Using a sit-stand desk already makes your workplace more ergonomic, but still there's always room for improvement.
Not every kind of work needs the same sit-stand desk or the same extras to get the ergonomics right.
Read on to find out which are the most ergonomic sit-stand desks for use with a laptop, or if you have carpal tunnel syndrome, or if you only have a small space for your new desk.
What makes a standing desk ergonomic
However there are quite a few details behind just feeling comfortable at your desk.
Keyboard and screen height counts
- The screen should be high enough so that if you look straight ahead, you look through the top third of the screen.
- The keyboard should be high enough so that you can reach it with your upper-arms hanging from you should by your side, and your elbows bent at 90 to 120 degrees.
When you are standing up, your keyboard should be bent such that it's edge near you is higher than the edge that's farther. For more information on standing desk ergonomics, check our "How tall should a standing desk be?" and our "How to stand at a standing desk?" articles.
Desk minimum and maximum height is important
- The maximum height is important, the desk must be able to go high enough so you can use it comfortably while standing.
- The minimum height is important for using it when sitting.
Other desk details: depth, crossbars and wobbliness
- While hardly an issue, if you have a large monitor take care of the depth of your desk - it has to be deep enough so that you have enough distance between your eyes and the monitor.
If a standing desk has crossbars, you could easily hurt your legs when sitting down.Avoid desks with stabilizing crossbars.
- Most standing desk tend to wobble a bit - however if a desk is really wobbly you'll have a hard time seeing your screen clearly.
Wrist mat and arm support are nice to have
Wrist mats and keyboard tray help with wrist problems.
Soft wrist mats rest your wrists and help you avoid carpal tunnel syndrome. These mats come in all shapes and sizes - including a baguette...
An arm support holds your whole forearm, so you do not put the weight of your forearm on your wrist. This in turn reduces the chance of getting carpal tunnel syndrome.
Best ergonomic standing desk for office or home office
For your office you'll want a desk that's both ergonomic and matches your office.
If you are accepting clients in your office, you may want to opt for a professional looking sit-stand desk, such as the ApexDesk Elite or the Omega Everest.
For a home-office a simpler looking desk is more than enough, such as the ApexDesk Vortex or Stand Up Desk Store's desks.
The iMovr Omega Everest
The iMovr Omega Everest is a high-end electric sit-stand desks, suitable for offices where the looks counts. It has a built-in keyboard tray which can help with wrist problems.
The desk has a maximum height of 51" and a minimum height of 25" so both tall and short persons can use it successfully.
The desk is fairly quiet, the motor only makes a slight humming noise when raising the desk. Downwards it's even quieter.
The desk does not have a stabilizer bar, so it will not hurt your shin when you sit down.
There are just too many variants of this desk to list them all here, so only the first one is listed.
The ApexDesk Elite
The ApexDesk Elite is a great looking sit-stand desk, ideal for offices where you need a good looking desk.
This desk has a 71" wide surface, it can hold all you ever need for work, including your notes, monitors, and keyboard.
The ApexDesk Elite is really quiet, so you will not annoy your coworkers when you raise or lower your desk every hour.
This desk does not tend to wobble, even when it's in the highest position.
Stand Up Desk Store's electric desks
Stand Up Desk Store's electric desks come with a 48" or 60" wide surface. This is big enough to host your laptop, monitor and external keyboard and still have plenty of spare space left.
Just as other ergonomic desks, these ones come without cross-bars to, saving your knee and shin.
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Apexdesk Vortex L-shaped desk
The ApexDesk Vortex is the Elite's smaller brother. It has a 60" wide surface with a 170 lbs. lift capacity - that's why it costs less too.
Just as you'd expect from an ergonomic desk, this one has no stabilizer bars which could hurt your leg.
The best ergonomic standing desk for laptop or computer
This is because without raising your monitor from the desk surface, either your keyboard would be too high up, or you'd have to look way downwards to see the screen.
Stand up desk store two tier desk
Stand Up Desk Store's two tier (or split-top) desks come with 48" and 60" tabletops. It's ideal for laptops, the two tiers make it more ergonomic than the average. This in turn can help with back pain.
