Ergonomic Table Height for Laptops & Desktops with Big Monitors

Ergonomics mean a lot to me. Working is not an easy thing. It takes mental focus, concentration and will power to get work done. There is no reason to make it even more difficult with bad ergonomics and a dull working space.

The height of tables has always been 30″ inches. It is the standard height for reading desks, dining tables and computer desks. Computer desks still have 30″ height but they have a keyboard tray which is at 26″.

If you are working with your laptop, the keyboard should be at 26″ high – which means the laptop needs to be placed at a height of 26″. But many offices, home offices and work desks at home still retain the standard height of 30″ and it is extremely unergonomic to have a keyboard at 30″ high.

I have all my desks at this height and the only disadvantage is that the arm rests for your chair is also at 26″ and the chair cannot be pushed into the desks.

Even for computers, 26″ is fine because now the monitors are big. If you are using a 27″ screen, you shouldn’t be placing the monitor on a 30″ desk even if you have the keyboard tray at 26″. Because the top of the monitor has to be at your eye level and if you are placing it at 30″ high you will have to tilt your head up a little bit to look at the top of the screen and it is NOT ergonomic.

I recently made a home office for myself and I have created a 12 ft wide table which is 26″ high. The one you see on the right side is an open book shelf. I am totally happy with 26″. I had a hard time convincing my interior designer that 26″ is the ideal height.

home office

So the new standard is 26″ and it works both for laptops and desktop computers. I have started to love it for writing and reading as well. So the next time you make a table, make sure it is at 26″.

What has been your experience with table heights? Do you think 26″ is ergonomic? Leave a comment below!

14 thoughts on “Ergonomic Table Height for Laptops & Desktops with Big Monitors”

  1. I just noticed that my table height is 29.5″ and I have always felt uncomfortable raising my hands to the keyboard level. Thanks for the post. I will see if my carpenter can reduce the table height to 26″.

  2. That’s right…
    in most offices there is no differentiation in tables for installing desktops and tables for laptop with respect to height.
    And after working with laptops for more than 12 years now and experiencing 6-7 different desks, i have tried to resolve this by adjusting the chair height and placing a stepboard beneath my feet!!…

    • But the chair can come up only to a certain level. Sometimes up to 27-28″. If the desk is at 30″ you still have a 2″ difference where you have to raise your hands while taking a strain at your elbows.

  3. What is the height of the chair corresponding to the 26″ and 30″ table. How would it vary for taller people? I just measured the table height and found it to be 26″. But I generally use the laptop using a stand on top of the table.

  4. Well, I am in particularly intrigued about the erognomics of the chair depicted in the cover pic of the post —

    that’s awesome…a great headrest, with t-shaped handrests exactly catering to the height they are required to be to…

    Well, I adjust the height of the chair for my 30″ desk by first raising the chair to the max, then adding a couple of cushions over the office chair – adds comfort as well as raises the height.

    Only thing missing – is the footrest – looking forth to a solution for that as well — some sort of jugaad, maybe? 🙂

  5. Dear Deepak,

    I gave my computer table (Height 30″) to my cousin a few weeks ago as I am not using a desktop.

    For 2 weeks, I literally used my lap to rest my laptop on and worked, but seriously developed pain in my upper back and lower back.

    I used Google to get the right height for the laptop table and I got this page, where you’ve clearly written it should be 26″. I took a measurement tape and did the calculation and got a tailor-made laptop table for me of 26″.

    I am really happy with the new table and its height.

    Through this message, I thank you for the post which cleared my confusion.

    Keep writing.

    Thank you,

  6. You’re 100% correct. With a laptop riser to bring the screen to eye level, and a separate mouse & keyboard, a 26″ height is optimal for most average-height people. I found your page through a search for such a table… so far, I’ve been unlucky.

    I don’t understand how designers, whose job it is to work this stuff out, could miss this conclusion.

    Yours in frustration,


  7. I’ve always been uncomfortable with conventional 30″ height of the desks while using laptop. However if I shift to 26″, what about missing the ideal view of the screen to eye level? Even with 30″ desk, my neck feels a sprain working on a 13″ laptop, as I have to look down at the screen. Pls advise

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