Best adjustable desks: Stand or sit with double-duty office furniture

To stand or not to stand? The choice is yours with an adjustable desk. (Hillary Black via Unsplash/)
All bodies are not created equal, so any desk where we park ours for much of the day should offer some level of personalization. But most of us sit at the same desk despite what’s most comfortable for us individually (and we probably have no idea that things could be different). Enter: adjustable desks. The best adjustable desks will accommodate varying heights and body types of multiple users.

You can maneuver height adjustable desks by lifting and lowering them to suit whatever you happen to be doing or your mood on any given day. Do you like standing during virtual meetings, but sitting when you do deep work? An adjustable-height desk can meet you wherever you are.

Maybe you just want to take a stand. For those who suffer from back issues or become uncomfortable after long periods of sitting, an adjustable office desk can be transformed into a standing unit that allows you to stretch. And research shows that alternating between standing and sitting throughout the day is good for you. That’s why adjustable standing desks are touted for their ergonomic benefits, which include relief from back and neck pain as well as increased comfort and the potential to take standing breaks without having to stop working.

Best-reviewed adjustable desk: Vari Electric Standing Desk
Best electric adjustable desk: Flexispot Standing Desk
Best adjustable gaming desk: Mr IRONSTONE Gaming Desk
Best adjustable computer desk: SHW Electric Memory Preset Height Adjustable Computer Desk
Best adjustable desk for customization: TOPSKY Dual Motor Electric Adjustable Standing Computer Desk
Best cheap adjustable desk: SHW Electric Height Adjustable Desk, 40″

Features to consider when shopping for an adjustable desk

The best adjustable desk for you will depend on your specific needs. How many people will be using it? How high and low do you need it to go in order to stand and sit comfortably, and how heavy are the items you’ll be resting on top of it? Will you be working at your computer or gaming or both? What special features do you need? That’s a lot to consider, so read on for the questions you should ask yourself when choosing the right one for you.

How important are reviews when shopping for the best adjustable desk?

When making any major purchase, it’s always a good idea to seek input from others who have had experience with the type of product or specific brand you’re looking to buy. Sometimes it may be the best way to narrow down myriad options into a shortlist. But should the best-reviewed adjustable desk always win?

Well, sometimes. As important as it is to know how a particular adjustable desk has worked for others, it’s still a very personal purchase. Every user will have different requirements and preferences, and there’s often little definitive consensus. A good approach is to start with a few desks that get the highest marks from reviewers, and then evaluate those based on your own personal preferences and requirements. This will lead to more informed buying while leaving you less vulnerable to inaccurate reviews. Ultimately, the only way to know for sure if you’ve found the best adjustable desk for you is by sitting or standing at it yourself.

Best-reviewed adjustable desk: Vari Electric Standing Desk

This item supports up to 220 pounds, and it has four programmable height settings. (Amazon/)
The combination of reclaimed wood, T-style legs, and heavy-duty steel feet ensures dependability and durability for this adjustable desk. The height range is between 25.5 and 50.5 feet, the dual-motor is quiet, and it takes only about 10 minutes to set up.

Do you need an electric adjustable desk?

The best adjustable standing desks are either electric or pneumatic. Electric ones move more smoothly than pneumatic models and require just a single press of a button to raise and lower. Some also come with a built-in power board that has both USB ports and plug sockets, so once you plug the desk into the wall outlet, all your electronic equipment can be powered by the desk.

Also, many electric adjustable desks have memory presets so you can save your favorite heights and switch between them with the push of a button.

With pneumatic desks, you press down a lever to activate a gas cylinder that causes the desk to go up or down. There’s no need to plug it in, and since you don’t need an outlet to power it, you don’t have to feel limited only to spots near a plug. Pneumatic desks are also faster and quieter than electric adjustable desks, and sometimes lighter and easier to put together.

Best electric adjustable desk: Flexispot Standing Desk

This desk changes its level at a rate of one foot every 12 seconds, and it can hold up to 154 pounds. (Amazon/)
This electric adjustable desk has separate up and down buttons that can take it anywhere from 28 to 47.6 inches high. The frame is made with powder-coated steel tubing that resists scratching and staining, and while you’re adjusting it, the motor keeps the noise level relatively unobtrusive, at under 50 decibels.

What about an adjustable gaming desk?

Adjustable desks aren’t just for work. Gamers may want an adjustable desk to stay comfortable while playing and keep them from sitting too long during marathon sessions. Since it’s a sport that requires certain equipment, they’ll need a play station that can carry the load of the monitor and any other items needed for successful gaming, like keyboards, computers, laptops, controllers, headsets, and monitor arms for multiple screens. A design that matches the gaming equipment is always a nice bonus.

A standing adjustable desk offers gamers many of the same benefits it offers people who use it strictly for work. One that comes with memory settings will allow them to spend less time achieving the perfect height and more time gaming to win. Last but not least, when gamers get fired up and start pounding and shaking the tabletop, they’ll need an adjustable gaming desk that offers enough stability to withstand the excitement.

