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Best standing desks 2021: Stylish height adjustable desks for all budgets

Best standing desks 2021: Sit or stand comfortably
(Image credit: Uplift)

The best standing desks enable you to switch between standing and sitting over the course of your working day. As their name suggests, height adjustable desks can be lowered to a sitting position or heightened to a standing position at the push of a button (or thereabouts). Why would you want to do this? Well, research tells us that sitting for long periods isn’t great for our health, and a study conducted by the International Journal of Workplace Health Management revealed that 65% of participants with standing desks reported an increase in productivity, with 47% saying their neck, upper back and shoulder pain had improved. We're not saying this will be the case for everyone, and that you can now ditch your trusty handheld massager, but the health benefits of a standing desk sound promising.

The best standing desk in the world right now is widely accepted to be the Uplift V2 Commercial Standing Desk, as it offers a spacious workspace and attractive customization options. However, because it’s so popular it’s regularly in and out of stock. Don’t worry too much though, as we have plenty of top-rated height adjustable desks in our roundup below. One of the most well-known brands is VariDesk, which also makes standing desk converters. These are good for anyone who has a stylish home office desk they’d rather hang onto, yet would like to experience a sit-stand setup. Standing desk converters are also ideal for people who aren't ready to fully commit until they're sure they'd like this way of working.

Good posture and finding the right desk height for you is essential, otherwise over time it could lead to backache, shoulder pain, or RSI in the wrist and elbow. The best standing desks can help ease back problems caused by poor posture, and are also good for keeping your body active, especially if you partner one with an under-desk treadmill. Standing desks are also convenient in other ways, with the majority featuring electric controls (electric standing desks), as well as the ability to program several levels of height. This is important if you won’t be the only person using the desk, or if you want to quickly shift from sitting to standing (or vice versa) and don’t want to waste time making precise adjustments.

If you're looking for more home office equipment, we'd also recommend our guides to the best home computers and the best compact printers

The best standing desks to buy now

1. Uplift V2: Best standing desk overall

Best standing desks: Uplift V2 Standing Desk

(Image credit: Uplift)

Uplift V2 Standing Desk

A versatile electric standing desk with room to spare

Height range: 25.3 to 50.9 inches | Desktop size: 42-80 inches wide x 30 inches | Supports up to: 335lbs | Warranty: 10 years frame and parts, 5 years desktop

Good range of desk finishes
30-day free trial
Designed with the help of a Certified Professional Ergonomist
Might need two to assemble it

Depending on where you buy the Uplift V2 Standing Desk from, you have a large range of desk finishes to choose from, including walnut laminate, whiteboard (so you can scribble directly onto the desk) and a one-inch layer of wipe-clean bamboo (pictured). Sturdy and well-built, the height adjustment ranges from 25.3 to 50.9 inches, and the desk top width is available in 42 to 80 inches wide. Obviously, the wider the desk, the higher the price.

Adjusting the Uplift V2 standing desk’s height is easy, with dual motors providing fast, smooth and quiet operation via an easy-touch keypad. You can also program your preferred sit and standing heights, including setting a maximum and minimum height to save you time in the future.

The Uplift V2 Standing Desk is also very versatile, and comes with 48 patent-pending mounting points so that you can add accessories such as a keyboard tray or drawers (available separately) to suit the way you work.

Uplift's electric standing desk is sturdy and can support 355lbs of weight, so there’s plenty of capacity for your home working gear, or if two of you work on laptops and are looking to share the largest size desk for short periods occasionally. While the Uplift V2 Standing Desk is relatively simple to put together, you might need an extra pair of hands to help, depending on how experienced you are with building such furniture. There’s plenty to keep your new standing desk neat too, with two grommets for tidy cable management as well as a wire-management tray. 


