The best standing desks help encourage movement and can decrease muscle pain if you’re performing a sedentary task, as sitting for long periods isn’t recommended for anyone. Standing while you’re working, gaming or creating can do wonders for your back and your general health, and combined with an ergonomic desk chair for when you do take a seat, you can greatly reduce sitting-related discomfort overall.
When it comes to finding the best standing desk for your home office, consider finding a sit/stand desk that can be repositioned with ease. Adjustable standing desks can either be manual or electric, and there are high-tech models that can “remember” your favorite heights so you can return to them day after day. Standing desks don’t all look like boring office desks, either. There are desks for gamers, artists and even ones designed to blend in with modern decor. And if you’re not ready to commit to getting an entirely new set up, there are standing desk converters that can attach to the desk you already have.
No matter what you’re looking for, here are some of the best standing desks you can buy today, for work, play and everything in between.
Best Standing Desk Overall
An Affordable Option That Checks (Almost) All The Boxes
Standing desks that check all the boxes are hard to find, but the Seville Classics Airlift with tempered glass top gets very close. It’s a sturdy sit-and-stand desk that can hold 160 pounds of evenly spread weight. Plus, it has dual motors for fast and smooth height adjustment and a touchscreen height control panel that can store up to three specific heights. Once you’ve found heights that you like the most, you can return to them with the touch of a button. The tempered glass surface not only gives it a truly premium feel, but you can write on it with dry erase pens for quick and easy note taking and doodling, if you’d like.
It’s not the biggest standing desk out there, but there’s still plenty of desk space for a large monitor (or two), as well as a desktop computer or laptop and all your needed peripherals. It also has a handy storage drawer and USB charging ports for all your smart devices. Better yet, it does all that for well under $500.
Best High-End Standing Desk
An Electric Standing Desk With Classic Good Looks And Superior Function
Herman Miller is an innovator in the work-from-home space. From standing desks to ergonomic office chairs, the retailer develops products focused on problem solving (and making you more productive). The Renew Sit-to-Stand Desk, one of the most popular adjustable standing desks, is sleek but functional. It has a motorized lift with an intuitive lever—all you have to do is pull up to raise the desk or push down to lower it—that adjusts from 27 to 46 inches. The die-cast aluminum legs support up to 250 pounds, while the beveled edges and concealed screw heads give it a polished, high-end look.
Although the standing desk isn’t totally customizable, there are some options. You can opt for it with or without cord management and it comes in four finishes and three different leg color combos, so you can mix and match to create a look that perfectly coordinates with your home office space.
Best Budget Standing Desk
A Portable Desk That’s Under $100
Budget standing desks don’t offer the same ease of use or flexibility as the more expensive options, but you don’t have to sacrifice functionality, either. The AIZ Mobile Standing Computer Desk works well in both seated and standing modes and offers fine tuning of each corner’s height on an individual basis, so you can slant the table slightly forward if that’s of particular use to you.
The desk surface measures 31.5 inches wide and 19.7 inches deep, giving you plenty of room for your laptop, keyboard and mouse and additional displays if you want them. There’s also a handy storage shelf underneath to put other items within easy reach while you’re working or playing. Unlike other budget standing desks, this solution is also relatively sturdy. With an 80-pound weight capacity, some larger desktop computers might be better suited on the floor next to it, but for larger laptops, multiple monitors or any PC peripherals you have, you shouldn’t run into any stability issues.
This desk is also a great solution if you want a new backdrop for your next Zoom call. Its built-in wheels make this standing desk easy to move around whether you’re on hard floor or carpet, and when you’re satisfied with your location, the dual brakes make sure it stays where you want it.
Best Standing Desk At Costco
A Popular Pick From Your Favorite Wholesale Retailer
It’s no surprise that the Tresanti Adjustable Height Desk is so popular. It’s sleek, affordable, surprisingly high-tech and is conveniently sold at Costco. (Yes, that means it’s backed by the retailer’s legendary return policy as well).
Available in both white and black, the Tresanti offers a minimalist profile that won’t clutter up your space. But despite its no-frills design and low price point, you’ll be impressed by its features: It has electronic height-adjustment controls, can be programmed with three customized positions and doubles as a power station with two USB ports and wireless desktop charging. For added convenience, the glass top can be written on with dry erase markers and a slim drawer offers a bit of extra space for storing supplies. With over 4,000 site reviews and an average 4.5-star rating, the majority of buyers are pleased with this sit/stand desk option.
Best Customizable Standing Desk
A Sit/Stand Desk With Options And Add-Ons Galore
Uplift desks are some of the most popular standing desk designs out there thanks to their blend of excellent build quality, range of sizes and finishes, add-on accessory options and sturdy frames. They can also be on the more affordable side (depending on what you choose), with prices starting at $599 for the smallest basic models.
