Whenever you need to write something, you need at least a few things. A desk and laptop, maybe a comfortable chair (or even a rigid one pushing our mind to penetrate the writer’s block). Here I’m going to focus on a desk for writing. A small writing desk is something that I as a writer need all the time.
A writing desk is a very useful thing. Example? I’m using one right now.
I have a coffee to my left – this is merely strategic (I’m a righthand guy who attacks coffee – it’s harder to attack with your left, hence the arrangement). A laptop mouse is to the right as well as a glass of water. I need to put a mobile somewhere because I check it every 5 minutes or so (modern times…).
Thus my writing desk is completely set. I don’t need much that’s why I use small desks for writing. As far as space, well, my laptop has everything I need and it is small and of finite size. Past are the days where you needed tons of papers, documents, books, articles, and pencils. So it’s only normal I settle for a small writing desk.
Oh, and you’ll need a desk with a correct height. Lifehacker has a great article about how to find ideal desk height. High tables for tall people and so on.
This is as far as desk functionality is concerned. But for writing, and I’m not talking a novel or anything like that; even for an email we need a bit of inspiration.
To catch the inspiration, we’re going to review Top 5 writing desks. Small ones and ones with the heart – and for the very modern ones, you have to check them on Pinterest.
Best Writing Desk Reviews – What Are We Looking At?
Usually at Top5er we have some metric as a common denominator when comparing the Top 5 things we use. For example, when we compared the best leather office chairs we focused on what kind of leather the chair is made out of. Seems pretty to the point, doesn’t it?
With writing desks, style is the biggest factor here and what is the most stylish desk for writing? Well, everybody has his or her’s own opinion on that. That’s why we decided to find a common metrics and compare best writing desks side to side by:
- Style – which writing desk is the most stylish? Well, this is all up to you. Personally, I prefer a minimalistic style with clean table surfaces and not many selves for storing documents, inspirational books and so on. This is the most important factor when buying a writing desk and it’s all up to you!
- Weight – how much does the desk weight? The heavier writing desks are usually made out of a better quality wood. Simply because high-quality wood is heavier. Of course, we aware (and we’ll point out in individual writing desk reviews) that size of the table also matters as well as some heavy metal parts.
- Table Surface Area – how much space does the writing table offer? In the past, we had everything on the desk and having a big desk was useful. Today I’m using a small (yet very stylish) desk because I only need a laptop, a computer mouse and somewhere to place my coffee.
- Color – what color is the writing desk? Everybody has their own preference about the color their writing desk as well but if you already know how your office (or the room you want to put the writing table in) looks like, you can match it to that style. In the writing table reviews, you’ll also see that many desk models come in different colors or with different finishes. Here is a neat guide for wood colors.
- Price – how much does the writing desk cost? It’s hard to get a table under $100 (but we found it, and I actually like it the best!). Almost all tables are under $300 or so.
Top 5 Best Writing Desk Comparison (Our Picks)
Here is a quick side-by-side look at our editorial picks for the best 5 writing desks under $300. If you check the table area size, you can see that we picked the small writing desks that don’t exceed 1500 sq. inches of table space. Basically, you can put the table anywhere.
Top 5 Best Small And Stylish Writing Tables
#1 Sauder North Avenue Writing Desk Review – My Personal Pick (Best Overall)
I’m going to be a bit subjective about this small writing table because, well, it’s the one I’m using.
Of course I love how it the Sauder North Avenue writing desk looks. Not only is it sleek and solidly built, it is also the smallest writing table on our list. And it gives me a boost of creativity, but maybe that’s just me.
I love how spacious it is given its size. It’s basically Hermione’s bag of writing desks. What makes that effect?
The table for writing being very narrow. It’s more than 40 inches long but less than 20 inches wide. For comparison, most laptops are about 12 inches wide. Here is how this smallest writing desk looks like:
This is also the lightest desk for writing. In no regard does that make the Sauder North Avenue a lightweight. It weighs a bit over 40 pounds. Translation?
