Sitting at a desk for hours on end can lead to backache, slouching, leg cramps, and other issues, yet frequent breaks aren’t always possible. That’s why a growing number of busy folks prefer to use a desk they can lift and lower throughout the day to switch between sitting and standing as they work.
The best sit stand desk will vary based on individual needs, such as desired height, ease of operation, and how often the worker changes position. So read on to learn what to look for when shopping and why the following recommendations are considered to be among the best sit stand desk models available.
- BEST OVERALL: Vari Electric Standing Desk 60″ x 30″ – Dual Motor
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: FEZIBO Height Adjustable Electric Standing Desk
- BEST LARGE DESKTOP: ApexDesk Elite Series 71″ Electric Height Adjustable
- BEST FOR SMALL SPACES: Vari Electric Standing Desk 48 (2019 Model)
- BEST L-SHAPED: FEZIBO L-Shaped Electric Standing Desk, 48 Inches
- BEST DESK RISER: Stand Steady Flexpro Power Electric Standing Desk
What to Consider When Buying the Best Sit Stand Desk
Problems associated with sitting at a conventional desk led to the development of the standing desk; now, there are sit stand models that accommodate both positions for optimal flexibility and comfort. These desks come in two main types: motorized models with entire surfaces that raise and lower at the touch of a button, and smaller desktop units placed on an existing surface that the user must adjust manually to the preferred height.
The work surface of most sit stand desks is made of relatively lightweight materials, such as laminated fiberboard or plywood, while the frame typically features steel for strength and durability. A few all-wood sit stand desks are available, which can match or complement other wood features or architectural trim in an office. Similarly, a few high-end models have a thick glass work surface for a sleek, chic look.
Workers require various desktop sizes, and sit stand desk surfaces are available in the same dimensions as many traditional work desks. Minimum desk depth is usually no less than 24 inches from front to back, and the minimum width is generally at least 36 inches wide. The exception is for desktop sit stand risers, also known as standing desk converters, that bring sit stand flexibility to a conventional desk. These may be smaller because the user can still use the existing desktop beneath the riser for storing letters and folders. On the larger end, sit stand work surfaces can be as deep as 36 inches and as wide as 72 inches or more, making them capable of supporting multiple monitors or functioning as multiworker desks.
A sit stand desk’s load capacity indicates how much weight the work surface can hold and still raise and lower effectively. In general, a sit stand desk will hold between 80 and 200 pounds; some oversize models hold even more. The weight capacity will vary based on the quality of the motorized lift or the power of the springs on manual-lift models, but a good sit stand desk should be able to support a monitor, a keyboard, and/or a laptop, plus have additional capacity and room for other small office items. For optimum result, distribute weight evenly across the desk’s entire surface. Note that not all manufacturers list a maximum weight limit in the product information for the desk.
At their lowest position, most traditional desks range from about 28 to 30 inches in height, and workers typically use adjustable-height office chairs to reach a comfortable sitting position. It’s a different story when standing up, so the best sit stand desk will feature various adjustable heights, typically between 28 inches (sitting height) up to 52 inches (standing height). The most comfortable and productive work surface height for most users is generally at or just below the user’s elbow when standing. Some motorized models have a “favorites” function that allows users to save a few heights in the desk’s memory, typically via a keypad, for quick adjustment.
Most sit stand desks don’t offer much extra storage capacity in the way of drawers or PC holders, as this would add weight and possibly affect the movement of the elevating mechanism. If having items like a graphics tablet or a few notebooks nearby is essential, look for a desk with ample surface space. Don’t, however, place heavy items such as printers on the work surface; instead, position these essentials nearby.
Our Top Picks
To qualify as a top pick, a sit stand desk should be sturdy enough to work on without wobbling, simple to raise and lower, and should allow for several height options. The following models will suit various users, and each desk will help the worker alternate between sitting and standing during the workday.
The quiet motor on the Vari Electric Standing Desk allows workers to raise and lower the work surface at the touch of a button without distracting others. This motorized sit stand desk adjusts from 25.5 inches in height for a sitting work surface and tops out at 50.5 inches. Workers can program four favorite heights—from any height between those numbers—into the desk’s digital memory for quick adjustments. The work surface measures 30 inches deep by 60 inches wide, offering ample room for a keyboard, a laptop, and one or two monitors.
The frame is constructed from steel for stability and durability, and the work surface features a sleek white laminate top that resists stains and wipes clean with a damp rag. The easy-to-assemble desk can be paired with a number of accessories, including monitor arms and standing mats.
