Whether you’re gaming, working from home or in the office, it’s important to make your environment the best that it can be, which includes making sure your furniture is the most beneficial to your health. Chances are that you spend the majority of your day sitting down, which can aggravate issues such as neck or back pain.
This is where standing desks come in! Using one comes with many advantages, but which is best for you? From electric designs to adjustable converters or attachments, our buying guide will help you choose the perfect desk for you and your workspace. We'll also share our favourites from Amazon, eBay and John Lewis, including affordable buys under £500.
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So where to start? There are so many to choose from – do you want an electric or manual desk? Will it be adjustable or a fixed height? Our buying guide will look at all the options and help you find the best fit.
The first consideration to make is whether you want to buy a whole new desk entirely, or an add-on attachment.
If you’re happy with the desk you already have or your main concern is budget, a desk converter may be the option for you. Used atop your desk, they have a platform you can raise to standing level. Not only are they easier on the wallet, but they're ideal for those who don't want to commit to a large piece of furniture.
However, they don’t give you as much control over customisability as a full-size standing desk. Though a larger investment, full standing desks are also able to withhold more weight, so they’re better for those using large setups with multiple monitors as opposed to just a laptop.
To those of you fully committing to having a standing desk, you’ll have to choose between an electric and a manual desk. Whichever design you're leaning towards, it's worth weighing up the pros and cons of each variety, which we'll discuss below.
Electric standing desks are the more popular and common choice – and it’s no surprise, due to all their benefits. They hold more weight than any other type of standing desk so it doesn’t matter if you have a heavy-duty multiple device setup for your desktop.
They also usually have memory presets for your preferred heights so you don’t need to spend precious time adjusting each time you move from sitting to standing. Additionally, these desks usually provide the best customisable options in terms of colour and size.
As you can predict, electric desks are usually on the higher end of the scale budget-wise. Plus, the noise of the electric motor may be distracting, especially if you’re sharing a space with others.
Alternatively, you can go for a manual crank-adjustable desk. They are often less expensive than their electric counterparts but still provide most of the benefits of a full capacity desk, such as the larger desk space, plus they're quieter to use.
The main drawback with these is that you have to spend more effort and time adjusting the height of the desk each time, especially as they don't have memory presets as electric desks do. If you're on precious time, you may not have the minutes to spare!
Seeing as a standing desk is all about improving your health and wellbeing whilst working, it's important that the model you go for can be adjusted to the correct heights for your requirements.
In order to determine this, it's recommended that you take the lowest measurement when sitting in your usual chair, wearing your usual shoes and with your elbows bent as if typing. Here, measure from the distance from beneath your elbow to the floor.
Then, for the highest height, stand up and take the same measurement again. If there will be more than one of you using the desk, you'll have to ensure the desk can adjust to meet everyone's requirements.
Many desks, especially full-sized electric ones, require some assembly and DIY know-how.
If you’re not too handy at the whole DIY thing, you may prefer to just order a desk and have it shipped all in one. This means you can just take the desk out of the box and use it straight away without any fuss.
However, this may cut down on the options available to you in terms of desks and customisation options. Many full-size standing models have the option to choose different size desktops, so if you need something more tailored, you may need to do some assembling!
As mentioned earlier, customisation may be a big deal, especially if you are particular about the way your home or office looks.
Having a stark grey desk may look out of place in your bright, white office so you’d rather something more fitting. Or perhaps you work requires at least 3 monitors, a large keyboard and a drawing tablet for your work so you need a larger desk than standard.
Many desks have separate frames and desktops so you can fully customise your desk in different sizes as well as colours, materials and finishes – just be sure to check the descriptions before you buy.
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The Award-Winning Best Standing Desk
Desk Pro 2
Dual Motors With Fully Customisable Features
Float Height Adjustable Desk
Revolutionary Sit/Stand Desk Technology
ClassicRiser Standing Desk Converter
Ergonomic and High-Quality Desk Conversion
QuickStand Eco Portable Sit/Stand Single Monitor Workstation
Sleek and Eco-Friendly Portable Desk Solution
Easy to Handle Slim-Line Desk Converter
VariDesk Pro Plus 36
Commercial-Grade Quality Desk Converter
A Reliable Budget Electric Desk
A Lightweight and Mobile Desk
Height Adjustable Sit-Stand Desk Converter
Easy to Use Beginner's Standing Desk
The Flytta 2 is an award-winning standing desk and for very good reason. It has a 120 kg lift capacity so you don't have to worry about having a large setup for your desk. The customisation options are great too, and include additional add-ons such as a digital display system.
