The Best Home Office Setups in 2021

Everything you need while working from home

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A home office setup is important, but it shouldn’t cost an arm and a leg to help you make the most of your work from home experience. We’ve taken a look at the best home office accessories for every price range. Whether you’re looking to upgrade every element of your workspace or just pick up a few ease-of-life necessities — from your seat to your screen, we’ve got you covered. 

Before we get started, consider your needs and the equipment you’d like to bring into your home carefully. In our experience, the right accessories can make or break your work from home experience. For example, do you like the idea of a dual work and play desk station that couples as a gaming rig? If you have a lot of PC accessories, you may find that a USB-Hub is useful for consolidating your cords into a clean, user-friendly desk space. If you often find yourself traveling for work, will any of your accessories need to pick up and go with you? Do you often do creative development which needs higher-quality monitors in order to make the most of your editing software? These are important considerations which can truly set products — and price ranges — apart. 

Most importantly, if you’re using this equipment for long periods of time, be mindful of important features like ergonomic design. This is particularly important not only for your comfort but your prolonged health and well-being, designed to stop repetitive stress injuries before they even begin to bother you. 

Best Budget Setup

Budget
What We Like
  • Full-size keyboard

  • Minimalist ergonomic designs 

  • LG Monitor features HD color and wide screen viewing angles

  • Flicker Safe technology and Reader Mode optimize display to reduce blue light

What We Don't Like
  • Seat height isn’t adjustable 

  • LG Monitor sells out quickly

  • Keyboard wrist pad is sold separately

While working from home may be the new normal, spending a fortune on a home office setup doesn’t have to come with the package. For just under $450, you can build a complete and modern home office.

First and foremost, you’ll need a desk, and Inbox Zero’s office desk is a minimalist way to carve out a workspace without breaking the bank. While it doesn’t include any additional storage space, it sits comfortably at 28.3 inches x 55.1 inches x 23.6 inches and generally retails for $100 or less. It’s not only wide enough to support a laptop, full-size keyboard, and monitor, but it’s able to do so without feeling cramped and intrusive.

The next necessity is a comfortable chair that provides support throughout the workday, and Office Star’s ProGrid Visitors chair is a great compromise between comfort, quality, and your budget. Office Star’s chair features a cozy, plush cushion, built-in armrests, a sturdy titanium frame that’s rated for up to 250 pounds, and includes a comfortable mesh backing. While the seat height on the ProGrid isn’t adjustable and it doesn’t swivel, its price-point is friendly enough that we’re willing to overlook these shortcomings thanks to its comfortable, no-frills design. 

A quality monitor is a must-have piece of office equipment. If you’re looking to expand your setup to include one, the LG 32’’ IPS HD Monitor is an excellent contender. Equipped with Flicker Safe and a Reader Mode, the LG monitor is capable of reducing on-screen flickering and blue light, widely considered sources of eye strain. This renders the on-screen environment so that it’s more akin to paper — and much friendlier for your retinas. Its large display also makes viewing documents and windows side-by-side a cinch.

With the major components out of the way, that just leaves the accessories. Compatible with Mac and Windows devices, the Anker is an ergonomically designed mouse that’s both user-friendly and budget-friendly, generally retailing for around $20. Capitalizing on the “handshake” position for your wrist and arms, it aims to prevent repetitive stress injuries before pain occurs. Its wired USB connection means you never have to worry about running low on a charge. One drawback to the Anker, however, is it is not designed with left-handed individuals in mind.

The Dell multimedia keyboard is a great entry-level, full-size keyboard for the home office. At 17.4 inches x 5 inches x 1 inches, it is large but it won’t dominate your desk compared to other full-size keyboards. Chiclet keys ensure a softer and more comfortable typing experience. Its wired, USB connection means you never have to worry about a low battery. A palm rest is available for separate purchase, for added comfort, although it costs as much as the keyboard itself.   

Last, but certainly not least, you’ll need a way to connect all your components. The Anker USB C Hub is designed to connect up to four USB 3.0 compatible devices through one USB-C port. These supported devices include keyboards, mice, headphones, and other PC accessories, so that you never have to pick and choose what devices you want to use at a given time. This is a must-have accessory for cable management enthusiasts. One drawback to its design, unfortunately, is the Anker USB C Hub has an insufficient power supply to maintain a stable connection to power-hungry devices, such as external hard drives.

