Standing desks are one of the hottest new crazes in the workplace, and while the sudden emphasis on alternating between standing and sitting while working has all the hints of a fad, there’s actually scientific evidence to suggest that a standing desk can provide you with significant health benefits that you wouldn’t get from a more traditional desk.
If you’re seeking out the best standing desk for you in 2021, keep reading. We cover 10 of the best models we’ve found on the market. And if you’re still skeptical or unsure if you need a standing desk, read on some more. We’ll be straight with you and help you understand both the advantages and disadvantages that come from using a standing desk, while also dispelling some common myths.
- 10 Best Standing Desks in 2021
- 1. UPLIFT Desk V2 Black GREENGUARD Standing Desk
- 2. Fully Jarvis Bamboo Top Standing Desk
- 3. VariDesk Prodesk Plus Stand Up Desk Converter for Dual Monitors
- 4. ApexDesk Elite Series 71″ W Electric Standing Desk
- 5. VIVO Black Adjustable 36 inch Stand up Desk
- 6. EleTab Sit Stand Desk Riser Stand up Desk
- 7. Stand Steady Modern Stand Up Desk
- 8. Mount-It! Mobile Standing Desk
- 9. Seville Classics AIRLIFT Electric Desk
- 10. UNICOO Crank Adjustable Standing Desk
- Standing Desk Buyer’s Guide
10 Best Standing Desks in 2021
1. UPLIFT Desk V2 Black GREENGUARD Standing Desk
The Tried and Tested Champion of Standing Desks
The UPLIFT standing desk has been around for almost 20 years, and it still continues to be one of the best-selling standing desks in the world despite not having a lot of changes made to its basic design in all that time. Now in its second version, the Uplift V2 is solid at its core. It's capable of holding almost 400 pounds, and the surface is a solid laminate that's both attractive and resistant to spills.
The control pad here is compact but smartly designed. You can meticulously program up to four designated heights, and an advanced collision detection system means you don't have to worry about any accidents. But perhaps the coolest aspect of this standing desk is the inclusion of 48 mounting points scattered throughout the desk which can be used for everything from attaching a hammock to expanding the surface area of your desk with accessories
2. Fully Jarvis Bamboo Top Standing Desk
A Capable All-Rounder
All it takes is a glance at the specs list of this desk to realize that even if the Fully Jarvis isn't the absolute best at any one thing, it's nearly the best at covering every important metric. The weight capacity should be more than most professionals will need, and the range of adjustable height sits right in the middle of the road for standing desk models. There's the option to assign four different height presets, and the current height is displayed right on the display fitted to the desk.
This is a standing desk that's built with the best intentions in mind. It's sustainably manufactured and sourced without the use of fertilizers or pesticides, and the polyurethane finish helps create a more stain-proof and water-resistant surface to work with. It may be simple in design, but the fully bamboo shelf helps this standing desk stand apart from a lot of the competition.
3. VariDesk Prodesk Plus Stand Up Desk Converter for Dual Monitors
Versatile, Compact and Reliable
Getting the best advantages of an adjustable standing desk doesn't have to mean investing in an entirely new desk. Models like the Varidesk Prodesk Pro Plus provide you with a riser that can be placed directly on your existing desk to provide you with the benefits of both standing and sitting for a retail price of under $400. This standing riser desk even gives you two different levels to work with, and the smaller of the two is still large enough to comfortably support dual monitors.
While the Varidesk Prodesk might be a smaller standing desk riser, it's not designed to be taken with you. Setup is a breeze, but once you get it mounted on your desk, you probably won't want to move it regularly. Fortunately, you shouldn't have to, as this standing desk converter is very stable and has 12 different height adjustment settings to choose from.
4. ApexDesk Elite Series 71″ W Electric Standing Desk
A Larger Model for More Demanding Workloads
The ApexDesk Elite is one of the first standing desk models priced at an affordable rate, and it's still one of the best. With a width of over 70 inches, this is one of the bigger standing desks on the market, and that makes it one of the best options for those with a lot of gadgets or a typically cluttered desktop. Putting this electric standing desk together is easy, so you won't lose any more time and money in the process of putting your desk together.
