How Much Does A Desk Cost and What Should You Spend?

The cost of a desk can have a huge range depending on materials, size, and features. You can get super budget-friendly hollow top desks for $50, or a large solid walnut motorized desk for over $2000.

This article will explore the typical price range for various desks and what factors influence their price.

alex drawer desk setup without computer tower on desk
Alex drawer desk setup (60×30 inch)

Key Takeaways

  • Desks can cost anywhere from $50 to $2000+ depending on the features. 
  • Most people will find a great desk with nice-to-have features in the $150-$300 range. 
  • The main features that drive cost are materials, size, and extra features.

How Much Do Desks Cost?

Just like anything, the range of desk pricing is pretty huge. Here’s what you can expect from the different price groups.

Affordable Desks

Desks can get as low as $50 on the low end. The IKEA LINNMON / ADILS is the perfect example of this. It is only $49.99 at the time of writing.

It pretty much has the bare minimum with a hollow tabletop and four steel legs. But it gets the job done and is a fantastic option for anyone on a budget. 

There are also a few of these sub $50 desks on Amazon that just get the job done. Expect minimal desk features and some form of particle board table top.

39 inch Home Office Desk With Hairpin Legs

This desk with hairpin legs is easy to assemble, fits small spaces, and has multiple uses. The rubber pads on the legs protect floors from scratches. It's perfect desk for a compact office.

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Downside To Affordable Desks

The main downside with affordable desks is that they have trouble standing the test of time. Lower-quality materials will not stand up to abuse as well, making them less durable.

If you accidentally drop something heavy on an IKEA LINNMON desk, you will probably have some permanent damage as the table top is hollow. Budget desks require you to be more careful around them if you want them to last.

You also won’t be able to use monitor clamping mounts as these are high-stress clamps that require a strong tabletop to work well. 

gas spring monitor arm holding 34" ultrawide monitor on desk
Monitor arm being used on my wood tabletop

We have a dedicated article on monitor mounts for desks that are too thin or weak, as well as monitor mounts for glass desks. These articles will help you safely mount a monitor on desks with weaker table tops. 

The sizes of affordable desks also have to be pretty small to keep material costs and shipping costs down. That means if you like having lots of things on your desk, you will quickly outgrow the small size desks. 

Average Cost Desks

I say average, but what I really mean is more ‘popular’ and middle-ground desks. These typically fall into the $150 – $300 cost range and are well-suited for most people.  

These desks have a great balance of cost, size, functionality, and longevity. You will find better materials, shelving or drawers, a larger table surface, etc. 

On the high end of the price range, you will even have some solid wood tabletop options that can last forever if taken good care of. Bare wood tables can be sanded, oiled, or stained so you can keep the wood looking fresh and even change up the color from time to time. 

55 Inch Home Office Desk with 2 Storage Shelves

This modern writing desk offers a functional design with reversible shelves for customization. The industrial and minimalist style enhances your home office's aesthetics. Built with durable engineered wood and a steel frame, it's easy to assemble and comes with preassembled anti-slip pads. Dimensions: 55.1” W x 25.2” D x 29.5” H.

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High-End Desks

Now we are getting into the luxury Italian car equivalent of office desks. These desks are typically around or above $1000. So what makes these desks so expensive?

High-end desks are typically broken up into two categories: designer-style desks that just look cool, or highly functional desks with all the bells and whistles. 

Designer Style Desks

Here’s an example of a designer-styled desk that costs way more than what the average person is willing to spend. 

It’s an executive desk made from walnut. Check the price, if you dare. Pretty ridiculous! 

Zuri 83" Modern Kennedy Executive Dark Wood Desk
  • W 83" x D 39" x H 30"
  • Dark American Walnut Wood Veneer with Smooth Finish and Silver Painted Wood Front and Sides
  • 2 Storage Drawers and 2 Drawers for Letter or Legal Filing
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High Function Desks

The highly functional high-end desks are much more worth the cash if you are open to desks this expensive. An example of a highly functional desk would be a standing desk from a company like Uplift or Flexispot. 

