Updated: May 9, 2015
Finding the Best Kids Desks and ChairsJust like adults, most kids need a specific spot for certain activities. While they are smaller, tiny preschool type chairs and play tables will probably be all your kids need as they try their little hands at various art projects and begin to write - this can be in a playroom, the kitchen, or a bedroom. As they get older though, your kids can benefit greatly from a specific spot where they can study, go online, and even read -- most of the time this in their room, and a bigger investment in wooden furniture instead of kiddie plastic stuff. You'll want to think about how the desk will be used -- do you need a lot of storage drawers? room for keyboard and mouse for computer use? room for art supplies? options for shelving for extra storage? We're going to take a look at a few things you need to know as you start your search for the best kids' desk and chair combination for your child.
Different Styles of Desks and Chairs for Kids
One of the things you are likely to realize right away in your search for the perfect kids' desk and chair combo is that there are an awful lot of these products on the market. A look at Amazon's list of kids' desks and chairs yields a lot of results, and this is just the tip of the ice berg. A look over at the Wal-Mart site will reveal even more types, 155 different choices at last count. Some of these companies, such as Step 2 (which makes furniture for preschool age children) and Techni Mobili offer lower priced desks and chairs (and usually the desks come with less features while LC Kids and Vaughan-Basset have a much higher retail price. As we touched on, the biggest difference in the price range are features and materials. For example, it might be tempting to buy your ten year old a desk from Wal Mart from Techni Mobili retailing at about $130. You need to keep a couple of things in mind. First of all, this kids desk is a popular model and it will do the job you purchased it for; that is, hold a desk and have writing ability. But, keep in mind that like most desks in the $100-$300 dollar range, this desk (and others such as those made by the Mikael company and sold at Ikea) are made from particle board. This material is quite flimsy and will not stand up to a lot of punishment, and over the course of a few years the material itself will start to fall apart. They are mid-range options as noted by most reviewers over at epinions.com, not built to last or for holding a lot of heavy products.
Popular Kids DesksTaking a look at the high end of the scale, on the other hand, means buying products which are likely to last. Taking a look at the Legacy Classic (LC) Sundance Series of kids' desks, for example, we find a model which sells for over $1200. That's a steep price, but the payoff is that this is a desk made to last. A more afforadable desk is something like the KidKraft Large Avalon Desk -- at about $180, it comes with a chair as well and is meant more as a work space that storage space (no side drawers). If space is a concern, there are a number of different options you can look at, too. One example is the Mikael corner work station. This desk is made to fit snugly into the little-used corner areas of a kids' room. It's a great idea for a smaller room, and at $170 is within most budgets as well. It measures 47Wx47Dx166H so it is quite compact, but keep in mind the particleboard is an issue once again. As one reviewer on epinions noted, good luck if you have boys using this desk. A good middle of the road product both for price and durability as well as features might be the Jonti-Craft Single Computer Desk. At about $180, this desk is small enough not to be intimidating to even smaller children, yet doesn't sacrifice on features either. Pull out keyboard trays like the one on this model are nice features for kids who want to use their desks both for surfing and for writing work; the keyboard doesn't get in the way of the pen and paper. It's also nice to look for a model with a separate area for printers and other devices, so they are kept out of the way. You should keep in mind too that unless you are buying a solid one piece desk, you are going to have to do some assembly. This can take anywhere from one hour to four, depending on how handy you are and the size of the desk.
Best Kids Chairs - Chairs for Kids
When it comes to buying the best kids' chairs for your child, it really comes down to a matter of taste. There are literally hundreds of different makes and styles of kids' chairs out there, all of them offering something a bit different. One thing to keep in mind is that the more mobile the chair, the more likely it is that your child will love it. Swiveling chairs with wheels on the bottom are always well received because, let's face it, they are fun. They are also a lot easier to assemble than you might think, out of the box a model like the Powell Monster Swivel Chair takes about ten minutes to put together. You'll find that this product received average reviews over at Amazon, but that has largely to do with the fact that it is a chair, and there are not many tasks it is being called on to fulfill. Before you do buy a chair for your child, consider the kind of surface in your kid's room. Again, wheel will probably work best for all surfaces. A chair without wheels of any model can do damage to carpet, hardwood, or linoleum. Keep in mind that your kids aren't always thinking about friction damage, and will scoot their chair back from the desk at some point. With no wheels, there is going to be scraping on the floor, as you might find with a model such as the Kids Craft Avalon kid's chair.
Finally, a word on styles of kid's chairs. There are dozens of different styles and materials kids' chairs are made of, and the best choice will depend on the tastes of you and your child. Tractor style chairs offer comfort and are also ergonomically sound; there are kids' chairs modeled after beanbag chairs but on legs or stands. Traditional kitchen table style chairs are also around to complement kids' desks, and you can even find products such as this one made up to look like a bear. Aside from the tastes of your child, the ergonomic design of the chair, and whether or not it has wheels, there is one last thing to keep in mind when buying chairs for your kids, and that is the material which is used to cover the chair. We recommend highly against fabric finishes over the stuffing. It is almost impossible to clean these types of chairs, and they also tend to pick up odor. Plastic seating (or better yet, padding finished with leather) are much better options.