Getting a motorized standing desk which is just right for you is not that hard, still you'll need to get quite a few things right to get great, functional sit-stand desks.
Electric sit-stand desks come in many shapes and styles, doing a bit of leg work before buying one can save you from a lot of hassle later on.
Picking the best motorized standing desk
Picking the best electric standing desk is not hard once you get to the bottom of the details.
Electric sit-stand desk have a few properties which make or break their usability:
- The size of the desk - the desk should be large enough to hold all you need and small enough to fit your office.
Avoid the ones with stabilizer bars between the legs - you'll hurt your shin or knees with these when sitting down.
- Memory buttons make it easier to raise or lower the desk to the height you like.
- Some desks are more wobbly then the others. The main issue with a wobbly desk is that your monitor will vibrate as you type so usability is reduced.
- The noise they make during ascent and descent - some desks are just a tad bit too noisy for office environment.
- The availability of casters.
If you move your desk a lot casters are a must.
- Electric sit-stand desks usually have a high enough weight capacity so they will be able to hold all your equipment. Still check this to make sure.
- The warranty - the longer the better.
- The price - the lower the better.
Divide the price by the length of the warranty, the lower this number is, the better the deal is.
- The height range. Your elbow should be at about 90 degrees when using the desk - measure your elbow's distance from the ground when sitting and standing to get a grasp of your requirements. If the desk does not go low enough for sitting you can always use a drafting stool.
- The smell of the desks. Rarely sit-stand desks can have strange smell from the lubricants, paint, etc.
ANSI / BIFMA compatibility. For best ergonomics choose a desk which was designed for the ANSI / BIFMA ergonomics standard.
There are some accessories which are often required to properly use a sit-stand desk:
- An anti-fatigue mat helps your leg avoid the fatigue.
While not strictly necessary an anti-fatigue mat will make working standing up more enjoyable.
- A monitor mount or monitor arm - this is almost always necessary to get the ergonomics right. When looking straight ahead you have to look through the top third of your screen both when sitting and standing.
- A keyboard tray helps with the ergonomics but it's not necessary.
If you have a keyboard tray you won't have to raise your monitor that much and your hands will be less tired too.
The best motorized standing desk for home office
Once you get the details right which are true for all standing desks, the only thing left to check if the standing desk of your choice matches your home-office. In the end everybody likes a bit of harmony.
If you like DIY, getting a standing desk base only is a great idea: this way you can get a customized tabletop and make it look just the way you like it.
The Jarvis Standing Desk Frame
The motors make just a humming noise while they work.
This sit-stand desk does not wobble much, so typing on it will not keep your display vibrating around.
This frame does not have stabilizer which could hit your knee or shin when sitting down, which is a great plus.
The ApexDesk Elite
The ApexDesk Elite has a 71" wide top surface, so it will hold all you need for your job, triple monitors, your notes, your external keyboard will all find their place on this desk.
The motors in the desk work quietly to raise or lower the desk, there's not much noise coming out of this one.
The desk does not wobble, not even in it's highest position. It's important because a wobbly desk would just make your work harder.
The ApexDesk Vortex
The ApexDesk vortex is the Elite's little brother: with a 60" wide surface and the 170 lbs. lift capacity is just a tad bit smaller, so the desk is still more than comfortable while costing a bit less too.
The motor is quiet, some versions of the controller reacts with beeps when you push the buttons. This can be inconvenient if you raise or lower your desk often.
Like every desk in this "best" category, this one has no stabilizer bars between the legs, so you will not hurt your desk leg when you sit down to it.
The best motorized standing desk for tall person
Besides getting a desk which goes high, you'll also need a monitor arm to get the monitor height and viewing angle right.
Standing desks usually wobble more the higher you set them. Double check that the desk you choose is not wobbly.
The iMovR Omega Everest standing desk
The Omega Everest is high end sit-stand desk, which is very suitable for tall persons due to it's 51" max height and for short persons too, due to it's lowest height of 25".
The motor only makes a slight humming noise when changing the height, upwards it's a bit louder, downwards a bit quieter. This is normal as the motors have to work more when raising the desk.
The desk has no stabilizer bars - no more hurt shins when you sit down too quickly!
The Omega Everest has just too many variants to meaningfully list them all here. Click the image to see them.
Stand Up Desk Store electric stand up desk
Stand Up Desk Store's electric sit stand desks are recommended for tall persons because it can go up as high as 53".
This desk comes in two size variants: one with 48" wide tabletop and another with 60" wide tabletop, so the desk is suitable both for small offices, and for those of you who need a larger surface to hold your devices and notes.
Just as other high quality standing desks this one has no stabilizer bars which could hurt your legs when you sit down to them.
Choose this desk if you need the extra height or you move your desk often.
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VIVO sit-stand desk frame (model DESK-V103E)
The VIVO DESK-V103E is an electric sit-stand desk frame suitable for tall persons, as it can go as high as 50.4". The frame can support tabletops 40" to 90" so it's a perfect fit both for small offices and if you have lot of equipment.
The desk comes without casters which makes moving it hard.
Besides going up to 50.4", the lowest height you can set is 24.4". You can use the memory buttons to easily set the height of your desk. The motor is quiet and fast, it takes less than 20 seconds to raise the desk from the lowest to the highest position.
