Best gaming desk in 2021 Best gaming desk header image with a green background and two desks overlaid
The best gaming desk is as much an investment in personal ergonomics as picking the right gaming chair for your PC setup. Both can have a dramatic impact on your body should you make the wrong choices about what supports your spine and what supports your gaming monitor.
That probably sounds rather dramatic but, if you can't get your feet under a desktop, then the chances are you're going to be twisted around in your seat and for the countless hours you spend at your gaming PC, day-in-day-out that can really affect your posture. And that way lies backpain and aching shoulders.
There are countless options when it comes to the best gaming desk for you. Your body position makes a big difference: do you want to sit, stand, or have the ability to alternate? Sitting for hours on end can be as can standing in one position, so if you will be stationed at your machine for a long time, it's worth going for a more flexible option. And with a desk converter, you may not even have to ditch your current desk for convenience.
The next hurdles are space, price, and cable management. Like it or not, our gaming PCs come with a whole lot of wires to manage, and you need a place to put them, so it doesn't look like a tangled mess behind your desk. So get your tape measure out, check your budget sheet, and take a peek below at all the different gaming desk options we tested with our own home setups for you.
The best gaming desk
The Flexispot EN1B may not have the catchiest name here, but it makes for an impressively sturdy, motorized adjustable desk for anyone looking to upgrade their home/gaming/office setup. And it will do it all at a reasonable price. The Flexispot supports heights from 71cm (27.8in) up to 121cm (47.6in), which should have you covered for all comfortable sitting and standing setups. The control panel can hold three different height profiles in its memory banks and moves smoothly between them. Or you can set your own height manually, with the current level shown on the three-digit display.
Of course, the main thing you want from any desk is stability. If everything is bouncing along as you type, it doesn't matter if you're sitting or standing; you're going to want to break it up. The good news is that the Flexipost is rock solid—even though I have an old screen with a flimsy stand, it doesn't move even with my most aggressive emails. When you raise and lower the desk, the smooth action instills confidence too, and it's just as sturdy at its highest position.
Construction is a straightforward task as well, taking just over an hour to turn the two boxes into a working, versatile desk. A few more pre-drilled holes for the control box and the central beam would have been nice, but the surface is easy enough to screw into with a little elbow grease. The only downside to the whole desk is that there are no sensors to stop the motor if it hits an obstacle when it's going down, which could be expensive if your chair gets caught under it. Or upsetting if it's your cat. Overall, an impressive desk for sitting and standing, for really not much cash.
First, this thing is excruciatingly heavy; I had to get help rolling the two separate boxes into the living room for unpacking. Once there, however, it took me around two hours to get it all together. After one minor cockup, a dash of assistance, and a pinch of spice, we finally got there. Now in my living room stands this beautifully rounded monstrosity, with enough desktop real estate to take on the state of Alaska.
The manual's adorable illustrations made the process streamlined, but I will say the machining quality was a little off, with some misaligned holes and parts not sitting as flush as I would’ve expected. The legs are sturdy, but consider the surface you’re going to place the thing on carefully.
It actually recommends rug or carpet placement, as opposed to a hard surface floor. It has settled nicely into my thick carpet after some anxiety over precarious wobbles, but there’s still a fair amount of travel when I push up to get out of my chair.
The built-in mesh hammock for cable management, however, is awesome. And I’m no longer vexed by constantly falling off the edge of my mouse mat because the desktop's whole surface is a mouse mat. I was mesmerized by the hydrophobic surface and had to resist deliberately spilling drinks to watch the liquid ball up. And, perhaps most of all, I love having so much desktop space.
So, while the engineers in my family would have been a little distressed by the setup, I am pretty enamored with the final beast. I can fit my gaming tower up top comfortably, alongside my two monitors and peripherals, with loads of space for coffee cups, open notebooks, and even a lamp. I’d say that’s a win.
The Lian Li DK-04F is the ultimate gaming desk, simply because it will essentially also be your PC and its security device too. It's going to be incredibly hard for any would-be thief to make off with your rig should it be housed inside this weighty beast. With a 1 meter width, this behemoth is actually the smaller sibling, too; Lian Li also makes the DK-05F, in which you can fit two discrete gaming PCs.
The desk itself is not that easy to actually build, however. The individual legs are super heavy, and the metal 'chassis' isn't much better. You're definitely going to need a hand building it, or maybe an engine winch.
It's classic Lian Li, too, by which I mean my fingers were striped with bloody slices once the chassis-on-legs was built. There were also some misaligned screw holes on my review sample, though that has not impacted its impressive solidity. In the end, even with a couple of monitors mounted directly on the desktop, it's a robust desktop, even at its full height.