No need to spend a bundle to get the benefits of a sit stand desk. The affordable FEZIBO Adjustable Standing Desk features a one-touch motorized raise and lower function. Available heights range from 27.6 inches up to 47.3 inches, making it well suited for most workers. The frame is made of industrial-grade steel for stability, and workers can program three favorite heights into the digital keypad for quick adjustments.
This compact sit stand desk requires minimal assembly and features a 24-inch deep by 48-inch wide work surface, which will easily accommodate a monitor and a keyboard as well as a laptop, lamp, or other desktop accessories. The laminate work surface comes in an espresso color that’s neutral enough for many office environments; different colors and sizes may be available.
The oversize 71-inch-by-33-inch work surface of the ApexDesk Elite Electric Height Adjustable Standing Desk has enough room for one or two workstations, multiple monitors, desk lamps, and other items—up to 225 pounds. The ApexDesk adjusts quickly and smoothly from 29 inches to 49 inches high at the touch of a button.
The desk boasts a sturdy frame made from heavy-duty steel, and the MDF desktop is available in a number of colors, including “Red Apple” and “Black Walnut.” This large sit stand desk features four programmable memory preset options for quick height adjustments. For those who prefer a smaller option, ApexDesk also offers a 60-inch-by-29.5-inch sit stand desk in a variety of colors.
When office space is at a premium, a smaller sit stand desk is just the ticket. Workers can smoothly raise and lower the Vari Electric Standing Desk to any height between 25.5 inches and 50.5 inches. When the desired height is reached, a tap of the “Memory” button programs that height as one of three favorites that a user can select from the keypad.
Made from commercial-grade steel and featuring a heavy-duty laminate desk surface, the Vari desk holds up as stable and durable. Its 48-inch by 30-inch work surface is smaller than many sit stand models, yet it can support up to 220 pounds—enough weight to hold multiple monitors, a laptop, keyboard, and other office accessories that need to stay close at hand. A 30-inch by 60-inch Vari desk also is available for larger spaces.
Those short on square footage may find the FEZIBO L-Shaped Electric Standing Desk a wise choice. This L-shaped model fits neatly into the corner of a cubicle or home office to provide an ample work surface without hogging floor space. The two long back sides of the desk each measure 41.3 inches, and the two nearest edges are both 23.6 inches long. The desktop is 19.7 inches deep at each end and 26.6 inches deep in the center. This gives the worker plenty of room for a double-monitor setup, a keyboard, a mouse, and other items.
This space-saver desk has a motorized lift that raises and lowers the desk between 27.6 inches up to 47.3 inches and allows workers to program three height presets for quick adjustment. This L-shaped desk also comes with a built-in riser stand workers can use to hold a laptop or potted plant, and there’s open space beneath for papers, files, or notebooks. The frame is made of heavy-duty steel to support up to 176 pounds, and the smooth laminate top resists stains and wipes clean with a damp rag. Some minimal assembly is required.
Want to add sit stand capability to an existing desk? The Flexpro Power 40 Inch Electric Standing Desk by Stand Steady is an electric adjustable standing desk converter with plenty of work space and weight capacity. The two-tiered work surface includes a 39.25-inch-by-16-inch upper section that can handily accommodate two monitors and a laptop, and a 39.25-inch-wide keyboard tier that’s 9.5 inches deep. It adjusts between 5.5 inches and 19.5 inches in height and offers a 45-pound weight capacity.
The smooth and easy push-button operation allows users to stop at any height within the range. This mechanism is also quiet so as not to disturb fellow workers. The desk riser comes ready to use straight out of the box, with no assembly necessary.
FAQs About Sit Stand Desks
Sit stand desks can help increase circulation, especially in the legs and feet, but they’re still relative newcomers to the office furniture scene. Those who want more info about buying and using a sit stand desk should check out the answers to these common questions.
Q. What are the benefits of standing desks?
Changing position rather than sitting for hours on end allows workers to stretch their legs without taking a break from work. This can also help provide a fresh point of view, which may make work tasks more manageable.
Q. Can I adjust the height of my sit stand desk?
Sit stand desks are designed to adjust to various heights. Higher-end desks often come with motorized lifts and the digital capability to remember the user’s favorite height configurations. Less expensive desks may require manual adjustment, but both offer the ability to raise and lower the work surface to suit the individual worker.
Q. How long should you stand at a standing desk per day?
It’s really up to the individual worker, but as a general rule, it’s a good idea to stand for 15 minutes out of each hour.