There are several options and features we assessed when picking the best standing desk in 2018 for our top five comparison. The staff at Gadget Review have all made the switch because we love the standing desk benefits, as it can help you burn calories, improve your posture, and help your focus during tasks where your mind might start to wander.
Jump to: Compare the best standing desk features side-by-side.
These factors in mind, it’s no wonder why the Jarvis Bamboo standing desk from Fully hit the top of our list with ease. Thanks to its solid build quality, electronic console with preset height options, and overall durability in all use cases, whether you’re curious about the standing desk revolution or a veteran in the space, the Jarvis is the choice for you.
Top Standing Desks Reviews
How We Choose the Best Standing Desk
When choosing the top standing desks for this list, we considered a variety of models, features, and prices to fit anyone’s budget. First and foremost, it’s important to know there are several different styles of standing desk that can either “stand” on their own (pardon the pun), or can act as an attachment to your preexisting desk to impart additional functionality on top. Standalone standing desks (last one) are desks that can transition between standing or sitting positions, using either a motor or a pneumatic handle to shift from one mode to the next.
Whether or not a desk was motorized was an important consideration, because the last thing you want to be doing while you’re at work is awkwardly trying to jack a desk into position while all your co-workers look on in pity.
Related: Actio Standing Desk Review
Next, there’s the build quality of the desk itself. This includes various factors such as what materials both the top of the desk and the frame are made of (bamboo and aluminum generally do the job without driving up costs), as well as the sturdiness and overall stability of the desk at various heights. One of the most annoying things about poorly made standing desks is a desk that won’t stop wobbling at full height, and while there’s no specific metric to measure the “wobbliness” scale of a product, all the picks on this list have been rated by users and reviewers as being extremely stable in any configuration.
Finally, there’s the overall durability of the ulimate standing desks, and how that relates to price. As we mentioned in the previous section, cheaper materials like bamboo can also take quite a beating if treated with the proper after-coatings, and won’t cost you an arm and a leg while lasting years at a time. Given that most standing desks (and even standing desk add-ons) are designed to last at least five years (optimally around 10), you’ll want to make sure your desk can withstand the abuses and rigors of desk work without denting or warping in the first few months of ownership or less.
Why You Should Buy a New Standing Desk
While the actual health benefits of a standing desk are still hotly contested by scientists and doctors alike, there’s no arguing that standing while you work is a good way to get the blood flowing. As someone who has suffered from lower back pain since a tailbone injury at age 14, I know when something is helping or when it hurts because I’ll feel it sooner and more harshly than most.
Personally I find that whenever I have a task that I need to focus on for long periods of time, standing through half or more of it will keep me more attentive, and give my restless legs a chance to stretch out. It also helps to alleviate some of the strain that my incessant slouching habit puts on my back, shoulders and hips – a pleasure that few desk workers get unless they’re getting up to go to the bathroom or grab a snack.
Related: Duke Adjustable Standing Desk Review
But how to stand at a standing desk is also key, as you should keep your keyboard and mouse at a 90° angle while standing (as doctor’s recommend) so you can improve your standing desk posture while also burning far more calories than you would by sitting down. Depending on your build, it’s said that the average office worker can burn around 50 extra calories an hour while working from a standing position, which can really start to add up if you’re standing for more than three hours a day, five days a week.
In short; if you’re someone who’s wondering how often you should stand up from your desk and wants to improve their posture, burn some calories, and improve their overall focus on specific tasks – then a new standing desk might be in the cards for you.
#1 Pick Fully Jarvis Bamboo Standing Desk – Editor’s Choice/Best Looking Standing Desk
Spend any amount of time researching standing desks on the internet, and pretty much every site that covers the subject will tell you the same thing: the Jarvis Bamboo Standing Desk from Fully is undoubtedly one of (if not the) best of the bunch.