Anker has replicated its successful wireless vertical mouse in a wired model, and it's just as good. As expected, it's a few dollars cheaper, and the nearly five-foot cable is long enough for almost every desk and computer setup.” —David Dean, Product Tester

 “The design is slim and compact, so it won't take up much space on your desk. Even better, it supports 4K inputs at 30Hz via the HDMI port allowing you to connect a monitor.”Don Reisinger, Product Researcher



Best Mid-Tier Setup

Mid
What We Like
  • Swivel chair includes adjustable height and tilt options

  • Curved screen for reduced eye strain and increased efficiency

  • Desk includes free-standing, modular cabinet for clutter-free storage

  • Mouse and keyboard can toggle between multiple connected devices

What We Don't Like
  • Drawers aren’t very sturdy

  • Hyper Scrolling middle mouse feature isn’t a great fit for all users

While $450 can get you up and running with a stylish, minimalist design, investing $1,000 offers a big step up in terms of storage, built-in features, and it allows you to splurge where it counts: the monitor.

The X-Cross Desk and File set is a modernist desk and cabinet pairing from Brenton Studio, known for creating reliable office furniture for any price range. Generally listed for about $160, the desk and storage combo may often be found retailing on sale for less. Its sturdy, metal minimalist frame, combined with the free-standing modular storage cabinet — which can be placed either beside the desk or underneath it if space is a premium — make it a surefire winner. While the drawers themselves are made of fabric, and just a touch on the wobbly side, they’ll cover most storage needs nicely. As a bonus, the free-standing cabinet may be repurposed as a printer stand for additional efficiency gains. 

What better pairing for Brenton’s Studio’s X-Cross Desk and File set than their own Jaxby Mid-Back Task chair, a shoulder-height chair featuring a swivel design that’s not only comfortable, but it is both height and tilt adjustable. If you like to shift, scoot, and move about at your desk, the swivel design is a huge leap up in comfort from the Office Star ProGrid Visitors chair. Assembly doesn’t take long, although it’s worth noting that while the instructions themselves are user-friendly and simple, following them can be a bit tricky when it comes to aligning the arms properly. One drawback to the design, however, is the Jaxby’s arms are notably in a fixed position. 

As with most monitors, the Samsung C32HG70 32’’ HDR QLED curved gaming monitor is the most expensive part of the mid-tier home office setup, apart from the laptop or Mac itself. Combined with its low input lag, excellent refresh rate of 144 Hz, and FreeSync support, this monitor can work hard and play hard. The curved design is not only immersive, but it helps ensure you're always at an optimal viewing distance — so you can maximize efficiency while keeping eye strain to a minimum. Proprietary HDR QLED technology ensures that every dot delivers a wide range of colors, including rich dark blacks and crisp bright whites, for a more extreme, lifelike on-screen experience. The stand offers two points of movement thanks to its elbow-style joint, so you can adjust the tilt, swivel, and rotate the display as-needed to create your optimal viewing angle. Because of its curved design, we’d recommend it works best if it’s the only monitor in-use. 

The Logitech M720 Triathlon mouse and the MX Keys full-size keyboard complete the shift to a wireless home office, so cable management woes are a thing of the past. Meticulously designed, comfortable, and including built-in programmable customization options — so you can create your own shortcuts for efficiency gains and to maximize your workflow — but the Triathlon and MX Keys are both compatible with up to three paired devices. 

For those looking to bridge any extra connections, the Kingston Nucleum USB-C hub is portable, user-friendly, and versatile. Including SD and MicroSD card readers, a USB-C power port, a USB-C port, two USB-A 3.1 ports, and a 4K HDMI port, the Nucleum can comfortably connect a laptop to a monitor, keyboard, and mouse. The sheek, silver design offers not only a quality accessory for your home office but a perfect match when paired with the silver chassis of a MacBook Pro or an Asus Chromebook. The Nucleum doesn’t need power to run, so if you’re in a pinch and without a power supply, you can still use it to project, type, or move your mouse around as needed. Most importantly, however, the Nucleum includes power-pass through technology, which means you can keep your connected devices charged throughout the day while you’re using them, too.

The Logitech M720 Triathlon is all about compatibility. It can pair with tons of different devices and operating systems beyond your iPad, making it a one-size-fits-all solution to your home office.” — Emmeline Kaser, Product Researcher 


Best High-End Setup

High
What We Like
  • Monitor features gorgeous 4K resolution

  • Steelcase Gesture ships fully assembled

  • Sturdy, power-lifting electric desk design makes for easy height adjustability

  • Keyboard is fully programmable, including macros, secondary functions, and shortcuts

What We Don't Like
  • Desk arrives in multiple shipments

  • Steelcase Gesture has limited height adjustment settings 

  • Monitor not flicker-free

While $1,000 will situate you with equipment that comes with built-in features, extra storage, and at a higher quality, investing up to $3,000 for a high-end setup may be a steep bump up in price, but this setup will cover your needs for years to come thanks to the no compromises, quality investment. 

