Standing desks are growing in popularity as more people are experiencing the benefits of adding standing to their routines:
- Increased productivity
- Better mood
- Higher energy levels
- Reduced back and neck pain
- Weight loss
In addition to these benefits, extensive research shows that users reduce their risk of some types of cancer, diabetes, obesity, and early mortality.
Dan Kois of New York Magazine conducted a fascinating experiment where he stood for 30 days straight. Eating dinner, watching movies, working, everything but when he was sleeping! Until he figured out that he should be stretching, he was getting cramps as he wasn't used to that much standing. At the end of the experiment, he stated that he had lost a few pounds and had the most productive month of his life! You can read about his experience here.
Our research is supported by our readers. We may earn a small commission when you make a purchase through links on our site, but this in no ways increases the price of the products - advertiser disclosure
Our Standing Desk Recommendations
We've been testing standing desks for years, and we regularly update our top choices:
- Best Overall - Vari Electric
- Best Value Runner Up - ApexDesk Elite
- Best Budget Desk - Flexispot E5
- Best Runner-Up Budget Pick - Fezibo
- Best Budget 2nd Runner-Up: SHW Electric
- Best Budget Plus: Flexispot E7
- Best Real Wood/Luxury - ergofinis Sway
Our ratings are based on 16 criteria (ergonomics, range & ease of adjustment, design quality, user reviews, customer service, speed, noise, stability, overall feel, surface area, lift capacity, warranty, shipping, ease of assembly, and overall value).
The Vari Electric Standing Desk is our top choice for many reasons:
- It's stable even when at the highest height.
- You can program up to 4 height settings, ranging from 25"-50.5".
- Dual motors that are relatively quiet.
- Beautiful desktop with beveled edges and several color choices: reclaimed wood, butcher block, darkwood, white, and black.
- Quick assembly (it took us 15 minutes, which is a lot less than the average).
- Vari has excellent U.S.-based customer service, a 30-day hassle-free return policy, and a 5-year warranty.
This desk has 4.8/5 stars on Amazon with over 2,100 reviews, was chosen as the best electric standing desk in 2022 by CNET and Good Housekeeping, and the best standing desk overall in 2022 by Tom's Guide.
The most common complaint with the Vari is that the desktop isn't real wood (such as the ergofinis below). As we have owned and tested real wood desks, there are three main drawbacks. The first is the cost-a hardwood will usually double the cost of the desk (if not more). The second is that with the hardwood desktop that we owned, we were disappointed to find that writing would leave impressions in the wood! The third is that real wood requires little care and maintenance.
This desktop is a dense compressed wood product covered with a laminate that is resistant to scratches, water, and daily wear and tear. We bought our first Vari desk over five years ago, and it still looks and works great, check out our full review here.
Best Value Runner Up
The ApexDesk Elite is a great desk:
- 21 different options, including white, off-white, and black frames with lots of desktop colors.
- 225 lb. lift capacity and speed of 1.5" per second.
- ApexDesk has been producing desks since 2015 and improving them over time, winning the Best Overall Desk by CNN Underscored.
- 30"-49" range.
- Desktop options of rectangle or curved, giving you closer reach to items on the desk.
- Industrial-grade steel frame.
- Four customized presets on the controls.
- 2-year warranty (a little weak, in our opinion).
One of the two drawbacks occasionally mentioned on the ApexDesk Elite is that assembly takes a little longer than many other desks, normally around 45 minutes. Since this is a one-time occurrence, we don't feel it's a deal breaker but worth mentioning.
The second criticism is regarding the controller. You have to either hold it down to move the desk or press it twice. This is also nitpicking as every user quickly gets used to the controls.
Overall this desk is comparable to other more expensive desks, and we agree with its 4.8-star rating on Amazon. See our full ApexDesk review here.
Best Budget Desk
The Flexispot E5 is an excellent budget desk for the following reasons:
- Flexispot gives you the option of a curved top, which brings you closer to everything on your desk.
- Quiet (45 dB), dual motors with a 287 lb. lift capacity.
- There are a lot of customizations on the desktop color, size, frame, and storage options.
- The embedded cable management tray is one of the best we've seen to keep your wires out of sight.
