The 12 Best Standing Desks

May 29, 2020

Category: Living

So the saying goes, humans are creatures of habit. However, whether those habits are good or bad is entirely up to the individual. For instance, while working from the office or home, you could be perfectly happy with a sedentary workspace — but there might be longterm downsides to that, like a permanently altered spine, that will make that workspace harder and harder to break free from.

Of course, setting new, healthier habits is as simple as deciding to make it so and sticking to that decision. And one of the best ways to get that started is by replacing your stationary desk for one that’s height adjustable. That way, you can alter your posture and position throughout the day, making for a healthier and happier overall work situation. And we’re here to make that journey even easier with our picks for the 12 best standing desks.

The Benefits Of Standing Desks

Ergonomic Solutions

The human skeleton was designed for movement. In fact, sitting in one place has real, definable negative side effects — ranging from as seemingly-benign as a poorer posture to as serious as permanent spinal and nervous system damage. And while there are a lot of ergonomic quick fixes, the most well-documented way to keep yourself healthy and happy is by shifting your posture and engaging different muscles throughout the day. These seemingly simple changes can help stave off repetitive motion injuries (like carpal tunnel) and can help alleviate issues associated with a sedentary lifestyle (like pain-causing bulging spinal disks).

Unsurprisingly, one of the biggest offenders regarding skeletal and musculature health is sitting for long periods of time. As it turns out, staying in a seated position for 8+ hours every single day is not good for our bodies. It can cause poor blood circulation, a bad posture that can affect you for the rest of your life, and even nerve damage over time. As such, physicians around the world suggest getting up and moving around for at least as long as 10 minutes or more every hour. But not everyone has the time to get away from their work for that long. And that’s where standing desks come into play.

Simply by lifting your workstation to a height that requires you to stand at varying times throughout the day, you can actually make strides toward a much healthier work lifestyle. Better still, many standing desks are automated via onboard controls and built-in motors — meaning you don’t have to strain your muscles or bones trying to lift and lower a heavy desktop over the course of the day. If you want to avoid potentially permanent longterm damage to your body caused by inactivity, you should at least consider a standing desk.

As a final note, it’s been said that standing for 8+ hours a day can be just as damaging in the long run as sitting without getting up for that same stretch of time. The key here is motion and posture-switching. Most of these desks were made to swap back and forth on the fly, but there are desks out there that are standing-only. We would suggest staying away from these as options unless you have other workspace seating options, like high stools.

Fully Jarvis Standing Desk

Simple and elegant, the Fully Jarvis Standing Desk has actually won awards for its effective and efficient pared-down design. Available in two sizes, this beautiful piece of office furniture can support up to 350 pounds while still raising and lowering via its onboard motor. And it’s made from durable polyurethane-coated bamboo, which is more sustainable than alternative woods. There’s even a programmable controller with four push-button preset heights. And it has a seven-year warranty backing it all up.

Max Height: 49.25″
Min Height: 23.75″
Surface Area: 60″ to 72″ x 24″

Purchase: $554+

Uplift V2 Standing Desk

Another simple solution like the offering above, the Uplift V2 Standing Desk is quite similar to the Jarvis in its appearance but has some customizable upgrades. For starters, there are a whopping five different desktop sizes with an even more whopping 19 different material choices of varying styles and colors. You can even choose between four different frames and four different colorways therein. Supporting up to 355 pounds of gear, it’s stable, reliable, and can be made to fit any workspace… for a price. Still, it is offered at a much lower price point than some very similarly-featured alternatives — even at the higher end of the spectrum.

