The 3 Best Standing Desks in 2024 | Reviews by Wirecutter

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We’ve updated the warranty policy for the ErgoFx standing desk in the Competition. Metal Sit Stand Desk

The 3 Best Standing Desks in 2024 | Reviews by Wirecutter

No matter how great your office chair is, you’re not doing your body any favors by sitting in it for the whole day. But being on your feet constantly isn’t good for your comfort or health, either.

An electric, height-adjustable standing desk provides the best of both worlds.

Want a productivity and energy boost? Push a button to raise the desk so you can move a little while working. Feel like leaning back in your chair for some deep focus time? Push another button to lower the desk.

For years, the Uplift V2 Standing Desk has been our pick for the best standing desk for most people. It accommodates a wide range of heights, and it’s stable even at its tallest setting. And it has a greater variety of attractive customization options than you’ll find on any competitor.

This is the most customizable desk we’ve ever tested, and it works for a wide range of heights (people between 5-foot-4 and 7 feet).

This attractive desk is pleasant to work on, and it has a lower base price than many competitors. It’s available in small sizes, and it accommodates people under 5-foot-4 better than the Uplift V2. But it’s not as customizable.

The laminate-desktop version is made mostly from recycled wood, and it’s available in seven finishes. It has the same frame options as the other Jarvis desks.

This desk works well for small spaces, and it has a height-adjustment range that’s ideal for people between 5-foot-8 and 6-foot-5. But the controls aren’t intuitive and have limited preset options.

We selected desks with frames that fit people under 5-foot-4 (the average height of US women), as well as those suited to taller people.

Since good desks are a big investment, we think they should come with excellent, fast customer service and at least a five-year warranty.

Your workspace is highly personal, and that includes your desk. So we looked for models that offered lots of customization options.

We favored desks with 30-day refunds (at least), free return shipping, and assembly that’s no more challenging than for IKEA furniture.

This is the most customizable desk we’ve ever tested, and it works for a wide range of heights (people between 5-foot-4 and 7 feet).

Of the desks we’ve tested, the Uplift V2 Standing Desk offers the best mix of performance and features. It responds quickly to control-pad input (from your choice of five keypad designs), and it produces minimal wobble, even at tall heights.

It accommodates average seated and standing heights for men and women. But if you’re under 5-foot-4, this desk likely won’t work for you if you don’t use a footrest. In that case, we recommend the Fully Jarvis Bamboo Standing Desk or the Fully Jarvis Laminate Standing Desk with the three-stage low-range frame.

We found the Uplift V2’s walnut laminate to be attractive and realistic, and panelists loved the look of the 1-inch curved bamboo desktop, as well. If you’d prefer a different style, Uplift has more than 30 desktop options, including several unusual but expensive wood tops, such as acacia and pheasantwood.

You can also choose from four frame colors, five grommet colors, and three keypad colors, as well as multiple add-on accessories.

This attractive desk is pleasant to work on, and it has a lower base price than many competitors. It’s available in small sizes, and it accommodates people under 5-foot-4 better than the Uplift V2. But it’s not as customizable.

The laminate-desktop version is made mostly from recycled wood, and it’s available in seven finishes. It has the same frame options as the other Jarvis desks.

The Fully Jarvis Bamboo Standing Desk and the Fully Jarvis Laminate Standing Desk have the same frame, with different top options to suit various preferences. These models offer everything we look for in a good adjustable-height standing desk: a wide range of heights to accommodate most people, a long warranty, and stability in line with that of most other desks we tested.

The Jarvis was our top pick for more than four years, and it’s still a great desk—one that’s become even better with frame improvements that have reduced wobbling at all heights.

This desk doesn’t have as many customization options as the Uplift V2. But when it’s equipped with its three-stage low-range frame, it works for people as short as 4-foot-9.

The laminate tops we tested look great but are prone to smudging, so if you can spend a bit more, we recommend the bamboo top.

This desk works well for small spaces, and it has a height-adjustment range that’s ideal for people between 5-foot-8 and 6-foot-5. But the controls aren’t intuitive and have limited preset options.

We like that the Branch Duo Standing Desk comes with a compact, 36-by-24-inch desktop that works well for small spaces, like a home office or studio apartment.

Surprisingly for a small desk, it has a two-tier lifting column that’s ideal for people between 5-foot-8 and 6-foot-5. Most other two-tier lifting columns we’ve found accommodate narrower height ranges, such as between 5-foot-8 and 6 feet. While the Duo’s height adjustment range of 28 to 47.5 inches works best for taller people, even our 5-foot-tall panelists and a panelist in an electric wheelchair said they could adjust it to their liking. (It’s best to find your height preferences and consider your ergonomic setup before selecting a good standing desk.)

