The Best Standing Desks

If you work at a desk all day, then there’s a good chance you have a relatively sedentary lifestyle for at least 40 hours a week. Taking into consideration that you also sleep roughly 8 hours and take 2 hours for dinner prep, eat and clean up, one hour combined commute to and from work, and that the average American also spends 2 and a half hours watching TV each night, you have 21.5 hours of the 24 hour day already occupied. How will you work in any physical activity to maintain a fitness level that will keep you healthy? Well, one way to mitigate the hours spent sedentary is multitasking and a standing desk may make a much more efficient use of your time. There is a lot to consider when picking such a desk though, and the change may seem a bit overwhelming. So, let us take some of the pressure off while you read on for all you need to know to make the right choice on standing desks.

We reviewed dozens of standing desks to identify the best of the best. We looked at converting desktops that will rise to the occasion and those that are permanently upright to keep your computer screen at a standing eye-level. No matter how you plan to stand, we have you covered.

Top Pick
Buy Now
VARIDESK 49900 - Height-Adjustable Standing Desk

For a solid standing desk that will let you convert your old desk look no further than the VARIDESK Height-Adjustable Standing Desk

buy now
$395.00 USD

After looking at so many standing desks, we’re confident there is clear winner, and that it is the VARIDESK 49900 – Height-Adjustable Standing Desk. With its adjustable height and 2 tier design, it will have you prepared for actively working in a healthier manner.

The 5 Top-Rated Standing Desks for 2018

Editor's PicksBrandRating
Best OverallVARIDESK 49900 - Height-Adjustable Standing Desk4.8
Runner UpEureka Ergonomic Standing Desk4.8
Best Budget BuyExecutive Office Solutions Portable Adjustable Aluminum Laptop Desk4.1
Best Sit-to-Stand DeskStand Steady Standing Desk X-Elite Standing Desk4.6
Best Electric Standing DeskVIVO Black Electric Stand Up Desk Frame Workstation4.3

*Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and can change

Our Top Pick: VARIDESK Height-Adjustable Standing Desk

The VARIDESK Height-Adjustable Standing Desk is a desktop desk that you will place on top of your existing desk, so keep in mind you will need to already have a desk to use this. It extends with eleven height settings using spring assisted lift to a standing position and pushes back down for you to sit as well. At its highest, the keyboard is a full 14 inches off the desk, which is an ergonomically sound height for you to maintain a healthy and active level – even when you’re forced to stay in one spot for hours on end.

No assembly or installation is required with this desk; simply clear off your existing desk and plop this right on top of it. The high quality, including the weighted base and industrial materials will keep this stable, even when fully extended. There’s plenty of space for two monitors and the keyboard tier is wide enough to fit any standard keyboard and mouse.

It’s easy to feel confident that this standing desk is a solid investment; it has over 1,500 customer reviews on Amazon and an overall rating of 4.8 stars. It has 95% positive reviews of 4 or 5 stars, the bulk of which (86%!) are 5 star. That’s certainly impressive for any product.

VARIDESK Height-Adjustable Standing Desk Key Features:

  • Adjustable from sit to stand
  • 2 tiers for screens and keyboard
  • 4 finish options

Our Runner Up Pick: Eureka Ergonomic Standing Desk 36” Adjustable Stand Up Desk Converter

Runner Up
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If you’re in the market for a height adjustable standing desk you for your existing desk, be sure to check out the Eureka Ergonomic Standing Desk 36” Adjustable Stand Up Desk Converter.

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$369.00 USD

The Eureka Ergonomic Standing Desk 36” Adjustable Stand Up Desk Converter has a simple design that is built to last. You can extend this desk fully to 20 inches above the desktop and when you want to sit, you can push it back down against the desk with ease.  It will accommodate users up to 6’5″ and it uses gas struts to make the transition from sitting to standing smooth. In fact, the rise and descending actions are so consistent, you can even place your coffee cup atop the surface and not worry about it spilling.

