Updated August 14, 2021
The Pro Plus Series and Executive Series of standing desks from Varidesk are a great way to convert your regular desk to an adjustable sit to stand desk.
The Executive series of 40" and 48" are designed for users who are 6 foot 1" or taller. The Pro Plus series of 30", 36", and 48" are almost identical to the Execs except for size and a couple other details.
The Pro Plus desks have a slight contour to the front of the desk, which means you don't have to reach as far when you are trying to grab something on your desk, which is ergonomically better.
Also, the Exec series lower shelf (where you put your keyboard) is under the tabletop, whereas on the Pro Series the the lower shelf sticks out a little bit more. Some users have complained that with the Exec desks their hands bump the bottom of the table top while typing and using the mouse. This is a second reason I prefer the Pro Plus desks to the Exec desks.
Varidesk is arguably the leader in the standing desk industry for desks that you can put on top of your existing desk to give yourself the option of standing (or leaning). Their products are well built, require no assembly, have a good warranty, free shipping, and they have great customer service. There aren't a lot of color options: each model has one and sometimes two options (white or black).
I originally bought the Exec 48, and I really liked it, but it took up too much space on the desk and in the room, so I exchanged it for a Pro Plus 30, which I still use and love.
Check amazon's prices on the 5 models below the images of the desks extended, collapsed, and from above:
Based on 12 key areas of evaluation listed below.
Speed of switching from sitting to standing
|Model||Weight Limit||Work Surface||Footprint||Height Range|
|Pro Plus 30||35 lbs.||30"(W) x 14"(D)||30"(W) x 29.75"(D)||4.5"-17.5”|
|Pro Plus 36||35 lbs.||36"(W) x 12.25"(D)||36"(W) x 29.75"(D)||4.5"-17.5”|
|Pro Plus 48||45 lbs.||48"(W) x 29.75"(D)||30"(W) x 24"(D)||4.5"-17.5"|
|Exec 40||45 lbs.||40”(W) x 19.50”(D)||40”(W) x 28”(D)||4.75"-23"|
|Exec 48||45 lbs.||48"(W) x 20.13"(D)||48”(W) X 28”(D)||4.75"-23"|
Varidesk Exec 40 & 48
Of all the desks in the Pro Plus Series, the Exec 48 is the largest and may be a good for you if:
- You're tall and/or you have a really short desk that you're placing it on.
- You have a large desk.
- You want a large surface area for multiple monitors and holding your stuff.
Something to keep in mind - when you raise the Exec 48 up, it reaches forward (towards you). The desk is 28 inches if you measure from front to back when it's in the lowest position, but when it raises up, it's over 40 inches, so it takes up an extra 12 inches of space. So make sure you have space behind you for when you raise the desk up. When we filmed the video above with the Exec 48 I almost fell over when I first lifted the desk because I had a chair behind me. I appreciate our video editor leaving that out!
The lift capacity on the Exec 48 is only 45 lbs, which is extremely low for a full standing desk, but it's good for a desktop riser that goes on top of your existing desk. If you need to keep a lot of things on your desktop, you can keep them a little further out of reach on your existing desk, or you can look at getting a full standing desk (check out our top standing desks review).
I originally ordered the Exec 48, and though the table I placed it on was over 3 feet wide and almost 6 feet long, the desk engulfed the table, and it was too big for the room. Varidesk also offers the Exec 40 (check prices on amazon here), but that was still too big so I exchanged it for the Pro Plus 30.
If you're under 6 foot 1", you may want to look at the Pro Plus desks.
Pro Plus Review
The Pro Plus desks come in 30", 36", and 48". Like the Exec 40" and 48", they lift and drop via paddles on the sides of the table top. Overall they are almost identical desks.
The maximum lift capacity of the Pro Plus 48 is 45 lbs. I own the Pro Plus 30 and I have at least 35 lbs on my desk and I can lift and lower the desktop without issues.
Measure the size of the table or desk you'll be putting the Varidesk desk on to see what size will work for you.
One difference between the Execs desks and the Pro Plus desks is the bottom keyboard tray. On the Pro Plus series, the keyboard tray comes out a little further, which will give you more room for typing (see image below). Some users of the Exec 48 have reported that the backs of their hands bumps against the bottom of the top shelf while typing and using the mouse. This is where the Exec 48 & 40 have a lower ergonomic scores than the Pro Plus 30, 36, and 48 and why I prefer the Pro Plus series over the Exec series.
You'll also notice that the Pro Plus has a contour on the front, whereas the Exec doesn't. If you reach for things on your desk alot, you'll be a little closer to the items with the contour, so the Pro Plus is ergonomically a little better.
Accessories and Options
If you have a large keyboard and you feel cramped using your mouse, you may want to consider a trackball mouse.
With a trackball mouse, you roll the ball to move your cursor instead of moving the entire mouse. The mouse pictured has a grey ring which you use to scroll up and down the page. It didn't take me long to get used to it.
Regarding monitors, I'm a standing desk nerd, so I had to get the dual monitor arms (they also sell a single arm). That way I could have 2 monitors that I can raise, lower, and tilt, and my laptop. Below is my home office setup (I have the Pro Plus 30). Check out our Top Monitor Arms review.
If you start using your standing desk and find yourself getting tired, there are a couple things you can do. One is to sit down (you're supposed to be switching positions every 20 minutes anyways), and the other is to get a standing desk mat. See one of my favorite anti-fatigue mats below, the Ergogo standing desk mat.
Making a Decision
I'm six foot two inches, but the table I place my desk on is pretty tall, so I didn't need the extra height that the Exec 48 gives. If you're really tall, or have a short table that you're using, the Exec 48 may be a good choice for you.
I didn't experience the problem where my hands were hitting the top shelf while typing and using the mouse. If my workspace could have accomodated large size of the Exec 48, I would have kept it.
Overall, Varidesk is a solid company, and here are some reasons why I like the company:
- Varidesk has a 30 - day guarantee on all products. I only had issues with one of all of my returns.
- Free shipping on delivery and returns.
- Quick delivery - around 7 days (some standing desk can take weeks).
- No assembly required, just take it out of the box and put it on your desk.
- Friendly customer support.
- All of their products are solid, well made, and look good.
- The desks switch positions easily and quiety (except the Pro desk 60).
The one drawback about Varidesk is that for the most part they don't offer a lot of color choices.
You have several sit to stand adjustable desks to choose from, including Ergotron's Workfit-S, and the Kangaroo Pro from Ergo Desktop. In my opinion, the Exec series and the Pro Plus series, are heads and shoulders above other standing desk converters. And between the two, I think the Pro series are a little better than the Exec series.