As seen in:
LifeSpan Fitness
Treadmill Desk
Safco Products
Adjustable Height w/Keyboard Shelf
Stand Up Desk Store
Mobile Ergonomic
Ergotron
WorkFit-C Single HD
Anthro
Elevate II Adjusta Plus
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Good

Is incredibly large, attractive, and has a number of useful features that make it extremely user-friendly. Takes the standing desk idea and adds a whole extra level of exercise.

Although at first glance it appears quite slender, it's actually very stable. The metal frame is powder coated, a finish known for its durability.

There's something very sturdy and well engineered about the appearance, as if wooden planks have been attached to construction girders.

It's priced at a similar level to a lot of "ordinary" office furniture, yet it offers true versatility as either a standing desk or a sit-down one.

It's very well made, has tremendous flexibility in terms of layout, and has the advantage of electric motors, so raising and lowering it is effortless.

Bad

Quite an investment, but if you want tomake a radical shift away from your sedentary work-day, this is the desk for you.

Height is not easily adjustable - you have to undo four screws to move it.

Its height doesn't make it usable as a sitting desk for longer periods of time.

Has a smaller workspace than the Lifespan and Elevate.

Extremely large - the top surface weighs 150 pounds, and the keyboard section is another 47 pounds.

Bottom Line

Whether it is the eye-catching design, the ingenious bells and whistles, or the super-durable base, this is the single best standing desk on the market.

Not practical as a combination sit/stand desk, so we recommend sticking with it purely as a stand up workstation.

A sturdy unit with a fair bit of workspace, but we recommend the Ergotron instead.

Without question the most cost-effective standing desk available, offering 95% of the benefits of a premium stand up desk for less than 50% of the cost.

It's quite an investment, but its high quality will provide you years and years of service and may end up saving you money in the long run.

How we decide
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Products received from manufacturers
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Models Considered
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Experts Interviewed
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Consumers Consulted

Best Stand Up Desks

It is possible to buy a standing desk for under a hundred dollars, but none of those have made it into our top five ratings because of concerns about stability and durability. If you're going to get the full benefits of a stand up desk, it has to be something you largely ignore - so you have to be confident it's well made and properly balanced.

That doesn't mean we've only chosen high-end desks or workstations. As you'll discover, some are very affordable. Our finalists are:

Products we Considered

LifeSpan Fitness
Treadmill Desk
Safco Products
Adjustable Height w/Keyboard Shelf
Stand Up Desk Store
Mobile Ergonomic
Ergotron
WorkFit-C Single HD
Anthro
Elevate II Adjusta Plus

Considerations

Appearance & Construction

Although it's a piece of working furniture, you still want it to be reasonably attractive and to fit in with its surroundings. You also want your desk to be of good quality so that it handles the rigors of daily use.

Size & Ergonomics

Standard sit-down desktops vary widely in size, and stand up desks are no different - it's important to know that there's space for what you need and that you won't have to change your working practices to accommodate your workstation.

Other Features

Not all standing desks are created equal. Some are manually powered, some electrical, and some have other options that can make them easier to live with.

Price

Deciding to change the way you work is quite a step. Office furniture can be expensive, but choosing a cheap stand up desk could lead to disappointment. Having said that, several of our selection prove you don't have to make a huge investment for something both good-looking and functional.

Considerations

Appearance & Construction

Safco Products Muv Stand-up Adjustable Height Computer Workstation

The Safco Products Muv Stand-up Workstation is a smart, modern-looking unit. It's available in three color choices, so there's a good chance one will fit in with your existing decor. The metal frame is powder coated, a finish known for its durability. Although at first glance it appears quite slender, owners are keen to point out that it's actually very stable. This desk does need to be assembled, and some people were unhappy with the instructions and found it a little difficult to put together. If you are wiling to bear with it, though, you will be rewarded with a very aesthetically-pleasing workstation.

40" Black Shelves Mobile Ergonomic Stand Up Desk Computer Workstation

The metal parts of the 40'' Black Shelves Mobile Ergonomic Workstation are also powder coated - and on this desk they seem a much more prominent part of the design. There's something very sturdy and well engineered about the appearance, as if wooden planks have been attached to construction girders. Again, some assembly is required and, although one person could manage, owners said it's much easier with two.

