Best Office Furniture & Accessories

Office furniture

Your new home office has fresh drywall from floor to ceiling, a fragrant new patch of short-nap carpet, and a window that looks out on the backyard garden. Now you just a need a spot to put that computer. And the printer. And all those papers. And the phone.

Maybe it’s time for some furniture.

But before you make a trip to the local office store and come back with a minivan full of flat-packed particleboard, it’s worth doing a little research and planning. We’ve broken down the key elements to any office, explained some of the key factors you should weight when picking them out, and given a few of our favorites.

Kinnarps Series[e]Desks

As the spot where any home office user will spend the majority of their day toiling away in front of a computer, the desk easily becomes the most important piece of the home office puzzle. On the surface, anything with four legs and a flat top will work, but the best home office desks will include a lot more features, as well. Look for one with adjustable height to bring your keyboard and monitor to a comfortable typing and viewing position. Finding a deep desk to give you at least 20 inches of distance from your monitor is also important to reduce eyestrain – older writing desks that weren’t designed for computers seldom take this into account, which can cause problems, especially if trying to accommodate a deep CRT monitor. Under-desk storage will also help you accommodate for all the paper and other clutter that comes with working at home, filing it all away to keep the desk surface clean. If you have enough room, consider an L desk, which offers a side return for even more surface area.

We love the minimalist look, yet unshakeable sturdiness of Kinnarps Series[e] desks, which can also be customized to pretty much any environment. If you’re looking for something a little off beat, Haworth’s clever kidney-shaped Vancouver desks offer a swept radial design that’s less rigid and angular than your typical L desk, and the company also uses an environmentally friendly coating process called EcoShield. For the ultimate in adjustability, Steelcase’s Series 7 worksurface can’t be beat – it literally raises and lowers over two feet at the touch of a button. A lowrider for the office? Indeed.

Hermann Miller's Embody ChairSeating

Unless you really plan on investing in Steelcase’s opulently ridiculous treadmill desk, like our own Rob Enderle, you’re going to need something to cradle you as you work. Inexpensive office chairs might look fine at first blush, but given the number of sheer hours you’ll spend in it, skimping is ill-advised. A long-haul trucker wouldn’t tolerate the crunchy foam seat from a Ford Festiva, and you shouldn’t try to use a $30 task chair meant for a dorm room. More expensive chairs will buy you better, sturdier materials, plus more points to adjust and tune the chair to your liking. At the very least, look for one that can swivel, tilt, move up and down, and offer lumbar support. A better office chair will allow seat pans to slide back and forth, tilt independently of the backrest, and armrests to raise and lower.

We can’t help but be enamored with Hermann Miller’s legendary Embody chairs, which feature a unique spine-inspired “Pixelated Support” system for the back and seat to evenly distribute weight, plus skin-like textiles and three tilt zones. Of course, there’s also the stunning Freedom Chair from Humanscale, which is loaded with unique features like automatic tensioning on the recline, arm rests that move in sync, and backrest that pivots two ways. The crazy Swedes over at Kinnarps have also cooked up a beauty in the form of the Plus[8], which has a highly customizable headrest to find that perfect alignment.

Humanscale M2 monitor armMonitor Mounts

If there’s one criticism we constantly run into with our monitor reviews here at Digital Trends, it’s weak stands. Many of today’s gigantic LCDs come paired with flimsy, wobbly, fixed-height stands that leave users stooping to see them when they should be at eye level. Enter the monitor arm. Besides giving your display a rock-solid connection to your desk, monitor arms twist, pan and elevate to exactly the height you need them, and leave more desk space below, too. Finding a sturdy mount that will mate nicely with your existing furniture is paramount, but you’ll also need to ensure it will attach to your monitor. Any monitor that claims to have a VESA mount (essentially four screw holes arranged in a square) will usually do – the MIS-D variant being the most common.

For a basic single-display solution, Humanscale’s upcoming M2 monitor arm makes a very practical solution: Unlike typical arms that use gas-filled cylinders to provide support for the arm, Humanscale has used mechanical springs, which are more eco-friendly and more reliable. If additional displays enter the equation, Steelcase’s clever fyi-2 dual monitor arm supports both from a single point, but still allows them to swivel and tilt individually for complete freedom. And if you’re most at home crunching out work on a notebook computer, Ergotron’s NeoFlex Combo Lift stand makes an exceptionally smart way to work at home. It allows you to add a separate monitor for dual-display computing, and brings your notebook up to the same level to eliminate the giant gap you would usually get.

