A foldable desk either pulls down from the wall or has collapsible legs that make it easy to store. This versatile type of table really comes in handy in small spaces, making it a must-have item for anyone working in an RV or studio apartment. Here are some ideas for where and how to use one, plus the best folding desks available in 2023.
Creative Uses for Folding Desks
Check out these ideas for making the most of a foldable desk:
Even the most hardcore gamers may need to pack away their setup at some point. A foldable desk allows people to put their laptop, keyboard, snacks, and drink on a hard surface for an online gaming session, then easily put everything away when they’re done. Some foldable desks come with cupholders and dividers to make organization easier.
Homeschooling has seen a surge in popularity in recent years. Parents working with limited space may not have a dedicated classroom in which to teach their children, but folding desks make it easy to set up a temporary teaching area. Putting out the desks in the morning and putting them away in the afternoon also makes it clear when the school day begins and ends.
Whether professionally or as a pastime, one of the best uses for a folding desk is making art. Graphic designers can turn a folding desk into their workspace with a computer or tablet, keyboard, stylus, and mouse. Foldable desks with a cupholder are perfect for storing paintbrushes. Some desks also feature a slot for mounting a tablet, which artists can use to hold their canvas.
Working in Bed
Many small foldable desks are designed to be used in bed or on a person’s lap. They usually have collapsable legs for easy storage when not in use. People with chronic pain, mobility issues, or other disabilities can use a folding desk to work while lying down or sitting propped up in bed.
These portable desks usually come in one of two styles. The smaller kind is roughly the size of a TV tray and sits directly over a person’s body. The second type is elevated and floats over part or all of the bed, making it easier to come and go from the bed as needed.
Joining Virtual Meetings
A wall-mounted, foldable desk — also called a Murphy desk or floating desk — can serve as the perfect spot for joining remote meetings. Desks with a shelf above them make it easy to set up a video camera and even a ring light, taking Zoom calls to the next level.
Folding desks are even handy in the kitchen. People can pull them out to create extra counter space for rolling dough, mixing ingredients, or chopping vegetables. They can also serve as extra storage space after a big grocery run.
The Best Folding Desks of 2023
Some of the highest-rated folding desks include:
- Haotian Wall-Mounted Drop-Leaf Table Desk: Available on Amazon for $99.99, this modern white desk features storage shelves as well as brackets for wall mounting.
- Sleekform Folding Desk: This desk is essentially an upgraded folding table. It features a wooden surface and has metal legs that fold underneath for compact storage.
- Costway Bamboo Laptop Desk: Costway’s mini folding desk is perfect for use in bed or even outdoors. It features a small slide-out drawer to hold pens, charging cables, and other small office supplies. The height is adjustable.
- Elephance Folding Desk: This no-frills writing desk comes pre-assembled, so users only have to unfold it to set it up. The material is composite wood with a steel frame. It comes in beige, black, and black oak.
- Brantley 24.8” Desk: Small and simple, this tidy little Murphy desk is about the size of a suitcase. It pulls out to offer just enough room to jot notes or work on a laptop, then folds up neatly to hide its contents. Users can easily decorate the top shelf with trinkets or plants.
Where Do People Use Foldable Desks?
A foldable desk can work even in the largest of houses — it is, after all, a fully functioning piece of furniture in its own right. But it really shines when it comes to maximizing floor space in tight living quarters. Some places where people typically use folding desks include:
RVs and Trailers
Anyone living in an RV or mobile home knows how crucial every inch of space can be. Using a foldable desk — especially a wall-mounted type that folds outward — is a great way to maximize space while still setting up a professional office area. It’s also easy to stow the desk away when moving the RV or trailer to a new location.
A foldable desk is a great solution for anyone living in a dorm, especially a dorm with a shared bedroom. Students can pull out the desk to study and put it away when people come over.
As real estate prices soar, many people have turned to building and living in tiny homes. Folding desks are a perfect solution for anyone with 400 square feet or less of floor space. As with RVs, it’s easy to tie down or remove a folding desk if it’s necessary to move the house.
With remote work on the rise, having a home office space is more important than ever before. A Murphy desk can easily convert into a home office or even a diaper changing station in a small space like a closet.
Material Choices for Folding Desks
When it comes to materials, there are three main types of folding desks:
Composed of a single piece of wood, a solid wood desk is strong, timeless, and durable. It can be sustainable and looks good in almost any space.
Downsides include that it might be more vulnerable to damage from humidity and temperature changes. Solid wood is typically heavy and can be more expensive than other options.
A metal frame desk has a metal frame that supports a wooden or plastic surface. Alternatively, some foldable desks are solid metal.
This type of desk comes in a variety of colors and finishes. It’s typically strong and durable, but it can be prone to rust and corrosion in humid environments.
Laminated Manufactured Wood
A laminated manufactured wood desk is composed of composite materials, including wood, resin, and veneer. Although not as sustainable as solid wood — it contains manmade chemicals and isn’t recyclable — it is cost-efficient. Of the three main options, manufactured wood is usually the least durable and can become warped over time. However, it is lightweight and comes in many colors and styles.
Some foldable desks double as a whiteboard and allow users to write directly on them. Desks with a dry-erase surface may be made of many materials, but the top surface is always melamine, a type of plastic. This type of foldable desk is especially useful for students, artists, and anyone who likes brainstorming ideas.
Making the Most of Small Spaces
Even in a studio apartment or dorm room, it’s possible to create a dedicated workspace by using a foldable desk. With so many styles, colors, and materials to choose from, anyone can find a desk that looks and functions well in their home.