- The controls have an alarm function that you can set at any interval to remind you to stand.
- 5-year warranty on the desktop and ten years on the desk frame.
- Very fast shipping and quick and easy assembly.
- The desk adjusts from 24.4" to 50", accommodating most users.
See our full Flexispot E5 review here.
Best Runner Up Budget Desk
This is the lowest-price desk that doesn't make big compromises on design and quality:
- It's available in 4 different sizes and five different colors (some of the colors are unique, such as Expresso).
- A height range of 27"-45" (which may be a little short for people over 6' 2").
- Maximum weight capacity of 155 lbs.
- Standard features such as anti-collision, three memory presets, and stain and water-resistant surface.
- 4.5 stars on Amazon with over 6,400 reviews.
Best Budget Desk 2nd Runner Up
For the low price, this is an excellent standing desk on a tight budget.
- 48" wide x 24" deep.
- High ratings on Amazon.
- Range of 28" to 46".
- Available in oak, light cherry, walnut, and black desktop.
- Desktop is not one continuous piece - it's two pieces.
- Free shipping.
- Four programmable height presets, plus an up/down toggle.
- Grommet hole for wire management.
- Cable-management basket hangs under the desk to keep wires organized.
- 1-year limited warranty.
Read more on the SHW Electric.
Best Budget Plus Standing Desk
The FlexiSpot E7 is an upgraded version of the E5 (only around $100 more), and was awarded the 2022 Esquire Gadget awards winner, and "Best Standing Desk for WFH in 2021, 2022, 2023" by Techradar. It's a winner for a lot of reasons:
- 355 lb weight capacity.
- Leg columns thicker than the E5 and carbon-steel legs making it very stable.
- 15-year warranty.
- The controls have a USB charging port and a child-lock button.
- Very fast delivery.
- Easy and hassle-free assembly.
- One of the best wire-management systems with their under-desk embedded cable tray-it's easy to slide side to side to see and move wires, and easy to remove and attach the tray, keeping everything hidden.
- A lot of customizations for the size of the desktop, color, rectangle or curved front (more ergonomic), shape of legs (T-shaped for more stability and C-shaped for more space to store your computer or other items), frame colors, as well as many others such as monitor trays, under desk storage, etc.
- Fast speed of 1.5"/second and quiet at 45 db.
See our full FlexiSpot E7 review here.
Best Real Wood/Luxury Desk
- This is the most beautiful desk we've ever reviewed because the desktop is real wood, between 1 1/8" and 1 1/4" thick, not compressed wood with a laminate cover. You can choose from cherrywood, walnut, maple, or white oak, and you can order wood swatches if you're not sure which wood to order.
- You can choose a black or white frame.
- Available in 24" x 48", 30: x 60", and 30" x 72", you can add grommets for wire management.
- The "Swipe" controls are in the desktop and only require you to slide your finger on the controls. The controls also have two saved positions per user, with up to 4 users.
- 360 lb. lift capacity.
- Dual motors with an anti-collision system are one of the quietest desks we've ever reviewed-under, under 40 dB!
- 22" to 48.3" height range.
- 3-year warranty on the wood, ten years on the frame, and five years n the motor and electric parts.
- Made in Canada.
- 30-day return policy minus the cost of the shipping.
This desk is stunning, but there are some things to be aware of with real wood. You'll want to be careful with spills-always dry quickly with a paper towel or soft cloth, and clean with a microfiber cloth with warm or room-temperature water in the direction of the wood. And ergofinis recommends an internal humidity level of 45-55%.
Real wood is softer than a typical surface, so be careful with writing and placing metal objects on the desk. We recommend using a thick notepad without a wire binding when writing on the desk to not leave an impression from your pen in the wood.
For more information, check out our Sway review.
If budget isn't an issue for you, ergofinis offers the "Alive" standing desk (available in walnut or maple) with live edges that are handcrafted in Quebec.
