The Ideal Desk Size For Dual Monitor Setups

One of the most important capabilities of any desk is being able to accommodate all of your equipment. If you are all about productivity, this usually means having multiple monitors. A dual monitor setup is pretty critical for most people who have tried it.

Being that monitors are typically the largest item on our desk, it’s a fair question to ask: how big does a desk need to be to accommodate two monitors?

In this article, we’re going to tell you exactly what you need to know for choosing the perfect desk size for those dual monitor setups.

Key Takeaways

The best desk size for two monitors is between 42-48 inches in width for monitor sizes between 20-27 diagonal inches.

Keep in mind the following when choosing the perfect dual monitor desk size. Your monitor size will have the biggest impact on what size desk you need. If you keep one monitor vertical, you will reduce the necessary desk size.

You can fit dual monitors on almost any size desk if you use after-market monitor stands that we cover later in this article.

If you’re trying to keep your desk as small as possible while having two monitors, check out our article on fitting dual monitors on small desks

Let’s talk about what size desk you should have if you plan to use dual monitors. We’ll also touch on why you should be using two monitors at all!

What Makes Dual Monitors So Great?

Having two monitors can make a world of difference for people in today’s computer-heavy world. Here are the specific benefits of getting a dual monitor setup.


Productivity is the first and most obvious benefit of a dual monitor setup. This is not even a debatable benefit.

Double monitors mean you can display twice as much stuff. You spend less time switching programs and scrolling through different windows, and more time just getting work done.

At my full-time job, every single employee was given a second monitor. Why did they spend double on monitor costs? It is because they can extract much more productivity from each employee for the same unit of time.

For example, you can have e-mails up in one window, and your reference window with your content. Photographers can have one monitor with their image library and another monitor with their full-size editing program. You can have a Zoom meeting on one monitor and your work on the other monitor.

The examples can go on forever – you will get more done.


Two monitors don’t only apply to the workforce. Dual monitors can make your leisurely life more convenient as well.

You can be gaming on one monitor and have Discord or Twitch open on the other monitor. Or you can have Netflix on one monitor and your boring e-mails on the other!

Here are some other benefits of a dual monitor setup.

Low Entry Cost

The last benefit is that you can get all of these dual monitor benefits at a super low cost! The monitor below is brand new and costs under $80 at the time of writing!

Sceptre IPS 22 inch 1080p Monitor

This monitor features an IPS panel with good color performance and visibility from multiple viewing angles, a 75Hz refresh rate for smoother image changes, and up to 320 cd/m² brightness. It also includes built-in speakers saving space on your desk and is perfectly suited for work and gaming.

Check Price on Amazon

Want even better deals? Check out your local Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist for incredible used monitor deals. Check out the image below of monitors in my area. They go down to $20 for a fully functional monitor!

Factors That Influence Desk Size

Now that we hopefully convinced you that dual monitors are worth 100% of the hype, let’s talk about how you can estimate the appropriate desk size

It is pretty easy to find what desk size you should have for a dual monitor setup. You just need to know your variables.  Keep the following factors in mind when sizing a desk for two monitors. These will all play an important role!

Dual Monitor Size

The first and probably the most obvious factor here is monitor size. The larger your monitors, the more desk space they will need. 

I grabbed some data from BH Photo Video’s monitor catalog and graphed the most popular monitor sizes in the image below.

This image more or less shows what is available in the market. The most popular monitor sizes are 24 and 27-inch monitors. 32-inch monitors come in third place. 

Because monitor sizes are defined by the diagonal line across the screen a 24-inch monitor won’t typically be 24 inches wide. 

Considering that most monitors have a 16:9 aspect ratio, a 24-inch monitor with decently thin bezels will be about 21 inches wide. And a 27-inch monitor will be about 24 inches wide. 

Calculate Table Width by Monitor Size

Two 24-inch monitors side by side will need a 42-inch table width at minimum. Two 27-inch monitors will need a minimum of 48 inches in table width. This is so that your monitors don’t go beyond your table edges.

The table below shows what minimum desk size is necessary depending on the monitor size you have.

Monitor Size (Diagonal)Monitor WidthDual Monitor Table Width
24 inch21 inches42 inches
27 inch24 inches48 inches
32 inch28 inches56 inches

If you want a small desk but haven’t chosen a monitor size yet, take this measurement into account. Large monitors might not be the best idea if you are squeezing into a tight spot.

If you already have monitors, measure how wide they are at this step. You want to make sure that your monitors fit from edge to edge on your desk.

Dual Monitor Orientation

When most people think about a two-monitor setup, they think about two monitors horizontally placed next to each other. There’s actually another configuration that is highly functional! 

Some folks place one monitor vertically, while the other is horizontally placed. This is definitely a configuration worth exploring. We have a guide on how to vertically mount your monitors here.

Keeping your second monitor vertical has a lot of advantages. If you are a programmer or you are someone who works with really long documents, vertical monitors can fill the screen with more useful information. 

Browsing the web and reading articles on a vertical monitor is pretty enjoyable, as a lot more content is visible without scrolling. Instead of scrolling more, you’re reading more. 