With an extensive number of add-ons, extra features, and durability to boot, it’s hard to find anything that this desk gets wrong. From its programmable microcontroller to the lush bamboo surface, this desk really deserves a “standing” ovation (and I promise that’s officially the last standing-related pun of this writeup).
Probably one of the most unique features that sets the Jarvis apart from the competition is the option to add powered grommets to each side of the desk, which can make it easier for users who don’t have a ton of cable length to spare to make it to standing height without their monitor and accessories getting tugged off the side and falling to the floor.
When I reviewed the Jarvis last year I was blown away by how much weight it could lift (a claimed 350lbs), while remaining incredibly stable at just about any height. Although I’m not the tallest person around at 6’0, I was still able to comfortably use the Jarvis in most use scenarios without much knee or leg pain (thanks in due part to the Imprint CumulusPRO standing mat), and the desk was rock solid when propped up against a wall during mellow typing workdays and frantic gaming sessions alike.
The Jarvis Bamboo really is the epitome of what people mean when they talk about the “complete package”, and whether you’re on your first standing desk or your fifth, there’s no doubt the Jarvis is a perfect match for you at home, at work, or anywhere else in between.
#2 Pick StandDesk Stand Up Desk – Best Budget Standing Desk
Price: $559 | Motorized: Yes | Height Range: 29″ – 45″
The StandDesk is a minimalistic option, and the top standing desk if you want something without too many extra frills or a high cost out of pocket. Sure you still get a few choices between colors and there are several optional accessories, including a power strip and standing mat, but the real focus here is made to be on simplicity first.
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The materials may not be as high-end as some other desks, but you get what you pay for when you’re shopping on a budget.
The StandDesk is now slightly more expensive than the Jarvis at its most basic, but comes with a few extra features that would leave you with a $629 pricetag if you were to only shop with Fully.
#3 Pick UpDesk UpWrite Standing Desk – Best Sit Stand Desk
Price: $890 – $1,040 (model dependent) | Motorized: Yes | Height Range: 23.5″ – 49.5″
The UpDesk UpWrite also gets a lot of points for simplicity and a minimalistic design that keeps the price low compared to NextDesk and similarly pricey standing desks.
However, it also picks up a few points for style, since this is one of the few standing desks to features a curved, modern surface that branches away from the boring rectangles of other desks and can also serve as a whiteboard. This can make it ideal if you like to sit closer to your monitor or keyboard, or if you’re more comfortable when your mouse is held off to your right instead of directly in front of your wrist.
The only drawback here is that while it also offers electrical adjustment for different heights and some cable management options, there are very few extra features to speak of otherwise.
#4 Pick Focal Locus Stand Up Desk – Best Adjustable Standing Desk
Price: $1,497 | Motorized: Yes | Height Range: 24″ – 50.5″
This is a standing desk design that’s made more for the artist, someone who needs some room and light to shine directly on their desk at specific angles, as well as the ability to work in the digital world. Sure, you can put a laptop up on its slanted surface, which can slant up to 15°, but an extra platform is also available for larger monitors.
The desk also includes a hand crank to change positions, a handy hole for cords or cups, and cable management clips. It is designed to work perfectly with the Locus Seat, which allows you to sit in a standing position – in effect is helps stretch your hip flexors without the fatigue of standing, thus reducing lower back issues the same way standing might.
#5 Pick VariDesk Pro Plus 36 – Sit and Stand Desk Converter
Price: $395 | Motorized: No | Height Range: 24″ – 50.5″
This is another add-on standing desk option, with a curious design that made to latch onto the corner of a desk and move between a sitting and standing position at will. It does this through a
The idea is that if you want to spend some of the workday sitting, and some of it standing, you can switch between the two states in an instant. The adjustment points of the monitor stand are particularly handy, allowing for a variety of set-ups and multiple monitor screens if required. You can also adjust the flexible keyboard stand to whatever height and angle you want, providing a lot of welcome customization to your working stance you won’t find in any other model on this list.
