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The health benefits of sitting less during the day are too great to ignore, but with the number of standing desks available, it can be hard to know which desks are a quality investment, and which ones should be avoided.
With its stability, smooth height adjustment, and solid warranty the Fully Jarvis Electric Adjustable Height Standing Desk is a step above the rest, providing the best value for your money.
Improve your posture, burn more calories, get more energized, and increase your life expectancy. These health benefits sound like something you’d get after a rigorous exercise routine, but believe it or not, they’re the result of standing more instead of sitting. So many jobs involve sitting at a desk for hours each day, and it can be hard to break away to incorporate more standing without sacrificing productivity.
Even with coffee breaks and the occasional stretch, the average American still spends up to 15 hours a day sitting. This is bad news considering a sedentary lifestyle increases your chances for cancer, obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. Before you run away from your desk job in terror, there is a compromise. Consider the standing desk, which allows you to incorporate more standing into your day without interrupting whatever task you may be trying to accomplish.
To find the perfect standing desk to fit your needs, it’s important to consider a few questions before committing to a purchase. First, how much space do you have to work with? Standing desks come in all sizes and configurations so you can find a good fit. Second, do you want to part with your traditional desk? If the answer is no, then you might want to find a standing desk conversion option that you can set up on the desk you already have. Lastly, what are you willing to spend? Some desks are more budget friendly than others, but it’s important to remember that you’re investing in your health too, so it may be worth it to spend a little more on a quality desk.
It may seem overwhelming, but luckily we’ve done the research for you to find what we think are the five best standing desks to suit a variety of needs. Since we’ve pored through the reviews, you can take a stand for your health sooner rather than later, and learn which desk may be best for you.
Here are the best standing desks you can buy:
Updated on 12/03/2018 by Lulu Chang: Added two new picks to replace out-of-stock options. Updated prices and formatting.
Read on in the slides below to check out our top picks.
The best standing desk overall
Why you’ll love it: The Fully Jarvis Electric Adjustable Height standing desk is the complete package, combining a durable and sleek design, stability, and easy height adjustment for a reasonable price.
One of the biggest downfalls of a fully transitional sit-to-stand desk is that the higher it gets, the less stable it becomes until you’re left with a uselessly wobbly contraption. Not so with the Fully Jarvis. Even at its full height of 48 inches, this desk maintains an ample amount of stability, so even if you’re on the taller side (up to 6 foot 7 inches), you will be able to use this desk with ease. For those who are shorter, this desk can adjust to any height in between 23.25 and 48.75 inches.
The Fully Jarvis has a sit-stand desk frame so you can go from sitting to standing and anywhere in between, although we imagine a static squat hold probably wouldn’t lend much to work productivity. If you’re looking for smooth transition, though, this is the desk for you. The frame is motorized, so there is no old-fashioned hand-cranking required, and its programmable digital handset with four preset options allows you to input your ideal sitting and standing height.
According to Start Standing, the desk raises and lowers at a rate of 1.25-inches per second, and though the reviewer found it wasn’t as quiet as some higher priced desks, the noise wasn’t unbearably loud. We wouldn’t recommend taking a conference call while transitioning from sitting to standing, but the noise isn’t a deal breaker. It’s a fair trade off for the stability and the lift capacity this desk has.
The Fully Jarvis can support a whopping 350 pounds, and while it would be a bit of a challenge to hit that max weight unless you’re housing an anchor on your desk, it’s nice to know that you don’t have to worry about this desk tipping over or not being able to accommodate all your electronics.
The Fully Jarvis is backed by a generous seven-year warranty, and its simple assembly is helped along by easy-to-follow instructions. However, if you’re understandably short on time or patience you can also choose to receive expert assembly from Amazon. It will add to the price of the frame, but for the sake of convenience and sanity, you may find spending a little extra money is worth it. Reviewers on Amazon praised the high-quality feel and sleek design of this desk frame, especially considering the affordable price.
Unfortunately, Amazon only sells the frame for this desk, so you have to buy the table top separately. As far as table tops for the frame go, this reviewer and others have recommended buying an Ikea tabletop. If you’re the DIY type, you could even consider using a plain closet door like this reviewer.
The Fully Jarvis provides a complete package of reasonable price, beautiful design, and stability. It’s not surprising that it shows up repeatedly as the number one pick in many “best standing desk” lists, including The Wirecutter and Gadget Review. We have to agree that it stands apart from the rest.
Pros: Well designed, stable even at its maximum height, durable, able to hold up to 350 pounds, reasonably priced
Cons: Not the quietest desk on the market
The best affordable standing desk
Why you’ll love it: The Readydesk is an affordable and easy-to-assemble standing desk that allows you to keep your traditional desk, features a durable design, and has enough space to house a dual monitor set up.
