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More and more people are working remotely, and looking for the best work from home products to maximize their efficiency. Getting quality gear that suits you in your home office is as, if not more, important than in a shared office, where you're more likely to have the support of an IT department should anything goes wrong.
Dialing into meetings can be a major hassle if you're not properly equipped, and there's nothing more annoying (or potentially embarrassing) than struggling to be heard because you're not using one of the best microphones, or dealing with flickering or laggy video in the middle of a presentation. And proper tech isn't the only consideration: making sure you're comfortable is key to making sure you're efficient. It's a lot harder to draft documents or plan budgets when you're being constantly distracted by the kink in your back from the cheap, uncomfortable office chair you've got jammed in front of your desk.
Gorgeous Retina Display
Great processor for productivity
Speedy SSD storage
Battery life could be better
Easily one of the best business/productivity laptops on the market, the sleek, attractive, and ultraportable MacBook Air is a perfect fit for your home office. Powered by an 8th gen Intel CPU, it's more than capable of handling even the most aggressive multitasking, and the included SSD storage means that it'll boot up and load your applications with blazing speed. Extras like Touch ID to unlock your laptop without having to enter a password and Apple Pay support are the icing on a sumptuous (and gorgeous) cake.
The real star here, however, is the 13.3-inch Retina Display. The crisp 2560x1600 resolution is almost overkill for a display of this size, and Apple's proprietary True Tone technology matches the screen's white point to the environment so that webpages and documents look natural. Combined with the ultrathin bezel and 48% more colors than the previous MacBook generation, this is one of Apple's most appealing notebooks yet. Our reviewer Andrew tested the previous, 2018 version of the Air and loved its slender design and pretty display, and the latest generation is an across-the-board upgrade.
Excellent productivity specs
Incredible display up to 4K resolution
Lightweight and portable
If you (or your company) work better in the Windows ecosystem, Dell's latest iteration of the XPS 13 is a fantastic option. Well specced for productivity with a potent 8th generation Intel processor, a generous 16GB of RAM, and a fairly spacious 256GB SSD, it's a beast for multitasking, video streaming, and coping with the plethora of Google Sheets and Docs tabs the modern office requires.
The XPS 13 also features a beautiful 13-inch screen that can be upgraded all the way up to 4K resolution, making it one of the sharpest laptop screens available. And weighing in at a very slight 2.7 pounds and only 0.3 to 0.46 inches thick, it's incredibly portable in case you do need to shuttle into the office (or just into the kitchen so your workflow doesn't get interrupted while the coffee brews). In his review, Andrew praised the XPS 13 for its lavish design, excellent audio, and tiny footprint.
"The Dell XPS 13 is one of the best light-but-premium laptops you can buy today." — Andrew Hayward, Product Tester
60Hz maximum refresh rate
When you have a work setup at home, you need a proper monitor. The 27-inch LG 27UK850-W meets all the requirements for a best-in-class multipurpose display. Its 4K Ultra HD resolution (3840 x 2160 pixels) gives you superb picture quality and its in-plane switching (IPS) panel allows for 178-degree viewing angles and accurate, vibrant colors.
This monitor also supports high dynamic range (HDR) technology, and though it may not hit the peak brightness and color range some HDR-mode enthusiasts look for, the monitor delivers an excellent experience for both media watching and professional photo or video editing.
Our reviewer pointed out a couple of features that similar models (especially the 27UK650) don't have: built-in speakers and a USB-C port. The USB-C input gives it extra versatility for connecting to and charging today’s laptops and other devices. Added all up, you’ll get the premium features and performance you pay for with the LG 27UK850.
"Even without HDR, the regular SDR contrast and color range on this monitor is still excellent." — Bill Loguidice, Product Tester
Breathable mesh back
Only available in black
The best chair for supporting your posture and keeping you cozy in your home office is the Alera Elusion, a highly adjustable mesh-back model that blends in well with a variety of decor. That mesh design means you'll stay breezy even during the most frenetic work sprints, and thoughtful ergonomics will keep your back straight and comfortable while you type. The seat is contoured and swathed in premium fabric for maximum comfort, and best of all, the Elusion is very affordable, especially when you consider the quality construction and comfort.
The Elusion also sports a sturdy, durable frame and casters, so it won't start to break down on you after just a couple months of use. If posture is important to you (and it's a huge consideration for anyone spending multiple hours a day parked in front of a desk), the Elusion is one of few office chairs that will encourage you to stay upright without compromising on comfort.
Boom mic excels in calls
Comfortable to wear
Lacks charging stand
Comfortable to wear and capable of delivering exceptional audio quality, MPOW's Pro BH015B is a great wireless headset for any environment, and it excels in the home office. This is in large part due to the quality of the included boom mic, with its four noise-canceling microphones and integrated volume buttons. And at a featherweight 1.4oz, it's one of few Bluetooth headsets you may actually forget you're wearing.
The Pro also boasts an excellent 12 hour battery life, so it'll function through even the most intense work marathons. It's also shockingly affordable given the attention to detail, features, and design touches packed into this lightweight gem, easy to recommend for anyone that doesn't want to spend a fortune to stay connected to their colleagues while working remotely. In testing, our reviewer was gob struck by the Pro's quality at this price point, and called it one of the best Bluetooth headsets available.
"If you’re looking for a cheap Bluetooth headset, or you want to buy a few to outfit a team at your business, this is a great choice." — Jason Schneider, Product Tester
Full HD at 30fps
360-degree swivel base
If your laptop doesn't come standard with a webcam (or it's too shoddy for regular use), or if you use a desktop PC at home, you'll almost certainly need a dedicated webcam for Skyping or dialing into meetings when you're working from home. The Logitech HD Pro strikes a perfect balance between quality and value, reasonably priced but capable of delivering excellent 1080p video at 30 frames per second with 2-channel stereo audio.