I recently upgraded to a Flexispot E7, and it was completely worth it. I used my own tabletop and only purchased the E7 frame. You can see what the assembly process was like here.

minimal desk setup flexispot E7 standing desk

I chose Flexispot over Uplift because I wanted something a bit more affordable. Uplift is a bit too expensive, and the main benefits over the Flexispot are unclear.

These desks come with a control pad that has programmable height memory settings, a motor in each leg, a huge lifting capacity, and solid wood tabletop options, all backed by a 15-year warranty. You get a lot for the money. 

UPLIFT Walnut Laminate 48" x 30" Standing Desk

This electric height adjustable desk has a range of 25.3" to 50.9" and works for most people 5'4" to 6'9" tall. It has a lifting capacity of 355 lbs, dual motors, and 3-stage legs for fast and safe movement. The desk features an advanced anti-collision system and a wire management tray to keep cords tidy. It also has a one-touch height adjustment system with an advanced Comfort Flush Memory Keypad that allows you to set up to 4 heights.

Check Price on Amazon

When you configure one on the Uplift website, you quickly discover how the cost adds up. 

You first choose your tabletop material. You can choose between laminate and solid wood options. The most expensive solid wood is walnut which adds $830! 

After the tabletop material, you get to choose your frame color and type. On the electronics side, you get to decide what fills your grommet hole covers. You can give them AC outlets, cup holders, or just cover them up. Lastly, you choose your desired keypad type. 

I was able to spec a standing desk with a final cost of $1956 from Try it out,  it’s pretty fun. Won’t be checking out, that’s for sure. 

uplift desk pricing

How Much Should You Spend On A Desk

So now we know what we can get for the different price ranges out there, how much should you actually spend on a desk? 

Most people will be perfectly fine in the second section we discussed, which are desks that cost around $150 – $300. Anything beyond this is either because you have the budget, or you actually need the additional features that come with the more expensive desks. 

There are a ton of very good desks on the market that fall into this price range. It also includes a large range of desk shapes and sizes. 

Here are a few good examples: 



47 Inch Computer Desk with Hutch & Bookshelf
  • Includes shelving system
  • Steel powder coated frame
  • Style comes in a variety of sizes
  • Particle board surface
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What Makes Desks Expensive?

So what makes desks more or less expensive? What is driving the price of desks?

Overall Desk Size

First and foremost is desk size. A huge L-shaped desk is going to be more expensive than a compact desk of the same material. 

Not only is it due to the cost of using more material. But they are also more expensive to ship around from the warehouse to your house. They take more manpower to build around their size as well. 

Top Surface Material

Your desk table top is going to be the most important part of your desk. This is going to hold your computer, be your writing surface, and will be what you interact with the most. 

Affordable desks typically use some type of particle wood like MDF as the tabletop. The problem with particle wood is that it is soft and gouges easily. 

To counter this, affordable desks put an additional more durable layer of material on top. This is commonly a laminate or a wood veneer. They are simply thin materials added to the top to give you better wear resistance. 

Desktop Height being measured with measuring tape

The most expensive tabletop surface material will be solid wood like birch, rubberwood, or walnut. These are the most durable and long-lasting options. They require a bit of care like the occasional oil treatment and such. 

If you damage a wood surface over a long time of use, it can be sanded down and made to look new very easily. This makes them a fantastic long-term investment. 

I have an old solid wood table top from IKEA, and I have sanded it and re-oiled it a bunch of times. It still looks fantastic. I took this tabletop from on top of my IKEA ALEX drawers and put it onto my Flexispot E7 Frame.

alex drawer desk setup without computer tower on desk
IKEA Alex Drawer Desk
Flexispot E7 standing desk setup
FlexiSpot E7 Desk

Leg Types

Leg types can go from very simple, to very advanced quickly. Affordable desks will have a simple steel frame or steel tube legs. Often powder coated for some surface protection. 

If your desk has a leg frame that incorporates shelves and other desk features, those will be more expensive from a material standpoint as well as a manufacturing standpoint. The desk below is a great example. 

47-Inch Desk with Integrated Shelves

This desk comes with versatile shelving units and an adjustable third board for customized storage. The X-shaped brace enhances stability, and the bookshelf includes baffles for item security.

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On the high end, you have powered height adjustable and programmable standing desk legs. These systems can be pretty expensive. 