Just as most other desks in this best-sit-stand-desks article, this desk has no crossbars which could hurt your leg when you sit down to it. Despite this it's still pretty stable and only wobbles a tiny bit in the highest position.
The best motorized standing desk for laptop
To get around this issue you'll either need to use an external keyboard, an external monitor, or both. This means you'll need a monitor arm or two tier desk to hold your equipment.
Two tier desks are great because you can use them with your laptop+external keyboard, and they work well with a laptop+external monitor combination too.
With a monitor arm such as the North Bayou monitor desk mount you can easily use any sit-stand desk with your laptop while keeping the ergonomics right. Just use the laptop's keyboard and external monitor with the mount.
Stand Up Desk Store's two tier sit-stand desk
Stand Up Desk Store's two tier desks come in two sizes: 48" and 60" wide. Both of them are large enough for two monitors, the 48" wide is more suitable for smaller offices, while the 60" has enough space to hold all you need for work.
The height range is 28.87" to 42.62" which is good, but honestly not as wide as you could get with the Omega Everest for example.
The desks have no memory buttons so raising or lowering them is a bit hard, but still a lot better than if you had to use a crank.
This desk is recommended for those of you who are looking for a simple sit-stand desk to use with a laptop.
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The best electric standing desk for designers
As a designer you'll probably want a sit-stand desk that is stable, and will not wobble just as you reach for your mouse or your input device.
You'll want a desk that has space for your drawing tablet / input device, and has still enough space to hold the monitors you need for your work.
ApexDesk Vortex L-shaped standing desk
The ApexDesk Vortex L-shaped sit-stand desk is a three-legged, L shaped desk.
The height range is 27.5" .. 45.5", the desk comes with memory buttons to make your life easier.
As most other desks in this article, this desk comes without stabilizing bars between the legs, so it will spare your shin and knees from the hits.
The best electric standing desk for gaming
If you are a gamer you are probably sitting a lot, and you know it's not that good for your health. To use a standing desk for gaming it must have quite a few extra properties besides being a good electric standing desk:
- You'll need a desk with high lift-capacity safely to hold your monitor(s), monitor arm, computer, keyboard, gaming mouse and other input devices.
- Besides a high lift capacity you'll need high enough surface area to hold your rig.
You'll need a desk that's deep enough if you have large screens.
- You'll need cable management so your cables won't end up in as an entangled mess.
- The desk will need a high quality finish to get good mouse precision.
- You'll need a stable monitor arm or monitor holder to get the ergonomics right.
You'll want a desk that is fast - you won't want to wait a lot to change between sitting and standing in the heat of the game.
- It's nice if your desk is spill resistant, but it's not a necessity.
Besides the basics there are a few extras which can serve you well:
- A CPU holder to hold your computer, this way it will not take up space on your desktop.
An anti fatigue mat to keep your legs busy while you are gaming.
- Wireless headset is great to have to save you from getting caught in your audio cable.
- Finally you'll want a desk that looks as cool as the games you play.
The Kinsal electric-adjustable gaming desk
The desk comes with memory buttons and anti-pinch function which makes it safer than the average electric sit-stand desk - it will stop moving if it detects that it pinches something.
The desk has no crossbars between the legs, so your shin and knee will stay safe when sitting down quickly in the heat of the game.
The desk looks great - it's probably one of the best looking sit-stand desks on the market.
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The best electric standing desk for iMac 27
Two tier (or split-top) desks are great because they make it easy to get the ergonomics right - you use the lower tier for your keyboard, and place your iMac on the upper tier.
Another option is to get the Ergotech arm and the original Apple VESA adapter.
The best electric standing desk for two or three monitors
A 48" wide desk can easily hold two 27" monitors.This is because even a 27" monitor is just about 23" wide.
A 60" wide desk can easily hold 3 27" monitors.A 48" wide desk is just a tad bit too narrow for three monitors, the outer edge of the bases would not rest on the tabletop.
- Turning the monitors towards you instead of just stacking them side-by-side you saves a bit of space.
Even if your monitor weighs 20 lbs. three monitors would still be under the weight limit of most electric desks.These desks can usually lift more than 100 lbs.
Another important point is to get the ergonomics right: your monitors will need to be high enough so that when looking straight ahead you should be looking through their top third, while keeping your elbow at a comfortable 90 to 120 degrees to reach your keyboard.
The best electric sit-stand desk for short persons
The best motorized sit-stand desk for a cubicle or small space
The best motorized sit-stand desks usually come in widths down to 48" - if you can fit a desk this large in your office then you are good to go. Otherwise to get a high-quality desk you'll need to do a bit of DIY - get a standing desk frame and fit it with a tabletop.
The best motorized standing desk for lawyers
To find a fitting sit-stand desk as a lawyer, you'll want one that's fast and has memory buttons so you can switch between sitting and standing fast.
Support for dual-monitors is a plus so you have more screen real-estate.
- Beyond the office door has a detailed article on choosing the best electric standing desk.
- Startstanding.org has a shorter, but still very useful article.
- Gerry Bell, the CEO of Ergo Workspace, has a short and to-the-point article on standing desk ergonomics.
- If you'd like to learn what's inside a motorized standing desk, this imgur gallery is a great place to start.