Here at the Strategist, we know that finding the “best” product really depends on exactly whom you ask, which is why we’ve devoted a new series to squeezing in as many informed, trustworthy opinions as possible. And we’ve come up with dozens of ways to do this, among them: surfacing reader reviews from across the internet, taking quick polls (among our most insane friends and fellow shopping-obsessed Strategist editors), and partaking in some advanced internet snooping.
With that, we’re rounding up the best standing desks you can buy online. Our picks range from a minimalist Scandinavian desk that transforms with a flip of its lid to a motorized, adjustable-height standing desk beloved by the editors at the Verge.
Expert Approved: Best standing desk according to chiropractors
Working five days a week from the comfort of your couch certainly has its benefits, but it can also strain your body. We recently asked a bunch of chiropractors and physical therapists to help us find the best ergonomic laptop stands around, including this standing-desk converter. The VariDesk comes recommended by Jan Lefkowitz, a chiropractor at New York’s Body in Balance Chiropractic. Lefkowitz likes that it has 11 different height settings so that you can try out a variety of positions. Physical therapist and integrative-pain expert Joe Tatta, also a fan of the VariDesk, says that a mix of sitting and standing is ideal for most people and that you want to “look for a desk that offers the most versatility for changes of position to accommodate a variety of body types and postures.” The VariDesk is big enough to hold a monitor, in case you like to work with two screens, and has a lower shelf for an added keyboard and mouse.
Snooping: Claire Mazur’s ideal work-from-home desk
We first spotted this desk from Finnish design house Made by Choice on writer and small-space expert Laura Fenton’s Instagram Stories. Fenton, who recently published her first book, The Little Book of Living Small, wrote that she’d finally found her “dream desk” and thanked Claire Mazur for including it in her newsletter with Erica Cerulo, A Thing or Two. The unfinished wood desk can be used both sitting or standing and even works as a practical sideboard or entranceway console. Mazur writes in the newsletter that she looks forward to “acquiring a tiny WFH desk (for my, um, colleague) that I’m already mentally repurposing as an entryway console once offices are a thing again.”
Snooping: Philip Roth’s lectern
Strategist junior writer Kayla Levy included this light-wood lectern when writing more broadly about the best desks to buy online. Like many famous writers throughout history — Charles Dickens, Virginia Woolf, and Stan Lee, to name a few — Philip Roth chose to work standing up. He kept two lecterns for this purpose in his Upper West Side work studio and his home in Connecticut. While Roth’s were custom made, Levy recommends these from Classroom Essentials Online to create a similar-looking setup.
Strategist Family Poll: Best standing desk according to Strategist writer Lauren Ro’s husband
Strategist writer (and our resident home-design expert) Lauren Ro recently told us about her husband Chang’s work-from-home setup, which includes this Uplift standing desk and multiple screens. Whereas other standing desks tend to wobble, he likes that this one is very substantial and sturdy. He also appreciates that it’s highly customizable: You can select the size and shape of the tabletop, as well as the material (his is made of bamboo), even the number and placement of grommets on the legs. Uplift even sells an underdesk hammock that attaches to the frame. You can also program multiple height presets with the touch of a button. And it’s easy to build. Plus, it looks sleek for something that’s got a lot of hardware and electric components to it. “It feels like a real desk that just happens to be adjustable,” he says.
Strategist Family Poll: Best standing desk according to Strategist junior writer Chloe Anello’s sister
Kate Anello, sister of Strategist junior writer Chloe Anello and engineering project manager for Apple, says she needed a standing desk for working from home but already had a desk that fit her small apartment perfectly. So she opted for this standing-desk converter that could support a monitor and still leave enough space for a keyboard, mouse, two drinks, and her iPad. “I was noticing that I would go hours without standing up when I was solely working from home and not traveling between meeting rooms,” says Anello, who missed the ease of the standing desk at her old job that let her quickly type something and then run to her next meeting. Since getting the Humanscale Eco Desk Converter, Anello says that her back hurts less, she’s less tired, and it’s kind of a treat when she gets to sit down and put her feet up. “I spent a lot of time researching this,” she says, calling her choice the equivalent of buying a Subaru (nicer and more expensive than a Toyota, but cheaper than a Benz).
Quick Poll: Best standing desk according to New York Magazine web producer Kelsi Trinidad
Like all of us, fellow New York Magazine staffer Kelsi Trinidad has been working from home since March. To make the most of her Brooklyn apartment, which doesn’t have space for a full-size desk, she uses the Allstand, by Readydesk, to prop up her laptop on her dining-room table. Trinidad says the low cost and the fact that it can fold flat were the biggest selling points. But she also loves how versatile it is, allowing her to sit, stand, and move around freely. The Allstand can be used as a standing desk, to avoid neck strain when she’s sitting, as an easel for watching TV or following recipes or a workout class, and even as a lap desk while sitting in bed or on the couch.
