51 Common Types of Desks

Types of Desks

What type of desks should I buy? The choices can really be overwhelming. Compare and contrast the following common types of desks to see what’s right for you and your working style.


Computer desks are generally scaled-down versions of standard office work stations that usually have wire storage space for files, drawers and work surface space for the computer. These desks can range from small office desks for home use to big business or corporate desks with large work surfaces. They’re often equipped with filing compartments, keyboard trays, and cable management for maximum efficiency. The main advantage of computer desks is that they usually come with keyboards, monitor mounts, and even some drawers.


Another type of computer desk is a multifunctional desk. These desks come in various shapes, sizes, and materials. They can also be customized to meet the needs of the person who will be using it. These types of desks often have built-in file cabinets, mouse trays, and keyboard tray options. They usually also come with a computer mouse holder.


A standard desktop consists of a chair and table. Usually they’re supported by a desk base, but other designs can also be used. Some of the more popular designs of desk include the L-shaped and U-shaped desks. A typical L-shaped desk is a standard rectangle that has two legs at each end and a flat top. U-shaped desks have similar characteristics to the L-shaped but have legs that curve at the ends.


When you look at office desks, you’ll find that there are literally thousands of different desks available. You’ll also notice that a lot of the desks out there are designed in such a way that they all fit together perfectly. This type of workspace may seem like a lot of effort, but if you plan well enough, you can make it work out right. for yourself.


There are many different types of desks that people choose to buy. If you’re interested in buying one of them, make sure that you think about the type of desk that you’ll need to get. This is important if you want to get a desk that will serve as both a desk and also serve as a workstation. It’s also important to figure out the amount of space you have available in your workspace.


Desks can range in size and price. There are cheaper desks that won’t cost much money but don’t have much utility. These desks are usually for small office work spaces only and can be easily moved around. There are more expensive desks that are more sturdy and able to handle large-scale, professional use.


If you have a big home office and don’t have much space, you can get a custom-made desk that’s made to fit your needs. If you want a cheap desk, you may be able to find a cheap desk made by a company that specializes in office desks.


Desks aren’t just desks that come in traditional wood or metal finishes. You can find desks that are made out of glass, plastics, or any other material. Some desks can even be designed to resemble an antique desk that has been refinished.


It’s easy to become too caught up in the idea of a desk and forget to look at its features. You’ll find that you need to take some time to see what your desk will actually do for you. This will allow you to see whether or not your desk will work out for you in the long run.


You’ll find that desks come in different sizes and shapes. You’ll also find that desks with different features.

You’ll find that desks come in many different materials as well, from leather to glass. You’ll also find that desks that come in different colors. like to coordinate with everything. If you’ve got a particular color scheme that you want, you can find a desk that matches it.


Types of Desks

Desk, like any furniture, is designed intentionally to suit your specific requirements, whether big, small, stationary, hanging, etc. There are many styles of desks in the market and available today that make them extremely functional furniture in your home office and at work. It may surprise you to learn how versatile desks are in terms of function and style.

For home use, desks are available as floor models or with built-in desks. The floor models are ideal if space is limited. In addition, most desks are made of wood. Wood, which is a natural material, has a natural beauty and it also provides excellent insulation against heat and cold. It can be carved into beautiful designs and the surface is easily stained to blend with any decorating scheme.

But, there is one disadvantage of using a floor desk: they tend to absorb sound, especially if you have loud music or other disturbances while working. They also lack the stability of a table because they are unstable. A table, on the other hand, is perfect for quiet working and it can also be moved to various locations depending on your requirements. A table is also more stable and it comes in different sizes so it’s easy to customize it according to the size of your work area. Some tables also come with a storage drawer underneath.

However, when you need the stability and reliability of a table, a computer desk is the best option. Computer desks are typically made of solid wood and can support heavy computers, keyboards, mouse and other equipment for long hours of use.

Desk with drawers are also popular. These desks are designed to fit neatly and securely inside a cabinet. The drawers are generally made of strong and durable hardwood, which makes them perfect for home use. Some drawers also have locks are easily opened and closed.