2. FlexiSpot EN1: Best standing desk for value

Best standing desks: FlexiSpot EN1 Height Adjustable Electric Standing Desk

(Image credit: FlexiSpot)

FlexiSpot EN1 Standing Desk

A popular height adjustable desk available in various finishes

Height range: 27.9 to 47.6 inches | Desktop size: 60 x 24 inches | Supports up to: 154lbs | Warranty: 5 years frame, 2 years controls

Spacious and sturdy
Simple to use
Good for taller people
Not the easiest to build

Flexispot’s standing desk is ideal for remote workers looking for a healthier desk setup on a budget (it costs around $300). The EN1 Electric Standing Desk ranges in height from 27.9 to 47.6 inches. The sturdy top is made from a sustainable one-inch thick chipboard that comes in various finishes, including bamboo, mahogany and graphite, and offers plenty of space to spread out your belongings. The desk is also high enough to accommodate DeskCycles, a popular type of exercise bike that fits underneath standing desks.

When it comes to the controls, you can choose between a basic keypad for simple ‘up/down’ operation or a more advanced version for extra versatility that includes saving specific height settings, as well as a handy alert that reminds you to change positions at regular intervals.

The majority of user reviews for the FlexiSpot EN1 Electric Standing Desk are positive, with many satisfied remote workers impressed by the quiet operation and sturdiness at all heights. We have also reviewed the desk, and despite some issues when assembling it, we rate the FlexiSpot EN1 as one of the best standing desks in terms of features and affordability.


3. VariDesk Electric Standing Desk: Best for dual monitor users

Best standing desks: VariDesk Electric Standing Desk

(Image credit: VariDesk)

VariDesk Electric Standing Desk

One of the original and best standing desks

Height range: 25.5 to 50.5 inches | Desktop size: 60 x 30 inches | Supports up to: 200lbs | Warranty: 5 years

Good range of heights
Sturdy T-legs
Free returns with 30 days
Average warranty period

We haven’t reviewed the VariDesk Electric Standing Desk yet, but we are working on it. So this entry is based on our analysis of the desk, features, design and spec, and what verified existing customers are saying about it. 

What we have gleaned from all of that is the VariDesk Electric Standing Desk is ideal if you need a reliable and durable adjustable height desk that looks great and offers a good amount of surface space. It's smart-looking, with a chamfered one-piece top clad in a durable laminate reclaimed-wood effect for a more traditional look. You can buy it in five different finishes, from white to butcher block with slate color legs.

VariDesk's big claim is that this standing desk can be built in under five minutes. We can't testify to that yet, but existing customers do praise how easy this desk is to assemble, with the solid one-piece top fitting easily onto the sturdy T-style steel legs and feet.

Users also say that the electric controls are easy to operate and will adjust the desk from 25 inches up to 50.5 inches. There are also four programmable memory settings and an LED display, so you can save your preferred sitting and standing heights for future us.

The motors on the VariDesk Electric Standing Desk are designed to be quiet, and existing customers testify to that being the case. The desk can support up to 200lbs, making it a good option for a computer and dual monitor setup; the FlexiSpot and Uplift above are also capable of supporting two monitors. VariDesk also makes accessories such as power hubs and standing mats that pair nicely with the Electric Standing Desk, so you can add to your setup over time. 


4. Seville Classics S3: Best standing desk for occasional use

Best standing desks: Seville Classics AirLift S3 Standing Desk

(Image credit: Seville Classics)

Seville Classics AirLift S3 Electric Standing Desk

Ideal if you split your time between office and home working

Height range: 25.6 to 51.4 inches | Desktop size: 54 x 28 inches | Supports: 264lbs | Warranty: 7 years non-mechanical parts, 2 years electronics

Natural-looking top
Clean simple design
Decent warranty coverage
No drawer for storage

Seville Classics keeps it simple with this smart-looking standing desk featuring a tactile wood laminate top. It usually retails for around $479, putting it in the mid-price range, though we have seen it on sale for less. The Seville Classics S3 Standing Desk is available in a wide range of finishes, including whiteboard-style dry erase, and is bolstered by a sturdy steel base able. It supports up to 264lbs. 

