Working from home hasn’t slowed down at all, and in some cases, it’s become permanent. Even if you’ve been working from home since the pandemic began, it’s never too late to complete your home office. You may not get as much exercise as walking around the office, but it easily beats sitting still at a desk all day. Your legs will thank you for the change of pace, but how do you choose the right model? Here are our favorite standing desks for working from home.
Why get a standing desk?
You may be wondering why you even need a standing desk if you’ve been working at a normal one your whole career. Well, sitting has been called the new smoking in some cases — which is frightening, to say the least. It makes your back stiff, reduces blood flow, and compresses your organs. None of those side effects exactly sound like a ringing endorsement for keeping your sitting desk.
Now, you could go about buying a premium chair and a whole host of other office comforts, but the solution is much easier. Standing helps you to stretch your legs, encourage blood flow, and you’ll probably register quite a few more steps on your Fitbit. We’re not saying you should throw out your office chair or move to a standing-room-only setup, but it’s good to have options.
Standing desks tend to fall into two basic camps — true desks and conversion kits. True desks will fully replace your current setup, and they can often support a few hundred pounds. Unfortunately, they tend not to feature built-in drawers as lifting the desktop would be too heavy. The other way to go if you love your current desk is with a conversion kit. It sits on top of your current setup but it adjusts in much the same way. You can keep all of your drawers and your extra real estate while simply raising your keyboard and monitors.
A standing desk may not fix all of your discomfort at work, but it’s a great first step in home offices and your professional life.
The best standing desks:
Editor’s note: We’ll add new standing desks to this list as we review them and new options launch.
Desks we’ve tried:
The Swedish furniture giant is a great place to start your search for a standing desk, and it pops up frequently on our list. This first option, the Skarsta, is a simple, minimalistic desk that our own C. Scott Brown took for a spin. You can read his in-depth thoughts below.
The Skarsta is a 63-inch by 31-inch hybrid-style desk that you can adjust for either seated or standing work. However, the desk is fully manual so you’ll have to get your workout in while you crank the desktop up or down. It comes disassembled, given that it’s an Ikea product, but you can also pay extra to have it assembled for you. The desktop is made of dense particle board and the legs and supports are all durable metal.
If you’re looking for a feature-rich desk, the Skarsta is not the one for you. It offers a desktop that raises and lowers, but that’s about it. You won’t find any cable management, and there are no desks or shelves to speak of. However, the materials are solid and the desk is easy to raise and lower as you go about your day.
If a manual crank isn’t your speed, the Fully Jarvis might be a better fit. It’s fully motorized and it stores four height settings for even faster adjustments. Our own Eric Zeman reviewed the Fully Jarvis — assembly process and all — and you can read about his experience below:
See also: Fully Jarvis review: A motorized bruiser
We reviewed a simple version of the Fully Jarvis, but you can customize the desk to your heart’s content over on the Fully website. You can add everything from a cable management tray to a drawer or a file cabinet. Unfortunately, there’s no option for a lowered keyboard tray, but the desk itself offers plenty of space.
You can adjust the Jarvis by up to 25 inches, which is perfect for either standing or sitting. It’s lightning-fast too, lifting and lowering at 1.5-inches per second. The Jarvis comes in a variety of sizes ranging from 30-inches by 24-inches to 78-inches by 30-inches.
The last standing desk we’ve reviewed is the Flexispot. It’s a slightly more budget-friendly option and it measures in at 48-inches by 30-inches. We turned to Kris Carlon for our review, and you can read his thoughts right here:
Like the Jarvis and Skarsta, the Flexispot requires a good bit of assembly before you can get to work. Luckily, Kris found it easy to put together, and the build quality is solid. It also matches the Jarvis in terms of speed, adjusting at 1.5-inches per second. It’s a smooth operator though, so you won’t have to worry about spilling your coffee when you lift it.
Select versions of the Flexispot standing desk can save preset heights, but the most basic model offers simple up and down options. It’s fully motorized either way, so you can leave your manual crank behind.
The best of the rest:
Standing desks are meant to be as unique as you are, and the V2 from Uplift is a perfect way to tune your setup. It’s not cheap, and you’ll have to buy straight from Uplift itself, but you can customize every aspect. The V2 comes in just about any size from 42-inches by 30-inches up to 80-inches by 30-inches.
If you tend to keep a lot on your desk, the Uplift V2 is ready to lift it. The motorized beast can handle up to 355 pounds at a time, plenty more than you can probably even fit on your desk. You can also customize the appearance of your V2 with four frame colors and dozens of desktop materials including a fill-size whiteboard.
If you want the desk that sounds like it should top the rest, how do you beat a name like Apexdesk Elite? Instead of blending in as another rectangular desk, the Apexdesk adopts a caved-in midsection to help you stay even closer to the action. The top itself is 60-inches by 28-inches, so you should have more than enough real estate to work with.
It may not quite match the 355-pound capacity of the Uplift, but the Apexdesk Elite can lift 225 pounds like it’s nothing. Apexdesk also chose a durable steel frame, so you should be able to work through just about anything. The Elite is fully mechanized, and the controller allows you to save multiple height profiles for easy adjustments.
We’ve highlighted plenty of true standing desks so far, but what if you love the desk you already have? You can skip the complete overhaul with the Uplift E7, which is essentially a conversion kit that sits atop your desk. The E7 is fully electric, and the control panel sits flush with the top of the desk.
Unlike a few other options that keep things simple, Uplift’s E7 has a detachable keyboard tray and you can mount monitors straight to the desk. It’s available with one, two, or three connections, and the E7 comes in black or white. You can only stack 110 pounds on top of the conversion desk, but at least you should still have real estate on your original desk.
The desktop measures in at 30 inches by 21.5 inches and the keyboard tray is 28 inches by 10.5 inches.
Vari electric standing desk
Vari’s large, 48-inch by 30-inch standing desk is a great option if you want to match your home or office decor. It comes in your standard black and white finishes, but you can also choose from butcher’s block or reclaimed wood versions that feel a bit more personal. No matter what topper you choose, the frame of the desk is made of sturdy steel and reinforced with a crossbar.
The powerful motor is just as premium as the desk itself, and it adjusts to heights between 25.5 inches and 50.5 inches quietly. You can store up to three height settings on the premium LED display for even easier adjustments. Vari claims that you can assemble its desk in around five minutes without any special tools, so don’t be afraid to put it to the test.
We’re back to Ikea for the Bekant standing desk, and the manual crank is nowhere to be seen. It looks nearly identical to the Skarsta with the minimalistic design, but the Bekant is fully electric. You can make your adjustments with a simple two-button panel for heights between 22 and 48 inches.
It’s available in a variety of colors and finishes, and of course, you’ll have to assemble the desk yourself. The Bekant also has a cable management sleeve so you can keep your workplace neat and tidy. Unfortunately, there are still no extra trays or drawers to speak of, so you’ll likely have to grab a filing cabinet or something similar.
Today’s final standing desk is yet another option from Ikea. It’s called the Idasen, and it’s designed to put up with years of wear and tear. The desktop is a thick slab of particleboard, and the steel legs are reinforced at the bottom for strength and durability. It only comes in black, but at least you can spill coffee or ink and you shouldn’t notice any mess.
Ikea’s Idasen is yet another all-electric option, and the control panel is somehow even more minimalistic. It functions as a single panel that you either lift or press to make your changes. Even better, Ikea has a companion app that allows you to remotely adjust your desk if you need to. The Idasen also employs the same cable management system as the Bekant, so you should be able to keep your desktop neat and tidy.