At WFH Adviser we tested over 15 ladder desks for structural integrity, weight capacity, design, price, and aesthetics. We did various setups across offices, bedroom, and home libraries and tested the desks to see how well they functioned for high quality home office work. This included using zero, one, and two monitors on each ladder desk and installing desk add-ons such as printers and storage.
What else did we do to solidify our perspectives?
- 1 month of testing in total across all ladder desks
- We tried 15 products and tested each from out of the box to full installation
- We tested each product for 3 days in 3 different environments each
- We had different members of our staff evaluate the products based on durability, quality, value, price, fit/finish, feel, size, weight of the desk, weight capacity that the desk can hold, and material durability.
We tested for the following metrics to ensure you can best understand the trade-offs of each product and match that with your home office needs.
Structural Integrity and Weight Capacity
Each desk manufacturer will tell you how much weight their desk can withstand. We actually put it to the test. Our thinking: a common work from home setup is a computer, extra monitor, accessories such as keyboards and a mouse. Add in a few extra nic nacs, office supplies, and a desk light, and you’re looking at a minimum need for 30 pounds of weight capacity.
We also added some breathing room and decided on a minimum of 40 pounds. How did we test? We put our computers and monitors on each desk. Then we added weights to it, and used each desk for three days. All of the desks below, passed our weight test.
Desktop Size and Surface Area
We reviewed each desk with its desktop size in mind as a key component. After all, you need a flat surface to conduct your work. The more space you have, the more comfortable the setup it will allow for. Not every desk can fit two monitors and a laptop.
However, if we wanted to optimize for purely desktop space, we’d simply recommend an executive style desk that takes up the whole office space. Instead, we analyzed desktop space, knowing that we had a limited size to begin with. We arrived on this heuristic: If it can fit a laptop, it made it on our list, and if it can fit an additional monitor, then that’s additional bonus points.
Value means different things to different people. To us, it means quality times price times durability times aesthetic. Value doesn’t mean the cheapest possible product. We would rather pay more for a desk that looks great and will last longer – after all, we are only going to have one or two ladder desks in our home at a time.
Value also doesn’t mean buying the most expensive product at the highest price point because it’s a brand named manufacturer. So we strike a balance between quality and price to extract a definition of how much value we will get from the desk in the years to come.
After conducting these tests we leveraged insights, interviews, and our own personal experience to recommend these desks that brought value to our home office but that didn’t break the bank.
A ladder desk is great for saving space and they look very elegant: they provide ample storage (like a normal desk) but also use space more effectively. Ladder desks can also double as a nice bookshelf, making it the perfect piece of furniture for all types of rooms like the bedroom, office, or living room. These are our favorites and represent the best ladder desks on the market today.
Our key takeaway is this: ladder desks are great if you want to bridge the gap between interior design and a home office. For those looking to work with multiple monitors, it may not be for them. We found them to be most useful when we only needed our laptop, and we loved the aesthetics they brought to each room.
Here are our picks for the top 15 Wall Ladder Desks.
The Wrought Studio Syrna Ladder Desk can be an ergonomic choice. It reflects the inspiration of a mid-century design. If you want something classy with a generous amount of vintage vibe, this could be the one.
You can give your place an elegant look with this leaning ladder desk. Perfectly usable to keep books, binders, and other accessories. Has enough open space to decorate it as you wish.
Mixed Material design provides proper stability and uniqueness. The total height of the desk is 70.75-inch. The top shelves and the drawer are made of manufactured wood. The total weight capacity of the desk is 50 pounds.
We also like this option from Overstock because it is available in a variety of colors from Walnut Oak, Black, Weathered White, and more!
And similar to other ladder desks. you need to assemble it by yourself. But don’t worry. With the easy-to-follow instruction manual, the assembly should be a breeze.
The Haotian Modern Ladder Bookcase has two distinct shelves for storage and work and is perfect for home office workers that have compact space and want to use vertical space to organize their desks. The Haotian Modern Ladder Bookcase is not well suited for those with heavy desk needs: if you have a monitor, for example, this desk is not for you.
