Post Published on November 17, 2012.
Last Updated on February 13, 2022 by davemackey.
I’m highly interested in acquiring a height-adjustable desk which allows one to go from sitting to standing and vice versa. There has been quite the buzz of late about the health benefits of standing while working as opposed to sitting…and I already find myself regularly shifting from location to location when I am able – from standing to sitting to lying and so on. In this article I’m going to provide an overview of the options available for height adjustable desks. Please let me know if you are aware of additional options I should include in this article and I’d also love to hear any feedback folks have on the desks they are using.
One site you’ll definitely want to visit during your purchasing process is the Comfortable Computing Initiative. Be sure to check out their interactive tool “Workspace Planner” – it will help you decide what height you need your adjustable desk to be able to rise to. You might also want to visit JustStand which has a nifty calculator for determining how many calories per day you would burn from standing rather than sitting.
- Features: 30 day return guarantee, 1 year warranty against defects, 5 years on steel.
- ModTable – 27.5″ – 47″ height – $599 – Available in various sizes, uses crank.
- Mini Mod – 27.5″ – 47″ height – $599 – A smaller version of the ModTable, but since pricing is the same, not sure why you would ever buy one…unless you had a very small workspace.
- Model 4 Features: 275 lb. weight capacity, each leg has own motor, 1.6″/sec. lift speed, 25.2″ to 50.8″, 2 yr (motor) / 5 yr (frame) warranty, no cross-bar.
- Max Large – 78.75″ x 31.5″ or 63″ x 31.5″ – $839 / $799 (large is unavailable as of 2/13/22)
- Max Small – 47.25″ x 31.5″ – $749
- Notes: These guys are expensive. I think they are going for the “Apple” of height adjustable tables.
- Terra – 63″ x 31.5″ – $1497
- Air – 63″ x 31.5″ – $2178
- Solo – 30″ x 24″ – $897
- VersaTables – Features: Lifetime warranty (on material defects), 30 day full refund return period, free shipping.
- LifeDesk – Doesn’t appear to offer complete desks anymore, now just legs. Pricing seems reasonable.
- Safco – Offers a number of models, many are standing desks of fixed height. I like lots of leg room and these don’t have it, but some might like them – they have extra shelving.
- ConSet – Starts around $1400 for a complete table, though you can also purchase just the bases for around $700. Has a decent variety of options including some wall-mount options.
- Anthro Technology Furniture
- Humanscale – Starts at around $1800 for their “Float” desk.
- AFC Industries Inc. – Offers what looks like professional office furniture that is height adjustable.
- Steelcase – Sells the Airtouch, which is priced around $1500.
- Biomorph – Sells several different models beginning at $995.
- Workrite Ergonomics
- UpLift – Available via The Human Solution. Numerous different models available, the Uplift 445 starting at $749.
- Right Angle Products – A variety of options, not clear on pricing.
- Relax the Back – Offers the Sit to Stand Desk starting at $1600+.
- Soma Ergonomics – Start at $1000+ and go up from there.
- Gilbraltar – Sells bases for adjustable height desks. Pricing appears reasonable ($400+/-) but only go up to 39.5″. Can be purchased through Kitchensource.
- Cotytech – Sells several adjustable height desks, including a laptop desk that can go up to 41.9″ and costs $264
- Wood Craft of Michigan.
Modify Existing Desk
- Health Postures – Offers units that are placed on top of existing desk.
- Is electric better than crank? In my opinion, it may be better to get a crank unit (which is cheaper) as mechanical parts tend to last longer than electronic components. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a dead electronic table five years down the road, but I’d hope the manufacturing quality would allow a crank table to be usable twenty years later.
- How high and how low does my desk need to go? Comfortable Computing has a great calculator that uses your height to determine how high your desk should be when sitting and when standing.
- ModTable – There are cheaper options available, but this appears to be the lowest priced high-end height adjustable desk I could find. I’m interested in their $599 crank unit. Currently they have some tops on clearance (snow white) for which there isn’t an extra charge…I’d go with that if I buy one. The one downside I see to these units is their minimum height of 27.5″. According to Comfortable Computing when sitting I should be using a keyboard at 25.5″ – so in sitting, I won’t be ergonomically correct. I could fix this by affixing a keyboard try underneath the desk which would probably bring the level down 1-2″.
- GeekDesk – I must admit a certain attraction to GeekDesk due to their popularity and their cool name…but the product is also solid. The cost is around $800, but the unit is electrically powered and it goes as low as 23 in. and as high as 49 in. – that seems about perfect to me for height minimum and maximum. On the downside, expect to pay $125 for S&H!
- VersaTables – The VersaTables are attractive b/c of price ($599), but both their minimum height (27″) and maximum height (40.5″) is disappointing.
At this juncture I’m divided. I’d really like a hand-crank table (more reliability) but also think the min. and max. heights on the GeekDesk are the best. I’m leaning slightly towards ModTable b/c of the lower price and the hand-crank, but I’m still up in the air. What do you think? Are there other options I should be consulting? Other factors I should be considering?
Appendix A. Sore Feet/Legs
I’ve transitioned into the full-time pastorate and stand at my desk as often as possible (I have a no-name drafting table right now) and sometimes my feet hurt from doing so. Here are a few articles I found that address this issue that others may find helpful as well.
- Dr. Steve Rosenberg. When Your Feet Hurt, Everything Hurts. Ouch! Huffington Post, 4/15/09.
