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Saving space with a floating desk

If a traditional desk would take up valuable space in your home or you simply don’t like the aesthetics of them, you may want to consider a floating desk. These mount directly to the wall, so they won’t take up any floor space and they have a clean look that many people will appreciate. 

Those who want something that offers nearly as much work space as a traditional desk can look to the Prepac Designer Floating Desk. It can easily accommodate a desktop PC or a laptop with plenty of room left over, and it has a hidden compartment for power strips and cables to keep everything looking neat and organized. 

What to know before you buy a floating desk

Folding vs. non-folding

The choice between a folding or non-folding floating desk may come down to the reason you’re buying a floating desk. If you’re purchasing one simply because you like the clean aesthetics, then you can choose whichever style you find most appealing.

However, if your main reason for buying a floating desk is because of space constraints, you’ll be better served with a floating desk that you can fold out of the way when not in use. This gives you the room you need when it’s time to get work done, but you won’t be left with a large table taking up valuable space unnecessarily when not in use.

Work space

No matter whether you decide to buy a folding or non-folding model, choose a floating desk that provides you enough space to comfortably perform whatever tasks you intend to do on it. Smaller desks may only be 10-15 inches deep, while others can be as much as 24 inches or more.

HP Envy All-in-One PC

If you’re going to use your floating desk as a computer workstation, consider how much space you need for your monitor, a tower if you don’t have an all-in-one PC, your mousepad, keyboard and any other peripheral devices or accessories you have.

If you’ll be using your floating desk with a laptop or no computer at all and you aren’t planning on doing any elaborate art projects on it, you may not require as much work space.

Weight limit

When considering how much work space you need and the various items you plan on putting on your desk, you should also think about how much all that stuff potentially weighs. You should choose a floating desk with a weight limit that far exceeds the weight of whatever books, computer equipment and decorations you put on it so that it can also support some of your weight if you choose to lean on it while working.

What to look for in a quality floating desk


Some floating desks are as simple as a table that juts out from the wall. If you want something a bit more elaborate that can accommodate documents, books, decorations and other items you want to keep on your desk, choose one that has some shelves and/or drawers.

A floating desk can have any combination of shelves, and they may be above, below or alongside the work surface. On folding models, the shelves are often concealed when the desk is folded up for a clutter-free look.

Bush Furniture Cabot L Shaped Computer Desk in Espresso Oak

Drawers are just as useful on a floating desk as they are on a traditional desk. They provide you with a place for small items like paper clips, pens and pencils, scissors, extra printer paper and any other things you don’t want cluttering up the desktop or taking up shelf space you would rather reserve for books or decorations. 

Keyboard shelf

If you’ll be using your floating desk with a desktop computer, choose an option with a sliding keyboard tray so there’s one less accessory using up work space.

Cable management

Tripp Lite 4 Outlet Medical Grade Surge Protector Power Strip

Nobody likes cables running everywhere on and around their desk. Models with a cable management system can help. They have cutouts to run cables through or hidden spots for power strips so your desk looks neat and tidy.

How much can you expect to spend on a floating desk

The most affordable floating desks start around $50, but these are essentially oversized shelves that don’t fold up or down, nor do they have any shelves or drawers. Folding and fixed models with shelves and/or drawers start around $100 and depending on the build materials may cost upwards of $500.

Floating desk FAQ

Are floating desks hard to install?

A. Other than requiring some assembly, floating desks are no more difficult to install than shelves, paintings and any other item you mount on a wall. Just make sure you carefully follow the installation instructions and securely anchor it in place. Most people require the aid of a second person when attaching their floating desk to the wall.

Can I just use a floating shelf as a desk?

A. There’s nothing that says you can’t use a floating shelf as a desk, as long as you think it’s sturdy enough and will provide enough work space for your needs.

What’s the best floating desk to buy?

Top floating desk

Prepac Designer Floating Desk

Prepac Designer Floating Desk

What you need to know: This attractive desk boasts a modern aesthetic and offers plenty of room to work without being so large that it takes over a small space.

What you’ll love: There’s a hidden compartment at the back for cables and power strips, and it features a hanging rail system that makes it easy to mount at the perfect height.

What you should consider: It doesn’t have any pull-out drawers.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Home Depot

Top floating desk for the money

SEI Furniture Willingham Wall Mount Folding Laptop Desk

SEI Furniture Willingham Wall Mount Folding Laptop Desk

What you need to know: Extending just 6 inches from the wall when not in use and featuring a fold-down work surface, this space-saving floating desk is ideal for small rooms.

What you’ll love: It offers more storage space that you would expect at first glance, including both shelves and a drawer.

What you should consider: It has limited room to work and may feel too cramped for some.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Prepac Storage and Keyboard Tray Floating Desk

Prepac Storage and Keyboard Tray Floating Desk

What you need to know: Offering just the right combination of work and storage space for most people, it’s hard to go wrong with this option.

What you’ll love: It has enough shelves for both books and decorations, and the slide-out keyboard tray means you’ll have some extra room on the desktop for a notepad or any other items you need while working.

What you should consider: The finish tends to scratch easily.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon, Macy’s and Home Depot


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Brett Dvoretz writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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