If you’re feeling less productive while working at home and think your current work set-up has something to do with it, a standing desk (or a standing desk convertor) may help you. Standing desks can be key to improving poor desk posture and mitigating chronic body pain associated with sitting during the day. But you may not be aware that standing desks may also help add to your fitness abilities over time, and more importantly, keep you more energized and focused throughout the entire workday.
And you don’t even need to be standing continuously from 9 to 5 — in fact, the best strategy for optimal results might be frequently transitioning between standing and sitting throughout your day, says Chad Henriksen, D.C, the director of WorkSiteRight at Northwestern Health Sciences University.
With the help of Rachel Rothman, Chief Technologist and Director of Engineering in the Good Housekeeping Institute, and Stefani Sassos, MS, RD, GHI’s registered dietitian and NCCPT personal trainer, we’re sharing the best standing desks on the market today. We’ve tested and reviewed expert-approved standing desks that are fully customizable, including options at multiple price-points, sizes, and convenience for any space you have in mind.
How long should you stand at your desk?
«I recommend sitting for no longer than 20-30 minutes,» Dr. Henriksen says, adding that those with serious injuries or health concerns should discuss a standing desk with their doctor first. You should also be implementing «micro-break» stretching and movement while at home, he explains.
«Experts have known for some time that increasing low-level activity provides health benefits compared to sitting for a prolonged time in a fixed position,» Dr. Henriksen explains. «Alternating between [sitting and standing] balances the negative effects of either standing or sitting throughout the entire workday.» Published research is conflicted on how standing desks improve your focus and productivity throughout the day, and how often you need to stand to reap any benefits; but a 2016 case study discovered some immediate reported benefits from those at a desk during the workday. The best productivity boost was enjoyed by those who frequently alternated in sitting and standing throughout the day, with a reported 50% boost in productivity in six months.
Shop the best performing standing desks and top-selling models below:
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Best Overall Standing Desk
Airlift Tempered Glass Electric Standing Desk
$402.03 (20% off)
This suped-up electronic desk is just as gorgeous to look at as it is useful and versatile in any office setting. There’s plenty of tabletop space for a variety of monitors and keyboards, and there’s even a well-designed hidden drawer to store extra items out of sight — a good place for cellphones and laptops, since there’s also a USB charger port built directly into this model.
Seville Classic’s adjustable model (which lifts up to 47 inches tall easily in tests) is as smooth as it looks, easily transforming from a spacious sitting desk to standing height with a touchscreen controller equipped with 3 different programmable settings. Its sleek rounded design is also one of the more compact options on this list, for those who might be short on ample space but still require a standalone desk.
Best Value Standing Desk
Electric Height Adjustable Desk
If you’re on a tighter budget for a desk, FlexiSpot’s EN1 Model is a solid option for you. Sassos notes that unboxing and assembly was straightforward, and that the desktop’s 48″ width is substantial without overtaking an existing space in your home. Its width might also allow you to work in some freestanding storage beneath it. Equipped with three different height presets, this desk can hold up to 154 pounds of weight, and is fully extendable to 48″ in height.
Best Adjustable Standing Desk
V2 Bamboo Standing Desk
Our best tested, Uplift’s standing desk is very stable when adjusted via electronic keypads and can accommodate a wide range of user heights. Rothman notes that this may be the best fit for a couple or for shared office spaces due to its versatility in adjustment ranges. While a bamboo-finished desk is standard here, Uplift offers 19 different finishes on its website, and four different frames, plus a few add-ons you can select if need be. The desk itself won’t move even if you’re a heavy typer or are constantly switching modes during the day, as there’s a steel crossbar between the desk’s legs to reduce any sway.
Best Design Standing Desk
Among the sleekiest desks, Branch’s model is the only one they offer — and for good reason. It has an incredible range in height settings ranging from 2′ when sitting to a full 4’4″ for those users who are nearly 7 feet tall, but its best features come from its streamlined (effective!) design. Users will cherish the electrical port, which isn’t a standard feature on standing desks, to keep cords in one place. The height panel enables four different presets, and what the brand calls «EasyGlide» promises an eerily quiet motor. There isn’t much of even a purr of the motor to be heard; and the leg’s stability means your items won’t shift while in motion. And because there’s only one model (in two finishes), Brach has made the installation process super simple — our home test had the desk out of the box and ready for use in under 45 minutes, with the tools you need already inside (no power tools necessary!).
Best Electronic Standing Desk
Electric Standing Desk 48
Rothman notes that like other Vari products, its full-sized standalone desk is easy to assemble out of the box, and offers easy cable management for your monitor’s cords and any other chargers on your desk. Rothman’s tests reveal that Vari’s desk isn’t as speedy in changing its desk height as other models on this list, its moderate price point might attract shoppers, as well as the fact that it’s available in five different finishes, and two different sizes.
