standing desk for office

How To Choose A Desk For A Small Space?

Small spaces can be challenging to work with, and this is especially true for those who need a desk. You want it to provide enough space for your computer monitor and other necessary items, but you also want it to take up as little room as possible so that the rest of the floor can be used for something else. 

For a small space, the best option is to go for a compact desk. It's not only more affordable but it'll also save you from spending hours on end looking for that perfect piece of furniture that will fit in your room. You can find desks that come with drawers or shelves and even storage spaces underneath the surface which are ideal if you're trying to get organized. The biggest thing when buying one is finding out what size would work best for your room so do some measuring before going shopping!  

There are a fair few considerations you need to take into account when choosing a desk, let alone deciding how big it needs to be. From the room that you have available to what you'll be using the desk for and how you like to work, you need to answer a fair few questions before buying your desk. 

To help ensure you pick the right size and find your standing desks for small spaces, we've taken a look at some of the frequently asked questions we encounter to provide you with helpful and practical advice. 

What should the depth of my desk be?

standing desk for home

Often, the depth of a desk gets forgotten about or isn't seen as being as important as the height of width. However, the depth of your desk is vital when it comes to ensuring you have enough space to be able to work while providing adequate room for the equipment you need. 

The depth of your desk should be between 508mm and 762mm, with a width of at least 610 mm. But, of course, it is better to have extra space than too little, which is why the narrowest desks we offer are those in our Home Work range, all of which have a depth of 600mm, making them ideal for smaller spaces. 

If you're using your desk for typing and computer work, the recommended depth is between 712mm and 762mm to ensure you have enough space for your equipment and that you can set your desk up correctly. 

Our standard office desks have a depth of 800mm, which should be the maximum you need. This enables you to fit all your computer equipment on your desk and correctly position your keyboard and mouse to reduce strain. 

You'll also want to check the depth of any under-desk or desk-high storage you're going to be using, as you don't want it to be deeper than the desk itself, so it sticks out. Similarly, having storage that is too narrow can make it difficult to reach from your desk. 

Purchase a desk that maximizes space

If your home lacks a built-in desk option, then you'll need to invest in a sturdy stand-alone desk for your computer, printer and other office necessities. Focus on desks that maximize the space in your office. Whether it's an L-shaped desk that fits in a bedroom corner, a writing desk that you can push up against the wall or a floating desk that opens up floor space, be sure to purchase one that works best for your home.

How wide should my office desk be?

As stated above, the minimum width for your desk should be 610mm. Any smaller than this, and you'll struggle to use it for much of anything. 

You need to consider where your desk will be set up, what equipment you need to put on it and how much you'll use your desk. For example, if you are using your desks for long periods, you may need a slightly wider desk to be practical.

If you have limited space in which to fit a desk and office storage, you might want to opt for a smaller desk and a desk-high filing cabinet or storage pedestal. This will provide you with adequate storage as well as a larger work surface (when you position the storage next to your desk), so you can easily find room for all of your computer equipment.  

Our desks are available in a range of widths to suit your needs. For example, the Home Work desks come in widths of 790mm to 1155mm, and our standard office desks coming in widths of between 800mm and 1800mm.

How Does One Choose A Desk Appropriate For A Small Space?

Small Proportions

This is obvious. As useful as it might be, you can't go buying a 1500mm long desk if you've got to stuff your desk in a corner next to an established pot plant!

The sweet spot for small desks is generally a width of 1000–1300mm. Any wider and you've got a desk for a large space; any narrower and your desk risks becoming unfit for purpose.

perfect standing desk

Available Space

How big is the space available to place the desk and the chair? If you have limited space, you will have to choose compact desks like a computer desk or writing desk, which will take up little space. The office should not be filled with furniture because you need empty spaces for passage and other décor pieces. However, if your office is big, buying a compact desk will make the room feel empty.

Keep It Spacious

Small spaces are prone to becoming cluttered. If you feel like your space is cluttered enough as it is, the last thing you want to do is add a heavy desk and start triggering people's claustrophobia!

One way to avoid cluttering your space is by matching a barebones desk with an open bookcase. That way, you get tonnes of storage and practical working space without cluttering your small room.

Avoid Using A Big, Bulky Office Chair

When setting up a home office in a small space, it's important to maximize your workspace as much as possible. You can do this by opting for an office chair that slides easily under the desk. If possible, avoid wide, bulky office chairs with armrests. Instead, choosing a desk chair that doubles as a dining chair or sitting chair may be another great way to save space in a small home.