- Apparently there are “anti-fatigue” mats specifically to relieve this issue. I’ve purchased a Genuine Joe Anti-Fatigue Mat 2’x3′ for around $20, it seems to help but doesn’t remove the issue.
- Another helpful Q&A can be found on Quora.
- Stephen Searer. “7 Height-Adjustable Desks That Won’t Murder You.” Office Snapshots. 8/24/12.
- “How Do I Make My Own Height Adjustable Desk?” Lifehacker. 1/26/12.
- Thorin Klosowski. “How Sitting All Day is Damaging Your Body and How You Can Counteract It.” Lifehacker. 1/26/12.
- John Biggs. “Gift Guide: The UpDesk Standing Desk Video Review.” TechCrunch. 11/13/12.
- Rain Noe. “‘Living With’ Product Review: The GeekDesk Truly Transforms the Way You Work.” Core77. 6/21/11.
- Matt Linderman. “Bootstrapped, Profitable, & Proud: GeekDesk.” 37Signals. 6/15/11.
- “GeekDesk Max Review.” Gear Live. 8/31/12.
- Adam Dachis. “Build a DIY Wide, Adjustable Height IKEA Standing Desk on the Cheap.” Lifehacker. 1/21/11.
- “How Do I Make a Height Adjustable Desk?” DIY.StackExchange.
- Matthias Wandel. “Height Adjustable Computer Desk (my wheely desk).”
- “Build an Adjustable Desk with Pipe and Klee Klamp.” Simplified Building Concepts.
- Chris Gardner. “How to Make a DIY Adjustable Drafting Table from Any Desktop.” Curbly. 1/18/11.
- “How Can I Build a Wall Mounted Adjustable Height Desk?” DIY.StackExchange.
- Gina Trapini. “Why and How I Switched to a Standing Desk.” Smarterware. 1/16/11.
- Todd Wasserman. “Are You Sitting Down? Why a Stand-Up Desk Might Save Your Life.” Mashable. 4/22/11.
- Jim Carlton. “Standing Desks Are on the Rise.” WSJ. 8/31/11.
- Mark Lukach. “Besting Standing Desks.” The Wirecutter. 5/29/12. (The article from Wired found here is a copy of this article.)
- Kevin Michaluk. “Standing Desks – Why I Use One; Why You Should Too.” Crackberry. 2/28/12.
- Brett & Kate McKay. “Becoming a Stand-Up Guy: The History, Benefits, and Use of Standing Desks.” The Art of Manliness. 7/5/11.
- Ray Hu. “Standing Desk Shootout: Steelcase Airtouch Height-Adjustable Table.” Core77. 8/30/11.
- Josh Smith. “Standing Desk Guide: Measurements, Examples, and Benefits.” Notebooks.com. 5/3/11.
- Kate Taylor. “Get Up, Stand Up, For Your Life: Can Standing Desks Fight Sitting Disease?” Forbes. 8/2/12.
- Phaedra Riley. “Standing Desk Shootout: Haworth Planes Height-Adjustable Table.” Core77. 8/16/11.
- Core Jr. “Standing Desk Shootout: Humanscale Float Table.” Core77. 8/24/11.
- Drake Bennett. “Kill Your Desk Chair – and Start Standing.” BusinessWeek. 6/28/12.
- Stephanie M. Lee. “Companies Take a Stand Against Sitting.” SFGate. 8/8/12.
- Kathleen Pierce. “Many Employees Abandon Sitting While Working.” Boston Globe. 3/26/12.
- Updated GeekDesk listing.
- Changed Nextdesk to Xdesk, updated URL.
- Updated LifeDesk section.
- Updated link for VersaTables and removed list of products, outdated.
- Removed list of products from Safco, outdated.
- Update URL, remove description for WorkRite.
- Update Relax the Back URL.
- Removed SiS, Mayline, Reo Smart, Jesper Office, Dania Furniture, Kare Products, Desktop Elevator, Adjust Desk, UpDesk, Idea at Work, Haworth
- Remove Alvin table from Walmart.
- Removed some non-existent articles.
6 thoughts on “Height-Adjustable Standing Desks.”
You can check out our Transition Workstation. It’s certainly not the “Apple” of sit/stand desks, but rather a solid option for someone looking to try standing for part of their workday. I think a lot of products out there are over-engineered. I’m just a simpleton that wanted to get up out of my chair.
Robert – Thanks for stopping by and letting me know about your product…I’m heading over to check it out right now!
Thanks for the post! I use the NextDesk Terra that you mentioned above and I just wanted to say that I LOVE it. It was a bit pricey, sure, but I think well worth the cost. It looks good, it is made with sustainable materials, it has an adjustable keyboard tray and monitor arm, and it has a sleeve so all the wires from my desk are completely hidden. I’ve looked at other desks out there– less expensive desks– and they don’t have all of these features (particularly the environmentally friendly materials– that was important for me.) So yes, to me it was worth the price. Just wanted to let people know!
Thanks for the reviews!
Natalie – Thanks for letting us know how the NextDesk Terra is working for you!
Great post….super helpful
Hi Dave, Thanks for sharing these review with us. I am also using a vertdesk height adjustable standing desk. Its totally according to my requirement & im satisfied with this. Its. switch between sit & stand Position automatically by just pressing a small electronics button. It goes upto straight my eyes position, so its easy to adjust height according to your requirement, I made a small video review on this product. If you are interested to see review then check it here: