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Best Low-cost Desk for Kids in 2020

Mainstays Basic Student Desk Promo
Mainstays Basic Student Desk Promo (Image credit: Mainstays)

If you've got kids learning at home, they're going to need desks. A dedicated workspace is vital for getting your child into "school mode" and ready to learn. At the same time, it's great to have an option that won't break the bank. For that purpose, the Mainstays Student Desk (opens in new tab) is perfect, offering plenty of workspace and storage for the education essentials.

Best Overall Desk: Mainstays Student Desk

Best low-cost desk Mainstays Student Desk (Image credit: Mainstays)

This desk from Mainstays is a good option that provides plenty of workspace and storage for most students. It's a solid wooden desk with a gliding drawer and an adjustable shelf that lets you create a couple of cubbies to hold things you need to access more easily, like books or your notes.

The primary workspace has room for a laptop or books and papers. There's some room to spread a couple of things out, like your computer and a textbook or notebook. The connected elevated table, meanwhile, can hold everything from speakers to an external monitor.

It's a solid, if slightly pricey, option and a great choice if your student is going to be home for the foreseeable future.

Mainstays Student Desk

Solid option for most students.

Reasons to buy

+
Good amount of workspace
+
Easy-access storage
+
Will fit almost anywhere in your home
+
Built-in cable management ports

Reasons to avoid

-
Comparatively pricey
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Assembly required

Mainstay's Student Desk is an excellent choice for most students who will be learning from home this fall.

Best Alternative Desk: Mainstays Sumpter Park Cube Storage Desk

Best low-cost desk Mainstay Sumpter Park Cube Desk (Image credit: Mainstays)

If you're looking for something more affordable but still with plenty of space, check out Mainstay's Sumpter Park Cube Storage Desk. It's got enough room for your computer and any books, notebooks, or anything else you're working with, along with shelving to hold any essential materials.

Mainstays Sumpter Park Cube Storage Desk

A perfect study companion.

Reasons to buy

+
Plenty of workspace for any student
+
Adjustable shelves
+
Fits pretty much anywhere in your home

Reasons to avoid

-
No drawers
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Easily scratched

The Sumpter Park Cube desk offers decent storage and plenty of workspace for most young students.

Best Value Desk: Furinno Simplistic Study Table

Best low-cost desk Furinno Simplistic Study Table (Image credit: Furinno)

This is a case of something's name telling you exactly what it is. This minimal desk will fit almost anywhere in your home, no matter your situation. And it can do this while having enough space for a laptop or your study materials as you need them.

And when they call this 'Simplistic,' they mean it. It's literally five pieces of engineered wood over particle board that you assemble to form a desk. That's it. There isn't any storage with this desk. It is just a surface on which to do some work, and nothing more.

Still, if you have very bare-bones needs, like your child only needs a basic desk, then this is a great option.

Furinno Simplistic Study Table

Exactly what it says it is: simple.

Reasons to buy

+
Very affordable
+
Enough space for most young students
+
Small enough to fit anywhere

Reasons to avoid

-
No built-in storage

An extremely bare-bones option, this study table will serve any child working with limited space and few storage needs.

Best Portable Desk: LapGear Lap Desk

Best low-cost desk LapGear Lap Desk (Image credit: LapGear)

A lap desk is an excellent way to get your child out of their usual study spot and shake things up a bit. This desk from LapGear is primarily meant to be used with your laptop, though you can also use it with books and notebooks if you need to.

It has a built-in mouse pad for those that like to use a mouse with their laptop, as well as a dedicated phone holder, which can be great for things like Zoom calls or other video conferencing apps that a student might use to connect with their teachers or classmates.

LapGear Lap Desk

A great lap desk for home learning.

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent portability
+
Integrated mousepad is a nice touch
+
Perfect for students working on laptops

Reasons to avoid

-
Maybe too big for younger students

If you're learning at home, LapGear's desk is a great way to be able to shake up your environment while still focusing on work.

Best Folding Desk: ZenStyle Folding Desk

Best low-cost desk Zenstyle Folding Desk (Image credit: ZenStyle)

If you need something that you can put away when you're not using it, the ZenStyle's Folding Desk is an excellent option. You just unclip the desk surface, take it off, then fold up the legs and store them together until you need the desk again.

As for the desk itself, when you're using it for work or school, it offers a reasonably substantial workspace. You can't lay everything out on it, but you can fit a lot on the desk, like a laptop or a desktop monitor, your books, notes, and other school essentials.

It's the perfect option for people who need a good amount of space, but who also need to be able to store their desk when it's not in use.

ZenStyle Folding Desk

A great desk that helps you save space.

Reasons to buy

+
Simple to put together and break down
+
A nice amount of workspace
+
Sturdy when unfolded

Reasons to avoid

-
You need to break it down into multiple parts
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Plastic clips could be vulnerable to breakage

For those that need to fold up their desk when they're done using it, this desk has a nice amount of space and is easy to store.

Best for Multiple Kids: Cosco 6-foot Folding Table

Best low-cost desk Cosco Table (Image credit: Cosco)

If more than one child in your home needs a workspace, and having everyone in the same area makes things easier, maybe you should skip the desks and pick up this Cosco folding table. There's space for more people, and it's a lot cheaper than picking up multiples on these desks. Of course, it also folds in half for easy storage when you're not using it.

It's also going to be sturdy when you're using it. The table's not going to have a lot of wobble to it, and the rubber feet will keep in place. The simple locking rings will keep the table in place while people work. At six feet long and two-and-a-half feet wide, there's a good chance you'll have space for it in your home, though it might be a tight fit in smaller areas.

If you've got the space in your home for this, I'd seriously consider it for a multi-child home education environment.

Cosco 6-foot Folding Table

Ditch the desks with this sturdy table

Reasons to buy

+
Perfect for multiple students
+
Sturdy
+
Easy to fold and store when not in use

Reasons to avoid

-
Might be too big for some homes
-
No built-in storage

A solid, if unconventional, choice for a desk for multiple students.

Bottom line

The Mainstays Student Desk (opens in new tab), while pricier than some others, is an excellent choice of desk for your at-home student, no matter how old they are. There's plenty of workspace for most applications, and the raised tabletop on the right side is perfect for additional accessories like a monitor or speakers.

There's also the matter of storage. You've got a couple of cubbies, and the height can be adjusted by moving the included shelf up and down. You also have a drawer where you can keep anything you need to have close at hand. There are other great little touches. For instance, the desk has built-in ports for cable management if you need them.

The Mainstays desk is one of the best desks for kids at this price point, and a great choice for most homes and most students, with enough space to accommodate most work while still being small enough to fit just about anywhere.

Joseph Keller is the former Editor in Chief of iMore. An Apple user for almost 20 years, he spends his time learning the ins and outs of iOS and macOS, always finding ways of getting the most out of his iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Mac.