Wood Desks vs Glass Desks – Pros vs Cons

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Are you up in the air over deciding on the type of desk that you want? 

It can be a hard choice with so many options out there. If you’re considering straying away from the traditional wooden desks then you might have started to consider glass.

After researching the good and bad on these options I can give you a pretty decent summary on why it may be a good(or bad) idea for you. 

First, lets take a look at wooden desks and why they’re so popular. 

Wooden vs Glass Desks Pinterest Sized Image

The Benefits of a Wooden Desk

Durability – This is the number one benefit I see as why to make the jump and buy something made out of wood. It’ll be there forever. There is a reason its a lot harder to find antiques made of glass than ones made of wood.

Aesthetics – If you’re trying to match a certain earthy vibe or feel of a room, wood offers a lot more life than something like glass. Glass is really going to be a one-dimensional choice. With wood you can have different carvings and stains. You could even go for different types of wood if you know exactly what you have in mind.

Resell Value – Like most handmade things, wooden furniture is no different. It costs a lot to make, but it holds its value very well. A quick look at craigslist proves that any decently maintained piece of wooden furniture is going to resell for a good chunk of change. Some even appreciate(gain) value over time. 

Complementary items – Woodworking is a thriving hobby and industry. If you grow to love your desk over the years, you’ll find plenty of wooden items in the same shade to complement your furniture.

Cons of a Wooden Desk

Price – Although its a one-time investment, price is going to hurt you on your search for a good desk if its made of wood. There are plenty of MDF type options(think Ikea), but those aren’t going to have the same quality.

If you’re just looking for something to get you through college and not a “furniture piece” to keep with you for a long time, then you probably should hold off on splurging on a desk made out of wood. Unless you find a great deal.

Weight – Wooden desks are freaking heavy. They’re hard to move, they usually weigh a ton and you’ll be in agony every time you try to angle it through a doorway. I’ve been there, and my back wasn’t happy about it!

Your toes – This is pretty much something that can happen with all desks, but stubbing my toe on a metal curved frame hurt multitudes less than on a sharp wooden one. Okay really this shouldn’t matter too much. I just feel bad for my toe. 

Water Damage- You’ll always have to deal with potential spots or water damage on a wooden desk. If you plan on keeping it pristine but like to have a cup of coffee or anything, then it can be a bit annoying. Water will stain and potentially ruin the aesthetic. 

glass desk looks aesthetic

Benefits of a Glass Desk

Price – There are plenty of options out there for glass desks for under 100 bucks. You can search through a large selection of these and not break your wallet. 

Aesthetics – Glass gives a different kind of look. Usually, the style includes glass with a black frame, very modern and industrial. They look pretty nice as an alternative to the wooden style of rooms that I’ve seen.

Clean – If you spill on any type of absorbent material it can be a bit messy to get out. With glass you’ll never have to worry about water stains or things “sticking” to the surface. Just wipe it clean and you’re good to go. 

Cons of a Glass Desk

It can break – While moving glass might be a bit easier than moving a full wooden desk, you still have one variable to worry about.

 If you bump into anything with enough force it won’t just be a dent, the glass will pretty much explode if its tempered. 

You don’t just have to worry about this while moving it either. If you pile enough weight on your desk and it isn’t properly supported, it could happen as well. 

Over time stresses can add up, and temperature changes compound glass expanding and contracting.

glass desk exploded

It’s just something to think about and in the majority of cases won’t happen. But, there are a few examples I’ve come across where it has!

Headspace – If you’ve got a desktop and seeing cables bothers you, a glass desk might not be for you. I’ve always enjoyed the “if I can’t see it it doesn’t exist” aspect of my mind. But with glass, you’ll be able to see every cord and everything on the floor. It depends if you have any inclination towards being a little obsessive about those things. 

Weight – Glass is really heavy. Unfortunately, both real wood and glass share this trait. If you plan on moving this, it will be easier in the sense that it’s going to be one piece. But it’ll still be heavy.

Author Picture - Conor


Hey everyone 🙂 My name is Conor. I'm passionate about technology, zen, and improving the quality of life so many of us share at a desk!

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