Max Height: 50.9″
Min Height: 25.3″
Surface Area: 42″ to 80″ x 30″

Purchase: $599+

IKEA Idasen Standing Desk

IKEA is widely considered a budget-friendly brand, but the Swedes that run the company definitely know what they’re doing and, though their offerings are often in the more affordable range, that doesn’t mean they’re cheaply made or unworthy of consideration. Case in point: the Idasen Standing Desk is spectacular in its construction and simplistic design. Built to withstand “years of coffee and hard work,” this sit/stand desk has an easily-adjustable height that can be controlled via the included lever or a mobile app for unrivaled convenience and it has a handy underside cable management system to keep the clutter to a minimum. Plus the whole thing is backed by a 10-year warranty.

Max Height: 50″
Min Height: 24.75″
Surface Area: 61″ x 31.5″

Purchase: $599

XDesk Encore

XDesk has a pretty incredulous claim regarding their Encore Desk: that it’s the only hand-crafted desk made in the USA for a price of under $1,000. While we can’t specifically verify the veracity of such a claim, we can say that the stand/sit edition of this desk is spectacular in its simplicity, effectiveness, and the brand’s commitment to sustainability — utilizing materials like rubberwood and proprietary woodless desktops. This desk also has plenty of customizable options ranging from five separate desktop sizes to the color and finish of the frame. And, since this is a standing desk, the brand has been sure to propound the fact that it can actually adjust to over 200 different seating and standing positions.

Max Height: 50.5″
Min Height: 24″
Surface Area: 48″ – 79″ x 24″ – 31.5″

Purchase: $1,067+

Focal Sphere Standing Desk

Not everyone thrives with a flat, rectangular desk — especially if you work in design, architecture, or the art world. In that case, you might find solace in the Focal Sphere Standing Desk. While this desk can adjust to a flat position, it thrives with a bit of a tilt, allowing users to more comfortably and ergonomically lean over it for detail-oriented work — which is helpful when it comes to keeping your spine healthy. It’s also available in a quartet of colors/materials, comes with a lifetime warranty, operates by a simple hand crank for height adjustment, and has a sturdy brushed aluminum frame for stability and security.

Max Height: 48″
Min Height: 36″
Surface Area: 78″ x 31″

Purchase: $1,250

Artifox Standing Desk 02

Artifox has built a reputation for crafting some of the most elegant, simple, well-built pieces of home and office furniture and organizational solutions around. In fact, there’s not a single thing they make we wouldn’t be proud to own and put on display. And their Standing Desk 02 is definitely no exception to this rule. Built with your choice of a Walnut or Bone desktop, this standing desk has its own built-in dock, a cable management system, compatibility with the brand’s other accessories, and even has built-in pegs for your headphones or other dangling pieces of gear. The one downside to this one is that it can’t adjust from a standing to a sitting position. As such, we’d encourage folks to not use this as their sole workspace, especially if you’re going to need to use the space for hours and hours on end. Of course, you could equip your office with one of these alongside one of the brand’s non-standing desks.

Max Height: 42″
Min Height: N/A
Surface Area: 52″ x 26″

Purchase: $1,690

Humanscale Float Standing Desk

The folks at Humanscale have built their business around two very purposeful tenets: sound ergonomics and good design. That’s true for everything they offer from stools and office chairs to (of course) their Float Standing Desk. Made with special attention to minimalism, this desk was crafted to allow users seamless adjustment from a sitting to a standing position and back again — all without interrupting your workflow. It also has its own built-in patented counterbalance system to ensure stability and security even when fully-loaded. And it can be customized in numerous ways — ranging from the size of the desktop to the format of the frame and more.

Max Height: 46.2″
Min Height: 26.4″
Surface Area: 48” – 72” x 24” – 30”

Purchase: $1,749+

Steelcase AirTouch Standing Desk

What’s really handy about the Steelcase AirTouch Standing Desk — which is immediately recognizable at first glance — is that it does away with those pesky legs astride the desk in favor of a central column that acts both as a base frame and the height-adjustment system. That means you don’t have to watch your knees and shins so much when using it. That design also helps it stand out against the competition and allows it to easily adjust from as low as 26″ to as high as 43″ — accessible via a simple control system. The patent-pending Airtouch technology also means the entire desk adjusts smoothly and evenly while taking less time to switch positions than both crank and electric motor alternatives. In fact, the brand claims that swapping from standing to sitting can take as little as one second.