But the Branch Duo has only five laminate finishes, and it doesn’t offer nearly as many customizable features as our Uplift and Fully picks. The control paddle can also be clunky to use, and it can’t accommodate more than two presets, which may be an issue in multi-user households or offices.

We’ve been covering height-adjustable standing desks since 2013, when we conducted the first head-to-head standing-desks test. Across four authors (and multiple testing panels), we’ve reviewed and tested more than 40 standing desks.

Kaitlyn Wells is a senior staff writer covering the intersection of home office, productivity, and technology. She’s been working from home in some capacity for over a decade and understands the value of a great home-office setup.

This guide builds on extensive work by Wirecutter’s Melanie Pinola, who has also written about working from home for sites such as Lifehacker, PCWorld, and Laptop Mag.

Many people spend a majority of the workday sitting at a desk, either at home or in an office. They also sit while driving or taking public transportation, on the couch while watching TV, and at meals.

All that sitting could be dangerous to your health: Research has associated prolonged sitting (aka “Sitting Disease”) with a higher risk of a host of problems, including heart disease and diabetes, certain cancers, and premature death.

But the flip side is also true. Standing for too long can lead to degenerative joint damage, muscle injury, and circulatory diseases, such as venous disorders, increased stroke risk, and carotid atherosclerosis. So fixed-height standing-desk setups—including many DIY versions—aren’t ideal either if you’re spending long hours working at them.

That’s where a height-adjustable standing desk (also known as a sit-stand desk) comes in. You can quickly raise or lower your desk to alternate between sitting and standing throughout the workday.

In addition to letting you switch between sitting and standing (with the health benefits that potentially brings), a great standing desk is simply the most customizable and ergonomically friendly kind you can buy.

If you find the standard desk height of 29 to 30 inches to be too high or too low, you can raise or lower the desk so you’re able to sit more ergonomically. You can program different heights for different tasks, or even for whether or not you’re wearing shoes. And as your energy and focus wax and wane throughout the day, you can choose to sit or stand, depending on whatever makes you feel more productive.

After years of using and testing standing desks, as well as getting feedback from readers, we’ve focused our criteria on the following features:

Other considerations that are nice extras (but not absolute must-haves) include:

For testing, each desk is outfitted with our picks for a laptop stand, Bluetooth keyboard, wireless mouse, standing desk mat, and office chair.

Over a month, nearly three-dozen people (measuring from 4-foot-10 to 6-foot-9) explored, worked from, and played at each desk. They used each desk in both sitting and standing positions, and they noted in feedback surveys the overall quality, stability, adjustability, and noise level of the contenders.

Below we list how our picks’ features compare. Because these desks are highly configurable, we’ve included the lowest starting price for each, the price as tested with a 48-inch laminate top, and the price for a desk with a 60-inch bamboo desktop. Prices are rounded and were current as of December 2023; they do not include any discounts or sale prices.

This is the most customizable desk we’ve ever tested, and it works for a wide range of heights (people between 5-foot-4 and 7 feet).

For those who are 5-foot-4 and taller, the Uplift V2 Standing Desk offers the best combination of features and build quality for the price, and it has far more customization options than any competitor. And this desk is more than stable enough for everyday use.

It’s not the most stable desk we’ve tested, but it’s close. For normal work purposes, the Uplift V2 is stable at all heights—unless you tend to pound heavily on your keyboard, or your walls tend to shake due to passing trains.

In testing the Uplift V2 against other desks in the Wirecutter office, we found the V2 to be slightly more wobbly from front to back than our other picks, especially set at heights of 40 inches and above. But this difference is quite small, perhaps noticeable only when you’re a tech journalist assigned to shake desks side by side.

It’s a smooth operator. The Uplift V2 adjusts its height smoothly and quietly, albeit with a whistling sound that’s more high-pitched than the other desks’ lower, more bass-y rumbles.

When we raised this desk from its lowest height to its highest, it was a second or two faster than the other models. In real-world use, though, what mattered most to our testers was that the V2 seemed easier to reliably raise and lower to a precise height than competing desks, which often overshot the mark.

We love its control pad. The Uplift V2’s keypad was the best of the bunch. We also tested the advanced “comfort” keypad, which adds four memory positions and a velvety touch to the keys, for an extra $40.

We recommend that everyone upgrade to this more-flexible keypad over the standard basic keypad (which goes up and down only and doesn’t store favorite heights). The four memory presets match the number you get on the Fully Jarvis desk’s keypad, as does its child-lock feature.

The Uplift V2’s many desktop finishes look great—even the laminates. Panelists preferred the Uplift V2’s inch-thick bamboo desktop over other desks’ similar tops, particularly when it was configured with a curved front (for an additional $10).

