Adjustable desks are a helpful tool in the modern workplace. A basic, static desk is fine for those periods when we are sat at the keyboard, working away on documents and spreadsheets. The problem is that many of us need to reduce these periods spend sat at the desk. We need to get more active in the workplace to improve health and well-being. The best middle ground for activity and productivity is a desk that adjusts from seated positions to standing positions.
This allows workers to get up, get the blood flowing and muscles moving – without losing time on major projects. An adjustable standing desk also provides an opportunity for an under desk treadmill or other piece of exercise equipment. This guide will look at a series of different standing desks in three categories – manual adjustments, electronic adjustments and no adjustments. There are pros and cons to each category, so it pays to compare options.
Change From Sitting to Standing Positions for Productive Work Levels
Manually adjustable desks are a great starting point for those that want a more adaptable work space, but don’t have the budget for expensive electronic ones. There are lots of desks with a series of height increments and some form of mechanical lift. Some methods are easier than others, so it helps to find out precisely how the desk works before buying. Some can be a little fiddly, especially if they aren’t strong enough to lift and take the weight of the computer. Still, many still offer a secure, spacious work area at a convenient height. Others may go a little further with the features.
1. VIVO Mobile Height Adjustable Stand Up Desk
This adjustable standing desk is a pretty simple looking piece of kit. There is an adjustable frame and four platforms for everything that workers might need. The idea here is that there is one for the monitor, one for the keyboard, one for supplies and the bottom one for PC tower or other tech. This means a clean, organised approach to a personal workspace. Some workers will also appreciate the fact that it has lockable caster wheels on the bottom for portability. This means easy transportation between meeting rooms, work hubs and more.
So how does this VIVO Mobile Height Adjustable Stand Up Desk adjust to different heights? This is pretty simple on the surface. Users just twist a few knobs, raise the surfaces and find the height that they want. There are 11 height adjustments for a decent amount of customisation, with a maximum weight allowance of 33lbs per shelf. This isn’t the strongest around, but should be fine for those that use the shelves as advertised. There are some that would prefer easier height adjustments for added convenience, ideally with some improved instructions. They would also like a wider surface area. Still, this is a nice basic, portable solution for many workers.
2. Mount-It! Mobile Stand Up Desk
On first impressions, this Mount-It! Mobile Height Adjustable Desk looks a lot like the previous option. Both manufacturers have taken the concept of a four shelf approach and portable frame. There are great sales promises about the strength of the combined workspace area – with the total load capacity of 132lbs total – as well as the portability of the cart and the overlook in an office space. Just like the Vivo desk above, this is a great way to create a streamlined, personal office area that can move with you. This means activity without any loss of productivity. Get up, walk around and take the laptop with you.
The similarities between this Mount-It! Mobile Stand Up Desk and the VIVO Mobile Height Adjustable Stand Up Desk don’t end with the look. This is another desk with a simple height adjustment via two accessible knobs. Again, there are 11 intervals, with a locking mechanism at each stage, which raises the surface between 17 inches. This time, the makers are aware of the smaller size and sell this as space saver. It is compact, but still handles the right height adjustments for taller users.
3. 48-Inch Crank Adjustable Height Stand Up Desk
By comparison, this Stand Up Desk Store 48-Inch Crank Adjustable Desk seems much wider and sturdier than some of the other models. This is appealing to all those that want a little more space to spread out. Some of the adjustable desks here are a little more cramped, which may limit freedom of movement and the number of devices used. There is also the bonus of a choice of frames and tops. There is black and teak, silver and black, silver and walnut and white and birch. This means that it can suit different decors, such as modern office suites and home studies.
As the name suggests here, this model uses a different mechanism to change the height of the desk. There there is a crank system to adjust two tiers of work surfaces. It is said to be designed for those that are 5’9″ and shorter, so it wont have the ergonomics needed by taller users. Yet, this does aim to keep the monitor at eye level, with height increments between 33.5″ and 47.75″. The only warning here is from users that say not to crank too fast. Apparently, if you do so, the crank arm might fall off.