The keyboard is a full 36 inches, as wide as the top surface, so you’ll be able to keep your mouse and mouse pad on the bottom shelf and dual screen monitors on top without anything being crowded. When it’s fully seated (and so are you) your monitors will still be raised above your keyboard, making it an ergonomically compliant set up, even then.

With around 100 customer reviews earning this desktop addition an impressive 4.8 stars on Amazon, we’re confident this could easily satisfy your needs. It almost seems like inflated numbers, but we assure you; 98% of the people who reviewed this standing desk gave it positive reviews.

Eureka Ergonomic Standing Desk 36” Adjustable Stand Up Desk Converter Key Features:

  • No installation necessary!
  • Holds up to 35 pounds
  • 4 stain options; 2 generational design choices

Best Budget Pick: Executive Office Solutions Portable Adjustable Aluminum Laptop Desk

Best for Budget
Buy Now
Executive Office Solutions Portable Adjustable Aluminum Laptop Desk

If you’re looking for a more active office but don’t want to spend a lot of extra money, then check out the Executive Office Solutions Portable Adjustable Aluminum Laptop Desk.

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$99.99 USD

The Executive Office Solutions Portable Adjustable Aluminum Laptop Desk is one that you can use in a variety of ways. You can use it on your desk or on your kitchen counter; even on your lap in bed. The stand is so adjustable that you can put it on any table or flat surface and work wherever you happen to be at the time. You can even use it as a TV tray for your dinner if you want. The uses are virtually endless.

Along with this tray, you’ll have a silent USB-powered fan (the cord is included) that will keep the desktop and anything on it (particularly your laptop) from overheating. The surface inclines allowing you to tilt it towards you if you use it for a book or your tablet – which can be especially helpful if you pull up recipes in your kitchen. And something that will move as easily as this does will be all the more useful in your life.

There are over 1,700 customer reviews on Amazon for this standing desk and they’ve awarded it an overall rating of 4.1 stars. And if those numbers aren’t enough to sway you, we have one last number to share: the cost. It will only set you back $40!

Executive Office Solutions Portable Adjustable Aluminum Laptop Desk Key Features:

  • Thick sturdy aluminum tray
  • Incredibly portable
  • 3 options available: with fan or without and with mouse extension

Best Sit-to-Stand Desk: Stand Steady Standing Desk X-Elite Standing Desk

Best Sit-to-Stand
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Stand Steady Standing Desk X-Elite Standing Desk

If you want to alternate between sitting and standing without a lot of effort you won’t want to miss the Stand Steady Standing Desk X-Elite Standing Desk.

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$350.00 USD

The Stand Steady Standing Desk X-Elite Standing Desk will rest atop your existing desk to create a standing desk where there wasn’t one before. It can fold flat onto the desk or rise to the elevation your height requires. The max height is 16 inches from your desktop so your specific height max will depend on your desk height. Most standard desks are between 28 and 30 inches, and adding this standing desk to that will give you a desktop anywhere from 44 to 46 inches in height.

This stand can hold up to 20 pounds, plenty enough for most dual flat screens and a keyboard, too. It has a large flat surface with just one level so you won’t need to worry about staggering and splitting up the monitor and keyboard; this is essentially just your desk, but raised. There is no installation, it comes full assembled right out of the box, and that means you’ll be able to take it with you from place to place. And if you work in several rooms, this may be the lifesaver your back needs.

On Amazon, this desk has nearly 700 customer reviews and an overall rating of 4.6 stars. And for a desktop that give a feel of your standard desk just rising into the air, this is certainly a standing desk at which you’ll want to take a close look.

Stand Steady Standing Desk X-Elite Standing Desk Key Features:

  • 28″ or 36″ size options
  • Easy gliding tracks
  • Steel base with pump mechanisms

Best Electric Standing Desk: VIVO Black Electric Stand Up Desk Frame Workstation

Best Electric
Buy Now
VIVO Black Electric Stand Up Desk Frame Workstation

Meet the epitome of personal expression and ease of use: the VIVO Black Electric Stand Up Desk Frame Workstation.

buy now
$284.99 USD

The VIVO Black Electric Stand Up Desk Frame Workstation gives you the convenience of an electric standing desk, with the opportunity to customize it however you choose. This is particularly appealing if you have a style of decor that isn’t easily duplicated. Really, this is the way to go if you want anything besides the standard 3 wood colors. Because it is just the frame you will need to purchase or create a desktop for it to be used, but honestly, if you have particular tastes, this is the best bet for you. And even if you don’t, a slap of plywood, or even an old door will work just as well and you can still probably save a few bucks compared to other electric desks.

