You don’t need to be a doctor to know sitting for long periods isn’t great for your health. That is why finding the best standing desk just make sense.
There are plenty of options around, from manual to motorised desks. Alternatively, you can opt for a converter or riser, which sits on top of a standard desk or table to create a raised surface. You can even buy the legs on their own and fit a desk surface that matches your interior on top .
If you’re an office-based employee and back health is important to you, it isn’t just your concern - employers have their part to play too. Apple’s Tim Cook even went so far as to call sitting the ‘new cancer’, having kitted out Apple’s California headquarters with standing desks.
Standing desks aren’t just for offices. Flexible working is on the rise, so people are working from home more than ever. Many spend that time on the couch or at a counter slouched over a laptop - sound familiar?
There are objections to sticking a standing desk in your house or flat, though. Normal desks are big, and standing desks tends to be a bit bigger, given they’re geared towards office use and need to be sturdy through a range of motion.
They can also look clinical and cost an arm and a leg. While all this may be true of some standing desks, it isn't true of them all. Standing desk solutions can be compact, made of friendly-looking wood or even cardboard, and cost as little as £29.99.
In this roundup, we cover the main types available, so you can find the best standing desk for your needs.
- Upgrade your home office without spending a fortune with one of the best budget laptops
Best Standing Desk
If you’re concerned about design and want a light, sleek solution, the Oploft riser is a top choice. It's an easy-to-move converter. The Opoloft looks like a sliver of a surface when closed, as ergonomic levers on either side are the only interruptions to its clean aesthetic.
Use them to unlatch it, and the top surface rises up by 42cm, through 14 height-adjustable positions. It can carry a maximum load of 14kg too, so is sturdy enough to support a large monitor and a laptop. It’s just a surface - no keyboard trays in sight, so you’ll definitely want a taller monitor stand for perfect ergonomics. But what the Oploft lacks in terms of bells and whistles, it makes up for with its clean look.
2. Varidesk Exec 40
The Varidesk Exec 40 is the priciest converter on-test, but is the best if you’re over 6’1. It was designed with users as tall as 6’7 in mind.
This converter sits on top of a table or desk, can fit two 27-inch monitors, and it features nine height adjustment settings. The Varidesk Exec 40 also offers a fair bit of room for notepads and phone cradles too, which isn’t always a given. And as it comes fully assembled, you can get it in position, loaded up with your tech and working in minutes.
3. VonHaus X-Frame Workstation
Think of the VonHaus X-Frame as the Oploft on a budget. This riser isn’t quite as sleek, features 12 height settings versus the Oplift’s 14, and rises up to 40cm by contrast to the Oploft, which reaches heights of 42cm.
Perhaps the biggest difference from a specs point of view: its maximum weight load is 10kg, to the Oploft's 14kg. At under a third of the price though, it’s an excellent value riser and could be a good entry point into the world of standing desks.
4. Songmics Bamboo Standing Desk
Not quite the most low-fi product in our list, but definitely the runner up, the Songmics Bamboo desk wouldn’t look out of place in a nursery. Don’t let its charming and disarming rounded corners and bamboo body fool you - this converter means business.
Each deck has a maximum load capacity of 10kg, the body is made of renewable materials, weighs just 4kg and is 45cm tall. Featuring three height options for the monitor surface and three for the keyboard surface, there’s also a degree of versatility, and it’s easy to assemble. It needs just four screws.
5. Deskmate Standing Desk Converter
And the winner of the most low-fi standing desk in our roundup is… a hunk of cardboard, aka the Deskmate Standing Desk Converter.
This £24.99 craft project is a genius concept, can hold up to 10KG, and is over 50cm tall. While we might not trust it with a monitor in humid conditions, despite the fact it can technically support one, it’s an ideal option for laptop workers with Bluetooth keyboards. The Deskmate is quick to construct and comes in a range of colours and off the wall patterns.
6. Jarvis Crank Frame
If none of the pre-made solutions are to your taste, but you want a standing desk, you could always opt for a Jarvis Crank Frame. For £279, you get legs that you can be combined with a desk surface of your choosing, like the IKEA Gerton, for example. This manual standing desk is sturdy, taking a maximum weight of 68KG (including the desk surface), comes in black or silver and features a crank so you can raise and lower the desk from 68cm-117cm.
7. Jarvis Bamboo Adjustable Standing Desk
If you need a complete desk solution and aren’t on a tight budget, the Jarvis Bamboo standing desk is a warm and inviting-looking electric option. Its sustainable bamboo is less clinical than IKEA’s Skarsta, while also offering a bit more versatility in terms of height.
The Jarvis Bamboo rises from 60cm through to 120cm if you opt for the extended version. It's available in two heights and three sizes, and the desk surface also features an optional ergonomic curve. You can mix and match sizes and finishes to create the perfect standing desk for you.
8. Duronic Sit Stand Desk DM05D1
If you don’t mind something a bit bulkier, you can opt for a significantly cheaper converter. The Duronic Sit Stand Desk is a cost-effective way to get standing, rising up to 41.5cm.
It can hold up to 15kg, so you’ll be able to get a decent-sized monitor and a laptop on it. The DM05D1 also comes ready assembled, so once you set your height, you can forget about it and crack on with work until you need to lower it for some sit-down time.
9. Ikea Skarsta
No desk? No problem. The Ikea Skarsta is an all-in-one desk solution, and an affordable one no less. It undercuts most of the risers and converters in our list.
It’s crank-adjustable, raised and lowered manually. This means it has virtually unlimited height positions between 70cm and up to 120cm, if you opt for the taller option. With a maximum load of 50kg, it’s sturdy too, though as with most things IKEA, there’s a fair bit of assembly required to turn this flatpack into a finished piece of office furniture.
10. Yo-Yo Desk
The Yo-Yo Desk is a converter, so it sits on top of a traditional desk or table to give it a lift. It's available in three sizes, 68cm, 90cm and 120cm, and the Yo-Yo Desk also has 15 height adjustment settings from sitting to standing.
Premium grade aluminium gas springs ensure smooth height adjustment, and it can be picked up in black or white, with a three-year warranty. In its largest guise, 120cm, you can fit as many as three monitors on it, making it incredibly versatile.