Rumor has it that sitting kills. While that may not necessarily be true, sitting for at least eight hours a day can be really uncomfortable. But adding a standing desk to your workspace allows for more control and movement throughout the day. With claims of better focus and cardiovascular health, it’s no wonder more offices and homes are adding standing desks to their work area. I mean, we already track our steps with fitness trackers and make sure we’re plenty hydrated with water bottles, so standing throughout the day seems only natural, right?
We spent over a month standing, sitting, and working on the best standing desks and standing desk converters available today. We found that the iMovR Lander Desk(available at iMovr for $1,274.00) aced our tests thanks to its easy build, intuitive design, and bonus app. The base price is more expensive than other standing desks, so if that doesn’t suit your budget, there are plenty of other desks and converters we also liked.
These are the best standing desks we tested ranked, in order:
iMovR Lander Desk
Jarvis Bamboo Standing Desk
Uplift Bamboo Stand Up Desk
VariDesk Pro Plus Standing Desk
ApexDesk Elite Series Standing Desk
FlexiSpot M2B Standing Desk
Stand Steady Standing Desk
Vivo Height Adjustable Standing Desk
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The Best Standing Desks of 2019
iMovR Lander Desk (30" by 59" with Solid Color Top)
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—only clams 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 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. I find the slight tilt downward to be more comfortable, especially when combined with a monitor arm.
The lift controller is the most intuitive of all the standing desks because you can easily pull it up and down to change the height 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, I 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.
As a standing desk converter, the VariDesk Pro Plus is the best of the bunch. 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 has a high height range and a smooth transition between heights, so you won’t need to take everything off the desk to adjust it.
My 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 budget option for anyone who wants to try a standing workspace.
I’m Courtney Campbell, a writer here at Reviewed, and I spend most days sitting at my desk and sifting through the best products on the internet. As someone who frequently walks circles around the office to meet the hourly step goal on their fitness tracker, standing desks were a natural way to add more movement in my life. More importantly, I wanted to know if a standing desk would help me focus and move more—or just make me want to sit.
As an average person and not-so-handyman, I screwed and put together each desk by myself (aside from flipping the desk over) to see how complicated it would be for someone to build alone. I also took note of how long it took and how clear the directions were.
For the majority of testing, I used each desk for two to three days while using a control standing desk mat. At 5’ 9”, I adjusted each desk to my preferred height and swapped between sitting and standing every few hours or so. I took note of how smooth the transition was and if I had to make any major changes to my workstation after the switch. Overall, I felt more focused (and somehow less hungry) while using the standing desks.
Aesthetics were also taken into consideration because if you have a standing desk that’s going to last a while, it better look good too. I also noted how sturdy the build was and how much room I had to work on the desk, which was especially important to consider with smaller standing desk converters.
What’s the Difference Between a Standing Desk and a Standing Desk Converter?
With a full-sized standing desk, you’re able to raise and lower the entire desk to a sitting or standing position with electric legs and a lever. Standing desk converters, on the other hand, sit on top of a desk, converting it to standing desk. They’re cheaper than full-sized standing desks, but take up a bit of space on top of the desk and require more space behind the desk as they come forward when they rise. Standing desk converters also won’t completely flatten onto the desk, so you’ll have to adjust your space when in the sitting position.
How Do I Use a Standing Desk?
According to Jack Dennerlein, a professor who studies ergonomics at Bouvé College of Health Sciences at Northeastern, 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.
Other Standing Desks And Standing Desk Converters We Tested
Fully Jarvis Bamboo Standing Desk
The Jarvis packs in all the functions of a great standing desk at an affordable price. It comes with an easy-to-follow assembly guide and the desk itself feels sturdy and well-constructed once built. We also like the smooth transition between heights and the controller makes it easy to pre-set four “favorite” heights. Plus, the gorgeous wooden finish that would look great in any space.
It has the lowest base price of all the full-sized standing desks we tested, but it offers fewer bells and whistles in terms of accessories, especially when compared to the Lander or Uplift desks. The fewer customizations knocked it down a few pegs, but otherwise, it aced most of our tests, making it a great choice for an affordable, basic standing desk.
Although the Uplift is a favorite amongst standing desk users, I had trouble assembling it. It took the longest of all the standing desks to put together and it had the most pieces to screw in, which deterred me from the desk at the start.
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, and legs that have a lower minimum and maximum height, 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 and a boatload of accessories to choose from (including a hammock!).
ApexDesk Elite Series 60" Electric Height Adjustable Standing Desk
The directions for the ApexDesk aren’t entirely clear, as they almost read like an afterthought—like installing the wire management system and control lever, which appears in the guide after the desk is complete and requires flipping over. I had to do some guesswork to completely assemble the full desk.
It’s relatively easy to preset this desk to desired heights, but the most irritating aspect of is the lag in the controller when changing the height. It also isn’t the prettiest of desks and it doesn’t have many accessories to choose from either.
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 standing desk converters, it requires a decent amount of space behind you as it comes forward when it rises.
The only real nitpick I 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.
Personally, I 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. It’s also made of “responsibly-forested Birch,” so it’s the most eco-friendly choice out of all of the standing desks we tested.
The Ready Desk comes with four wooden pieces that are easy to put together. While the wooden look is gorgeous, it doesn’t feel as sturdy as other standing desk converters. 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.
This is the only standing desk converter that moves sideways rather than forward. I like that you have to stand further away from your desk, but I find the raising and lowering mechanism to be really shaky. You'll have to remove most of the items off of your desk so they don't go flying. Also, when the desk is in the sitting position, it’s way too high for my liking. Without an additional keyboard tray, there’s not enough room to use both a monitor and a keyboard.
The Vivo doesn’t come fully installed, 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 height, 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.
Courtney is an writer and shopper with a passion for finding the best deals on the internet. She's a foodie and loves a sale on kitchen gadgets. She has previously worked for Country Living, Woman's Day, and Our State Magazine.
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