Picks

The Essential Ergonomic Gear for Your Home Office

The keyboards, lights, and chairs that will make your work life more comfortable.

laptop and monitor stand

As a group that sits (or stands) at our home-office desks at least five days a week, we at Wirecutter know how important it is to be comfortable as you work. Collectively, we’ve spent well over a thousand hours testing more than a hundred pieces of gear that encourage ergonomically healthy posture and won’t leave you feeling achy and sore at the end of each workday.

Small changes: You don’t have to spend a lot of money on gear to avoid straining your arms, wrists, fingers, or neck.

Ergonomic keyboard

4 picks, $36-$100

Keyboards are shaped the way they are because it’s what people were used to when they came over from typewriters. An ergonomic keyboard looks funny but can be more comfortable because your hands and wrists can rest in a more natural position.

Best for most people

Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard

Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard

This inexpensive ergonomic keyboard puts your wrists in the ideal typing position for pleasant typing over long periods.

Best Bluetooth for Windows

Kinesis Freestyle2 Blue (PC)

Kinesis Freestyle2 Blue (PC)

This wireless, split keyboard works with Windows, Android, and Linux and won’t leave your shoulders sore.

Best Bluetooth for Mac

Kinesis Freestyle2 Blue (Mac)

Kinesis Freestyle2 Blue (Mac)

This wireless, split keyboard works with both macOS and iOS and won’t leave your shoulders sore.

Must have for the Freestyle2

Kinesis Freestyle2 VIP3 Accessory

Kinesis Freestyle2 VIP3 Accessory

For maximum ergonomics with the Freestyle2, this is a must-have accessory.

Read the review: The Best Ergonomic Keyboard

Trackball

2 picks, $80-$90

A trackball isn’t as accurate as a mouse. But either a finger- or thumb-operated model is worth trying if you have nagging wrist or arm pain from using a traditional mouse or trackpad.

Best finger-operated trackball

Kensington Expert Mouse Wireless Trackball

Kensington Expert Mouse Wireless Trackball

With a huge ball and four buttons, this is a near-perfect trackball held back by a gritty scroll ring.

If you prefer thumb-operated

Logitech MX Ergo Wireless Trackball

Logitech MX Ergo Wireless Trackball

The MX Ergo has a tilt feature that makes it especially comfortable, plus Bluetooth and USB wireless and a quality scroll wheel.

Read the Review: The Best Trackballs

Laptop stand

2 picks, $40-$65

Being comfortable at your desk starts with ensuring you’re not hunching over. Putting the top of your laptop screen 2 or 3 inches above your natural eye level encourages good posture, reducing neck and arm strain.

The sturdiest, most adjustable stand

Rain Design iLevel 2

Rain Design iLevel 2

The sturdy Rain Design iLevel 2 has a handy adjustment knob and is made of anodized aluminum.

A budget option

Rain Design mStand

Rain Design mStand

The mStand is not adjustable, but it is sturdy. It also looks snazzy, and it has a hole for cable management.

Read the Review: The Best Laptop Stands

Good lighting

Don’t stare at a computer screen in a dark room. Adequate lighting relaxes your eyes, reducing eyestrain and headaches as you work or read. It can also prevent squinting and awkward posture.

Position light where you want it

Fully Lumen LED Desk Lamp

Fully Lumen LED Desk Lamp

Our pick offers the most brightness levels and color temperatures, and has the most intuitive controls. We also like its minimalist design.

A classic look

IKEA Forså

IKEA Forså

Although you can’t dim the bulb or adjust its color temperature, you can pick your own screw-in LED bulb for this affordable architect-style lamp.

A great LED bulb

Cree 60W Equivalent Soft White A19 Dimmable LED

Cree 60W Equivalent Soft White A19 Dimmable LED

For a lower price than most other bulbs, this dimmable LED produces warm and accurate light.

Read the Review: The Best LED Desk Lamp

Bigger investments: These costly upgrades are worth the splurge if you want to really dial in your workspace ergonomics.

Comfortable chair

3 picks, $510-$949

A well-built office chair with fully adjustable height, tilt, seat depth, and armrests is the foundation of good desk posture. Although costly, it’s the most important work-related investment you can make in your daily comfort and long-term health.

