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8 best kids’ desk and chair sets that will make home learning a doddle

Create the perfect environment for study and play

Rebecca Moore
Thursday 08 September 2022 14:34 BST
Our 13-year-old, six-year-old and four-year-old helped put this selection together
Our 13-year-old, six-year-old and four-year-old helped put this selection together (The Independent)
Our Top Picks

As back to school bedlam sets in, you’ve shined the shoes, labelled the uniforms and sourced the appropriate lunch box, it may also be the perfect time to consider your child’s learning space at home. If you want to encourage education beyond the classroom, investing in a quality desk for a kids’ bedroom is key.

Of course, a child’s learning journey continues to develop as they get older, but it’s worth considering what you’re looking for in the here and now. Unlike sartorial choices, a desk isn’t the type of thing a child is going to grow into. Are you hoping for a spot where your toddler can scribble to their heart’s content? Or is it somewhere an older child needs to complete their homework and revision tasks?

Gone are the days of the creaky classroom-style desks, you’ll now find a stylish selection that we believe parents would be happy to have in various rooms about the house. But what should you look out for when making your choice?

As with any item of furniture, space has to be considered. It’s likely that you have an area in mind, so check out the measurements before you make your purchase. While all desks essentially provide the same service, designs do differ. For example, it’s believed that desks with sloped surfaces are much easier to write and read on – much like the angle you read a book at in bed.

Most desks come flat packed, so if DIY is not your forte look for preassembled or straightforward options. When testing we were looking for quality, robust designs made to handle the everyday wear and tear caused by kids. And lastly, a big one for us is storage. Desks also make savvy storage solutions with many having hidden compartments and shelves to stow away the school stuff.

How we tested

A studious 13-year-old, six-year-old bookworm and colouring-crazy four-year-old helped put a selection of desks through the mill. We tested the desks in their respective bedrooms over the course of two weeks and these are the ones that came out on top.

The best kids’ desk and chairs sets for 2022 are:

  • Best overall kids’ desk and chair set – Boori ergonomic desk: £426.55, Boori.com
  • Best kids’ desk and chair set for timeless design – Melissa & Doug lift-top desk and chair: £159.69, Amazon.co.uk
  • Best kids’ desk and chair set for value for money – Interiors by PH children’s desk and stool set: £64.99, Ryman.co.uk
  • Best kids’ desk and chair set for style – Parker kids desk: £225, Next.co.uk
  • Best kids’ desk and chair set for preschoolers – Mama Toyz white medium masa desk and bench: £130, Mamatoyz.com
  • Best kids’ desk and chair set for a wide workspace – Noa & Nani Frank desk in grey and natural pine: £77.40, Noaannani.co.uk
  • Best kids’ desk and chair set for space saving – Nest delta desk with shelving: £129, Roomtogrow.co.uk
  • Best compact kids’ desk and chair set – Vox Tuli kids stackable design desk in yellow and green: £75, Cuckooland.com

Boori ergonomic desk

Boori ergonomic desk.png
  • Best: Overall
  • Dimensions: H 52-78cm x W 100cm x D 62cm

The Ergonomic Desk from Australian brand Boori is quite frankly in a different league, and you can tell this immediately just by looking at the size of the box (much to our younger testers’ delight) and the considerable price tag. However, this desk must be seen as an investment, unlike any others we tested this desk can be used by all three of our testers… and, if required, even the adults, meaning you’ll never need to purchase a desk again.

This desk boasts many unique features; it arrived almost readymade (a minimal amount of DIY is required), comes with a magnetic panel to attach papers to the surface when in angled mode, but most of all, has a wind-up tool which means the height of the desk can be adjusted to suit the user. The lowest height is a dinky 52cm, which was perfect for our smallest reviewer, while the maximum height is 78cm – great height for anyone over 6ft tall, and it can be cranked to any height in between.

Our younger testers’ appreciated the ability to tilt the front part of the desk, combined with the magnetic panel to attach their colouring papers, while our teenager loved the large storage compartment, in the smooth slide-out drawer. Parents will appreciate the craftsmanship, made from a combination of sustainably-sourced European Beech wood, and engineered timber, with sturdy metal legs it’s brilliantly robust. Plus the minimalist two-tone wood-combo colour (choose from cherry, blueberry or white), means it’s timeless, and there’s the added peace of mind of the included three-year warranty.

  1. £426 from Boori.com
Prices may vary
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Melissa & Doug lift-top desk and chair

Melissa & Doug lift-top desk and chair.png
  • Best: For timeless design
  • Dimensions: H 67cm x W 46.9cm x D 17.5cm

When you think of a traditional kids’ desks, Melissa & Doug lift-top desk and chair has nailed it, providing a dose of nostalgia from our own school years. It was just what we expected to see from the brand that has been creating beautiful preschool products for more than three decades.

As DIY goes, this wooden set was straightforward to put together taking us around 40 minutes. And once assembled the quality was obvious, making a truly sturdy set. While it’s been designed for use from three years to eight years, we think our six-year-old is probably verging on too big for this set, but perfect for our youngest. However, we’re confident it could be passed down the generations, too.

The lid has a safety hinge, keeping trapped fingers at bay, and we appreciated the raised arch at the back of the desk, which meant our stationery, remained, well… stationary.  Both our young testers enjoyed filling the large integrated drawer with books, colouring goods and the obligatory soft toy.

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Interiors by PH children’s desk and stool set

Interiors by PH.png
  • Best: Value for money
  • Dimensions: H 57cm x W 55cm x D 48cm

This is a modern twist on the traditional classroom desk. Featuring a coordinating desk and stool, choose from four colours (white, natural, pink or blue) to suit your child’s bedroom. We opted for blue, and we love the brightness and coordinating two-tone style.

