9 Best Standing Desks for Every Budget
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Here are some of the best standing desks for every budget, from carts to risers.
What is a standing desk?
If you’re like many Americans, there’s a good chance you spend the majority of your workday sitting behind a desk. In fact, a 2018 study in JAMA found that an estimated one in four adults in the United States spends more than eight hours a day sitting. This is hardly conducive for good health.
(Here’s how to recover from sitting disease.)
A sedentary lifestyle has been linked to all sorts of health conditions, from heart disease to cancer. One solution that allows you to be at your desk without falling victim to the drawbacks of sitting all day is to use a standing desk.
A standing desk is adjustable vertically so that you can comfortably use a computer, keyboard, and mouse while standing as opposed to sitting down.
“The standing desk setup allows you to function on the computer without the setbacks that prolonged sitting can cause,” explains Allen Conrad, chiropractor at Montgomery County Chiropractic Center in North Wales, Pennsylvania.
The benefits of using a standing desk
The most obvious benefit of using a standing desk is that it keeps you from sitting for prolonged periods of time. But a standing desk can do more than that, including improve your posture, reduce shoulder and back pain, and improve ergonomics, notes Conrad.
“Prolonged sitting at your computer can lead to poor postural habits, which tighten the neck, back, and shoulders,” he says. “By using a standing desk, you no longer have to stay in a hunched-over position, which commonly occurs after sitting at a desk for eight or more hours at a time.”
This type of ergonomic workstation will not only lead to better performance over time, since your body is in better condition, but can also reduce your risk of injury, Conrad points out.
(Adopt these healthy work from home tips for better productivity.)
Who would benefit from a standing desk?
Pretty much anyone would be a good candidate for switching to a standing desk, but especially those who have low back pain.
“When a spinal disc becomes compressed, it puts additional pressure on the associated nerves when sitting,” says Conrad. “People with herniated discs commonly find difficulty finding a comfortable position sitting, because this causes flexion of the lumbar spine, so a standing desk will help them be able to continue working during a painful back flare-up.” (Follow these tips to have a healthier work space. )
What to consider when purchasing a standing desk
Although there are many different types of standing desks on the market, it’s important to look for the following qualities.
Just as with any furniture purchase, you want to make sure your standing desk is built to last.
“Desks made for commercial use will withstand heavy wear and tear, but look for quality materials (like melamine, a stain and impact-resistant material which is also recyclable), and a coated steel base, which means it has been protected against rust and aging,” says Torin Rittenberg, senior growth manager at Branch, an office furniture store.
A standing desk should also be top-heavy and base-heavy. That means a steel base that grounds the standing desk and a top that keeps it secure in movement and use. This is critical for safety, and for preventing catastrophic topples.
And make sure your chosen desk can handle the equipment you’ll put on it. For example, if you’re opting for two monitors, check if the desk can handle that load.
Movement is an important factor when purchasing a standing desk because it affects how smoothly and easily you’re able to adjust the height. Rittenberg recommends looking for a standing desk that has dual motors and smooth-glide systems.
“You want a desk that can move more than 1 centimeter per second without spilling your cup of coffee,” she says.
Another feature she recommends is the dual-stage, three-point leg column rather than the single-stage, two-point column. The column is the main support for the desk.
“The difference is a desk leg that protects the lifting column responsible for height adjustments,” she says. “It protects the user and standing desk, making for a more stable desk, a smoother transition, and greater lifespan.”
A standing desk that is easy to customize can help reduce back pain, eye strain, aching wrists, and sore neck or shoulders associated with long periods of time sitting behind a computer.
“With a desk that’s height-adjustable, computer users can place screens and keyboards in a position that’s comfortable and ergonomic,” says Chad Severson, CEO of Ergotron, a movement company that focuses on ergonomic office equipment.
“Height-adjustable desks allow for more frequent light-intensity physical activity during the workday—such as standing—which can boost physical and mental health,” he says.
The best standing desks for every budget
Here are the standing desks with the best reviews for every budget. No matter which desk you choose, be sure to follow these rules of desk ergonomics.
Seville Classics Height Adjustable Sitting Mobile Laptop Desk Cart
This desk from Seville Classics might be simple, but it has what you need if you’re looking to stand through your workday. The surface of the desk is made from solid wood and has a sturdy steel frame that doesn’t give into wobbling. The height is adjustable, going from 20.5″ to 33″ with the twist of a knob. It is easy to move around thanks to four 1.5-inch caster swivel wheels, two of which lock into place.
