The Best Standing Desks for Your Office

If you’ve seen the headlines that read “Sitting is the New Smoking,” you’ve probably started thinking about alternatives to your desk chair. Great! We applaud you for that, and we want to help. There is a plethora of standing desk options, and it can be hard to determine which is the best for your unique space. Here we’ve outlined the best standing desks that sit on top of or attach to your current desk.  We’ve got pros and cons for each, and tips for making the right decision when it comes to what to buy. Read on, and then stand up!

Adjustable Standing Desks: $325 – $800

At FitYourSpace, we have a motto: “The best position is the next position.” Yes, we want you to stand up, just not for the whole day. The best solution for a healthier work environment is to have both sitting and standing options, and switch between them while you work. An adjustable desk allows you to easily raise and lower your desk. It’s been shown that standing for just 3 hours a day can burn an additional 30,000 calories over the course of a year, the equivalent of running 10 marathons!

The following 4 options are the best adjustable desks on the market that will work with the desk you already have– a great option if you don’t want to ditch your current setup.

The Varidesk
$325 – $520

Varidesk

Varidesk makes a great line of adjustable sit-to-stand desks. Their models win out at an attractive intersection of cost and functionality. All of their desks utilize the same adjustable mechanism: squeeze the handles on the side of the platform and move the unit to your preferred height.

Pros:
• High quality desk at an affordable price
• No assembly required
• Very sturdy
Cons:
• Big and heavy
• Scissor-like lifting mechanism (cords beware!)

Buy This Desk If:
A) you have the space for– it’s 30 inches deep (width varies according to model)
B) you like the design (other desks–see below–look more industrial)

My Two Cents:
Whether you need one monitor or two, spend the extra $50 for the ‘Plus’ version with the dropped keyboard tray. My personal favorite is the Pro Plus for around $405 after shipping. It’s big enough to spread some papers out or take notes next to your keyboard.

Ergotron Workfit-S
$430 – $599

Ergotron Workfit-S

The Workfit-S wins the prize for having the smoothest adjustable system. Simply grab the handle on the front of the platform and move the desk to the height you’d like. Viola! It stays put. The whole unit clamps onto the front of your desk, so it is ideal for smaller work areas and doesn’t use much desk real estate. Beware, though– once clamped in place on your desk, it’s not easy to move around.

Pros:
Impressive ease of use in raising/lowering
• Sturdy
• Keyboard tray drops lower than your desk height when sitting (ergonomically better)
Cons:
Cannot be easily moved around on desk (clamps in place)
Small keyboard tray
Looks a bit industrial

Buy This Desk If:
A) you have a small desk
B) you’d like a keyboard tray lower than your desk height when sitting (ergonomically better)
C) smooth mechanics is top priority

My Two Cents:
I love this desk for how intuitive it is to use. Definitely spring for the version with writing tray.

Ergotron Workfit-A:
$320 – $500

Workfit-A

The workfit-A clamps to the back of your desk and is the only desk that can move in all three planes– laterally, vertically, and it can pivot to rotate around an axis. This is what you want if you have a corner desk or cupboards hanging above your desk. Like the Workfit-A, it’s available for either one or two monitors, and also with or without a work surface.

Pros:
• Extremely versatile
• Best option for tall people
Cons:
• A bit unstable
• Aesthetic not great (robotic aka “terminator” arm!)

Buy This Desk If:
A) you have a unique situation that the other options will not accommodate (corner desk, small desk, cabinets over your desk, etc)
B) You are very tall

My Two Cents:
While the range of motion of the Workfit-A is unparalleled, it’s the least stable of the options here. Therefore, only go for this one if your space requires it. Like the Workfit-S, I say spring for the version with the worksurface, and unless you’re very tall, get the dropped keyboard.

ErgoDesktop Kangaroo Desk
$300 – $800

ErgoDesktop's Kangaroo Desk

The Kangaroo Desk sits on top of your desk and adjusts pretty well, but you have to loosen and tighten a knob each time you move it up or down. Not a huge inconvenience, but not as smooth as the Varidesk or Workfit-S. The keyboard tray also requires a support column, which is a separate piece you must set aside when the desk is in the seated position. However, a lot of people (like this guy!), appreciate how easily you can move the whole unit, unlike the options above.

Pros:
• Can easily move entire unit on your desk
• Lightweight
Cons:
• Must rotate height adjustment knobs to raise/lower piece
• Separate support column needed below keyboard platform

Buy This Desk If:
You want to keep your current desk space flexible and don’t want to commit your computer to one spot.

My Two Cents:
Go for the Kangaroo Pro (or Elite for 2 monitors) which mounts your monitor directly to the unit as opposed to providing a shelf for your monitor to sit on. This will minimize any possible shaking of your monitor.

Non-Adjustable Standing Desks: $22 – $200

Not ready to make the leap for one of the desks above? Consider a non-adjustable standing desk as a tester. These are good options if you’re a laptop user, making it easy to move your computer from a regular desk up to your non-adjustable standing desk.

IKEA Hack
$22
Ikea DIY $22 Standing Desk2

Your cheapest option (other than a stack of old books) is to build your own.  Brought to you with complete instructions from Customer.io cofounder and CEO, Colin Nederkoorn, the pictured DIY Ikea hack is your best bang for your buck. For $22 you’ll have a solid standing desk with separate levels for your keyboard and your monitor. Here are some other great ideas for DIY standing desks via Homedit. These are creative and cheap, but they do require some setup on your part.

Pros:
• Super cheap!
• Lightweight
• Sturdy
Cons:
• Assembly required
• Not Adjustable

Buy This Desk If:
A) You really want a standing desk but are on a serious budget.
B) You want to experiment with a standing desk, but aren’t ready to commit to one of the adjustable standing desks.

My Two Cents:
Before building a DIY standing desk, take the right measurements to ensure that your keyboard ends up at the correct height. Measure from the floor to the bottom of your elbow when it’s bent at 90 degrees. This is where you want the top of your keyboard platform.

The Upstanding Desk
$230 – 270

UpstandingDesk1

If you’re looking for something a bit more legitimate, go for the UpStanding Desk, a recent Kickstarter success. Both levels for the monitor and keyboard can be customized (via slots in the wood), making it easy to find the best position for almost anybody. While the platform height is customizable, the desk is NOT sit-to-stand adjustable. It can only be used as a standing desk, but can be customized to people of different height.

Pros:
• Independently adjustable keyboard and monitor shelves
• Quality design–bamboo pieces look great alone or can be decorated/painted
• Sturdy
Cons:
• Very large (29″ wide and 25″ deep)
• Not sit-to-stand adjustable

Buy This Desk If:
A) You use a laptop that you can easily move to a seated desk.
B) If you have a desktop and you’re ready to commit to stand all the time.

My Two Cents:
This is a sturdy, well made desk, although it is very large. If you’d like to set up a permanent standing desk, this is one of the best ones you can get.

Help us make 2015 the Year of the Standing Desk! The evidence continues to mount that reducing your daily sitting time has a slew of health benefits (check out our resources page and this recent article from Time Magazine). With the options mentioned here, you have the ability to take the next step towards living a longer, healthier, and more productive life.

-Jake Koenig
Standing Desk Fanatic and FitYourSpace Cofounder

What standing desk do YOU use? Share your pics and thoughts with us in the comments below!