The desk rises smoothly and silently at 1.5 inches per second with a maximum of 2 minutes on and 18 minutes off cycle to protect against overloading and overheating. The legs are made of a durable steel construction which leads to a max weight capacity of 176 pounds. It also features programmable settings and touch screen controls, so you’ll be able to quickly go from sitting to standing and for the height of each person who uses it.

With well over 100 customer reviews on Amazon and an overall rating of 4.3 stars, this electric desk frame will be the very picture of your own personalization. You choose the height, and it will go there at the push of a button; you’ll even get to choose the desktop! And for right around $250, that’s not too shabby!

VIVO Black Electric Stand Up Desk Frame Workstation Key Features:

  • 1.5″ lift per second
  • Enters sleep mode after 90 seconds
  • Cable management rack to organize cables

Who Should Buy a Standing Desk

Certainly anyone who works at a desk should consider buying a standing desk. Or, if your computer use is more for entertainment – the same rules apply. You can’t game for hours on end, either, without feeling a bit worse for the wear. Those who are suffering the ill effects of sitting all day will want to take an especially close look at a standing desk to help their health. It is no surprise that a sedentary lifestyle is one that will cause health concerns; our bodies were meant to be used. That means if you have neck, shoulder, or back pain or have suffered a sudden increase in weight or blood sugar drops – check out the standing desk. Likewise if you just want to be sure to prevent some of these issues (and so many more). With proper use, you can increase your productivity and energy levels and therefore, very likely your mood as well. And incorporating standing into your regularly sedentary lifestyle will help you stay more fit, even if you don’t have the time to get into the gym.

Prevention of health concerns and elimination of pains are a wonderful excuse to look into getting a standing desk. Most anyone can benefit from this. In fact, some studies have determined that due to all the health risks of sitting 8 or more hours a day, those with standing desks will actually live longer than those who sit to work. So who should buy a standing desk? People who want to live longer.

Top Pick
Buy Now
VARIDESK 49900 - Height-Adjustable Standing Desk

For a solid standing desk that will let you convert your old desk look no further than the VARIDESK Height-Adjustable Standing Desk

buy now
$395.00 USD

Important Features to Consider

A standing desk should do several things well. Here’s what to consider when selecting a standing desk for your home or office:

  • Electric. While electric is obviously an easier way to transition your desk from sitting to standing, keep in mind that moving parts mean potential breaks. So be sure to read the reviews very carefully before choosing an electric desk. Besides the ease of use, there are also electric standing desks that will save your height settings in their memory. You can use this for shared work spaces to make the transition from one person to the other effortless. If you plan on transitioning back and forth frequently, though, you’ll obviously be using the mechanical parts more frequently. While the lifespan on a high quality electric sit-to-stand desk could be impressive, all electronics have a life span. If you plan on transitioning often at home, then a manual may be more up your speed. But for office use, then your employer will likely be replacing desks every few years anyway – use the most convenient.
  • Manual or “crank” operation. You may struggle a bit more transitioning from sitting to standing with a manual or crank desk, but you will likely have fewer problems in the long run. There will still be moving parts, but no electronics to age and stop working. And isn’t part of the purpose of a standing desk to incorporate some more physical activity into your daily routine? May as well take full advantage and use those arms for your transitions, too.
  • Position. When you’re picking a desk, particularly if it isn’t an adjustable one, you’ll want to make sure to measure the height properly. That means making sure the computer screen on the desk will be at your eye level. You don’t want to look down or up while you’re working and using a desk that will require you do so, even by just a small margin will almost defeat the purpose of a standing desk. (And for some of us, this is a blatant reminder to watch the screen while we type and not the keyboard.)
  • Anti-fatigue mat. Even if you alternate sitting and standing, you’ll want a supportive anti-fatigue mat. Some desks may come with one, but more often you’ll need to purchase these separately. Proper use will prevent several of the negative impacts of standing for long periods. (Reminder, to maximize the health benefits, you should alternate from standing to sitting when possible.) Using a proper anti-fatigue mat will help you improve your posture, prevent joint pain, reduce headaches and lower back pain as well as pressure on your feet. (Probably not in heels, though, so you may want to choose your footwear appropriately, as well.) There are even ergonomic mats that will improve your posture and comfort level even further.
  • Standing chair. Even if standing is preferable to sitting all day, you may still get tired and want a break. However, there are plenty of desks that don’t give you the option of switching back and forth freely. (Or even if they do, it’s still a bit of a bother to readjust just sit down for a few minutes.) For that reason, you’ll probably want to consider a chair or stool that will be high enough to plop onto for a bit.
  • Added shelf/desk space. When you have a desk that is taller, it stands to reason that you’ll have additional space to work with. You’ll have more space under a basic “tall” standing desk so you can add in a small chest of drawers, a filing cabinet, or an organizational unit of some kind. And with a conversion desk that rests atop your existing desk, you’ll have a shelf beneath where your monitor and keyboard used to reside. But keep in mind if you transition from standing to sitting with a converting desk, you won’t actually be gaining any additional space and may, in fact, be losing some.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a standing desk and how does it work?

A standing desk is often also called a “stand up” desk or, if it’s adjustable, a “crank” or “sit-to-stand” desk. They all refer to the same function: Standing, rather than sitting, at your desk. They’re designed to be a standing height and most will be at least slightly adjustable. (Your 6’4″ co-worker may not need at the same height desk as a 5’1″ peer to perform comfortably.) Sitting all day will increase your risk of obesity and heart disease as well as possibly cause cramps and poor posture. Alternating standing will help you stay healthy and fit, even if your work is 100% behind a computer screen. If you’re on a mission to be more active, you’ll want to invest in a quality fitness tracker to monitor your daily steps and other activities.

Standard sold standing desks are pretty simple: they’re just tall desks. You can stand at them and use a standing (or really tall) chair for down times. Conversion desks will convert your standard desk into a standing one by placing a platform on it that will rise your work station to standing eye-level. Adjustable desks will be electric or manual and will transition from sitting to standing and you will only need a “regular height” chair for these.

What are the health benefits of standing desks?

There are several health benefits of a standing desk, but the most notable is that it will add to your overall comfort. If you find yourself with back or neck pain from your sitting position, you’ll find a desk that stands will likely help with those problems by forcing you to readjust your posture and prove a more ergonomic design to work. People who stand to work will be less likely to gain weight and develop heart disease. The movement that often goes along with standing rather than sitting may also decrease your blood sugar and will improve your energy levels, along with your mood. And, when those things improve, so will your productivity. So even your boss will likely benefit from standing desks in your office.

How long should you stand at a standing desk?

You may want to stand all day at your desk, but that will likely cause other health problems, too. Studies show you’ll want to stand for 15-30 minutes every hour. For optimal heath, you should work your way up to standing around 4 hours for an 8 hour work day. These studies show that you should be standing and sitting at a 1:1 to 1:3 ratio, respectively. For this reason, a standing desk that also converts into a sitting one has double value. And even without the sit-to-stand option in a standing desk, you can still get a tall chair that will allow you to sit comfortably at your standing desk.

What exercises can you do with a standing desk?

Depending on what you do for work, you can do some exercises, not just at your desk, but while you work. Calf raises, in particular will probably be an exercise you do without even noticing you do them. You can also march in place or do “gluteal squeezes” (contract butt muscles and hold it for 3-5 seconds) while reading or typing, as those are other viable “while you work” options. Not only will these help you maintain or strengthen your fitness levels, there’s a decent chance you can do them without anyone noticing or it effecting your day at all.

