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The 20 Best Desktop Essentials

Photo: Bluelounge Posto Headphone Stand

We are living in an unprecedented time in which this global pandemic has forced many people and employers to adopt a new work-from-home approach to jobs. And while that gives people a lot more freedom to work for companies they might not otherwise be able to and allows for a more relaxed approach, there are a number of downsides as well. For instance, you may not have a company’s office gear at your disposal, requiring you to outfit your own home workspace with equipment to make up for that.

Typically, that means that employees are now responsible for setting up their own desk and acquiring any gear one might need to ensure that space is effective, efficient, and pleasing. But it also means more customization than might otherwise be available. Of course, that also comes with the caveat that one is left to struggle on their own to find the right complement of desktop gear. But that is where we come in: we’ve put together a collection of 20 of the best pieces of desktop gear to get your office, workspace, or wherever else properly situated. This is the best desktop gear.

Bluelounge Posto Headphone Stand

Especially if your home is a distracting space or you don’t want to bother your roommates and/or family with your music and/or video conference calls, you’re going to need a good pair of WFH headphones. However, you’ll also need a place to stash them when you’re not using them. Enter the Bluelounge Posto Headphone Stand. It’s simple, sturdy, reliable, takes up very little space, and looks great on any desk.

Purchase: $20

HyperX Wrist Rest

In today’s world, more people than ever work at a job where they’re seated in front of a computer typing away for most of the day. As such, the chances of developing carpal tunnel are unusually high compared to the past. One of the better ways to help avoid that outcome, besides taking breaks and stretching your wrists, is by using a rest like this one. It’s made from comfortable memory foam, has a non-slip back, and it fits full-sized keyboards.

Purchase: $20

bkr Glass Water Bottle

Vacuum-insulated metal water bottles are great for keeping your fluids cold (or hot, if that’s what you prefer), but they do have a tendency to give a bit of a tinny taste to your drinks. This desk-friendly, dishwasher-safe version, however, is made with a glass interior that avoids the odd taste left by its metal brethren. It’s also available in a trio of sizes and four different colorways each, so you can customize it to your workspace while keeping hydrated.

Purchase: $28+

Mazama Standard Mug

Coffee, as might seem obvious, is one of the most popular beverages in the world. In fact, it’s estimated that over 50% of Americans have a cup every morning. As such, a coffee mug is almost a compulsory desktop accessory. And few are as beautiful as the Mazama Standard Mug. Designed to both look great and provide an ergonomic grip, this cup is one of the most satisfying ways to deliver that caffeinated bean juice straight to your mouth.

Purchase: $32

Aer Cable Kit 2

Not everyone’s workspace is entirely stationary. Sometimes, people need to move from one room to another, from home to the office, between coffee shops and/or coworking spaces, etc. As such, it’s a good idea to have a bag to keep all your portable tech and the power cables that go with them. And you definitely can’t go wrong with the Aer Cable Kit 2. This pack is built from ballistic nylon with a DWR face, it’s small enough to carry alone or stash in a larger bag, and it opens up to allow superb organization of all your techie knick-knacks.

Purchase: $50

Nomad Wireless Charging Stand

At this point, more and more smartphone companies are equipping their mobile devices with the ability to charge wirelessly. As such, having a wireless charger at your desk is quickly becoming a necessity. And this one from Nomad is one of the best. It boasts Qi-compatible quick-charging, it has a polycarbonate frame wrapped in high-quality leather, it has anti-skid feet, and it’s compatible with all iPhones with a 7.5W charge output.

Purchase: $60

Craighill Desk Knife

Not everyone needs a knife for their job, but if you’re into design, architecture, crafting, or you just get packages delivered to your home, you might want to keep a blade handy. The drop-dead-gorgeous Craighill Desk Knife is not only an effective Japanese-inspired cutting tool with a razor-sharp edge, but it was made in the USA from solid steel and it even has the added bonus of 0.5″ reference markers for quick and easy measurements.

Purchase: $70

Satechi Aluminum Multi-Port Adapter V2

In spite of our increasingly digital world, computer manufacturers still don’t appear to understand that most people need more than just a couple of USB ports for their various devices. Thankfully, the folks at Satechi definitely do understand this issue and have bypassed it by making their Aluminum Multi-Port Adapter V2. Sturdy and beautiful, this device boasts a trio of USB ports, as well as additional ports for 4K HDMI, ethernet, USB-C pass-through charging, and SD/Micro card reading. You’ll never want for another port.

Purchase: $80

Craighill Jack Puzzle

Sometimes, during the workday, you need to clear your head, find a quick distraction, or finagle your way into the realm of inspiration. However, with the fidget spinner trend dead and few other desktop-worthy oddities around, we’ve found ourselves turning to things that traipse the line between art and oddity — as does the Craighill Jack Puzzle. Beautiful enough to put on display, this USA-made, solid-brass, six-piece puzzle is a great mental workout for those times when you need it most.

