best desks for college students

The best desk for college students is a personal choice influenced by the college student’s taste, needs, and budget. Some students prefer standing desks, while others opt for computer desks that function as game tables. However, dorm rooms don’t always have the space for enormous desks.

We’ve researched the best desks for college students, including desks for small spaces. We’ve also included desks for gaming, writing, multiple monitors, and more. Our editor’s choice is the LapGear Designer Lap Desk because of its great value, comfort, portability, and versatility.

What Makes A Great Desk For College Students

Knowing the space available, the student’s needs, and desires makes it easier to select a college student desk. Consider these features and characteristics that make an excellent desk.

The size of the college desk determines the work surface and footprint; the best desks offer good work areas without taking up too much space in the study room. The surface space should accommodate the type of studies and the college student’s study habits. Some students like to spread their material, while a die-hard minimalist could learn at a small desk. 

Make sure there is enough floor space for the desk, ample space for the student to sit comfortably at the student desk, and room to move around the desk. You don’t want the student desk to block walkways. Is there enough room for doors and drawers to open? An L-shaped desk offers large surface areas but needs ample room, whereas a corner desk takes less space. 

College students live and study in the same room and often need more space than available. The best desks for college students are portable and easily transportable. A portable desk is easily stored, moved across the room, or transported between the dorm and home space; the perfect dorm room furniture piece for tight spaces. Lap desks and foldable desks are excellent options where the study room has limited space. 

Desks offer various types of storage to meet the different needs of college students in storing textbooks, school supplies, and personal items. A student desk could be a simple design like an office table or game table that offers ample workspace but no storage, or the desk features lots of storage in different forms.

Determine beforehand what type of storage is needed before buying a student desk. Will the college student need a top storage shelf like a hutch, a built-in bookshelf for textbooks, or cubbies and open shelves below the desktop? Are there documents or files the student wants to lock away or store in drawers to keep the surface tidy?  

The furniture industry manufacture student desks in various styles and design choices, accommodating student taste, decor, and needs. Design styles vary from a retro-style desk to an elegant design, a modern ergonomic design, abstract design, or a minimalist design with clean lines to a funky coffee table design for apartment dwellers who like to study in the living room. The best desks complement the study and living spaces, satisfying students’ taste whether they are used to sophisticated living, traditional living, or chic living. 

College students use laptops and devices for studying and recreational activities. Some college desks feature built-in power outlets and a keyboard tray for computers and printers. Does the student need built-in power outlets for a desktop computer, or do they prefer a wireless laptop? 

How will the college student utilize the desk? Should it be sturdy furniture to support the weight of textbooks, lightweight construction for portability, or a standing desk with adjustable height to composite a sitting and standing position? Will the student desk function as a homework study desk and game table during breaks, a writing desk, a home office computer desk, a desk with built-in power outlets and keyboard tray for computer work, or an L-shape design with a large surface for arts and crafts? 

Top Desks For College Students Compared

Ameriwood Home Haven Retro Desk
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SHW Home Office 48-Inch Computer Desk
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Tribesigns Computer Desk With Hutch And Bookshelf
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Need Computer Desk 63 Inch Large Size Desk
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Best Desks For College Students Reviewed

Best Overall Student Desk For Lap: LapGear Designer Lap Desk

 The editor’s choice is the LapGear Designer Lap Desk for college students who prefer studying on their laps. The lap desk is an excellent alternative to the traditional college student desks in dorm rooms and allows students to alternate between studying on their laps and sitting at a desk.

College students spend many hours studying, using their laptops and devices; the cushioned features ensure a comfortable experience. Students can sit on their beds, on the floor, or a bean bag chair and study, use their laptops, journal, or chat with friends on their smart devices.   

The modern design fabric choices appeal to men and women. Eye-catching designer fabric patterns with a wood-inspired surface should complement any college student dorm room. The cushion is filled with micro-beads created a leveled work surface, and the filling conforms to a student’s lap for stability and comfort.

The wood-inspired surface features a device ledge, device slot, and elastic band. The device ledge prevents the computer from sliding off, and the conformity of the cushion keeps the surface stable and level. The smooth, flat surface ensures laptop ventilation. With stability offered by the cushion and the device ledge, a laptop up to 15.6 inches safely rests on the lap desk; the lap desk surface dimensions are 17.75 x 13.75 inches. 

The sleek design provides a media slot so that college students can safely use their mobile phones and tablets without the risk of it sliding off the surface and breaking. The 6.25 x 0.75-inch media slot holds all cell phones vertically or horizontally and media devices up to 7.9 inches in a vertical position. The screens’ convenient vertical or horizontal positions make it easy to take notes while swiping and paging the devices.

If sitting at the dorm room desk becomes too tiring, but you still have more studying to do, this lap desk is one of the best desks for college students studying hard in a comfortable position. 

Best Desks For Retro-Style Dorm Rooms: Ameriwood Home Haven Retro Desk

 The Ameriwood Home Haven Retro Desk is one of the best desks for college students studying in small spaces at campus or home. The ergonomic, 2-tier small computer desk design is the perfect piece for a trendy dorm room, mixing industrial and modern styles reminding students of innovative greatness. 

