The 10 Best Standing Desk Reviews for 2021
From the increasing prevalence of obesity to rising cases in pelvic pain and other disorders, sitting for hours a day is starting to be a literal pain in the butt for the Western world. Desk jobs make up a huge portion of the middle class’s workweek. Without the right equipment or the right knowledge of the impact that sitting can have on your health, a desk job can impact your body’s condition on a level comparable to a smoking or drinking problem – it can be that serious.
Thankfully, the right equipment can make a huge impact on mitigating the health risks associated with sitting. One of the best tools in your arsenal is a standing desk, which gives you the ability to take breaks from sitting by adjusting your workstation without skipping a beat in your schedule. If you can get used to it, you can start doing whole shifts standing to emphasize the health benefits of a standing desk.
Read on to learn everything you need to know about standing desks in 2021, including the 10 best models to buy and the features they offer.
Why the standing desks?
We’re slowly learning more about the health benefits of standing desks, including the fact that they’re not a “miracle” cure for obesity or diabetes. It’s not an automatic workout and won’t help you burn a significant number of calories.
The benefits come more from moving your muscles and joints into new positions and shaking it up during the day to promote blood flow, which increases concentration and reduces the risks of tension-related muscle disorders. The more you sit in the same place, the more your muscles “harden” up and form painful knots. By getting yourself moving, you can save your muscles from chronic tightness and keep your spine and joints limber.
But how can you figure out what to buy? Standing desks come in several formats, designs, and a ton of brands. Your needs in terms of height, convenience, and cost will determine the broad type of desk you need, but the subtler special features of each brand will help you narrow down the choices, which is why we’ve broken it down for you below.
Best Standing Desk Reviews for 2021
This commercial standing desk from Uplift features improved stability over its previous versions, as well as other brands that use Jiecang Linear Technology for their standing desk frames. The cross support system on its frame makes it bulkier than some other brands, but sturdier for it.
One of the reasons it’s the top of this list of reviews is that it can offer options for a greater number of people than other desks on this list. It goes lower than most commercial standing desks so even users as short as five feet can use it. This could make it ideal not only for a short adult but for a young writer or art student as well.
Since a standing desk could be a sizable investment, features that help it maintain longevity can be as important as features that improve its use. For the Uplift V2 desk, this comes in the form of an overload protection mechanism, which engages to keep the desk’s moving parts safe if you accidentally go over its weight capacity.
The budget price of the Uplift desk comes with a couple of cons, including mass-produced electronic systems from its Chinese manufacturer. For more specialized American and European-made mechanisms, you may have to pay a little more. Uplift V2 is more than suitable for users on a stricter budget, especially those who are less than average height.
Expandable Jiecang frame
Cross support design
Overload protection mechanism
10-year manufacturer’s warranty
Cheaper electronic systems
Price: starting at $650
Jarvis desks are for those that want something simple and comparatively affordable in their office, without a ton of frills but the basic features to keep you going. Jarvis standing desks use a commercially-produced Jiecang frame to get the desk out cheaply, but features some components customized by the manufacturer to offer better stability and performance than the default frame.
The surface of the Jarvis desk is a conventional laminated wood top, which is not as durable as modern 3D-laminated surfaces, probably to cut costs. It also has a low adjustment speed, which can be a nuisance during a busy workday.
The Jarvis desk is a budget pick and it feels like one. However, for those that need the cheaper option, the brand is reputable and the basic features are there. If you can accept some lower grade materials, the low price may float your boat.
Mid-range manufacturer’s warranty
Lower durability laminated surface
Slow adjustment speed
Price: starting at $450
Varidesk is a major name in standing desk manufacturers and brings that name to their ProDesk line. These desks are built with stability in mind, using a steel cross support that gives more lateral stability than most commercial standing desks you can buy. We assume this is what you’re paying for with the somewhat premium price.