The electric adjustable lift system is pretty good, too. It moves at a peppy 1.3 inches a second and moves smoothly without any disturbing jerkiness. The control panel itself is as intuitive as could be. The simple six-button design lets you shift and assign four different presets so you can alternate between multiple positions over the course of your workday.
5. VIVO Black Adjustable 36 inch Stand up Desk
Sturdy and Rugged to Keep Your Devices Safe
You don't need to spend hundreds of dollars on a full standing desk if you don't want to. A standing desk converter like the VIVO sits comfortably and securely right on your desk and gives you a whole lot of space to work with for a retail price of under $200. The two-level design gives you smartly positioned access to a mouse and keyboard or other accessories and leaves you plenty of space upstairs for a dual monitor setup or anything else.
But this certainly isn't a standing desk converter that's designed to be taken on the go with you. Instead, it sports a rugged and heavy design that will make sure all of your valuable electronics are kept safe from any unfortunate accidents. What's more, putting together this standing desk converter is a simple process that can be completed in minutes.
6. EleTab Sit Stand Desk Riser Stand up Desk
Want to turn your regular old office desk into a serious dual-screen setup? You don't have to throw out your old desk just yet. The EleTab offers a full 32 inches of desk space on top of your existing desk surface. The bottom shelf, meanwhile, is larger than the average electric standing desk. Not only will it comfortably be able to hold your keyboard and mouse, but there will also be space for devices like phones and storage devices.
Setting up this adjustable standing desk converter is as simple as taking it out of the box and placing it on your existing desk. Adjusting the lift here is pretty simple, too. Although it doesn't make use of a digital control panel, the crank is pretty easy to operate. And if you decide you want a workplace setup that's a little simpler, the spacious keyboard tray is very easy to detach.
7. Stand Steady Modern Stand Up Desk
Standing desks have a tendency to be big, bulky, and expensive, but that's not the case for all of them. The Stand Steady Joy Desk can be picked up for less than a couple hundred dollars, and it also provides you with a full seven square feet of real estate to work with. And since it's smaller and more lightweight than other standing desks, it's incredibly easy to put together and also easier than typical standing desks to move around.
But just because it's cheaper than the other options on this list doesn't mean that it's not a sturdy piece of office furniture. The metal legs are sturdy and stable thanks to the inclusion of crossbars, and the tempered glass surface is a nice change of pace from the more traditional surfaces most standing desks offer. The only downside is that it's not at all adjustable.
8. Mount-It! Mobile Standing Desk
The Mount-It! fills a pretty specific, although certainly valuable, niche in the standing desk market. The four reliable casters change everything, allowing you to take your mobile workstation with you anywhere. And while that makes this one of the best choices for professionals who have to regularly give workplace presentations, it also makes perfect sense for less conventional office spaces without firmly established offices.
This is a standing desk that works as well as you might expect in its narrow niche. It manages to find success by making the most of the vertical space given. While the horizontal dimensions are pretty compact, this standing desk also comes with four tiers of shelves for holding your tower, one or more monitors, and any number of different accessories. Through the use of rotary knobs, you can even adjust the top two shelves in relation to the others.
9. Seville Classics AIRLIFT Electric Desk
With its smoothed-off edges, futuristic feel, and sleek combined gray and black design, you'd be forgiven for mistaking the Airlift for an Apple product. The fortunate thing is that it doesn't come at an Apple price. Available for a retail price of less than $500, this is one of your best options for getting an entry-level but high-quality electric standing desk.
In fact, it's one of the best deals around. Seville hasn't cut any corners in the production of their desk, and it shows in everything from the sturdy construction of the desktop to the smooth and fast manner in which the desk shifts between different preset positions. And the tempered glass it's constructed from is a nice mix of stylish and functional. It even comes with an organizer drawer and a throughput so you can charge two additional devices with a USB cable at the same time.
10. UNICOO Crank Adjustable Standing Desk
While some would say the best standing desks are those that come with convenient electric adjustment, sometimes simpler is better. The simple crank design of this UNICOO desk makes it a great choice for people who less frequently shift between multiple positions, and it can be mounted on either side of the desk. But even if you're swapping positions regularly through the day, moving the crank into place is never difficult.