Sony’s swank Vaio RT seriesAll-in-One PCs

OK, it’s not office furniture. But from an aesthetic and organizational standpoint, all-in-one PCs are one of the smartest ways to go when you’re designing your dream office from the ground up. No separate CPU to hide in the corner, no monitor cables, no need to crawl under the desk to attach accessories. And with the growing popularity of this segment, they’re no longer an expensive niche product, either.

Apple’s iMac – the original all-in-one computer – remains one of the best. The company’s sleek design is still unparalleled, an Intel Core 2 Duo CPU and Nvidia graphics card provide plenty of grunt, and the 24-inch screen on the biggest model is beautifully bright and vibrant. For a step up in power and screen real estate, Sony’s swank Vaio RT series comes with a 25.5-inch screen and can be equipped with an Intel quad-core processor, Blu-ray player, and even TV tuners… for a princely $4,0000. If that’s looking way too steep, Asus’ affordable EeeTop PC offers an 15.6-inch touch screen with hardware borrowed from netbooks (like an Intel Atom 1.6Ghz processor). It’s no speed demon, but if you’re jamming away on Microsoft Word and Excel all day, that’s all you need.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Folding canoes and ultra-fast water filters

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Product Review

Why spend more? The Yoga Chromebook outdoes most laptops for $600

The Yoga Chromebook features great build quality, a 1080p display, and all-day battery life. All that for $540? That’s right, but there’s one catch.
Product Review

Audi built an electric SUV for buyers who want gasoline-free to mean stress-free

We finally got to spend time behind the wheel of the electric 2019 Audi E-Tron bustling cities and arid desert of the United Arab Emirates to see how it compares with Jaguar and Tesla's competitors.
Smart Home

Get the support you deserve at work in one of the best office chairs

Sitting at the office all day can be tough on more than just your back. Check out our picks for the best office chairs, whether you're in the market for something basic or a bit more luxurious.
Computing

These laptop bags will keep your notebook secure wherever you go

Choosing the right laptop bag is no easy feat -- after all, no one likes to second-guess themselves. Here are some of the best laptop bags on the market, from backpacks to sleeves, so you can get it right the first time around.
Home Theater

Step aside set-top boxes, the best streaming sticks are tiny and just as powerful

Which streaming stick reigns supreme? We pit the Chromecast and Chromecast Ultra against the Roku Premiere, Roku Streaming Stick+, and the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K to help you decide which one will be the best fit in your living room.
Home Theater

Looking for the best 4K Ultra HD TVs you can buy? Here are five great options

If it's time to upgrade your old 1080p to a new 4K model but you don't know what to look for, fear not, as we're here with a list of the best 4K Ultra HD TVs to help make your buying process as easy as possible.
Mobile

Apple iPad Pro 11 vs. Samsung Galaxy Tab S4: Which top-tier tablet reigns supreme?

If you're in the market for a new tablet and you want something that can double up as a laptop in a pinch, then you owe it to yourself to check out the 11-inch Apple iPad Pro and the Samsung Galaxy Tab S4. We compare the two here.
Home Theater

Here's how to pick out the best TV stand to enhance your viewing experience

This TV stand buying guide will cover how much space you need for equipment, how the stand manages cables, and the size of the stand you need as you look for a new model that fits in your home.
Mobile

On a budget? We found the best affordable smartphones you can buy

Here are the best cheap phones for anyone working with a tight budget, whether you're a fan of stock Android or marathon battery life. Find out what you can get for under $500 or far, far less as we round up the best budget smartphones.
Home Theater

Set your ears free with the best completely wireless earbuds

If you can't stand the tangle of cords, or you're just excited about completely wireless earbuds, you're going to need some help separating the wheat from the chaff. Our list serves up the best wireless earbuds around.
Mobile

Put down the controller and pick up the best phones for gaming on the go

Which phones are the best if all you want to do is play some mobile games? We've done the hard work and put together a list of the best gaming phones on Android and iOS, so you can keep playing and winning.
Mobile

Protect your new iPhone with one of our favorite iPhone XR cases

Apple's new iPhone range is the toast of 2018, with beautiful style and more power than you can shake a stick at. But beauty can often be fragile -- keep the damage to a minimum with the best iPhone XR cases.
Computing

You could spend $1,000 on an iPhone, or buy one of these awesome laptops instead

Finding a decent laptop is easy, but finding one under $1,000 is a bit tricky. Luckily, we've taken some of the guesswork out of picking out a budget laptop. Here are some of our favorites, the best laptops under $1,000.