There’s more to the Varidesk ProDesks though. Its marketing emphasizes a 5-minute assembly time, which is a big step ahead of some of the more complex, meticulous constructions out there.
Touting a wide range of adjustment, programmable preferences, and the easiest construction of any desk we reviewed, the Varidesk ProDesk is a tempting option for those that want a mid-range standing desk with some premium features.
Convenient, quick assembly
A wide range of height adjustment options
5-year manufacturer’s warranty
Premium stability with a steel cross support frame
Exposed motor gears
High price for a mid-range standing desk
Price: starting at $700
Despite the commercial Jiecang frame, the GeekDesk brand of standing desks uses traditional cross support to minimize wobbling and increase stability. It has an adjustment range of 26 inches to give people of any height the options to use the desk effectively.
The adjustment speed isn’t the fastest on the GeekDesk, but it's consistent. For stability, this desk performs well at all but the highest height range, at which point it has a bit of a rocking motion that makes working on it a bit harder.
These are minor problems common to the mass-produced Jiecang frame designs. Users familiar with the limitations of that manufacturer will know what to expect with the GeekDesk. Despite being priced on the high end of mid-range desks to begin with, GeekDesk also raises the price for other configurations, so that’s something to watch for.
A wide adjustment range of 26 inches
Consistent loaded performance
Cross support reduces wobbling
Priced higher than similar desks
Lack of an overload protection mechanism
Short 2-year warranty
Price: starting at $750
For a motorized standing desk, FlexiSpot desks offer affordable options with the features that people who expect the convenience of a modern standing desk need. Its motor lift mechanism is quiet and it has programmable settings that allow you to choose from three customizable height presets from a keypad.
For those whose primary concern is the health issues that a sedentary lifestyle can cause, the FlexiSpot standing desk also has a customizable alarm to remind you to stand up or switch back to sitting. The FlexiSpot desk is made from double-steel tubing, which increases stability. This stability only suffers at the highest setting on the desk, which is common.
The features of the Flexispot motorized standing desk as well as its large size are complimented by a comparatively low price, making it a choice option for people that want an easily adjustable standing desk with electronic features.
Programmable height settings
Customized alarm reminder
Sturdy steel construction
Low price for a motorized standing desk
Wobbles at the highest settings
Price: starting at $350
The walnut surface of the ApexDesk Elite gives off an air of luxury. It comes in 2 sizes (60 and 71 inches) so that users can get the most out of the desk that they need, whether it’s for a large desktop setup or an art station. The depth of the desk is also 33 inches, which is more than standard for this price range.
The dual-motor lifting mechanism of the ApexDesk Elite gives it a smooth adjustment transition with a 100kg weight capacity, plenty for expensive computer hardware. The center beam of the ApexDesk frame provides better than average stability.
With 4 height presets, a large surface area, and a sturdy weight capacity, the ApexDesk Elite is definitely one of the most durable models in its range.
Large surface area, including a 33-inch depth for large computer setups
Dual-motor lifting mechanism promotes stability and smooth lifting
High 100kg weight capacity, even when lifting
4 height presets and 2 size options
Wobbly at the highest adjustment range
The MotionSeries desks have three adjustable segments as well as a dual-motor mechanism that promotes stability and smooth lifting. It comes in black and white, though at the time of writing is still in the preorder stage. There are options for 3 laminated tabletop sizes as well as an adjustable height range of 60cm up to 125cm. This diversifies the uses for the desk for both standing and sitting options for users of different heights.
An MG-1 memory keypad gives the user access to preferences that they may expect from a modern motorized standing desk. Its weight capacity is 102kg, which is sturdy and lines up with the best in the industry.
The ability to recall saved height settings and the high adjustment range make it a versatile electric standing desk for those that want the latest electronic settings on a sleek, steel-frame desk with a large surface area.