Both of these are large enough for two monitors, and anything you might need for your work. The 48" is small enough for tiny offices too.
You can set the height using the buttons on the controller between 28.87" and 42.62".
These desks have a weight capacity of 154 lbs. - more than enough to hold all you'd need for work.
This desk is recommended for a laptop or computer if you do not want to get a monitor arm, and do not mind the split surface.
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iMovr Omega Everest with a monitor arm
The desk's minimum height of 25" and maximum height of 51" makes it suitable both for tall and short persons. The monitor arm makes sure you can get the ergonomics right, and your screen will be just at the right level and angle.
For best results, set your screen's height so that if you look straight ahead you are looking through the top third of your screen.
With the desk's built-in keyboard tray you can get the angles right for your wrist too.
As the desk is quiet, you won't disturb your officemates by raising and lowering it every hour.
As the desk has no stabilizer bars it will not hurt your legs when you try to sit down to it.
Both the desk and the monitor arms have many variants, simply too much to list them all here.
The best ergonomic standing desk for carpal tunnel
To achieve this you'll need a keyboard tray with negative tilt for standing. This way you can hold your wrist in a natural manner without twisting or overloading it, and you will not press on your nerves.
Stand Up Desk Store's desk with a keyboard tray
As carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by the nerves in your wrist getting pressed, you need to align your keyboard and mouse so that you can use it without putting pressure on your wrists.
Combined with Stand Up Desk Store's desk, you'll get an ergonomic sit-stand desk with a 48" or 60" wide surface, that's big enough to hold all you need for work, or can fit in a small office too.
Stand Up Desk Store's desks come with heavy-duty casters, which are lockable, so you can move your desk around without lifting, or lock it in place if you want to.
Most of these desks come with memory buttons, which you can use the raise or lower the desk to a preprogrammed height.
These desks have no cross-bars between the legs, so you will not hurt your shin or knee when sitting down.
For best results get a monitor arm too - this helps you set your monitor into an ergonomic position.
Best ergonomic standing desk for neck or back pain
To get rid of your neck or back pain, you'll need the get the ergonomics right.
To get the ergonomics right, set the keyboard height so that your elbow is at between 90 ... 120 degrees. Set the screen height so that when looking straight ahead, you are looking through the top third of the screen. For more details read "How Tall Should A Standing Desk Be?" .
Best ergonomic standing desk for cubicles
If you need a smaller desk you'll have to go the DIY route, get a standing desk frame, and buy a tabletop for it. This way you can go down to 40" in width.
VIVO's V103E standing desk frame
VIVO's V103E is a sit-stand desk frame, you can fit it with tabletops 40" to 90" wide and 24" to 44" deep.
This makes it suitable for tiny offices, but you can count on it if you have a large office and need a wide desk too.
With a 40" wide tabletop it is narrower than other sit-stand desks, while using a 90" tabletop you can go wider if you want to.
You can set the height between 24.4" and 50.4" - this makes the desk suitable for short and tall persons too.
The desk is really fast, you can raise it from the bottom-most position to the highest in about 17 seconds.
The 220 lbs. load capacity is enough to hold all you need for your work.
The frame has no crossbars, so you will not hit your legs when sitting down for it.
For best ergonomics get a monitor arm and/or a keyboard tray too.
This frame is a great choice if you want to build a desk that neatly fits into a tiny cubicle.
The best ergonomic standing desk for drawing
While you can use most sit-stand desks for drawing, the specialized desks have a tiltable surface which makes them more ergonomic.
40" adjustable height drawing and drafting table from Stand Up Desk Store
This desk was specially designed for drawing, drafting and painting. It features a 40" wide surface that you can tilt between 0° and 45° in nine steps.
The desk was not designed for laptops or computers, so while you could still use it that way it's better to just get a proper sit-stand desk.
You can set the desk's height between 26.5" and 38.5" in 2" increments with thumb screws - it's better to just set it high and use a drafting stool if you'd like to sit.
This desk has stabilizing bars, take care of your knees when sitting down to it.