The pandemic has fostered a sedentary lifestyle for many of us. Working from home slouched in front of a desk can be tiring and lead to zoom fatigue. Several health risks are associated with sitting for extended periods, but an ergonomic workspace can help you avoid these risks.
Standing desks or standing desk converters are viable options for creating a more ergonomic workstation that can boost productivity. Studies have shown that standing has many health benefits over sitting. It helps counter the multitude of health problems associated with sitting and reduces back and neck pain. The key is to keep the camera at eye level, which will, in turn, allow you to keep your head and back straight. To help you find the right desk for your needs, our team has compiled a list to help you redefine your workspace with an elegant standing desk and prioritize your health.
How to Buy a Standing Desk
With a plethora of options available in the market, buying a standing desk can be a daunting task. To help you decide, the following are some of the main characteristics of a desk you can consider.
Stability is possibly the most important aspect when buying any desk. A large base structure results in a more stable desk. However, even with a large base, a low-quality desk will wobble due to uneven legs. If you are buying in a physical store, make sure to test for wobble manually, and in the case of an online store, read verified reviews by other customers.
Durability and Warranty
A desk’s strength and construction can often be gauged through its warranty period. Extended warranties are usually provided when the desk is made with premium quality raw materials. Therefore, a desk with high build quality will last for a long time without requiring any repairs.
Correct screen position and desk height are important in providing comfort when working on a standing desk. Look for a desk that extends to your elbows such that your elbows are at an angle of 90 degrees from the ground. Such a design not only helps reduce fatigue but also regulates one’s posture.
Worktop Size and Weight Capacity
There are a lot of different shapes and sizes of desks available on the market. Choosing the right desk depends on the layout of your room and your preferences. For example, you can buy a compact desk to house your laptop and a few essentials or select a more spacious desk that can support a bigger workspace.
Standing Desk vs. Standing Desk Converter
Are you unable to decide whether to upgrade to a standing desk or buy a standing desk converter? While this decision is mostly cost-driven, here are a few other aspects to consider when choosing one over the other. A standing desk is a computer desk with the ability to adjust its height to a standing position. On the other hand, a standing desk converter is an adjustable unit you can place on top of your existing computer desk to raise its overall height. A major difference between desks and converters is space. Standing desks provide you with the freedom to raise and lower the entire worktop. Standing desk converters, however, do not offer that liberty. Instead, they raise a much smaller worktop to a standing height where you can only place your screen and keyboard.
Standing desk converters, in general, compromise on stability, but they provide portability. At the same time, standing desks provide stability at the expense of portability. Unless you’re willing to replace your current desk, a converter will probably be the right fit for you. However, if you are open to a more drastic change, a standing desk will be a more viable option.
Hand Crank vs. Electric
The hand crank desk allows you to adjust the height of the table manually. First, you have to determine the correct height and make a note of how many “cranks” it takes to reach that height. Unlike electric desks, there are no electrical components which makes them more reliable in the long run. If you are willing to go through the tedious task of manually adjusting the height every time, then buying a hand crank standing desk can save you several hundred dollars.
On the other hand, electric standing desks allow you to change their height with the push of a button. Some desks are even equipped with a memory height controller, which can save presets. However, it does come with its own set of downsides. A high-end electric desk is considerably more expensive. As it comes equipped with electronics, the desk needs to be tethered to a power socket. This poses a problem as the desk can only be placed near a socket. There is also the added risk of electronic failure. While this is unlikely in high-end desks, the desk might get stuck at one height in case of an electronic failure. Ultimately, your decision will likely be driven by cost. If you’re willing to sacrifice a bit of comfort to save money, then a hand crank desk is the way to go. Otherwise, if you are primarily concerned with comfort and are willing to pay a premium, then an electric desk is a more suitable choice.
Dual Motors vs. Single Motor
In this section, we’ll help you decide whether you should purchase an electric standing desk with a single motor or with dual motors. It is important to understand that two motors do not always mean that the desk can lift greater weights. Nor does it mean that it adjusts height faster. In fact, single motor desks are often more reliable than dual-motor desks.