Use the table below to compare some of the most important stats when considering a standing desk. The range of height adjustment can be of particular interest if you are taller or shorter than average. Also, depending on your plans for the desk, consider the lift capacity, as it varies dramatically from desk to desk.
|Vari Electric||25"||50.5"||250||5 years|
|ApexDesk Elite||30"||49"||225||2 years|
|SHW Electric 48"||31"||42"||110||1 year|
|ergofinis Sway||22"||48.3"||360||10/5/3 years (wood/frame/
What each table column means:
- Min height (inches) - the minimum height that the desk can be adjusted to, as reported by the manufacturer.
- Max height (inches) - the maximum height that the desk can be adjusted to as reported by the manufacturer.
- Lift capacity (pounds) - the weight that the desk can hold while in motion raising or lowering. Most of these desks do report higher capacities when stationary.
- Warranty - the length of time within which the seller agrees to replace the desk. Warranty lengths and terms may differ for the desktop, frame, and motor.
Additional Thoughts on Each Desk
One of the standout features of the Vari is the desktop. It's a thick desktop at 1.5", and we chose the reclaimed wood, which is one of the best looking desks we've seen (the butcher block looks great too, but we haven't seen it in person). We've reviewed much more expensive desks that are made of real wood, but some woods are softer, and if you write on a paper or sticky note that's on the desk, the wood will get an imprint of what you wrote. This desk looks beautiful and has a slightly textured surface that will stand up to a lot of wear and tear. And the chamfered edges are a nice design choice.
The assembly of the desk is simple and doesn't take very long. You'll probably need a second person to flip the table over onto its legs once you're done, unless you're strong or very determined.
This desk is a great choice. With lots of quality certifications (GreenGuard, GreenGuard Gold, UL962 Listed, and Certified to the UL962 Standard for Household and Commercial Furnishings), Vari is one of the leaders in the standing desk industry, with a lot of different types of standing desk and accessories.
There aren't as many customizations with Vari as with the Jarvis. Vari offers more desktop colors (5 in total), but you can't customize the frame color, desktop shape (not contour in the front), and there are no grommets. But the Vari looks and feels more substantial than the Jarvis.
The ApexDesk Elite has a dual-motor system for changing heights. An advantage is that it can lift a lot of weight (we've heard that it can lift 320 lbs. without an issue), and it's faster than most desks at 1.5"/second, but the downside is that it's a little bit louder than most desks.
The desk is also very heavy and feels substantial. The size options are 71" x 33" x 1" (which is huge), or 60" x 28" x 1" (also big). The Jarvis offers a 72" x 30" and a 78" x 30" option, with the 78" being the longest we tested, but the ApexDesk being the deepest at 33".
There are 8 color options and the desktop has a nice textured surface. You have a choice of white or black legs and frame.
The drawbacks of this desk are minor issues. The controls look cheaper than the Jarvis or Vari, the height range isn't going to work for the very tall or very short, and the stability when the desk is raised isn't as good as our other top choices.
But if you're looking for a very large table top with a massive lift capacity, the ApexDesk is a great choice.
The Flexispot E5 is a solid choice competing with more expensive desks. It ticks all the boxes we look for in a standing desk: lift capacity, stability, speed, quality, noise level, warranty, customer service, easy assembly, and customizations. The stand-out feature is the cable management-it's probably the best we've seen. If you like things neat, the E5 has a unique system that will keep your wires hidden under your desktop, but still easy to access.
The price point of the Fezibo is the lowest you can go without making serious compromises. Any lower price will mean that there will most likely be some major issues. If your budget is limited, the Fezibo has all the basics of a good standing desk, though the lift capacity is low (155 lbs), and the height range is less, which makes it a poor ergonomic choice for the very tall or very short.
The SHW Electric is a solid desk for the price. It will fall short when compared to the top desks at higher price points, but is a superior desk at under $250. In the past if you wanted to stand while you worked and you were on a budget, you had to get a standing desk converter (a unit that you put on top of an existing desk.) One of the main issues with converters is that they don't have a large workspace, so if you like to keep a lot of stuff on your desk, it's not going to work.
It's a good-looking desk with 4 memory presets. There are 4 color options: black, light cherry, walnut, and oak. The desk has been rated highly by many users, with the main complaint being that the electronics failed. For this reason, we recommend keeping the packing materials in case you have to return the desk.