If you want a desk that is light, durable, easy to assemble, and can go from its flat-box shipping to immediate usage, this modern bookcase desk will leave you satisfied. There are many reasons to enjoy a bookcase desk and the primary one is that a bookcase desk conveys elegance and minimalism in one piece of furniture. For example, you can work, show open light behind the desk, and store photos or book in an elegant vertical column.
The Haotian Modern Ladder Bookcase is affordable, has a simple white finish, and weights 35.5 pounds when fully assembled.
This ladder desk by Joss & Main makes a beautiful addition to your home office or living room. The black and brown wood gives you a rustic feel for your home office. If you have a stack of old books to go alongside of it, that would be a perfect fit! It’s also available in a white finish.
It features two open shelves in the desk, as well as two upper shelves. The desk weighs 60 pounds in total and is pretty darn easy to assemble. It’s total weight capacity is 50 pounds.
At 38 inches wide, this ladder desk is wider than most of its counterparts. Fitting two monitors on this desk would be a super tight squeeze. This is best used as a writing desk or a single monitor desk.
This desk is a ladder desk hybrid with the benefits of a traditional desk (stability). The ladder components come into play with its vertical shelving that creates a ladder effect for storage as you move vertically upwards. This strong metal in combination with the strong wood gives this desk not only a great look but a durable quality that enhances its value. The water pipe vintage look is exceptionally cool and will keep your creative juices flowing throughout the day.
Next on our list, we have this mid century ladder desk with two floating shelves. It’s surely an eye-catching desk that can offer a fashionable addition to almost any room in your home. It’s four legs are strong and sturdy, providing excellent support. And while most ladder desks lean against the wall, this one can stand upright by itself.
The wide desktop shelf is in perfect shape to keep the laptop. Also, it has a large sliding drawer to store any other items. You can decorate the top two shelves with books, showpieces, or photo frames. Matches well with your surroundings and gives your work environment a classy vibe.
The desk’s total weight capacity is 200 pounds, making it the strongest ladder desk on our list. It’s also available in a hazelnut finish. It’s a great option for any bedroom, living room, or even a kitchens with enough room.
This ladder desk offers a beautiful color combo of walnut shelving with a black frame. The desktop measures about 25″ x 20″, making it a suitable writing desk. That being said, trying to add a second monitor to this desk would be as squeeze. However, you could put a monitor on the small hutch if you wanted to. It has a weight capacity of 40 pounds.
This desk has a real urban design to it. The two thin shelves at the top, along with the thin frame give it a very minimalist design. This is practically more of a piece of art than it is a desk. It will look great in any living room, den, or bedroom.
This simple desktop plus bookshelf model by Eureka is a pretty functional and retro ladder desk. Talk about getting the best out of a product in a classy way.
The ladder desk comes with a 47-inch classic desktop that can make arrangements for two monitors at most. You can use the upper stage as a bookshelf or a show-piece display as well.
Additionally, the X-shaped ladder desk legs bracing makes the design more stable and enables it to bear up to 120 lbs. While the desktop holds 80 lbs, the bookshelf can carry 40 lbs as well.
The table has adjustable feet for keeping it even all the time. To serve as a computer table, it comes with two cord management grommets as well.
The Eureka products are ergonomic & top-rated with SGS certification. Furthermore, they emphasize producing high-0quality & environment-friendly products.
Also, Eureka elevates customer service experience. Provides customers with fast, useful, and satisfying solutions in a friendly manner.
This Homecho shelf computer desk allows you to work or study with simplicity. What’s different about it from other tables is that it has a 19.1″ large monitor housing facility. Also, you can put books and valuables on the two top shelves.
The table has an attractive vintage style look, thanks to the wood grain finish & stylish metal frame. Suitable for placing in your office as well as your home. Usability and classy look, all in one.
Moreover, the sturdy metal frame provides excellent stability & longevity. Also, this office desk along with the storage can bear up to 220lbs. And since it’s so sturdy, it won’t even budge while you’re immersed in gaming on top of it.
The table serves as a computer desk as well as a writing desk. You can use it for study, entertainment, office purposes, & various other practices.
Here’s the fun part. You get to assemble it by yourself. Don’t worry though, it’s very easy and comes with an easy-to-follow instruction manual. You can complete the setup within 30 minutes and get straight to work.
