Students from grade school to grad school are always in need of a solid desk - there are no two ways around it. The issue is finding one at a reasonable price. Students, after all, aren't known for having lots of money.
There are a number of factors that make for a good student desk. You'll want something large enough for your Mac that fits in a smaller space, something that's not too expensive, and something with storage built in. Finding one at a reasonable price is the tricky bit, however, with desks often costing a lot of money. Not to worry, we've found some great desk options at great prices and put them all below.
If you're looking for a new desk, it's likely you want a nice but cheaper chair to go with it - make sure you check out the best budget desk chairs and where to find them.
Best dorm desks for students
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Get ample space for work, art, and a computer. The simple design is 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. You'll find it easy to assemble, too.
Lots of storage
Sometimes its helpful to have a desk that's loaded with storage and places to put paperwork and cables. This desk from ROCKPOINT has plenty of storage for odds and ends as well as a handy keyboard tray to keep your desktop tidier.
Plain and simple
It doesn't get much more simple than this - it's a table with a drawer. It's also the perfect desk in many ways: it's compact, attractive, and easy to slip into any dorm room. The drawer is great storage for some cables or paperwork.
This desk from SUPERJARE has a built in power outlet to reduce desk clutter under and on top of your desk. There's also a helpful extra shelf on the desktop to raise your monitors up a little and reduce strain on your back.
Best ease of use
Made with a steel frame and particle board. The desktop has two grommets for cable management. This basic desk is easy to assemble and adjustable for uneven floors. It comes with everything you need to put it together.
Best writing space
This is a no-frills desk with plenty of room for your best Mac 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 only have a corner to work in. This one is made with wood grain particle board and includes two grommets for cable organization.
Easiest to assemble
Here is an easy-to-assemble 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.
Tidy it away
Don't need something permanent? This is the answer. A folding desk that you can use your laptop on to get some work done, and then put away when you're all done to save space. If you're tight on space then this is perfect - it folds flat. It's also great for students who need to pack up and store or move their furniture every summer.
Sit, stand, wherever
If space is at a real premium, you want the option to stand while you work, you're looking for more flexibility, or you need a mobile option, this is your pick. It can be configured multiple ways including totally flat. Adjust the height from sitting to standing with a turn of a knob. It's on wheels so you can use it anywhere.
Your furniture reflects your taste, and this is a fun one with a handful of colorways including a marble-look top and gold legs. There's a headphone hook on one end and a storage bag on the other, so all of your accessories can be stowed neatly.
Though we are no longer students, several of us at iMore use some version of this workhorse FLEXISPOT Adjustable Height Desk, including me. This flexible sit-to-stand desk costs a little more than some of the others on this list, but it will help make your workspace more ergonomic and last you well beyond your student years.
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 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 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?
Most US college dorm rooms come furnished with a bed, dresser, and desk, so you won't need to purchase one yourself. So, before shopping for a desk for your dorm room, check with student housing to see if a desk will be provided. 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?
It may be tempting to just prop yourself on some pillows 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!
What height is best for my desk?
That depends a lot on you, the user. Essentially, when you're sat up straight at your desk, you want your forearms to be parallel and slightly above your desk. Most desks come at standard heights, so the best way to change things around is to have a play with the hydraulic lift on your desk chair. Remember that your feet should always be flat on the floor, but find a position that's most comfortable for you without slouching.
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As iMore's Senior Staff writer, Tammy uses her background in audio and Masters in screenwriting to pen engaging product reviews and informative buying guides. The resident audiophile (or audio weirdo), she's got an eye for detail and a love of top-quality sound. Apple is her bread and butter, with attention on HomeKit and Apple iPhone and Mac hardware. You won't find her far away from a keyboard even outside of working at iMore – in her spare time, she spends her free time writing feature-length and TV screenplays. Also known to enjoy 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.
- Karen S FreemanContributor