Choosing the right size desk for your home office is important.
After all, you not only need it to fit inside your home, but it also has to provide enough space to work comfortably.
You also need to factor in the different types of desks available on the market right now.
Choosing a desk that’s the wrong size – too big or too small – is something you need to avoid.
So, let’s take a look at how you go about choosing a desk to answer the question of “What size desk do I need?”
Lots of office space
Here are some desk choices to consider if you have plenty of home office space to work with.
Traditional desks have a flat surface and drawers or cabinets on the side and are typically in the classic “kneehole” format.
They also come in all kinds of shapes and sizes.
A standard-sized large desk is usually 60 inches wide, 30 inches deep, and 30 inches tall.
This size desk will work well for just about any purpose because it has enough surface area to accommodate a full desktop PC and printer. Or more than enough space for your laptop and external keyboard, etc.
That’s why standard desks are so popular with home office and remote workers i.e. they’re a similar configuration to what the person is accustomed to working on in their 9 – 5 job.
These are the types of desks you buy when money is no object – they’re luxury desks that cost anywhere up to a few thousand dollars each.
They usually feature a large surface area and are made from a variety of hardwoods such as oak, walnut, and others.
But you’ll also find more modern takes on the office desk made from tempered glass and steel.
That’s why you tend to get a case of sticker shock when shopping for one – they’re designed for a high-end market.
Executive desks also tend to be on the truly huge side of things, so they’re generally not suitable for smaller offices, loft offices, etc.
Executive desks measure from 60 – 90 inches deep, 30 – 40 inches deep, and at least 30 inches in height.
They are large enough to hold at least one computer, a lamp printer, etc., with loads of space to spare.
Desks for More Than One Person
Some desks are designed for collaboration, and they can accommodate two or more people.
The rule is that there should be a minimum of 24 inches per person, but you might need more space if you have computers or other items on the desk.
The ideal amount of room is around 48 inches per person. These desks are usually 30 inches deep, but they are 78 or more inches wide.
Limited office space
But what if you don’t have a lot of space in your home office to work with?
Student desk size
These are designed to fit into a more compact space, making them ideal for a home office that is literally a corner of a room or underneath a stairs.
But they still have enough surface working area for most home office needs.
Normally, student desks measure between 24 and 30 inches wide, roughly 30 inches deep and 30 inches in height.
The height obviously remains the same as a standard desk because you still need the same amount of clearance for your legs.
This kind of desk often includes storage solutions to optimize your living space.
These are designed specifically to accommodate desktop computers, which is why they have a rollout try for a keyboard and mouse.
Most have a slot or shelf designed to securely hold your computer tower in place on one side, and storage shelves or drawers on the other.
These desks usually measure 48 inches wide by 25 inches deep, but do also come in smaller sizes that make them suitable for small home office spaces.
Your physical size
Sometimes the desk you get will depend on other factors like your physical size.
Humans come in all shapes and sizes, so you should take that into account when choosing your desk.
A standing desk requires roughly the same amount of room as a standard desk – the only difference is that you can raise the desk from a seated position to a standing position with the flick of a switch.
Standing desks come in two basic models – motorized and non-motorized.
Motorized models mean you just push a button to adjust your desk.
Non-motorized involves using hydraulic “pistons” to raise or lower your desk to the required height.
People who are above average height might find that a standing desk is far more comfortable than trying to cram their knees under a regular desk for all or some of the day.
Plus, because these desks are height adjustable, a very tall person can set the height to whatever best suits them.
If you’re a bigger guy you might struggle to work around a small desk – you just need more elbow room than the average person.
L-shaped desks are another popular type of desk, and they offer you a way to squeeze more surface area into less space due to their configuration.
These desks are typically made of two desktops – the main one being 60-inches wide, 24 to 30-inches deep and 30-inches tall.
The L-shaped section that hinges from that typically measures 40 inches wide but with the same depth and height measurements as above.
You’ll find that this type of desk – if you measure up for it correctly – can fit snugly into a small corner of a room but offer you a ton of surface area to work on.
How to Choose the Perfect Size Desk
Choosing the perfect standard desk size means you need to be honest about what you need the desk for and how much working area you’ll need.
Basically, someone who has an elaborate computer set up with more than one monitor will need a lot more space than someone who uses a laptop.
You also need to consider how much weight your desk can support – that needs to cover everything from your computer gear to leaning on it during the day.
You also need to consider the space you have in the room.
Some rooms will be overwhelmed by even a standard-size desk, so you might want to find a creative way to use a smaller desk.
If you have a smaller space, you can be creative with shelving and cabinets to store some of your items.
The “best desk size” is the one that gives you the space you need to work but without taking up too much space.
How wide should a desk be?
So what is the best width for a desk?
The bare minimum width you should aim for in an office desk is 36 inches wide, or 3 feet. Anything less than that will be barely enough room for a laptop and maybe a mouse, but nothing more.
If at all possible shop for a desk that’s 48 inches wide to give you enough space for dual screens and a notepad or too.
There’s also an upper limit to how wide a desk can be before it becomes more about vanity than usefulness. That upper limit for desk width is around 6 feet (60 inches) because anything more than that will just be used for storage i.e. books you’ll never read.