Another point to mention is that there is a grommet for passing your wires through. The product description does list the grommet, but some of the pictures don't show the grommet hole, which is a nice feature for keeping your desk organized.
One important aspect of this desk that isn't evident from the pictures is that the desktop comes in two pieces. This was probably done to reduce the size of the package for shipping, and some complain that the seam collects dust and debris. It's not a huge deal, but for some people this could be a deal-breaker.
This desk also isn't great for the very tall or very short. Its lowest height is 7.75" taller than the Jarvis, and 7.25" shorter at the highest setting. If you're under 5'2" or over 6'3", you may be uncomfortable using this desk and if you have any back issues, you could aggravate your back.
This desk is an upgrade of the FlexiSpot E5 with a great lift capacity (355 lbs), a 15-year warranty, and the same excellent wire-management system. It's not a surprise that it has won so many awards.
This desk stands out because of the real wood tabletop. The wood tabletop is locally sourced in Montreal, 1 1/8" -1 1/4"thick, and has a clear matte water-based lacquer finish, so you won't be breathing in any harsh chemicals. It's the most beautiful tabletop that we've reviewed.
The primary consideration on whether to buy this desk, outside of the cost, is the wood. You'll need to be a little more careful with it as any spills will need to be cleaned up quickly, and you have to be careful not to indent the wood with anything metal (including and mainly writing on paper directly on the desk). If you're concerned about the softness of the wood, the hardest wood measured on the Janka hardness test in pounds-force (lbf) is maple (1450 lbf), white oak (1290 lbf), walnut (1010 lbf), followed by cherrywood (950 lbf).
Types of Standing Desks
If you're shopping for a standing desk, it's best to get familiar with the available types of standing desk options. While there are two main types, there are also many different sub-categories, all with their pros and cons. The main two types of standing desks are standing desks and standing desk converters:
Standing desks allow you to stand while working at your desk or computer. They are also known as stand-up desks, sit-to-stand desks, or adjustable standing workstations. Choosing the best standing desk for you comes down to whether you want to replace your existing desk or convert it using a standing desk converter. When it comes to price, there are standing desk options for nearly any budget, ranging from $150 to over $2,000. Typically a great value for money standing desk will be $500 to $750. A quality standing desk converter can be around $200.
There are many reasons why people are seeking out adjustable standing desks for their work or home office. Adding intermittent standing to your workday has proven to help avoid and treat back, neck, and joint pain and improve productivity and energy levels.
Standing Desk Converters vs. Full Standing Desks
Full Standing Desks
As the name suggests, these are standing desks designed to replace your existing desk and are free-standing units that allow you to sit or stand. They are usually electric or non-electric:
- Electric - Electric-standing desks raise or lower by electric power, usually from one or two motors operated via an electronic control unit. These are the most popular type of full standing desk because they transition from sitting to standing easily. Many control units include memory presets so you can save your ideal standing and sitting heights. The main drawback of electric standing desks is their price and longevity. Most quality desks with great warranties start at $500, although some budget-friendly options exist below that mark.
- Non-Electric - Non-electric standing desks make use of manually operated cranks or pneumatics (think gas struts on the trunk or hood of your car) to raise and lower their desk. These options are often very simple, reliable, and cost-effective. The main drawback is the effort/time required to raise or lower your desk. There is also effort needed to return to the same sitting or standing position time and time again.
Standing Desk Converters
Converters allow you to turn your existing desk into a standing desk. These are great options if you're on a tighter budget or unwilling to replace your existing desk.
- Non-electric - The most common type of standing desk converter doesn't use motors or electricity. They are easy to raise and lower manually; some can even be raised with one hand. The main advantage of converters is cost and ease of setup. Many also require little to no assembly. The main con is a smaller work surface while standing as well as potential stability issues (although this varies from model to model).
- Electric - These are the most popular type of adjustable standing desk. The main drawback is cost. With many electric standing desk converters costing $250 to $350, it's not much of a jump in price to buy a full standing desk and do away with the converter concept.
- Fixed - Fixed standing desk converters are not adjustable. They are designed to convert a workspace from sitting to standing but do not allow you to go back and forth easily. These are often very inexpensive due to their simplicity.