There's no doubt that this is a budget-oriented desk, but it's among the best standing desks in terms of the durability you get for your dollar. The body is constructed from steel and covered in a powdered coating. The shelf itself makes use of MFD wood that's been fully laminated so it can just be wiped down when it needs to be cleaned.
Standing Desk Buyer’s Guide
Standing desks are becoming incredibly popular in the office, but we think they’re more than just a gimmick. With their height-adjustable work surfaces, the best standing desks and standing desk converters let you shift seamlessly between multiple different settings. The best standing desk provides reliability and also comes with a range of features and quality of life functions that make them much more comfortable to work with.
We’ll run you through the most important features and specs to pay attention to when shopping for a standing desk. Used in conjunction with our reviews, you should be able to find the best model for your needs and also determine where you should be focusing your attention.
- You may also be interested in our guide to standing desk mats.
- If you’re looking for something more gaming orientated, see our gaming desk guide.
- For desks with more surface area, see our best l-shaped desks.
Every standing desk comes with some level of adjustment settings for height, and that’s obviously out of necessity. Seating yourself at a conventional desk is as easy as pulling up an office chair and adjusting it to your needs. Fortunately, the best standing desks almost always have their adjustable height range precisely listed. But how low and how high do you need your desk to go? And how do you determine the perfect vertical arrangement for you?
The rules for the ideal positioning are fast and loose, and personal preference is going to be a big factor in that, and that’s why we generally suggest that you take the time to figure out what works for you. As a general rule of thumb, there are two metrics to keep in mind.
To figure out the probable best standing desk height, stand upright, extend your arms outward at 90 degrees, and just slightly dip your arms down. Whether your keyboard is placed on a separate keyboard tray or the main platform with your monitor, your keyboard height should be just below your shoulders. To put things in perspective, the average six-foot-tall user should stand at a desk that’s roughly 44 inches high.
Figuring out the right distance the screen should be from your face is going to come down somewhat to personal preference, but there are some rough guidelines that can help you get your bearings. Generally, you’re going to want to be about 20 to 30 inches from the screen both when standing and sitting. With those guidelines in place, we suggest that those shopping for a desk actually test out the positions they’ll be in and figure out what’s most comfortable for them.
Alternately, some desk models can’t be adjusted at all. Getting one of these standing desk models isn’t a great choice if you want to easily transition between standing and sitting, but they’re perfectly reasonable if you just want a desk or workstation to stand at exclusively.
- For further adjustment, see our top monitor arms to complete your setup.
- If you’ve got a dual monitor setup, take a look at our dual monitor stand guide.
Doing a test run before making a purchase can help you make sure that the desks you’re looking at are going to fit comfortably within your home or office space. Your first consideration should be the dimensions of the desktop. Consider how much space you’re going to need to hold your monitor, accessories, and personal effects. Remember that the best standing desk is probably going to be an investment of at least a few hundred dollars, so if you’re considering a decision like converting to a two-monitor format, now’s the time to decide.
Look specifically at the size of the surface area. For the sake of our specs, we’ve used the width of the desk area as the primary measurement, but you may want to dig a little deeper into the dimensions, too. Also, keep in mind that the surface area listing doesn’t factor in the keyboard tray, so you’ll want to consider not just the raw numbers but also how many levels there are and how they’re designed.
And as with any desk you’d put in your personal space, you’re going to want to make sure your new desk can fit comfortably in your space and still have plenty of room to work with. An electric standing desk can be used to transition between more than just standing up and sitting at an office desk, so also consider the different positions you might want to make a part of your daily routine when looking at the space available in your office.
Height Adjustable Controls
When looking for the best standing desk, also consider how easy it is to change the height adjustment settings. The best standing desks in terms of technology make use of a dedicated keypad, but even these can vary in terms of quality. High-quality desks will offer the ability to program a range of different presets and provide you with a more granular approach to height. But less expensive electric standing desks are a little more limited and will also give you less control over the specific height levels.