4. 60″ Crank Adjustable Height Standing Desk.
The crank mechanism of these Stand Up Desk Store models isn’t the best. There are some people that would like a slightly easier approach. Still, there are those that find it smooth and reliable for regular height adjustments. These cranks can really help in communal office spaces with multiple users, but only with ease of use for all workers. This crank adjusts the 60″ Crank Adjustable Height Standing Desk from 29.5″ to 45.25″. This means plenty of options for different user, and the chance to use this as a sitting desk as well as a standing desk.
Still, there are other benefit to be gained with this desk. The wide length of the top shelf means that there is a lot more room work that some of the space saving options. This means freedom of choice of devices and other tools. This could make a big difference for those in charge of more than the keyboard and monitor for the next few hours. This surface is another model with a nice, contemporary and durable finish. The second shelf is also appealing, at 59″ x 29.5’’.
5. Crank Adjustable Manual Sit to Stand Up Desk
The next manually adjustable standing desk is another from the Stand Up Desk Store. There are quite a few in this guide, but that is because this is one of those brands that offer the most diverse range. There are desks in different sizes, styles and shapes to suit different users. Here we what they call a “sit to stand” desk with a decent, 59’’ wide surface. This means that it should be just as reliable as a “normal” seated desk as a standing one. This Crank Adjustable Desk should be a comfortable place to work that office employees are happy to use day in and day out.
As with the other models in this range, it is all about the smooth height mechanics and clever ergonomics. There is once again that smart use of the 4-5/8” of separation on the shelves to allow for the best angles and heights on the monitor and keyboard. This adds a little more to that second tier. That lower shelf is also pretty deep at 16’’. The crank system raises the height of the desk across a broad enough range. This means 29” – 43” for the keyboard tier and 33.5” – 47.25” on the top surface.
6. Mobile Adjustable Height Stand Up Workstation.
The specifications for this Stand Up Desk Store Work Station suggest that this model isn’t as adjustable as the others. The crank operated models above have a wide range of increments for different needs. There is a multi-functional approach where users can sit after a short period of standing. This isn’t the case with this product. Here the workstation adjusts in a helpful series of 1” increments. But, it only does so from 34.5” – 45.5”. This has limitations, but only because the purpose of this product is a little different.
You will have noticed that the product is classes as a Mobile Adjustable Height Stand Up Workstation not a desk. This is because the designers see this as both a desk and podium. They suggest putting this to use as a place to work, but also as a place for light admin and as a speaker’s podium. The latter is interesting as it provides more workspace than a typical podium. There is the pull out shelf for the keyboard and a strong top surface. Just be careful of the sharp edge. They have caught some buyers by surprise.
7. Adjustable Height Laptop Cart
When buyers first see this Adjustable Height Laptop Cart they will have one of two reactions. They will either be drawn to the unusual shape, or they will question its purpose. There is more of a podium shape here, without much space on the top to work on. Yet, there are also two accessories shelves for added convenience. This really is a good looking piece of furniture by comparison. Like many other options in this list, it comes in a choice of finishes including graphite or wood grain. These veneers are also high quality MDF with a moisture resisting laminate.
There are users that suggest that this cart is not for long term work at all. This isn’t the same sort of adaptable working desk as other products here. However, there is still an adjustable mechanism for the height of the surface. There are two knobs that take this from a 27’’ desk up to 43’’. This should suit many users. There is also the benefit of the 4 dual casters for portability. This wont suit all users, but it has its purpose in the right environment and looks great.
8. Teeter Sit-Stand Desk
The unique selling point with this adjustable standing desk is the use of the stool. There are many desks that are designed for use in both a sitting or standing position. They all promise easy transitions with the adjustments of the table top. However, few then offer an adjustable place to sit as well. If that wasn’t enough, there are also four tilt setting on the table between 0-45 degrees. This means a more ergonomic angle for different users. This should be suitable for all those up to 6ft2 – but some shorter users may argue against this.