More Standing Options by Budget
There's a pretty wide range of prices for standing desks, as well as types. If you search on Google, YouTube, Amazon, or social media, you're going to get a variety of different results when you search "standing desks." You may get slightly different results with the search "standing desk converters," "sit-to-stand desks," "height-adjustable desks," "standing desk for business," or "adjustable standing desks," but there aren't any universally standard terms for the different types of standing desks. Here are some of the different types you'll find and their purpose, listed from cheapest to most expensive.
Laptop Stands: Under $100
They could be used to hold your laptop if you're sitting on a couch or bed, though that involves looking down at your screen, which puts pressure on your neck and back.
They can also be used to get your screen a little higher, so you're not looking down as much. The problem is that you're still looking down, which means you have to raise your arms to type. To not create tension in your neck, back, and wrists, you need to separate your screen from your keyboard. The cheapest and easiest way to do this is to attach a keyboard to your laptop via USB. When you're sitting, you can leave your laptop on the table and use the keyboard to type. When you stand, you just lift the laptop on top of the laptop stand and use the keyboard in the same place as when you were sitting.
We're not big fans of laptop stands because of poor ergonomics. We tested the Varidesk Soho and were unable to highly recommend to readers because of the inability to maintain proper posture as long as we typically like. However, laptop stands like the Varidesk Soho are an excellent option for small spaces.
Standing Workstation/Mobile Carts: $100-$200
These desks don't adjust to a sitting position and are often used by medical professionals who need to type standing up and to move their workstation around.
The Homcom 30" displayed is well under $100 and has caster wheels with a locking mechanism, so you don't move around. One nice feature is the separation of the monitor stand and the keyboard tray, which will make it easier to get your monitor close to eye level and your keyboard closer to your hips.
Ergonomic experts don't recommend standing all day, so we don't usually recommend these mobile workstations. But if you feel that you'll be able to stay mobile while standing, and be ok with not having the option of sitting, these units are the cheapest way to start standing while you work.
Standing Desk Converters: $100-$400
These are units you place on top of your existing desk and have been made popular in large part due to Varidesk. They were the first company to advertise on television.
The nice thing about converters is that they usually require little to no assembly-you just take it out of the box and put them where you want it on your desk.
Varidesk now has a lot of competition and have improved on their design. Though most converters are manually operated, where you squeeze one or two levers on the sides of the top to raise it and lower it, there are now electric converters.
Standing desk converters are usually cheaper than full standing desks, so they'll save you some money. The tabletops aren't as large, so you might find it hard to have enough space to take notes, but they're a great way to get you standing.
Crank Adjustable Standing Desks: $200-$400
These aren't as common as converters or electric standing desks. They're usually around the same price as converters but are very similar to electric standing desks.
Our team found when they used crank desks, they tended to stay sitting longer. It may sound lazy, but when you have to walk to the side of the desk (though some like the Devaise have it more conveniently in front) and crank the desk up and down many times to adjust the height, you tend not to change positions as much. And most people default to their old habit of sitting.
If you're in a very quiet office and you don't want the slight noise of raising and lowering your desk, a crank desk may work for you. You'll save money because you're not paying for a motor and keypad to control the height of your desk, but you may be sacrificing standing as much as you should. For that reason, we don't usually recommend crank adjustable standing desks.
Electric Standing Desks: $400 & Above
Electric is the most expensive of all of the different types of adjustable height desks, though there is a wide range of prices. At the lower end, you can find one for around $500, and at the high end, $2,500.
Electric height-adjustable desks have a control pad that raises and lowers the desk and usually includes memory presets so you can save your favorite standing and sitting heights.
Of all the different types of desks, electric sit-to-stand desks (as well as crank desks) can hold the most amount of weight. This isn't an issue for most people, but if you have multiple monitors, books, a purse, or bag, it can quickly add up.
If you're serious about getting the benefits of standing and not being sedentary while you work, this is the best way to go. If you already have a desk, you can get a standing desk converter, but I found that when I tested converters, I tended to sit a little more than I did when testing an electric standing desk.
