Standing desks can help offset and prevent a sedentary lifestyle. Though we are not meant to sit around all day, most of us spend a large portion of our work life hunkered down at an office desk. Sitting down too long – more than 8 hours a day – as stated by the American Journal of Public Health, can not only increase the risk of chronic diseases by 10% to 20% but premature death as well.
The health benefits the best standing desks offer to those at their computers all day can’t be understated. For instance, studies repeatedly show “an improvement in discomfort and pain as people use [standing] desks.” Though they’re just one step in the right direction – you should also take breaks and get your muscles moving and your blood pumping, not to mention stay active generally – on top of alternating between standing and sitting.
To help you make the leap to a healthier work life, we’ve collected the best standing desks available here. There’s something to meet your needs, whether you want a desk for gaming, an affordable alternative, or want something with a more sophisticated look and feel. Even students going back to school should consider one for a healthier way to do homework.
- Also check out our guide on everything else you need to set up your home office.
The best standing desks of 2021
Uplift V2 is one of the best standing desks that benefits from top-notch build quality, and prides itself on stability. An issue which can be found with some standing desks is that they might be a bit wobbly, particularly when extended to higher levels. Uplift is nicely stable, though, thanks to built-in stability braces.
Dual-motors mean the desk can change heights quickly, with a smooth and quiet action, and anti-collision tech is also in the mix (meaning if the desk is lowering and hits something – like your seat, or heaven forbid your head – it stops).
The desk also benefits from a large number of mounting points for accessories, with some pretty nifty extras that can be hooked up to this thing – including an under-desk hammock (yes you read that right – it attaches underneath when the desk is fully raised up). If there’s any testament you need to the stability of this unit, it’s being able to sleep in a hammock under it!
There are loads of choices for desktop sizes and colors (and indeed frame colors), you get built-in cable management, and there are curved or corner desk models. The products are backed by an impressive seven-year warranty, too.
The Uplift is available in standard and commercial standing desk versions (the latter has even more stability thanks to a crossbar), and those outside the US can order a unit to be shipped. However, it will be delivered as ‘palletized freight’, and could be expensive – so the maker suggests purchasing the Uplift frame only and sourcing your own desktop for it locally.
Vari’s Electric Standing Desk is available in three different widths (48in, 60in and 72in) to suit the needs of your home office and can be set up in minutes using the two included Allen wrenches. The desk features two t-style legs that each contain a motor that allow it to be raised to a maximum height of 50.5in (128cm) or lowered to 25in (63.5cm).
In addition to being able to choose from three widths, Vari’s Electric Standing Desk is also available in five different finishes (black, white, dark wood, butcher block and reclaimed wood). The desk is able to support up to 200lb (90.7kg) which makes it an ideal choice for power users with multiple monitors and heavier workstation PCs.
However, what impressed us most was how much thought Vari put into the assembly process of its desk. The desk’s frame comes pre-attached and customers only need to assemble the legs. A control panel resides in the middle of the frame and the cords for both motors as well as the keypad at the front of the desk plug into it. Vari also sells an optional Cable Management Tray that easily attaches to the back of the desk and has more than enough room to hold a power strip and even a large power adapter for a business monitor.
The keypad allows you easily and quickly adjust the height of the desk and there are four memory presets for storing your preferred sitting and standing heights. The desk is rather quiet when moving between heights and we were even able to lower and raise the desk without spilling a full cup of coffee. Vari also offers free shipping in the contiguous US as well as 30-day risk free returns.
Read the full review: Vari Electric Standing Desk
Need a lot of desk space for all your stuff, like multiple monitors, or other peripherals? Then ApexDesk Elite is a good port of call for another high-quality desk that delivers some serious walnut real-estate (other woods are available, of course!) – and the real bonus is that it’s nicely priced for what you’re getting here.
There are actually two sizes with a 60-inch and 71-inch version of the Elite, but obviously if you want maximum desk space, go with the latter, which also has a depth of 33-inches – more than most (it’s a few inches deeper than the Uplift, for example).
It’s a superbly built standing desk with a dual-motor lifting system, featuring a smooth, albeit a little slow, lifting mechanism (and a controller with the ability to set four preset heights). The lifting capacity is just over 100kg to ensure you can indeed fit plenty of hefty bits of hardware on top of this desk. The Elite is sturdily built with the center beam providing greater stability (without having to have a crossbar underneath).
