Adding a standing desk to your home office setup is a great way to promote more movement throughout the day. With claims of better focus and cardiovascular health, it’s no wonder more offices and homes are choosing this style.
We spent several years building, working, and testing these desks and found that the iMovR Lander Desk(available at iMovr) is the best you can buy thanks to its easy build, intuitive design, weight capacity, and bonus app. If you’re looking for a high-tech desk for a good bargain, we recommend the SmartDesk Core (available at Autonomous). If you’re looking for something different, we’ve got plenty of options for you to choose from.
These are the best standing desks we tested ranked, in order:
iMovR Lander Desk
Branch Team Plus
Fully Jarvis Bamboo Standing Desk
Autonomous SmartDesk Core
Uplift V2 Standing Desk (Bamboo Curved)
Fully Jarvis Laminate
FlexiSpot Kana Pro Bamboo Standing Desk
ApexDesk Elite Series 60" Electric Height Adjustable
Ready Desk 2 Standing Desk Converter
VARIDESK Pro Plus 36
Fezibo Dual Motor Standing Desk with Keyboard Tray
iMovR Lander Desk (30" by 59" with Solid Color Top)
The best part about the iMovR Lander Desk is how easy it is to assemble. The guide is incredibly simple to follow and no screws are required to build the actual desk— it only has clamps and locks that snugly fit the legs into the base of the desk. It takes all of five minutes (with some help to flip the desk onto its legs) to set up and the time it saves is worth it.
The construction of the high-quality desk feels sturdy enough to last for years to come. It comes with a SteadyType keyboard tray, where you can adjust the angle of your keyboard and mouse. We found the slight tilt downward to be more comfortable, especially when combined with a monitor arm.
The lift controller is the most intuitive work surface of all the standing desks because you can easily pull it up and down to change the height and lifting capacity of the desk. You can set preferred heights with the press of a button and the desk will stop at those pre-programmed heights as you raise and lower it. However, we wish it’d go to your preset heights with a push of a button rather than lifting the control yourself. The Lander desk is also the only desk that allows you to set reminders to sit or stand. Plus, you can change the height and set reminders as well as get more information on proper ergonomics from the app.
The specific model we tested came with a monitor arm, a grommet with a plug, and two USB ports. These features cost extra, but we think they make the experience better and more ergonomic. The grommet is convenient for plugging in devices when in the standing position and the monitor arm makes it easier to work at eye level without craning your neck to stare at a monitor or laptop screen. Accessories aside, the Lander is still our top choice for its easy assembly and intuitiveness.
With 4 programmable settings, an electric dual motor, and extremely smooth transitions between heights of 29.4 to 48-inches and a weight lift capacity of 265 lbs, the SmartDesk Core certainly lives up to its namesake. If the desk ever breaks, it comes with a 5-year warranty. The minimalist design and shock-white design are also very attractive and will add a high-tech flair to any office. There are also a variety of cool prints that you can choose for the tabletop, including a starry night and a Pride-themed design.
The SmartDesk was comfortable to use because of the ease of height adjustment and did not shake or bounce in the slightest. There’s plenty of elbow room and space to spread out while you’re working. The only drawback? It’s heavy and very difficult to set up, making it a two-person job. Beware of the instructions as the first step isn’t clear and could set you on the wrong path, although they do become clearer after the initial instruction. That said, if you have the time and patience to invest in it, we believe that the SmartDesk is well worth the effort.
As a manual standing desk converter, VariDesk Pro Plus is the best in this style. It comes out of the box completely set up, which means there are no additional pieces to screw in—unlike some of the other converters we tested. It transitions smoothly between 11 standing height settings, so you won’t need to take everything off the desk to adjust it.
A big winning point of the Varidesk is the amount of space and it can fit two monitors, a laptop, and a notebook on top. There is space on the lower tier for a standard keyboard and mouse.
Our main gripe is that the higher the desk goes, the further the keyboard stand comes out. So if you’re taller, you need to make sure you have enough space behind you. Additionally, the way the VariDesk is set up requires you to use a keyboard along with a laptop or monitor—but this feels more comfortable anyway.
It’s not perfect by any means, but at its lower price point, this is a good option for anyone who wants to try a standing workspace.
I’m Cailey Lindberg, the Updates Staff Writer on the Product Roundups team here at Reviewed. Since I spend a lot of time hunched over my computer, I was curious to see if a standing desk could improve my overall health. I’ve suffered from terrible posture and back pain since childhood, trying everything from upper back braces to seeing a chiropractor once a week.
Former Reviewed writer Courtney Campbell was the original tester for this guide. As someone who frequently walked circles around the office to meet the hourly step goal on her fitness tracker, standing desks were a natural way to add more movement into her life. She wanted to know if this kind of desk would help me focus and move more—or just make her want to sit.
The first thing we did was put together the desks. Setting up the desks helped us determine how complicated it would be for an average person to build alone. We also took note of how long it took and how clear the instructions were.
