There is a lot that goes into choosing the perfect gaming desk. Beyond looking aesthetically pleasing, it must also meet the criteria for comfort, space, and durability.
The best gaming desk for you needs to prioritize ergonomics, ensuring that keeps you comfortable during long hours of gaming. It also needs to be durable and meet your specific load requirements – not to mention, have enough space to house all your gaming peripherals. And, it needs to do all of those without forcing you to go over your budget.
While that might seem like a tall order, there are plenty of gaming desks that meet those requirements. And, we’re here to help you not only narrow down what’s most important to look for in a gaming desk, but also talk about each of these requirements in detail.
Your gaming setup has immense potential to affect your overall gaming experience. With gaming now becoming a legitimate sport, it is crucial to make sure that your gaming conditions aren’t acting as a barrier between you and your wins. Hence, we highly recommend taking some time out to do your research on how to choose the perfect gaming desk. In fact, we'd put almost the same amount of effort on that as we would choosing the best gaming chair.
We have categorized our guide into the five most essential features to keep in mind.
1. Height and dimensions
The first element to consider is the desk’s height. You’ll spend hours on this desk, so make sure you opt for something that will keep your neck, back, and arms in alignment. Any desk that is too high or too low is not good for your neck. You would know a desk is right for you if the top of your screen aligns with your eye level. Your wrists lying straight on your desk when you use your keyboard is another sign that you’ve got your desk’s height right.
The dimensions of your gaming desk depend on the number of peripherals in your setup. Gaming desks typically come in 48, 60, and 72 inches. When deciding how wide your desk is supposed to be, be sure to consider your display size, the number of peripherals and accessories you have, and the number of displays you’ll want to use.
For a dual-monitor setup, you should be looking at a 60-inch desk. A 48-inch desk will fit both of your monitors, but other gaming peripherals such as speakers, controllers, etc. will need some space as well. Moreover, it is recommendable to give your monitors a little breathing space on each side anyway. Similarly, a triple-monitor setup will require you to go for a 90-inch-wide desk instead of a 72-inch one.
The depth of a gaming desk is also an important feature to keep in mind. On average, gaming desks are between 20-30 inches deep with 24 inches being a healthy standard. Anything that doesn’t lie in this range will cause significant eye strain and carries the potential to permanently damage your eyesight. This is because it is recommended to place your monitor’s screen at least 20 inches away from your eyes. However, this recommendation is ultimately dependent on the size of your screen. The larger your screen gets, the farther you’d have to push it back on your gaming desk.
There are four materials that are most commonly used for gaming desks: wood, MDF, glass, and carbon fiber – although metal ones are available as well. Each of these has certain advantages and disadvantages of being used.
Wood is considered the most premium material for gaming desks. It is also the most durable. However, that comes with a cost. Real wood tends to get very expensive and isn’t affordable for everyone. MDF (Medium-density fiberboard) is an excellent alternative that looks exactly like wood and is almost as durable too, but it isn’t as pricey. MDF is made of recycled wood pieces, and it helps to give gaming desks a wood-like feel along with keeping its price budget-friendly.
Glass is a great option to consider, too, if you’re someone who prioritizes aesthetics. Gaming desks that are made of glass look brilliant but they, obviously, aren’t as durable as wooden ones, as glass is extremely prone to cracking. Lastly, carbon fiber gaming desks are fairly popular. They make for considerably durable desks that are also comfortable to work on and pretty decent to look at.
Gaming desks come in a variety of shapes. The most common type is a regular, straight desk, with L-shaped and standing desks being relatively new variants. The type of gaming desk you go for depends on your priorities and the available space in your room.
If you don’t have a huge gaming setup with a range of peripherals and have limited space in your room, a straight desk would be sufficient for you. As discussed above, they’re available in a number of sizes, so you have a wide range of options to look at. Straight desks are lightweight and enough for a modest gaming setup.
As the name suggests, L-shaped desks are shaped like the letter ‘L’ with two tabletops meeting at a 90-degree angle. These desks are ideal for anyone with an elaborate gaming setup or someone who is looking to double their gaming desk as their workstation, too. Due to their shape, L-shaped desks also save space as they can be pushed against one of the corners of your room.
L-shaped desks are also ideal for gamers with a triple peripheral monitor setup, which consists of one monitor in the center and one monitor on each side slightly tilted towards you. The Eureka EGD 60 is one of our top recommendations for a brilliant L-shaped gaming desk.
A standing desk is another great option that offers a wide range of adjustability choices. The idea is to play while standing, but you can easily adjust the height to use it while sitting, too. The Secretlab Magnus Pro XL Metal Desk is a great example of a gaming desk that allows gamers to alternate between sitting and standing. Standing desks are great for your posture, but can be very expensive. If you have the budget, they are definitely recommended.
4. Max load capacity
The load capacity of your gaming desk also depends on your peripheral setup. Of course, three monitors would require a gaming desk with a larger load capacity than a desk that holds one monitor. Any gaming desk should, at least, feature a load capacity of 100 pounds, since that’s what’s required to carry a single monitor. But you should look for a desk with around a 300-pound capacity, which is enough for multiple monitors and a couple of other gaming peripherals.
Gaming desks come in a range of prices. The ultimate decision is, of course, dependent on your budget. If your budget is tight, consider something like the Walker Edison Gamer Command Center, which is available at a reasonable price of just $79. If you’re on a budget, our guide on the best cheap gaming desk deals is perfect for you.
Meanwhile, Secretlab Magnus Metal Desk, for $550, is an example of an expensive desk to consider if you have the means. The Cooler Master GD160 ARGB makes for an interesting mid-range option, especially with its built-in RGB lighting.
Keeping all of the aforementioned features in mind may seem daunting. But we highly advise you to take some time out to do your research. A couple of hours invested at this stage will go a long way. We previously published a guide on how to set up a gaming desk that might come in handy after you’ve chosen the perfect gaming desk for yourself.
The Eureka EGD 60 made me a gaming desk convert, and it can make you one too
- Carbon fiber top
- Easy to use
- Extra wing
- Assembly tricky
- Wing section unswappable
Tough, strong and highly modular, the Secretlab Magnus Metal Desk is the ultimate gaming desk
- 220lb load capacity
- Highly modular
- Spacious, modular
- Brilliant cable management
- Not a one-person assembly
- Tricky height adjustment
The Cooler Master GD160 ARGB gaming desk brings more than just the RGB bling
- ARGB lighting
- Smooth operation
- Good height range
- Cable management just ok
- Anti-collision not that sensitive
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Dua is a freelance technology writer who's contributed to TechRadar, PCMag and ScreenRant. She's been a technology fan since she was young, and used to pore over the latest product reviews. When not playing with or researching some new piece of tech, you might find her reading, working out or playing the ukelele.