Furthermore, you can get some pretty smart deals on these desks if you shop around, and if you go the ApexDesk route, you’ll likely get a lot of desk for your money.
There’s a lot to like about the Branch Standing Desk, which is a versatile piece of furniture in many ways. For starters, it rises to the highest level of the desks in this roundup, and as Branch observes, this standing desk provides a stable work surface for people as tall as 6-foot 8-inches.
The melamine desk surface is both stain-resistant and also impact-resistant, so should be safe from any spillage or other accidents. Plus the lifting action is nicely smooth when the desk is being raised using dual motors, and a three-stage-column system ensures stability even at the higher levels that this desk can reach (adjustable feet help achieve this goal as well).
You get four memory presets for the different heights that are most commonly needed, and cable management facilities too. There are some useful optional extras such as in-desk power outlets (and USB ports), and furthermore, the Branch Standing Desk is easy to put together.
There are two different versions – the Team Plus model, and an Executive desk which is the same depth, but wider (60-inches rather than 48-inches). With a sensibly affordable asking price and a 10-year warranty, you could well be tempted by this piece of office furniture.
Read the full review: Branch Standing Desk
Another of the best standing desks is the Jarvis Bamboo, which as the name suggests is fashioned from bamboo – it’s environmentally-friendly in that the bamboo is sustainably grown (without pesticides), plus it has a tough polyurethane coating.
Underneath that is a frame capable of supporting over 150kg, and with a full extension suitable enough for someone who is as tall as 6-foot 7-inches. It’s a sturdy desk and moves into position very smoothly (and quietly) with adjustments made using a simple up/down control panel, or an upgraded programmable handset (which you can use to set different heights into the memory).
You can get the Jarvis in the standard rectangular desk shape, or contoured (with a concave curve at the front), or even an L-shaped model to go in a corner. There are all manner of nifty options with this standing desk, as well, including desk lamps, drawers, and a desk shelf for your monitor – or indeed if you want to get really fancy, a gas-activated monitor arm.
It’s not so much a standing desk as a thing of beauty in terms of its design – and eco-friendly credentials – but like the other higher-end products here, it doesn’t come cheap.
If you want your best standing desk to be motorized, but you don’t want to pay too much, then check out the FlexiSpot EF (formerly known as the FlexiSpot EN1). It benefits from a quiet motor lift, with a keypad that allows for three height presets that can be customized. There’s also a programmable alarm to let you know when it’s time to change from sitting to standing (or vice versa), which is quite nifty.
The frame is built using double-steel tubing and is pretty solid, but may suffer from a touch of the wobbles when extended to its very highest levels.
This FlexiSpot standing desk (see here for the UK site) is impressively cheap compared to rival motorized products, providing some great features at this wallet-friendly level, plus the company backs the desk with a five-year guarantee (and the motor gets a slightly shorter three-year guarantee).
Not too sure if you want to purchase a standing desk? Think that maybe testing one out – trying before you buy – could be the way to go? Flomotion makes this possible for customers based in the UK, and offers an impressive level of customer service going by online feedback on the firm.
None of this would matter much if the standing desks Flomotion makes weren’t up to scratch, of course, but this isn’t the case. Flomotion offers a wide variety of wood types for its desktops – handmade, and locally sourced – and a newly introduced high-quality sit/stand desk frame (called Skyflo; you can buy the frame only, if you wish).
The Skyflo frame is rated for 120kg of lift capacity and is suitably quiet when moving up or down with dual motors. It also boasts anti-collision detection, and a nifty control panel that offers Bluetooth connectivity and an app to control the height (plus various memory positions can be set). In short, it's a smart desk frame indeed.
As mentioned, one of the big attractions here is the ability to try out a desk, for free if you live within 30 miles of Norwich (and that includes free delivery and setup). Those further afield in the UK can still get a two-week trial, but will have to set up the desk themselves, and pay a collection fee if the product has to go back to the manufacturer (a £60 charge, or £40 for a frame-only). Customer service is top-notch, according to the feedback we’ve seen.
Note that at the time of writing, the trial option has been suspended due to the situation with Covid-19, but when things get more back to normal, hopefully so will the trial.
Those in the US looking for a free trial option for a standing desk should head over to FlexiSpot (a company which has a couple of products elsewhere in this list), as it’s currently running risk-free trials for businesses. (And right now, folks in the UK can benefit from FlexiSpot's 30-day money-back guarantee as a kind of trial, in lieu of Flomotion, if it's the trial aspect you're most interested in).