For most of the testing, we used each desk for two to three days with a control foot mat. We adjusted each desk to our preferred heights and swapped between sitting and standing every few hours or so. We took note of how smooth the transition was and if we had to make any major changes to our workstations after the switch.
Aesthetics were also taken into consideration because if it's going to last a while, it better look good. We also noted how sturdy the build was and how much room we had to work on the desk, which was especially important to consider with smaller converters.
What You Should Know About Standing Desks
Standing Desk vs. Standing Desk Converter
A standing desk is always positioned upright, and it is relatively simple to lower it to a sitting or standing position using the levers. This desk is a must-have for your home office to boost your productivity.
The converters just sit on top and are much cheaper than a full-sized standing desk. You'll have to adjust a converter because it won't completely flatten onto the desk.
Electric vs. Hand-Cranked
When purchasing a standing desk, you can choose from a motorized standing desk or a manual hand-cranking model. Motorized standing desks can definitely be convenient, but do have their own set of issues. They are noisy, have a limited adjustment range, and need to be plugged into a wall socket. On the other hand, you can find the perfect height for you at the touch of a button.
A simpler hand-cranking standing desk might be a better choice if you tend to keep a lot on your desk and need a heavier lift capacity, but it will be more difficult (and time-consuming) to find your perfect height setting. In order to remember your best heights, you’ll have to count how many turns it takes to go from sitting to standing each time you adjust your desk.
What Are The Health Benefits Of Standing Desks?
While research studies on this topic are still being done, medical experts claim that standing desks have substantial health benefits and can boost your productivity. A National Institutes of Health study reports that 87% of participants felt a standing desk increased their energy levels.
Healthline reports that these products can help be helpful to your health by moderating weight gain and lowering blood sugar levels. They also suggest it could minimize back pain and boost your mood. Standing for an hour a day instead of sitting can also burn 1,000 more calories during the week.
Additional NIH studies indicated that participants had a 32% change in the amount of back pain they experienced after using a standing desk. While these are some big claims, the data suggests the benefits of moving while using a standing desk instead of remaining sedentary from sitting all day.
According to Jack Dennerlein, a professor who studies ergonomics at Bouve College of Health Sciences at Northeastern University, there’s no proper posture but rather what is comfortable for you. He recommends starting with the desk at elbow height and working from there to find what’s most comfortable.
“That’s why I like standing desks because they give people so much adjustability,” he said.
Standing desks do offer more control and variability, but Dennerlein doesn’t recommend standing all day.
“I have a phrase, ‘If sitting is the new smoking, then we have to remember that standing is the old smoking,” he said. “Professions where you stand all day have a higher risk of cardiovascular disease than people who have a job where you sit.”
Instead, he recommends switching from standing to sitting as often as is comfortable. The amount of time doesn’t matter as long as you’re moving throughout the day. During testing, I kept my arms at a 90-degree angle and stood normally, sometimes shifting my weight from leg to leg to get the most out of each desk.
Other Standing Desks We Tested
Branch Team Plus Standing Desk
The Branch standing desk is a killer combination of aesthetics, transition speed, and stability. Its beautiful wood grain top is very complimentary to its surroundings. The height transitions are very smooth and the instructions are clear from step one, making it relatively easy to set up. It didn’t shake or bounce during use and had plenty of elbow room and storage space. The design was durable and strong, and it felt like it would last a long time. It has a lift capacity of 275 lbs, which should easily accommodate your workspace.
While the Branch desk is a solid choice and not as expensive as other brands we tested, we grew tired throughout the day even with a standing mat. Despite this, its ease of transition should be able to accommodate a variety of different heights to reduce standing fatigue.
The Jarvis is a great standing desk at an affordable price point. It comes with an easy-to-follow assembly guide and the desk itself feels sturdy and well-constructed once built. We like its smooth transition between heights. Its controller makes it easy to pre-set four “favorite” heights. Plus, it comes with a gorgeous wooden finish that would look great in any space.
This motorized option can lift up to 350 lbs and the Jarvis is also quiet for a motorized standing desk, making it less likely to disturb anyone in your office or household while it’s being adjusted.
It has the lowest base price of all the full-sized desks we tested, but it offers fewer bells and whistles in terms of accessories, especially when compared to the Lander or Uplift desks. It aced most of our tests, making it a great choice for an affordable, basic option but lost some points for the lack of customizations.
Although the Uplift is a favorite amongst standing desk users, we had trouble assembling it. It took the longest of all the desks we tested to put together and it had the most pieces to screw in, which was intimidating during testing.
Aside from the assembly troubles, the desk works very well. It has smooth transitions, a controller with the option to pre-set four different heights, which is great for shorter people while still offering enough height for taller folks. It also has one of the most gorgeous finishes of the desks we tested and a boatload of accessories to choose from, including a hammock!The Uplift has a 355 lb lifting capacity with a stable frame.
The Fully Jarvis is reasonably priced and has a functional desk, but there’s nothing special about it. It fits people from heights of 4”11 to 5”11, which is a bit limited, although it has a 350 lb lifting capacity. It has a simple design that is not unattractive, but it’s definitely not as striking as some of the other desks we tested, as it’s made out of laminate material and not real wood. The transitions between heights are a bit shaky, but not so much that it is difficult or uncomfortable to use. It was also relatively steady when used and had ample space for a computer.
