The 5 Best Standing Desks

By Gina Ippolito on 30 September 2013 (Updated 9 July 2014) 5 comments

Standing desks are all the rage these days due to an increasing number of studies warning about the health risks of sitting for long periods of time. Although popular in the 18th and 19th centuries among the wealthy, standing desks have recently been making a comeback among those who work in front of a computer all day long. With the increased popularity and the wariness of the more common sitting desk, there are now a number of standing desk options out there. What once were custom made, expensive extravagances for the rich elite are now moderately priced and adjustable for anyone looking to try one out. We here at Wise Bread have narrowed down the options available to the top five.

(See also: The Best Time to Buy Anything)

What Is a Standing Desk?

A standing desk is a desk designed for use while an individual is standing up. It is exactly like a regular desk, with all of the regular functions, except it is taller. There is no height limitation on a standing desk, as that depends on the person using it. Some standing desks are custom built while others have adjustable heights so the buyer can make the best choice for their needs and physicality.

Best 5 Standing Desks

NextDesk Terra

The NextDesk Terra is consistently ranked the best by those in the know. The desk top is made from bamboo, which is both sustainable and durable, and the frame is made from aluminum, which is much more sustainable than steel. Reviewers particularly like the aesthetics of this desk, especially when compared with the other, less attractive options on the market.

This standing desk is easily adjustable with a power push button, making getting the perfect height extremely simple, which is key for reaping the health benefits of standing while working. It comes with three programmable memory presets — which is great if there will be multiple people using it or if you'd prefer to sit for part of the day. The motor is stored inside the legs, and it has a cable management system that allows you to hide them down grommets in the desk itself. This means there are no unsightly and messy cords getting in your way.

This desk comes with a slew of optional features for an extra cost, including: a 12-outlet power system that attaches to the bottom of the desktop, raising and lowering the wires and power source as you adjust the desk height; a keyboard tray; a monitor arm; and an aluminum vanity cover.

The NextDesk comes with three finishes of light, medium, and dark and is made with no solvent based paints, formaldehyde, or other toxins. It comes with a three year warranty instead of the industry standard two and has an industry-best lift speed of 1.7 inches per second. The bottom line is, although this is an expensive option, in this case, you definitely get what you pay for.

Current Price: $1,497 at NextDesk

GeekDesk V3

GeekDesk is one of the more popular standing desks on the market. They currently offer the GeekDesk V3 and the GeekDesk Max which has heavier lifting capabilities; however, the standard GeekDesk V3's weight capacity should be more than enough for anyone using it for typical work activities. It has a hidden drive internal motor for easy lifting and lowering adjustments.

The GeekDesk V3 comes with a strong a durable steel frame which can be ordered in a silver or black polymer coated finish. The frames can be ordered in two sizes, large or small, depending on your needs. Likewise, the desktops come in large and small to fit the frame, and feature a beech veneer or a black laminate option.

One of the biggest selling points of the GeekDesk is that you have the ability to purchase only the frame, and then mount it to a tabletop of your choosing. This cuts down on cost and also gives you an option if you already have a non standing desk at home that you love and don't want to part with. You can also pick up a cheaper desktop for the frame at someplace like Ikea.

The lack of accessories on this desk makes it more difficult to customize than the NextDesk Terra, and the general consensus seems to be that it's not quite as aesthetically pleasing. However, it is still a solid option, especially for someone just getting into the standing desk game who doesn't want to spend quite as much money. Although the GeekDesk Max comes with four programmable presets, the V3 does not, which makes it more suitable for a single user.

The Geek Desk V3 comes with a five year warranty for the frame, and a two year warranty for the motors and electronics. It has a lift speed of 28mm - 35mm per second and lifts from 23” to 49” off the ground.

Current Price for Large Frame and Desktop: $799 at GeekDesk

UpDesk PowerUp

The UpDesk PowerUp is an electronic standing desk. It raises and lowers automatically using a twin lift system at a speed of 3.8 cm per second. It has a good motor but reviews seem to indicate that it is not as aesthetically pleasing as either the GeekDesk or the NextDesk.

This standing desk comes with three programmable memory presets between 68 cm and 108 cm. It can lift up to 136 kg. It comes in three size options of small, medium, and large, and the desktop comes in maple, mahogany, or black. Additionally, if you purchase a medium sized UpDesk, they also come in orange.

With the UpDesk, you have the ability to purchase a lot of extra accessories including a standing mat, which health studies have indicated is good to alleviate the problems associated with standing for long periods of time. It comes equipped with cord ties to keep all your wires organized and out of the way. The UpDesk PowerUp comes with a five year limited warranty.

Current Price For Large: $899 at UpDesk

Ninja Standing Desk

The Ninja Standing Desk is by far the most bare bones of the desks listed here. In fact, it is essentially two or three hanging shelves that function as a desk. The reason it's on this list, however, is that you simply can't beat the price. At hundreds of dollars less than the other options, this is perfect for anyone who wants to try out a standing desk but isn't sure they'll like it. It is not electronically adjustable and it can't hold much weight when compared with other, sturdier desks, but it will definitely get you used to the idea of standing while working.

The main selling point for the Ninja, aside from the price, is that you can pack it up easily and bring it with you wherever you go. It weighs about five pounds and can fold up to fit into a laptop case. If you are a frequent traveler used to working off of hotel desks, this is a big convenience. You can hang the Ninja from the back of a door, a wall, or a cubicle. It is fully adjustable, although it might take some trial and error to get the perfect height for your needs.

The Ninja Standing Desk comes with two or three shelves, each capable of holding about 30 pounds, which is plenty if you use your work desk mainly for your laptop and keyboard. The shelves come in black or wine colors and the hanging straps are silver. A carrying case is included with purchase.

Current Price for Two Shelves: $159.00 at Amazon

Safco Muv Stand-Up Workstation

The Safco Muv Stand-Up Workstation is a great mid-range standing desk option. It's sturdier and more comprehensive than the Ninja, but it's not as expensive as the other options on this list. This desk does not have much surface area, so it's best suited for people who either have another workstation or who only use their desks for their computers.

The Safco has multiple height options, ranging from 35” to 49”. However, you have to manually take it apart and adjust it anytime you want a change, meaning it's not a great option if you share a workspace. It has multiple shelves for storage which makes the small surface area issue somewhat better.

This desk supports 100 pounds, and it comes in walnut, cherry, or gray options. It has a steel frame and while it look fine aesthetically, some reviewers seem to think it has a cheap feel to it, which makes sense given the price when compared with other standing desks.

Current Price: $281.48 at Amazon

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Guest's picture

I don't like any of these desks because they lack storage capabilities that most desks have. They could be useful if used in addition to a regular desk. I also have medical issues (peripheral neuropathy) that make prolonged standing difficult for me.

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Day

Another great choice is the Stand Steady standing desk, which I use! It is pretty inexpensive and sits on top of your desk so you can stand even if you have a cubicle www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00C344VMY

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Guest

The picture you have for the Nextdesk Terra is incorrect. Pretty sloppy.

Amy Lu's picture
Amy Lu

Thanks for catching that, Guest! I've changed out the picture.

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Elizabeth Norman

If you want a standing desk that's actually affordable, the StorkStand is collapsible, affordable, and only costs $179. The Kickstarter for it is at https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/889675794/storkstand-the-most-affor...