If your workspace doesn’t have that many power outlets or you just want to eliminate cable clutter, then perhaps a manual standing desk is a better choice. The Vari Standing Desk features a unique rowing-lift mechanism that allows you to raise and lower the desk using the two built-in handles at either side of the desktop. However, while it may be a manual standing desk, it does still include a cable management tray at the back in case you do want to use it with a desktop PC and monitor.
Just like with its Electric Standing Desk, Vari’s Standing Desk assembles in minutes. The rowing-lift mechanism comes pre-attached to the desk and you only need to screw in the four legs to assemble the desk. All four legs can also be adjusted at their base to accommodate for uneven floors.
Unlike with an electric standing desk that can be lowered or raised by the inch, Vari’s Standing Desk has nine adjustable height settings. To lift the desk, you simply need to grab the handles on either side of the desktop and push up. From here you can lower or raise the desk to your preferred height. It’s also worth noting that due to its design, Vari’s Standing Desk protrudes out a bit when lifted.
If you’re looking for a reliable standing desk with a unique design, you’d be hard pressed to find one that is as easy to assemble and use as Vari’s Standing Desk. Just like with its other products, Vari offers free shipping in the contiguous US as well as 30-day risk free returns.
Read the full review: Vari Standing Desk
The Steelcase Ology is far from the cheapest standing desk in this list, but if you’re willing to fork out some extra cash for a smart piece of office furniture, then it’s well worth considering. And we don’t mean it simply looks smart – the Ology is smart in terms of its technology, and hooks up with an app on your phone.
The central element here is Steelcase’s Active Touch tech, which is available as an option, but an affordable one ($31 at the time of writing). This gives you an OLED screen with the panel that controls the desk height, and offers a gentle reminder of when it’s time to change posture (stand, or indeed sit) by gently nudging the desktop up and down.
Active Touch connects with the aforementioned app on your smartphone (via Bluetooth), to provide data on how much time you’ve spent at your desk (and how much time sitting, and standing), allowing for the creation of a tailored profile with activity goals and height presets for the desk. Very neat indeed, plus the app also boasts handy help with guidance for sitting (and standing) in the proper ergonomic way.
The Ology automatically detects obstacles and stops if it hits something when adjusting its height level, and the desk comes with a whole bunch of optional extras, including cable management facilities, modesty panels, integrated storage options, and more. As we’ve already mentioned, this is a pricier model, but compared to similar smart desks, it’s actually competitive in terms of value – and really well-made with a 12-year warranty.
Evodesk makes some great standing desks, including one specifically aimed at gamers. So what features are targeting the gaming market, exactly? Firstly, the desktop can be a large one, with options for a 48-inch desktop all the way up to a 72-inch behemoth.
And secondly, that desktop has an Evoguard finish – in other words a finely-textured surface similar to a high quality mouse mat, which is perfect for using your gaming mouse on. The Evodesk Gaming Desk also has a curved (concave) edge for better ergonomics, and an option on an integrated Harman Kardon sound system.
This desk is well-built and nicely stable, which is obviously critical for when the action gets furious, and you’re mousing like crazy on that Evoguard finish. The Gaming Desk is adjustable to 250+ different height positions, with a smooth raising/lowering action (and comes with the usual memory settings).
Some of the features may seem a little gimmicky, like the built-in speakers – serious shooter players doubtless have their own far superior set of headphones, for instance – but overall this hits the mark as a quality desk which makes some worthwhile advances for keen gamers.
Note that it might be worth forking out a little extra for an oak or bamboo desktop for long-term hardiness, as wear-and-tear could be one of the concerns for those intending to mouse directly on the Evoguard surface.
The Steelcase Solo standing desk is very clearly built with remote workers in mind, combining an affordable price tag with extremely easy assembly and single-button operation.
An excellent range of motion means the Solo allows people of all different heights and ergonomic preferences to stretch their legs while working. And the desk is strong enough to lift pretty much any equipment you might need.
However, there is a distinct lack of extra features that might help you get the most out of a standing desk - such as customizable height presets - and the aesthetics also leave something to be desired.
The Steelcase Solo will tick plenty of boxes for anyone after a plain and uncomplicated standing desk for their home office. In all aspects of the design, Steelcase has prioritized simplicity; the single lever control and lack of drawers and other moving parts means there is little that can go wrong.