Clever Storage

If you've only got one room to yourself or you're in a studio, chances are you've already had to think about clever storage solutions. The desk is one piece of furniture for which storage is not just a matter of convenience, and it's a matter of necessity—especially if you're a full-time student.

Don't count on a lot of floor space for storage when setting up a home office. Instead, focus on vertical storage. Instead of file cabinets, consider installing shelves above your desk to hold files, books, pens and other office necessities. If you'd like to avoid nailing anything into the wall, consider purchasing a free-standing ladder desk that includes vertical shelves, such as these from West Elm, Wayfair or CB2. These desks lean against the wall, maximize floor space and provide a writing desk and enough shelving for various office supplies.

Frequently Asked Questions About Desks

A demilune or hall table can make a nice small desk or laptop table, and doesn't take up too much space. You could place one in your entryway, behind the sofa, or on a blank wall, move a chair up to it when necessary, and have it serve as a console table the rest of the time.

You should buy a desk with dimensions that serve your usage most appropriately. A standard large desk size that will suit most uses is 60-inch x 30-inch, with a height 30-inches. These dimensions will comfortably accommodate most general use cases and should be used as a baseline.

Place your desk as close to a natural light source as possible. You should also place your desk as close to a natural light source as possible. Some like to face the window, but if that proves too distracting, put the desk perpendicular to it.

Although there's no standard size for typical desks, they are commonly 48, 60, or 72 inches wide and 24, 30, or 36 inches deep, according to Houzz. A great small desk would have smaller dimensions but still provide enough space for at least a laptop.

So, you should evaluate your needs carefully. Have you already got storage down pat? If so, you can probably afford to stick to one desk drawer or avoid it altogether. Alternatively, if you don't have the room for many other handy bits of storage, you'll want to be considering a desk with two or three spacious drawers.

No matter how big or small your desk is, it needs to have storage. While you may have a chest of drawers or storage cabinets in the room, some office supplies need to be within arm's reach. So buy an office desk with a few drawers on it so you can store papers, staplers, pens, and other vital supplies.

Pro tip: if you're taller or wider than the average person, make sure you test your desk in-store to ensure you've got enough leg room! (It also helps to buy an office chair at the same to get the proportions just right.)

Surface Area

The size of the room may limit you from getting a spacious executive desk. However, you still need a desk with enough workspace to place all your work supplies. Think of the computer, files, paper tray, family pictures, and that flower vase you cherish. Your desk should represent you, your personality, and what you value most.

At salt creek office furniture, you will have a team of experts to guide you and make the decision easier. With a myriad of options available at a store near you, you will find not only a functional piece but a desk that speaks volumes about you.


Every time you are buying new office furniture, make sure they are of good quality because you don't want to keep buying them every year. Your budget should not break your back, but it should be reasonable enough to buy a quality desk. Hardwood, such as mahogany, makes quality stuff that will last a long time.

Keep Your Workspace Simple And Decluttered

Are you trying to work? Keep it simple by decluttering your workspace and tidying up your desk regularly. Consider limiting personal items to just your computer, keyboard, mouse, picture frame and lamp. Adding too many personal items to your office will only distract you from working and limit the amount of desk space you have to work with.

When Only a Small Standing Desk Will Do? 

While 95% of standing desks sold are 30 inches deep, there are times when that's just too big for your available space, and what you really need is a desk with 28 inches of depth or even less. Whether for a small Manhattan apartment, a dorm room or a "hot desk" area, these smaller desks are ideal for the laptop user who doesn't plan to have a lot of external monitors (for focal depth, users with multiple LCDs will likely want that full 30″ depth in all likelihood).

Our staff review experts have gathered here all the commonly available standing desk options with shallow depths of 23.5″ to 28″, to make your hunt for the perfect compact standing workstation a little easier.

how to choose standing desk

Key Considerations When Buying A Small Adjustable Height Desk

No question, there are a lot fewer options available when shopping for a shallow desk than a standard-sized one, but there are a few important things to keep in mind that are unique to the smaller format.

First and foremost is actually the number of options for desktop width. Since you're already going to have less surface area under having less depth, you want to make sure you can get the widest desktop to fit your space. Depending on the model, this can be limited to anywhere from 30″ to 71″ wide.

And don't forget to consider the desk warranties.

Whatever the reason, our collection of the best desks for small spaces will help you make the most out of a cramped area (got more room to play with? Head to our general guide to the best desks instead). You'd be surprised how much you can fit comfortably into a corner of a lounge or a box room if you choose the right furniture. While you're completing your setup, be sure to pick up one of the best office chairs too. Now, read on for some clever space-saving solutions in our pick of the best desks for small spaces. 

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