This definitive guide to the best standing desks of 2021 explores everything you need to know about the innovative work solution. It covers options at every price point, and compares features as well as looks and durability.
When it comes to clocking time on your rear, the results are in — and rife with gloom. Prolonged sitting has been linked to an increased risk of multiple maladies, including diabetes, heart disease, anxiety, depression — even early death. If all of this sounds bleak, take heart (and a stand) in this: Spending more time on your feet can boost job performance, work engagement and mental well-being.
However, standing for long periods can take its own toll on your comfort and health, so the secret is frequently changing positions throughout the day. Fortunately, many companies now offer sit-stand desks for the office or home. Wondering which one best fits your style and needs? We’ve weeded through today’s selection to save you time and stress. Here’s our list of the best standing desks — each selected for their design, ergonomics and ability to quickly toggle between sitting and standing positions.
The Short List
Best Overall Standing Desk: Fully Jarvis Standing Desk
For years critics and consumers have praised the Jarvis Standing Desk, and for good reason: its stability, design and breadth of customization options make it a worthy investment for the home or office. While some desks offer a limited height range, Jarvis is available in Mid and Extended Height Ranges, the latter of which boasts an impressive 25.5-inch of adjustability—allowing anyone up to 6’7” to stand and work with ease. For the top, you have many options: heat-, scratch- and water-resistant powder-coated MDF; Greenguard high-pressure laminate; or Moso bamboo, harvested from sustainable forests. Both the rectangle and contour shapes are available in multiple sizes, and you can add a laptop and/or monitor arms to accommodate a variety of display setups. Still crave more? You can customize further by adding a powered grommet, anti-fatigue mat, LED desk lamp and more. (Warning: While the base price looks attractive, it quickly climbs as you add more features.)
Best Upgrade Standing Desk: Humanscale Float Table
In terms of functionality and aesthetics, Humanscale’s Float Table flies above the competition. First off, it’s a statement piece — the simple, sleek lines ooze modern minimalism and tranquility. But perhaps the desk’s best feature is its innovative counterbalance system, allowing you to lift and lower the top with ease using the weight-adjustment handle — no cumbersome cranks or noisy electric motors necessary. And while some counterbalance tables require a bulky pedestal base, Float does not, allowing more space and freedom of movement below. Need a large work surface? No problem. Float comes in a range of widths up to 72 inches. And don’t be fooled by its pretty, clean look—this height adjustable desk is anything but dainty: its steel and aluminum construction can support up to a whopping 130 pounds. For optimal ergonomics, you can add on the brand’s other beloved accessories like their height- and angle-adjustable keyboard trays and articulating monitor arms.
Best Budget Standing Desk: Seville Classics AirLift Tempered Glass Standing Desk
On a budget, but still covet the convenience of an electric sit-stand desk? Try Seville Classics’ new Tempered Glass Standing Desk — a CES 2019 Innovation Awards Honoree. Attractively priced at just under $400, the desk lacks the customizability of its pricier competitors, but it’s pretty, practical and gets the job done. It features dual electric motors and a touchscreen controller to raise the desk from 29 to 47 inches, with infinite stops along the way. (You can also save up to three height settings.) Some cool features include dual USB charging ports at 2.4 amps to quickly—and simultaneously—charge your devices, as well as a pull-out storage drawer to stash supplies. Available in white and black, the desk’s powder-coated tempered glass offers a sleek, polished look as well as supreme strength and durability. Note: The top is only available in one size (48″ W x 24″ D), but it’s enough to fit 1-2 monitors and a keyboard.
More Great Standing Desks
Humanscale QuickStand Eco
If the Humanscale Float Table is out of your price range — or you’d rather keep your current desk — a sleek alternative is the brand’s QuickStand Eco. As with most standing desk converters, the Eco is designed to go on top of your current desk. A big perk here is its vertical, minimalist design and integrated cable management, which cuts down clutter and retains more desktop space than its bulkier competitors. Another bonus: no cumbersome knobs or levers. The Eco’s innovative Continuous Force self-locking mechanism makes switching from sitting to standing a snap—simply slide the work surface up or down. The Eco is available in three configurations: laptop, single monitor or dual monitor. And as the name suggests, it’s as environmentally friendly as it is beautiful: The Eco is free of any Red List chemicals and is certified with a Declare label from The International Living Future Institute.
Jaswig My First StandUp Desk
Between school, screen time, homework and meals, kids spend over eight hours of their day sitting (yikes). Enter the My First StandUp Desk—a beautiful standing desk specifically designed for children 6-12 years old. Made from FSC-certified birch plywood, this Scandinavian-inspired desk offers six different heights in 1.5” increments to accommodate growing bodies. The desk’s simple lift-and-lock mechanism allows kids to safely and securely adjust the height (no risk of pinched fingers). It also boasts a beloved feature of vintage student desks: the storage cubby, which can be used to stash papers, pencils and other learning tools. Another cool perk: Once your kiddo outgrows this desk, you can donate it back to Jaswig to receive $50 off an upgrade to the next version, the Nomad.
Uplift V2 Bamboo Standing Desk
The V2 is one of the most stable standing desks on the market. A big issue with this style of desk is that the higher it gets, the wobblier it can be. Not Uplift's V2, which offers a thicker desk top and a stability brace so you don't have to worry about toppling over while you're working. It's available in a range of widths so it can fit in even the smallest home or accommodate a large space. You can set up to four pre-set heights, so you're not constantly fumbling with getting that perfect height every time, and there's an anti-collision system so the desk doesn't bang into anything. The most shocking thing about the desk? You can buy a hammock that attaches underneath the desk that you can actually lie in, though there's probably something to be said against that for the sake of work-life balance.
FlexiSpot EN1 Standing Desk
The EN1 is an affordable standing desk that is jam-packed with features. It has a powerful motor that manages to stay quiet, and users can set their favorite height settings for quick and easy sit-to-stand transitioning. There's even a built-in reminder that tells you when it's time to get on your feet or sit down. The desk has a 154-pound weight capacity and an under-desk cable management system, plus a bevy of customization means you can tailor the desk to fit your at-home setup.
Branch Standing Desk
Branch's standing desk offers one of the highest heights in the category, accommodating people up to 6'8". Dual motors and three-stage lift columns help to make height adjustment smooth and quiet, and Branch ensures its movement won't even spill your coffee. There are four memory pre-set options, and like most of Branch's home office furniture, its standing desk is a breeze to assemble.
Steelcase Solo Sit-to-Stand Desk
Steelcase, known for its office chair, makes a helluva standing desk, its Solo being its latest and most affordable option. It's an easy-to-use standing desk that is just as easy to assemble. It has a clean aesthetic, and lacks any bells or whistles that some may actually see as a downside. For example, there are no customizable pre-settings so getting your right height every time, and the lack of cable management is a bit of a bummer, especially for neat freaks.
Made by Choice Fem Work Desk
Designed in response to the quick turnaround from office working to work-from-home life because of the pandemic, the Fem desk is meant to be your home office solution for as long as you need. The desk's panel quickly converts into a second desk top, and when you're done with working from home, Fem doubles as a neat shelf for storage. The untreated desk allows you to stain the desk however you want, but for $160 more, you can get the desk in matte-lacquered ash.