- Read our full Steelcase Solo height-adjustable standing desk review.
The Flexispot E7B is a very decent height adjustable standing desk and one that comes with a competitive price tag for such a massive usable surface area (160 x 80cm).
The surface is made of MDF with a scratch resistant finish, though be warned this section is very heavy, weighing in at around 50KG, which can make assembly a challenge.
Once up, though, the anti collision system works as expected and you can adjust its sensitivity. The motor on the E7B is a particularly powerful one as it allows the table to deadlift up to 125Kg; it is slightly noisy but we’ve come across laptop fans that were far worse.
There are some minor niggles like the lack of drawers even as an option, no cable management by default, and the instructions that could be better.
Overall though, it meets the expectations of what we’d expect from a standing desk. Just remember to get a good office chair as well as you’d otherwise miss out on a comfortable, stress free working environment.
- Read the full review: Flexispot E7B height adjustable standing desk
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8 tips to find the right home office standing desk
Anna Bettina Pangalangan from Flexispot tells us more about her secrets to find the best standing desk for your ideal home office setup:
Remote working will likely be the new normal for some, even if some offices are already calling back their employees. If you are one of those who are staying at home and working, you might as well invest in a standing desk.
Having a dedicated working desk is beneficial: It can increase creativity and productivity since you have a space where you can set up your computers and files in one place. Another advantage is that having a working table reinforces boundaries between home and work life. This is the area where you can draw the line.
As much as possible, opt for an ergonomic working desk. Traditional desks are cheaper but they do not offer any ergonomic benefits. An ergonomic desk allows you to stand and sit on the fly because of its height adjustment feature. Investing in a standing desk can help you to achieve a healthy and pain-free body by encouraging you to stand more often.
Prolonged sitting is linked to cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes, and cancer. It also contributes to chronic back pain because of poor posture. Moreover, over-sitting can also affect mental health by increasing the rates of anxiety and depression.
But then again, there should be a balance between sitting and standing. Standing all day is also not highly recommendable. Being on your feet for long periods can put a lot of pressure on your legs, which can cause swelling, varicose veins, and hemorrhoids. The key is to have the right mix of standing and sitting throughout the day.
Exercising alone is not enough to counter the effects of too much sitting. Incorporating standing and movement into your day through to use of a sit-stand desk is going to be more beneficial.
But as we all know, there are so many standing desks out there. It can be such a struggle to wade in the sea of working desks in the market. But don’t worry! We provide a crib sheet on how to find the right working desk. Read along to know some of the features that you might want to consider before buying a desk:
1. Know if you want a desk with a single motor or dual motors
The differences between these kinds of desks are their strength and speed capacities. As it is, a standing desk with two motors can lift heavier loads and move quicker than a single-motorized desk. While a single motor desk is cheaper, it does not necessarily mean that it lags in quality. Some desks only have one motor but can stand up to a dual-motored model. It is best to check the specs before settling with any standing desk.
2. Get a stable standing desk
Remember that a standing desk should hold all your files and gadgets at any height. A desk that wobbles like crazy means that it has a weak frame and can be a source of headache in the future. You might be discouraged to shift positions if you have to worry about your things falling off the desk.
3. Opt for a durable standing desk
A well-built standing desk could be used for years. Even if you have to shell out a little more, a durable standing desk will pay for itself. Ask the manufacturer if the desk unit that you are eyeing underwent a stability and durability test. If so, there is a big chance that the standing desk is heavy-duty. It is vital to know this, especially if you are going to use the standing desk every day for long periods. Be sure to check if the standing desk is made from quality materials. You will save more if you buy a sturdy desk rather than a flimsy unit that will get damaged easily.
4. Buy a standing desk that appeals to your sense of aesthetics
Your standing desk can still reflect your personality! Choose a brand that offers customization from the frame to the desktop finish. If you already have an existing desktop, you can buy a desk frame that will suit your needs.
5. Purchase a noiseless standing desk
If you are easily distracted by noises, then you should look for a desk that quietly moves. Ideally, the noise level should be under 50 decibels. This kind of movement is classified under the soft category so you can imagine the sounds made in a quiet library.
6. Go for a brand that offers extended warranty coverage
Before checking out, get the details of the product warranty. A brand that provides an extended warranty is confident about its products and prioritizes customer satisfaction.
