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Provide productive comfort with children's desks and chairs

Whether your child needs a dedicated homework area or a space to spread out and explore their imagination, a desk and chair setup can provide space to help them stay organized, focused and entertained. Just as it is with your office furniture, however, there are some important things to consider when it comes to the desk and chair's ergonomics, size and features. We're here to help you learn more about children's' desks and chairs so you can make the choice that's right for your little one's needs. Here's what to keep in mind while you get started shopping.

Size considerations

When kids are comfortable, it's easier for them to concentrate. Staying comfortable when working at a desk means that both the desk and the chair need to be sized properly to fit your child's height. Fortunately, figuring out the dimensions that the desk and chair should be is a similar process to determining what size your own office furniture needs to be — only with smaller proportions. Get the following measurements before you start your search.

  • Chair height: For proper posture, find a chair that allows your child to sit with their feet flat on the ground and their knees bent at a 90-degree angle. Have them sit this way, and measure the distance from the floor to the back of your child's bent knees. This number in inches should match the seat height of the chair you select.
  • Desk height: Once you know the correct chair measurement, it's easy to find the proper desk height measurement. This number should be about 7 to 9 inches higher than the chair seat to let your child's arms rest comfortably on the tabletop without hunching over. Remember that kids grow quickly; it may be a wise decision to purchase a desk with adjustable legs that you can crank or twist to different heights. That way, it'll suit your child's height as they get taller.

Types of desks

Your child may benefit from having different desks at different life stages. In general, kids' desks can be divided into three types: preschool, elementary school and junior high/high school. And, while many of the product listings in our selection provide appropriate age ranges to help you decide, it's also important to consider the different features of each desk type to see what meets your child's needs.

  • Preschool: These desks are often made of plastic and other materials that help them remain durable, easy to clean and relatively soft at the same time. Desks for toddler and preschool-aged children typically have smooth, rounded corners to protect against accidental bumps and bruises. They may incorporate one or two large lower shelves for storing crafting supplies, or they may be completely open with narrow legs, which helps keep them easier to move around and sit at. They also tend to come in bright, visually stimulating colors that look great in a playroom, and many have attached bench seating, which eliminates the need to purchase a chair separately. Most tables and desks for this age range have open, flat surfaces where kids can spread out with crayons and toys. If you have multiple younger children, a table-style desk is ideal for helping them all work in the same area. For kids who love drawing, select a desk with a tilting top that props up to do double duty as an easel.
  • Elementary: As the amount of homework your child is assigned starts to increase, desks for this age range begin to incorporate more features that focus on organization. Larger work surfaces, paper trays, shelving and drawers all become more common, making it easy for your child to store both school and craft supplies. These desks also start to look a little more grown-up, with some available in wood-look finishes. Many desks for this age group come with matching chairs for a more cohesive appearance; just be sure — if you're choosing a set — that the chair's height is still appropriate for your child.
  • Junior high and high school: When kids reach these age groups, it's likely that they'll have mobile devices and computers that they use to get work done and play games. Look for a larger desk that can accommodate a laptop or desktop computer. Other helpful technology-related features to consider are a slide-out keyboard tray and a large lower shelf or back hutch that can hold a printer. In addition, a small shelving unit that sits on the back of the desk is an ideal solution for storing your child's growing collection of textbooks, gadgets and trophies. You can find the proper measurements using the guidelines above; however, the distance between the chair seat and the desktop should be about 12 inches, not between 7 and 9 inches.