The smooth edges of the top further add to the ergonomic qualities of the desk, allowing your arms and wrists to rest comfortably upon them. Lifting or lowering the desk is straightforward with basic controls and an LED display at the front of the desk. There are four memory settings to save your preferred heights, which is ideal if you plan on letting someone else use the desk every now and then.

This Seville Classics S3 Standing Desk comes with all the tools you need for assembly, and is certified to the ANSI/BIFMA X5.5 safety standard for use in schools, offices, medical and government buildings. If you're looking for an affordable electric standing desk that won't take up too much space, but won't make you feel cramped on a small desk surface either, than the S3 is worth considering.


5. VIVO Standing Desk Converter: Best for the undecided

Best standing desks: VIVO Height Adjustable Standing Desk Converter

(Image credit: VIVO)

VIVO Height Adjustable Standing Desk Converter

Instantly transform your current desk into a standing desk

Height range: 4.5 to 20 inches | Desktop size: 31.5 x 15.5 inches (top), 31.3 x 11.8 inches (keyboard tray) | Supports: 33lbs | Warranty: 3 years frame

Easy to transform any desk
Portable 
Keyboard tray doesn’t slide in or out

The VIVO height adjustable 32-inch standing desk converter provides a simple solution if you want the option of standing at your standard-height desk. It is also a useful extra to have if you want to create more space on your standing desk.

Supporting up to 33lbs this riser features two platforms, a removable one to accommodate your keyboard and another on which to place your laptop or monitor. These are manually adjustable via a spring and lever for smooth and easy precision adjustments. 

The main platform and the keyboard tray rise in sync with each other and cannot be controlled separately. If you choose to include it, the keyboard tray is fixed in position and cannot slide in or out, which might be an issue for some users.

The VIVO height adjustable standing desk converter comes ready assembled, simply attach the keyboard tray if you need to, and add the cable clips to keep things tidy. 


6. Seville Classics AirLift Tempered Glass Desk: Best standing desk for small spaces

Best standing desks: Seville Classics AirLift 47 Inch Tempered Glass Electric Standing Desk

(Image credit: Seville Classics)

Seville Classics AirLift Tempered Glass Electric Standing Desk

A great choice for minimalist style, maximum productivity

Height range: 27 to 47 inches | Desktop size: 47 x 24 inches | Supports up to: 160lbs | Warranty: 1 year

Can charge two USB devices
Built-in storage drawer
Looks sleek and modern
Lifting capacity lags behind others

If you’re after an electric standing desk to fit in with your cool and contemporary home office, and you don't need oodles of surface space, the sleek Seville Classics AirLift Tempered Glass Electric Standing Desk should fit the bill nicely. The tempered glass top has a slick-looking bevelled edge, and there is also a choice of white, grey or black tempered glass to suit your decor. 

But this Seville Classics standing desk isn't all looks and no brains – it has some top-notch usability on offer too. That includes convenient features such as a single storage drawer with non-slip liner, and dual USB ports so that you can charge two devices at the same time while you work. 

The touchscreen controller at the front of the AirLift Tempered Glass Electric Standing Desk has a bright LED display and simple touch buttons with three memory settings. These store your preferred sitting and standing heights. This electric standing desk might be made of glass, but it offers plenty of sturdiness with a stable steel frame. It’s also easy to assemble, so you’ll be good to go in no time.


7. TechOrbits Electric Standing Desk: Best for messy users

Best standing desks: TechOrbits 60 Inch Electric Standing Desk

(Image credit: TechOrbits)

TechOrbits 60 Inch Electric Standing Desk

A wipe clean desk that's scratch- and spill-resistant

Height range: 28 to 48 inches | Desktop size: 60 x 24 inches | Capacity: 180lbs | Warranty: Lifetime

Water-resistant top
Anti-collision tech
Excellent warranty
Not as deep as other desks

TechOrbits’ spacious electric standing desk offers a decent space to work on, though it isn't as deep as some of the other models in our best standing desks roundup. The design is pretty vanilla too, so it should blend easily into any home office without making a fuss. 