Taking around half an hour to assemble, the quality of this product is remarkable, particularly given the reasonable price tag. Made from solid wood, it’s recommended for ages three to eight years, it was perfect for our four-year-old, but our six-year-old is probably the maximum size for use.

Featuring a sloped surface, this made it easier for our mini testers to draw or read, but the highlight of course, is the hidden hinged storage compartment. Simply fold back the lid to reveal a secret store, and given the flat nature of this section it’s also great for puzzles or building blocks too. It’s worth bearing in mind that when folded back the lid overhangs, so it’ll need to be placed somewhere away from the wall.

  1. £64 from Ryman.co.uk
Prices may vary
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Parker kids desk

Parker kids desk.png
  • Best: For style
  • Dimensions: H 135cm x W 84cm x D 51cm

We’ve always been big fans of Next’s kids’ furniture offering, and the Parker desk is no exception. Part of the Parker range, there’s a whole host of matching furniture if you’re looking to kit out a bedroom. Standing at 135cm tall, this desk means business. It’s super sturdy and has the smoothest finish but most of all we love the contemporary styling, with leaning ladder style, handy shelves and a chunky desk.

At 84cm wide the desk has plenty of workspace for our 13-year-old to use and she took ownership of tidying away her work with the huge slide-out drawer. The drawer is incredibly convenient for storage and is easy to open using the dipped handle. This desk is probably best suited to an older child, as we would hate to see the stylish white surface with scribbles on it!

  1. £225 from Next.co.uk
Prices may vary
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Mama Toyz white medium masa desk and bench

Mama Toyz white medium masa desk and bench.png
  • Best: For preschoolers

The masa desk and bench from Turkish brand MamaToyz has been designed with creative toddlers in mind. Taking less than 30 minutes to assemble, there’s some thoughtful added extras with this wooden desk set. Firstly, it’s an all-in-one, with a tabletop and seat, but it also features an integrated paper roll and a handy pot for drawing apparatus which slots into either side of the desk.

Our four-year-old tester took no persuading to sit at this desk, and draw us her finest Jackson Pollock-inspired pictures. Designed for those aged two plus, it’s a great size for pre-schoolers with the desk standing at 46cm tall. We love the neutral white and styling with delicate yellow accents, making it a great unisex option, but also ensuring it won’t upset any adult styling in other rooms.

A solid and sturdy desk, there’s space for two small children to sit together, and once the art class is over, you can swivel the stool to be stowed underneath. Genius.

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Noa & Nani Frank desk in grey and natural pine

Noa & Nani frank desk.png
  • Best: For a wide workspace
  • Dimensions: H 75cm x W 90cm x D 53cm

Our 13-year-old tester took no convincing to have the Frank desk in her bedroom. Undeniably stylish, boasting a clean Scandi style, we opted for the dark grey finish with contrasting natural pine legs, but it’s also available in white, blue or silk grey. Following the simple instructions, it took around 30 minutes to assemble, and we were instantly impressed by the quality of the desks solid pine legs and MDF top.

With a width of 90cm, there’s plenty of worktop space for her to spread out her homework, stationery, and laptop, and when the work’s all done everything can be stored away tidily in the drawer below. At first glance, the pull-out drawer looked too shallow, but there’s actually plenty of room for books, a laptop, pens and pencils, and any other school paraphernalia – and as they say, tidy desk, tidy mind.

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Nest delta desk with shelving

Nest delta desk.png
  • Best: For space saving
  • Dimensions: H 175. 4cm x W 50cm x D 84cm

In a house of child-related clobber, a product that’s multifunctional is welcome with open arms and the delta desk with shelving is a good example of this. Arriving flat packed, it took us around half an hour to assemble; made from MDF it feels sturdy enough for everyday use, although you wouldn’t want to over stack it. However, if room is limited, this is superb space saver as it combines four shelves with a fifth wider shelf to make a desk.

With a choice of black, white or oak finish, the leaning design is sophisticated and the clean black lines looked great in our 13-year-old tester’s bedroom, but equally would look smart in other areas of the house, too. Soon filling up the shelves with reading books, school literature and pictures, it’s great to have a dedicated space where homework duties can take place with all apparatus at arm’s reach.

The shelves are 79cm wide, while the desk space has a depth of 50cm, so there’s certainly enough space to work. However, it’s worth bearing in mind if you’re wanting to use a separate monitor, the gap between shelves (36cm) is too small, but sufficient for laptops. We often found our teenager tester happily drawing or playing on her laptop at this desk, which is a testament to this product.

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Vox Tuli kids stackable design desk in yellow and green

Vox Tuli kids stackable desk.png
  • Best: Compact set
  • Dimensions: H 49cm x W 59.5cm x D 50cm

The Vox Tuli desk may be small but it’s mighty. Made from laminated chipboard and created by Polish designers Vox, it takes around 20 minutes to assemble. If you have twins or children sharing a room, this stackable desk is a way for them to have their own station without taking up premium space as the desks neatly store away on top of each other.

Coming in a miniature size it stands at 49cm tall, making it the ideal size for our four-year-old, with a small stool but would also be well proportioned for a toddler too. We also found our six-year-old would sit on the floor and use the desk.

Underneath there’s a handy storage shelf, which often featured toys, but is a great space for putting colouring books and pens and pencils. And we love the zesty pastel yellow and green colourway, which is playful and stylish in equal measure. There’s also a matching stool available, too.

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The verdict: Kids' desks

We’ve crowned the high-quality Boori ergonomic desk the winner, we don’t deny it’s large price tag, but given the longevity of use, we see it as a worthwhile investment. It’s a great size, the workspace can be tilted and its size can be adjusted to suit the user, and hey, you can’t put a price on education.

A close runner-up is the Melissa & Doug lift-top desk and chair which makes a great first desk.

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