Best Kids Desks of 2021
The Amazon Basics Gaming desk is anything but basic, and we can't love it more than we do. This easy to assemble desk has the largest work surface in the group and includes an accessory for almost anything. While it is advertised as a gaming-centric desk, we think it is the right desk for almost any at-home learner of any age suitable for almost any purpose. This desk includes an attached monitor stand, speaker shelves, headphone hook, tablet stand, and more. The legs are sturdy metal, and it stays level on various surfaces. We like that the top has enough space for a keyboard or laptop and there is still room for writing paper and an open school book, something not seen in most of the competition. It also has a keyboard tray if you need more space and a power strip tray in the back for cord organization.
This desk doesn't have shelves or drawers for smaller items like pencils and erasers. We'd love to see it with a pull-out keyboard tray, but we think most kids can get by without it. It also takes almost an hour to assemble with one person in our tests (even on a second one), but the assembly wasn't difficult, and we'd rather something take longer than be harder. Overall, we think this is the best desk in the group, hands down for kids over the age of 7 or 8, and with a reasonable price tag and a long potential lifespan, we think parents will consider it a great buy.
The Diroan Kids Functional Desk and Chair Set harkens back to a bygone era where children had identical desks with a lift-top lid to house their books and supplies. This newly updated version has a lift-top lid for different angled activities and a pull-out drawer for supplies, so you no longer need a clear top to get to your goods. We like the rotating and bendable lamp with varying strengths and the different cubbies on the worktop and the pull-out drawer. Our testers loved this little desk, and it made some feel like big kids and professionals with all the little gadgets like the book holder and lamp. The desk and included chair are both height-adjustable, and adjustments are simple. The chair bottom and back are both sturdy plastic, and our 100 lbs tester had no trouble being supported.
This desk is smaller, and we aren't convinced it is a good solution for teenagers as the manufacturer claims. The worktop is small, and it won't hold a laptop, book, and writing paper all at once, making it a poor solution for older kids who may need to write while in an online meeting. Also, the lid angle adjustment is weird and not easy for younger kids to use independently. We worry about potential pinching and other injuries if young children try to make changes without an adult. This desk is a good solution for younger children or those who need less space for schoolwork. Those with smaller homes will appreciate its smaller footprint; keep in mind the lifespan is probably shorter than the manufacturer claims.
The Amazon Basics Classic Computer Desk is a straightforward desk with two side shelves for storage. The work surface is big compared to most of the competition, and the metal legs are sturdy. This desk has enough room for a laptop, open book, and paper, but it is probably even better for a monitor screen and tower on the floor. We like that kids can keep all their books nearby on the shelves and that the surface is easy to clean. Parents like the lower price tag.
This budget-friendly option isn't the highest quality, and we suspect it isn't the kind of furniture you'll be passing down. The top and shelves are all covered particle board, and if you aren't careful during assembly, we can easily see some of the screws coming out where they aren't supposed to. Also, ours is somewhat wobbly depending on the flooring under it, with better results on carpet than hardwood. Overall, this desk is a good wallet-friendly option for those who need a desk and don't mind if the lifespan is only a few years.
The Guidecraft Children's Media Desk is a heavy desk complete with a hutch and chair. This desk has a stature good for elementary kids under 8, and the shelves and chair are perfect for smaller kids and their fewer supplies. We like this desk's quality and the larger surface top, and younger testers liked how similar it is to a grownup desk. It comes in a variety of colors, and the manufacturer claims it works for 5-12-year-olds.
This desk has a complicated assembly with lots of parts, and it is easiest if you have two people working on it. It is also not adjustable, and once your child grows too big for the chair and fitting their knees under the table, that will be all she wrote. With a higher price tag than most of the competition, this could be a deal-breaker for some. However, we think this is a high-quality desk that can justify the price by being good for multiple children as a hand-me-down or resale. We like the stylish design that simply looks nicer than much of the competition.
The Melissa & Doug Wooden Lift-Top Desk & Chair is the cutest pre-schooler desk that little ones will love. This desk and chair combination is the perfect height for little ones under 7, and the all-wood materials make it a sturdy, quality option that multiple kids can use for many years to come. This desk is easy to assemble and has great under lid storage for all your supplies and crafts. It works well in small spaces and can even be a great place for a snack.