When you keep one monitor vertical and one horizontal, your space requirements go down pretty significantly as well! This is another great idea if you want to keep your desk size requirements small. 

Also, if you want a stacked dual monitor setup, that will cut down the needed space even more so. We have a dedicated article on how to get the best stacked monitor setup.

Calculate Table Width by Monitor Orientation

A typical 24-inch monitor on average has a height of 13 inches. If we make this monitor vertical, that becomes a 13-inch wide monitor in terms of the desk space used.

Considering the standard horizontal width of 21 inches from earlier, the minimum desk length would be 21+13 = 34 inches!

34 inches is a significant drop from the 42 inches required if they were both side by side! Smaller desks are cheaper, which is another reason you might want to consider vertically mounting one monitor. 

Rolanstar 47" Desk with Integrated Power

This computer desk has a built-in socket with two outlets & two USB Ports, a monitor shelf for correct sitting posture, and drawers for hidden storage.

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A typical monitor height for a 27-inch monitor is about 14 inches. It is also 24 inches wide.

Using 14 as the width when adding to our normal width of 24, we get 24 + 14 = 38 inches. This means a minimum desk width of 38 inches should be sufficient for a 27-inch monitor configuration with one being vertical.

You can also increase these numbers by an inch or two to account for any gap needed between the monitors.

If you decide you want to try a vertical monitor, make sure you purchase one with a stand that allows easy rotation from horizontal to vertical viewing. It might need to be unscrewed from the stand and adjusted. Some fancy stands have a built-in orientation swivel for a tool-free change! 

If you really want a specific monitor that happens to not come with an adjustable orientation swivel, just make sure it has VESA mounting points on the back.

We have an article on what VESA mounting is here. This is a square screw pattern that allows your monitor to be mounted with aftermarket monitor stands. 

Make Any Desk Compatible With Two Monitors

If you want more from a dual monitor desk setup, consider these setup ideas.

Use Aftermarket Monitor Mounts

If you are worried about having enough desk space, or ergonomic viewing heights, monitor mounts will help dramatically!

Monitor mounting arms are not talked about enough! Especially now that we will have two of them.

Stock monitor stands that come with your display are fine for the most part. However, they are not the most space efficient. You will lose a bit more space than necessary if you use the monitor stands that come attached to your monitor.

If you want to use the standard monitor stand, I would recommend increasing the depth of your desk to keep the usable desk space high. Check out our article on how deep desks should be depending on your monitor size.

Another little fact here is that you don’t necessarily need a desk that is as wide as both of your monitors. You only need a desk that can support both of your monitor stands, which are usually much smaller. 

If you want to save a significant amount of desk space, aftermarket monitor mounting arms are the way to go. It almost doesn’t matter what your desk size is if you use a table clamping monitor mount. Here’s what they look like: 

gas spring monitor arm
My ultrawide monitor with a monitor arm. Notice how small of a clamping area is needed.

These simply clamp to a small space at the back of your desk, and can easily carry two monitors. 

Viozon Monitor and Laptop Mount

This monitor and laptop mount attach to your desk with adjustable height and angle for comfortable positioning. It is compatible with 17-32 inch monitors up to 19.8 lbs and 12-17'' laptops. It has a sleek design and integrated cable management features.

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A major advantage of these table-mounted monitor stands is that you have usable space underneath your monitors. This was not possible before, as all the stock monitor stands need all the space underneath the monitor. 

VIVO Dual Monitor Desk Mount

This dual monitor mount fits two screens 13” to 30” in size and up to 22 lbs each. It offers adjustable arm, height adjustment, and monitors can be placed in portrait or landscape orientation. It mounts to the back of your desk via a heavy-duty C-clamp or optional grommet mount and has cable management clips and detachable VESA bracket plates for easy installation.

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Some of these stock monitor stands are also extremely deep, taking way more desk space than necessary. I highly recommend aftermarket table mount monitor stands, as they increase the useable space of your desk dramatically. 

Consider Other Space Requirements

Now that we know exactly how big our desks need to be to accommodate our monitors, we need to think about what else will require space on our desks. 

Don’t finalize a desk size without thinking about what else you might need to make room for. What else do you place on your desk?

Do you have a custom-built gaming computer that you like to show off on your desk? What about a table lamp? A desk plant? A picture frame of you and your family?

All of these items take up desk space, and it’s best to add some desk width for these items before you buy a desk. Especially those items that don’t fit under a monitor. 

For example, if you get a desk that is exactly the width of two monitors and you want to have a desk lamp too, you need to add the desk lamp footprint requirement.

You don’t want to block either of your monitors with a lamp, and you don’t want the monitors to block the light from hitting the table. I highly recommend monitor light bars if you want a desk light that takes up zero desk space.

If you’re not sure about what you want on your desk, keep your desk flexible by getting a little larger desk if possible. It’s easier to live with a larger desk than necessary, rather than a smaller desk than necessary.  Having a larger desk than your monitors will let you change things up without the worry of running out of desk space.

Photo of author


I'm a big time workspace enthusiast who is constantly experimenting with my setup. Sharing along the way to help people make their own desk setups more functional and inviting, whether it be for productivity or play!