The design is new as well. In fact, as you’ll see in this Sauder North Avenue review of the writing desk, there were no reviews in the beginning of 2017. Why? Well, it’s a completely new desk – and not only the best writing desk of 2017 – but in general. Here is the writing desk review by Melody (click to enlarge):
So, if you have to write on a laptop, and need a simple and sleek design desk, this is a good choice.
Despite being the smallest and lightest (and looks great), the best thing about it is the price. Do you know of any writing desk that would cost under $100 and look like this?
I don’t. That’s why I bought it in mid-2017 and it has served me pretty well. Even the coffee spills go off nicely.
Pros And Cons Of Sauder North Avenue Desk
- Best-rated and best-overall writing table
- New! – Best writing desk of 2017
- Smallest (770 sq. inch.) but spacious (for laptop users)
- Lightest (41 pounds) – easy to move around
- Best-budget – the only writing desk under $100
- Minimalistic design is awesome
- In short, a perfect writing desk for laptop
- No fancy high-end wood
- If you need a non-laptop desk, is will be to narrow
- Not as much shelves for storage as other desks
#2 Signature Design Writing Desk Review – The Heavy And Big One
In our review of writing desks, we focus on smaller and lighter ones. The Signature Design desk designed by Ashley H587-10 Baybrin is the biggest and heaviest table we reviewed.
The solid wood structure of Signature Design table amounts to about 100 pounds of weight. If you have a strong guy in the office, he will be glad to move it around for you. Otherwise, this is not a piece of cake table to move around so be sure to find a perfect spot for the Ashley Baybrin’s design (model H587-10) desk the first time.
It will give plenty of space, though. Almost 1500 sq. inches in total and if you look at Signature Design vs Sauder North Avenue desk, the Signature is wider by more than 5 inches. Here’s a look:
It is almost twice the price of the Sauder North Avenue table. However, if you need a lot of storage space around your desk, the Signature Design desk will do great.
What I love about it is the style and the authority it gives. This is not a lightweight table and the person sitting behind it is not considered a lightweight as well. On the other hand, it is not ‘too big’. You don’t want people to the thing you’re compensating for something with a huge writing desk.
Here is a review of Signature Design desk by Frugal Saver (enlarge):
Setting up this desk is quite a task – it’s not about the putting-it-together or bolts – it’s just that it’s heavy. It’s a good idea to have someone – a husband, secretary, coworker – help you bring it to the office because, you know, it’s 100 pounds.
The style of the table is amazing. Just one look at it and you know it’s been designed by someone like Ashley Baybrin. But as always, you’re the ultimate judge when it comes to design.
- Biggest of small writing desks
- Heaviest as well (100 pounds)
- Very stylish (designed by Ashley Baybrin)
- Lots of storage space
- Aura of authority (and taste)
- Easy to set up
- Hard to move around (heavy table)
- Comes in one color – brown
- 1 reviewer talks about awful coating smell
- Small space for keyboard and mouse (laptop prefered)
#3 Sauder County Line Writing Desk Review – Best-Value Pick
In short, Sauder Country desk is the best standard writing desk. Our No. 1 pick can be a bit narrow for some, the No. 2 pick can be too heavy.
If you’re looking for a solid and standard writing desk, with some (but not too much storage space), have a look at Sauder Country solid wood desk:
Pretty much everything about this desk is standard:
- Weighs 70 pounds
- About 1100 sq. inches of desk space
- 2 drawers – big and small one
- The design itself is standard
This is the no-nonsense writing table. Of course, it’s an older model and might not have as modern design as other desks for writing. Luckily, this is reflected in the price – it’s not much over $100.
Oh, and it does come in 2 colors – Rum Walnut and Salt Oak.
Some reviewers do point out that it is a bit difficult to put together:
While other tables can be installed in 10-20 minutes, the Sauder Country desk is a bit more complex. That doesn’t mean you’ll need more skill than putting together an Ikea cupboard but it does take time. How much time to set up this writing table?
Well, but you only have to do it once, and after that, you have the best value writing table in your office.
