Writing Desk vs. Computer Desk Comparison

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Writing desk vs. computer desk comparison: The biggest difference between a writing desk and computer desk is the size. Often, writing desks are used for writing and feature drawers for small items like pens, pencils, or paper. Computer desks are not only more spacious, but they are also sturdier.

If you've been shopping around for a desk to fit into your home office, you've probably come across plenty of products labeled "writing desk" or "computer desk." But what's the difference, and which one is right for you? Here's everything you need to know about the comparison between a writing desk vs. computer desk. 

What is a Writing Desk? 

A writing desk often comes in an antique design and features drawers to store small items.

A writing desk is a type of work desk specifically designed for working on, well, writing. While there are many varieties and styles, most writing desks include storage space made for smaller items like pens, pencils, or paper. Most of the time, writing desks are great options for anyone who doesn't need a ton of space. 

Writing desks are useful for doing work on a laptop and other lightweight devices. While writing desks usually have enough room for the above items, they often don't have enough room to house a full desktop computer. So, if you're going to need enough space for a desktop or accessories, a writing desk probably isn't for you.

What is a Computer Desk? 

A computer desk has more space to accommodate monitors, sometimes even dual monitors.

Computer desks are not only more spacious, but they are also sturdier. They are strong enough to hold your full desktop computer and several accessories too. They typically are more open concept and are designed to provide storage space for computer accessories rather than office supplies like a writing desk.

Computer desks also feature areas for your PC tower and spots for computer wires to fit through. With a writing desk, you will not have space for a desktop computer and will not have these specially designed spaces for your computer parts, and your desk could quickly become a flurry of extra cords and accessories.

A computer desk will also have a designated spot for your keyboard and mouse/mouse pad. Some keyboards fit on a sliding rack that can move in or out to give you more or less room to complete other tasks. With a writing desk, your computer parts will be on the desk and in your way all the time. 

Writing Desk vs. Computer Desk Comparison Table

Writing Desk

Computer Desk

  • Antique and traditional design
  • Space are often limited
  • Often made with drawers
  • No cable management
  • Accommodates laptops
  • Modern and contemporary design
  • Provides a spacious working area
  • Often made without drawers
  • Provides cable management
  • Accommodates computers

Which is Right For Me? 

If you're reading this, you are likely looking for a new office set-up. Congratulations! Refreshing your office space is always an excellent way to change up your scenery, or find a set up that works better for your needs. Before you decide which option will be right for you, here are some questions you may want to consider first. 

1. What Kind of Work Will You Need to Do?

First off, you should think about what kind of work you will be performing at your new desk. If you have a job that only requires a laptop or a more portable device such as a tablet, a writing desk may be just enough. If your job (or hobby) requires a desktop computer, then a computer desk is probably the best choice.

2. Do You Need Extra Accessories?

It is also important to consider what kinds of extra accessories you need storage space for. The necessary storage can look differently for everyone. If you do most of your work on your laptop and the only extra tools you use can be stored away in drawers or a single compartment, then a writing desk should be right for you. 

But if you need more space, and if your work requires that you have a fully detached keyboard, or perhaps even double monitors, you may want to consider an option that will provide you with a little more space. There is no way that all of your desktop computer accessories will comfortably fit on a writing desk.

Your usual set-up at work might be a full desktop. However, if you’re working from home temporarily, and you don’t quite have your normal work set-up, a writing desk would probably feel like a big step up from your kitchen table. If your home office is going to be permanent, a computer desk may be the better option.

A writing desk can only accommodate small items, like a laptop. If you're using it temporarily, a writing desk should be fine.

For example, if you work remotely, maybe you don't have a desktop computer. If that is the case, then the choice is pretty easy. If you do have a full desktop computer, or you are going to be working remotely for the foreseeable future, you definitely should consider how much space you will need to house all of those parts. 

This seems like all basic stuff, right? What about some of the more subtle differences between working at a writing desk vs. a computer desk? Does one make you get more work done? Is one more professional looking or aesthetically pleasing? These things do matter, and they play an important role in your work life. 

3. How Your Desk Affects Your Productivity

You may be wondering what effect your desk choice will have on your productivity, if any. Well, the truth of it is, your workspace plays a pretty influential factor in how much you accomplish during your workday. When is the last time you remember getting a ton of work done in a cluttered space? 

Cluttered work areas may not seem like a huge deal, but they are. When you're trying to work in a disorganized space, you'll lose a lot of time trying to find things you need. You may even lose focus amidst the mess around you. Having a desk that can help you stay organized is going to help you stay on track. 

It also helps that your workspace is inviting and pleasing to you. It’s much easier to wake up in the morning and look forward to sitting at your well-organized desk than to dread going to sit in a messy space with cords, chargers, computer accessories, and office supplies scattered all over the place. 

Related: Different Types of Desks

4. What if I Need a Little Bit of Both? 

There are plenty of models to choose from. Some writing desks are spacious enough for just about anything!

Lucky for you, there is more than just one standard choice per category. If you need a few bits from each desk style, you can get one that has the best of both worlds. If you need room for your desktop computer, but also need some functional drawer space, you could consider buying a desk with built-in drawers underneath. 

Options like these give you with the storage space you need to avoid the dreaded desk clutter, while also allowing you to have the sturdiness and space required for a desktop computer. If you need a multi-layer desk for writing because you have other accessories that need a place, there’s an option for that too.

There is a desk out there for everyone!

PRO TIP: Looking to switch things up at the office? Let us introduce you to standing desk converters! These are units placed on top of your existing desk and can be manually raised or lowered so you can choose to stand or sit at any given time. If you’re interested, read our reviews to find the right model for you.

Final Thoughts 

When it comes down to a writing desk vs. computer desk, you've got to consider what you need: if space isn't a factor, a writing desk may be more affordable and lightweight. Need the space? Go for a computer desk!

Choosing the right desk for your work area starts with assessing your needs and what kind of space will help you achieve optimal workflow. By taking the time to understand the difference between a writing desk and a computer desk, you are doing your part to maximize productivity and take your focus to new heights! 🙂