They say that sitting is the new smoking, and with potential health hazards such as decreased circulation, heart disease and back or neck pain and thrombosis—yikes!—we can see why. Personal well-being aside, sitting for prolonged periods can also affect performance at work due to low concentration and productivity (don't lie...we know you've considered a George Costanza under-the-desk nap before). So, if you're looking to combat a heavy dosage of downsides brought on by traditional desks, read on to see our list of favorites.
How This Works
Every week we research new product categories and bring our final picks into the office, where we haggle and decide which ones make the final list. Everything is based on quality, appearance and price. These are what we could choose for our own home.
I was a late adopter of the "standing" desk (it's now been two years). My brother was there years before me, but I will admit that part of my hesitation had to do with how WEIRD they looked and how much effort they took to convert. Well, those problems were finally solved, and Herman Miller's version, which I found through DWR, is svelte, elegant and so easy to use, I lower it and raise it all day long.
Designed by Brian Alexander in 2013, the Renew comes in three finishes, sits on die cast aluminum legs and has a simple, rubber paddle at the right hand which you use to direct the desk up or down. There is also a more expensive "cord control" version, which I'm not sure is worth an extra $1k if you're right near a wall an outlet.
For a small space solution, this desk found on Wayfair is a great pick. At just 15.8 inches wide, it's perfect if you only need room for your laptop and nothing else. It can be fixed between 26 inches and 37 inches tall, and with wheeled legs it's very easy to transport from room to room—perfect for when you need a change of scenery.
Another great small space option, this desk isn't exactly beautiful, but it gets the job done for a low price. It can be raised between 22 inches and 32 inches (definitely not for the very tall) and is small enough to fit in any spot in your house for a quick and easy home office set-up.
From reliable IKEA comes this all-white standing desk, which is adjusted with a crank handle that can be mounted on either the left or right sides. Offering a broad height range (27.5 inches to 47.25 inches) and a low price, this is a solid option for anyone looking to upgrade to a standing desk.
Another crank-adjustable option, this desk found on Amazon is simple and straightforward. The height range is 29.5 inches- 45.25 inches and the wheeled legs provide easy movement and transportation. It lacks any bells and whistles, but it's a sturdy, well-made option for a pretty decent price.
The classic best-selling standing desk from the experts at Fully, the Jarvis is available in two shapes (the contour top is a bit more expensive) and seven sizes, and height ranges between 23.75 inches to 49.25 inches. Built with the environment in mind, the top is made from sustainably harvested bamboo. Other standout features include the LED programmable handset to control height adjustments, and an impressive lifting capacity of 350 pounds.
For something different, the Edge Desk is a kneeling desk—perfect for writers and artists who want to work on an easel rather than a flat 180-degree surface. The surface can quickly change from portrait to landscape orientation, and the cushioned seat has four position options. It's also super easy to move around and store when not in use—the whole thing folds to 6 inches. First launched on Kickstarter in 2016, this desk could be a pretty life-changing investment for those looking for a new way to work.
This desk stands out for being totally customizable, from the top and frame colors, to the size, to the grommet options. You can also opt for a wire management system, privacy panels, or drawers, among other add-ons. These extras will bump up the price, but you'll be guaranteed a desk that is perfectly suited to your needs. Also noteworthy: it can reach a height of 50.25 inches—one of the highest options on this list.
Another completely customizable option, the EvoDesk is meant to grow with you, supporting different desktop sizes and features as your needs evolve. It's also environmentally-friendly: the desktop is made of 100 percent recycled wood with a solvent-free finish. With three different shapes to choose from and a max height of 49.5 inches, the EvoDesk is a high-quality pick that is meant to last you years.
In a sea of monotonous, not exactly inspiring standing desk styles, this vintage design is a welcome change from the norm. Found at Pottery Barn, this desk has a crank handle for adjustments and a very industrial look with the heavy-duty metal frame. It comes in two finishes (vintage chestnut and washed pine) and has a height range between 28.5 inches and 47 inches — a true statement piece.
The most tech-friendly desk on our list, the Lander can be connected to your phone through an app that lets you adjust the height remotely, set your ideal positions and even create reminders to stand throughout the day. There's also a control paddle attached to the desk that does the same things, including reminding you to stand (because sometimes you need an extra nudge). With a max height of 50.5 inches, it's the highest desk on the list.
Tips for Using a Standing Desk
- Alternate between sitting and standing. While there are certainly lots of benefits to standing (and plenty of reasons not to sit all day), having an all or nothing approach to your standing desk comes with health risks like back pain, swollen veins and other vascular issues. The best method is to switch from standing to sitting and back again throughout the day.
- Your desk height should be aligned with your elbows. Having your elbows sitting on your desk at a 90-degree angle is ideal for comfort!
- Consider an anti-fatigue mat. Many of the desk companies on this list also sell anti-fatigue mats, which promote blood flow by encouraging small leg movements.
Our Best Desk Posts:
- Are Standing Desks Actually Bad For Your Health, Too?
- Stand Down, Standing Desks: You Have Met Your Match
- The Best Desks for Small Spaces
Other Good Resources:
- The Best Standing Desks on Amazon, According to Hyperenthusiastic Reviewers — The Strategist
- The Best Standing Desks — Wirecutter
- Top Standing Desk Reviews — Work While Walking