Still Working from the Coffee Table? These Ladder Desks Are Your Must-Have 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.

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. 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.”

Walker Edison Freya Urban Industrial Ladder Desk with Metal Magnet Board Courtesy of Amazon

3. 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.

ladder desk Image Courtesy of West Elm


4. 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

5. 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

6. 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

7. 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

8. 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

9. 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

10. 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

11. HOBRO Ladder Computer Desk


If you don’t need a ton of storage space and just require a couple of shelves and a simple desk, this small computer desk offers rustic wood shelves, held together by a durable metal frame. It’s minimalist and practical without breaking the bank. One parent bought it to reduce the dining room clutter caused by online schooling. If you have a small space and don’t want a desk that’ll overwhelm the room, consider this option.

HOBRO Ladder Computer Desk Courtesy of Amazon

12. Baxton Studio Rectangular Ladder Desks with Storage


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!

Baxton Studio Rectangular Ladder Desks with Storage Courtesy of Home Depot

13. Ladder Shelf Desk & Narrow Bookshelf Set


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 a full 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.

Ladder Shelf Desk & Narrow Bookshelf Setder Desks with Storage Courtesy of West Elm

14. 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. This one, on the other hand, 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, as well as a couple of floating shelves to house plants, books, or whatever else you don’t mind having on display.

Wade Logan Twickenham Leaning/Ladder Desk Courtesy of Wayfair

15. AllModern Innes Solid Wood Leaning/Ladder Desk


If durability is your bigger concern, opt for a solid wood ladder desk like this one, which is made from solid mango wood. Wood often lasts longer than cheaper materials, is a more sustainable choice, and is also 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 that features a beautiful wood grain.

AllModern Innes Solid Wood Leaning/Ladder Desk Courtesy of Wayfair

16. 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 even has an extra hanging bar beneath the desk to hold headphones or other accessories.

17 Ladders Industrial Pipe Ladder Desk Courtesy of Wayfair

17. SAUDER Rectangular Charter Oak Ladder Desk with Hutch


Sauder’s functional oak ladder desk features a unique design and has 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 of sorts, 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.

SAUDER Rectangular Charter Oak Ladder Desk with Hutch Courtesy of Home Depot