Who would have thought that desks would be the big buzzed about item in tech in 2014? On a weekly basis, I got more emails about standing desks than I did about any other category in the industry, save Bluetooth speakers. The truth is that while this trend is an important one for our health, it's also exceptionally expensive with only a few distinct exceptions.
Based on category and cost, these tabletop designs which turn standard desks into standing desks beat out the competition in a field of 100s of new available products. To be considered affordable, they had to cost less than $200 and to be considered a true standing desk solution, they had to be tall enough for a reasonably sized adult (5 feet to 6 feet).
Here are the winners:
Best Ergonomics: Workez Sit/Stand Desk ($129)
The Workez isn't going to win any design competitions, but it has one thing right: the separate adjustable height and adjustable tilt platforms for the monitor, keyboard and mouse. It was one of the only solutions available that separated the mouse from the keyboard, which is critical, especially if you already have wrist strain issues. The mouse add-on can also be removed if you don't need it.
Best Design: ReadyDesk ($169)
Great desks are made of wood, so it's surprising that most of the tabletop solutions currently available utilize plastic and metal instead of the obvious materials. The adjustable shelf for keyboard and mouse were also sleek and I appreciated the rounded finishes in the corners and For that alone, ReadyDesk scores major points. Another huge design element this particular solution features that others missed is its compressibility, which made it a contender for the most transportable as well. However, due to its weight and the fact that you're left with several cumbersome pieces, it ultimately didn't work well enough to win.
Most Affordable: StandStand in Baltic Birch ($69)
This cute little collapsible wood desk got its start on Kickstarter in the early part of 2014 and won a ton of fans for its small size and use of wood. It's great for people who need a standing desk for their laptop and it's a great price point for people who want to try a standing desk without the commitment. However, it's not great for people with robust desktop setups, so avoid this one if you use a mouse and keyboard.
Most Portable/Travel Friendly: Stand Steady's Traveler Folding Stand Up Desk ($79.99)
The Stand Steady wins this category for two reasons: while wood is sleek, it's heavier than the plastic and metal solution found here. Second, it's an all-in-one solution. The legs fold into the desktop, leaving you with one easy to pack desk. It fits in a carry on suitcase easily, so it's ultimately the most obvious travel solution for business folks.