Another type of desks are the ones that are adjustable, allowing you to adjust the height. They come with a desk top that can be removed to access the drawers or shelves. If you choose the adjustable model, the desk will fit perfectly to your own needs. They are great for storing office supplies, books, documents, files, and other items.

If you don’t have much space and don’t want a desk to accommodate a lot of items, you can opt for a laptop desk. A laptop desk features a padded feet and legs to provide maximum comfort to the user. While they’re not as durable as their counterparts, they can still provide adequate workspace for your laptop computer. Although, these desks are smaller in size, they’re perfect for those who have limited space.

These are only a few types of desks out there. You can also get desks that double as file cabinets, organizers and other desk accessories.

There are several styles of desks to choose from, and they can help you find the perfect unit for your needs. There are also different designs, including those that have built-in bookcases and filing cabinets.

You can purchase desks online and make the purchase at a store near you. Some online stores offer free shipping and installation, although this depends on the store you buy from.

Buying desks that come with an additional feature, such as file cabinets or desks with an attached storage drawer, is another way to save money. Because of the added functionality and durability, some types of desks cost less than others.

When buying desks, check out the company you are buying from as well. Some places have free shipping and installation, while others charge an additional fee. You may even be able to save money by purchasing multiple items at the same time. In case you do decide to buy multiple pieces of furniture, you can often get them at discount prices.

Most Common Types of Desks

Dining Room Table

Photo: Rooms to Go

A table used for seated people to eat meals. Usually functional and without drawers. Can be plain or with ornaments. Can double as writing, study, or computer table if there is no other designated room or furniture for these activities.

Writing Table

Photo: Van Wave Furniture

A simplistic table with little or no storage units/drawers but a wide desktop. Usually best suited to be placed against a wall.

Computer Desk


Similar in design to the writing table, but offers dedicated space for a desktop computer and assorted accessories (cables, often a keyboard drawer, etc.)

Coffee Table

Photo: Nick Scali Furniture

A low table used in living rooms, typically in front of a sofa, to hold magazines, remotes, and to hold snacks or refreshments.

Glass Desk

Photo: Go Modern Furniture

Any type of desk with a (tempered) glass desktop. Can be a dining-, writing-, or coffee table. A very contemporary style of desk.

Bedside Table

Photo: Westelm

Used in the bedroom to hold alarm clocks, reading material, lamp, and whatever else you might need or want to reach from the bed.

Common Subtypes

Straight Desk

Photo: Radius Office Furniture

Simple, rectangular desks that typically come in size between 1.200mm x 800mm and 1.600mm x 800mm.

Corner/Radial Desk

Photo: 484 Office Furniture

The type of desks most commonly used in offices. Come with a ‘curved’ top (either extending out on the left or right side, depending on preference or placement) that creates a larger working surface. Often come with a small chest of drawers mounted on rolls for ease of movement.

Executive Desk

Photo: Darvin Furniture & Matress

The high-end desk usually encountered in upper management offices. Typically sturdy, and intended to stand free for optimum effect. Typically come with luxurious finishes and can be quite ornate.

Wave Desk

Photo: Margolis Furniture

Similar to radial/corner desks, though the extended shape is less pronounced and gives the desk more of a wave- instead of an ‘L’-form.

Credenza Desk

Photo: Furniture of America CM

A combination of a desk and a cupboard. Typically found in living-rooms, sometimes in dining-rooms, thanks to its dual function.

Bench System Desk

Photo: Meridian Office Furniture

Essentially a group of desks that share the same frame. Typically encountered in open-plan offices or spaces where more than one person needs to work or study at the same time. Biggest benefits: they can be easily extended and necessities like cable management systems can be shared.

Adjustable Desk/Standing Desk

Photo: Stand Up Standing Desk Series

Types of desks that can be adjusted in height (particularly well-suited for tall or handicapped persons), and can even be used standing up. They can be either very simple (flat-topped rectangular) or elaborate (slanted work-tops, screen mounts,…).

Trestle Desk

Photo: Apartment Therapy

Basically, the modern trestle desk is a plank of wood set on two trestles. It is eminently portable, and eminently practical, when care is taken to provide stable trestles. Usually paired with short, rolling filing cabinets to create storage space.