First, you choose your desktop size and style, frame type and color, keypad and grommet type and whether you prefer a wireless foot switch for hands-free height adjustment. Then, you can add accessories galore. The Uplift V2 is fitted with a number of pre-drilled accessory mounting points, letting you accessorize your desk with a mountable surge protector, a foot hammock, desktop PC holder, under-desk drawer, modesty panel or even a full blown hammock under the desk for you to rest in—and that’s just to name a few.
Best Frame-Only Standing Desk
A Cost-Effective Alternative To Buying A Whole New Desk
If you have a decent desk already but wish it would go up and down too, then buying a sit/stand desk frame is a great way to save some money. You’ll need to detach your desk from whatever frame it has now, but when you have it off, mounting to the Flybold Electric Sit Stand Desk Frame is relatively quick and easy.
This frame supports desk sizes between 41 and 85 inches wide, and has a maximum weight support of 180 pounds. It’s a single motor solution, so it isn’t the fastest at height adjustment. Dual motor options are available, but they raise the price considerably, so much so you might just consider buying a new desk altogether.
The controller features one-press up and down buttons, as well as three memory modes so you can store specific heights. It also has a built-in timer, so you can keep an eye on how long you’re standing or sitting in a single session—great if you’re trying to ease into standing more often. The Flybold Electric Standing Desk Frame also comes complete with its own anti-fatigue mat to help ward off any foot pain over long standing sessions.
Best L-Shaped Standing Desk
A Standing Desk With Ample Surface Space
If you need some extra work space, the Jarvis L-Shaped Standing Desk is a modern solution that fits nicely into the corner and holds up to 535 pounds. Designed by perfectionists, the Jarvis desk has an all-steel frame with upper and lower cross bars that help improve stability and widening lifting columns that ensure a sturdy base. It has a total of three motors (one in each leg) so the desk rises quickly and evenly, at a rate of 1.5 inches per second.
There’s an electronic, programmable handset that allows you to adjust the height from 23 inches to 48.5 inches with the push of a button and noise attenuation pads that muffle sound and vibration, so you don’t disturb anyone around you. And because the L-shaped top is made of two separate rectangular pieces, it can be assembled in either a left- or right-facing configuration.
Best Standing Desk For Artists
A Standing Drafting Desk For Painting, Drawing And More
Most standing desks are designed for traditional office work or gaming, but those aren’t the only two activities worth standing up for. If you want to avoid backaches and pains from painting, sculpting, drawing or writing for long periods of time, this Flexispot crafting desk could be what you need.
It combines Flexispot’s popular electric desk frame with a more versatile desk surface that can lift up and fold out at a range of angles for different artistic activities. It also has built-in storage and a safety ledge to prevent anything you put on it from falling off.
The electric frame has four storable height settings, and can be raised and lowered between 28.7 and 48.4-inches, catering to a range of heights. The easel can be angled anywhere from 0 to 40 degrees too, letting you set it at an angle that’s comfortable for you.
Best Industrial Standing Desk
An Eye-Catching Standing Desk That Doubles As A Statement Piece
If you like steampunk, designs based on industrial machinery or just want a standing desk that is a true centerpiece of the room, the Furniture of America Kic Urban desk is well worth considering. It’s incredibly sturdy with a heavy metal frame and reinforced desk surface. And, obviously, it looks cool.
This desk height can be manually adjusted with a crank handle, but that only adds to the charm of this industrial-revolution-style standing piece. But for more modern times, it comes with a built-in USB port for easy access to charging for your various smart accessories. This isn’t the most feature-heavy standing desk out there, but it looks fantastic and really stands apart from its contemporaries at an affordable price.
Best Manual Standing Desk
A No-Frills Option That Can Be Manually Adjusted
If you aren’t planning to adjust the height of your standing desk very often, or want an extra reason for physical activity during your day, then a manual standing desk is a good way to go. The Atlantic Height Adjustable Desk is a sit/stand desk that you can manually shift anywhere between 28 inches and 41.3 inches, giving plenty of scope for all sorts of users big and small. It also has a broad and deep surface, so there’s plenty of room for all your gadgets, monitors and accessories.
As opposed to electric versions, the weight limit of the Atlantic will mostly depend on how hard you can crank the handle when you want to adjust it. For the sake of your arms, you’ll probably want to avoid putting over 100 pounds on there unless you’re particularly strong. Some users have reported that going from the minimum to the maximum height can take close to 100 revolutions, so keep that in mind when deciding what will go on the desk and how often you plan on changing its height.