Purchase: $95

Maxx & Unicorn Rectangle Valet Tray

Unless you want your pockets to be stuffed all day while you work, a valet tray is an excellent accessory to keep on your desk, as it allows you to keep your everyday carry gear safe and organized without weighing down your pockets unnecessarily. And this one from Maxx & Unicorn is absolutely gorgeous — thanks to its sustainably-sourced solid American walnut construction. It’s also made in the USA and even has a small slot to accommodate smartphone charging cables.

Purchase: $108

Grovemade Leather & Maple Mouse Pad

Though not everyone works on a computer, most of us do on a daily basis. As such, a mousepad is a compulsory piece of gear to ensure your mouse has a functional surface on which to be placed. And while the Grovemade Leather & Maple option you see here is definitely stunning, well-made, and functional, it comes with a bonus: that little reservoir is perfect for stashing an everyday carry pen or touchscreen stylus.

Purchase: $100

Killspencer Desk Mat

Like a mousepad, a desk mat is a near-compulsory piece of kit for your desktop, especially if you work on a laptop. Not only does it protect the surface of your desk from nicks and cuts, but it creates an organizational space for your computer, keyboard, and whatever else you keep at your desk. This Killspencer option is crafted from bullhide leather in your choice of three colorways and it’s available in two sizes, making it quite a versatile buy.

Purchase: $125

WD Black 5TB P10 Portable External Hard Drive

For work, gaming, and even just personal data storage, an external hard drive is a sound investment, as it means you’re not tied to a specific machine for your storage needs. However, some are better than others. Take, for instance, the WD Black P10 portable drive you see here. Optimized for gaming, it has lightning-fast transfer speeds, a whopping 5TB of storage (roughly 125 full current-gen games), and it’s still shockingly small and easy to stash and/or carry with you.

Purchase: $129

Inventery Modular Pocket Fountain Pen

Most of the time, a pen’s are single-purpose writing utensils. By contrast, the Inventery Modular Pocket Fountain Pen can actually transform into three separate writing utensils: a ballpoint pen, a fountain pen, and a touchscreen stylus. And that makes it an absolutely superb value proposition, especially for use at your desk. Pair that with superb construction materials, a balanced form, and a whopping nine refillable ink cartridges included and you can see the tremendous versatility therein.

Purchase: $135

Gather Modular Desk Organizer

If you’re like us, you have quite a few tools and accessories on your desk at any given time. That could include your smartphone, writing utensils, a notepad, paper clips, etc. However, it might change from day to day, depending on your work. In that case, we suggest getting an organizer that can cope with your ever-changing loadout — like the Gather Modular Desk Organizer. This handy device has a slatted wood base and a number of removable modules so you can customize the format and layout on-the-fly.

Purchase: $149

Das Keyboard 4Q

Ask any serious gamer and/or tech addict and they’ll tell you that mechanical keyboards are the superior keyboard format. And while this one boasts hyper-accurate RGB Cherry MX brown switches, it also features a number of smart features not typically found in most mechanical keyboards. That includes things like pre-built Q applets, dual high-speed USB ports, 16.8M interchangeable RGB backlit colors, and more.

Purchase: $199

Bellroy Work Folio A5

Though it seems like a dying art, physically writing down notes, ideas, numbers, etc. is still of great value — and it can even help supercharge the memory centers in your brain. Of course, you’ll need something to write on, which is where the Bellroy Work Folio A5 comes into play. This handy office-friendly travel case can fit an A5-size notebook, pen, phone, tablet, and up to 6 cards. Not to mention it’s built from gorgeous environmentally-certified leather and has a zipper for added security.

Purchase: $199

Razer Leviathan Sound Bar

Face it: your built-in computer speakers are probably not very good. Thankfully, there are a number of desktop speaker options to make up for that. But one of the best — both for its format and sound quality — is the Razer Leviathan Sound Bar. This slim device sits under your monitor in what might otherwise be unused space, it boasts built-in Bluetooth aptX technology for high-fidelity sound, and it comes with its own booming subwoofer. You don’t have to be a gamer to appreciate this audio device, but it will definitely make your video games more immersive.

Purchase: $230

Bang & Olufsen Beoplay H9 Headphones

Not everyone has the ability to blast their favorite albums all day. But that doesn’t mean you don’t have the opportunity to continue to listen to that music at whatever volume pleases you, so long as you pipe it through a pair of excellent WFH headphones like the Bang & Olufsen Beoplay H9. These wireless hi-fi headphones are a bit pricey, but they sound spectacular, offer up roughly 25 hours per charge, and have built-in active noise canceling.

Purchase: $500

Dyson Lightcycle Desk Lamp

Do not ever underestimate the importance of good lighting. It can set your mood, help reduce eye strain, and (obviously) illuminates whatever it is you’re working on at any given time. And the cream of the crop when it comes to desktop lamps is certainly the Dyson Lightcycle. This lamp is designed to last for 60+ years without a bulb replacement, it can mimic the appearance of actual sunlight, and it has smart tech built-in to allow it to learn your routine and auto-adjust to suit.

Purchase: $600

The 20 Best Work From Home Essentials

While this gear works great at home or in an office, most people still working in the midst of the pandemic are going to be working from home indefinitely. As such, you might need more gear to get the job done right, which you’ll find on our list of the best WFH gear.