Best Standing Desk for Easy Install
EC9 Standing Desk
There are not as many customizable functions on this Flexispot model compared to others on this list — for example, there are no height presets for you to program. But the tradeoff is a seamlessly compact design that is very manageable for apartment dwellers specifically. The EC9 supports up to 110 pounds of weight and can extend to just over 4′ tall, but its modest-sized desktop is the best feature when it comes to installation. Nearly all of the desks on this list come in multiple shipments or in separate pieces, heavy in weight due to finishes and motors — this desk ships in a single box. For those who live in apartment buildings where elevators aren’t an option, this will be less of a hassle for you to install. But everyone will love that installation can be completed in less than 20 minutes with no tools needed.
Best Standing Desk Convertor
Desk Pro Plus 36
The company’s best-selling model, Vari’s desktop standing desk convertor is extremely easy to use despite not being electronic (thus not requiring an outlet!) — and it’s ready to use directly out of the box. Vari offers their desktop adapter in different sizes to accommodate a variety of desks, tables, and monitors, but all of them provide up to an additional 17.5″ lift off a tabletop you have in your home. Simply use the latch function to customize how high your new desktop becomes. If you already have a desk you love, or are working off of a rarely-used dining or coffee table, Vari’s convertor is an easy solution for you.
Best Value Standing Desk Converter
WorkFit-Z Mini Sit-Stand Desk
If you’re tighter on budget — or space, as many desktop converters can span wider than your actual desk — Ergotron’s split bi-level converter is for you. Ergotron’s model offers nearly 13″ of additional lift off of your current desk, and its 30″+ wide desktop can easily fit a laptop and a small monitor, or a desktop, simultaneously. There are design features that make it easier to store accessories on your desk; like the keyboard and mouse tray, as well as the phone or tablet slot. And since it’s designed to primarily hold laptops and lighter equipment, tests reveal that manually lifting the desk up with hydraulic-boosted handles is a breeze.
Best Standing Desk for Laptops
Desk Laptop 30
Vari’s laptop-friendly standing desk convertor is a great option for those who are tight on space, who love to work remotely while traveling, or simply are interested in trying out a functioning standing desk without shelling out significant cash. Ready to use out of its box, the Laptop 30 is equipped with 9 different height settings, and tests showed it can lift your laptop up to 15″ off a desktop, all while supporting the weight of your wrists and a mouse if you choose.
Best L-Shaped Standing Desk
L-Shaped Standing Desk
If you have more room to play with in your office space, you don’t have to stick to a traditional rectangular-sized desktop. Jarvis’ standing desk models have a bit more flexibility in height settings (between 25″ and 50.75″ in total), and the L-shaped configuration also comes in a multitude of dimensions for various office sizes. While the base model doesn’t have storage, Jarvis’ desks are fully customizable, and you can add storage solutions, power outlets, sleek cable managers, and even a mechanical arm to support mounted monitors.
Best Mobile Standing Desk
Mobile Laptop Desk Cart
If you’re needing to move freely about the building or your home, a mobile standing desktop might be the solution for you. There’s no storage and it requires manual adjustment, but Seville Classic’s rolling workstation can be brought up to 33″ high without losing stability. A wooden desktop can fit any laptop or tablet with a keyboard for easy use.
Best Budget Laptop Desk Converter
CD4 Metal Laptop Stand, Black
Not sure if you’re ready for a full standing desk just yet? Settle on a compromise that’ll let you see how your body responds to being on your feet. This budget hybrid desktop converter will allow you to test a laptop set up that towers over your desk at a max height of 18″. Plus, there’s a fold-out accessories tray for a mouse or other accessories of your choice. It’s ready for use directly out of the box!
Best Compact Standing Desk Convertor
E7 Electric Standing Desk Convertor
If you’re in the model for a more compact, electronic desktop convertor, UPLIFT’s E7 model is sold in a variety of sizes for multiple monitors — but all are based on a 21.5″ wide desktop that is more compact than other models. The E7 can hold up to 110 pounds of belongings, and is equipped to mount a computer monitor if you’re interested in doing so. Rothman notes that this design becomes more compact if you tuck away the attached keyboard tray when not in use.
Best Fully Customized Standing Desk
If you’re looking for a gorgeously designed desk, this sleek model from XDesk has earned top reviews from shoppers — and Rothman’s approval for its functionality. The desks’ electronic presets make lowering and raising the wooden desktop very easy (simply push!), but the most standard model isn’t equipped with storage options. It’s a good thing that design fanatics have the opportunity to customize their desk before making an order, including storage additions and customized finishes, making this truly one of the most customizable models on the market.
Best Kneeling Desk
Ergonomic Kneeling Chair and Desk
A hybrid between a traditional desk and a standing desk, The Edge Desk’s kneeling model combines elements of a standing and sitting workstation perfectly. With a recommended weight capacity of 250lbs, this kneeling desk can support your weight as your lean forward into your work, with ample room for a laptop, notebooks, or even a sketchbook. The best part? Unlike other standing or traditional desks, this kneeling desk can be easily packed up and moved to outdoor locations. Rothman notes it’s extremely easy to assemble and can be adjusted in a variety of heights or angles; but since it’s a manual operation, you’ll have to readjust each time you move it.
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