Not only does it also have 4 memory control settings for an easier workspace, but it is also equipped with dual motors and anti-collision technology for safe usage. No wonder it won the Independent's award for best standing desk!
If you're set on exact specifications, the Yo-Yo Desk Pro 2 will probably be to your liking. It offers a huge range of customisable options, from frame and desk size and colours to additional add-ons such as digital display and USB and power sockets. You even have the option of just buying the frame and using your own desktop!
Powered by dual motors with Silent Motion technology, adjusting the height of your desk will be a breeze. And although some self-assembly is required, they even offer free installation services!
Humanscale's full standing desk is revolutionary in that it provides a slick and easy adjustment without the need for electricity, making it an even more eco-friendly product.
Using a counterbalance mechanism for optimum balance and changing weight loads, you can easily change the height of your desk with just one hand. This desk is a beautiful piece of technology that is certainly worth the price.
If you're looking for a great value standing desk converter, the FlexiSpot may be the best option for you. It has a weight capacity of 16kg to support multiple monitors as well as a removable keyboard tray to fully optimise your desk.
With a gas spring hovering system, the handles easily adjust between 12 different height positions. This workstation definitely gets you the best bang for your buck in terms of value.
The Humanscale QuickStand Eco is an easy to use, portable desk converter. Not only is it a sleek and beautiful design, it's also made of sustainable materials that are free of red-list chemicals.
The desk also contains an intuitive self-locking mechanism, so you don't need to mess around with adjusting levers and locking systems. This would be the perfect addition to your current workspace.
A slim-line, lighter version of the popular Yo-Yo standing desk converter, this split level desk is easy to install with a setup time of just 5 minutes. It also has 30 adjustable height positions, with an easy to use Quick-Release lock that changes height within the second.
This is a great quality desk converter, though bear in mind it's recommended only for those between 120 - 190cm tall.
The VariDesk is a step up from a simple desk converter, with a two-tier design for your monitor(s) and keyboard, as well as a weighted base for stability. There's no assembly required, you can simply take it out of the box and get to work, using one of the 11 available positions.
However, weighing at 23 kg and in combination with the two-tier design, this desk is bulky and takes up a lot of extra workspace. Therefore, it's probably best for those who intend to stay in one place.
We all know Ikea to make reliable, affordable furniture and their Idåsen desk is no different. A full standing electric desk with multiple sizes and colour options, this item is ideal for those on a budget.
Although the framework and mechanics are sturdy, the weight capacity is limited for a full desk, which could be a big problem for those who want something more than just a laptop and a notepad.
If you're looking for a low-key product that's mobile and lightweight, the Freedesk Desk Riser is perfect. With a beechwood frame weighing only 2 kg, it's easy to fold away and carry around. Plus, its simple locking mechanism means you can adjust your workspace from sitting to standing in a mere 2 seconds.
This is one of the cheapest desk converters available which is great if you're on a budget, however, you do get what you pay for with this. There's nothing too complex about this product and it doesn't offer anything more than a simple desk space.
The AmazonBasics' Standing Desk is a perfect first product to ease yourself into the waters. It's simple in design and simple to use, with a hand-brake lever to easily adjust your desk height as well as clips to organise your cables.
If you're unsure about standing desks, this is a good beginner product but if you know what you want, this is probably not the desk for you.
Before you get started and stand for 8 hours straight at your new desk, it’s important to note that all advice suggests it’s best to switch between standing and sitting.
Although sitting down for too long may not be good for you, doing the opposite and standing for you too long isn’t good either. To get the best health benefits, ensure you alternate between standing and sitting for around 20 minutes each.
It’s also important to ensure you’re wearing comfortable footwear too – improperly fitting shoes may be detrimental to your joints and posture, increasing knee and back pain! If it helps, getting an anti-fatigue mat could help increase your comfort levels as well.
If you're after a few more gadgets and accessories to kit out your home office or workplace, you're in the right place! Follow the links below for more of our guides and recommendations to help you get set up.
So with all that in mind, there are our recommendations for best standing desks. No matter which type you go for, we hope our guide helped you find the perfect fit, allowing you to do your work with a whole new level of increased comfort and productivity.
Author: Dodo Wang
No. 1: Flytta｜Flytta 2
No. 2: Yo-Yo｜Desk Pro 2
No. 3: Humanscale｜Float Height Adjustable Desk
No. 4: Flexispot｜ClassicRiser Standing Desk Converter
No. 5: Humanscale｜QuickStand Eco Portable Sit/Stand Single Monitor Workstation
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