This desk has a short lifespan, but it also comes with a chair that fits it just right. The tabletop is small, so it isn't a good choice for those who need to use a computer and do writing simultaneously on the same surface. Because the lid opens, it isn't a good option for those using a monitor either, as you can't access your supplies without moving anything on top. While this desk has some drawbacks that make it a no-go for older kids, it is a high-quality, useful set for little ones to get things done from crafting to learning to write their numbers, and it can look clean quickly by stowing goods inside.
The SIMBR Kids Desk and Chair Set is similar to the Diroan desk that ranks higher. This desk has a similar design and materials. However, this option might be better quality overall, with fewer rough screws and thicker plastic and additions that make it somewhat less wobbly overall. It comes with a height-adjustable chair and adjustable tabletop with various angle options suitable for writing and drawing. We like the sliding tray on top and the pull-out drawer underneath to keep some school supplies close at hand, and it comes with a tablet or book holder you can remove. This desk also has a better top opening mechanism that is less likely to cause injuries than its similar counterpart.
While this desk is adjustable, it isn't likely to last into the teenage years like the manufacturer claims. Not only is it sort of unstable for testers over 100 lbs, but the working surface is not large enough to house a laptop and something to write on at the same time, which most homeschoolers over the age of 9 will need, but definitely teenagers. We rank this desk lower than its similar counterpart largely because it lacks the cool lamp, and any upgrade in quality didn't really impact the performance during our tests. Plus, the Simbr is slightly more expensive. Overall, we like the Simbr, and if you don't care about the lamp and want quality over accessories, then it might be the right option for your little one.
The TOUNTLETS Teen Computer Desk is a mid-sized desk with a rear undershelf. This desk comes in three different finishes and is sturdy when assembled. The work surface is large enough for a monitor, book, paper to write on, or a smaller laptop and other supplies. We like the shelf for smaller books and supplies, and the top might be large enough for a pencil holder. This desk is one of the cheapest options in the group, making it a potential choice for smaller budgets.
This desk is not the best quality, and putting it together required a drill for our mom tester. All of the hardware is visible, giving it a cheap overall look and feel. The shelf under the desk is nice, but it is so narrow larger textbooks won't fit on it, making it somewhat useless for teenagers with larger books. This desk is not a favorite of ours, but if you need a larger desk surface and don't have the funds for a higher-ranking choice, it could fill a void for a short period.
Why You Should Trust Us
We've been testing gear for babies and kids for over eight years. This review is led by Senior Review Editor, Wendy Schmitz. Wendy is a mother of 2 boys who were game for fishing fun and ready to give each product its opportunity to shine in the water. With a long-time fisherman's help, the testers used each pole side-by-side and hands-on at multiple locations over several weeks.
Analysis and Test Results
We purchased and tested 7 top desks for kids to find the best options for little ones doing schoolwork from home. Our testers used each desk during regular school time meetings and work complete with laptops, monitors, books, and more. We considered ease of assembly, ease of use, features, and quality in our analysis to find award winners.
Each desk in this review needs to be assembled. Each comes with a pack of hardware and instructions, but not all of them are great. Most of the instructions either failed to offer written words and only showed pictures, or they offered written instructions but someone who is not a native speaker, so they weren't as useful.
The Simbr desk instructions were so confusing, we missed an entire part, and trust us, we were looking for a place to put this strange extra metal rod that was not labeled. The TOUNTLETS Teen Computer Desk is all screws, and we recommend using a drill to save your hand and wrist some pain. There is a chance you could put the hardware in at an angle, and this will be a big problem, but we were able to manage. The Guidecraft Children's Media Desk has the most parts and took the most tie, but all the parts line up well, and the hardware feels better quality and nothing stripped in the process. The directions are well laid out with useful drawings, even if there aren't any words, everything is labeled, and the end product is very sturdy. The Amazon Basics Classic Computer Desk is easy with only a handful of steps, but the hardware is cheaper, and the screw heads stripped a little while screwing them in. The Amazon Gaming Desk has lots of add-on parts that take time, but the hardware is good, and we didn't have any trouble, but plan accordingly; it takes almost an hour if you go slow and pay attention to the details from unboxing to finished product.
Most of the desks offer middle-of-the-road quality suitable for a workspace you don't plan to pass down for generations. They aren't particularly wobbly, and we believe all will stand up to regular use of school activities. However, some are better quality than others with materials and assembly that indicate they will last longer and withstand the beating kids can dish out when bored in an online classroom.
The Amazon Basics Gaming Desk is a good quality choice with laminated carbon fiber tp and sturdy metal legs that keep the desk level with no wobble. The accessories screw onto the tabletop and work well for their intended purposes. Even with feet on the table and using it to push back in chairs, this desk survived under pressure. The all-wood desks also offer nice quality and better looks that will compliment most rooms. The lowest quality choice is the TOUNTLETS Teen Computer Desk that has visible hardware, rough screws that easily strip, and particleboard surfaces that flexed during assembly in our tests. The Amazon Basics Classic Computer Desk is better than the Tounlets, as it is not wobbly and feels significantly sturdier. Still, the top and shelves are only particleboard, and we were concerned during assembly that we might misalign the screws as the pre-drilled holes were covered in "paper."
Ease of Use
The larger desks are the easiest to use. Even younger kids need the space for homeschooling as they all use computers or tablets, and those take up space. Some schools offer laptops to students, which take up more surface area than a monitor, and once you add an open book and a piece of paper to write on, there isn't much room for anything else. This may be less of an issue for younger children as our younger testers fidgeted a lot, and they moved from the chair to the floor frequently enough that work seemed to get done no matter how much space there was.
However, testers over 9 years old required more space and preferred the open space and accessories of the Amazon Gaming Desk. The surface is carbon fiber laminate and wipes clean with a wet cloth. The accessories provide a place for everything off the table surface, so there is room for all the other stuff kids needs. The Amazon Basics Classic Computer Desk comes in a close second for space as the two side shelves offer enough space for elementary kids. It may not be enough space for teens with multiple books. The Tounlets has good top space and a narrow shelf, but the shelf will not hold textbooks as they are too big. The table will hold a monitor better than a laptop, but you can still fit a book and paper if you arrange it properly. The two metal desks, Simbr and Diroan, have a nice top, but once a laptop is in place, all you'll get is a piece of paper next to it. However, both have book props, so you can still keep your book open to read while studying. Both also have pull-out drawers where kids can keep pencils, extra paper, and other supplies, making them easier to use than simpler desks that don't offer storage spaces.
Some desks in this lineup are fairly basic and have few if any features, while other options are full of features that make remote school easier to manage. While younger kids attending pre-school or elementary school may not need many features for success, older kids might need more flat space and benefit from the additional features found on some desks.
The Amazon Basics Gaming Desk has loads of useful features that are great for more than gaming. If you have older kids or teenagers, this large desk provides a place for everything from speaker shelves to a soft-lined tablet holder. We like the monitor shelf and the tray that helps organize cords and surge protectors. The only thing missing here is a pull-out keyboard tray. The Guidecraft Children's Media Desk has many cool storage features to help keep little ones organized with shelf and storage cubbies everywhere inside the hutch and under the desk surface. This desk also comes with the perfect size chair, which could save you some money trying to find a little chair to match. Both metal and plastic adjustable desks, Simbr and Diroan include pull-out drawers, book holders, and trays for pencils and small supplies. The Diroan has these features and a cool lamp with variable light intensity and a cup holder.
The TOUNTLETS Teen Computer Desk is the most basic in the group, with almost no features outside of a narrow, hard-to-access shelf under the top and at the back of the desk. The Amazon Basics Classic Computer Desk is also fairly basic, but it does have two side shelves you can assemble on the right or left, depending on your needs.
More children than ever are taking part in homeschooling or remote school than ever before. This relatively new schooling method means finding a great desk for at-home school could be a critical necessity for many children. Given this, we purchased and used the top 7 desks on the market with real kids working from home in virtual classrooms for a portion of the year. We hope our testing details and information can help you find the best desk for your kids and situation, even if it isn't one of our award winners.
— Wendy Schmitz