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Home office furniture essentials

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Working from home product guides

This guide is one part of a series designed to help you get the most out of working from home. Check out our other articles:

1. Office equipment
2.
Software essentials
3.
Hardware essentials

As we all face up to working from home on a more regular basis, it's prudent to equip a home office with devices that will help you perform your job to the best of your ability, and to furnish your surroundings in a way that will help make it not only a productive space, but also a pleasant one.

In this guide we'll help you choose the best furniture that'll make your home office as comfortable as it can be.

Looking for something specific? Try these quick links:

Office chairs
Office desks
Standing desks

Best office chairs

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(Image credit: Humanscale)

An often overlooked and underrated part of any office, more than the computer setup or any other equipment, might be one of the most important: the humble office chair. But how do you choose one that's right for posture and comfort?

To help, we’ve gathered some of the best office chairs including at different budgets and with some different capabilities, like more ergonomic features - such as proper lumbar support, adjustable armrests, and so forth, so they can find the best seat for their individual needs.

The best ergonomic office chair

Specifications
Seat height: 41-51.5cm
Maximum load: 136kg
Dimensions: 69 x 63.5 x 109-135cm (WxDxH)
Reasons to buy
+No complex controls to worry about+Dynamically adjusts to the user
Reasons to avoid
-Can be very pricey, particularly in leather

Humanscale makes some seriously nifty high-end ergonomic office chairs, and the Freedom is, for us, the pinnacle of that niftiness. It not only looks fabulous – particularly in the leather option, which offers additional advantages in case of accidental drink spillages – but the really clever bit is that the Freedom is designed to do away with the complex knobs or levers that many ergonomic options can baffle you with. Instead, it adjusts itself automatically to fit the ideal ergonomics for your body.

For example, when reclining in the chair, it automatically adjusts the backrest resistance to the optimal level. The end result is a whole lot of comfortable sitting, without having to do any thinking about tension settings and so forth.

There are, of course, some adjustable elements, including the armrests which move in tandem (so they’re always at the same height as each other). You can also slide the seat pan forwards (or back), and adjust the height of the backrest, and the headrest (simply by pulling it in the latter case; in fact, all these adjustments are dead easy to make).

So there is a lot to like here, but the downside is that this is not an office chair for the faint of wallet. Bear in mind, however, that the pricier models are the leather and polished aluminum offerings. Remember that there are versions with plain fabric and a graphite frame – they might not look as high-end, but they still provide the same superb sitting experience, often for hundreds of dollars less. Also note that this chair is backed by a 15-year warranty, which inspires confidence for sure.

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EDITOR'S CHOICE

Humanscale Freedom - Best ergonomic office chair - $935
Our pick for the best office chair. The Humanscale Freedom is wonderfully ergonomic and stylish too, so if you need to spend long periods sat at your desk, this should keep you about as comfortable as it's possible to be. Pricy, but worth every cent in our opinion.

Also worth considering

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IKEA Markus - Best office chair on a budget - $450
IKEA’s Markus chair has been around for a long time, and is a well-liked option for folks who want a great office chair without having to break the bank. An unexpected bonus in this price bracket is that this IKEA product comes with an impressive 10-year guarantee.

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Hon Volt Task Stool - Best office task chair - $250
If you need a more compact task chair, then look no further than the Hon Volt Task Stool. It’s a robustly built, high-quality affair, which at the same time manages not to stray into overly pricey territory.

The best office chairs compared

ChairSeat heightMaximum loadDimensionsPrice
Humanscale Freedom41 - 51.5cm136kg69 x 63.5 x 109-135cm (W x D x H)$935
IKEA Markus48 - 57cm110kg62 x 60 x 129-140cm (W x D x H)$450
Hon Volt Task Stool45 - 55 cm113kg48 x 51cm (W x D)$250

Best office desks

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(Image credit: Cassa)

Our list of the best office desks means that no matter whether you're after a desk for home or the office, this list will have some ideal choices for you. A solid, practical office desk is a good idea to ensure good working practices even if you’re not in the office. Whatever your particular needs for an office desk, we’ll attempt to point you in the right direction, and ensure that you’re making a sound purchase.

Office Hippo Professional Cantilever Desk

Best overall office desk

Specifications
Dimensions: 80-180 x 80 x 73cm (W x D x H)
Weight: 21-44kg
Reasons to buy
+Really sturdy and well-built+Good range of sizes+Impressive value for money
Reasons to avoid
-The bigger desks do weigh a fair bit

Office Hippo’s professional desk is our pick for the best all-rounder. It’s suitably well-built and sturdy, as well as offering a good range of different sizes, with a palatable price tag.

The desk is fairly easy to put together – we own one ourselves, and managed the task with no bother – and it’s very solid, with the actual desktop being an inch thick.

As mentioned, you can get it in a variety of sizes, including the largest model which is 180cm wide, and comfortably allows for two people to work side-by-side, with plenty of space for a couple of monitors, and a printer or multifunction device between. The smaller models, at 80cm or 120cm, are perfect for a single desk, or in the latter case someone who wants a roomy single desk to fit plenty of stuff on. The Office Hippo is plenty deep enough at 80cm, as well.

One neat extra worth mentioning is that there are nifty cable management holes on either end of the desk. As mentioned, we’ve owned this desk (which comes in a range of different woods and colors) for some years, and have been very happy with it, so can definitely recommend it as great value for money considering the not too wallet-damaging asking price.

