Updated on June 20, 2016
Best Desktop Standing Desks
Are you looking for the best desktop standing desk? Today we’re taking a look at some of the best desktop standing desks on the market in the hopes that we can provide you with the information you need in order to make the best purchase for your needs. Or, if you’re the type that prefers to just cut to the chase, click here to see our #1 pick on Amazon.com.
What is a Desktop Standing Desk?
When most folks think of standing desks, they tend to picture something like this:
This is a crank-adjustable standing desk from the Standing Desk Store. These are desks meant to replace your existing desk with a completely stand-alone option that will allow you to both sit and stand at your work station. There is nothing wrong with this approach to fixing the sitting desk problem. In fact, I personally use the Jarvis Standing Desk at home and it has served me well for a number of years. However, stand-alone options tend to be relatively expensive and require you to completely replace your existing desk.
In contrast, we’ve seen a number of desktop sit/stand options come on the market in recent years which provide the advantage that you do not need to replace your existing desk, and they are often priced more affordably to boot. These standing desks sit on top of your existing desk and essentially behave like a monitor stand when fully retracted. However, they can be extended in order to provide a standing workspace as well.
Top 3 Best Desktop Standing Desks 2016:
- Varidesk Pro Plus 36 (Check Price >> | Read Review)
- X-ELITE PRO (Check Price >>| Read Review)
- Rocelco ADR (Check Price >> |Read Review)
Key Factors to Consider When Buying a Desktop Standing Desk:
It goes without saying that sturdiness is important. In fact, this may be the single most important factor to consider when evaluating a desktop standing desk. If you are deep in thought coding or typing, the last thing you want to worry about is whether your flimsy standing desk will be able to properly support your $1000 Apple Thunderbolt monitor. What’s more, it can be incredibly distracting if your monitor bounces or sways as you type. It can even promote poor standing desk ergonomics.
As a result, you will likely want to purchase the sturdiest standing desk you can afford. Luckily, all of the desktop standing desks on our list are rated at 35 lbs. or more fully extended and will get the job done if you are only going to be supporting your monitor, keyboard and mouse. However, if you want some additional peace of mind, or are planning on putting additional peripherals on your desk, consider purchasing a desk with additional safety margin. The last thing you want is to have to replace your monitor because you cut corners on your desk purchase.
Fit and Finish
In addition to the pure rigidity of your new standing desk, you may also want to consider the overall build quality as reflected in the fit and finish of the desk. While not immediately apparent in the utility of the standing desk, selecting a desk that reflects quality workmanship will mean that the desk will wear more slowly and last longer.
In addition, in some cases poor workmanship can affect usability. For instance, if you prefer to mouse directly on the surface of your desk, protruding screw heads will obviously become a nuisance.
If you are particularly tall or short, make sure that you select a desk that will fit your desired working range. If you are short, you will want to seek out a sit/stand option with a separate peripheral tray such as the Varidesk Pro Plus. Desks which do not have a separate peripheral tray tend to not sit flush with your existing desk when retracted. As a result, they may increase the minimum working height of your desk, which is a problem if your existing desk is already relatively tall. You can avoid this problem by moving your peripherals on and off of the platform when you go from sitting to standing, but doing so can become a hassle.
Similarly, if you are particularly tall, seek out a desk that will be tall enough for you to work comfortably when extended. In some cases, this may actually mean explicitly avoiding desks with a separate keyboard tray, as the keyboard tray effectively reduces the maximum height by a couple of inches.
Ease of Use
Particularly if you anticipate going from sitting to standing frequently (as I do), seek out a desk that is easy to raise and lower. Standing desks tend to offer different degrees of adjustability as well. For instance, the Varidesk Pro Plus offers 11 different height settings, whereas others on the market may offer just 3 or 4. The easier your desk is to adjust properly, the more likely you are to use it and to use it properly.
Our Favorite Desktop Standing Desks:
- Sturdy for a Sit/Stand Desks – Rated up to 35 lbs.
- Easy To Use – Straightforward levers on either side make it easy to raise and lower
- Height Adjustability –14″ range and 11 different height settings
- Separate Keyboard Tray – Great if you don’t want to constantly move your peripherals on and off.
- Maximum Height – 14″ inch maximum height is relatively short compared to other desks on the market.
- Easy To Use – A very simple mechanism for raising and lowering.
- Fantastic Bargain – Reasonably priced, but still fully-featured.
- Sturdiness – The X-Elite Pro just doesn’t feel quite as sturdy as the Varidesk.
- Height Range – The 7-16″ heigh range is one of the best on the market.
- Single Platform – Does not include a separate keyboard/peripheral tray
- Platform Size – at 20″ x 28″, the platform is a bit smaller than the Rocelco or Varidesk
- Frame is Sturdy as a Rock – Rated at up to 50 lbs!
- Maximum Height –16.3″ inches of range, which is close to the best in class.
- Separate Keyboard Tray – Again, a nice feature to have if you don’t want to constantly move your mouse and keyboard.
- Height Adjustment Settings – Has just 4 height settings.
- Fit and Finish – Screws and glue mounting the platform to the frame may indicate a lower build quality.
- Latch Mechanism For Height Adjustment – Located in the back and less intuitive than other models