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FLEXISPOT Stand Up Desk Converter Standing Desk Riser
If you’re looking for a desk that can easily convert into a standing desk, this is it. The FLEXISPOT standing desk comes in several widths, ranging from 27″ to 47″ to fit your work space anywhere you go. It also weighs a little over 36 pounds, so you can move it from one room to another easily. The desk has a U-shape and the maximum height this desk can reach is 19.7″. The desk only comes in black.
Ergotron WorkFit T Sit Stand Desktop Workstation
If you’re open to a compact desktop converter, which turns any desk or table into a height-adjustable standing desk, this one from Ergotron is a great option. “With the gentle squeeze of a lever, this desk features 12.5 inches of smooth, quiet vertical adjustment,” says Severson. “It adjusts straight up and down without encroaching into your workspace and adds an additional boost to your productivity with a monitor riser.” (Find out if blue light glasses really work.)
FEZIBO Electric Height Adjustable Standing Desk with Drawer
This standing desk from FEZIBO is not only physically attractive, but it also has some pretty impressive features. For starters, it has electric height adjustability with four preset buttons that let you customize your desired height. It also features a pull-out fabric drawer that is fully functional and saves you leg space. An electrical, steel-built lift system supports up to 176 pounds, which should cover your computer, monitor, and keyboard with plenty to spare. For extra support, you might want to consider one of these anti-fatigue mats to stick under your feet.
SHW 55-Inch Large Electric Height Adjustable Computer Desk
This desk from SHW has a digital display handset that can accommodate four preset options for optimal adjustability. It has an electric lift system that spans from 28 to 45 inches in height. The legs utilize telescopic adjustment transitioning to go from a sitting to a standing position. It also comes in three different colors—oak, cherry, and black—so you can easily match your office decor.
FEZIBO L-Shaped Electric Standing Desk
Another FEZIBO winner is this L-shaped standing desk. This allows for ample space for your computer, several monitors, and even a laptop, supporting up to 176 pounds. It has three different adjustable height settings that can be customized to your liking anywhere between 27.6″ to 47.3″. (This is how digital screens affect your eyes.)
VariDesk Pro Plus 36
The durable design and desirable electric push button option make this VariDesk standing desk a cut above the rest. It offers a fairly large workspace, with two spacious tiers that can comfortably accommodate two monitors as well as a laptop. The lower tier has enough room for a keyboard, mouse, and folders or paperwork. It has a rowing-lift raising mechanism that allows for forward and backward movement and it has an impressive 11 height settings to choose from.
UPLIFT Standing Desk (V2 & V2-Commercial)
You can reach new heights with the UPLIFT V2 standing desk from 22.6″ to 48.7″. The standing desk can complement any office decor with a total of 22 different desktop styles to choose from, ranging from walnut to a whiteboard laminate. There are also other customizable features like frame color, type, and style, grommets (a plastic insert that helps to organize cables/wires through tables), and keypads. This desk can hold a maximum of 355 pounds.
Bonus: If you opt for the advanced paddle keypad (an extra $59), you can set a standing reminder from intervals ranging from 30 to 120-minutes. (Here’s how to walk more steps per day.)
ApexDesk Elite Series 60″ W Electric Height Adjustable Standing Desk
If you’re looking to splurge on a standing desk that has it all, the ApexDesk Elite Series is it. First, it’s electric, so you don’t have to worry about manually adjusting the height, which goes from 29″ to 49″ tall. You can also program four desk heights to easily switch from standing to sitting.
The desk has a contour shape making it more comfortable for the user to stand or sit comfortably and be closer to the desk. Remember, the distance between you and the monitor should be kept at an arm’s reach. The desk can hold up to 225 pounds.
Next, these are the surprising ways bad posture affects your health.)
- JAMA: "Joint Prevalence of Sitting Time and Leisure-Time Physical Activity Among US Adults, 2015-2016"
- Current Opinion in Cardiology: "Prolonged sitting: is it a distinct coronary heart disease risk factor?"
- Cancer Causes & Control: "Television viewing time and weight gain in colorectal cancer survivors: a prospective population-based study"
- American Cancer Society: "Sitting Time Linked to Higher Risk of Death from All Causes"
- Allen Conrad, DC, CSCS, chiropractic doctor at Montgomery County Chiropractic Center in North Wales, Pennsylvania
- Torin Rittenberg, senior growth manager at Branch
- Chad Severson, CEO of Ergotron