Here is UPLIFT’s V2 standing desk frame which comes in around $600 without a table top! 

Uplift Desk 2-Leg V2-Commercial C-Frame

Electric height-adjustable desk with a broad range (21.6"-47.7") suits users 4'11" to 6'5". Robust, speedy, and safe with 355 lb capacity, dual German motors, and an advanced anti-collision system. One-touch adjustment, memory keypad, width adaptable (42"-96"), and patented accessory mounting system for added functionality.

Check Price On Amazon

There are cheaper standing desk legs if you are willing to sacrifice some of the bells and whistles. Here is a hand crank version from VIVO. These don’t operate nearly as smoothly as the UPLIFT motorized desks, but definitely get the job done. 

VIVO Compact Hand Crank Stand Up Desk Frame

Standing desk frame (34"-51.4" length, 27.7"-47" height) for versatile tabletop dimensions. Easy hand crank system with a foldable handle for space-saving. Telescopic height adjustment ensures a smooth transition. Sturdy, all-steel construction supports up to 154 lbs with excellent stability on various floors.

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Drawers & Shelves

Desks that come with drawers and shelves will be more expensive than those that don’t. For example, this IKEA Linnmon/A combo costs around $145 at the time of writing. The ALEX drawer set is mostly to blame for that price. 

The ALEX drawer alone costs $100! Here are some Alex drawer alternatives if that price scares you. Here is another article on the ALEX drawer dimensions that make it such a good option.

If we look at an IKEA Linnmon/Adils desk that has the same table top but instead has basic steel tube legs, it only costs $60! The drawer set adds a ton of functionality, and you will definitely pay more for those additions to your desk. 

If you like having a tidy desk, getting a desk that has some storage options is pretty critical. I had a dual-ALEX drawer desk setup for a while, and my drawers were packed with stuff I use every day. 


There are certainly some extras that can make desks a bit more expensive in exchange for some additional functionality. 

These extras could be cable management systems, integrated wireless charging pads, integrated monitor shelves, and more. If you like keyboard trays, desks can offer those as well. 

The list of possible extras can go on forever. As you start desk shopping you will notice which ones are typically available. 

Only buy a desk that has extras that you will actually use. Otherwise, you are spending money on features that will have no use. 


Is it Cheaper To Make A Desk Or Buy One? 

It will almost always be cheaper to purchase an off-the-shelf desk than to build one from scratch. Off-the-shelf desks are mass produced which means they have access to better pricing on each individual item. 

We have a dedicated article on how much it costs to build a desk from scratch.

Another cost involved with making your own desk is the cost of all the woodworking tools you would need to create a nice-looking desk. This is not even talking about the cost of your time to make a desk from scratch. 

If you already have woodworking tools and spare materials, you might be able to make a desk for a lower price, however, I assume most people are not in that situation. 

How Much Should You Spend on a Gaming Desk?

As an occasional PC gamer myself, I am convinced that gaming-specific desks are just a marketing gimmick. 

Gamers primarily require specific computers and peripherals along with a healthy amount of RGB. Anything else is a bit unnecessary and vendors are simply taking advantage of a subcategory of people that use desks. 

Don’t let people convince you gaming desks require more “adjustability”. PC gaming ergonomics are pretty similar to office working ergonomics so the same desk setup ideas will apply. 

You do not need to spend more on a gaming desk than a normal desk. Thus you should expect to spend anywhere from $150 to $300 on a gaming desk, which is the same as a normal desk. 

What Are Cheap Desks Made Of?

Cheap or affordable desks are primarily made from a type of particle wood. They are typically topped off with a more durable surface such as laminate or wood veneer. 

Desks from IKEA actually have a hollowed-out honeycomb structure which makes them very affordable.

How Much Does a Small Desk Cost?

Small desks require less material and are less encumbered by high shipping costs, so they cost less than normal-sized desks.

If a typical desk costs around $150 – $300, you can expect smaller desks to cost anywhere from $100 to $250 depending on the features available.

Photo of author


I'm a big time workspace enthusiast who is constantly experimenting with my setup. Sharing along the way to help people make their own desk setups more functional and inviting, whether it be for productivity or play!

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