Best adjustable gaming desk: Mr IRONSTONE Gaming Desk

The R-style legs are made of durable metal, and the table has its own built-in energy source for easy charging. (Amazon/)
This adjustable gaming desk can comfortably fit a monitor, PC, laptop, speakers, and all your gaming equipment, and it comes with a headphone hook, cup holder, and adjustable leg pads to keep it from wobbling. It can also double as a computer desk, writing desk, or general workstation when you’re not in-game mode.

What will you be putting on your adjustable desk?

Even if you’re not a gamer, you may have a lot of things to store on your table space so make sure your height-adjustable desk can take the weight of your monitor(s) and anything else you might need to set on top of it. As a general rule, the higher the lift capacity, the more weight your desk will be able to handle. Electric adjustable desks with top boards up to five or six feet long can comfortably carry between 220 and 330 pounds.

The good news is that the weight of whatever you put on your adjustable desk probably won’t even begin to approach that vicinity, especially if your heaviest piece of equipment is your computer. Just keep in mind that if you exceed the “ideal use weight” of, say 30 to 50 pounds, when you adjust the height, the transition may not be as smooth and effortless as when you’re in the target weight range.

If you’ll be using a lot of electronic equipment, consider the potential for cord overload creating unsightly entanglements that get in the way. Cable ties are a good solution, but a desk with a built-in cord management system will help keep everything in order. Finally, if you’ll be spending a lot of time on the computer while at your adjustable desk, a top with a beveled edge will give your forearms a more comfortable resting place.

Best adjustable computer desk: SHW Electric Memory Preset Height Adjustable Computer Desk

This dark and lovely model has a grommet and basket for cord organization and bottom glides to keep it level and stable. (Amazon/)
This adjustable computer desk features a minimalist design and can be fixed at any height between 28 and 46 inches, with the option to preset four different levels. The base is made of industrial-grade steel, so sturdy is a given. The best part: It can handle up to 110 pounds of weight.

What extra features do you want in your office desk?

An adjustable sit-stand desk is great to accessorize your personal style. It can also enhance the usefulness of the table. The options are endless: Rectangular, U-shaped, and L-shaped adjustable desks provide more working space, while drawers bring more storage to the table. A triple segmented steel frame can give you additional inches for desk height, and an expandable top offers the potential for more table space if you need it. A memory handset allows for advanced control functions, and you can even get a customized motor to go higher and lower more quickly—and quietly.

Best adjustable desk for customization: TOPSKY Dual Motor Electric Adjustable Standing Computer Desk

The heavy-duty powder-coated steel supports up to 225 pounds, and you can complement it with a board that’s as big or small as you need it to be. (Amazon/)
The frame of this adjustable home office desk includes premium adjustable features, including an anti-collision function that protects it from bumps and scratches and an LED display that lets you know how high or low it is while it’s going up and down, in inches and centimeters. Top this best adjustable desk for customization with a simple flat board or add drawers, cabinets, shelves, a hook for hanging your headphones and attachments for keeping your cables in order. It’s truly got something for everyone.

Best cheap adjustable desk: What you get for under $200

Want an adjustable office desk that fits your budget, too? Although you’ll have to spend a little to get a little, there’s no need to go broke getting one. Sure, some topflight models can set you back thousands if you go for as many premium features as possible, but you can definitely get a decent cheap adjustable desk for no more than a couple hundred bucks.

Best cheap adjustable desk: SHW Electric Height Adjustable Desk, 40″

This option is finished with a rust-proof coating, and four rolling wheels allow it to be moved easily to different locations. (Amazon/)
This cheap, height adjustable desk features manual adjustment and five different heights that range from 27.9 to 42.5 inches. It has enough table space (45.7″ X 23.6″) for dual monitors and any other necessary office supplies. You’ll have to put a bit more effort into changing the height, but that’s the main trade-off for a price that’s well below average.

Best Adjustable Desks FAQ: people also ask

How do you choose an adjustable desk?

To choose an adjustable desk, consider how many people will be using it, what you will be putting on it, and whether you want to control it manually or electronically. Of course, you may also want to get one that matches the decor of the room where you’ll be using it.

How much is a good adjustable desk?

A good adjustable desk will require a bit of financial investment. You can get them for as low as $150, but a good electric sit-to-stand desk can run anywhere between $480 and $2,000. Around $500 or $600 is probably the happy space where you can get high quality without spending more than you have to.

Are adjustable desks worth it?

Adjustable desks are totally worth the investment. They offer a more comfortable and versatile working environment. At standing height, an adjustable desk can relieve upper back and neck pain and improve your overall mood.

A final word on shopping for the best adjustable desk

The best adjustable desk allows for a more versatile workspace, and along with a comfy, ergonomic chair, it might be the most important piece of home-office furniture your money can buy. An automatic adjustable electric desk gives your back a break while promoting overall better muscular and mental health. Whether you intend to be mostly working at the computer or using your adjustable furniture for gaming, there are plenty of options to enhance both your sitting and standing experience.