Sitting for long hours has been linked to a number of health problems, including obesity, increased blood pressure, and high blood sugar and cholesterol. But standing for similar periods of time isn’t optimal either, as it can cause knee problems, sore feet, and lower back pain. So for many people, the ideal solution is a hybrid: an adjustable-height standing desk.
Adjustable standing desks easily conform to both sitting and standing positions to reduce the number of hours per day you spend sitting, which many medical professionals believe to be a healthier alternative to using a traditional desk. The best adjustable desk may effectively reduce the time you sit during a workday, anywhere from short, 15- to 30-minute intervals to several hours. Equally important, this type of desk allows the user to switch from standing to sitting throughout the day as desired.
While there are specially designed computer desks and ergonomic desks, standing desks have become so popular in recent years that there are now countless options available. We studied the market to find some of the best standing desks geared towards a range of activities and workspaces that will help get you moving in no time.
- Best overall: ApexDesk Elite Series Adjustable Standing Desk
- Best converter: FITUEYES Height Adjustable Standing Desk Converter
- Best for small spaces: Flexispot Quick Install Standing Desk
- Best electric: Vari Electric Standing Desk
- Best for gaming: VIVO Electric Adjustable Stand Up Desk
How we picked the best standing desks
As more people want to reap the benefits of a standing desk, the market has become flooded with cheap and knockoff products. So in making our top picks, we sorted through some 50 models of standing desks to narrow the field. Among the priority features we insisted on: easy assembly, sturdy construction, user-friendly operation, and overall durability.
Instead of simply choosing the highest-rating desks, we also sought out a variety of products geared toward various lifestyles. To include something for virtually everybody, we considered the gamut, from a converter to modify an existing desk to a standing desk, a strong solution for small spaces, and even the most high-end options for those looking to invest seriously in their orthopedic health and posture.
The best standing desks: reviews and recommendations
Best standing desk: ApexDesk Elite Series Adjustable Standing Desk
Sleek European design and engineering plus a large work surface make this desk a winner.
Why It Made The Cut: This electric adjustable desk lets you transform seamlessly from sitting to standing position with a push of a button and give your posture a kickstart within seconds.
- Dimensions: 60 x 27 x 48 inches
- Weight: 131 pounds
- Colors: Assorted frame and surface options
- Ample table top work surface
- Powerful dual-motor lifting system
- European design and engineering
- Doesn’t include a cable management tray
- Beveled edge makes it difficult for C-clamps
Achieve a perfect balance of sitting and standing throughout the workday with the ApexDesk Elite Series Adjustable Standing Desk. A simple button push allows the desk to move anywhere between 29 to 49 inches in height within seconds, thanks to a powerful dual-motor lifting system. A digital controller with four programmable presets lets you choose your favorite positions for even easier adaptability.
A favorite among reviewers and users since its launch in 2015, the Elite Series boasts a beautifully crafted, ergo-shaped work surface constructed of water-resistant, laminated engineered wood. Pre-installed metal anchors make for easy installation, while beveled edges lend a sophisticated look.
The beveled edge, however, makes it challenging to install the C-clamps needed to set up boom mics, monitor mounts, and other accessories. Some consumers were also disappointed that, for the price, the standing desk doesn’t include a cable management system, which instead must be purchased separately.
Best standing desk converter: FITUEYES Height Adjustable Standing Desk Converter
Easily convert virtually any traditional desk into an adjustable standing desk. FITUEYES
Why It Made The Cut: This standing desk converter lets users transform a stationary desk into a standing model with minimal assembly.
- Dimensions: 31.5 x 24.2 x 19.8 inches
- Weight: 29 pounds
- Colors: Black (brown and white also available)
- Dual gas spring force for easy transitions
- Minimal assembly is needed out of the box
- Desk base can hold up to 33 pounds
- Keyboard tray is stationary and not very large
- Lowered height may be too high for sitting
For a sturdy, affordable approach to the sitting-for-hours dilemma, consider transforming your existing desk with the FITUEYES Standing Desk Converter. The spacious work area provides enough room for a variety of computer setups, including single or dual monitors, a laptop and computer monitor, and more. In addition, the dual gas spring force lets you transition from sitting to standing in one smooth motion, from 19.8 to 4.3 inches, depending on your height. And the converter can support up to 33 pounds.
