Still Doing WFH From the Coffee Table? These Ladder Desks Are a Space-Saving Upgrade

ladder desk
Image Courtesy of Wayfair
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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 down the line. If you still haven’t bitten the bullet on a new desk yet, you might be wondering if it’s still worth it — after all, the vaccines are on the way, right? Right? But an increasing number of companies are indicating that a shift to WFH may be permanent, COVID or no COVID. The fine print: you may still need to have a good WFH setup once the pandemic is behind us.

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 they 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. We’ve rounded up some of the best ladder desks to buy online.


1. Foundstone Diego Ladder Desk


This stylish, simple and affordable desk is compact enough to tuck into any corner or against any wall, but it has enough space to actually get work done. The main desk area has two cubbies for storing desk essentials, and you can also place your monitor or laptop on top of the cubbies to keep the screen at eye-level and free up space for a keyboard. There are two smaller shelves above the main desk area. The desk is available in a variety of muted, natural wood finishes.

ladder desk Image Courtesy of Wayfair

2. 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 a main desk area that also has a cubby for storage. It’s available in white and brown or black and tan.

ladder desk Image Courtesy of West Elm


3. Foundstone Zachary Ladder Desk


This desk from Foundstone has a vertical, rather than leaning design; the legs of the desk are parallel to the wall, and they have drill holes to keep the desk secure. This helps to reduce the amount of floor space taken up. There are three shelves, with the lowest shelf serving as a working area. It’s available in an oak and white color.

ladder desk Image Courtesy of Wayfair

4. Blu Dot Hitch 2 Piece Desk Office Suite


This stylish option from Blu Dot has a distinctly industrial look, making it a great addition to lofts or modern apartments. This set includes two units, which you can buy individually if you prefer. There is a ladder bookshelf as well as a matching ladder desk, which features an extended lower shelf for working. The shelves are parallel to the wall, rather than tapered, so they will need to be secured to the wall.

ladder desk Image Courtesy of Wayfair

5. 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.

ladder desk Image Courtesy of CB2

6. Urban Outfitters Cameron Adjustable Desk Storage System


This stylish option from Urban Outfitters has ladder-shaped legs and a textured mango wood finish, giving it an industrial look. This desk also has more shelves than many of the other options on this list — there are three shelves, plus the desk shelf.

ladder desk Urban Outfitters

7. George Oliver Parsons Leaning/Ladder Desk


If you’d prefer something more low-profile, this desk from George Oliver consists of a desk with two pull-out drawers. There’s one narrow upper shelf that leans against the wall to provide support. The brown color gives it a mid-century modern look.

ladder desk Image Courtesy of Wayfair

8. Inbox Zero Ladder Desk


This ladder desk from Inbox Zero has a larger working area than most of the others on this list. It’s about 40″ wide and 18″ deep, giving you more space for notebooks, cups, keyboards and pens. This desk is also unique in that it has another shelf that’s lower than the desk shelf, giving you extra space for books or other essentials. The top of the shelf is two-tiered for decoration and extra storage.

ladder desk Image Courtesy of Wayfair

9. Furniture of America Tali Contemporary Writing Desk


This simple writing desk from Furniture of America has an angular frame that somewhat resembles an upside-down “7.” There are three shelving levels, including the desk. The small desk has a two-sided cabinet, one exposed and the other with a pull-out drawer. The desk comes in a range of colors to suit your style.

ladder desk Image Courtesy of Overstock