The major drawback of the Fully Jarvis is the confusing instructions, which are in a separate box that’s hard to find. It also has a lot of parts that make it difficult to set up. All in all, we’d say that this is an average desk that will get the job done for most people.
The FlexiSpot Kana Bamboo desk has a lot going for it. It has a simple, clean design and is offered in a variety of different sizes, with a smooth transition between heights. It’s reasonably priced and has plenty of space for a monitor, keyboard, and so on. We tested the rectangle shape, but it also comes curved for extra comfort. We got a bit of standing fatigue while testing this one, but that was across the board with every desk we tested. It can lift up to 275 lbs and can adjust to heights of 23.6 to 49.2-inches.
This desk also had clear instructions once you got past the first step and was relatively easy to assemble. Beware that it is heavy to assemble and may be a two-person job. Each bolt is labeled on the instruction sheet, so the assembly will be quicker than other brands we tested. It’s smooth sailing until the last step (putting on the baffle), which is appropriately baffling.
ApexDesk Elite Series 60" Electric Height Adjustable Standing Desk
The ApexDesk is adjustable and features four memory presets for easy use. It is also spacious (60 x 29.5-inches) if you’re someone who keeps your desk filled with various odds and ends. The ApexDesk can only lift up to 225 lbs when some electronic models we tested were in the 300-range.
With a 6-button LED programmable controller, It’s relatively easy to preset this desk to your desired heights, but the most irritating aspect of it is the lag when changing the height. It also isn’t the prettiest of desks and it doesn’t have many accessories to choose from either.
Assembling the ApexDesk, following its included instructions, was a little convoluted. We had to do some guesswork to completely assemble the full desk. For example, installing the cable management system and control lever, the instructions for which appear in the assembly guide after the desk is completed, required the desk to be flipped over.
We love the clean look of the Ready Desk. And, at 31-inches wide, it takes up minimal space on your desk, allowing you to keep the same knick-knacks and other items without moving too much around. The company claims it's made of “responsibly-forested Birch,” which would make it the most eco-friendly choice among all of the standing desks we tested.
The Ready Desk comes with four wooden pieces that are easy to put together. Being able to assemble this desk without tools is a major plus, even if the simpler design doesn’t support as much weight as other models we tested. While the wooden look is gorgeous, it doesn’t feel as sturdy as other models we tested. To raise and lower the height, you have to move the wooden boards to different pegs, which is quite difficult to do and doesn’t allow for an exact height.
Fezibo Dual Motor Standing Desk with Keyboard Tray
You can get the uniquely designed Fezibo desk for a good price but it was definitely not the best that we tested. It was less durable than other brands and felt a bit flimsy while standing at it. The desk can only lift 176 lbs, which is a lighter lift capacity than other desks we tested. The height transitions were also a bit shaky, which made it feel like it wouldn’t last a while. It also had an ugly fake wood and metal design that did nothing to enhance the room.
It was also the most frustrating to set up, you had to put the tabletop together as well as the frame. Unfortunately, the instructions only had pictures. The lack of step-by-step text instructions made for a frustrating setup experience. It’s one saving grace? Expert assembly is offered through Amazon if you insist on purchasing it.
The Vivo doesn’t come fully assembled, so you have to spend some time setting it up. It’s easy enough to raise and lower and it moves forward as it rises like the other standing desk converters. Unfortunately, at its full adjustable height range of 16.5-inches, it’s not tall enough for me. Although it may work better for shorter people, this desk probably wouldn't be a good choice for those 5’ 8” or taller. This standing desk also has the lowest lifting capacity of all of the models we tested and is only able to hold 33 lbs.
In terms of performance, the FlexiSpot is similar to the VariDesk Pro. The mechanism for raising and lowering the desk is easy to use, there's an additional level for a keyboard, and it only takes up a little bit of desk space. Like most converters, it requires a decent amount of space behind you as it comes forward when it rises.
The only real nitpick we have with this desk is that you have to install the keyboard tray yourself. Thankfully, installing the tray is pretty straightforward. It’s also much heavier than some of the other converters, so it’s difficult to pick up and move on your own.
One plus of the StandSteady is that it comes assembled and has a lower price point than other standing desks on our list, so you could get it up and running quickly.
This is the only standing desk that moves horizontally instead of vertically, so you don’t have to inch up as close as other desks. One drawback is that when the desk is in the sitting position, it’s way too high and the manual lowering is very shaky during use. You'll have to remove most of the items off of your desk so they don't go flying. The StandSteady is also lacking a keyboard tray, so there’s not enough room to use both a monitor and a keyboard.
Courtney is an editor and shopper with a passion for finding the best things on the internet. She's a foodie and will talk about the latest batch of kombucha she's brewing to anyone who will listen. She has previously worked for Country Living, Woman's Day, and Our State Magazine.
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