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Which cheap small desk is best?

For many employees, the idea of working from home seemed a little foreign. But with the evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic, a huge number of companies moved their workforce out of the office and into the living room. With more employees setting up shop in home offices, the need for cheap, space-conscious desks skyrocketed. 

Thanks to the drop-leaf design and wall-mounted profile, the Haotian Home Office Table Desk Workstation is a cheap, small desk that can fit in virtually any home. Despite being a space-saver, it doesn’t fall short on features, with shelving and cubbies built in to keep your work organized and offered in two colors. It’s the perfect way to set up your work-from-home space without a huge footprint.   

What to know before you buy a cheap small desk

Before the COVID-19 pandemic burst onto the scene, only about 20% of the workforce was based remotely, according to Pew Research Center. Traditionally, it was expected that, regardless of whether your job could be done from home or not, you would get up every morning, fight traffic, go into the office and do your work there. Because of the pandemic, the number of remote workers has exploded, with approximately 71% of the workforce getting the job done from home. 

There are several ways to make remote work easier. Clarify the basics with your employer, like whether they expect you to work traditional office hours or whether there’s some flexibility. Along with that, having a reliable internet connection is paramount. To ensure the connection is sufficient to work without delays, especially with other people in your household trying to access the internet, you may want to connect with an Ethernet cable. 

To facilitate a better work-from-home experience, seek to minimize distractions. This can be challenging, especially if you have children or pets in your home. Identify whether you need to use outside childcare or pet-care services during particularly important times of the day. 

Above all, you need an adequate workspace. Of those who transitioned to working from home, about 47% reported the transition was easy, especially with an adequate setup in their home office space. Choose an area with some privacy where you can keep everything organized and one that’s away from the chaos in your home. 

A writing desk provides an open area to work with a large, clean desktop and minimal storage. Whether you’re setting your office up in its own room or fitting it in an unused corner of your home, a writing desk could work. They fit well against a wall, but can also be set up in the middle of a room. 

Similar to a writing desk, a computer desk is a practical way to work from home. Characteristically utilitarian, a computer desk provides sufficient space to get your work done and keeps it simple. A benefit to choosing a computer desk is the built-in space for computer hardware. 

If you can only afford to dedicate a corner of your home to being your office space, you may want to consider a corner desk. These are particularly good for tight spaces. They are compact and, as the name would suggest, fit perfectly in a corner thanks to the triangular design. Because of this, you’ll enjoy a little more legroom than you would with a desk that sits directly against the wall. 

For a vintage feel, you may want to consider a secretary desk. These have a hinged piece that can be closed when not in use to hide any papers or desktop accessories from sight. Many of these feature a bookshelf on top. If your work-from-home space has to be in a more public area of your home, this is a great way to keep your work life from getting too obviously wrapped up with your personal life. 

Finally, for the ultimate in saving space, consider a floating desk. These are also called wall-mounted desks or drop-leaf desks or tables. They mount directly to your wall and typically have a front hinged piece that can be folded up and out of the way when you aren’t using them. Because it doesn’t sit on the floor, a floating desk has little to no footprint in your home. These come in an array of styles, from the most simple, to pieces that include shelves and cubbies. 


Where you plan to set up your work-from-home space will determine which desk is best for you. For example, if you’re in a mid-sized house with a spare bedroom, you could easily choose a low-profile writing desk or computer desk. However, if you’re in an apartment with much more limited space, you might opt for a corner desk or a floating desk. 

Sitting vs. standing desks

In the last 10 years, there has been more emphasis placed on health in the workplace and one of the items consistently brought up is the standing desk. A majority of office workers will eventually see some negative impacts from sitting all day. On the flip side, the standing desk provides some great benefits, including: lower risk of obesity; lower blood sugar; lower risk of heart disease; reduced back pain; improved mood and energy levels; and boosted productivity. 

If you plan on using a standing desk converter or attachment for your desk, you will likely want something a little more sturdy at the base and something that isn’t designed to be closed frequently. A writing desk or computer desk would be a better option. 


Because you’re purchasing a desk for a small space, you should pay attention to the dimensions and have a clear idea of the measurements of the area where you will place it. Most desks are around 28 to 30 inches tall. That doesn’t mean this is the ideal height for you ergonomically. To identify what the ideal desk height is for you specifically, divide your height in inches by 2.5. This will tell you how many inches tall your desk should be. 

