The Best Standing Desks for the Office
Don’t just sit there! Learn everything you need to know about these workplace wonders that may help you stay healthy on the job.
Sitting at a desk all day has long been associated with “secretary’s spread”—the phenomenon of sedentary office workers gaining weight gradually over time. But doctors at the Mayo Clinic point out more serious health risks, including increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, abnormal cholesterol levels, even cardiovascular disease.
If you’re like most people, you can’t very well become a professional hiker. You are bound by duty to a desk or a computer. So if you want to get off your derriere for fitness and wellbeing, the most sensible way to do it may be with a standing desk. Though not new—Leonardo da Vinci and Benjamin Franklin were said to be proponents—today’s best standing desk options have come a long way.
If you’re considering a standing desk for your home office—if you’re considering asking your office manager to supply one at work)—continue for info on what to look for, along with our four top-rated picks.
- BEST OVERALL: LUXOR Standup 48-Inch Crank Adjustable Standup Desk
- BEST UPGRADE: Apexdesk Elite Series Height Adjustable Sit Stand Desk
- BEST VALUE: Z-Line Designs Caelen Multi-Use Standing Desk
- BEST ALTERNATIVE: Defy Desk’s Ergonomic Sit Stand Desk Converter
The Best Desk for You
Just as endless sitting can be detrimental to your health, standing for long periods can be hard on your legs, lower back, and feet. The solution, experts say, is to frequently alternate between standing and sitting—which is why there are several types of standing desks available.
- A stand-only desk is handy if you also have a separate traditional desk nearby, but if you work at a PC, it can be bothersome to move your monitor and keyboard every time you want to switch positions. Stand-only desks are best suited to busy offices with multiple workstations where employees freely move from one area to another without interrupting productivity. Prices typically vary by material, with premium hardwood models at the high end.
- A sit-stand desk is adjustable, either manually or by a motor. Budget-friendly manual models adjust upward and downward by turning a crank or by loosening a knob and then pulling or pushing the desk surface to the desired position. Powered models often come with presets so you needn’t fuss to suit your height every time you change. Convenient adjustment comes at a cost: Manually adjusted sit-stand desks typically cost less than motorized versions. Perhaps most expensive are executive models that incorporate bells and whistles like integrated Wi-Fi.
- A sit-stand conversion desk is used in combination with an existing desk. They’re extremely popular because they let you keep your existing desk, with all your pens, paperclips, and other office supplies at your fingertips, with the added benefit of an adjustable desk surface. Conversion desks may be manual or motorized, the latter being the more expensive.
These 4 Desks Get a Standing Ovation
These best standing desk options have got reviewers who put them to task every day up out of their seats.
LUXOR Standup 48-Inch Crank Adjustable Stand-Up Desk
The LUXOR 48-Inch Crank Adjustable Stand-Up Desk offers a non-slip desk surface measuring 29.5 inches deep and 47.2 inches wide—small enough to fit in most spaces, but large enough for a desktop computer and its peripherals (keyboard, etc.). The desk height adjusts manually via crank (between 29 and 42 inches), while the caster wheels on the legs make the LUXOR easy to relocate—without scratching your floors. Reviewers agree that for its combination of sturdy construction, ease of adjustment, and spacious-but-not-too-big size, the LUXOR checks all the boxes, delivering everything you’d demand in a standing desk.
2. BEST UPGRADE: ApexDesk Elite Series Height Adjustable Sit Stand Desk
When you really need the space to spread out, the 71-inch by 33-inch worktop of this ApexDesk model has you covered. At 225 pounds, this is a substantial piece of furniture whose top is made of durable MDF. Fortunately, adjusting the desk height is a cinch. Simply get out the remote control and use it to power-lift the work surface to any height between 29 inches and 48 inches. Multiple finish options are available, including Red Apple.
3. BEST VALUE: Z-Line Designs Caelen Multi-Use Standing Desk
The most affordable standing desks are fixed-height. The Caelen Multi-Use from Z-Line Designs stands at 41.7 inches and cannot be adjusted. However, what it lacks in flexibility, it makes up for in style, as the desk’s reclaimed wood top and steel legs leave the standard office aesthetic far behind. At home, when its 44-inch by 22-inch desktop isn’t covered in papers and to-do lists, it can even double as a bistro dining table—just store bar stools beneath.
4. BEST ALTERNATIVE: Defy Desk Ergonomic Sit Stand Desk Converter
If you like your existing desk but want the ability to stand up while using it, you’ll appreciate this clever converter from Defy Desk. It doesn’t attach to your desk; rather, it rests securely on the desk surface, from where you can raise or lower it as desired. The flat, no-frills work surface isn’t huge at 32 inches wide by 22 inches deep, but it’s big enough to comfortably hold a laptop or a flatscreen monitor and keyboard.