Though the product description says the manual standing desk converter comes fully assembled, some users note that minimal assembly is required; fortunately, that’s typically quick and easy. And because it does raise off the desk’s surface, it’s important to note that it will make your desk slightly higher from a seated position.
As for the keyboard tray, some folks like that it is fixed to avoid rattles when typing, while others would have preferred that the tray slide in and out. Also keep in mind that the tray only accommodates keyboards 15 inches or less.
Best small desk: Flexispot Quick Install Standing Desk
Quick and Compact
This small standing desk lets you transform your work space in five minutes. Flexispot
Why It Made The Cut: Those short on home office space will appreciate the compact, minimalist design and easy assembly of the Flexispot Quick Install Standing Desk.
- Dimensions: 30 x 60 x 25.5 inches
- Weight: 31.4 pounds
- Colors: Black/wood (white/wood also available)
- Ample legroom under the desk
- Quick and easy assembly
- Minimalist design suits any decor
- Doesn’t lower enough for short people
- Lacks holes for wires
The Flexispot Quick Install Standing Desk is a great choice for those who need to fit a workstation into a bedroom, living room, kitchen or other common area. The minimalist design allows the desk to fit seamlessly into virtually any interior aesthetic. Easy five-minute assembly requires simply inserting the lifting columns into the pre-installed crossbeam and attaching the feet.
Though small in size, this Flexispot boasts generous legroom thanks to legs that are offset towards the back of the desk. The feet are also adjustable, so you can use the leveling glides along the bottom to ensure that the desktop is even, not slanted.
While reviewers rave that the desk is easy to assemble and operate, shorter people find that even the lowest setting is too high for sitting, and recommend using a good office chair and footrest for optimal performance. Other consumers point out the lack of holes or grommets for wires to pass through, but a desk wire organizer is an affordable solution to this issue.
Best electric standing desk: Vari Electric Standing Desk
This top-rated standing desk is the crème de la crème of adjustable desks. Vari
Why It Made The Cut: Features such as quiet dual motors, sturdy steel T-style legs and a durable laminate finish make this electric standing desk a true workhorse.
- Dimensions: 48 x 24 x 28.7 inches
- Weight: 79.8 pounds
- Colors: Black (white also available)
- Whisper-quiet dual motors
- Four programmable memory settings
- Supports up to 200 pounds
- Tabletop is not real wood
- Textured laminate surface makes for difficult writing
If you’re looking for commercial-grade quality that’s built to last, look no further than the Vari Electric Standing Desk. Whisper-quiet dual motors, sturdy steel T-style legs, and a durable laminate finish are just a few reasons why this adjustable standing desk is consistently top-rated among both consumers and pro reviewers alike. And with the included easy-to-use tools, setup takes mere minutes.
Using the programmable LED display, you can save up to four height settings between 25 to 50.5 inches, so your ideal height is as easy as the touch of a button. In addition, the powerful dual motors and three-stage legs are designed to ensure a smooth, quiet, fluid lift. The desk also supports up to 200 pounds, typically more than enough for a computer and such office equipment as a scanner and printer.
The only drawback that some users note is that the laminate finish on the reclaimed wood and butcher block options (which are not solid wood) has a grittiness that makes it difficult to write on the surface without a pad or mat. However, most users would opt to use a pad or mat with natural wood construction anyway, so as not to damage the surface.
Best gaming desk: VIVO Electric Adjustable Stand Up Desk
Expand Your Setup
This spacious electric standing desk can suit those marathon gaming sessions. VIVO
Why It Made The Cut: With a spacious tabletop ideal for a variety of computer setups and monitors, this standing desk is a clear choice for gamers and those who work long hours.