If you’re just starting to dip your toes into the standing desk movement, and aren’t sure if you want to spend a lot of money to begin with, the Readydesk 2 is a great place to start. Not only is it budget-friendly, but it’s a conversion option that allows you to utilize a traditional desk you may already have and not be ready to part with.
Think of the Readydesk 2 as the training wheels of standing desks. If you enjoy incorporating more standing into your day, you can always leave your traditional desk behind and graduate to a fully transitional standing desk. However, you may find yourself keeping the Readydesk2 as a permanent option.
Business Insider’s guide editor Malarie Gokey used the Readydesk 2 to convert her desk into a standing desk, and it was perfect. It’s easy to assemble, fits nicely on most desks without taking up too much space, and it’s much more affordable than other standing desk converters.
The Readydesk came from humble beginnings as the product of a Kickstarter, but its stable, well-constructed design has earned it a solid place among effective standing desks that won’t turn into a wobbly mess. It’s constructed from recyclable Baltic Birch Wood, which gives this desk a unique aesthetic appeal since most standing desks utilize plastic and metal. The two adjustable shelves can be configured in 30 different ways, and the top shelf provides enough space for a dual monitor set up.
This is a semi-permanent standing desk conversion option, making it too cumbersome to switch rapidly between sitting and standing, and its design wouldn’t exactly be described as “sleek.” However, this is a budget friendly desk, so you aren’t going to get the deluxe features found in more expensive standing desks.
Budget friendly doesn’t translate to cheap quality in the case of the Readydesk 2. Circle of Docs, an online community of chiropractors, tried the Readydesk 2 and described it as “lightweight, strong, and beautifully designed.”
Those who have purchased this desk have continued to give it highly rated reviews, praising its quality, easy set-up, and sturdy build. While this reviewer would have liked the shelves to be rounded for additional comfort, the buyer still enthusiastically dubbed it the “best desk ever” and loved the way it has changed the way they work and view their workspace.
Pros: Affordable, easy assembly, durable design, spacious enough for a dual monitor set-up
Cons: Not able to smoothly transition between sitting and standing, some reviewers found the unfinished shelf edges uncomfortable, lacks the extra features that would be found in a more expensive standing desk
The best standing desk conversion option
Why you’ll love it: The Ergo Desktop Kangaroo Pro Junior provides a smooth transition from sitting to standing, while allowing you to keep your traditional desk.
Maybe you have a desk you don’t want to part with, or you can’t justify paying the higher price for a fully adjustable standing desk when you have a traditional desk in perfect condition. Just because you don’t want to part ways with the desk you have now doesn’t mean you can’t get the benefits of a standing desk. Standing desk conversion options like the Kangaroo Pro Junior can be placed directly on top of your desk, and allow you to sit or stand as needed.
While some conversion options can take up a large chunk of your desk space, The Wirecutter points out that the compact design of the Kangaroo Pro Junior allows you to get the most out of your space, and it doesn’t need an especially wide desk to sit on top of like other conversion options. The built-in pneumatic spring mechanism allows you to go from sitting to standing by the turn of a knob so your coworkers won’t be looking on in amusement as you make the switch. Limiting workplace embarrassment is always a plus in our book. To go back to sitting, you simply press the surface back into place.
The Kangaroo Pro Junior is one of the most ergonomic conversion options, with separate keyboard and monitor platform adjustments that make it possible for you to find your comfort zone with ease. This option works best with a separate monitor and keyboard set-up, as it doesn’t provide a secure way to mount a laptop, though the 24 x 18-inch keyboard tray is more than stable enough to support a laptop if needed.
It also comes with a metal leg to provide additional stability. Unfortunately, this stability leg does take away from the aesthetic appeal of the design, but the guaranteed stabilization it provides ensures that you won’t have to deal with a wobbly desk. The benefits of a standing desk are lost if it won’t let you work comfortably while standing.
The small working space provided holds up to 35 pounds of your necessities, so you won’t be putting the contents of your entire desk on this conversion option. However, since it’s meant to be used with your traditional desk, you should have enough space for everything you need.
If the thought of assembling furniture raises your blood pressure before you’ve even begun, not to worry — the Kangaroo Pro Junior doesn’t require any installation or time-consuming assembly and the frame comes with a five-year warranty.
This reviewer was impressed with how well-made and stable the Kangaroo Pro Junior is, while this one was so pleased they bought more for their entire office and praised the customer service they received.
Whether you’re looking to bring the health benefits of standing desks into your office, or you want to work in comfort at home, the Kangaroo Pro Junior is a great standing desk option to upgrade your workspace.
Pros: Provides a smooth transition from sitting to standing, compact so it won’t take up your entire desk space, no installation required and easy assembly, separate adjustment options for keyboard and monitor
Cons: Not the most ideal option for laptops, will only hold the essentials, the stabilizing leg is a bit of an eyesore
The best easy-to-assemble standing desk
Why you’ll love it: For a high-end desk that assembles quickly and easily, Varidesk’s Pro 60 Full Electric Standing Desk is no doubt the way to go.