Secretary Desk

Photo: Ballard Designs

A classic, elegant design. Made of a base of wide drawers topped by a desk with a hinged desktop surface, which is in turn topped by a bookcase usually closed with a pair of doors, often made of glass.

Floating Desk

Photo: Autodesk

A kind of desk that’s directly installed on a wall and doesn’t rest on legs. Typically found in dorms or other rooms with limited space available.

Roll-Top Desk

Photo: The Awesomer

A beautiful piece of furniture with a series of stacked compartments, shelves, drawers and nooks mounted on top of the work-space. The desktop surface can be covered by linked wooden slats that roll or slide through slots in the raised sides of the desk.

Armoire Desk

Photo: Walmart

A writing-table built within a large cabinet, usually 1.5 to 2.0 metres (5–7 feet) high. The cabinet is closed by full-height doors, to keep out dust or to hide the cluttered working surface of the desk. Usually placed against a wall.

Davenport Desk

Photo: Susan Silver Antiques

A small desk with inclined lifting desktop attached with hinges to the back of the body. Lifting the desktop accesses a large compartment with storage space for paper and other writing implements, and smaller spaces in the forms of small drawers and pigeonholes. The Davenport has drawers on one of its sides, which are sometimes concealed by a panel.

Drawing Board/Architects Table

Photo: Amazon

A multipurpose desk which can be used for any kind of drawing, writing or impromptu sketching on a large sheet of paper.  Also used for reading large format books or oversized document, and -typically- for drafting precise technical illustrations (such as engineering or architectural drawings). Can also be used as a standing desk.

Less Frequent & Historical Types

Walking Desk

Photo: Home Decor and Furniture

The combination of a standing desk and a treadmill.

Lap Desk

Photo: Urban Hideout

Often intended for use in bed or on a sofa. Can come with collapsible legs, or a cushioned bottom that is placed directly on the user’s legs/lap. Typically used as portable laptop ‘desk’ these days.

Slant Top Desk

Photo: Jeffrey Tillou Antiques

Basically a secretary desk without the massive bookcase on top of it. Downside: all writing material must be removed from the desktop before closing the top.

Lectern Desk

Photo: Tomlinson Furniture

A kind of small, elevated desk top that’s typically used for holding notes while giving a speech or presentation. Can come with additional laptop or screen mount these days.

Writing/Tablet Chair

Photo: Picked Vintage

A combination of chair and tablet surface, where a small desktop is mounted on one arm or side of a chair, typically on hinges for ease of use. Typically found in schools or a university setting in its barest forms. Makes for a comfortable note-taking or writing space in it’s more elaborate form: the writing armchair.

Games Table

Photo: Thakeham Furniture

Refers to two concepts: either a designated writing table with ample storage (drawers, pigeon holes, etc.) for writing implements and paper that also has the design of a game-board (e.g. a chess board) etched onto the table top; or a designated table for playing games (often with a felt surface) that doesn’t support use as writing surface.

Bargueño Desk

Photo: 1stdibs

A form of portable desk made up of two chests. Usually with drawers on the bottom one with a hinged desk surface on the top one. The interior of the desk is equipped with small drawers, pigeonholes, etc., for storing papers and supplies. Has also been used for sewing or as a jewel chest.

Bonheur Du Jour

Photo: The Metropolitan Museum of Art

A type of lady’s writing desk. It is always very light and graceful, with a decorated back, since it often did not stand against the wall but was moved about the room. Its special characteristic is a raised back, which may form a little cabinet or a nest of drawers, or open shelves, which may be fitted with a mirror. Beneath the writing surface there is usually a single drawer, often fitted for toiletries or writing supplies.

Bureau à Gradin

Photo: Riad Kneife

An antique desk form resembling a writing table with, in addition, one or several tiers of small drawers and pigeonholes built on part of the desktop surface.

Bureau Mazarin

Photo: Petit Palais Musée des Beaux Arts de la Ville de Paris

A 17th-century desk form and the earliest predecessor of the pedestal desk. It differs from it by having only two tiers of drawers or three tiers of rather small drawers under the desktop surface, followed by eight legs supporting the whole. Has cross braces between the legs, forming two Xs or two Hs on each side. Usually a kneehole desk, in that it is meant to be used sideways, with one knee only beneath the work surface. The rest of the space next to the knee often served as a lockable storage space.

