Where there is a student, you are likely to find a desk. That could be a place for writing papers with a laptop, a spot to game when those papers should be being written, or become a makeshift dinner table when the other students have invaded the kitchen for a massive party the night before finals. When you're a student, there's one big thing that you have to think about - money. You'll also be thinking about size, shelving, shape, and other considerations, but the focus will always be on finding a budget desk. Well, worry not - we've found the best budget desks for students and told you exactly where you can find them.
If you're looking for a desk, you're probably looking for a chair as well - and we've got just the thing. Here are the best budget desk chairs and where to find them.
Best dorm desks for students
Ample space for work, art, and a computer. Simple design made with a thick metal frame and durable wood. It's also waterproof and has an anti-scratch surface so you don't have to worry about making a mess. Easy to assemble, too.
You can upgrade to a larger size as there are a couple available. Adjustable leg pads help keep the desk sturdy on an uneven floor. The simple design is assembled in four steps. The legs are made with heavy-duty steel.
Best ease of use
Made with a steel frame and a particle board. The desktop has two grommets for cable management. Easy to assemble and adjustable for uneven floors. Comes with everything you need to put it together.
Best writing space
This is a no-frills desk with plenty of room for a laptop and space for other creative endeavors. The triangular junction design of the legs helps keep the whole thing as stable as possible, even on uneven floors. It's a great desk for the forgetful since the desktop is scratch-resistant and water-resistant. It works in small spaces, too, because it won't get scuffed up or lose stability if you collide with it.
Best L-Shaped Desk
L-shaped desks are really great when you need more space to work but don't have more space to work in. Made with wood grain particle board and includes two grommets for cable organization. Has open shelves for storage, step-by-step instructions for assembly, and all the tools you need.
Best standing desk
If you already have a desktop, but you're spending too much time sitting, grab this adjustable standing desk converter. It'll get you on your toes while still letting you sit when you need to. Has enough room for dual monitors and takes little-to-no assembly.
Nicest wooden top
It has some legs, and it has a top - you could hardly call it special, but it will definitely do the job. There are a few sizes available, and the top is available in a number of different finishes from Black Oak to Walnut. You can also adjust the feet on the bottom of the legs to accommodate uneven surfaces - perfect for those dorm room floors.
Best for RGB
Are you… a Gamer? Do you like RGB? Then the incredibly named 'Smug Gaming Desk' is right up your street. There are flashing lights all over the place, and the top is designed to look like carbon fiber. Perfect for doing calculus and long midnight gaming sessions.
Easiest to assemble
A desk whose price does not reflect quality - the top is a sumptuous varnished piece of wood, and the legs are textured aluminum which makes the whole desk feel more expensive than it actually is. It arrives flat-packed, so building the desk is super easy for even just one person too.
Best for storage
This solid wooden desk from OFM has two convenient drawers to store all your pens and other assorted school stationary. It's available in a few colors too, and its solid metal legs will keep it standing for a long time.
A little class
Do you like marble? A big fan of ancient Greek statues? This desk has a White marble look to the top to go along with its convenient storage compartments. Might make a good side table as well if ever you decide you need a slightly bigger desk.
This desk is extremely versatile. Its multiple leveled surface can be reconfigured should you need something different out of a desk, and it can be raised up to make it a standing desk. There are even wheels on the bottom so that you can move the desk around.
Do the Work
A desk is essential for any student - to do work, to relax. For most, a simple design with four legs and a wide desktop is going to be your best option. There's room for storage underneath, and plenty of space for laptops, monitors, and stationary on top. Need's 63-inch computer desk (opens in new tab) fills all those requirements nicely, with plenty more space to play with. It looks good to boot, if that's important to you, and will fit nicely in a small apartment or dorm room.
If you're looking for something more interesting, or you have a corner that needs filling with something useful, then the SHW L-shaped desk (opens in new tab) will tickle your fancy. It's perfect for maximizing space in a smaller area and provides a tone of space to work on art or creative writing. The included shelving is great for textbooks or other storage.
All about desks
Do I need a desk as a college student?
If you're going to spend a lot of time at your computer or surrounded by textbooks, then a desk will not only give you the best space to study, but potentially help your posture. In addition to a good desk chair, studying on a desk is the best option if you want to avoid long-term back problems, RSI, or other posture-related problems and conditions.
Should I study in bed?
Do you like back pain? It may be tempting to just chill in bed surrounded by your textbooks, your laptop open in front of you, but there are several problems with working where you sleep. Firstly, as previously mentioned, your back needs support, and working cross-legged on your bed isn't going to help you get what you need. Equally, some separation between where you work and where you chill is really important - a desk is a really good way to find balance.
How big should my desk be?
Excellent, you've decided to go with a desk! Your back will thank you. Desk size depends entirely on the size of your room and what you're going to put on it. For a small room, you're obviously going to need a smaller desk - but consider that you may get more desk real estate with less footprint with an L-shaped desk. For bigger rooms, you could go with a bigger desk for more space, where you can put more monitors or other equipment. If you don't need much desk space, you might be able to save some money by opting for a smaller desk. There is no one size fits all, so grab a tape measure and see what kind of space you have!
As the Buying Guides and Deals writer for iMore, Tammy puts over a decade of experience in finding the best prices of Apple products to work, helping you save money on the equipment that you want. An audiophile at heart, she loves all things audio and visual, but you’ll also find her drooling over the latest Macs and MacBooks. With a Masters in screenwriting, Tammy likes to spend her free time writing feature-length and TV screenplays or driving digital cars around virtual circuits, to varying degrees of success. Just don't ask her about AirPods Max - you probably won't like her answer.
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