Ergotron WorkFit-C Single HD Sit/Stand Workstation

Ergotron have taken a different approach with the Ergotron WorkFit-C Sit/Stand Workstation, designing a much more compact, cart-based unit. It has a smaller footprint and is very easy to move around. The appearance is quite utilitarian, and indeed your monitor and keyboard are the items that give the dominant visual impact, rather than the desk itself.

LifeSpan TR1200-DT5 Treadmill Desk

In terms of appearance, little will match the LifeSpan TR1200-DT5 Treadmill Desk. It's truly a work of art, and it's obvious that the manufacturers have put significant thought into every aspect of the design. If you're keen to change how you work at your desk because of the fitness benefits, what better way to achieve that by walking instead of standing! It does need considerable space, of course, but it's a sleek, attractive and well-designed piece of furniture. There's minimal assembly required for the desk section, which owners find very solid and stable.

Elevate II Adjusta Plus 60W

Having said that little would match the LifeSpan Treadmill Desk visually, the Elevate II Adjusta Plus Electric Sit Stand Desk does come close. At 60 inches wide, it's a substantial slab of working area. The powder-coated frame manages to look slender yet purposeful at the same time. Although definitely impressive when it's all put together (and with excellent component quality), some owners were disappointed that assembly was required. The manufacturer suggests it will take two people an hour or more to complete, but we found that to be a bit of an overestimate.

The LifeSpan TR1200-DTS is truly a work of art, and it's obvious that the manufacturers have put significant thought into every aspect of the design.
Considerations

Size & Ergonomics

The upper work surface of the Safco Products Muv Stand-up Workstation is 29 1/2 inches by 19 3/4 inches - which is more than adequate for a monitor and a telephone - and will carry up to 100 pounds in weight. There's a sliding keyboard shelf underneath and two further shelves below that. The top one of these is fixed and would be useful for a printer, scanner, or as somewhere to keep a few office consumables. The lower one can be moved up or down and could support a computer. The height of the desk top can be set at between 35 and 49 inches. Unfortunately, this is not easily adjustable - you have to undo four screws to move it. It's not the most difficult job, but a bit awkward. That, combined with a lowest possible height of 35 inches, does not really make it practical as a combination sit/stand desk, so we recommend sticking with it purely as a stand up workstation.

40" Black Shelves Mobile Ergonomic Stand Up Desk Computer Workstation

With this versatile desk, you are able to either sit or stand. There's a crank handle to position the upper surface anywhere between 33 1/2 inches and 47 1/2 inches - and it's quite quick and easy to do so. Using it as a sitting desk wouldn't be recommended for long periods, as most standard desks are around 29 or 30 inches tall, but it would be acceptable for short periods. The upper surface is 39.4 inches wide by 14 inches deep and the keyboard shelf - which is fixed - is 16 inches deep. There is also a lower rack for a computer so that it doesn't take up valuable space in the main working area.

At 24 inches by 23 inches, the Ergotron WorkFit-C Sit/Stand Workstation has sufficient workspace, but a large working area is not what this stand up desk is about. It has been designed to be a very mobile, highly adjustable workstation and much more of an integrated solution. There are 5 inches of adjustment in the LCD stand, which will take a monitor of up to 30 inches. The desktop itself has 20 inches of movement and the keyboard tray tilts for maximum working comfort and to help reduce repetitive strain. The whole thing is cleverly counterbalanced, so raising and lowering the height is extremely easy - just what you want from a true sit/stand desk.

The LifeSpan TR1200-DT5 Treadmill Desk takes the standing desk idea and adds a whole extra level of exercise - but it certainly doesn't mean you have to walk all day! In fact while the treadmill part fits snugly under the desk element, the two are separate and the treadmill can be stopped whenever you like, or it will do so automatically if you step off for more than 20 seconds. The desktop itself is 31 by 46 1/2 inches - which is a good sized surface - and the height can be set between 36 and 52 inches. Adjustment is by way of two large, tactile knobs, which make the job fairly easy but don't offer the rapid variation you get with the Ergotron or the 40'' Mobile Ergonomic Workstation.

Elevate II Adjusta Plus 60W

Available working surface is obviously the strong point with the Elevate II Adjusta Plus Electric Sit Stand Desk: it's just plain huge. It's also robust. The top surface will take 150 pounds in weight, and the keyboard section will take another 47 pounds. Despite this considerable structural bulk, it's easy to adjust (anywhere between 28 and 47 inches high) thanks to electric motors in the legs. The desk also provides additional flexibility by giving you the ability to have the keyboard either below (as you would normally) or above the main desktop - perfect for ergonomics and user comfort.