If you eat and drink at your desk during the day, and you're a, er, messy eater, you'll be pleased to hear that the TechOrbits 60 Inch Electric Standing Desk is water-resistant as well as being scratch-resistant. If you do spill you drink on the desktop, simply absorb it with some paper towel, give it a quick rub down, and pretend nothing ever happened. 

The TechOrbits standing desk is designed to be quiet in use, and uses a power lift system to adjust the height at around 1.5 inches per second. The minimum height is 28 inches, while the maximum is 48 inches, which is on a par with most of the other desks here. The lifting capability of this height adjustable desk is 180lbs, which should cope with two monitors.

Extra features include cable management and four memory settings in the easy-to-use controls. There is also anti-collision technology that detects when a solid object gets in the way as the desk goes up or down, so hopefully you won't crush any wayward pens.


8. Upper Square Sabine: Best standing desk for storage

Best standing desks: Upper Square Sabine Height Adjustable Desk

(Image credit: Upper Square)

Upper Square Sabine Height Adjustable Desk

A smart standing desk with extra storage and USB charging too

Height range: 28 to 48 inches | Desktop size: 48 x 24 inches | Capacity: 225lbs | Warranty: 5 years

USB charging port
Handy storage drawer
Four different finishes
Might be too small for some

The curved-edge Sabine standing desk by Upper Square combines style and functionality while adding plenty of practical features too. The 48 x 24-inch wooden top comfortably accommodates a monitor and laptop, plus this height-adjustable desk also comes with a handy soft-close drawer too. 

Other features include a built-in USB port at the front of the desk for easy recharging of your gadgets. Also at your fingertips is the electric control with simple up/down buttons and four preset height adjustments on offer.

Upper Square’s electric standing desk comes in four different finishes of white, black, grey and walnut. It requires assembly, and while this is easy to do some users reported that they found some of the parts quite heavy.

How to choose the best standing desk for you

The first thing to consider when buying a standing desk is how much desk space you need versus the amount of available space you have. Standing desks come in a good range of sizes to suit most home offices, but if you do need the extra surface but don’t have the room, you can always add a standing desk converter or choose a desk with a drawer. 

Most standing desks should comfortably accommodate under-desk storage too, which also applies if you wanted to fit in some exercise during the day with an under-desk cycle or elliptical trainer.

Another thing to consider is the minimum height of the desk for sitting if you are less than average height, as some people still find the desks too high when seated. Again, there is plenty of range available with both minimum and maximum heights, so find one that suits you and your posture the best.

Other extras to look out for include presets, where you can program your settings and get to your best sitting or standing height at your desk in an instant. If you share your home office, then quiet operation is also a must.

The final thing to consider is decor – from pale bamboo to stylish black, there’s a good range of colors on offer with standing desks. Most tops are hard-wearing and clean up easily, but it’s worth remembering that paler finishes will show up coffee cup stains and dust more.

What are standing desk converters?

Standing desk converters offer an excellent solution if you want to transform your existing fixed-height desk into a standing desk. Converters are usually manually controlled and offer a decent range of flexibility when it comes to the range of heights – simply place it on top of your desk (some minimal assembly may be required), and you’ll be good to go. There are also electric converters available, but these tend to be more expensive.

As with standing desks, standing desk converters come in different shapes and sizes and can accommodate a single laptop all the way up to a couple of monitors. If you have a particularly heavy computer or monitors, you should still consider a standing desk as these are better at taking more weight.

Standing desk converters come in different styles, and many are single tier, while others are dual tier and offer a separate shelf for your keyboard if you want to maximise your space even further.

On top of portability, another advantage of standing desk converters is that they are relatively inexpensive, especially when compared to electric standing desks, which can cost several hundred dollars.