Electric powered standing desks make it easy to move an adjustable standing desk up and down, but all standing desks aren’t electric in nature. You can save a little more money by using a manual desk, although they’re a little more of a hassle to deal with. They’ll use a simple crank or a switch to move between a wide range of different positions, but they often aren’t as convenient to use as electric standing desks.
Risers vs. Full Desks
If you aren’t ready to throw out your existing desk yet, a riser (also known as a desk converter) can serve as a good transition from traditional desks to models that support adjustment. Risers are a far more cost-effective alternative to replacing your entire desk, and they’re usually height adjustable for smooth and precise transitioning between settings.
If you do decide to invest in a riser, you’ll find them to be a cheaper option that’s a bit more crowded and limited. You won’t have quite as much space to work with as what you’d get with the best standing desks, but you do get the option to revert it back to a regular desk when you want. Risers usually come with adjustable height settings, but they usually won’t offer the same level of adjustment as the best standing desks.
Depending on the format of the riser, it may include a keyboard tray, and it may have electric adjustment. But just as often, risers will be adjusted using a manual crank or another non-electric system. They may require mounting, but the process is pretty simple, although many risers are heavy and stable enough to just be settled on your desk. and some can be pretty readily moved when you don’t need them. That said, you’ll probably want to keep the riser mounted for long periods. In other words, these aren’t devices you should be moving on a regular basis.
Weight capacity is not something to be taken lightly. High-quality models can offer a weight capacity of 300 pounds or close to that, while risers usually offer a fraction of that. Somewhere around 30 to 40 pounds is pretty common for risers, but that’s still going to be comfortable for most users. Monitors, desktops, and laptops are becoming increasingly more lightweight with each passing year.
That said, if you have heavier gear, you’re going to want to be careful to make sure that it can fit on the desks you’re looking at. The very last thing you want is for your equipment to get destroyed because of desks that aren’t equipped to hold them.
The best standing desk models do a great job of being as non-intrusive as possible, but the hydraulic or pneumatic lifts that are used to power these desks are often noisy. How loud a desk can get will tell you a lot about how well it’s made, and many manufacturers will test the noise levels as a way of communicating quality. Fifty decibels is pretty standard for electric models, and they can help you not get distracted as you move between different positions.
Not all manufacturers have a noise level listed though. This is especially true of manual lifts. Since they don’t make use of electrical components, noise levels are largely negligible. They’re the quietest choice, but they’re also much more of a hassle to adjust. You’ll have to find a balance between utility and distraction regardless of what price point you’re looking at.
If you want to get the best ergonomics possible from a convertible desk, you’ll want to change between sitting and being upright at least once per hour. But if you’re in the rhythm at work, sitting through the adjustment process can throw off your flow and make it harder to get into the habit of changing position over the course of your work day. Transition speed tells you how quickly a desk or riser will transition between different modes. If you want to get into better habits and use one of these desks with any consistency, you should aim for a speed of under 2 inches per second.
Ease of Use
While the most basic desks have little more than a crank to adjust the height, most take advantage of pneumatic lifts for greater ease of use. But even when you’re looking at electric models, there’s some variance in how easy they’ll be to use. The most convenient feature for these desks is a control panel, which will allow you to create presets for your preferred positions. While two presets will be okay for most users, many desks offer four or more, so you can get a lot more creative with how you interact with your desk.
Many options come with cable management systems, too. If you have a lot of equipment to sort, and especially if you’re looking to put together a dual monitor setup, a cable management system is among the most useful features. Most make use of designated channels that allow your cables to still be available while sitting out of sight and out of mind.
Are you looking for the best standing desk? Fortunately, the market is wide open right now, and you have a number of options ranging from highly affordable risers to top-of-the-line, thousand-dollar models aimed toward use in the office. What you can count on is consistent quality for the price on all of the models featured above – sometimes thanks to unique killer features and sometimes thanks to just general and persistent competence across the board.
As more models come to market, we’ll keep you up to date. And should you be interested, we offer plenty of other guides that can help you create a healthier work environment and be more productive at everything from gaming to hiking to building a custom computer.If you liked our article on standing desks, please share and comment below what your favorite product is.