What Size Desk Should I Get? [Typical Sizes Discussed]

Desks are the perfect place to get work done. Whether you're a student finishing homework or an executive reviewing business documents, a desk serves as your workstation. Tables or desks are available in an enormous variety of sizes, styles, and dimensions. You may wonder, what size desk should I get to accommodate my lifestyle?

You should buy a desk with dimensions that serve your usage most appropriately. A standard large desk size that will suit most uses is 60-inch x 30-inch, with a height 30-inches. These dimensions will comfortably accommodate most general use cases and should be used as a baseline. What you intend to use the desk for, and what your setup requires will then help you find the perfect size desk for your needs. 

There are thousands of desks available to purchase in all shapes, sizes, and configurations. It can be intimidating to narrow down your options. We've put together some useful information to help you start your search.

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How to Decide What Kind of Desk to Get?

The first step to help you decide the proper style for your new desk is to ask yourself questions about your lifestyle. How much space do you have available to work with? How much surface area do you need to fit everything you plan to use on your desk? What style would best fit in with the surrounding aesthetic of the room? These types of questions are essential to finding something that will work for you both functionally and visually. 

Most desks you find will be designed specifically for a type of person or a profession. Executive desks will have a large and professional presence, while student desks will give you just enough space to get schoolwork done. Drilling down and deciding on an overall category will provide you with a much more manageable sample size from which to choose. The rest of this article will use the most common desk categories to offer you specific and useful guiding tips on finding the perfect size desk. 

What Are Typical Student Desk Dimensions? 

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As a student, it can be hard to find a desk that's compact enough for your space while giving you enough room to get work done. As a result, most student desks are smaller than the average, being approximately 24-30 inches wide and 18 inches long. 

Students should also be trying to incorporate storage solutions in their furniture to maximize space. Many student-oriented desks have narrow shelves or drawers on either side of the center. These allow you to keep all work or study-related materials in a tidy space connected to the workstation. 

This 35-inch x 20-inch compact desk can be found on Amazon.

What Are Typical Executive Desk Dimensions?

Executive desks generally have the largest surface area and most storage options. They are usually reserved for upper-level employees, managers, and professionals who need the most efficient workspace available. The design consists of a large clear desktop and two pillars - one on each side of the desk. There is commonly a backing that connects the posts and creates a facade for the desk as it is usually facing the entrance of offices. 

Executive desks are typically 60-inches x 30-inches or even larger. These desks are designed to provide maximum surface area and can easily hold a lamp, writing area, monitor, keyboard, and paper trays with room to spare. If you need some inspiration on how to decorate your desk, we have some great ideas here. Part of the classic design is also the pillars that serve as ample storage.

This modern executive desk is 72-inches x 36-inches.

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What Are Typical Computer Desk Dimensions?

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As the name entails, a computer desk is designed specifically to fit a computer workstation. It does not need to have extra space for a writing station or storage since the expectation is that all work is completed at the computer. The standard size for basic computer desks is 50-inches x 25-inches. The depth only needs to fit a monitor stand and keyboard. These are in libraries, computer labs, or other facilities with many computers in an open space. This size also suits people concerned with saving space. Some computer desks have a pull-out tray under the tabletop to hold a keyboard and mouse to afford a smaller depth. 

This computer desk is 48-inches x 24-inches

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What Are Typical 2-Person Desk Dimensions?

Two-person desks provide a lot of utility for shared workspaces. They have the same depth as other desks but are significantly longer - usually at or over 78-inches wide. These are perfect for co-working spaces, offices, and homes. These desks typically have storage columns on the sides or in the middle, where the desks join one another.  

Some sources say that you should allow for three feet of width per person on a shared desk when placed side-by-side. That is a minimum width suggestion, but for more comfortable arrangements, 4-feet of width per person is more appropriate. 

What Size Desk Do I Need For Multiple Monitors?

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When setting up a desk area for a multi-monitor setup, you must know the size of the displays. The length of the base of the monitors is less critical because you want the whole monitor to fit within the surface area of the desk. You can find the width measurements of your monitors from the manufacturer or measure it yourself. Once you have that number handy, you should add at least 6-inches to both sides. This will give you enough room on the sides so that the monitors look securely placed on the desk. 

For example, if you have two monitors at 20" wide each, then add 6" to each side - the resulting width would be 52". This would fit within a standard executive desk width of 60". In that case, an executive desk is the most appropriate standard size to fit your use-case. 

How Much Space Do You Need Behind A Desk?

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Desks often sit flush against the wall that they are nearest to. Most desks designed to accommodate a computer will have a hole on the surface to run cables through or some form of cable management built-in underneath. The more important measurement to take note of is behind the desk in the direction of the chair. You need to give yourself enough room to comfortably enter and exit the seat and move around while sitting.

If you're trying to get the most out of your space, the minimum distance required for a chair behind a desk is 23-inches. 30-inches or larger will result in a much more comfortable arrangement. If you want some great ideas on how to place a desk in your room, we have an article perfect for you.

How Large Should an L-Shaped Desk Be?

modern businessman work station wooden lshaped

To many people, an L-shaped desk offers the best solution for surface area and style. You have essentially two desktop areas connected at the corner, allowing you to change directions and access a whole new set of equipment or gear. L-shaped desks are also great for creating divided spaces in a room and allowing you to change the direction you're facing. The sizing of L-shaped desks is similar to two executive desks if they were intersecting each other on one corner. As such, the most common arrangement is two 60-inch x 24-30-inch tabletops that share a common area on the hinge of the L-shape. 

This executive style L-shaped desk features a shorter depth on one side. 

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The Perfect Desk Fits The Work You Do

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You've probably noticed by now that there are very few concrete standards and rules in desk sizes. That's because the perfect desk is the one that most closely fits your workspace and lifestyle. An executive desk would completely crowd out a dorm room, and a small student's desk would leave an office manager with little room to operate. We hope these tips and suggestions help you find a desk that inspires you to do your best work!

A modern office area with a desk and a laptop placed on top, What Size Desk Should I Get? [Typical sizes Discussed]

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