You should also pay attention to the surface area of the top of the desk. Most small-space desks have a desk width of about 40 inches. Take a moment to set up your equipment as it would be positioned on your desk and see whether 40 inches is enough space for you to work comfortably. If that already feels like a tight fight, avoid going any smaller. 

Finally, whether you choose a free-standing or wall-mounted desk, make sure you have 2-3 feet of space under the desk to fit yourself and your desk chair. 

What to look for in a quality cheap small desk


Even if you don’t expect to keep many desk accessories or extras around you when you’re working, buying a desk with shelving can help in the long run. It provides the opportunity to decorate, along with giving you a way to organize your work-related items. With shelving, there will be less clutter on your desk surface, which is important when you have limited surface area to work on. 

Wire management

Chances are you use a computer for at least some portion of your job duties. That requires a charging cord. You may also want a charging cord for your phone nearby. Add in a printer or a lamp and the number of cords running across your desk starts to increase. Look for a desk with some form of wire management to keep these organized and hidden away so your desk remains neat and tidy. 

Combination systems

You will likely see some form of combination system that meshes a desk with a shelving unit. These are great options for saving space, because rather than have the footprint of both pieces, it’s one single item. It also allows you to seamlessly organize your work life without having to purchase additional furniture or shelving units. 

Easy assembly

No matter which type of desk you choose, make sure it’s easy to assemble. Chances are you will have to put time into at least some amount of assembly. If it’s complicated, you will get frustrated and there’s a greater chance of error. Transitioning to remote work is stressful enough. Save yourself the hours of aggravation by choosing something easy to put together. 

How much you can expect to spend on a cheap, small desk

For less than $200, you can easily find a quality, cheap, small-space desk. Between $30-$200, you’ll find an array of styles, sizes and types of desks to choose from. 

Cheap small desk FAQ

What is the smallest desk size?

A. The standard size for a small bedroom desk is 30 inches wide, 20 inches deep and 30 inches tall. These measurements can vary, depending on the type of desk you choose. 

What is a compact desk?

A. If you want the absolute bare minimum for an at-home desk, a compact desk is the way to go. It is a work surface that is generally only big enough to fit a laptop, notebook and a pen. These give you the absolute basics of what you need to still have a dedicated work-from-home space and are often the cheapest option. 

What is a good cheap desk?

A. The ideal cheap desk for one person may be different from the ideal cheap desk for another. Generally speaking, you want one that fits your space well, is well made and durable. Even better is one that stores or folds away, especially if you plan on placing it in a high-traffic area of your home, and one with cubbies or shelves to keep your things organized. 

What’s the best cheap small desk to buy?

Top cheap small desk

Haotian Home Office Table Desk Workstation

Haotian Home Office Table Desk Workstation

What you need to know: Easy to install and perfect in any home, this wall-mounted workstation is a great way to add structure to your work-from-home life with limited space. 

What you’ll love: Being a wall-mounted desk, you won’t have to use any precious floor space. But it doesn’t skimp on features, complete with shelving and cubbies. It also comes in both white and black to match your decor. 

What you should consider: You might want a second person to help mount it to the wall. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top cheap small desk for the money

Ikea Micke Desk

Ikea Micke Desk

What you need to know: For less than $100, you can get this quality desk that features storage and a larger desktop surface. 

What you’ll love: Well-designed with a cable outlet in the back to keep things tidy, this is one of the biggest desks you can get for the least amount of money. It also has a slide-out drawer for storing your tools and accessories, keeping your work area clean and always ready. 

What you should consider: Assembly can be labor intensive and tricky. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

4NM Small Computer Desk with 4-tier Bookshelf

4NM Small Computer Desk With 4-Tier Bookshelf

What you need to know: A mashup of a bookshelf and a desk, this is an excellent free-standing desk on a budget. 

What you’ll love: You have the option of installing the bookshelf on either the right or left side of the desk, depending on where you plan to place it. Because it has the bookshelf attached, there’s plenty of storage without taking up space on your floor.

What you should consider: You have to combine the desk and bookshelf rather than leaving them as stand-alone pieces. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

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Kasey Van Dyke writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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