Whether you’re setting up a home office or upgrading your existing office space, one of the most important considerations is the size of your desk. The depth of your desk can impact how comfortable and productive you are at work, as well as how practical your space is. So, how deep should a desk be?
The average desk depth is between 20 and 30 inches, with the most common depths between 24 and 30 inches. However, there isn’t one right answer as to how deep your desk should be. It depends on several different factors, including the purpose of the desk, what you want to keep on it, and the size of your space.
In this article, we will explore the factors that influence what depth of a desk is right for you, to help you curate the perfect workspace for your specific lifestyle and requirements.
How to Determine Ideal Desk Depth
These are the key factors that you should consider when choosing your ideal desk depth.
1. Purpose of Desk
The first, and perhaps most important factor to consider, is the purpose of the desk. You will need a much deeper desk for crafts than you will for writing, for example.
Computer: To accommodate your computer, mouse, keyboard, an additional monitor and other accessories, a desk with a depth of 24 to 30 inches should be suitable.
Gaming: Gamers tend to require space for a PC or console, keyboard, mouse and controller, and space for additional monitors or screens. Similar to a desk for a computer then, a gaming desk tends to fall within the 24 to 30 inch range, though this might need to be larger if you are storing lots of equipment.
Writing/Reading:If you intend to use your desk for writing, reading or paperwork, then a smaller desk of 18 to 24 inches tends to be suitable.
Arts & Crafts:If you’re an artist, or otherwise working on a craft that requires a lot of space, you might want to consider a desk of 30 inches or above.
Multi-Purpose: Do you require a desk for a mixture or all of the above? A depth of around 24 to 30 inches can strike a good balance between being functional and space-efficient.
2. How Much Space Do You Have?
Another critical factor in determining the ideal desk depth is the available space in your room or office. Before you choose a desk, measure the area where it will be placed, and take into account the other furniture or items you need to store.
Small Spaces: In smaller rooms, a small desk with a shallower depth — between 18 and 24 inches — can help maximise available space. You might want to consider a corner desk if you require a larger desk space, but are working with an awkward shaped room.
Large Spaces: In larger rooms, you can choose to have a desk with a deeper surface — as deep as 30 to 36 inches — which can provide more workspace and storage options.
3. What Is Your Ideal Aesthetic?
The depth of your desk can also impact the overall look and feel of the room. If you prefer a minimalist look, then a desk with a shallower design could be the sleeker option. It might also make your room feel more spacious.
Alternatively, if you prefer a more traditional aesthetic or want additional space to place decorations, a larger desk could be more suited for your space.
4. Does Your Desk Have Drawers?
If you want to keep files, books or office supplies within your desk, you'll need a desk with drawers, or an additional storage solution. As drawers need to be pulled out, you need to make sure that the depth of your desk allows for your storage options within the available space.
5. What Chair Do You Have?
The same goes for your desk chair. You need to consider the space available for the chair between the desk and the nearest obstruction, so that you can enter and leave your workspace with ease. If your desk is too deep in the available space, then you might not be able to fit your chair in.
6. What’s On Your Desk?
What do you want to keep on your desk? And how do you want to position it? In particular, you want to focus on how deep these items will go on the desk.
If you have a full-size desk mat, keyboard and monitor, you will need a deeper desk. Whereas if you just have a laptop, a smaller desk should sufice.
7. What Are Your Ergonomic Requirements?
Finally, you should consider the ergonomics of your potential desk. Although sometimes overlooked, an ergonomic set-up can increase your comfort and productivity levels, and promote better overall health.
Alignment: To maintain good posture and reduce the risk of strain or discomfort, your desk should be deep enough to allow your arms and wrists to rest comfortably on the surface while typing, writing or working on your craft.
Monitor Placement: If you're using a computer or monitor, ensure that the desk is deep enough to position your monitor at eye level, approximately 20 inches from your eyes, to promote good posture and prevent strain.
Leg Room: Adequate leg room ensures that you can maintain proper posture while sitting at your desk. In addition, leg room helps to promote blood circulation, which can prevent discomfort and numbness, and reduce your chance of developing a condition like deep vein thrombosis.
Tips to Utilise Desk Depth
Want to get more depth from your desk? Here are our top tips for getting more room out of your desk space.
Monitor Arm: A monitor arm is a mounting solution that allows you to attach your monitor(s) to an adjustable arm, which is then secured to your desk. It frees up desk space by elevating the monitor off the desk surface at the perfect height and angle, which allows you to use the additional space for other tasks or items.
Wall Storage: Wall storage takes advantage of the vertical space above your desk. Shelves, cabinets, pegboards or wall mounts can all help to free up desk depth for other items or tasks.
Go Minimalist: Decluttering your work desk and going back to basics can help to free up desk depth. Keep only the essentials on your desk, to create a cleaner and more accessible workspace.