Like so many of these top adjustable standing desks, this Teeter Sit-Stand Desk has a crank mechanism that lifts the table top with relative ease. There are 7 different adjustments from 40-46 inches on this adaptable table, which also acts as a helpful craft table or drafting desk. This lift mechanism – although manual – has shock-absorption and assists to improve the ease of use. Further benefits here come from the built-in pencil tray, foot platform and weight allowance of 150lbs. It is more interesting than some of the other options – even if it is best for tall users.
9. LUXOR Standup-31.5-B Stand Up Workstation
Next up we have two electronic adjustable desks from Luxor. The first is another sold as a workstation rather than a desk. As we know from previous models seen in this guide, this usually means a lack of space and some re purposing. Here there is a two -tired design with a minimal 31.5’’ work surface. The idea is that while it is still suitable for a standing desk, it is also able to take on other roles. This means walk-up stations and platform for short term meetings and collaborations. There is still enough room for the laptop, with a printer or other tools on the lower tier. This is also a fair weight allowance thanks to the steel frame.
This adjustable LUXOR Standup-31.5-B has a smooth height adjustment that works in 1’’ increments. This means a variety of options for users of different heights. This mechanism raises both tiers simultaneously for ease of use. Added benefits with this model include the portability and durability. This workstation has casters so it can be wheeled into place anywhere in the work environment. The powder coat paint finish and double laminate wood surface mean it should last longer than some users expect.
10. LUXOR Standup-CF48-DW
The second Luxor model, and final manually adjustable standing desk, is the LUXOR Standup-CF48-DW. This is another hand cranked desk – not workstation – with some helpful adjustments. This so-called “innovative” approach raises the table between 29″ to 42.75″ in order to cater to users of different heights. It also means that it should live up to its promise of being a “sit to stand” model. This means users can sit at this 47.25 wide desk and work comfortably, then change their arrangements to get a little more active. In fact, buyers are surprised at how accommodating it really is.
Other benefits with this desk come with the portability and durability. It seems that users can wheel this round and enjoy the benefits for along time to come. There are four furniture casters on this desk so that users can change locations with ease. Two of those wheels lock so that there are no sudden movements mid-way through an important email. The frame and top are also finished to a high standard to avoid damage – in case users hit a door frame while changing location.
Then there are those that do away with the fiddly cranks and mechanisms altogether and use an electric system to alter the height of the desk. This is much more appealing for many workers that don’t want to waste time and effort on those difficult cranks. The best rise with the push of a button in a smooth, hassle free manner. The problems here comes from the risk of noise and the cost. These desks are a little more expensive because of these convenient methods. The mechanics and motors may also produce a little too much noise and distract co-workers. As with the manually adjustable desks, it helps to check the weight allowance, dimensions and other features before buying.
1. ApexDesk Elite Series 71″ W Electric Height Adjustable Standing Desk
There are two models of note from ApexDesk to mention here. The first is the Elite Series 71″ W Electric Height Adjustable Standing Desk. One of the main sales points in the product description is the idea of a crossbar-free design. Many tables and frames use a cross bar for a sturdy approach to the table’s construction. Here ApexDesk have done away with this element for a desk that is meant to be 30% lighter and 30% more stable than those of competitors. This also means that users are better able to place an exercise bike or treadmill beneath the desk for a workout.
This electric adjustable desk uses dual motors for a smooth motion. This takes the desk from a height of 29″ to 48″ at a rate of 1.3” per second. This means fast, simple adjustments between different users. This rising table top comes in a range of colors and finishes, including white, black, oak and walnut. It is also strong with a 225-lb capacity and anti-scratch, high-pressure laminate. This should be ideal for long term use in busy work environments.
2. ApexDesk Vortex Series 60″ 6-Button Electric Desk
This second ApexDesk model also has a smooth, fast electronic motion to help different users find the height that they need. Here the height range is a little different, and is better suitable to slightly shorter users. The mechanism raises the table from 27.5” to 45.5” with ease. There is also the added bonus of the memory controller with all the controls and settings. This smart device brings a little more peace of mind to a work session with the smooth motion and anti-collision function. This adds to an already strong, reliable frame with that lack of a cross bar and the use of industrial-grade aluminum.
This desk is a little shorter, and this ApexDesk Vortex Series 60″ desk is alto a little less wide on the surface. This might be a bit of a downside to those that want more room to spread everything out as they work. Still, this strong surface is still able to hold a lot. It has the same scratch-resistant high-pressure laminate as the Elite model above. In fact, there is a sense of reliability across the range here. Buyers can spend more time choosing between the effects and dimensions, and less time worrying about the build.
3. Pamari Andrate Electric Standing Desk
This first electronic model is much more convenient when it comes to adjusting the height. It has a motorized lift with a strong motor and smooth action. This lift takes the desk from 29.5″ to 47″ with minimal user effort, allowing them to find the ideal height for their project. The added convenience for users here is the intelligence of this electronic lift. Height preferences can be saved into the system, with room for four options, and the system locks them into place. This means that multiple users in one workplace can use this desk with ease.
The smart Pamari Andrate Electric Standing Desk has even more on board to help user with their tasks. The controls are part of an LED glass-top console with a charging station built in. There are three 2.4 amp USB ports which means that suers can charge devices as they work. It is a great little multi-tasking tool. Then there is the fact that the glass desktop also acts like a whiteboard. Workers can make notes directly on the surface with a dry erase pen. Co-workers can leave messages. This surface elevates this table into something much more interesting.
4. Jarvis Electric Adjustable Height Standing Desk Frame
It may surprise some people to find out that there are some manufacturers that sell frame and table top separately. The following four models are all frame only options that focus on the mechanics of the lift, rather than the look. Having said that, the first company haven’t abandoned aesthetics entirely. The Jarvis Electric Adjustable Height Standing Desk Frame comes in a choice of colors, to better match the desired table top. This means a choice of black, red, silver or white. Those table tops can be between 44″ – 82″ wide and 21″ – 36″ deep, thanks to the nice touch of the telescoping crossbar.
The electronically adjustable desk frame has a height range of 23.25″ to 48.75″, with a speed of 1.5 inches per second. This means that it is ideal for those that want a desk for both seated and standing work. It also comes with a programmable digital handset with the memory for 4 settings. This is a great choice for those that want a little diversity in their adjustable desk. The range of height and colour, plus the telescoping bar, increase the potential for many users.
5. UPLIFT 2-Leg Height Adjustable Standing Desk Frame
This UPLIFT 2-Leg Height Adjustable Standing Desk Frame is one of the most capable models around when it comes to height and weight allowances. First of all, there is an impressive height range of 24.5″ to 50.5’’. This extends beyond the reach of many other desk frame – or fully-formed desks for that matter. This is great for communal work spaces with shorter and taller users. The appeal continues with the addition of the advanced digital memory keypad. This easy to use device stores preset height adjustments for an even faster performance. Just one touch of a button send the desk to the correct height so workers can immediately get back to their tasks.
As for the weight, this desk frame supports up to 355lbs thanks to the C-frame and telescoping crossbars. This telescoping bar also means compatibility with desktops from 26 to 80 inches in width. This weight allowance is not the only thing that makes this frame tougher than the average. There is also a powder-coated finish on the metalwork and strong support for improved durability.
6. FlexiSpot 48″ Electric Height Adjustable Standing Desk Frame
There is a word that stands out with the sales talk with the FlexiSpot 48″ Electric Height Adjustable Standing Desk Frame. That word is robust. There is the immediate sense that these frame could easily handle more than some of its top competitors – and then some. To begin with with, there is that promise of a “thick” leg support system with a weight allowance of 220 lbs. While that might not seem like a lot, there is also the fact that it can handle the widest of tables – from 47.25 to 70.9 inches – and a thickness of more than 3/4″.
Of course this all means nothing without the best electric height adjustments for this standing desk – once it has an appropriate surface. This frame has dual motors that take the height from 28.5″ to 47.4″. This strong, easy to use system should have no trouble with a smooth process, even when those thick, heavy tops are added. This means a strong, versatile desk that workers can use with great peace of mind whenever they want to get more active. It should suit most communal and home office situations.
7. Ergo Elements Adjustable Height Standing Desk Frame
The final option for consideration here is the Ergo Elements Adjustable Height Standing Desk Frame. As with all of the frame mentioned here so far, the appeal always lies in the number of alterations that buyers can make. If they have to buy a separate desk top, the frame has to be perfect. It is possible adjust the length when buyers start to suit a desk surface that may have in mind. This extends from 40” to 66”.
Then there is electronic adjustment for the standing desk when in use. Naturally, this is customizable so that users can always get the height they need. The lowest level is 27’’, which will be great for shorter users and some seated requirements. This goes up as high as 45”. This isn’t the tallest around, but still suits many needs. The added benefit here is the use of the programmable controller. Users can get to any height they want with a simple press of the button, but these pre-sets make things even easier. This is a basic frame, but one that should suit many people.
Finally, we want to end this discussion of standing desks for an active workplace with a few models that aren’t adjustable. There is a clear downside here. There is no way to transform this from a standing desk to a seated one during the working day. Instead, this is an alternative desk that workers can relocate to when they need to stretch their legs and change the office scenery. The appeal depends on your approach to an active, adaptable workplace. There is a good chance that these desks will be stronger and appealing to workers without the height mechanisms.
1. 48″ Shelve Mobile Ergonomic Stand Up Desk Computer Workstation
There are plenty of interesting features and selling points to non-adjustable standing desks like the 48″ Shelves Mobile Ergonomic Stand Up Desk. The main selling point lies with the “unique” two-tier system that aims to promote ergonomics for standing users. The upper shelf is 14″ deep and the lower 16″ deep. There are 4.9″ of separation for the best height for the keyboard. Both surfaces have a 47.25″ wide work surface, so plenty of room for all that is required for the work session. They also have a silver powder coat paint finish to increase the durability.
The problem here – as with the models below- comes with the misconceptions about the adjustments. The sales pitch for this particular desk talks about a model that can be “positioned at multiple heights from sitting to standing” where the two tier system adjusts to users’ needs. Yet, buyers are quick to point out that this is only possible with the physical effort of unbolting and reassembling the whole table. Therefore, it really isn’t that adjustable at all. This has caught out some buyers that assumed that there was some form of knob or hand crack here.
2. 32″ Mobile Ergonomic Stand up Desk Computer Workstation
Again, this model suffers from the same problems as the one above when it comes to the adjustments. There are still those claims about multiple height positions from seated to standing for a more active work life. Yet, this is not adjustable mid session, as there is no crank or other mechanism. Buyers have the choice whether to use this as a standing or seated desk when they first assemble it. Any other alterations are only really worthwhile if the user decides to change the position for a week. One week seated, one week standing.
Even so, this 32″ Mobile Ergonomic Stand up Desk Computer Workstation still has some benefits as a static standing desk. There are two shelves with a 31.5’’ wide surface that should be great for long term projects. The desk is also pretty tough and durable, with the powder coating and tough frame, so should hold up for a long time. Buyers are impressed with the long and comfort offered by the ergonomic approach to the shelves. It may not help with an active workplace, but it is still a reliable standing desk.
3. 8″ Stand Up Desk With Monitor Mount
This 8″ Desk With Monitor Mount is another desk that is adjustable on initial assembly, but not during working hours. This is a shame because there is the considerate inclusion of a series of height adjustments. Users can adapt the frame in 1″ increments from 28.75″ – 42.75″. This means that users can find the height that best suits them – whether they are a little on the shorter or taller side. Yet, multiple users cannot swap between heights. Essentially, this is a model for finding the perfect height in an at-home office desk. Once it is up, it won’t alter.
The additional benefit to this adaptable desk is the use of the free monitor mount. This is unusual in any standing desk. This attachment secures the monitor and allows for adjustments to the height, tile and swivel. This adds to added customization to an otherwise static desk. There is also the bonus of the 25 lbs weight capacity, the wide shelf and the simple use of furniture casters. Just like the more adjustable models, users can wheel this into place as and where they need it. This model is still tough, appealing and reliable.