Adding a standing desk to your office or work from home setup is a great way to promote more movement throughout the day. Maybe you’re moved by the claims of better focus and improved cardiovascular health, or maybe you’re just tired of sitting all day. Whatever the case, they’re worth looking into.
We spent several years building, working with, and testing these desks. We found that the Vari Curve Electric Standing Desk(available at Amazon) is the best standing desk you can buy thanks to its easy build, intuitive design, weight capacity, and extra features. 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:
Vari Curve Electric Standing Desk
Autonomous SmartDesk Core
VARIDESK Pro Plus 36
iMovR Lander Desk
Branch Team Plus
Fully Jarvis Bamboo Standing Desk
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
Fezibo Dual Motor Standing Desk with Keyboard Tray
The Vari Curve Electric Standing Desk is the best standing desk you can buy. It has a spacious desktop (60 inches wide) that provides plenty of room for multiple computer monitors, laptops, and more.
The Vari electric standing desk also has a curved, waterfall front that’s aesthetically-pleasing and feels more ergonomic. The motorized life system makes it easy to adjust the desk’s height from 25 inches to 50.5 inches in just a few seconds, so it’s easy to switch from sitting on a stool to sitting on a chair to standing while working.
Additionally, there are four programmable height settings, so you will never have to fumble around trying to remember favorite desk height positions.
On the downside, the desk is heavy, weighing 120.44 pounds, so it’s not something you want to move often. The assembly is easy, but given the weight, you may need a second person nearby to help stand it up straight after putting it together. The Vari electric standing desk can support 200 pounds, so you can load it up with all of your favorite work-from-home office gear.
The Vari electric standing desk is sturdy when stationary and when adjusting between different heights, and it does not wobble. The desk also has great features, like passthroughs and grommets to hide cables and keep the desk tidy.
If you’re looking for a spacious standing desk that’s adjustable to your liking and serves up modern design that won’t go out of style, the Vari electric standing desk is the right choice for you.
The SmartDesk Core is our best value pick, offering reliable performance for a reasonable price. It has 4 programmable settings and an electric dual motor that smoothly transitions between heights of 29.4 to 48 inches. It has a weight lift capacity of 265 lbs and a 5-year warranty.
The minimalist design and shock-white color scheme 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 is comfortable to use. The height adjusts easily, without shaking or bouncing in the slightest. There’s also 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; the first step in particular isn’t clear. That said, if you have the time and patience to invest in it, the SmartDesk is well worth the effort.
If you don’t want to buy a whole new desk, there are also converters that can turn your existing desk into a standing workstation. The VariDesk Pro Plus is the best converter we tested. 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 large work surface. We easily fit two monitors, a laptop, and a notebook on it, and the lower tier has space for a standard keyboard and mouse.
Our main gripe is that the higher the desk goes, the further the keyboard stand protrudes. If you’re taller, you need to make sure you have enough space behind you to account for that. Additionally, the VariDesk’s layout requires you to use a keyboard, even if you have a laptop—but that feels more comfortable than lifting your hands to meet the desk, 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.
iMovR Lander Desk (30" by 59" with Solid Color Top)
Height: Up to 50.5 inches
Dimensions: 30 inches x 59 inches
Lift capacity: 360 lbs
Assembly required: No
The iMovR Lander Desk is our previous top choice—and it's still a great option for anyone looking for a high-quality standing desk. We love how easy it is to assemble. The guide is incredibly simple to follow and no screws are required—it uses clamps and locks that snugly fit the legs into the base of the desk. It takes all of five minutes to set up, with some help to flip the desk onto its legs.
The high-quality construction feels sturdy enough to last for years to come. It comes with a SteadyType keyboard tray that allows you to 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 we tested. 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 could 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. You can change the height and set reminders on the app, which also gives you information on proper ergonomics.
The specific model we tested came with a monitor arm, a grommet with a plug, and two USB ports. These features cost extra, but improve the experience and ergonomics. The grommet is convenient for plugging in devices when in the standing position. Meanwhile, the monitor arm makes it easier to work at eye level without craning your neck to stare at a screen. Accessories aside, the Lander is still our top choice for its easy assembly and intuitiveness.
The Branch standing desk is a killer combination of aesthetics, transition speed, and stability. Its beautiful wood grain top adds to any 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. However, the desk’s easy transitioning should help 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 feels sturdy and well-constructed once built. It transitions smoothly between heights, and its controller makes it easy to pre-set four “favorite” heights. Plus, its gorgeous wooden finish would look great in any space.
This motorized option can lift up to 350 lbs and does so quietly, making it less likely to disturb anyone in your office or household.
It has the lowest base price of the full-sized desks we tested, but offers fewer accessories and special features, especially compared to the Lander or Uplift desks. It aced most of our tests, making it a great choice for an affordable, basic option. However, it lost points for the lack of customization options.
Although the Uplift is a favorite amongst standing desk users, we had trouble assembling it. It took the longest to put together and had an intimidatingly high number of pieces to screw in.
Aside from the assembly troubles, the desk works very well. It has smooth transitions and a controller that can pre-set four favorite heights. The range is great, with options 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 a reasonably priced and functional desk, but it’s nothing special. It fits people from heights of 4”11 to 5”11, which is a bit limited, although it has an impressive 350 lb lifting capacity. Its simple design is not unattractive, but definitely not as striking as some of the other desks, as it’s made out of laminate material and not real wood.