The Tangkula metal frame ladder desk fits anywhere in your home and office. Perfect for working, studying, writing and gaming.
The 2 tier desk setup perfectly suits the home and work environment without compromising your style. It comes with a sturdy, powder-coated frame that’s also scratch-resistant. Holds up the entire table while carrying sufficient load.
The scratch-resistant walnut top also gives the table a prolonged life. The upgraded design incorporates an upper shelf on the main shelf. The table can hold at least one computer, documents, files, books, plants, and other decoration elements.
As you can already see from the product feature image, it’s has a fairly simple yet classy build. The assembly should be a breeze. However, if you still find it hard to put together, follow the instruction guide.
With the minimalist design and retro look, it’ll surely be an eye candy in your home and workspace.
Another sturdy desk designed to promote functionality in elegance. It has thick metal frames & X-shape metal brackets for increased stability. Also, the heavy-duty, powder-coated desk frame adds to the durability.
The thick & strong legs are sturdy enough to bear heavy-duty loads. Perfect workstation for professionals, students, gamers, DIY workers, as well as casual readers and slackers. Easy to maintain. You can wipe off the dust and stains with moping clothes.
Moreover, you can use the writing desk as a computer desk, office desk, laptop table, or simply as a bookshelf or a storage shelf. The spacious bottom stage, partitioned middle, and open-top will only assist you in every way possible.
What’s more, you can use this modern style desk in your bedroom, study, office, & anywhere you desire. Also, the simple yet ergonomic design blends in with the surroundings and adds a pleasant vibe to your workspace.
This Metal Frame Ladder Shelf Desk is pretty functional and gives a unique look to the place. It helps you to work or study easily. It comes in three different colors: Grety Wash, Mocha, or Reclaimed Barnwood
The desk features a tall frame with a central desktop and two upper shelves. You can place your PC on the drop front panel and use the shelves to keep your books and other decorative stuff. The built-in shelves and cord management are greatly usable for e-devices and accessories.
Moreover, the powder-coated steel frame provides durability and can withstand the environment better. Also, this desk can bear up to 200 lbs while the weight capacity of the desk shelf is 100 lbs.
It also embodies a magnet board that allows you to stay organized. You can easily keep yourself up-to-date with necessary notes on the board.
The simple design allows an easier assembly. You can pretty much do it by yourself. Comes with a convenient 90 days warranty as well.
On top of our list, we have the WGX ladder desk. It’s a retro-style, rustic industrial multifunction table. It’s a DIY handmade product and can be used as a bookcase.
The ladder desk has a simple & beautiful design. Serves both visual and practical purposes. You can use it as you see fit. Usable as a computer table, work from a home desk, retro bookcase, etc. You can also put plants and other show-pieces for a classy look.
It has a total height of 82 inches. Made with one 38 × 14 in & two 38 × 10 in boards. The boards are of solid wood as well. Also, it’s very easy to clean. A traditional soap and towel cleaning should do the trick. Although wiping with a dry towel is recommended after cleaning.
Furthermore, WGX guarantees full customer satisfaction. And if it isn’t up to your standards, simply return and get a refund.
If you want a small, compact, but highly functional and elegant ladder desk this is a tremendous product. One of the benefits of a ladder desk is that you can see the background or wall behind the desk. This desk is no exception and serves that purpose very well. It has a 100 day lifetime manufacturing guarantee which can help you purchase it without worry. It is mid-priced and economical but also high quality. It has a height of 73 inches.
This ladder desk is unique in the domain of ladder desks: it fully supports itself. It gives you the benefit of a ladder desk (open back, lightweight, minimal material) but the benefits of having 4 legs anchored to the floor. This desk had three shelf layers including the main desk. This means you have plenty of space to work and operate but can place non essential items up above your work space.
The Harton Ladder Desk is yet another ergonomic and simple ladder desk for you to consider. The desk has a leaning design like the previous ones with 3 shelves & 1 large drawer.
It has solid, mango wood shelves. Aside from providing sufficient strength, the texture is also pleasing to the eyes. The simple, natural wood grain finish totally sets the mood for a creative brainstorming session.
Besides, the entire desk stands on a stainless steel frame. Ensuring durability & stability. The frame is well-designed and braced. So it shouldn’t sway or tip either. And overall, the desk is 72” high, with a 42” width & 17.7” depth.