- Dimensions: 31.5 x 63.1 x 29.5 inches
- Weight: 55.4 pounds
- Colors: White (various colors also available)
- Spacious 63-inch surface
- Durable steel frame construction
- Integrated cable management system
- Instructions challenging to understand
- Tabletop seems thin and flimsy
Gamers and others who spend long sessions in front of a computer should find the VIVO Electric Adjustable Stand Up Desk a real winner. The 63-inch tabletop surface with a curved, modern shape is perfect for a variety of computer setups and monitors. Using the touch screen controller, you can create your own personalized ergonomic workstation with comfortable viewing angles and customized height settings.
The all-steel construction desk frame is strong enough to support up to 176 pounds with an adjustable height range of 29.5 to 49.6 inches. However, some users complain that, in contrast, the table top itself seems flimsy. One consumer review even stated the intention to attach the base to a solid piece of wood for an all-around high-performance desk setup should the original surface wear out.
Unlike many competitor products, this standing desk comes with an integrated cable management system that keeps cords and cables neatly organized and hidden from view for a tidy workspace. Unfortunately, this feature complicates assembly, and many customers note that the instructions can be challenging to follow. Tip: If the user manual seems confusing, watch the online video tutorial, which is easier to follow.
Things to consider before buying a standing desk
Congrats on making the decision to improve your posture while building more pleasure into your workday with an adjustable standing desk. Here are some things to consider before making the investment, since most standing desks are pricey, heavy to ship and, as such, potentially difficult to return.
Pick your power
Adjustable desks are either manually or electrically powered. Manual models, obviously, require the user to physically lift and lower the work surface, while pricier electric models require virtually no effort to move up and down. Some electric desks are noisier than others, which may be an issue if you share your workspace with others who may be irritated or distracted or irritated by the sound. If you decide on an electric desk, check out the extended warranty along with potential parts and labor, should you run into technical difficulties.
Measure horizontally and vertically
Measure the space where you intend to put the desk—not just the square footage but the height at which you’ll want it to stand. Then consider the adjustable height range of products as you shop to ensure that the desk will fit where you want to put it and meet your fundamental sitting and standing requirements.
If you plan on putting computer and technical equipment on your standing desk, check the tabletop dimensions and standard weight requirements. This will ensure that the desk will be large and strong enough to hold everything you need to function effectively at work.
Get a sense of what’s involved in putting the desk together in your workspace. Will you need special tools for the assembly of either the desk or the accessories?
Investigate special features
Some standing desks may have such extras as a cable management system, keyboard trays, and equipment clamps. Would these make life easier for you? If you choose a desk that doesn’t include these features, can they be purchased separately and easily installed?
Q: How long should you stand at a standing desk?
The right length of time to stand at a desk varies depending on the individual, but most experts agree that you should generally stand for approximately one hour for every hour or two that you spend sitting. However, the bottom line is that you should alternate between sitting and standing regularly through your workday.
Q: Do chiropractors recommend standing desks?
Though professional opinions differ, many chiropractors will recommend standing desks to patients looking to improve their posture by sitting for fewer hours throughout the day.
Q: Do electric standing desks break?
Electric standing desks can be a pricey investment and, unfortunately, because of their numerous moving mechanical parts, there is always a risk that something will break or malfunction. For example, motors sometimes burn out or electrical wires break. Voltage issues pose another potential risk, as they can cause the desk to stop working. The Uplift V2 is an electric standing desk that gets high marks for its performance.
Final thoughts on the best standing desks
If you’ve heard the quip “Sitting is the new smoking,” you may be on the hunt for an adjustable desk that will allow the option to stand while working, thus staving off poor posture and other health risks. The best adjustable standing desk, be it manual or electric, will go up and down to various heights with ease. It will also be sturdy enough to support the desktop items you need to function effectively and fit neatly in your space.
We found the best standing desk to be the Vari Electric Standing Desk. Faux wood laminate finish aside, this desk’s sturdy design and quiet operation make it quick and easy to change heights with the press of a button. However, apartment dwellers and others with limited home-office space may prefer the compact Flexispot Quick Install Standing Desk.