How Far Should A Desk Be From A Wall?

Near the wall or near the window…How much gap? Where should it be if in the bedroom? How far should you place your desk if it is under a staircase? If you are confused about how far should a desk be from a wall…we have got you covered.

How far should a desk be from a wall?

You should place your desk 3-6 inches away from the wall as it will accommodate any equipment that needs some space at the back. However, if you have multiple desks on the same wall or same room, for easy moving around, you should have around 55 inches to 60 inches or any length of a bigger gap that is realistically possible.

How far should a desk be from a wall-min

However, although the above will help you in most situations. Below we have provided you with some situations that will help you take care of your desk placement more easily…

How much space between a wall and a desk – Other Factors

When you are placing a desk in front of the wall, there are other factors to consider as well.

Below we have provided all the possible situations that may arise in such a case. If you have missed anything, please let us know in the comment section below. 

Placed at the window side

If you are placing your desk against a wall that has windows, you have the following things to consider.

How far should a desk from a window-min
Wall with the window

If your desk will be against the wall with the window and you will be facing it…then you should allow a bigger gap between the desk and the window.

Considering, the window has glass, in the morning, the sunlight will heat up the workspace a lot. So, the closer you are to the window, the more uncomfortable you will be.

In that case, it will a good idea, to put a thick curtain on the window and close it during your work.

How far should a desk from a window (perpendicular)-min
Placed at the window side Perpendicularly

Here also the same rule applies as above. However, if you find that, the room is heating up too much, you may want to consider having a fan or air conditioner if you don’t already have one.

Behind a door

If your desk is somewhere behind the door, here are the situations that you may face.

How far should a desk be from a wall with door-min
Facing the wall or facing the door

If your desk is against a wall that is on the opposite end of a door, in that case also, you should place the desk at a minimum space of 3 to 6 inches from the wall.

However, now you will also, have to consider, the width of the door. You should add at least 3 inches to the width of the door so that it doesn’t strike you accidentally when someone opens the door.

How far should a desk be from a wall with door 90 degrees-min
Behind a door perpendicularly against the wall

In this situation also, 3-6 inches away from the wall rule applies.

Also, you should keep in mind the distance from the actual door. However, you need not have 3 inches added to the door width. Having an inch gap between the desk and the door should be sufficient.

At a corner

This may be one of the best placements for a desk against the wall. Partly because I love it… 😉

All the privacy and the wall boundaries make it a perfect little nook…your very own private space…

Now here, you can have two arrangements…

Your desk facing the wall or your back is towards the corner…

Whatever, be the case, use the 3 inches rule and you will be fine.

This applies if you are using a corner desk like the one shown below or a normal rectangular desk…

In the bedroom

When you are placing a laptop inside the bedroom, there are myriad situations to consider.

I’ll be providing you with the broad ones…you may use them and do a mix and match to suit your unique needs.

The desk is against a wall opposite the bed

Here you will be following the 3-6 inches rule as was mentioned earlier.

However, you should also see to it, that there is at least 36 inches gap between the desk and the end of the bed.

This will help anyone to move around freely and you will not have to keep shifting or accommodating while you are working.

The desk is perpendicular to the wall and the bed

The general rule applies here as well. Around 3 inches gap from the wall and around 3 feet gap from the bed.

This will help you to have unobstructed access to the bed and around the room.

And again there can be a lot of other combinations like desk against a wall in the bedroom, or in a corner in the bedroom, or behind the door in the bedroom and so on and so forth.

Just use the above guidelines and you will have a comfortable desk setup inside your bedroom.

Desk against a wall under the staircase

Space under a staircase is pretty much limited. It is more so if the staircase is narrower.

Being said that, there are only two possible placements of the desk against the wall.

  • Parallel to the wall
  • Perpendicular to the wall

The space that should be present between the wall and the desk is the same as was mentioned earlier.

However, when placing a desk under the stairs, you may have to think about the width of the desk, especially if you are going perpendicular.

In the living room

When placing the desk in the living room against a wall, you need to consider the space, not only between the wall and the desk but also, from the other furniture.

Also, if there are two or more desks in the same living room, then they should have at least 3 feet distance for non-obstructive movement.

Apart from these considers, there can a lot of other placements of desks in the living room against the wall.

They will sum up any of the previous situations that we have mentioned above.

So, if you follow those guidelines then you are all set.

How much space should you have behind a desk – The Absolute Minimal

You may leave no space at all behind a desk when you are placing it against the wall.


It may get tricky to retrieve anything that may fall behind the desk.

However, if you are required to leave space, maybe for cable arrangement or to have breathing space for your equipment, then 2-3 inches should be sufficient.

Your monitor setup will cover up this space, and the chances of fallen objects will be minimized.


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Madhusree Basu
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