired desk is perfect for those who want a bit of mid-century retro styling for their home office. The Topim has a smooth, rounded shape (like a “kidney bean”, as La Redoute puts it) and is constructed from MDF, with a walnut veneer for the top, and gilt metal legs.

Those prioritising ample desk space might find the Topim quite cramped and impractical (particularly for £575). But if aesthetics are your primary concern, or you simply don’t need a lot of space, it’s definitely a looker. Even the storage options, which include a small open shelf and a side cabinet, look great.

Key features – Dimensions: 75.3 x 120 x 60cm (HWD); Main materials: MDF, brass/gilt metal; Number of colours available: One

Buy now from La Redoute


8. Rocker Jaguar Gaming Desk: Best gaming desk for work and play

Price: £180 | Buy now from Argos


Just as you don't have to be a gamer to appreciate the practical home-office comforts of a great gaming chair, you don't need to know one end of a controller from the other to love this large, striking desk. It's engineered for absolute solidity and minimum space-hogging, so you can load up to 20 kilos of computer kit on here - or a massive TV - without worrying that it'll all collapse into the usefully empty space below. Clever features include holes to keep your cables safe and tidy, and even a hook for headphones.

The bright red edging and blue LED lights (which don't seem to have an "off" button) won't be to everyone's taste, but this is the perfect desk for a teen's bedroom, or for transforming your garage into a summer office.

For a wider selection of options, see our separate roundup of the best gaming desks.

Key features – Dimensions: 77.5cm x 113cm x 61.5cm (HWD); Main materials: melamine; Colours available: 1

Buy now from Argos


9. Loaf Den: Best statement desk

Price: £795 | Check stock at Loaf


Made from solid reclaimed fir recovered from old buildings, this is great for a modern, industrial look, with the metal frame adding a slightly vintage feel. The drawers can be assembled on the left or right to suit your room, and you can match the desk with Loaf’s shelves in the same range. With a working area of 140cm x 65cm, there’s less width on offer here than with some, but plenty of depth. For a quirky take on a wooden desk, this is a great buy – although it’s on the pricey side. That said, Loaf’s folk assemble it for you on delivery.

Key features – Dimensions: 74cm x 140cm x 65cm (HWD); Main materials: wood and metal; Number of colours available: one

Check stock at Loaf

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