If you’re interested in taking a breaker away from your computer, there are still more exercises that will help you work on your fitness level. You can do chair dips or desk push-ups, abdominal or hamstring curls or even lunges. And if nothing else, while you’re reading a memo or proofreading your own email, you can stretch your arms, shoulders and legs.

Other Standing Desks We Reviewed

Top Pick
Buy Now
VARIDESK 49900 - Height-Adjustable Standing Desk

For a solid standing desk that will let you convert your old desk look no further than the VARIDESK Height-Adjustable Standing Desk

buy now
$395.00 USD

We looked at 20 other standing desks. Even though they didn’t make our 5 best standing desks list, they’re the best of the rest and each is still a great option for your office. The information you’ll need to compare each one is included with the listing and we broke them into the following categories for your convenience:

Desktop Standing Desks

AmazonBasics Height Adjustable Sit-Stand Desk Converter

AmazonBasics Height Adjustable Sit-Stand Desk Converter

This standing desk will transition with you from sitting to standing with no problems.

Key Features:

  • 2.5 to 20 inches
  • 20 lb capacity
  • Work surface measures 19.75 by 31.5

Cost: $170

DeskDoc Premium Standing Desk Converter

DeskDoc Premium Standing Desk Converter

This desktop addition will allow you to stand while you work and comes fully assembled.

Key Features:

  • Adjustable from 2.5″ to 17″ height
  • Work space 20″ x 32″
  • Sturdy 30 lb

Cost: $110

FlexiSpot M2B Standing Desk

FlexiSpot M2B Standing Desk

This durable desktop addition is designed to work well with your standard or even corner desk.

Key Features:

  • Work space 35″ x 23″ + Keyboard 35″ x 7.9″
  • 2 color choices
  • 12 different height levels

Cost: $280

Hero Desk Height Adjustable Standing Desk

Hero Desk Height Adjustable Standing Desk

Not only will this desk allow you to stand as you work, it will give you all the accessories you could need, as well.

Key Features:

  • Includes bonus anti-fatigue mat, cup holder and journal
  • Rises from 4.3″ to 20″
  • Work space 35.5″ x 23.6 + keyboard 26.8″

Cost: $200

Jestik Ultra Slim Height Adjustable Sit to Stand Workstation

Jestik Ultra Slim Height Adjustable Sit to Stand Workstation

Rising and descending this desktop is a snap with its comfortable and easy-to-use handles.

Key Features:

  • Work space 22″ x 32″
  • Max weight capacity 22 lbs
  • Fully assembled

Cost: $90

LEXISPOT Stand Up Desk Converter

LEXISPOT Stand Up Desk Converter

Dual layer will hold a laptop and screen or keyboard and dual screens with ease.

Key Features:

  • Work space 28.3″ x 16.3″ + Keyboard 28.3″ x 9.1″
  • Rises from 4.7″ to 19.9″
  • Single layer 26 riser also available

Cost: $180

MIHI Standing Desk Preassembled Height Adjustable Sit Stand Up Desk Riser

MIHI Standing Desk Preassembled Height Adjustable Sit Stand Up Desk Riser

With a 36″ desktop work space, you’ll easily be able to fit dual monitors, without even tilting them together.

Key Features:

  • 36″ x 25″ tabletop
  • No assembly required
  • Adjust with just a squeeze of handles

Cost: $150

Spark by Ergodriven

Spark by Ergodriven

This cardboard standing desk is perfect for trying out the standing desk life before investing big, or if you just want to have one for occasional use.

Key Features:

  • 3 size choices
  • Designed for an all in one or laptop up to 27″
  • No typing wobble

Cost: $25

Standing Desk Converter Riser Adjustable

Standing Desk Converter Riser Adjustable

This rising desktop addition will adjust to your height and give you a separate shelf for your keyboard, making it all the easier to work ergonomically.

Key Features:

  • Rises from 6.69″ to 15.35″
  • 35 lb weight capacity
  • Work space 31.89″ x 24.41″ + Keyboard 23.62″ x 10.23″

Cost: $140

VARIDESK – Height-Adjustable Standing Desk for Cubicles

VARIDESK - Height-Adjustable Standing Desk for Cubicles

This is from the brand with whom you’re familiar, but is best suited for a corner desk – particularly one in a cubical.