Butler’s Desk

Photo: Harp Gallery Antique Furniture

A piece of furniture designed for those in service to fine English houses to keep documents and records. It was eminently practical and based on the ever-growing needs of persons in service. The earliest form was a high desk for use by a standing person. It had many drawers of different size and had locks on both the drop front and individual drawers. Many of these desks would have a secret compartment reserved for any important documents that were entrusted to the head butler by the master.

Carlton House Desk

Photo: 1stdibs

A specific antique desk type within the more general bureau à gradin form. Supposed to have been designed in the 18th century for the Prince of Wales (who later became George IV) and is named after Carlton House, which was at the time the London residence of the Prince. The desk resembles a normal writing table, but small drawers above the surface form a “U” shape around the user, instead of merely facing the user as in a typical bureau à gradin. There are usually small slopes over each of the desktop drawers at the left and right ends of the “U” shape.

Carrel Desk

Photo: Wikipedia

A carrel desk is a small desk (usually) featuring high sides meant to visually isolate its user from any surroundings either partially or totally. Often found in (university) libraries.

Cheveret Desk

Photo: Millington Adams

An antique desk of very small size which features a single drawer under the writing surface. It is also written with an “S”: Sheveret. Some variations are much taller and have one or two shelves built between the legs, under the main drawer and are meant to be used standing up.

Cubicle Desk


The cubicle desk, or -more commonly- cubicle, is a partially enclosed office workspace that is separated from neighboring workspaces by partitions that are usually 5–6 feet (1.5–1.8 m) tall. Cubicles are composed of modular elements such as walls, work surfaces, overhead bins, drawers, and shelving, which can be configured depending on the user’s needs.

Cylinder Desk

Photo: LoveAntiques

A desk that resembles a Bureau Mazarin or a writing table equipped with small stacked shelves in front of the user’s main work surface, and a revolving cylinder part that comes down to hide and lock up the working papers when the desk is not in use. It usually has a fixed work surface: the paperwork does not have to be stored before the desk is shut. Some designs, however, have the capacity to slide the desk surface out a few inches to expand the available work area.

Desk and Bench

Photo: Scaramanga

A desk combined with a small bench or a stool made in exactly the same style and material. The desk is usually not very big and meant to be placed against a wall, in a little room or a hallway. Since the stool or bench has no back it is put away completely under the desk when not in use, maximising even more the available space. The desk is usually built with a single drawer or none, and the bench can sometimes have a small storage space under its seat.

Fall Front Desk

Can be considered the cousin of the secretary desk – both have a main working surface or desktop which does double duty as a cover to seal up papers and other items located in small shelves or small drawers placed one on top of the other in front of the user. Thus, all working papers, documents and other items have to be stored before the desk is closed. Unlike the secretary desk, the fall front desk’s desktop panel is in a perfectly vertical position when in its closed position. Often, there are no additional shelves or drawers above the section which is enclosed by the desktop.

Fire Screen Desk

Photo: The Saleroom

A very small antique desk meant to be placed in front of a fireplace to keep a user’s feet warm while he or she was stationary while writing. Was very popular in prosperous homes in Europe during the 18th century and slowly disappeared during the 19th, with the gradual introduction of stoves and central heating.

Liseuse Desk

Photo: AnticStore

A medium-sized writing table with a small hinged panel in the middle which can spring up by the aid of a mechanism or be propped up at a desired angle to facilitate reading, or writing on its slanted surface. Many have lateral panels which swing out on both sides to give a larger desk surface.

Partners Desk

Photo: Timeless Interiors

An antique desk type, which is basically two pedestal desks constructed as one large desk joined at the front, for two users working while facing each other. First conceived in the United Kingdom to accommodate the work of banking partners, they were an adaptation of the earlier and sometimes larger library desk. Most partners desks made in the 19th century were built of high quality woods such as oak, mahogany or walnut and finished with tooled leather inserts on top and brass fittings all around.

Pedestal Desk

Photo: LoveAntiques

Usually a large free-standing desk made of a simple rectangular working surface resting on two pedestals or small cabinets of stacked drawers of one or two sizes, with plinths around the bases. Often, there is also a central large drawer above the legs and knees of the user.