Then there's that tempered glass top. It's frosted, which makes the included RGB strips look great when your system's fully built, but at a single button press, it can be made crystal clear so you can gaze adoringly down into your PC's insides. It's completely unnecessary, and I love it. However, it's a blessing and a curse because even the best gaming mouse will need a good mouse mat with that glass surface beneath it.
But, at $1,500, it's insanely expensive, and with just a one-year warranty, that feels a little stingy too. And that's also without any of the components needed actually to build a PC into it. All told, that's a hell of a lot for a gaming desk and a lot for a PC chassis. But it absolutely is a lovely, lovely thing for the serious enthusiast.
You may not want to replace your office furniture completely—or even be able to if it's not actually yours—which makes a converter, such as VariDesk's Pro Plus range, a great option. The Pro Plus is available in different sizes and can sit atop most desktops, and immediately gives you the ability to switch from sitting to standing.
It's also one of the simplest ways to get yourself a standing desk; it requires no setup and doesn't impact the desktop you place it on. The VariDesk Pro Plus comes ready to roll straight out of the box. All you need to do is place it on top of your current desk, and you're good to go. You'll need some strength to get it there as this thing is not light.
Though, once it's set up, that's not an issue and means it's an impressively sturdy solution at each of its 11 height settings. We've been able to run a pair of monitors on the top section with the extended lower section ideal for a mouse and keyboard. Okay, it's not ideal for a mouse because the surface does not play nice with most sensors. We actually had to jury rig our own shaped mouse mat to get a decent experience, but the two-tier stepping still makes for a great desktop.
The VariDesk isn't motorized, but it uses a spring-loaded mechanism with twin handles to make it easy to move from sitting to standing quickly. The action is smooth and doesn't require a huge amount of force to shift, even when multiple monitors and peripherals sit on top of it.
The first thing you'll notice is that the BDI Stance is gorgeous. The satin-etched tempered glass surface and powder-coated steel legs put it leagues ahead of cheaper standing desks, which often use a laminate surface which is easy to scuff up. BDI claims its glass finish offers protection against scratches and fingerprints, and our experience mostly validates that claim.
Assembly took a little over an hour, and we recommend having a second person around to help get it upright since it weighs over 100 pounds. The 48 x 24-inch desk was more than enough space for me, though if you need the extra room, these desks also come as large as 66 x 30-inches.
The only big negative against Stance as a gaming desk is a noticeable lack of storage. An optional keyboard drawer is a great place to hide a keyboard and mouse since there are little cut-outs to run the cable through. The keyboard drawer's surface is an unflattering textured rubber that doesn't make for a great gaming mouse surface for day-to-day use. If you skip the drawer, invest in a giant mousepad to give you all the gaming surface you need without smudging the glass.
Sure it's super-pricey, but if you have about $1,400 burning a hole in your pocket and are looking to class up your work and play space, the BDI Stance electric lift desks are seriously well-crafted and stylish.
Best gaming desk FAQ
What is the best size for a gaming desk?
There are multiple sizes of gaming desk, mostly going up to around 60 x 30 inches, with 40 x 30 inches another popular size. Which you prefer will largely depend on how much space you have available and how many monitors you are looking to stand atop it.
Is a gaming desk worth it?
That depends what you class as a ‘gaming desk’. Certainly it’s absolutely worth having a dedicated desk upon which to have your monitor, and keyboard and mouse, from an ergonomic point of view at the very least. Balancing your kit on top of a chest of drawers where you can’t get your feet under is bad for your posture, and sitting at a dining room table isn’t going to help either.
But specific gaming desks can be useful in that they may have cable routing for your peripherals and power leads, and may even have a full mouse mat surface across it. RGB on a gaming desk? Now, that’s probably not worth it.
Do I need a sitting/standing desk?
There has been a lot of talk recently about how our increasingly sedentary lifestyle can have a negative impact on our health. And if you sit down for much of your working day, and then sit down to enjoy your favourite games for hours on end in the evening, then chances are that you’re not going to be moving around that much.
Which is bad.
But that doesn’t necessarily mean you need a standing desk, because purely standing all day and night isn’t good for you either. Movement is the key thing, so even if you have a sitting desk you can remain healthy by regularly shifting position, and getting up out of your seat often.
A desk which can transition between both is the ideal, as that will offer the benefits of both and encourage you move between sitting and standing throughout the day. And they don’t have to be ridiculously expensive either.