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 adjustable 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 sitting and standing to work on the top standing desks and 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, weight capacity, 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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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 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. I find 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, 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 manual standing desk converter, 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 transitions smoothly between the 11 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.
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 this kind of 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 foot 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 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 that you can buy for standing desks 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 the benefits of standing desks are still being done, it is thought that a standing desk has 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 standing desks 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 and Converters We Tested
Fully Jarvis Bamboo Standing Desk
The Jarvis packs is 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 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, I 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 intimidated me initially 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.
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. I had to do some guesswork to completely assemble the full desk. For example, installing the wire 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.
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. The company claims it's made of “responsibly-forested Birch,” which would make it 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. 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.
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 for my liking 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.
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.
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.
We use standardized and scientific testing methods to scrutinize every product and provide you with objectively accurate results. If you’ve found different results in your own research, email us and we’ll compare notes. If it looks substantial, we’ll gladly re-test a product to try and reproduce these results. After all, peer reviews are a critical part of any scientific process.