With two-level desk space, the raised top shelf is perfect for pens, pencils, school supplies, and an ornament or pot plant. The lower level provides ample space for studying using a laptop, notepad, or textbooks. Raised sides prevent items from rolling off the shelf. The raised level supports up to 20 pounds and the desktop 70 pounds; the college desk measures 35.4 x 44.7 x 23.8 inches. 

Available in multiple colors, the workstation features metal hairpin style legs with a powder-coated finish, a fun throwback to mid-century retro furniture styles. Colors include a dark brown wood grain with laminated particleboard desktop that blends with any decor, white, distressed gray oak, black oak, espresso, olive, and navy. The minimalistic design has a small footprint, ideal for small rooms and tight spaces. The Retro desk requires minimal assembly and comes with easy-to-follow instructions. 

Best College Student Desks For Minimalists: SHW Home Office 48-Inch Computer Desk

 The SHW Home Office Computer Desk, with its modern design, is an ideal college desk for minimalist living students. The desk features six color or wood grain options, and the rectangular shape is perfect for students studying at home or on campus.

The college desk has a large surface area for studying with no clutter. When placing two or more desks next to each other or creating an L-shape desk, the simplistic design allows for a clean look; the desks fit well against each other. 

A powder-coated, sturdy steel frame supports the engineered wood top creating a durable desk and laptop table. The design makes a flexible furniture piece that can easily double as a dining table or table in the kitchen or bedroom. The table dimensions are 48 x 23.8 x 28 inches; it is one of the best desks for college students and lecture rooms. 

Best Student Study Desk For School Supplies: Tribesigns Computer Desk With Hutch And Bookshelf

 The 2-in-1 Tribesigns Computer Desk With Hutch And Bookshelf provides lots of storage, work area and doesn’t take up too much floor space. It is the best desk for students who want their textbooks, office supplies, and monitor within arm’s reach.

An extra-large work surface offers enough space for the laptop and writing assignments; college students could place two desktop monitors next to each other. (Desk dimensions are 22.6 x 47.24 x 54.72 inches.) The height capacity between the hutch and the desk surface is high enough to fit a laptop below the upper shelf leaving the front part of the desk free for school homework and study space. The lower shelf is a bookshelf situated below the desktop and within reach to grab a textbook when needed. This vertical design offers enough space without compromising the footprint area.

The durable and sturdy Tribesigns desk is one of the best desks for college students that will last for years. The metal frame’s sturdy construction supports the 0.6 inches thicker desktop that is strong enough for heavy loads. The heavy-duty metal legs are 1.18 x 1.18 inches in width provide the necessary support, and the adjustable leg pads keep the desk stable on uneven floors. The environmental E1 standard particle wood panel enhances the desk’s durability with its easy to clean, wear-resistant, and heat-resistant features. Should students bump against the desk, the round edges protect their bodies; this feature makes it a safe desk for a children’s room.

Best Writing Desk For Desk Space: Need Computer Desk 63 Inch Large Size Desk

The two-tone Need Computer Desks are the best desks for college students who need lots of space to study and work on projects. The 63-inch wide desktop is perfect for a game table and can hold multiple monitors, a printer, and have free space to study.

With an anti-scratch and waterproof surface that is easy to clean, college students won’t worry if they accidentally spill coffee or move objects across the particle wood surface with its high gloss finish. The 23.7 x 63 x 29.5 inches in dimensions allows for an extra work area without extending too far into the room; the extra space is in the width of the desk, not its depth.

The 1.2 mm (0.787 inches) metal frame is 1.3 times thicker than regular 0.8 mm frames ensuring a sturdy and robust desk. A triangular junction design offers the desk more stability, preventing the desk from wobbling. Adjustable leg pads adjust up to 2 cm to keep the desk stable on an uneven floor.

Assembly requires installing only four legs with a hex key to the environmental E1 standard wood panel. According to US Office Furniture standards, the desk is BIFMA (Busines and Institutional Furniture Manufacturers Association) certified, third-party certification for sustainable products.

Best Portable College Desks For Small Dorm Rooms: Coavas Industrial-Style Folding Desk

The Coavas Industrial-Style Folding Desk is ready to use as a study desk, computer, or writing desk in the dorm room, office, or at home. The folding desk is perfect for carrying from one room to the next or storing and unfolding whenever needed.

Made from solid MFB (Melamine Face Boards) and steel silver tubes, the learning desk is solid, waterproof, and rustproof, ensuring usage throughout college years and beyond. The desk dimensions are 39.4 x 10.7 x 28.3 inches, providing enough space for learning, writing, gaming, and more.

Coavas offers a 2-tiers Shelf Industrial Style Desk for home or office use should college students need shelf space. The vertical design provides a second open shelf for office supplies, speakers, or ornaments keeping the desktop surface for a laptop, research work, and books. The desk folds easily for portability or is stored under a bed or behind a door.

Which desks for college students do you prefer, or did we miss your favorite study desk?

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