20 Different Types of Desks

May 17, 2022
8 min read
Types of Desks
BongkarnGraphic /

Interested to know more about the different types of desks? Check out the list below!

Desks have endless varieties of form, function, and style, which makes you slightly confused while choosing one for your home. We have divided these desks into different categories based on the way it is utilized, such as writing, secretary, executive, and credenza desks.

Desk construction included different categories, ranging from minimalist, high-tech glass, and steel designs to sprawling more traditional wood models.

Each finish, material, and style gives a unique touch to the room where you place it. So, selecting the right model includes analyzing its function and looks both. We will help you to take your pick from these 17 different types of desks in this ultimate desk shopping guide.

Main Types

Desks are divided into different categories, from office-filling sprawls to minimalist and slim pieces. The desk category you choose can define the room in your home where you place it.

Secretary Desk

Secretary Desk
Wayfair Secretary Desk

It is a kind of desk with a hinged desktop surface. The entire piece is usually a bulky, tall, and single piece of ornate furniture. These desks were originally meant for people who wished to have a luxurious desk but did not have adequate space for a roll-top desk model.

Writing Desk

Writing Desk
Jazmine Thomas /

These desks are open, minimalist desks with a large desktop and little storage. A writing desk is ideal for placing it along the center of the floor of your home office or along a wall. The table design is more appropriate for a laptop. Its conservative, direct styling functions elegantly in almost any space.

Floating Desk

Floating Desk
80's Child /

A floating desk is directly mounted onto a wall and saves all your available floor space. The desk is frequently mounted with cubbies and shelving and takes leverage of the vertical frame. Floating desks are extremely useful for people having limited space in their homes. These desks are apt for bedrooms or dorms.

Computer Desk

Baillargeon Pewter Computer Desk /

Computer desks are the most utilitarian and practical of all types of home office desks. A computer desk offers ample space for a monitor and a computer tower. It also has plenty of storage space for computer cables, accessories, and any other peripherals one may require.

Similar to a writing desk, the computer desk is designed for its simplicity and efficiency. However, these tables have more space for storing hardware components. Its major elements are a huge storage space for the CPU and a keyboard tray.

Having said so, many people do not have big desktop computers in their homes anymore. Rather, they prefer to use tablets and laptops because they have more than sufficient computing power for managing everything digitally.

Thus, computer desks have started becoming obsolete these days as people do not require the usual features of a computer des like sections for CPU storage and a keyboard tray. Yet, you may still need a computer desk at your place.

Credenza Desk

Credenza Desk
Credenza Desk /

As the name suggests, these desks combine a cupboard-packed credenza with a desk. This furniture piece is usually placed in living or dining rooms and is popular for its utility and fashion. If it is combined with a desk, the user gets the advantages of both furniture pieces if there is enough space for holding one.

Corner Desk (L-Shaped)

Corner Desk (L-Shaped)

A corner desk is a great solution for handling space-related problems. These desks can offer more space for desktops in a compact area or a big L-shaped spread based on the size the user aims for. Another advantage of this disk is its ability to offer additional leg space.

Roll-Top Desk

Dennis Wildberger /

Roll-top desks are antique pieces of furniture usually placed in living rooms. It is a desk where the hood rolls down over the surface of the desk so that all contents can be secured. Although it is not a practical desk, particularly for computing, it is a stunning piece of furniture in the primary bedroom, living room, or office.

It features three different types of configurations:

  • Drawers on its right side;
  • Drawers on its left side; and
  • Drawers on both sides

Executive Desk

Executive Desk
Englewood L-Shape Executive Desk /

Executive desks are the most preferred ones in the world of home offices. These desks have a lot of surface area and drawer storage and also may have a massive footprint. There is a sense of timeless appeal and grandeur when one looks at these desks. An executive desk stands out from other styles.

Although the desk frequently comes into the picture while contemplating a traditional desk, an executive desk can feature different types of styles and shapes. Some of these shapes are as follows:

  • Massive desk systems
  • U-shaped desk
  • L-shaped desk
  • Rectangle desk

Standing Desk or Desk with Adjustable Height

Standing Desk
Andrey_Popov /

There are endless debates about how unhealthy it is for people to sit for a long time in recent times. This has resulted in the increasing popularity of stand-up desks due to the health benefits of using a stand-up desk for some time while working.

Stand-up desks have three main types:

  • An entire desk, which can be lowered and raised.
  • A static stand-up desk, which is in an elevated position all the times.
  • Desk accessories, which offer you the choice to work at a regular stand-up desk.