Best Standing Desk Converter
The Simplest Way To Convert Your Regular Desk To A Sit/Stand Desk
If you want a standing desk experience without modifying or swapping out your existing desk, a desk converter is the next best thing. The Flexispot 32-inch converter lets you place your monitor(s) and peripherals on a height adjustable stand so that when you want to stand you can just lift them up with you. The 32-inch model here gives you plenty of support for larger or multiple monitor setups, but if you don’t need that much room, there are smaller models you can opt for instead to save a few dollars.
The weight capacity is 33 pounds, so you don’t want to lean on this like you might a full standing desk—especially the keyboard tray, which has a weight limit of just four pounds—but the safety bracing system will prevent any of your hardware from crashing down to the desk if you happen to forget one day. The X-Lift structure design also helps you lower your electronics back down to ground at a sedate pace and the desk converter also offers sliding rails, so you can laterally move your displays left or right.
Does a standing desk really help?
In ways, yes. While you may be used to it, sitting at a desk all day isn’t the best for your health. Also, changing your position can reduce pain and lead to a more productive workday, overall. Spending more time on your feet can also encourage healthier habits because, among other things, sitting for long periods of time has been linked to a slew of health issues, including heart disease and stroke.
That said, Dr. Michael Swartzon, M.D., primary care sports medicine physician at Baptist Health’s Miami Orthopedics & Sports Medicine Institute, points out that working at a standing desk isn’t a cure-all. “As a sports medicine physician, I advise my patients to sit less,” he explains. “However, standing does not offer a complete reversal of those ill effects. Standing does burn more calories than sitting but not enough to promote weight loss or prevent cardiovascular disease.” However, working at a standing desk (at least part of the day) has an upside. “The biggest benefit [of using a standing desk] is for those who are intolerant to sitting at a desk. Those folks should consider a standing desk as an alternative to alleviate their particular issue.”
Dr. Rahul Shah, M.D., a board certified orthopedic spine and neck surgeon, illustrates some additional points. “By providing a different way to hold the head aligned over the pelvis, standing desks allow one to use different muscles as compared to sitting to help combat overuse and muscle fatigue associated with prolonged sitting,” he says. “Additionally, standing desks carry the benefits of being adjusted more than a standard sitting desk. This adjustability provides for greater flexibility when standing in one position becomes uncomfortable. Finally, standing desks promote the movement of all muscles. As the muscles move, increased blood flow to the muscles sends vital nutrients to the muscles and this allows the muscles to stay optimized.”
How long should you stand at a standing desk per day?
You don’t want to stand all day, especially to begin with, but once you’ve gotten used to it and built up your stamina, spending half your day standing and the rest sitting is a good way to stay active, burn extra calories and ward off chronic aches and pains.
You don’t want to stand for the entire workday, especially in the beginning. “Any change in desks should be done gradually,” advises Dr. Swartzon. “Spending your first day standing the entire time can result in pain anywhere from your lower back to your feet.” But once you’ve built up stamina, “one should use the standing desk for two to four hours per day to achieve any significant result.”
Those few hours don’t have to be consecutive, either. “Many folks find it beneficial to rotate between sitting and standing every hour or two,” says Dr. Shah.
What kind of standing desk should you buy?
The most important consideration here is how often you want to change position. If you only plan to change between seated and standing once a day or once every few days, then a manual desk is perfectly fine. If you want to change them more often than that, it’s worth considering an electric standing desk instead, as it not only removes some of the physical hassle of changing height, but also speeds up the process. It’s also a good idea to consider a model with height memory functions, so that you can quickly return to your ideal height for sitting or standing, once you’ve found them.
“My best advice is to focus more on the overall ergonomics of your workstation,” adds Dr. Swartzon. “Most of the pain people experience at their desks is due to constant forward flexion (chin down, back curved forward and shoulders rolled in). Whether sitting or standing, your eyes should be looking straight at your monitor while your head is level.”
If you like your existing desk or feel like changing it entirely would be a massive hassle, consider a standing desk converter instead. They’re an affordable way to get you standing while keeping your monitor and peripherals at a comfortable height that encourages good posture, all without needing to change anything about your existing furniture setup.
How much should you spend on a standing desk?
Like most furniture, you can spend as much or as little as you like—but you tend to get what you pay for. Two hundred dollar standing desks aren’t as sturdy as the more costly ones, though once you get beyond $400, you’re really paying for the types of materials used in construction. Real hardwoods can cost well over $1,000 in the most expensive standing desks.
A $300-$500 standing desk will typically give you all the power you need for swiftly raising and lowering the desk, and the surface will be attractive and functional. You just might need to wipe up any spills quickly to avoid damaging the laminate.