Take a Stand: 12 Best Standing Desks

May 11, 2017

Category: Living

Talk to pretty much any office worker and they’ll agree with you that it feels weird to have ‘worked’ all day yet at the same time done little more than sat at a desk, stared into a computer, and tapped away at a keyboard. In our modern work environment there aren’t really a lot of satisfying solutions to this. Office work is office work. But at the very least you can set yourself up with a standing desk.

While they recently regained popularity, standing desks have actually been around for a long time. It was Thomas Jefferson’s go-to surface to get his work done on, as it was for most office workers in the 19th century. You can even get some from that era via eBay or from antiques dealers. The best standing desks, however, have been made in the past ten years or so. These new adjustable standing desks feature electric motors that make it easy to go from sitting to standing and back to sitting. Whether you just need a desk to work from home or are looking for a better office set up – we’ve rounded up the best standing desks.

Fully Jarvis Bamboo Adjustable Standing Desk

When it comes to bang for your buck, you are going to have a really hard time beating the Jarvis Bamboo Adjustable Standing Desk. This simple but brilliant desk features an attractive bamboo top harvested sustainably from both Thai and Chinese forests.

Thanks to a simple LED control handset – the Jarvis can easily rise and sink with the touch of a button. You can even program the controls to remember your preferred heights (it can rise up high enough to accomodate someone who stands at 6 feet 7 inches). Have a whole lot of stuff on your desk? Not to worry. The motor has a hefty 350 pound lift capacity – making hefting your desktop computer, gallons of coffee, and whatever else a total breeze. It all just goes to show that you really don’t need to break the bank in order to have one of the best fully adjustable standing desks in your home office or at work.

Purchase: $470

StandDesk Simple

While this may not be the most exciting ‘build your own’ option you’ve ever encountered, the StandDesk Simple desk’s easy to navigate purchasing options will allow you to get exactly what you want for the price you are looking for.

You can pick up this adjustable standing desk with no desktop, or choose from a series of stained bamboo tops. This means you can pick your favorite or even try your hand at cobbling together your own desktop with some power tools. Other additions you can make to the electronically controlled standing desk include a cable management tray for all those wires, a stabilizing bar for more of a firm workspace, a memory handset for quick adjustments, and rolling casters for maximum mobility in the workplace. The latter pick may get you into trouble if you allow yourself to run around with it, but for the most part these all serve as great additions that you can take or leave at your own leisure.

Purchase: $489

Ikea Bekant

IKEA to the rescue. The Swedish furniture brand known for their affordable products has, of course, their own version of a stand up desk.

The desk, which comes with a 10 year limited warranty, features a simple up and down button that can adjust the particleboard tabletop between 22 and 48 inches. This means you can find the perfect working level for any position whether standing or sitting. That same tabletop is built to be both durable and stain resistant so you don’t have to worry about all of those coffee cups leaving rings on your work station. The maximum load weight on the desk clocks in at around 150 pounds, allowing for you to place your desktop computer and all of those files in your ‘to do’ folder. To help organize wires and cords, the desk also features a polyester and rubber cable management system that rests under the tabletop.

Purchase: $530

Focal Locus Standing Desk

Focal’s Locus standing desk is one of the more unique work stations out there in the desk market. Not only does it rise and sink, but it can tilt forward and back – allowing you to find the perfect position for your wrist.

Rather than opting for an electric motor the desk has two precision German hand cranks that you can use to find the perfect height and angle. Each turn of the crank equals exactly 1/4 inch – so you can dial in that perfect height. The desktop itself ranges between 36 and 48 inches, while the work surface can be angled up to 15 degrees. The crank components of the desk actually lend it a kind of cool, modern look that works well in repurposed industrial office spaces. Need a whole lot of space to spread out your work? Or maybe prefer a more conservative desktop? No worries. The desk comes with an American made tabletop that comes in three different sizes and with four different surface styles.

Purchase: $1,300

Steelcase Airtouch Standing Desk

Even if you love adjustable standing desks – you can’t deny that plugging your desk in to an outlet is a bit ridiculous. Everything we have in our lives seems to have been made reliant on electricity or a charge, why should we add our desks to that list? That, at least, seems to have been the motivation behind building Steelcase’s Airtouch adjustable standing desk.

This desk can be moved up and down with the simple touch of a button and, thanks to the Airtouch technology, it can be used anywhere without a charge. Simply grab the control under on the underside of the desk and the surface can rise or sink between 26 and 43 inches while lifting up to 150 pounds. The desk comes with a host of different options for the surface ranging from white and black synthetic surfaces to a nice, natural Maple and Cherry.

Purchase: $1,479

Herman Miller Renew Sit-to-Stand Desk

Sculptor and designer Brian Alexander approached the creation of this desk in a really thoughtful way. Instead of just trying to cobble together a surface with an electric motor and a cheap control – he thought long and hard about how people work with their surrounding environment. It is from those observations that Alexander got the inspiration for the Herman Miller Renew Desk.