Desktop Material

A desktop is where the user makes contact with the desk. This is where most of the interaction with the furniture takes place. Whether it is acting as a traditional tabletop or hiding storage below, the material ascertains how the desk feels and appears when it is being used.


A table with a wood surface is a traditional desktop form. These surfaces are typically used on the top of a wood desk. However, it can be mounted on top of metal frames.


Any desk looks bold and with a modern touch due to its glass surface. The glass is paired with metal construction or wood, and it expands the visual space and lightens the entire furniture piece.

A glass desktop is frequently removable for moving, maintenance, or cleaning purposes. Glass desktops are available in different types of configurations and shapes.


A desk with a laminate surface acts as a protective sheet above the wood construction. The coating is normally plastic of some kind to ensure that the desk is stain-resistant and resistant to warping. Although these are not exactly the most luxurious desktops, they provide handy features.


Metal desktops are synonymous with utilitarian designs. These desktops can resist scuffs and stains and remain cool to the human touch. It is a modern material, which is often paired with a contemporary design desk, such as glass.

Wood Desk Finishes

Wood models are the most popular model for desk construction. These are available in a variety of finishes, but the most popular ones are grey, black, white, and natural.


Black desks have a more modern look as compared to the conventional natural wood styles. Nevertheless, these desks retain their serious and statelier look. You will often come across metal frame desks in black too.


A desk with a grey wood finish features a neutral and calm tone and yet has a contemporary edge. It is less traditional and warm as compared to natural wood. It is less serious and yet brighter than a black model.


The most widely used desk finish is the natural wood tone that is stained darker or lighter. It has a classy and timeless appearance, making it an incredibly popular choice even today.


Desks with white finishes are high on the popularity ladder these days. The white finish adds a sparkling, bright tone to a room and can also open up all spaces.

Frequently Asked Questions

The following are our answers to some of the most frequently used questions you may have about desks.

1. Can your desks be recycled?

It is not a simple task to recycle several desks, especially because materials are lacking inside the design of many desks. The most widely used material, which can be recycled on a desk, is plastic. However, it can be a tough task to effectively complete the recycling task.

2. Can you sell a used desk?

There are several places that sell used decks, such as eBay, an independent auction platform. You may also find used desks occasionally being offered by thrift stores and sellers on Amazon. Used desks are usually beneficial for work-at-home employees or household office spaces.

These desks are usually much more reasonably priced as compared to brand new desks. These desks suffer from only one setback. Such desks may only have minor deterioration to the desk’s original condition. In several situations, the condition of used desks is impeccable and looks like new.

3. What materials are used to make desks?

Household desks are usually made of materials such as plastic, wood, and metal. The proportion of each of these materials may vary based on the desk’s design. However, these are some of the top materials you can normally expect to find. In general, oak wood is a widely used wood type. There are also some cases where cherry wood or maple wood are also used for making desks.

4. Can you paint desks?

You can paint desks in different ways. It can be quite tough to express a superior-quality coat successfully. Specialty paints, such as oil-based paints, are usually extensively used for furniture use. Painting a desk is usually not as difficult to paint as other furniture types. However, painting a desk can be a time-consuming process.

5. What are the standard dimensions of a desk?

A majority of desks are about 30 inches tall and have an approximate width of 48 to 72 inches and a depth of 24 to 36 inches. These measurements are usually the most common, while there are examples where a desk’s design may vary from these dimensions.

A desk’s size may change from case to case based on the purpose for which you intend to use it. For instance, a school desk may be more compact and smaller as compared to an office desk. That’s because the purpose of a school desk inside a classroom is different.

6. Can you repair your desks?

One finds several types of common issues with office desks, and users may consider fixing these problems. However, it may not always be easy to find a reliable service that can repair the furniture and charge a reasonable price for fixing them. We normally recommend getting the repair done independently at the best price.

A common issue with desks is that their legs are faulty or uneven in some ways. The problem needs you to redo the complete molding of the desk’s leg to include extra layers of strength.

There are some scenarios where the repair can be tougher and usually need an entirely new desk frame. However, these repairs are less common and are usually more expensive than other insignificant issues.

7. What are the most common shapes of desks?

School desks and household desks are usually made in a rectangular shape and have four sturdy legs to bear the standing desks’ weight. In very rare cases, some specially designed desks may have an oval or circle shape in place of a rectangular shape.

Some office decks have a U curve for organization purposes and more convenience in working conditions. Such desks are in great demand in office conditions and are not so widely used in school classrooms or households.