My very first standing desk was of the Varidesk variety, and I’m convinced that my last standing desk will also be of the Varidesk variety. While these certainly don’t come cheap, they’re extremely high-quality, very quiet, and extremely easy to set up.
Varidesk claims that its Pro Desk 60 will require just five minutes of your time to assemble, and though that’s not quite true, this standing desk is much more straightforward to put together than most other options on the market.
Let’s not kid ourselves — this is an expensive desk. At just under $1,000, it’s certainly one of the priciest options around. But what you’re paying for is a large desk size (it’s 60 by 30 inches), a wide range of heights (it goes from 25.5 to 50.5 inches, offering more than two feet in adjustments), and a solid five year warranty to ensure that you’re not just throwing $1,000 away.
Plus, if you’re thinking about going with a lower base price standing desk, but want to add various customizations to make it match the specs of the Pro Desk, you’ll likely be looking at a similar price tag.
As far as high-end standing desks go, the Pro Desk is an excellent choice. Designed with commercial-grade materials, this desk is meant for commercial offices, but makes just as much sense at home. All desks have a heavy-duty laminate finish and a strong steel frame. There’s a stability crossbar that looks a bit dated, but does add an extra layer of stability.
Indeed, you can place up to 250 pounds of, well, stuff on your desk, so you should feel comfortable with multiple monitors, a printer, paperweights, and whatever else you may need to feel productive during the day.
Adjusting the desk is a seamless process: Simply press the up or down arrow, and the LED display will display the height. Once you’ve decided that you’ve reached a comfortable position, you can commit that particular height to memory thanks to the Pro Desk’s three programmable settings. The motor is also surprisingly quiet, so if you find that you need to do some light-night adjustments to your workstation, you won’t wake up the entire household.
As for assembly, the Pro Desk really does make things as simple as possible. All requisite tools are included, and because the crossbars are pre-mounted to the desktop, all you really have to do is position the legs and secure them in place, attach the cables and the stability bar, and install the cable tray. The toughest part comes in flipping the desk over — it’s a heavy piece of equipment, and most likely requires two people for safe handling.
The Pro Desk 60 comes in five finishes: Butcher Block, Reclaimed Wood, Darkwood, White, and Black, and can be further dressed up with Varidesk’s wide range of accessories. I’m a particular fan of the 36-inch mat, which takes some of the pressure off your feet while you’re standing all day; the dual-monitor arm set-up; and the variable height Varichair, because everyone deserves to take a seat sometimes. — Lulu Chang
Pros: Easy to assemble, durable construction, five finishes to choose from, quiet motor with three presets
Cons: At $995, this is not a low-budget item
The best customizable standing desk
Why you’ll love it: The Uplift Desk gives you the option to change just about everything about it, which means you can have your desk just the way you want it.
One of the best things about the Uplift Desk is that it is, in every sense of the word, your desk. Customization is key to this brand, which means that even though you can start with a run-of-the-mill carbonized bamboo rectangular desk measuring about 48 by 30 inches, you can change things up in terms of size, electronics, power supplies, and more.
When Business Insider’s James Brains created his own Uplift Desk, he ended up choosing a 60-by-30-inch desktop with a slight curve on the front, a power grommet, an advanced digital memory keypad that remembers four preferred desk heights and will automatically adjust to them with the push of a button, the basic wire management kit (which comes with adhesive cable ties, screw-in cable mounts, reusable cable ties, cable drop downs, a six-outlet surge protector power strip, a cable coil organizer, and an under-desk hook), and a large half-circle desk drawer. See? Truly customizable.
All Uplift desks also come with a standing desk mat and a bamboo desk organizer set, though you could also really get your fitness on and ask for a desk treadmill or bike, though to be honest, I’ve always found those add-ons to be a bit distracting from your actual work.
With all these bells and whistles, assembly does become something of a pain. After all, when you’re putting together a desk that comes with an essentially infinite number of individualized parts, you can’t expect much of it to come pre-assembled. While putting the desk together isn’t difficult, per se, it is rather time consuming. But once you’ve put it together, it’s pretty likely that it’ll be the desk of your dreams. After all, you’ll have designed it.
Another thing to love about the Uplift Desk is that it comes with one of the best return and warranty policies on the market. For starters, you have 30 days to take your desk on a test run. Should you decide that it’s not everything you dreamed of and more, you can simply send it back.
Alternatively, should you find that something goes wrong with your desk, Uplift covers its products with a pretty impressive seven-year warranty. So even if you do end up spending some big bucks on your desk, you can rest assured that it won’t all go to waste. — Lulu Chang
Pros: Extremely customizable, strong, durable materials, seven-year warranty and 30-day return policy
Cons: Can get expensive quickly with various add-ons, takes time to assemble