Is Your Home Office a Coffee Table? These Ladder Desks Are a Space-Saving Upgrade
If you purchase an independently reviewed product or service through a link on our website, SPY.com may receive an affiliate commission.
If you’re fortunate enough to be able to work from home during the pandemic, you’ve probably realized the importance of investing in a quality desk and chair setup. Sitting on the couch or in bed may be comfortable in the short term, but not only is it not conducive to productivity, but it’ll also cause back and neck pains.
One factor that may have kept you from buying a desk is space. If you live in a small apartment, where can you possibly place a desk? One of the best solutions is to invest in a ladder desk. These are similar to ladder bookshelves but have a larger shelf where you can place your laptop. You can still use the upper shelves for books or decorative displays, making ladder desks multi-functional pieces of furniture. And since they taper toward the wall, they won’t take up as much space. And, of course, ladder desks are just plain stylish.
How We Chose The Best Ladder Desks
Your ladder desk is a multi-functional piece of furniture, but the ladder (pun intended) is one of the most important — it is still furniture — which means you want it to look great in your home. A few items criteria items we looked for in the best ladder desks are:
- Style: We chose a wide variety of styles, including different finishes, colors and makes (wood versus metal, for instance).
- Design: We looked for a wide variety of sizes in depth, width and height. Most of the ladder desks we found come with at least two shelves. But others have up to four, including the desk. We also loved desks with cubbies and drawers for extra space-saving capabilities.
- Price: The ladder desk of your dreams shouldn’t cost a small fortune. Some of the most stylish and practical ladder desks we found are under $500, but we have a few more expensive options further down our list.
Here are some of the best ladder desks to buy online:
1. American Trails Freestanding Ladder Desk
This Amazon Choice ladder desk has 4.5 stars on over 450 ratings. That’s undoubtedly due to its combination of affordable price, two shelves and a desk platform with a handy sliding drawer. Plus, the white shelving against the natural wood frame looks stylish and homey.Buy: American Trails Freestanding Ladder Desk $147.51 (orig. $192.99) 24% OFF
2. Nathan James Theo 2-Shelf Ladder Desk
The Nathan James Ladder Desk is a beauty with a modern industrial look that fits right into your home decor. The matte black frame with nutmeg shelving screams modern style. It’s affordable, sturdy and features two shelves above the desk with room for more. This is another Amazon Choice product with over 864 ratings and 4.7 reviews, making many Amazon customers happy.Buy: Nathan James Theo 2-Shelf Ladder Desk $111.99
3. Heyward Leaning/Ladder Desk
The Heyward Ladder Desk is wide and deep enough to fit a keyboard and monitor on the main platform. The gorgeous redwood finish is professional enough to go in your office yet elegant enough to be shown off in your living room. There are three total shelves with a sliding drawer to save on space.Buy: Heyward Leaning/Ladder Desk $369.99
4. Rolanstar Ladder Desk
A minimalist ladder desk with a ton of utility. The metal pegboard features removable shelving and additional multi-function hooks for hanging headphones, keys, glasses, etc. This utilizes the space on the shelves and underneath the second tier. It comes in black and rustic brown.Buy: Rolanstar Ladder Desk $79.99
5. Saracina Writing Desk with Open Storage Ladder Bookshelf
SIMPLE AND STYLISTIC
This 36-inch ladder desk is available in gray wash, rustic oak, mocha and dark walnut. The two cubbies on the desk serve two purposes — you can place items in the cubby, but the cubbies also create a smaller shelf up top, which is an excellent design for maximizing space. It’s a traditional ladder desk, so there’s no need to drill anything into your wall either.Buy: Saracina Writing Desk with Open Storage Ladder Bookshelf $229.49
6. Aiden Lane Berg Leaning Desk
This gorgeous two-tone ladder desk workspace is great for an accent in a living room or an ultra space-saving desk in a smaller apartment or room. The white desk and shelves with the wood frame make it pop. It comes with two shelves and a desk with a sliding drawer and stands 55-inches tall and only 15.5-inches deep.Buy: Aiden Lane Berg Leaning Desk $179.99
7. Amatury Executive Desk
Equal parts industrial and modern, the Amatury Executive Desk is a gorgeous, smartly designed desk for the home. Mounted to the wall from the top to keep it sturdy, two shelves and a wide desk with a sliding cubby door provide plenty of storage. It’s fashionable, functional and an excellent choice for those looking for a slightly bigger workspace.Buy: Amatury Executive Desk $217.99
8. OS Home and Office Ladder Bookcase and Desk
The knotted pine finish makes this ladder desk and bookcase look as though it has aged like a fine wine. This rustic piece features two shelves with backing and a roughly 33-inch wide desk with a pull-out drawer. The pine against the metal matte black frame couldn’t be more gorgeous.Buy: OS Home and Office Ladder Bookcase and Desk $124.94