Standing Desk Key Factors to Consider
- This probably goes without saying, but you’ll want a durable standing desk. One that is made of high end materials like bamboo or walnut wood.
- That in mind, you’ll want a standing desk that is sturdy on its feet and won’t easily sway when knocked into or when leaned on. All of our picks are sturdy and built to last the test of time. Plus most of them have excellent warranties to boot, just in case anything goes wrong.
Motorized vs. Pneumatic vs. Hand-Crank
- Personal preferences aside, ultimately which style of powered or non-powered standing desk that’s right for you will come down to how often you switch between sitting and standing per day.
- Pneumatic and motorized desks make it simple to make the transition, but can also be quite a bit more costly than hand-crank versions.
- That said, hand-crank desks can also run into issues with stability and durability if you aren’t extra careful with them every time you switch, which can be a pain if you find yourself doing it often.
- This may not sound like a huge deal, but when using standing desks how the cables are managed can become a bigger issue than you think.
- Options like the desk on this list, the Jarvis, offer two different grommet styles: standard holes that feed down to your computer, or powered/USB grommets which actually act as an extension cord to be sure you don’t get tangled up.
- Be sure to measure the length of all your monitor cables, keyboard cables, and mouse cable before buying a standing desk to be sure they’ll all reach your desktop or laptop when the desk is fully extended to standing height.
Ease of Use
- Now, I prefer the electric motors, simply because it makes switching between sittings and standing. But if you’re die hard, you’ll opt for a manual standing desk, only because it force you to be more active by cranking a handle to go back and forth.
- In effect, this will cause you to stand longer, though it could make you sit longer because you’re reluctant to get up and crank.
- All of the above standing desks offers extremely efficient up and down motors, save for one, which is hand crank, the Focal. And you can buy that with a standing chair for some added scratch – I suggest you take a close look at that accessory if you’re considering that desk.
- Stability is of course a very important feature to have on a standing desk, but there’s a little more to this than meets the eye.
- Say for example you’re putting your standing desk directly against a wall. Even at max height, with the help of the wall to support it the wobbliest standing desk will still sit fairly still as long as it’s got the flat surface to support it.
- That said if you’re using a standing desk against a shakier cubicle wall or in the middle of an open office plan,
Mistakes to Avoid
Going Too Cheap: If you go cheap, you’ll likely be okay in the short term, but find yourself in need of an upgrade not too long after. Largely because cheaper standing desks don’t have the level of sturdiness you need when you’re working at full height. There is one cheaper option on this list, but keep in mind most of the savings are there because it’s designed to go on top of a desk, which is another cost that will have to be factored into the final price. That said if you already have a desk that’s sturdy enough as it is, this might be the most optimal choice for you.
Match Your Height: In theory, a 48″ max height for the standing desks should be ample for most people, and will be enough for users who measure up to heights of 6′ 5″. Optimally no matter what height you are, you’ll want the desk height to be at a level that doesn’t cause you shoulder or arm strain over long work days. This is the 90° angle we talked about earlier, and if your arms are closing in on Frankenstein lurking height, you’re doing it wrong.
Not Easily Adjustable: It may not seem like a big deal now, but if you have to crank hard to get to a standing height, you’ll probably just end up avoiding it altogether. Or if the electronic motor is slow and loud you’ll avoid upsetting your office mates, provided you’re not working from home. All of the standing desks above offer fairly quiet and smooth operation, whether crank, hydraulic, or motor-driven.
What Else You Should Think About
There are clearly many standing desk benefits, but make sure you follow this standing desk guide on how to use it properly. And while our list of best standing desks is helpful, you might want to also read our standing desk reviews as well learn about some of the features to look for in a standing desk.
Lastly, you’ll want to also take a look at our list of standing desk mats to be sure you get the most comfortable surfaces to stand on as possible. These mats can reduce overall fatigue and keep you standing well beyond the normal limit that your co-workers might hit, and will also prevent you from wearing down your knees or straining your back as you might if you were standing on hardwood or carpet alone.