CNN Underscored is constantly testing products — be it coffee makers or headphones — to find the absolute best in each respective category.
Our testing process is rigorous, consisting of hours of research (consulting experts, reading editorial reviews and perusing user ratings) to find the top products in each category. Once we settle on a testing pool, we spend weeks — if not months — testing and retesting each product multiple times in real-world settings. All this in an effort to settle on the absolute best products.
This year, we tested a number of categories — from big purchases like standing desks to peripherals like USB hubs — that make setting up the ideal home office a bit easier.
Best office chair overall: Steelcase Series 1 (starting at $456; amazon.com or $486; steelcase.com)
The Steelcase Series 1 stood out as one of the most customizable, high-quality, comfortable office chairs on the market, beating out chairs double the price — making it the best bang for the buck.
Best budget buy: Alera Elusion Series Mesh Multifunction Chair ($200; amazon.com or $175; walmart.com)
The Alera Elusion Series Multifunction Chair emerged as our best budget pick, standing up to (and in some cases far surpassing) office chairs that retail for more than five times its price point, particularly in the comfort and adjustability categories.
Best overall standing desk: Branch Adjustable Standing Desk ($699; branchfurniture.com)
The Branch Adjustable Standing Desk is a near-perfect desk that can handle multiple monitors, dual laptops and a plethora of knickknacks. It’s also incredibly sturdy, with one of the best builds we’ve encountered.