Raising and lowering the height of the Ergotron is extremely easy - just what you want from a true sit/stand desk.
Matthew
Expert Consultant
Matthew
IT Professional, Product Manager

Matthew has led IT departments and tech teams in a variety of industries. Currently, he works in the sports gaming industry. He has written reviews and been involved with electronics procurement decisions for a number of players at the business and individual level for over a decade. In his spare time, you may find Matthew playing frisbee, golf, or reading a good novel.

Considerations

Other Features

Safco Products Muv Stand-up Adjustable Height Computer Workstation

The Safco Products Muv Stand-up Workstation is quite a basic product and, apart from the useful extra shelves, the only other feature of note is the locking wheels. The wheels make the desk easy to transport when you need to move it around but are also easily lockable when you want it stationary.

40" Black Shelves Mobile Ergonomic Stand Up Desk Computer Workstation

Another unit aimed at the lower end of the market, this workstation is also wheeled (with two of them braked), although we're not sure you would want to move it often - most owners we surveyed tended to "set it and forget it" once they got used to a particular arrangement.

Ergotron WorkFit-C Single HD Sit/Stand Workstation

With the Ergotron WorkFit-C Sit/Stand Workstation, the neat and tidy theme continues beyond the actual frame and work top. The monitor mount frees up valuable desk space and it features a special carrier for your computer which keeps it tucked behind the main support frame. The desk also has an invaluable cable management system which can really save you from having a spider's web of cables in the back of the workstation.

LifeSpan TR1200-DT5 Treadmill Desk

The LifeSpan TR1200-DT5 Treadmill Desk comes with a number of useful extras. For the treadmill section there's a digital control console that displays your progress and allows you to vary speed between 0.4 and 4 mph. The front edge of the desk itself has foam pads molded in so you can rest your forearms. That upper surface also has rounded corners that look good and offer additional safety in the unlikely event that you should slip, or that someone passing by should bump into it. A final nice touch is the cable management tray under the rear of the work top. As with the aesthetic design, the manufacturers have really thought of everything when it comes to perfecting this product.

Elevate II Adjusta Plus 60W

A cable management tray is also provided with the Elevate II Adjusta Plus Electric Sit Stand Desk, and a 12 outlet power bar ensures that there's no danger of getting cables snagged in the mechanism. To make doubly sure it's all neat, an inboard computer rack is included. Although working space is already substantial, the Elevate also comes with a side mounting cup holder, so not even your favorite beverage can get in the way!

A nice touch of the LifeSpan TR1200-DT5 is the cable management tray under the rear of the work top.
Considerations

Price

Safco Products Muv Stand-up Adjustable Height Computer Workstation

At $261 (list is $474), the Safco Products Muv Stand-up Workstation is the cheapest of the stand up desks in our ratings, but it certainly shouldn't be considered "cheap," in terms of workmanship or quality of construction. If you want a cost-effective, practical introduction to the world of working standing up, it's a very good product. Comments from owners like "best stand up table for the price," are common, and in general both home and office users seem very satisfied with their purchase.

40" Black Shelves Mobile Ergonomic Stand Up Desk Computer Workstation

This stand up desk is aimed at a crowded part of the market, and at a list price of $333, it has an awful lot of competition. However, it's currently on offer at $199, which is a massive saving. It's a sturdy unit, with a fair bit of workspace, but a couple of owners mentioned a slight fault with the central bolt supplied, commenting that it is too long and could potentially damage the top surface if it is tightened too much. However, we suspect the problem was with a particular batch and ought now to have been resolved as we weren't able to reproduce it.

Ergotron WorkFit-C Single HD Sit/Stand Workstation

At the moment the Ergotron WorkFit-C Sit/Stand Workstation is down from $799 to $738. That's a considerably larger investment than the Safco, but they're not really targeted at the same market. The Ergotron is a really well thought-out solution, is very neat, and gives a lot more working flexibility. It's also a true sit-stand desk - and changing between the two is fast and hassle free.