Key Features:

  • 3 color options
  • 11 different height adjustments
  • Fully assembled

Cost: $495

VIVO Height Adjustable Standing Desk Sit to Stand Gas Spring Riser Converter

VIVO Height Adjustable Standing Desk Sit to Stand Gas Spring Riser Converter

You have your choice between electric and manual for this sit-to-stand desk.

Key Features:

  • 2 color choices
  • Rises from 6.5” to 16”
  • Work space 36″ x 22″ + Keyboard 28″ x 9″

Cost: $180

Full Standing Desks

Jarvis Standing Desk Frame Only

Jarvis Standing Desk Frame Only

This frame will allow you to customize your desktop by purchasing it separately to fit your very specific decor.

Key Features:

  • 3 stage adjustable height; 23.25″ to 48.75
  • 4 finish options
  • Adjusts width 42.5″ to 74″

Cost: $445

Joy Desk by Stand Steady

Joy Desk by Stand Steady

There are no adjustments to be made with this standing desk, but it has plenty of unique space and storage to fit your work comfortably.

Key Features:

  • 41.5″H x 47.25″W
  • 60 lb weight capacity
  • 3 cubbies and built in monitor stand

Cost: $150

Mount-It! Mobile Stand Up Desk

Mount-It Mobile Stand Up Desk

This rolling, standing desk has space for all you’ll need for your new work station.

Key Features:

  • Height adjustable from 37.25″ to 53.75″
  • Monitor shelf: 27.5″ x 14″ + Keyboard 27.5″ x 15.75″
  • Printer and computer tower shelves

Cost: $125

SDADI Mobile Stand Up Desk Height Adjustable Home Office Desk

SDADI Mobile Stand Up Desk Height Adjustable Home Office Desk

You can configure this standing desk to so many purposes, this will likely be a perfect fit for your work – no matter the type.

Key Features:

  • 2-in-1, 2-in-1 with incline or flat surface options
  • 4 color choices
  • Each shelf measures 23.6″ x 11.8″

Cost: $70

Seville Classics AIRLIFT S3 Electric Standing Desk Frame

Seville Classics AIRLIFT S3 Electric Standing Desk Frame

Enjoy controlling the height adjustment of your desk with just a push of a button.

Key Features:

  • 6 color choices
  • LED height display
  • Ergonomic 54″ x 30″ Top

Cost: $460

Stand up Desk Store – Single Column Crank Adjustable Stand Up Desk

Stand up Desk Store - Single Column Crank Adjustable Stand Up Desk

There are four casters that allow you to roll this desk wherever you go and lock into place when you get there.

Key Features:

  • Crank height adjuster
  • 3 color choices
  • 154 lb weight capacity

Cost: $230

Stand Up Desk Store Crank Adjustable Sit to Stand Up Computer Desk

Stand Up Desk Store Crank Adjustable Sit to Stand Up Computer Desk

With a crank, you can adjust the height of this desk from 33.5 to 47.25 inches.

Key Features:

  • 5 finish choices
  • 3 size options
  • crank adjustable height

Cost: $340

Uncaged Ergonomics Rise Up Bamboo Electric Adjustable Height Standing Desk

Uncaged Ergonomics Rise Up Bamboo Electric Adjustable Height Standing Desk

You can use all the work space for your work (and monitor) because you’ll keep your keyboard at a more ergonomic lower level with this desk.

Key Features:

  • 2 motors with programmable memory for height settings
  • High quality steel and bamboo construction
  • Work space 60″ x 30″

Cost: $515

UNICOO – Crank Adjustable Height Standing Desk

UNICOO - Crank Adjustable Height Standing Desk

This desk is operated by a hand crank, so you’ll be able to adjust it to your specific preferences when you transition from sitting to standing.

Key Features:

  • 6 color choices
  • Rises from 29.5″ to 45.2″
  • Work space 47.3″ x 23.6″

Cost: $160

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Jenny Jarvis