The Verge Editor’s Pick
To find out more about setting up a functional and comfortable workspace at home, Strategist tech writer Jordan Bowman talked to the writers and editors at our sibling site the Verge, asking them specifically about the desks they use themselves. Three of them have the Fully Jarvis Bamboo Standing Desk in their homes. “It’s a comfortable, stable, spacious desk that has more versatility than typical desk options,” says deputy editor Dan Seifert, who has one of the larger sizes. The desk comes as small as 30 by 27 inches and as large as 78 by 30 and raises from 24 inches to 50 inches with the touch of a button. News editor Nick Statt says it’s one of the best work-from-home purchases he’s made in years, noting that “assembly was far less cumbersome than I thought it would be.” The Fully Jarvis desk is widely loved for its ergonomic and sleek design. But according to news writer Jay Peters, its best quality is that it’s customizable. “I highly recommend spending the extra $35 for the programmable height switcher, which lets you preset heights that you can switch back and forth just by pressing a button,” he says. You can also choose between a rectangle top or a contoured top with a concave indent at the front, which makes it feel like the desk is lightly hugging your body. And for an extra $39 each, you can add up to two powered grommets for convenient phone and laptop charging.
Apartment Therapy Editor’s Pick
Back in April, Apartment Therapy named the Branch standing desk as one of its favorites to buy online. Its minimal design and durability — the desk can hold up to 275 pounds, and the top is stain and impact resistant — make it a good choice for any home office. Like the Jarvis standing desk, this one rises and lowers smoothly with the touch of a button and lets you preset four custom heights via a smart panel.
Quick Pick: Best standing desk for small spaces after a Strategist writer’s hour of research
Traditional standing desks, even the most minimal of the bunch, all kind of look like what they are: office furniture. So if you don’t have a dedicated office space in your home, they can look a bit out of place. The same goes for standing-desk converters, which don’t usually have a permanent home or fit into most non-office design aesthetics. But there are a bunch of standing desks, like the Knotten from Ikea, that do a better job of blending in. The Knotten is inspired by traditional writing desks at which you would take phone messages, update your calendar, and sort mail. It’s the one I landed on after searching online for something that isn’t too big or too expensive and actually looks nice. In addition to being more subtle than most standing desks, it has more storage with two drawers, two shelves, two hooks for keys or masks, and a rear nook for hiding power cords and storing electronics.
People’s Choice: Best-rated standing desk according to Wayfair reviews
With over 450 positive reviews on Wayfair, and a price that’s nearly $200 less than the Jarvis, the Sabine Height Adjustable Standing Desk stands out as a very good deal. One reviewer who is working from home for the foreseeable future says, “I don’t know what I’d do without it. It functions well and looks and feels like a sturdy, high-quality piece of home-office furniture.” Over half of the four- and five-star reviewers also found this desk sturdy. And though it is smaller than other motorized programmable standing desks, many reviewers note being able to fit a laptop and an extra monitor with space left over. “I have a wide-screen monitor, laptop on an ergonomic stand, keyboard, mouse, and still enough room to write,” says a reviewer who bought the desk in August.
People’s Choice: Best-rated (and least expensive) standing desk according to Amazon reviews
This desk may not look as sturdy as some of the others above, but reviewers say that it is. “The top is a good solid wood, and the frame is strong enough to keep everything from wiggling around when I’m typing or moving my mouse around on it,” explains one customer, who likes being able to store it under his couch while he isn’t using it for work. Though it’s advertised as a laptop cart, many reviewers vouch for its efficacy as a standing desk, since it extends to 33 inches tall. It’s also deceivingly roomy, according to a customer who notes that, though the top is on the smaller side, she is able to comfortably fit all the things she needs on the desk, including a “15-inch laptop, two big external drives, mouse and mouse pad, notepad, [and] TV remote,” she says. And over 600 five-star reviews describe this desk as easy to assemble. “I am terrible at putting anything together, and this was a piece of cake,” says a customer who put it together while also caring for her toddler. Since the desk comes with wheels, it’s often described as portable, and one customer says that, while it “rolls easily” across a smooth floor, it’s also sturdy because the wheels have locks.
[Editor’s note: Due to the increased demand in work-from-home items — including standing desks — this desk usually ships within one to two months.]