Here are the pros and cons of Sauder Country Line desk:
- ‘Golden Standard’ of writing tables
- Decent amount of desk space
- Light enough to move around
- Big and small drawer provide plenty of storage space
- Standard design (if you like standard)
- Best value (a but over $100)
- Older model (bit retro though)
- Lengthy installment (more than 1h)
- Difficult to put together
#4 Crown Mark Fairfax Review – Desk For A Gentleman
This is for people who are willing to spend more on writing desk style.
Crown Mark Fairfax table is the crown jewel of the office. The way it looks, people will immediately pinpoint it as the center of the office. So, if you want to impress people entering your office, you are sitting behind this desk:
The Crown Mark table has an old-school look. If you imagine a table from 18th or 19th century, this is how it should look like.
Do you really want to put a laptop on this writing table though?
Those two drawers you see on the left and right contain real documents. Not the ‘files’ we have on laptops but real paper ones for serious business.
Modern tech guys would hate this. Don’t expect start-up guys or modern IT companies to have such refined tables. This is for stylish people.
The finishing shine – Brown Cherry – is there to elevate the elegance of the writing table and to woo the incoming visitor.
And yeah, it does look expensive. If you have a look at the Crown Mark table again, how much do you think it costs?
If you said $500, you would be quite right – it does look way more expensive if you compare it with other writing desks. But is it?
Not really. True, it is more expensive writing desk than the others but it’s not $500.
If you’re looking for some gentlemen’s style, here is the Crown Mark writing table for your office.
- Desk for gentlemens
- Expensive look and quality design
- More affordable than it looks
- Brown Cherry finish looks marvellous
- For serious professions (lawyer, CEO, etc.)
- Old-School is the best school
- Problems with shipping (some tables damaged)
- Chair is less comfortable
- Sometimes the drawers are wobbly
#5 Buena Vista Writing Desk Review – Standard And Cheap (If You Know How To Put It Together)
The last one on our Top5er list is the Buena Vista writing desk.
My first impression was – “Hm, Buena Vista, sounds Cuban, this is a table that Ernest Hemingway would like” – but sadly I was wrong.
It is a solid writing table but it has a too standard design. Unlike the Crown Mark desk with its 86 pounds of high-quality wood, the Buena Vista has only 70 pounds (the dimensions are practically the same). That means the quality of the wood is not as high as with Crown Mark.
That’s why it should be cheaper. And, fortunately, it is.
Have a look at the Buena Vista design:
The reviews are mixed as well. The good ones talk about Buena Vista table being a good-value desk. And it is, it costs less than $150. Oh, and it sure is sturdy.
The negative reviews? It’s a pain to put it together. You’ll need some skill with the tools or call an expert which will cost you quite a bit. The drawers don’t fit as well as they should.
Here is a warning:
If you’re good with tools and prefer standard tables, this is a good option – because it’s very affordable. In most cases, however, calling an expert to install it is just not reasonable for a table and the bill is going to be about $100.
- Best Value (if you know how to install it)
- Sturdy and solid
- Difficult to install (usually need an expert)
- Drawers sometimes don’t fit
- Too standard design
Prices Of Writing Desks
In general, you can pay more than $1000 for the best writing desk.
However, most of us use affordable ones. Prices start at $100 and it can go up to $300, but we have found that the best-rated one is actually below $100. Here is the comparison of writing desk prices:
More About Desks For Writing
- Apartment Therapy – they did a great Top 10 desk review that has twice as many desks as the Top5er list. And the pictures and style of the chairs are at least twice as awesome, check them out!
- If you’re looking for the very modern desks (especially for home office), be sure to scroll through the Top 25 list at man of many (it’s a great site for style in general).
- Also if you’re a bit confused (I know some desk jargon can be tricky), you should check out the difference between computer and writing desks. Both can be used for writing and to put on a computer, hence the difficult distinction. ComputerDeskz has a great article about that.
What’s Your Best Writing Desk?
Don’t agree with our picks? That’s great. Suggest your pick in the comments and explain in a few words why do you think the writing desk your proposed is the best.