Max Height: 43″
Min Height: 26″
Surface Area: 54″ x 24″

Purchase: $1,812

Herman Miller Renew Sit-to-Stand Desk

Anyone surprised by seeing Herman Miller on our list of the best standing desks probably hasn’t been paying a tremendous amount of attention, as the brand has been making some of the most ergonomic and best-designed office gear for the better part of over a century. And their catalog has only gotten stronger over time. Take their Renew Sit-to-Stand Desk you see before you, for instance. Made in the USA and designed by Brian Alexander, this piece of office furniture was actually crafted holistically based on how people work. That’s why the design includes an intuitive control paddle, out-of-sight cable management routed through the frame and legs, and a clean overall aesthetic regardless of the customization options you might choose.

Max Height: 46″
Min Height: 27″
Surface Area: 24″ – 30″ x 48″ – 60″

Purchase: $2,036+

XDesk Terra Pro

If standing desks were ships, the XDesk Terra Pro would be akin to a dreadnought. That is to say, it’s remarkably rugged — with a frame that’s 40% stronger than previous editions — and it was built specifically with strength (it has a 630-pound capacity), stability, and safety in mind. If you need a standing desk that can withstand a tremendous amount of punishment and keep on ticking, this is it. Not only that, but it looks fantastic, has just about the same number of customization options as all of XDesk’s spectacular offerings, it offers best-in-class speed switching from sitting to standing and back again, and it boasts a smart cable management system. If you’re looking for what the Terra Pro can do, you might be better off trying to figure out what it can’t because the list might be shorter.

Max Height: 50.5″
Min Height: 24″
Surface Area: 48″ – 79″ x 24″ – 31.5″

Purchase: $2,697+

Stir Kinetic Desk M1

Once called the “Tesla of standing desks” in the Wall Street Journal and “the most advanced desk ever” by the brand themselves, the Stir Kinetic Desk M1 has a lot to live up to right out of the gate. Thankfully — both for the brand and its fans — it lives up to just about every single one of them. Not only does this desk look elegant in a way you could be proud to put it as the centerpiece of your workspace, but it is absolutely overflowing with cool features. That includes (but is not limited to) more ergonomic waterfall edges — which keep your wrists from suffering undue pressure — a powder-coated wood top for extra durability, built-in power management systems — meaning you don’t have to fiddle with trying to find that pesky wall plug behind the desk — and (the star of the show) a built-in smart control center with its own touchscreen interface. In fact, this desk can even connect to the cloud and will communicate with other devices, like your fitness-tracking Fitbit.

Max Height: 50.5″
Min Height: 29.5″
Surface Area: 59.5” x 29.5”

Purchase: $2,990

Woolsey Smart Desk

Sean Woolsey is an expert at creating design-focused furniture that’s simultaneously pleasingly minimalist and deceptively fully-featured. And perhaps nowhere is that more apparent than in his Smart Desk you see here. At a glance, this desk looks like a pretty basic workspace, albeit a gorgeous oak one. But scratch just beneath the surface and you’re going to find a ton of high-tech features like a built-in Qi wireless charging pad, a movable magnetized power unit, integrated cable management for cleanliness and order, a built-in 6-outlet 2-USB port surge protecting power strip, and a quiet dual-motor system that can elevate the desk nearly up to 50″ in total. This isn’t a desk; it’s a high-tech command center.

Max Height: 49.5″
Min Height: 24.5″
Surface Area: 60” x 30”

Purchase: $3,000

The 20 Best Desks For The Home Office

Not everyone has the space, need, nor desire for a moving ergonomic desk. If these height-adjusting workspaces aren’t for you, you’ll find something more suited to your needs on our list of the best home office desks.

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