Writing Desk VS Computer Desk – 16 Key Differences

While the debate still rages on, and people are still divided over which is finer. A writing desk or a computer desk? Perhaps you would like to take a step back and look at both desks objectively.

16 Key Differences of a Writing Desk and Computer Desk

The two types of desks may look similar but they serve very different purposes.

1. The Material Used to Make Them

Writing desks are made from various types of wood. The most common are oak, mahogany, walnut and cherry as they are beautiful and durable. Computer desks can be made from any material. That is strong enough to support the weight of all the components being put on top of it.

The most common materials used are metal, wood and plastic. Because these materials are strong enough to support the weight without breaking easily. They make them look nice in any environment. Whether it is modern or traditional. It depends on what style you go for when buying one for your home or office space!

2. Size of Desk

A writing desk is usually smaller than a computer desk. It is designed for people who do not spend much time working on their laptops or computers. For example, if someone works as an accountant in an office setting. Where he only has to do some typing every now and then.  He does not need a large amount of space for his laptop or computer.

Read: Benefits of L-Shaped Computer Desks

3. Difference of surface

The most obvious feature of a writing desk is its flat surface. This means that there is no place to store your essentials. For instance, laptop or other items such as books and papers. They have to be stored elsewhere in your office or home office space.

On the other hand, computer desks come with built-in storage options. They have drawers and cupboards which allow users to keep their essentials. They stay close at hand without taking up valuable space on their deskside.

4. Space availability in Writing Desk

The space available on writing desks is leas than what you get on computer desks.  They do not have any additional features like storage spaces, keyboard tray etc., which computer desks usually have.

Writing desks give you ample space to work comfortably. It will be without any pressure of having to save space for other things. On the other hand a computer desk needs have less space on top because of all the extra stuff like PC case, Monitor, keyboard, mouse, speakers, etc.

5. Drawers Facility in Writing Desk

Writing desks have drawers underneath them where you can store your accessories. For instance, printer cables or computer peripherals. While computer desks do not have drawers under them but a keyboard tray.

Computer desks come with additional cabinet and a drawer on one side. It is to store your accessories like printer cables or computer peripherals.

Read: How to Manage Cables on a Glass Desk

6. Height of Writing Desk

A writing desk is always lower than a computer table. As it is made for sitting and working at it by using paper and pen. While a computer table is used for typing on keyboard or mouse pad.

Therefore, if you want to keep your legs straight while sitting on chair then choose writing desk. Otherwise go with the latter one which is taller in height. So that your legs can rest comfortably while you work under it!

7. Length of Writing Desk

Writing desks are usually lightweight but can be lengthier than computer desks but less in depth. This makes them easier to carry around. Both have similar surface area but it depends on each desks.

This is why they are more popular among students who need a desk for studying or working from home.

Computer desks on the other hand, are heavier and difficult to move. Nowadays, we also have desks made for gaming purposes. They have a modern look and less storage areas. Most of them don’t have cabinets or a drawer. Gaming desks are of course popular in gamers because of the modern look.

8. Purpose

The main purpose of both types of desks is to provide you workspace. While also helping you organize your stuff so that nothing gets lost. However, whereas writing desks are ideal for storing paper documents such as books, magazines or newspapers. Computer desks can be used as storage units for electronic devices and other computer peripherals.

9. Price Range

Writing desks come in many designs and finishes depending on where you buy them from. However, they all cost between $60-$200. It depends on their size, design and quality of material used in making them.

Computer desks cost between $100-$400. It depends on their size and design but are mostly found in office supply stores. For instance, Staples where you find many different sizes available.

10. Designing Difference

A writing desk is designed for a person who likes to sit up and write for long periods of time. It gives them the posture needed to maintain good health while working on their craft. A computer desk is designed with convenience in mind. So, you can sit down and use your computer without having to be hunched over or flail your arms around awkwardly.

11. Maintenance Requirements

The maintenance requirements of a writing desk is much less than the computer desk. You just need to wipe it down with a wet cloth. Then dry it up with a dry cloth. You can use an anti-bacterial spray on it from time to time to keep its surface clean and shiny.

On the other hand, a computer desk is made up of several pieces of furniture. For instance, drawers, bookshelves and cabinets. These different parts need regular cleaning to keep them in good condition for years.

You will have to clean the drawers regularly by using a damp cloth. You can use vacuum cleaner attachment at least once a month. So that there is no dust accumulation inside them over time.

You should also clean any wooden parts of the furniture. Do it with warm water and soap solution every day after using them. So that they do not get stained by usage over time.

Also Read: Guide to Monitor Arms

12. Movability Difference

The movability difference between a writing desk and computer desk lies in their dimensions. A writing desk is usually smaller in size than a computer desk. They both have different legs.

The height of a computer desk is higher than that of a writing desk. Since it needs more space for the monitor and other equipment like speakers, printer etc.

A writing desk does not need so much space because it has fewer components inside it. For instance, wires and cables etc. So, it can be easily moved around if needed. It can be without too much effort involved by the user or someone else helping out with this task.

13. Safety Concerns

While both types of desks have their own set of safety concerns and risks. There are some significant differences between them. For instance, if you want to use a computer at home or in your office, it’s best to go for a computer desk.

This will give you an easy place to put your laptop or monitor.  It will be without worrying about keeping it safe from accidents. For instance, falling objects or pets knocking over things on the table top.

A writing desk might not be as sturdy as a computer desk. Because it doesn’t need to support heavy equipment like computer desks do.

14. Personal and Professional Use

Another difference between writing desks and computer desks is how they are used in personal and professional settings. Writing desks are typically designed for personal use at home.

Then in an office setting where people spend a lot of time sitting down while working. It can be on their laptops or other devices such as smartphones, tablets, etc.

Computer desks are usually designed for professional use in office settings.  Where people spend most of their days sitting down while working on computers all day long (8 hours up).

15. Writing Desk for Comfort and Ergonomic Use

The first difference between writing desk vs computer desk is comfort.  While a computer desk is designed with portability in mind. A good quality writing desk will provide you with an ergonomic workspace. That will be comfortable to use and helps prevent back pain.

A computer desk on the other hand does not offer this level of comfort or ergonomics.  Instead allows for more portability so that you can move it around your home or office as needed.

16. Computer desk with portability and efficiency in mind

A computer desk is designed to offer the best features for your home office. This means that it should be efficient, portable, and versatile enough to accommodate any changes in your life. It is an investment because it has a lot of uses that you can use it for.

For instance, if you move offices or homes, then this will not be a problem for you. All you need is to disassemble the parts of your computer desk and put them together again at your new location.


If you want a desk that will last you a lifetime, you really can’t go wrong with the classic Writing Desk. The only key differences between these two pieces of furniture are found in their size and portability. While the Computer Desk is designed to be moved from room to room. The Writing Desk is roomier and sturdier.

Also Read: How to Choose A Gaming Desk

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