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The Best Standing Desks

Author:

Evelyn

Feb. 04, 2024
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For years, the Uplift V2 Standing Desk has been our pick for the best standing desk for most people. It accommodates a wide range of heights, and it’s stable even at its tallest setting. And it has a greater variety of attractive customization options than you’ll find on any competitor.

Want a productivity and energy boost? Push a button to raise the desk so you can move a little while working. Feel like leaning back in your chair for some deep focus time? Push another button to lower the desk.

An electric, height-adjustable standing desk provides the best of both worlds.

No matter how great your office chair is, you’re not doing your body any favors by sitting in it for the whole day. But being on your feet constantly isn’t good for your comfort or health, either.

This desk works well for small spaces, and it has a height-adjustment range that’s ideal for people between 5-foot-8 and 6-foot-5. But the controls aren’t intuitive and have limited preset options.

The laminate-desktop version is made mostly from recycled wood, and it’s available in seven finishes. It has the same frame options as the other Jarvis desks.

This attractive desk is pleasant to work on, and it has a lower base price than many competitors. It’s available in small sizes, and it accommodates people under 5-foot-4 better than the Uplift V2. But it’s not as customizable.

This is the most customizable desk we’ve ever tested, and it works for a wide range of heights (people between 5-foot-4 and 7 feet).

We favored desks with 30-day refunds (at least), free return shipping, and assembly that’s no more challenging than for IKEA furniture.

Your workspace is highly personal, and that includes your desk. So we looked for models that offered lots of customization options.

Since good desks are a big investment, we think they should come with excellent, fast customer service and at least a five-year warranty.

We selected desks with frames that fit people under 5-foot-4 (the average height of US women), as well as those suited to taller people.

Of the desks we’ve tested, the Uplift V2 Standing Desk offers the best mix of performance and features. It responds quickly to control-pad input (from your choice of five keypad designs), and it produces minimal wobble, even at tall heights.

It accommodates average seated and standing heights for men and women. But if you’re under 5-foot-4, this desk likely won’t work for you if you don’t use a footrest. In that case, we recommend the Fully Jarvis Bamboo Standing Desk or the Fully Jarvis Laminate Standing Desk with the three-stage low-range frame.

We found the Uplift V2’s walnut laminate to be attractive and realistic, and panelists loved the look of the 1-inch curved bamboo desktop, as well. If you’d prefer a different style, Uplift has more than 30 desktop options, including several unusual but expensive wood tops, such as acacia and pheasantwood.

You can also choose from four frame colors, five grommet colors, and three keypad colors, as well as multiple add-on accessories.

The Fully Jarvis Bamboo Standing Desk and the Fully Jarvis Laminate Standing Desk have the same frame, with different top options to suit various preferences. These models offer everything we look for in a good adjustable-height standing desk: a wide range of heights to accommodate most people, a long warranty, and stability in line with that of most other desks we tested.

The Jarvis was our top pick for more than four years, and it’s still a great desk—one that’s become even better with frame improvements that have reduced wobbling at all heights.

This desk doesn’t have as many customization options as the Uplift V2. But when it’s equipped with its three-stage low-range frame, it works for people as short as 4-foot-9.

The laminate tops we tested look great but are prone to smudging, so if you can spend a bit more, we recommend the bamboo top.

We like that the Branch Duo Standing Desk comes with a compact, 36-by-24-inch desktop that works well for small spaces, like a home office or studio apartment.

Surprisingly for a small desk, it has a two-tier lifting column that’s ideal for people between 5-foot-8 and 6-foot-5. Most other two-tier lifting columns we’ve found accommodate narrower height ranges, such as between 5-foot-8 and 6 feet. While the Duo’s height adjustment range of 28 to 47.5 inches works best for taller people, even our 5-foot-tall panelists and a panelist in an electric wheelchair said they could adjust it to their liking. (It’s best to find your height preferences and consider your ergonomic setup before selecting a good standing desk.)

But the Branch Duo has only five laminate finishes, and it doesn’t offer nearly as many customizable features as our Uplift and Fully picks. The control paddle can also be clunky to use, and it can’t accommodate more than two presets, which may be an issue in multi-user households or offices.