LifeSpan TR1200-DT5 Treadmill Desk

Naturally you would expect to pay more for a desk that comes with a treadmill, and the LifeSpan TR1200-DT5 Treadmill Desk currently costs $1099 (reduced from $1999). To some extent it's a niche product, but a check of the reviews will show hundreds of very happy owners and a negligible number of complaints. People are particularly impressed by the solidity of the treadmill and the stability of the desktop. Quite a few also found that they quickly adapted to walking and working at the same time. If you're up for making a radical shift away from your sedentary work-day, this is the desk for you.

Elevate II Adjusta Plus 60W

The Elevate II Adjusta Plus Electric Sit Stand Desk is a bit of a monster - and we mean that in a good way. It's also quite an investment at $3770. That's a lot of money for any kind of desk, but it's very well made, has tremendous flexibility in terms of layout, and has the advantage of electric motors, so raising and lowering it is effortless. While not everyone is pleased about having to put together a desk that costs this much, once assembled it should provide years and years of service and may end up saving you money in the long run.

As with the aesthetic design, the manufacturers have really thought of everything when it comes to perfecting the LifeSpan TR1200-DT5.

Best of the Best

By the time we had reviewed the market and arrived at a final five, we had already selected the best stand-up desk in each category, so choosing a single, overall winner wasn't easy. Each of the five fits a particular need and does it well.

In making our decision, we've taken into account that many people, at least initially, change to a stand-up desk for the health benefits. If that's the case, then the stand up desk that gives the most potential benefit - and therefore our overall winner - is the excellent LifeSpan TR1200-DT5 Treadmill Desk. While the treadmill part itself is rated very highly by owners, you don't have to run on the treadmill all the time - you could stand on it or simply move it out of the way and still have a desk that satisfies the desire to work standing up.

Overall, the desk is incredibly large, attractive, and has a number of useful features that make it extremely user-friendly. Whether it is the eye-catching design, the ingenious bells and whistles like the foam pads and the cable management system, or the sturdy and super-durable base, the LifeSpan TR1200-DT5 is the single best standing desk on the market. It earns our highest recommendation.
Best of the Best
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It's the stand up desk that gives the most health benefits to potential owners.

Best Bang for your Buck

Choosing the best value for money stand up desk is equally difficult. The Elevate II is a superbly engineered product, but there's no doubt it's a big investment too. The Safco and the 40'' Egonomic Stand Up Desk Computer Workstation are both good deals (and the Safco in particular has very high owner satisfaction ratings), but neither quite offers the flexibility we would like.

So our top value standing desk is the clever Ergotron WorkFit-C Sit/Stand Workstation. It's priced at a similar level to a lot of "ordinary" office furniture, yet it offers true versatility as either a standing desk or a sit-down one. Regardless of which option you take, it's smart, tidy and - should you need it to be - very mobile. Many owners, after having made the switch, say that they wouldn't be able to go back to another kind of workstation. This is without question the most cost-effective standing desk on the market, offering 95% of the benefits of a premium stand up desk for less than 50% of the cost.
Best Bang for your Buck
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It offers 95% of the value of a premium stand up desk for less than 50% of the cost.
The team that worked on this review
  • Bob
    Writer
  • Melissa
    Editor
  • Jasmin
    Operations
  • Jimi
    Product Analyst
  • Kriti
    Data Scientist

Top Office Chairs

Read Next
The Transformation of the Desk Loading The Transformation of the Desk
Videography: dougthomsen.tv
Engineering: Anton Georgiev

Here at the Harvard Innovation Lab, we wondered what it would be like to recreate the desktop from the 1980's and then emulate its transformation through the Computer Age. We wanted to illustrate how technology has changed our world, un-cluttering our desks and simplifying our lives. While gradual change from year to year is often hard to perceive, a longer snapshot gives us a much more dramatic view of the technological progression we have experienced.

There were many important innovations that we weren't able to showcase in this visualization. We were limited both in terms of physical space on the desk and in the length of time of the video, so we decided to feature some of the most iconic advancements that have shaped our desks - replacing everything from the fax machine to the file cabinet to even the rolodex.

Some people may argue that technology makes our lives more distant and complex. After all, it can be said that we have merely shifted the clutter from our desks to our machines, encouraging us to take it with us wherever we go. However, as technologists, we feel that the advancements that technology has enabled have made our world a more productive, social, and better place. We can't wait to see what the next wave of innovations will have in store for us.

What will the desk of 2050 look like?
1980
2015
“If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?”
– Albert Einstein