You can use the top 2 shelves to keep decorative items, office accessories, and other useful stuff. While the wide primary shelf serves you as a surface for writing, drafting, drawing, or DIY project.
Also, the drawer has plenty of space and depth for storing many items. Stuff it with your accessories, tools, materials, documents, etc. It can carry up to 65 lbs.
Like other desks, it also needs assembly. With the help of a friend or family member, you can get it up in no time.
Best Ladder Desk Buyer Guide
Ladder desks are similar in that they use space vertically and a ladder effect to help you create stunning and simple workspaces. They carry in their size, form, and complexity. This guide will help you understand the basics of ladder desks so that you can make an informed decision about what type you want in your home office.
First, some general and relevant information. There are three types of ladder desks: mixed multi-use desks that are part of other furniture (like a bookshelf), ladder desks that are fully stand alone units, and ones that lean into walls.
When deciding which type of ladder desk to purchase, first consider the size of the work space you want to fill. Is it a small home office? A library? A corner space in a living room? These types of considerations will help you pick the right size desk.
Next, ask yourself what type of room decor you value. Do you want a desk that is very tall and has a ladder finish close to the ceiling that you can use for storage? Or do you want a shorter desk with only one or two ladder units above the desk itself?
Third, ask yourself if you want a ladder desk that leans against a wall or is bolted down? Or perhaps you want one that is a stand alone unit. The reason the leaning against a wall versus bolted down question is important is because ladder desks can be minor tripping hazards for home office workers with kids or pets. And an unsupported ladder desk, though elegant and beautiful, can be an issue if people bump into it.
Defining What You Need From Your Workspace
Let’s go back to the three fundamental types of ladder desk and examine how each one can help you.
Mixed-use Ladder Desk
This desk is great if you have other needs in addition to working. For example, you might have many books or framed photographs – or a large sound system – and want to frame your work environment around these products. These tend to be large so you will need ample space on the width and ceiling to support them. A mixed-use ladder desk in many ways is a space saver. Why? Because you don’t need to budget space for a stand alone desk. The mixed-used ladder desk is elegant and purposeful and brings out the most in the space that you do have.
Stand Alone Ladder Desk
The second type of ladder desk is the stand alone unit. This type is essentially a desk with a ladder storage component above the desk. This type of desk is great if you like the aesthetic but don’t want any of the burdens of balance that come with these products. A stand alone unit can support itself and provides all of the traditional functionality of a desk.
Leaning Ladder Desk
The third type is the leaning variety. These have your classic ladder fit and finish. They look like ladders and lean against walls to create creative work-spaces. If you want a traditional ladder desk, this is likely what you have in mind. These desks are elegant, look great, and enable you to work in a minimalist environment. These desks do come with some special attributes however.
A true ladder desk can (but need not be) supported at the base of the ladder or the top of the ladder against a wall. If the ladder is not secured, it does risk tilting over when hit or bumped. This is of particular importance if you have pets or kids. A desk that falls is no fun! If, however, you secure the ladder to the floor or wall, you can enjoy the elegance of it in a secure way.
Additional important things to consider
Before buying a ladder desk, make sure to understand the space you have for it. You will not only care about the size of the desk but the dimensions of the ladder too. This is because if the desk is fixed at an angle against a wall, you will need to budget space for it both in terms of height and distance from the wall.
The second crucial consideration that we implore you to think about is the weight of the items you wish to store on the ladder desk itself. If you have very heavy items you will want to store these items closer to the floor most likely. These desks are elegant and best suited for people who have lighter storage needs (books, photos, etc). This is especially true as one moves up the rungs of the desk itself. Ladder desks also tend to have small surface areas on the desktop itself. So if you plan to work on a second monitor, be sure to check the dimensions before you buy.
Ladder desks are modern, stylish, and lovely to look at. But before buying one take time to reflect on what you are solving for. It will help you work but can help you do so much more – like have beautiful built-in storage. Ladder desks come in different shapes and sizes and weight capacities that you should evaluate before making a purchase. We love these desks because they empower work and bring together elegance and design in one piece of furniture. Another style of desk which we like and reviewed are L-shaped desks.