Plantation Desk

Photo: EBTH

An antique desk form which is thought to have been originally used as a mail desk by postmen. It is known to have been used on Southern plantations in the United States, but it is not limited to them.  Basically, the Plantation desk is a fall-front desk with a deeper stand or bottom part. The extra space or ledge of the bottom part of the desk serves as a support for the fall front, thus eliminating the need for retractable supports.

Secretaire En Portefeuille

Photo: Antiquites en France

An antique type of desk which is usually mounted on rollers at the end of four jutting legs. The legs in turn support what appears as an oversize vertically mounted wooden pizza box. This is a cabinet a few inches thick, with barely enough space in it for the raised desktop surface and a few pens and sheets of paper disposed vertically. In short, the secretaire en portefeuille is much like a fall front desk which has been reduced in depth to a bare minimum.

Spinet Desk

Photo: EBTH

A desk shaped similar to a writing table. It is slightly higher and fitted with a single drawer under the whole length of the flat top surface. This single drawer, however, is a dummy. It is a hinged panel which is meant to be folded in, at the same time as half of the hinged top surface is folded back on to the top of the other half, revealing an inner desktop surface of normal height, with small drawers and pigeonholes in the back. In certain spinet desks the inner desktop surface can be drawn out a few inches, adding working space. The spinet desk is so named because when closed it resembles a spinet, a musical instrument of the harpsichord family.

Tambour Desk

Photo: Museum of Fine Arts

A desk with desktop-based drawers and pigeonholes, that resembles a bureau à gradin. The small drawers and nooks are covered, when required, by reeded or slatted shutters, tambours, which usually retract in the two sides, left and right. It is a flatter and “sideways” version of the roll-top desk.

Telephone Desk

Photo: Revival Design

The smallest kind of fixed desk. Its traditional role is to provide a working surface barely large enough to write notes while speaking on the telephone, and in some cases to support the telephone or hold telephone books. In early generations of telephones the phone apparatus itself had a small desk built-in. This was most common in wall mounted telephones of the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century.

Typewriter Desk

Photo: Collectors Weekly

A desk meant to hold a typewriter at the proper height for the typist’s hands while still allowing a seat height that is low enough to be comfortable for the typist’s feet. This height is usually a few inches lower than the 29 inch (73.7 cm) height of the traditional desk. Without a proper typing desk or table, professional or student typists would sit on cushions or thick telephone books.

Mechanical Desk

Photo: My Modern Met

A type of desk whose name applies to a wide range of forms: At one extreme there are desks furnished with a multitude of panels that swing out while stacks of small drawers pop up when a user lowers or extracts the main writing surface or desktop from a closed position, thanks to some well placed levers and gears. At the other extreme are mechanically simple desks like the Wooton desk whose two panels open up separately by hand and whose desktop is also opened in a separate manual operation, without exploiting any gears or levers.

Types  of  Desks in School

The types of desks in school vary depending on what kind of use you want your desk to get. There are many different kinds of desks available for all kinds of jobs. Whether you are doing art, writing, a computer or need an all purpose work station, you can get exactly what you need at the right desk for you. For example, if you are using a desk to do homework, then you want something that is durable and sturdy enough to last long enough to finish your job. Then, if you are in a position to afford a bit of a nicer desk that will give your work room a professional feel then you can do that as well.

Of course there are different kinds of desks available for school, college, and other office settings. They are made from all different kinds of materials including metal, wood, and glass. There is also a wide range of colors and designs available for school desks. You will be surprised at all the choices that are available for you. They will offer durability, style, and even your own personal touch that you can choose to add to the desk to make it your very own.

When you are searching for the different types of desks in school you should consider your needs. If you are only in need of a desk for a quick project, then you might look into the construction of some desks. If you want something that will serve multiple purposes then you may want to choose a desk that has more than one use. However, it will be wise to know what you want before you begin shopping because it can be very difficult to go back and forth between several different types of desk once you have chosen one. When you are looking for the right desk for your needs, you will find that there are many styles, colors, and brands out there for you to choose from.


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