The short answer is: you can thank the shift a lot of companies have made to hybrid or work-from-home situations rather than in a traditional office setting. More people are shopping for desks to use in their homes, which has driven up prices.
The long answer is: desks are made for a variety of functions, and they are made from a wide range of materials. A desk that is made out of real, solid wood is going to cost a lot more than a flat-pack, particle board model you can get at a big-box retailer. Similarly, ergonomic desks have a lot of science and engineering behind them, so companies price them higher to offset the cost of development.
The best way to determine your new desk budget is to determine whether you want something built for durability and ergonomics or something more simple for short-term work.
Quality and durability
- Drawer construction: You can usually tell the quality of a desk by looking at its drawer construction. Do the drawers easily open and close while holding weight? Do the drawers open fully to utilize all the drawer space? Do they have a sturdy suspension? Metal suspension rollers are the most durable.
- Corners and edges: When you examine the desk, are there any fraying or damaged pieces?
- The warranty: The warranty on your desk can tell you more about its quality, durability, and life expectancy. Warranties range anywhere from a one-year warranty to a lifetime warranty.
- Laminate: This is the most popular choice because it is affordable and relatively durable. Laminate is made by covering the wood in a plastic finish in multiple colors and wood grain patterns.
- Metal or steel: This is the most durable option. Black metal in particular is reasonably priced, and you can easily determine the quality by checking to see how heavy the desk is. If you need your desk for heavy or long-term use, a desk with a metal frame may be the best option for you.
- Wood or veneer: If your go-to style is elegance and you are not worried about being careful with wear and tear, this is an attractive choice. This type of desk looks more beautiful and is usually more expensive, but it is easily nicked and not suited for heavy use.