A laptop’s portability makes us use it in all sorts of strange positions – most of them unhealthy. If you spend a lot of time working on a laptop, then you need a proper desk and chair to protect your health. But what is the ideal height for a laptop desk?
Depending on your height, the height of the laptop desk you are using should be anything between 24.5″ to 34 inches. A big difference between minimums and maximums, so we’ll have to go more in depth to find the perfect height for you!
Unlike traditional desktop computers which have a keyboard and a monitor that are independent from the main units, laptops come as a whole.
As a results, it’s almost impossible to find a perfect solution to properly use a laptop long term without added peripherals – at least an external keyboard will be needed.
Otherwise, even if the height of your desk will be the ideal one, you will still have trouble typing or using your laptop.
But let’s solve problems one at a time and start with the ideal height for your laptop desk. This will actually have to go hand in hand with your chair’s height: both heights have to be taken into consideration for an ideal working environment.
The good thing is that all office/computer chairs come with an adjustable height with a press of a button, so you shouldn’t have much trouble finding the perfect height for your chair.
But for a laptop, things are a bit more different and you have to make sure you purchase the right one for you based on your actual height.
Ideal height of laptop desks
Check the list below to see what the height of your laptop desk should be based on your own height:
|Your Height||Desk Height|
|5′ 3″ (160 cm)||25.4″ (65 cm)|
|5′ 4″ (163 cm)||25.8″ (66 cm)|
|5′ 5″ (165 cm)||26.2″ (67 cm)|
|5′ 6″ (168 cm)||26.6″ (68 cm)|
|5′ 7″ (170 cm)||27.0″ (69 cm)|
|5′ 8″ (173 cm)||27.4″ (70 cm)|
|5′ 9″ (175 cm)||27.8″ (71 cm)|
|5′ 10″ (178 cm)||28.2″ (72 cm)|
|5′ 11″ (180 cm)||28.6″ (73 cm)|
|6′ 0″ (183 cm)||29.0″ (74 cm)|
|6′ 1″ (185 cm)||29.4″ (75 cm)|
|6′ 2″ (188 cm)||29.8″ (76 cm)|
|6′ 3″ (190 cm)||30.2″ (77 cm)|
|6′ 4″ (193 cm)||30.6″ (78 cm)|
|6′ 5″ (196 cm)||31.0″ (79 cm)|
As you can see, for every 0’1″, the height of your laptop’s desk should increase by 0.4″ (1cm for roughly every 3cm).
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It’s more than the height of your desk!
Now that you have the desk set up at a perfect height and your office chair set to have you in a comfortable position, it’s time to set the ideal height of your laptop screen.
This is when things get tricky and the extra peripherals will come in handy.
Placing a laptop on a desk – even though it is a an ideal height for your body – will still result in you being in a strange position because the height of the laptop’s screen won’t be where it should.
The screen will basically have to act as your monitor, and you will have to use an external keyboard and mouse. The laptop itself will have to be raised by anything between 5 to 10 inches (or sometimes a bit more, depending on its size).
In order for you to have an ideal position, your laptop’s screen top bezel should be at the same height (or just below) eye level.
I personally use a laptop stand that I place on my desk to achieve this, but you can use anything that is stable and does the job: a bunch of large books, boxes, plastic boxes… just make sure that whatever you use is stable and won’t be damaged by heat (or produce extra heating to your laptop).
There are also all sorts of laptop stands available (affiliate link) with adjustable heights that will easily do this for you.
This means that you will need an external mouse and keyboard, because you won’t be able (and shouldn’t) type on your laptop’s keyboard or use its touchpad. They will be at an awkward height an uncomfortable to use.
You have a ton of options here as well and also budget friendly. We strongly recommend getting corded peripherals instead of wireless ones. They are more reliable, durable and easier to use.
Your keyboard and mouse should be positioned in such a way that your shoulders are relaxed when you’re using them, elbows at the sides of your body and also – very important! – your wrists in a straight alignment with the forearm.
If your forearm is higher (or lower, although this rarely happens), you will start experiencing discomfort and even pain sooner rather than later.
We see all those photos of people laying in bed or crouched on the couch or apparently relaxing in a hammock and doing their job on a laptop… but if you do work regularly on a laptop, you just know that is impossible.
If you spend many hours in front of the laptop’s screen, like most of the people nowadays are doing, then you have to ensure that you take care of everything within your power to make your working hours as healthy and comfortable as possible.
Choosing the perfect height for your desk, but also ensuring that you set up your chair’s height correctly, as well as the laptop’s monitor and peripherals – all of these will make a major difference, as you will see.
Sitting correctly when working is one of the most important things when it comes to laptop work and hopefully you have all the details you need to make the right choices or at least adjust your current setup to make it as ergonomic as possible.
If you still have questions or need additional advice for your particular setup, don’t hesitate to ask in the comments section below.