To select the best height-adjustable desk, we went through an in-depth process, including research and hands-on testing. The standing desk market is constantly evolving, with new companies launching new products every day. To maintain our up-to-date information, we keep tabs on the changing market and maintain relationships with the top standing desk manufacturers. In addition to the time invested in research and relationships, we have years of experience on which we draw to understand what makes a great desk. This experience allows us to identify problem areas and help others to get the most quality for their budget.
Criteria Used in Reviews
One of the most important parts of our review process is to establish a set of criteria that we use to evaluate each desk and the company that manufactures it. These criteria help keep us focused and objective on recommending a standing desk for you.
Here's what we consider to be important when shopping for a standing desk:
- Overall value - This is ultimately how we decide. It is a combination of all the above criteria weighted by the desk price. We tend to favor desks that deliver maximum value for the money. This ensures you're getting everything you need in a standing desk without overpaying.
- User reviews - We choose to review desks that have received high ratings from customers like you.
- Quality - We pay attention to the materials used and the quality of the construction.
- Range of adjustment - This is the difference between the minimum and maximum height of the desk, which is important to consider if you are below or above average height, plan to have children use the desk, or are purchasing desks for an office and a variety of employee heights.
- Stability - One of the most important criteria for a standing desk is how much wobbling occurs when the desk is at standing height. This is why we almost always recommend desks with heavy steel frames, it really makes a difference.
- Ergonomics - The greatest benefit of using a standing desk is that your productivity, mood, and energy levels rise. That's because you are now moving from sitting to standing throughout your workday, and the desk is comfortable and easy to use. Many people start using adjustable standing desks because they want to reduce leg, neck, back, or wrist pain. To learn more about the proper way to sit and stand at your desk, check out our guide to proper sitting and standing ergonomics.
- Ease of adjustment - It's recommended that you switch from sitting to standing a few times per hour. If the desk is difficult to adjust, you'll tend to stay sitting.
- Design - Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but we can all agree that some standing desks are easier to behold than others.
- Customer service - This is an important factor when ordering or dealing with delivery, repairs, or returns.
- Assembly - Most standing desk converters, such as the Varidesk Pro Plus 36, require no assembly, as they come out of the box and are ready to be placed on your existing desk. But if you buy a full standing desk you will have to at least attach the legs to the tabletop, and often a cable management tray, and other items.
- Speed of height adjustment - Measured in inches per second, the higher quality desks tend to switch from sitting to standing faster.
- Noise level - The noise of the motor when adjusting is measured in decibels. If you work in a quiet office this may be an important factor.
- Shipping - Some desks can take up to 8 weeks to arrive after you order them! And some arrive in separate shipments, which can be inconvenient.
- Overall feel - Aside from ergonomics, certain desks are more comfortable to use than others. For example, the tabletop may have rounded edges, which most people prefer to hard edges.
- Surface area - Some desks have more space on the desktop than others; remember to look at the dimensions to make sure that your desk will fit in the space that you have allotted.
- Lift capacity - If you have a lot of items on your desk, this can be important. There is a wide range for standing desks; we've seen as low as 20 lbs. and as high as 360 lbs.
- Warranty - Standing desk companies tend to have more extended and better warranties when they sell high quality standing desks.
Our Experience Reviewing Standing Desks
We started by reviewing one of the early leaders in the standing desk market, Vari (formerly Varidesk). We bought everything they offered, and our team used their standing desk, converters of different sizes, cubicle converters, their mat, and more. We've tested the cheapest standing desks on the market (cardboard desks!), and the most expensive. One of our editors even built his own desk!
Almost immediately after we started reviewing standing desks and converters, we saw that people who want to be less sedentary have a lot of other options. So we began testing treadmill desks, bike desks, home treadmills, ergonomic keyboards, monitor arms, standing desk mats, and posture improvement products.
Buyers can easily become overwhelmed with so many choices. More and more companies are getting into the standing desk space. We strive to give our followers the best recommendations for their particular situation. For example, one reader may be over 6'5", and another may be on a tight budget. Another may need a desk with a great cord management system, and another does a lot of gaming. We want every person to find what they need for their unique situation.
