The Five Best Standing Desks [August 2020]
2020 has been an odd year for a lot of reasons, and chief among them is the growing work-from-home movement. No matter why you’re suddenly using your spare bedroom as a makeshift office, you might find yourself stiff and sore after weeks of sitting at a desk. Certainly there must be a better way to work without ruining our body?
Thankfully, there is. There is a growing consensus among physiologists and exercise scientists that sitting for long periods of time can shorten your life. In fact, new research that distills the findings of 47 individual studies concludes that those of us who sit for long hours raise our average risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and early death. Even for those of us who are relatively healthy and manage to make it to the gym every day before or after work, sitting for extended periods of time every day has long-term negative consequences. Despite this, many of us are forced to sit at a desk for several hours a day, often without taking breaks and staring at a large, bright screen.
Sitting at a desk for most of the day seems to be an undeniable and unavoidable aspect of adult life. That’s why standing desks have become so popular in recent years, both at home and in the office. They provide a dynamic, flat surface on which to work, while at the same time allowing you to stretch your legs and move around more comfortably. So do your mind and body a favor and check out our list of the best standing desks around.
Don’t be intimidated by the looks of this VIVO Height Adjustable Standing Desk, it’s actually quite user-friendly. And weighing in at just over 50 pounds while taking up only 40×25 inches of space, this workstation is surprisingly easy to move around. And the best part is that it’s fully adjustable—meaning you don’t have to waste precious time searching for a stand or desk extension that’s the perfect height right out of the box. In fact, there are eight different points of height adjustment, each of which is easily attained by simply squeezing a handle that operates the gas-spring lift mechanism.
Think of this workstation as the perfect transition piece between a regular, sitting desk and a full standing desk. You can quickly go from sitting to standing in one easy, smooth motion (thanks to dual gas spring force), and adjust to your proper comfort level by using the innovative simple touch height-locking mechanism. And unless you’re storing cinder blocks on your desk, you don’t have to worry about this device giving out, since this VIVO unit can withstand 37 pounds of weight.
The top surface measures 36×22 inches, providing plenty of space for a single monitor, dual monitors, or a laptop-monitor combo, and the lower portion of the unit acts as a separate keyboard and mouse stand, which does a great job of freeing up the upper workspace while creating an ergonomic and comfortable environment for your hands and wrists.
The assembly time for this VIVO unit is surprisingly short, and the instructions are easy to follow (although most merchants will provide expert assembly for an added fee). And perhaps best of all, you won’t have an excuse to leave your desk cluttered, since there are built-in cable management clips, as well as monitor mounts.
- Fully adjustable
- Supports dual monitors
- A bit pricier than non-adjustable stands
If the thought of ditching that old-school desk that you’ve been using for the past decade scares you, fear not—it’s entirely possible to turn your old, traditional desk into a standing desk using a simple attachment, such as this Stand Steady X-Elite Pro Standing Desk Converter. The X-Elite Pro makes it easy to go from standing to sitting in a matter of seconds, using a premium pump-assisted lift mechanism.
The no-frills desktop offers more than enough space to store your monitor, keyboard, mouse, and more (the full surface is roughly 28×20 inches), and the height can be adjusted anywhere from 7 to 16 inches, so you can find the setting that best fits your height and ergonomic requirements.
The innovative air pump system allows you to switch between sitting and standing in just three seconds, and with a weight of only 27 pounds, you can easily take this desk on the road to use at the office, in your hotel, or wherever you need to get a little work done on the side.
One of the best things about the X-Elite Pro, however, is that it comes fully assembled right out of the box. All you have to do is open the package, plop the unit on your desk, and you’re good to go.
- Air pump system
- Fully assembled in box
- A bit heavy
This height-adjustable standing desk is a little more involved than the #2 desk on our list, and it costs a bit more as a result. But with this added cost you get a slew of added functionality that makes this standing desk one of a kind. Since this desk sits firmly on top of your existing furniture, there’s no need to invest in a separate desk unit as long as you have something sturdy on which to place it. The VARIDESK can go from fully collapsed to fully upright in just three seconds (so transitioning from sitting to standing positions takes practically no time at all), and there are a whopping eleven different height settings to choose from. Fully extended, this desk reaches a height of 15 inches, making it useable even by the super tall, and it ships fully assembled—meaning you can start working in a new and comfortable position the second you pull this desk from the box. There’s also a spring-assisted lift along with a built-in adjustable keyboard tray. The design is also sleek and minimalist, and makes for a great aesthetic addition to the home or office.
- Sleek and minimalist
- Mechanical lift
- Incredibly pricey
Although it’s undeniably nice to have the option of turning your existing desk into a standing desk with one of the above extensions, some people will understandably want a separate, solo standing desk that is both easily-adjustable and relatively portable. Such a standing desk thankfully exists, with the DOESWORKS Mobile Stand Up Desk. This stand-alone device can be extended from 27.5-45.4 inches and offers plenty of room for a laptop, keyboard, and mouse. There’s also a helpful stopper on the bottom of the main panel that keeps your laptop from sliding off, along with a back panel that acts as a great place to store other office supplies. This DOESWORKS unit is made from durable 1.2mm carbon steel and has a power cord-holder under the front panel that will keep your desk looking pristine and organized at all times. It’s also super easy to assemble (it took us just 15 minutes), and there’s a locking function on the bottom wheels, so you don’t have to worry about sliding around against your will while you work.
- Full standing desk
- Carbon steel
- Won't work with your current desk