9. Monarch Specialties Ladder Desk
This compact design features a desk that flips out and folds up to save space when you don’t need it. Including the folded-out desktop, there are four shelves you can place decor, so even though it is smaller, it has more shelves than many. It’s also available in two colors: cappuccino (black) and dark toupe (grey).Buy: Monarch Specialties Ladder Desk $180.00 (orig. $229.00) 21% OFF
10. Walker Edison Freya Urban Industrial Ladder Desk with Metal Magnet Board
Walker Edison’s sturdy ladder desk has an understated look that classes up any workspace and doubles as a bookshelf. It even included a metal magnet board where you can keep decor items or write motivational messages and other reminders. There’s enough vertical shelving to house all your WFH accessories and books, and assembly is less complicated than other ladder desks. One buyer adds, “I would recommend a slip-proof rug underneath for added stability.”Buy: Walker Edison Freya Urban Industrial Ladder Desk with Metal Magnet Board $112.42 (orig. $255.00) 56% OFF
11. Ladder Shelf Desk, Sand/Stone
This ladder desk follows West Elm’s design ethos of modern simplicity. A single slanted frame serves as the support; that means this desk has only two legs instead of four, creating a sleek, minimalist look. There are two upper shelves for storage, and the main desk area also has a cubby for storage. It’s available in white and brown or black and tan.Buy: West Elm Ladder Desk $279.00
12. CB2 Stairway White Desk
If you’re a dedicated minimalist who wants the simplest possible version of a ladder desk, this option from CB2 is finished in a monochromatic white color — the shelves and the support are all the same color, unlike most of the two-tone options on this list. There are two levels to this desk. The vertical stature of this desk will require that it be drilled into the wall.Buy: CB2 Ladder Desk $349.00
13. Baxton Studio Rectangular Ladder Desks with Storage
BEST FOR WRITING
This ladder desk has three built-in cubbies that are perfect for books, office supplies and journals. Made from steel and engineered wood, this table offers a method of organization that keeps your writing surface clear from messes and distractions. If you have trouble with checking your phone too much while you work, consider tucking it away in one of these cubbies to avoid temptation — it’s an automatic productivity booster!Buy: Baxton Studio Rectangular Ladder Desks with Storage $104.99
14. Ladder Shelf Desk & Narrow Bookshelf Set
BEST SPLURGE PICK
Why invest in a bulky desk and bookshelf when you can combine them into a single two-in-one furniture piece? West Elm’s Ladder Shelf Desk and Narrow Bookshelf Set provides an entire wall of storage and adds a chic element to any room. With 12 fixed shelves yet a relatively small footprint, this set will fit in with any style and offers fantastic value. This wall-affixed set is also sold in a wider option if you have a larger space.Buy: Ladder Shelf Desk & Narrow Bookshelf Set $799.00
15. Wade Logan Twickenham Leaning/Ladder Desk
Many of the best ladder desks in our roundup include darker colors, and while a dark piece of wood is handsome, it can add a heavy look to your room. On the other hand, this one uses lighter colors that will brighten up your space with an airy vibe, making it appear larger than it really is. It features a built-in drawer for easy access and a couple of floating shelves to house plants, books, or whatever else you don’t mind having on display.Buy: Wade Logan Twickenham Leaning/Ladder Desk $243.99
16. AllModern Innes Solid Wood Leaning/Ladder Desk
MOST DURABLE PICK
If durability is your bigger concern, opt for a solid wood ladder desk like this one, made from solid mango wood. Wood often lasts longer than cheaper materials, is a more sustainable choice, and is easier to maintain over the years. The leaning metal frame on this AllModern Innes Solid Wood desk is slim but strong, giving way to shelves and a desk surface with a beautiful wood grain.Buy: AllModern Innes Solid Wood Leaning/Ladder Desk $488.00
17. Sauder Rectangular Charter Oak Ladder Desk with Hutch
BEST STORAGE PICK
Sauder’s functional oak ladder desk has a unique design and a more spacious surface area for all your work-from-home necessities, plus a hot cup of coffee. Its two open shelves on the bottom allow you to easily organize files and stacks of papers, doubling as an open-concept filing cabinet or even a space for a printer. Customers note that it’s easy to assemble and compact enough to fit in small spaces without looking overly crowded.
18. 17 Ladders Industrial Pipe Ladder Desk
For an industrial but practical aesthetic that stands out from the rest, consider this elegant Industrial Pipe Ladder Desk by 17 Stories. You won’t find these matte black fixtures for such a low price anywhere else, and if you’re looking to spruce up your home with a modernized but slightly retro look that stands out from the crowd, this is the way to go. It’s wall-mounted to save you even more space and has an extra hanging bar beneath the desk to hold headphones or other accessories.Buy: 17 Ladders Industrial Pipe Ladder Desk $255.99