The best office chair

Steelcase Gesture

Steelcase Gesture

This is one of the most adjustable chairs available—anyone can make the Gesture comfortable, regardless of their height or size.

A more breathable back

Herman Miller Aeron

Herman Miller Aeron

Less adjustable but more breathable, and just as comfortable for typing at a desk.

For a different look

Herman Miller Sayl

Herman Miller Sayl

This is the most visually distinctive model we tested—and it’s also a great chair.

Read the Review: The Best Office Chair

Monitor

3 picks, $226-$525

A large, crisp display is easy on the eyes. But just as important is the fact that it allows you to adjust it to your eye level so you’re looking straight at your work, not craning your neck up or down throughout the day.

4k resolution for fast computers

HP Z27

HP Z27

The HP Z27 has great color accuracy, an ergonomic stand, a variety of useful ports, and a three-year warranty.

A 27-inch model for older computers

Dell UltraSharp U2717D

Dell UltraSharp U2717D

This monitor has better USB port placement for easier organization, plus good color accuracy, but it offers lower contrast.

For a smaller screen at a lower price

Dell UltraSharp U2415

Dell UltraSharp U2415

Our favorite 24-inch monitor offers amazing color accuracy, a variety of ports, and impressive adjustability at a reasonable price.

Read the Review: The Best 4K Monitors

Monitor arm

4 picks, $99-$209

Ergonomic experts recommend keeping your the top of your screen 2 or 3 inches above your eyeline. A monitor arm lets you position your monitor at the right level for you to see most of your screen without craning your neck.

The best monitor arm

AmazonBasics Single Monitor Display Mounting Arm

AmazonBasics Single Monitor Display Mounting Arm

The AmazonBasics monitor arm is sturdy, adjustable with a wide range of movement, and cheaper than the competition.

If you’re over 6 feet tall

Ergotron LX Desk Mount LCD Monitor Arm Tall Pole

Ergotron LX Desk Mount LCD Monitor Arm Tall Pole

Ergotron’s Tall Pole version adds 6¼ inches of pole length to increase vertical range.

For more color options

Fully Jarvis Monitor Arm

Fully Jarvis Monitor Arm

The sleek, stylish Fully Jarvis comes in multiple color options, but it’s more difficult to assemble.

If you have two monitors

AmazonBasics Dual Side-by-Side Monitor Display Mounting Arm

AmazonBasics Dual Side-by-Side Monitor Display Mounting Arm

If you need a dual monitor arm, the AmazonBasics model offers a design nearly identical to pricier competition.

Read the Review: The Best Monitor Arms

Standing desk

1 pick, $495

An adjustable desk lets you switch between standing and sitting so you don’t stay sedentary for too long. But even if you never stand, being able to adjust the height to exactly the right fit for your body and chair improves comfort.

Uplift Bamboo Stand Up Desk with 1″ Thick Desktop and V2 Frame

Uplift Bamboo Stand Up Desk with 1″ Thick Desktop and V2 Frame

Offering the best combination of stability, operation, features, and design options, Uplift’s standing desk is notable for a lack of major flaws.

Read the Review: The Best Standing Desks

Standing desk mat

2 picks, $37-$89

If you want to stand at your desk, or to switch between standing and sitting, a supportive mat will help you do so comfortably. The best standing desk mats encourage movement, which gets blood moving through your muscles.

Best for regular movement

Ergodriven Topo

Ergodriven Topo

The Topo gives your feet varied terrain, encouraging movement and making standing less tedious.

A lower-cost option

Royal Anti-Fatigue Comfort Mat

Royal Anti-Fatigue Comfort Mat

This model is not ideal for long standing periods, but it offers the most support of any mat near its price.

Read the Review: The Best Standing Desk Mats

Things to skip

Wrist rest
A good ergonomic keyboard has a built-in wrist rest that positions your wrists at a natural angle for typing.

Foot rest
Put money you’d spend on this toward an adjustable office chair, which will let you position your knees at a comfortable, 90-degree angle.

Exercise ball
Although good for building core strength, an exercise ball lacks the lumbar support you need for proper sitting posture. Get a high-quality, adjustable chair instead.

Read the original post on The Essential Ergonomic Gear for Your Home Office.