We've developed specific criteria for each type of standing desk product or accessory. Most of our readers don't have the time to read hundreds of reviews, watch hours of video, talk to manufacturers, or have the experience to compare a desk to other top desks. We do all of this so you don't have to.
Another thing that we pride ourselves on is our honest reviews. We've been in the industry for a few years now and we see a large number of biased reviews. The products may still be good, but companies will exaggerate their strengths and their competitors' weaknesses. We're not naming names or getting involved in the drama, but there have been a few lawsuits. When we like a product we will recommend it, and we'll also tell you the drawbacks, as there's no perfect standing desk out there.
We also frequently update our reviews. As we do more testing and get more information, our rankings will change.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are our answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about the best standing desks.
Are standing desks healthy?
How many calories do you burn standing vs. sitting?
Standing four hours a day can burn an additional 252 calories for an average male and burn 196 for an average female. Use our calculator to get an estimate based on your body.
Is there a way to convert my existing desk to a standing desk?
Yes, many choose to invest in a standing desk converter to use existing furniture. This is often a less expensive and easier option since converters are cheaper and usually require no assembly.
What are the pros and cons of a standing desk converter?
Compared to standing desks, standing desk converters are:
- Cheaper - Most standing desk converters are well under $400, with budget-friendly options dipping below $100 and high-quality converters hovering around the $300 mark.
- No assembly required - Most standing desk converters require zero assembly, while others take no more than 5 minutes. Many standing desk companies are now making assembly easier or shipping nearly complete, often only requiring tool-free assembly.
The advantages of standing desks vs. converters:
- More desktop space - Standing desks usually give you double to triple the amount of desktop space compared to a converter. If you want to clear even more desktop space, look into monitor arms.
- Electric controls and keypad - There are a few electric converters, but they are rarer. We've found that when you have to manually adjust a converter, you tend to not switch positions as much, which means most people will just revert to sitting.
- More options available - There are a lot more options when it comes to desktop color and material, size of the tabletop, frame color, wire management, and accessories. Normally with a converter, you'll have the option of black, occasionally white, or some variation of white, and in rare cases, gray.
- Design - This is subjective, but many people find that full standing desks are better looking, mainly because there are more color and tabletop options.
- Lift Capacity - Most converters will lift no more than 50 lbs., whereas standing desks will often lift 3 times that or more. This isn't usually an issue for most people unless you have many things on your desktop, such as books, a bag, multiple monitors, etc.
If you're working with a limited budget or have a desk that you like, a standing desk converter is a good option. But if you can afford a standing desk, especially an electric sit-to-stand desk, we feel that increased work productivity and the health benefits are worth the price difference.
What are my options if I'm on a budget?
There are many great adjustable standing desks in the $200 to $400 range that still offer good quality, features, and design. For the DIY consumer, you can build all or most of your own standing desk.
Do standing desks help with back and neck pain?
Standing and the use of standing desks place up to 50% less stress on your lower back than sitting. Standing also makes it easier to maintain good posture, which can help reduce pain as well.
What is the right desk height for a standing desk?
Proper desk height varies from person to person and should be right at elbow height. Test the height by touching your keyboard to ensure that your wrists are in line with your forearm.
Getting Started with Standing
Getting into a routine of standing while at work takes time. Here are a few tips to help you get started:
- Change positions every 20 minutes. The goal isn't necessarily to stand all day - it's to keep moving. You can keep a chair or stool nearby, set a timer if you need to, and make a change every 20 minutes. If you are sitting, stand. If you are standing, get water; you can stretch, do squats, do calf raises, and just keep moving! For the time when you want to sit there are a lot of different options from conventional office chairs to stools designed for standing desks. The time you don't spend standing is just as important, make sure you have a comfortable chair or stool.
- Get a standing desk mat. They're not necessary, but many people find that they get less tired with the added comfort. Check out our top standing desk mats for more information.
- Wear the right shoes. If you're wearing shoes like high heels, standing for long periods will be uncomfortable and may do more harm than good. Bring comfortable shoes to work, or just socks, and if you have fallen arches, wear orthotics.