7. Select a desk that is easy to put together
Assembling a standing desk may not be easy for you. But some brands provide the manual and all the necessary parts inside the package. If you are more visual, some brand upload videos that detail how to put up the standing desk.
8. Pick a brand that has certifications
Do your assignment if a standing desk brand has certificates. Why is this important? A brand that went to great lengths to get certified provides high-quality and safe products. For example, a brand that passed the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) means that it gained market approval for a device with radio technologies in the USA. Without the FCC certification, it is illegal to import, sell, or lease equipment in the USA.
Likewise, if a desk has the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) mark, that means that the unit is safe to use. The UL mark is a requirement because it ensures that consumers are covered if an electrical fire or other related calamities happen.
These are some of the factors that you can refer to when you go shopping for a standing desk. But then again, the budget is the influencer of all. You do not have to spend a lot to get a high-quality standing desk. Some brands offer inexpensive standing desks that can hold a candle to costly standing desks. Be sure to do your research, so you end up buying the standing desk that you deserve.
5 things to look for when buying an ergonomic desk
We asked Elsa Sinjaga, marketing manager at Treston, what customers should consider when buying an ergonomic desk:
Costs associated with health and safety problems are an ever-increasing concern to all industries. Occupational musculoskeletal disorders caused by poor working postures not only cause physical strain to employees, but also burden companies through sick leave, incapacity for work, and decreased productivity. This concern drives industries to seek solutions to provide a healthy, safe and productive working environment. Designing a workplace with ergonomics in mind improves the employees’ well-being, which in turn improves productivity.
One key element to a well functioning workspace is an ergonomic, height adjustable desk. Here is a list of five key factors to consider when selecting and buying an ergonomic desk.
1. Height adjustment method
Hand crank, if the height of the workbench is adjusted only once or twice a day, for example during a shift change. Electric height adjustment, if the height of the workbench is adjusted several times a day, e.g. several workers working on the same bench, or work requires different working postures (sitting, standing, semi-sitting).
2. Consider safety
Make sure the desk has a sturdy and stable structure and it can withstand loads common to your workplace. If you have accessories, e.g shelves or bin rails & bins, above the work surface, make sure the structure of the frame withstands loads above the work surface without tipping over.
3. Is sufficient range of accessories available?
Accessories on arms, such as auxiliary shelves, LCD screen and keyboard holders, document holders, equipment trays and such are vital in reducing unnecessary reaching and in ensuring proper ergonomics.
4. Worktop size
The primary work zone where you usually work is rather small. The image below shows the primary, secondary and tertiary work zones. Consider these working zones and the size of the work piece, when selecting the appropriate size for your worktop size.
5. Easy and effortless usability
No matter what the tasks are and whether there is only one or several workers using the workbench, make sure there desk is easy to operate. Height adjustment should be effortless and quick and adjusting the accessories to the operator should not require tools or force.
The modular design of workbenches enables proper ergonomics. Modularity and accessories are individually adjustable according to the task and operator requirements. Look out for workstations and accessories that are adjustable for operators of different heights working with left or right hand. Correctly adjusted workstations decrease stress in the muscles and enable productive work throughout the shift.
Managing your cables
Before you commit to purchasing a standing desk, it’s worth looking into the cable management options available. While you can add your own cable management tray later, finding a desk that already includes one or has one available for purchase will ensure that it fits the aesthetic of your desk.
It’s also worth noting that if you primarily do most of your work from a laptop, you might not necessarily need a cable management tray. Instead you can charge your laptop somewhere else and use it while at your standing desk. However, if you plan on creating a more permanent setup with a desktop PC and a monitor or even multiple monitors for that matter, you’re going to want to get some sort of cable management solution with your desk. This way you can manage all of your cables immediately after assembling your desk as opposed to trying to come up with a solution after the fact.
While electric standing desks generally ship with long power cables, the cables to your PC and monitor are usually shorter. With a cable management tray, you can put a power strip under your desk so that all of your cables move with it when raised or lowered. Cable management trays also allow you to reposition your desk in different areas of your workspace without having to mess with all of the cables each time.
If the manufacturer of your desk doesn’t offer a cable management tray, one affordable and simple option to consider is Ikea’s SIGNUM cable management system. At just $15, it’s a cost effective solution that only requires four screws to install. Another great thing is the fact that it’s adjustable and you can choose where the cable tray is positioned under your desk.
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