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EDITOR'S CHOICE

Office Hippo Professional Cantilever Desk - Best overall office desk - $320
Our choice for the best office desk is the Office Hippo Professional Cantilever Desk. It gives you plenty of workspace (the largest model is enough for two people to work side-by-side), and is extremely sturdy - these desks are built to last. It also has some neat cable management holes so you can keep everything nice and tidy.

Other recommendations

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Casaottima L-shaped Desk - Best corner office desk - $105.99
If you need an L-shaped desk to go in a corner (or elsewhere for that matter), then this model is a great option. The frame is made of steel and the desktop itself is MDF, plus a neat extra touch comes with the addition of leveling studs on the feet which can be adjusted in order to provide extra stability on an uneven floor.

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Furinno Computer Desk - Best budget (and space-saving) office desk - $115.99
What you get with this Furinno is a very compact computer desk – this is a good option for those looking for a space-saver – and you can slot your PC in the right-hand side shelf, plus you get a slide-out tray for your keyboard and mouse. There’s a bonus drawer included as well.

The best office desks compared

DeskDimensionsWeightPrice
Office Hippo Professional Cantilever Desk80-180 x 80 x 73cm (W x D x H)21-44kg$320
Casaottima L-shaped Desk130 x 46 x 75cm (W x D x H)17kg $105.99
Furinno Computer Desk100 x 40 x 86cm (W x D x H)15.9kg$115.99

Best standing desks

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(Image credit: Uplift)

Standing desks deliver health benefits to folks who work, sat on their computers all day. Sitting for long periods of time isn’t good for you, and some in the media have famously called sitting the new smoking. While the American Journal of Public Health does point out that it’s not nearly quite as damaging, sitting down an excessive amount – more than 8 hours a day – can actually increase the risk of premature death or the development of some chronic diseases by 10% to 20%.

If you’re considering buying a standing desk, we’ve rounded up a selection of the best standing desks here to help point you in the right direction. Whether you want something that’s high-end and elegant, affordable or for gaming, there’s something that will work for you.

Uplift Desk V2

Best overall standing desk

Specifications
Type: Motorized
Height range: 25.5-inches – 51.1-inches (Commercial version: 22.6-inches – 48.7-inches)
Desktop size: 42-inches x 30-inches up to 80-inches x 30-inches
Reasons to buy
+Really well-built+Nicely stable+Great design and tons of accessories
Reasons to avoid
-None worth noting

Uplift V2 is one of the best standing desks that benefits from top-notch build quality, and prides itself on stability. An issue which can be found with some standing desks is that they might be a bit wobbly, particularly when extended to higher levels. Uplift is nicely stable, though, thanks to built-in stability braces.

Dual-motors mean the desk can change heights quickly, with a smooth and quiet action, and anti-collision tech is also in the mix (meaning if the desk is lowering and hits something – like your seat, or heaven forbid your head – it stops).

The desk also benefits from a large number of mounting points for accessories, with some pretty nifty extras that can be hooked up to this thing – including an under-desk hammock (yes you read that right – it attaches underneath when the desk is fully raised up). If there’s any testament you need to the stability of this unit, it’s being able to sleep in a hammock under it!

There are loads of choices for desktop sizes and colors (and indeed frame colors), you get built-in cable management, and there are curved or corner desk models. The products are backed by an impressive seven-year warranty, too. The Uplift is available in standard and commercial standing desk versions.

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EDITOR'S CHOICE

Uplift V2 - Best overall standing desk - $649
The Uplift V2 is our choice as the best standing desk. It has a fantastic build-quality, and its dual motors means that it can be reconfigured easily and quietly. It even has anti-collision tech so there's no fear you could injure yourself or damage your equipment.

Other recommendations

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ApexDesk Elite - Best standing desk with a large desktop - $649.99
Need a lot of desk space for all your stuff, like multiple monitors, or other peripherals? Then ApexDesk Elite is a good port of call for another high-quality desk that delivers some serious walnut real-estate (other woods are available, of course!) – and the real bonus is that it’s nicely priced for what you’re getting here.

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Fully Jarvis Bamboo - Best high-end eco-friendly standing desk - $764
Another of the best standing desks is the Jarvis Bamboo, which as the name suggests is fashioned from bamboo – it’s environmentally-friendly in that the bamboo is sustainably grown (without pesticides), plus it has a tough polyurethane coating. It’s not so much a standing desk as a thing of beauty in terms of its design – and eco-friendly credentials – but like the other higher-end products here, it doesn’t come cheap.

The best standing desks compared

DeskTypeHeight rangeDesktop sizePrice
Uplift Desk V2Motorized 25.5-inches – 51.1-inches42-inches x 30-inches up to 80-inches x 30-inches$649
ApexDesk EliteMotorized 29-inches – 48-inches60-71-inches x 33-inches$649.99
Jarvis Standing Desk BambooMotorized26.5-inches - 45.75-inches30-inches x 27-inches up to 78-inches x 30-inches$764

More working from home guides and product deals

This guide is one part of a series designed to help you get the most out of working from home. Make working from home as comfortable and as productive as you can:

  1. Office equipment
  2. Software essentials
  3. Hardware essentials