The best desks give you the professional features you’d expect in a work surface with the quality and approachability you crave in home décor. Once you’ve selected a great home office desk, all you need is pair it with the perfect office chair, throw on an ergonomic keyboard and slide over a trusty computer mouse, and you’ve got the ideal work-from-home setup ready to go. Of course, it can be tricky to narrow down the best home office desks on the market, which is where our recommendations come into play.
Many desks today are lacking when it comes to ergonomics. “An ergonomic product can be used without bending, reaching or twisting the body into awkward positions,” explains Melissa Afterman, MS-HFE, Certified Professional Ergonomist and owner of Learn Ergo, a professional ergonomics consultancy service. “For a desk, this means there is enough space to separate the screen from the keyboard, and type with the elbows hanging next to the body. It also means there is plenty of leg room so you can sit in close without bumping the thighs or knees.”
She recommends height-adjustable desks, which can be tailored to your body and office chair, but these aren’t for everyone—or every budget. There are also computer desks, corner desks, wall-mounted desks and other styles to consider as you shop. With these factors in mind, the following are the best desks to make your workspace more ergonomic.
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Here at Forbes Vetted, we’ve written dozens of home and furniture articles, gathering inspiration from staff favorites, tested picks and top-rated products. For this particular article, we trusted Forbes Vetted contributor Camryn Rabideau to rely on her extensive knowledge of everything home—pool floats, self-cleaning robots and tv stands are just a few of her latest reviews.
And because desks play a crucial role in your day-to-day workflow and subsequent level of comfort, we sought expert advice from certified professional ergonomist and owner of the professional ergonomics consultancy service Learn Ergo, Melissa Afterman.
To ensure accuracy, we also frequently update this story; it was last edited in June 2023.
How We Chose The Best Desks
When deciding which desks made the final cut, we started by tracking down the most popular options from top-rated brands. From there, we examined the materials of each desk, prioritizing those that are more stable and durable such as solid wood and steel. We also looked at factors like functionality, size and overall value.
Then, we cross-checked our list of contenders against customer reviews. All selections have an average customer rating of at least four stars and any products with concerning reviews were eliminated.
We also took into account different furniture styles and configurations. A pick like the Zipcode Design Kendal Desk is ideal for small work spaces at only 32 inches wide and 32.5 inches deep. For those looking for more storage, the Ebern Designs Yerby Reversible L-Shape Desk has attached shelving to store books, paperwork or your favorite potted plant.
What To Look For When Shopping For A Desk
To find a desk that’s both ergonomic and comfortable, there are several factors you’ll want to consider as you shop.
Depth: Many desks available today have very shallow desktops, which can make you feel cramped if you’re working on a computer. “A depth (from front to back) of 30 inches is best,” says Afterman. “This gives you space to support the forearms on the desk behind the keyboard and mouse. A 24-inch-deep desk will work if the chair armrests can adjust to the same level as the desk.”
Height: It’s also important to find a desk that’s an appropriate height for your work chair. “Try to find a desk that is the right height for your body,” recommends Afterman. “Working on a desk that is too high makes you hold the shoulders in an uncomfortable shrugged position. The correct height for a desk is your elbow height with the shoulders relaxed and the feet fully supported.”
Design: Not only do you want to consider the aesthetics of your desk, but you should consider its design features, as well. “A height-adjustable desk gives you ultimate control over the setup,” says Afterman. “It lets you set the right height for sitting (just check to see if it goes low enough for you) and makes it easier to get more movement during the workday.” Other useful features you may want to look for include cable-management holes and integrated power outlets.
Material: Desks can be made from a wide range of materials, including everything from plastic and particleboard to solid wood and metal. If you plan to use the desk on a daily basis and want it to last for many years, you’ll likely want to look for more durable materials, such as solid wood, metal or glass. However, the trade-off is that furniture made from high-quality materials often costs significantly more than those made from less-durable options.
Storage: Some desks come with built-in storage compartments, including shelves, drawers and even whole filing cabinets. These features are beneficial if you have papers and other supplies that you want to tuck away, but Afterman recommends avoiding desks with drawers under the main area of the work surface, as they often limit your leg space and interfere with proper ergonomics.
What Is The Best Work From Home Desk?
Ultimately, the best work from home desk depends on your preferences and needs. Some prefer a standing desk, while others might prefer something that blends in seamlessly with their home decor. A pick like the Wade Logan Amarissa Floating Desk works well for those tight on space or folks who want to go a more inconspicuous route—the desk is mounted to the wall and can be folded flush against it when not in use. On the other hand, a chic option like the Pottery Barn Livingston Corner Desk comes in several wood finishes and has modular options if you want to expand your office space.
Which Brand Of Standing Desk Is Best?
The standing desk market is packed with options right now. We like the Fully Jarvis bamboo standing desk for its wide range of customizable options and quality features. However, there are plenty of brands that make great standing desks. Uplift and Flexispot are other popular brands that customers frequently choose.
What Is The Best Size Desk For Work?
Typically, most desks measure about 45 inches in width. The best size desk should be at least 30 inches wide for a comfortable fit. If you’ll be tacking on additional monitors, laptops, notebooks or other supplies, you may want to opt for a larger size desk (around 60 to 70 inches wide) with a greater surface area.