More than just creating a large work surface that can rise and lower with the push or pull of a sleekly designed paddle, Alexander has built a comfortable place to work. The desk provides a large amount of legroom for you to spread out – and he even thought to conceal all screws and bolts to avoid catching your knee or ankle on something while you anxiously try and hit that deadline. To top it all off, the desk comes with a solid 2 year warranty and is made right here in the U.S.

Purchase: $1,486

NextDesk Terra

The main thing that the NextDesk has to offer is its infinite modularity. This adjustable standing desk, likely more than any other on this list, has the ability to be adjusted and changed to your exact specification.

The basics are what you’d expect. It features a large 63 inch wide surface that is 31 inches deep as well as one center grommet for snaking your cables through, and two powerful 18 volt DC motors for adjusting that surface between super wide 24 and 50.5 inches. Unlike other desks – when you turn on motors on they’ll operate at an ultra quiet 60 decibels and lift up to 315 pounds. Talk about doing work. As for the frame itself? It is constructed from a solid aircraft grade aluminum and powder coated your choice of gloss black, white, or just a brushed aluminum. That is only a small taste of the options at your disposal. NextDesk also offers up power management system, vanity covers, and even an integrated Harman Kardon desktop speaker system.

Purchase: $1,497

Cabale Desk

This one is a looker. Designed by Lise and Hans Misbrand in the mid 1990s, this desk has all of the adjustability you’d want out of a standing desk with the look of a top notch piece of office furniture.

The desk comes in over 100 colors making it perfectly easy to have it match whatever environment you want to put it in – whether that is at your home office or at work. Even the surface on the desktop, which comes in either linoleum, or NanoSoft Laminate, or a regular laminate can come in a host of different colors. All things said, the design-forward quality of this standing desk paired with its ability to adjust to your preferred height makes it an ideal pick for anyone who is just as concerned about the aesthetics of their workspace as they are with the quality of their work.

Purchase: $1,550

Humanscale Float Desk

A workspace with a minimal aesthetic and total adjustability. Unlike almost all others on this list, the Float standing desk can be raised up or down using a non-electric counterbalance mechanism. This allows users to avoid that annoying whirring sound of an electric motor while still raising or lowing the desk with a simple touch of a button. The legs of the desk are slim and wide – allowing for plenty of room to spread out without fear of bruising or scraping your ankles or knees. After all, it is a workspace, not a crowded airline flight. For those who work alternately with and without a keyboard, the desk even features a dedicated keyboard surface that rests under the desk. And of course, the same company that offers adjustable desktops also offers a bevy of options for those looking to customize their desk to meet their specific needs.

Purchase: $1,849

Iskelter Electric TechDesk

Getting that perfect desk height takes a bit of tinkering. You want to find the perfect position in which you don’t feel too cramped or too stretched out – but having to dial in that perfect height everyday, or every time you want to stand up or sit down at your work station is just too much. That is why the Electric TechDesk has included a control that allows you to dial in pre-set heights. With just the touch of a button your workspace can hit any height between 24.5 and 49.5 inches high. And thanks to the capable but quiet (only 45 decibels while moving) motor, you can lift up to 355 pounds without a worry. To top this off (literally), the desktop features integrated organizational slots and trays to help you keep your workspace uncluttered. This includes a mousepad, slots for your phone and tablet, and even a valet tray for your keys and pens.

Purchase: $2,000

Stir Kinetic Desk M1

If you asked somebody from fifty years ago what the desk of the future would look like they might draw something like this up. This large work surface features a touchscreen display that with just the tap of your fingers will raise or lower the desk to your exact specifications. The clean, curved lines on the desk match the futuristic vibe the touchscreen gives off – but it doesn’t get in its own way. Ergonomics were first in mind when designing this adjustable standing desk, and it shows through too even with the back of this adjustable standing desk. Wires and cords can easily be snaked through the slots along the back. As for the work surface, it can come in either a black or white powder coated option that will stand up to abuse day in and day out.

Purchase: $2,990


Simple, capable, and elegant, the MILK desk is the pinnacle of cool when it comes to adjustable standing desks. Designed and manufactured in Denmark by Homris, this desk features a large, thick slab for the work surface and a single column in the back that supports it. Along with the adjustability of the surface, it features four compartments along the side that can serve as storage for everything from pens, to notebooks, and even an aquarium if that is your inclination. The desk comes in three different sizes ranging from 47 inches by 18.5 to 55 inches by 32, and can even come in custom colorways

Purchase: $3,145

The 12 Best Ergonomic Office Chairs

Standing up at your desk is a good way to improve your posture – but so is finding a well made desk chair. Doubt us? Just check out this comprehensive list of the best ergonomic office chairs out there.


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