One of the most overlooked but most important features of a webcam is adjustability, and here the HD Pro delivers in spades. It comes with a universal clip to easily snap it into a laptop or monitor, and also has an incredibly handy 360-degree swiveling base and articulating support, to make sure you can pivot it to the perfect angle regardless of your setup. James, our product tester, loved the sleek design and true HD and also praised the quality audio the Pro was capable of capturing.
"With real HD and quality audio, the Logitech C920 Pro HD Webcam is an excellent webcam." — James Huenink, Product Tester
Sharp, fast text printing
Extremely efficient ink use
Fast scanning and copying
Slow color printing
While hard copy may feel a little antiquated in the information age, a great all-in-one printer is an absolutely necessity for even the most modern home office. Brother's awesome MFC-J985DW is a comprehensive solution for any of your printing needs, delivering sharp, superfast text prints without devouring a massive amount of ink. It also scans and copies at a ridiculously brisk pace, and packs a number of vital extras, like duplex (two-sided) printing, and wireless printing from devices via AirPrint, Google Cloud Print, Mopria, Brother iPrint&Scan, and Wi-Fi Direct.
The real standout feature of the MFC-J985DW, however, is Brother's INKvestment technology. These cartridges allow for incredibly efficient printing, meaning a cost per page that's one of the lowest of any printer currently manufactured. Each cartridge is capable of producing 2,400 black pages or 1,200 color pages at a ridiculously low one cent per page for black and five cents per page in color. That nod to cost efficiency means that, over the long term, this Brother printer is one of the most affordable options available. After thoroughly testing it for review, Will loved the Brother's speed and quality, and was blown away by the high capacity INKvestment cartridges.
"It felt like we had hardly dented the high-capacity ink supply after our rigorous testing process." — Will Fulton, Product Tester
Puts productivity first
A bit expensive
Mouse isn't ambidextrous
Typing on your laptop’s keyboard and using your trackpad can be a real drag when you’re working from home. Make your life just a little bit easier by investing in a solid wireless mouse and keyboard combo from Logitech. The MX Keys keyboard and Master 3 mouse offer clean and unobtrusive form factors that ooze professionalism.
The MX Keys is a low-profile membrane keyboard that offers the full functionality of a keyboard that you would find in your office, and its rounded edges and brushed aluminum finish are very sharp. Even diehard mechanical keyboard enthusiasts will find little to complain about from the sharp and precise feedback of the backlit keys.
The MX Master 3 mouse is the latest iteration in Logitech’s lineup of productivity inspired designs, While it may lack the super-high DPI settings of most gaming-oriented mice, the ergonomic form factor and smartly based buttons make this mouse incredibly comfortable to use. A couple of standout features are the scroll wheel that operates in traditional steps by gently pushing it up or down, but will unlock and fly forward if you give it a firm push. The mouse also features a discrete button that lives under the flat of your thumb that defaults to displaying all of your active windows for easy task management.
Both of these devices are rechargeable via included USB-C cables and can be paired with your device either via Bluetooth or by using the included 2.4Ghz wireless dongles. These are peripherals designed with professionals in mind, and unless you’re left-handed, the appeal is quite clear.
Cover is machine washable
Effectively cradles pressure points
The feel of the gel isn't for everyone
There are plenty of cheaper alternatives
If you’ve been shopping for a mattress in the past couple of years you’ve likely heard the name Purple come up once or twice. Their products all tout a uniquely purple cross-hatch gel that’s meant to cradle all of your pressure points. But they offer plenty of products besides just mattresses.
The purple seat cushion takes that same design philosophy and applies it to a smaller form factor meant to accommodate car seats or office chairs. If you’re someone that spends a solid number of hours each day behind the wheel or sitting at a desk, the Purple seat cushion provides ample support wherever you need it.
The cushion itself comes with a machine-washable slipcover, a convenient carry handle and is rubberized on one side to make sure it stays put. The semi-firm support its gel lattice offers may not appeal to everyone, but is perfect for anyone recently recovering from surgery, suffers from lower back pain, or just cant get comfortable sitting down.
Offers a variety of ports
Not really necessary if you have a dedicated office setup
Working from home often means being relegated to working on a laptop if you don’t have a dedicated office setup. But there’s a great way to quickly expand the capability of any laptop as long as it has a USB-C port. USB-C Hubs like the Kingston Nucleum USB-C hub provide you with a bevy of additional ports for HDMI monitor support, USB peripherals or Micro SD card readers.
While this investment can seem a bit frivolous, there are few better ways to quickly expand the connectivity of your laptop at home. Pair this with a wireless keyboard and mouse, and you’ll be good to go.
Your PC or laptop is always going to be the beating heart of your home office setup, and the MacBook Air is an absolute no-brainer, a beautiful, sleek machine that's mighty enough to tackle your most challenging work applications. If a Windows machine is more your speed, however, Dell's awesome new take on the XPS 13 delivers a beautiful display in one of the slickest chassis (and with some impressive hardware to support it) we've seen thus far.
Alan Bradley is a tech editor and writer with over 13 years of experience. Throughout his career covering every aspect of the industry he's spent nearly a decade working from a home office environment (and carefully contemplating how to furnish it for maximum comfort, convenience, and efficiency).
Will Fulton is a tech writer and reviewer with extensive knowledge around PCs, peripherals, accessories, and consumer electronics. His byline has appeared in a number of top tech publications, and has been writing for Lifewire since 2018.
Andrew Hayward is a tech journalist with nearly 14 years of experience under his belt. He's written for many of the leading tech and gaming publications in that time, and specializes in smartphones, smart home tech and, more broadly, consumer tech.