You’ve been working from your home office for a while now, and you’ve started to feel the effects on your body after roughly 2 years of sitting. You don’t walk around during the day as much, now that your parking lot is your own hallway and the coworker you need to catch up with is your dog next to you.

So, are standing desks worth it?

Chances are you’ve already thought about investing in a standing desk to add some movement into your workday or to level-up your workstation, but it’s important to know how to choose a standing desk that is worth it for you. We’ve got you covered with everything you need to know about choosing the right standing desk. Keep these tips in mind as you read through all those online reviews! 

Electric Standing Desks

  • An

    electric standing desk

    is the most comprehensive option. Of course, you can use an upside-down laundry basket as a quick fix, get a desk converter at a lower price point, or even look into a manually adjustable desk, but an electric desk will give you the best ease of use overall.

     

  • Material quality will impact how long a desk will last. For an electric standing desk, also consider the

    motor components

    ; a dual-motor will power more up-and-down action over its lifespan, plus the increase to

    speed

    of height adjustability. This isn’t usually an issue for companies dedicated to making ergonomic furniture, but can be with budget models. (Impatient desk workers beware.)

     

  • Often overlooked is the

    noise level

    . It’s a seemingly small thing that can be frustrating over time, so look for something below at least 60 dB. Under 40 dB is considered quiet.

     

Height Adjustability Range

  • Your

    required range depends on your size

    ! Check out

    this desk height calculator

    for the easiest way to find out what you need. The goal is to be able to keep your shoulders relaxed and your elbows close to the body at 90 degrees when typing.

     

  • If your desk is too high, you can raise your chair and use a footrest. I prefer to keep my feet flat on the floor most of the time, so at a height of 5’7”, I looked for a desk that went below 26”.

    • Most standard desks are built around 28” – 30”, and this is one of the reasons I love my standing desk – for sitting!

  • Consider whether you’ll be sharing this desk with anyone else. (House pets N/A; your cat can sit and judge you from any height.)

Tabletop

  • It goes without saying that you should choose a tabletop size that fits your space and your gear, but a t

    abletop’s thickness

    is also important. Make sure the thickness is only 1” – 2” toward the seating area. Anything thicker will prevent you from keeping a relaxed position with your legs and arms.

     

  • If you choose a corner desk, plan to sit along a straight edge instead of the corner. You’re more likely to maintain neutral postures this way.

     

Frame Stability

  • You’ll find more

    stability

    in a frame that has square columns, reinforced material, and wider feet. Frame material and overall weight can also be a factor. In particular, look out for stability when positioned in standing range. A 3-stage frame will be your best bet if you’re above average height. 

     

  • The

    weight capacity

    of your desk must be more than all the stuff you plan on putting on top, so double check the weights of your monitor and accessories. Most basic standing desks easily handle over 100 lb.  

     

All the Extras

  • You might not need the extras, but you might want them.

    Programmable

    heights are convenient, and

    connective

    desks can pair with your smart devices, track your movement, and give reminders to stand up. An aesthetic desk will give you a bit of joy in your work from home space. An extra power plug or

    cable management

    options keep your workspace sleek.

     

  • Accessories that play well with standing desks include: angle adjustable footrest, balance board, anti-fatigue mat, ring light, adjustable chair. Some companies will give you a deal on combos!

     

Logistics

  • Price

    matters, as does the shipping method and cost. Keep in mind the setup required and the

    return policy

    . Free trials are ideal!

     

  • Make sure the

    warranty

    period is one you’re comfortable with for the investment. A good manufacturer will stand by their product.

     

  • Choosing a

    local company

    has so many benefits. If you’re in Canada, check out EFFYDESK. If you’re in the USA, look out for Fully.

Once you’ve got your standing desk, remember to use it in a way that’s comfortable for you. Get your setup right, build up to standing for longer periods over time, and alternate sitting and standing throughout the day.

Happy desk hunting! 

The Best Standing Desks

How to Choose a Standing Desk

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