How do I choose a good home office desk?

When a home office goes wrong….

Lately we’ve seen countless adverts pitching beautiful desks at the home market.  Without doubt there has been a huge explosion in home office furniture, and because it’s in your home you want it to look nice as well as be a great space to work from.

So we’ve put together this guide to help you know what to look out for when you are picking a desk for home.

What height should my desk be?

Standard office desks are 73cm tall. There’s a good reason for this it means that most people can sit comfortably without it being too low for them. Make sure your desk height is this as a minimum.  If you are shorter you can always have a footrest at the desk, or if you are taller i.e. over 6ft you may want to think about a slightly higher desk.  You can read about how to sit at the right height here

The Crate desk is a good example of the right height and good design.

How deep should my desk be?

Normally desks are 80cm deep from front to back.  This gives plenty of room for things like a monitor, keyboard, and mouse.  In a home environment, you can get away with a bit less, but we would advise 60cm as a minimum. 

There’s a lot of ‘console’ style desks with a depth of 50cm, which are really only occasional side tables, and you’ll find it difficult to work all day on them.  If you are really struggling with space why not consider a desk that folds into a cupboard like the HQ Hideaway desk.

If you have lots of paper, an ergodoc on a shallow desk can really help with the space saving, and help reduce neck pain as it stops you leaning over the desk to refer to your notes.

How wide should my desk be?

Standard office desks are normally 120cm wide (and go up in increments of 20cm).  If you are looking for a comfortable desk width, we’d suggest anything from 100cm upwards. You can get away with 80cm but it starts to get very snug.

No deep drawers under the top

It might look very pretty and help with the storage but a drawer under the top is a big no no.

This shows a desk with a drawer for storage.  By having a much thicker top than normal, it means that it is impossible to sit at the right height without the drawers pressing into the tops of your legs.  Sitting at the right height is critical if you want to avoid neck, shoulder and lower back pain. Click here for help working out your correct sitting height.

Shelving units above

Having storage above the desk is tempting but just check that that lowest shelf still gives you room to have the monitor at the right height.  Don’t compromise your monitor height because the shelf is in the way.

home office desk

This has 3 design flaws, it’s not deep enough, it’s got a storage drawer underneath and the monitor height might well be compromised.  

The cardboard desk

All we can say is don’t even think about putting a cup of tea or any other liquid on it, particularly if you’ve got small children around.

Think about if you’d like to stand during the day

The Rolls Royce solution of home desks is a desk which gives you the option to stand during the day.  One of the issues with working from home is that you tend to sit for longer and don’t move as much.  This is bad for our waistlines as moving less and probably eating more biscuits (because, let’s face it, they are there), means that suddenly our comfy clothes are fitting better than they were before.

You can combat this with using a sit stand desk at home which allows you stand for periods whilst still working.  Activating different muscles and encouraging you to move more.  A recent study showed that by standing for a cumulative 3 hours a day (you don’t have to do it all at once), adds up to the equivalent of running 10 marathons a year.

So if it’s difficult to get to the gym, just swapping your desk could help.

If you would like any more help selecting the right desk for your home, please give us a call on 0330 332 0880 or drop us an email on

Do you need some advice about your workplace?

Get in touch and one of our team would be happy to help answer your questions.

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