The transitions between heights are a bit shaky, but not enough to be difficult or uncomfortable. It was relatively steady when used and had ample space for a computer.
The major drawback of the Fully Jarvis is the setup. The confusing instructions are in a separate box that’s hard to find, and it has a lot of parts. All in all, 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, it’s offered in a variety of sizes, and it transitions smoothly between heights. It’s reasonably priced and has plenty of space for your work essentials.
We tested the rectangle shape, but it also comes in a curved option for extra comfort. 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 that label each bolt, and was relatively easy to assemble. Beware that it is heavy, and assembly may be a two-person job. The only hitches are the very first step and the last one, putting on the baffle, which is appropriately baffling.
ApexDesk Elite Series 60" Electric Height Adjustable Standing Desk
Height: Up to 47.4 inches
Dimensions: 60 inches x 60 inches
Lift capacity: 235 lbs
Assembly required: Yes
The ApexDesk is adjustable, with four memory presets for easy use. It’s also spacious (60 x 29.5-inches) if you’re someone who keeps your desk filled with odds and ends. However, the ApexDesk can only lift up to 225 lbs, whereas other models were in the 300-range.
With a 6-button LED programmable controller, It’s relatively easy to preset this desk to your desired heights. However, it lags irritatingly when changing height. It also isn’t the prettiest, and offers few accessories.
Following the ApexDesk’s assembly instructions was a little convoluted and required some guesswork. Instructions for installing the cable management system and control lever appear in the instructions after the desk is completed, but require 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 your knick-knacks in place without moving too much around. The company claims it's made of “responsibly-forested Birch,” which would make it the most eco-friendly choice 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, and the wooden look is gorgeous. However, the simpler design doesn’t support as much weight as other models and doesn’t feel as sturdy. To raise and lower the height, you move wooden boards along pre-set pegs, which is quite difficult to do and doesn’t allow for any heights in between the pegs.
Fezibo Dual Motor Standing Desk with Keyboard Tray
Height: Up to 55 inches
Dimensions: 24 inches x 23.62 inches
Lift capacity: 175 lbs
Assembly required: Yes
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, perhaps even flimsy. It can only lift 176 lbs, far less than the competition. The height transitions were also shaky, making it feel like the desk might not last long. The unappealing fake wood and metal design also did nothing to enhance the room.
It was also the most frustrating to set up, with extra steps on only pictorial instructions, instead of text. It’s one saving grace? Expert assembly is offered through Amazon if you insist on purchasing it.
The Vivo requires assembly, which is unusual for a converter. It’s easy enough to raise and lower, and it moves forward as it rises like other standing desk converters.
Unfortunately, at its fully-extended 16.5 inches, it’s not tall enough for me. It may work better for shorter people, but it’s probably not a good choice for anyone 5’ 8” or taller. It also has the lowest lifting capacity of all of the models we tested, only 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.
The StandSteady has a lower price point and comes already-assembled, so you can 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. The desk’s sitting position is far too high, and the manual lowering feels shaky enough that you should probably clear the desk before adjusting the height. The StandSteady also lacks a keyboard tray, and doesn’t have enough room for both a monitor and a keyboard.
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. Testing in this guide was also completed by longtime freelancer Terri Williams.
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.
The first thing we did was assemble 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 whether we had to make any major changes to our workstations after the switch.
We also considered aesthetics, since a desk is such a prominent part of an office space. We also noted how sturdy it was and the desktop size, which was especially important to consider with smaller converters.
How to Choose the Best Standing Desk for You
Standing Desk vs. Standing Desk Converter
A full standing desk is always positioned upright, and adjusts to a sitting or standing position with levers or electric controls. It’s a full piece of furniture that replaces your regular desk.
Standing desk converters sit on top of your desk and adjust the height of your work space. They’re much cheaper than a full-sized standing desk. Be aware that they can’t completely flatten to your desktop, so they’ll always raise your workspace height just a little.
Electric vs. Hand-Cranked
You can choose from an electric standing desk or a manual, hand-cranking model. Motorized standing desks can be convenient, but they’re also 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.
Are Standing Desks Really Better for Your Health?
While research is still being done, some medical experts believe that standing desks may offer certain health benefits and can even boost your productivity. A National Institutes of Health study reports that 87% of participants felt a standing desk increased their energy levels.
Healthline reports these products can help to moderate weight gain and lower blood sugar levels. They also suggest it could minimize back pain and boost your mood, and that standing instead of sitting for just an hour a day can burn 1,000 more calories over a week.
Additional NIH studies saw a 32% change in the amount of back pain reported by participants after using a standing desk. While these are some big claims, the data suggests that there are definite benefits to standing even some of the time, compared to a sedentary workday.
According to Jack Dennerlein, a professor who studies ergonomics at Bouve College of Health Sciences at Northeastern University, there’s no proper posture beyond what is comfortable for you. He recommends starting with your 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. While they do offer control and variability, 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 between standing and sitting as often as is comfortable. The amount of time doesn’t matter as much as 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.
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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