The best wood desk

Stefanie Hammond

A quality wood desk is a great investment that will last many years.

Chances are you’ve been working from a less-than-ideal home office space for a while now. It might be time to upgrade from your kitchen table to a functional desk. Having a dedicated desk for your work environment will help you be more productive and more comfortable. However, you shouldn’t choose just any desk; you need something that is strong, versatile, capable of handling daily use and pleasing to the eye. 

If you’re looking for a wood desk, you can’t go wrong with the Mercury Row Zona Solid-Wood Desk, thanks to its sturdy yet minimalist design. 

What to know before you buy a wood desk

Solid wood vs. MDF

To ensure that your desk will last, make sure that it is made from quality wood instead of MDF, otherwise known as medium-density fiberboard. MDF is a composite material that resembles wood and is stronger than particle board, but not as strong as wood. It reacts poorly to humidity and water by swelling, warping or expanding and is also alleged to release formaldehyde in the air over time.

Size and purpose of the desk

It is important to determine how you will be using your desk before you figure out which one is best for you. Will it be primarily a workstation for your laptop and monitors? Make sure it’s wide enough to fit all of your monitors. Will it be used for writing? Make sure you’re comfortable with the height of the desk and that the surface is smooth. You’ll also need to be sure that you measure the space so that your prospective desk fits with enough room for you to get in and out of your chair with ease.

Types of wooden desks

Executive desks

Executive desks are the biggest desks you’ll find in this guide. Executive desks are known to be extremely large with a lot of surface and storage space. They are available in a variety of styles including rectangle, L-shaped, U-shaped or as a component to a larger office set which might include a built-in bookcase or hutch. The backs are generally finished, allowing the desk to be placed in any number of positions.

Writing desks

Writing desks are narrow and tall. They closely resemble console tables and have one or two drawers, but no shelves. You wouldn’t be able to fit multiple monitors, but you could comfortably use a laptop on a writing desk.

Computer desks

Computer desks are large desks that can accommodate a desktop computer. They also include several drawers and include holes for power and computer cables. These desks are large enough to accommodate multiple monitors and other equipment. The backs of these desks are not finished and therefore the desk can only be positioned against a wall.

Floating desks

Wall-mounted desks, otherwise known as floating desks, are great in small spaces where there isn’t floor space for a traditional desk. These desks are generally small and narrow and wouldn’t support multiple monitors, but are great for laptops or studying.

Rolltop desks

A classic look that’s making a resurgence, rolltop desks are desks that have a cover that rolls up or down over the surface of the desk and several compartments. These desks were known to have small spaces and drawers to conceal any number of letters or papers. The cover can often be locked, ensuring your privacy.

Hutch desks

Hutch desks are similar to rolltop desks in that they have a robust upper compartment, but hutch desks generally have a much taller and larger upper compartment. Sometimes the compartment includes cabinets, shelving or additional drawers.

Standing desks

Standing desks are desks that are either tall enough to allow one to stand while they work, or they can convert to standing height via adjustable legs. Standing desks can also be combined with an under-the-desk treadmill for a workout while you work. If you’ve already got a desk in mind, you can also use a standing desk converter that can transform your desk into a standing desk when you feel like it.

Wood desk cost 

Wood desks will start at about $100 for a simple, solid-wood writing desk. If you’re willing to compromise and go for a wood/mdf combination, you can find a pretty solid computer desk for $150-$250. A solid-wood executive desk will start around $300 and increase with add-ons like shelves or a hutch.

Which wood desk should I get?

Best of the best wood desk

Mercury Row Zona Solid-Wood Desk: available at Wayfair

Our take: Solid wood desk with exposed metal legs and four generous shelves.

What we like: This desk combines an industrial look with solid poplar wood to create a sizeable desk perfect for writing or working on a computer. This quick-to-assemble desk measures 60 inches across and 28 inches deep, meaning the desktop could fit several monitors.

What we dislike: The screws for the shelves are a little too long.

Best bang for your buck wood desk

SLEEKFORM Folding Desk: available at Amazon

Our take: Minimalist and multifunctional wood desk made from real fir wood with collapsible legs.

What we like: This incredible table is so versatile and can be used as a desk, table, coffee table or banquet table; the possibilities are endless. The collapsible legs make it easy to transport and it even has an anti-scratch surface. This easily-foldable table weighs a reasonable 24 pounds and arrives pre-assembled.

What we dislike: Some reviewers felt it was a little wobbly.

Honorable mention wood desk

Union Rustic Pittman Writing Desk: available at Wayfair

Our take: Compact acacia-wood writing desk with two drawers.

What we like: This hand-sanded and hand-finished solid wood desk measures 39 inches across, 20 inches wide and 31 inches tall. Sturdy and with two spacious drawers, this desk is perfect for small offices or apartments.

What we dislike: This desk does not have any shelves.

Stefanie Hammond is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.

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