- Set the ideal desk height. Using a standing desk at an incorrect height (whether standing or sitting) will cause more harm than good. Finding and returning to your ideal height for standing and sitting is easier to do with a desk with memory settings, but at minimum, get familiar with your ideal height for both positions before you develop your routine. Refer to our Proper Workplace Ergonomics guide for specifics on how your elbows, wrists, head, as well as your monitors, should be positioned for standing and sitting.
You will probably find that certain activities are done better while standing and others sitting. Many find that work that requires intense concentration is better done sitting. Watching videos, talking on the phone, and other duties that require less focus can be done standing. And there's another way to work while not sitting, and that is leaning. You can use a leaning chair or stool and lean back against it, such as Varidesk's Varichair or the Swopper.
Top Standing Desk Companies
Not in any particular order of quality or importance, here are some of the leaders in the standing desk and standing desk converters industry:
- Vari - Based in Coppell, Texas, Varidesk is the most well-known brand for standing desk converters, though they offer manual and electric standing desks, mats, monitor arms, and other accessories. We have found them to be innovative in designing desks that meet the needs of consumers, including selling their products for very reasonable prices and not skimping on quality.
- Ergofinis - The producers of the most beautiful desktops we've ever seen. Their solid wood and live edge solid wood desktops are mostly locally sourced near their headquarters in Quebec, Canada. They use local woodworkers and are environmentally active: they donate 1% of profits to the David Suzuki Foundation, which works to protect the environment; their team volunteers two days per year for Quebec-based environmental non-profits; they've committed to minimizing their environmental impact wherever possible, and they're a Certified BCorp (business committed to a more sustainable economy). In addition to their wood desks, they also offer an anti-fingerprint desk that's anti-microbial and scratch resistant.
- Human Solution - The producer of the highly-rated UPLIFT, Human Solution offers one of the widest ranges of ergonomic products that you'll find anywhere, including standing desks, chairs, treadmill desks, mats, keyboard trays, mice, chair accessories, CPU holders, monitor arms, privacy panels and acoustics, desk edge protectors, corner sleeves, task lights, wire management and desk organization, footrests, laptop products, headsets, and even Mac-compatible products!
- Flexispot - A relative newcomer to space, they offer standing desks, converters, desk bikes, and standing desk accessories. We're impressed with their ability to offer high-quality products at a low price and great customer service.
- ApexDesk - Also a relative newcomer to the industry, ApexDesk focuses mainly on selling quality, full-standing desks in various surfaces, frame colors, and sizes. We have had great experiences with their products, especially their Elite Series desk, which offers incredible value for a large standing desk. ApexDesk also sells standing desk converters and other office furniture.
Standing Desk Market to Double by 2025
A study published by Credence Research forecasted that the standing desk market will double in size by 2025. This is largely driven by the aggressive adoption of desk converters and electric standing desks. Research shows that reducing the amount of time sitting can cut your chances of cancer, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and back pain. That doesn't mean that we should stand all day, but it does mean that we should find ways to move actively throughout the day. Using adjustable height desks is one of the easiest ways to break up long periods of slouching.
Corporations have been the leaders in the overall market growth for the past few years. While there is continued growth forecasted there, residential, educational, healthcare, manufacturing, and other business areas are all likely increasing as well. Smaller businesses and residences will be increasing demand because of greater awareness of ergonomic furniture benefits and an overall decreased cost offered by many manufacturers. Businesses large and small are beginning to offer standing desks and even walking desks for their employees. As a result, the amount of manufacturers is growing, which will hopefully lead to competitive prices for consumers.
Choosing a standing desk doesn't have to be difficult. The standing desk market has evolved a lot in the last few years with higher quality desks for lower prices. For most people, the health and productivity benefits outweigh the cost. Not to mention that standing desks are often beautiful pieces of furniture.
Before buying your desk, measure your space to see how much room you have for your new desk. Also look at your current desk, could you use more desktop space? If so, and if you don't have room for a larger desk, you might consider rearranging the furniture a little or storing items on your desk in a cabinet.
If you're not ready for a new standing desk, another option is to convert your current desk into a standing desk with a standing desk converter. And if you're ready to fully commit to your new standing desk, you'll want to consider a good standing desk mat to reduce fatigue, and a stool or chair to supplement standing.