To understand this, we need to go over how a motor works at a standing desk. A motor generally has two sensors that sense the number of revolutions required. These sensors then send a signal to the control box, which moves the desk. Both dual and single motors work with the exact mechanism. But dual motors also have an extra function which is to keep the two motors synchronized. If either one of the motors malfunctions, the desk can tilt or even get damaged. This does not mean that all dual motors do not work well or malfunction easily. On the contrary, there are high-end dual motors that work even better than single motors. In conclusion, the reliability of both types of standing desks comes down to the quality of the motors instead of their quantity.
The Best Standing Desk in 2021
Best Overall Standing Desk
Prices may vary daily.
Crafted from bamboo and steel, the Fully Jarvis Bamboo sit and stand desk is ideal for environmentally conscious users. The top is made from smooth, easy-to-clean bamboo that can complement almost any office aesthetic. The desk features industry-leading mechanical and electrical components. You can adjust the height from anywhere between 23.25 to 49.25 inches. It also features wire management grommets at the back corners to keep your desk neat and organized.
Even with all the exceptional assembly and materials, its most prominent feature is the programmable console. It has seven buttons, four of which can be used to set presets, and two can be used to raise or lower the height of the desk. The M button is used to activate the programming mode, which allows you to save new presets. The Jarvis desk has an exceptional 4.8-star rating and is available in four different colors and three different sizes. Its dual motors adjust the height with minimal noise. While it does come with a hefty price tag, the desk offers outstanding functionality and customization.
Second Best Standing Desk
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The next best alternative to Jarvis Standing Desk is the ApexDesk Elite Series. It is made from industrial-grade steel and a durable MDF wood top, available in two different sizes and with a large range of colors.
The ApexDesk allows you to seamlessly transition from a sitting to a standing position in a matter of seconds. With high-grade dual motors, the desk has a weight capacity of 225 lbs. The desk-top is spacious as it provides 60” or 71” space depending on the size you order. It has a programmable console that allows you to save four customizable memory presets. If you’re looking for good functionality at a reasonable price, the Apex Desk Elite can be a great choice.
Best Budget Electric Standing Desk
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Crafted from sturdy industrial-grade steel, the SHW Electric Height Adjustable Computer Desk offers high durability and stability. Glides on the bottom of the desk reduce wobble to a minimum. It also features grommets to keep your cords neat and organized. The desk has a standard digital console that allows you to save four memory presets between 28 to 46 inches. Available in two different sizes, it can provide space for your monitor, laptop, books, and more. You can also choose from four different colors. A considerably lightweight desk that is easy to assemble, the SHW costs much less than our other recommendations. If you’re on a tight budget, no better option provides more value for money at this price range.
Most Aesthetic Standing Desk
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A steel frame construction with a modern tempered glass top is what makes the Airlift Electric Standing Desk a standout. A black glass top with a beveled edge finishing results in an exquisite workspace. You can change the desk’s height within a matter of seconds with powerful dual motors that produce minimal noise. The height range varies from 29 to 47 inches.
It features a 47-inch worktop that offers plenty of space to organize. In case this space is not enough, you can even place your stationery in the desk’s drawers. The Airlift Computer Desk also has two 2.4A USB charging ports which are great for charging your portable devices right beside your workspace. Create an elegant and ergonomic workspace with this desk which is available in several colors.
Easiest to Assemble Standing Desk
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Despite its sturdy and heavyweight build, the Vari Electric Standing Desk takes only 10 to 15 minutes to assemble. The dual motors offer fluid and quiet movement. The height ranges from 25 to 50 inches, and the console provides four programmable memory presets. In addition, the Vari offers a spacious work-top crafted from wood with a smooth laminate finish.
It is available in two sizes and four different colors. However, the desk does not offer grommets to arrange wires, making the workspace a bit messy. It is durable, easy to set up, and you can buy its accessories to round out the experience. The Vari Electric Standing Desk offers a great mix of design, features, and value.