Large adjustable height range
3 tabletop size options
MG-1 memory keypad has multiple customizable settings
102kg weight capacity
The laminate on the table can be easily scratched
Price: starting at $500
IKEA switched their equipment manufacturers from ROL Ergo to Linak for their newer standing desk model, the Idasen. This encouraged immediate performance improvements, including stabilized columns, a 2-stage gear mechanism, and a smooth glide system. It has a 66cm range of adjustment that goes up to 127cm.
A collision avoidance system works well unless the columns are fitted too tightly. When assembled correctly from the instructions, the IKEA Idasen is sturdy enough to be a contender. Even though IKEA is famous for consumer prices, this is not the cheapest desk on the list.
It’s a stable and durable desk but suffers from some performance issues related to weight. Its weight limit is only 75kg, which is pretty low for this list. Customers have also noticed a significant drop in the adjustment speed when the desk nears its maximum carrying capacity.
Sturdy hardware with a 2-stage gear mechanism
High adjustment height range of 66cm
Stabilized metal columns
Low weight limit, which negatively affects adjustment speed
The Autonomous Desks specialize in business desks and in that sense, they’re a more affordable option than most. With an adjustment speed of over 2 inches per second, the Autonomous Desk changes height faster and easier than most any other standing desk model on the market.
It comes with a 4-button programmable switch that gives the user access to preferences. With an adjustment speed of 1.85 inches per second and an equipment load of 136kg, the Autonomous Desk is a confident competitor in durability among standing desks in its price range.
One of the other ways in which the Autonomous Desk is prioritized for businesses is that its electronics feature a 5-year manufacturer’s warranty.
The low price point does come with a stability issue related to rocking at the taller height settings. The circuit board is also not the highest quality in the industry, probably owing again to the low price.
However, as a competitive option for professional-grade, electric standing desks, Autonomous Desk’s features far outweigh its detractors.
Adequate adjustment speed and competitive weight capacity at 136kg
Stability issues at the highest height setting
Low-quality mass-produced circuit boards
Evodesk Gaming Desk
The Evodesk Gaming Desk adjusts with a 25-inch range at 1.5 inches per second. At 45 decibels, it’s a little noisier while in motion than most of the desks on this list. However, that may come from its high weight capacity of 355 pounds, which is great for those with a huge, multi-monitor gaming setup.
As a gaming desk where players will be seated closer, using the keyboard with more intensity, the material of the desk is perhaps more important than the average standing desk setup. For this reason, the Evodesks are made of bamboo and recycled rubberwood with soft, comfortable edges to prevent fatigue and nerve compression.
It can adjust to multiple widths on the top surface for different gaming setups as well as electronically sync its leg speed while adjusting. It has a 3x6-inch cable port for any gamer’s needs and a 5-year manufacturer’s warranty on the whole setup.
Soft surface edges
High weight capacity
Structural features customized for gamers such as a large cable pass-through
Adjustable surface depth
5-year manufacturer’s warranty
Comparatively loud while adjusting
High price in its range
Standing desks offer a way out of the chronic tightness associated with sitting all day. People working from home or in an office can benefit from the options offered by a good adjustable standing desk. No matter how you adjust it – manually or mechanically – being able to change positions during the day gives you a great opportunity to increase blood flow and concentration.
Even if you don’t have health issues related to a sedentary lifestyle, you can benefit from planning ahead and giving your muscles and joints the chance to stay limber, even against the physical stresses of a desk job.
This list of features, as well as pros and cons, for the 10 best standing desks should help a desk worker review their options in terms of brands and features for a great standing desk. With the increasing prevalence of long workdays at sitting desks, these options can help mitigate the risks and keep you healthy and moving all day.
MotionGrey is a Canadian standing desk company that specializes in ergonomic furniture. We supply and install only the best quality standing desks and ergonomic chairs in the country.
Our products are designed with wellness as the focal point. From our electric standing desks to our office and gaming chairs, we deliver best value by putting your health, safety, and comfort as top priority. Boost your creativity and level up work performance. We want you to create great outcomes so we’re providing you only the best tools to make them possible.
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