First, the ApexDesk Elite Series 71" Electric Height Adjustable Standing Desk offers excellent bang for your buck if you’re looking for a high quality motorized standing desk at an affordable price, especially considering other quality, electric adjustable desks can easily cost twice as the ApexDesk—or more. It’s available in a range of six colors, including American walnut and red apple, and it sports a matte, scratch-resistant finish. Rated for up to 225 pounds, it’s got plenty of space for mounting extra screens as well as for placing all your PC accessories. Set up to four customizable height options so you can change up the pace at your workstation with a variety of positions without breaking a sweat. Because of the minimalist nature of this desk’s design, a USB hub to help organize cables will be essential for anyone looking to bring home an ApexDesk. 

The difference between an affordable and a high-end office chair has never been more clear than with the Gesture, a surefire winner from Steelcase. From the snug, super-soft cushion which ensures comfort from edge-to-edge, a sturdy aluminum base, and up to 400 pound weight capacity, the Gesture fits a wide range of user’s needs. Combined with a specially constructed back and seat design, it’s a unique, synchronized system that’s devised to best support you in the upright position. While it does have a few plastic panels, these aren’t the hallmarks of cheap construction so much as an intentional one, instead providing more flexibility of movement or covering unattractive metal parts of the chair. It also includes several tilt-limiting settings so you can lock into preferred positions quickly and easily. The arms in particular have a wide adjustment range which helps them move in a more life-like manner, conforming to your every movement as you type, take notes, or dominate your opponents on the field of battle in the latest Star Wars: Squadrons game. While the Gesture is a wonderful home office tool, it may not be the best fit for taller users due to limited height adjustment settings. 

The Dell UltraSharp 32’’ produces beautiful 3840 x 2160 4K IPS picture quality for clean, crisp true-to-life images that blend seamlessly into its InfinityEdge design. It has plenty of space for multiple work windows, so multitaskers can tackle the day with ease. The UltraSharp includes several different visual modes, including Desktop HDR, Reference, Game HDR, and Movie HDR, so you can quickly and easily switch gears between projects and ensure vibrant on-screen picture quality when you do, whether you’re watching the latest 4K movies or dabbling in video and photo editing. Dell’s glare reducing technology ensures the monitor performs well in bright rooms, as always, but some users report challenges with dark room performance as well as with gaming performance. Although the monitor claims to be flicker-free, Lifewire’s shown that it does feature a high-frequency flicker and wobble in our own product testing, although you can tweak the backlight settings in the display to help counter the issue if it’s bothersome.

Devised for creatives and coders who run a multitude of various apps at a time, the Logitech MX Master 3 is a high-end productivity mouse designed with more technical workers in mind. It boasts that it’s able to help you work faster, more precisely, and quietly, which could make this a must-have for anyone who prefers to hop online early or stay up late. Whether you’re working on one laptop or you’re taking advantage of the MX Master 3’s easy-switch abilities to switch between up to three paired machines, it’s got you covered. You can create app-specific customizations across an array of programs, gaining time back in your day by using shortcuts for editing content in apps such as Photoshop or Microsoft PowerPoint. 

The Razer Pro Type is an excellent wireless mechanical keyboard that's great for office use and productivity, but we suspect it’d fit nicely into any gamer’s household as well thanks to its high customizability and ease of use. This full-size keyboard can connect up to four devices at once and switch between them with ease thanks to Bluetooth and this keyboard’s USB unifying receiver. The keyboard is fully programmable, including macros, secondary functions, and shortcuts. One caveat is that the programming that drives this high customizability is powered by Synapse 3 software, which isn’t compatible with devices outside of the Windows family.

Finally, for a home office hub, you’ll want to consider the Elgato ThunderBolt 3 mini dock which brings everything together with transfer speeds of up to 40 Gbps. The dock includes connections for the Thunderbolt 3 cable, HDMI and DisplayPort connectivity, an USB 3.1 port and an ethernet connection. The dock is compatible with both Mac and Windows devices. It’s capable of extending your display on up to two 4K monitors at 60 Hz each, although it can support a refresh rate of up to 144 Hz on lower resolutions if it’s needed. The dock is also HDCP compliant, as an additional perk. 

 “The Dell U3219Q is a solid choice for those who need a 4K monitor for work or the office, but it isn’t a good idea for gamers due to motion issues.”Zach Sweat, Product Tester

The Logitech MX Master 3 is built for the user who needs a wireless mouse that offers control over a bevy of buttons, application-specific functions, and connectivity with multiple machines.” — Yoona Wagener, Product Tester

About Our Trusted Experts

Emily Isaacs is a Chicago-based technology writer who's been teaming-up with Lifewire since 2019. Her areas of expertise include video games, consumer technology, and gadgets. 

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