We also found the walnut laminate to be less prone to unsightly smudging than the Fully Jarvis desk’s walnut laminate top.

You can customize it to suit your space and tastes. Besides the vast array of desktop options—31 at this writing, including stunning and expensive solid wood—the V2 desk has many frame and accessory options, so you can customize your desk when you order.

We’re talking multiple frame colors, grommet colors, keypad colors, types of casters, and various keyboard trays. Desks come with a cable-management tray and your choice of four free accessories, such as a motion standing desk mat, under-desk hooks, and desk organizer kits.

You can even have a desktop made to order for your size specifications, and you can buy a matching side table (currently starting at $380). No other standing desk we looked at offered this level of customization.

Uplift offers some weird and wonderful add-ons. If you order a desk that’s 72 inches or wider, you can even choose a hammock as one of your six included free add-ons.

Yes, a hammock. It attaches with carabiners to the frame of the desk, so you can lie or sit (cross-legged) underneath your desk while it’s raised. The hammock held Wirecutter’s Kevin Purdy, at 200 pounds, for as long as he could stand the self-conscious weirdness of it all. Other testers found the hammock surprisingly comfortable.

You can also get extras such as a rocking board (for more-active standing), a standing desk mat, a desk organizer set, a USB hub, or a “foot hammock” (among others).

We’ve tested all of the most popular standing desk mats and found the Ergodriven Topo offered the best comfort and support while encouraging movement.

This attractive desk is pleasant to work on, and it has a lower base price than many competitors. It’s available in small sizes, and it accommodates people under 5-foot-4 better than the Uplift V2. But it’s not as customizable.

The laminate-desktop version is made mostly from recycled wood, and it’s available in seven finishes. It has the same frame options as the other Jarvis desks.

The Jarvis Bamboo Standing Desk and the Laminate Standing Desk (both now sold by Herman Miller) are similar in many ways to the Uplift V2 Standing Desk. The main differences lie in the available desktop options, the add-ons, and other customizations.

Though the Fully Jarvis desk doesn’t have nearly as many customization options as Uplift’s desks do, its base price, warranty, and looks are in the same ballpark.

It’s better than our top pick for people who are under 5-foot-4. We recommend the Jarvis desk for shorter people because the new three-stage, low-range frame is less expensive than Uplift’s similar V2-Commercial extended frame.

The Jarvis with the three-stage low frame goes from 23 inches to 43.25 inches—a range that accommodates people between 4-foot-9 and 6 feet.

The Jarvis desk is also available with a taller three-stage frame, which goes from 25.5 inches to 51 inches. But we prefer the Uplift V2 for people taller than 5-foot-4 because of its customizability for around the same price.

It works well—with a few glitches—and support is responsive. More than a half-dozen Wirecutter staffers have worked at Jarvis desks over the years, and most have no complaints about the functionality of the desks.

But Wirecutter’s Leilani Han noted the motor on her desk has stopped working three times over a two-year period. She said a customer-service representative suggested the outages were caused by power surges, since she doesn’t use a surge protector. Han said a customer-service representative recommended resetting the desk using these steps:

Wirecutter staffers who own a Jarvis desk and have it plugged into a surge protector haven’t had this issue—even after a major storm. Still, the company offers a competitive 15-year warranty for all mechanical parts and motors, in the event that anything breaks down.

It’s even more stable than our top pick. In our testing, the Jarvis desk slightly edged out the Uplift V2 in stability, particularly with front-to-back motion. (Like almost all desks, both the Jarvis and the V2 wobble some—especially side to side—at their tallest heights. But most people will be perfectly satisfied with either desk’s stability.)

We have mixed feelings about its OLED keypad. You have to tap it to turn it on and then tap it again to adjust the desk’s height—much like waking a smartphone before using it.

In our tests, the panel was often unresponsive, requiring several taps or extremely precise taps to get the desk moving. This might be good for preventing accidental button presses, but we prefer other desks’ tactile, physical buttons.

However, if you dig into the Jarvis desk’s setup manual, you’ll find the keypad to be highly customizable, with options to set a maximum and minimum height, to change the height-display units between inches and centimeters, to lock the desk height, and more.

It’s customizable, but not as much as the Uplift V2. The Jarvis desk comes in a range of desktop materials, colors, and sizes. But the nine total desktop options—seven laminates and the choice of contoured or rectangular bamboo—pale in comparison with Uplift’s range of more than 30 configurations.

The natural bamboo top looks elegant, but it’s a quarter-inch thinner than the Uplift V2 desk’s 1-inch-thick natural bamboo option.

Its laminate desktop material is prone to smudging. We tested two of the company’s laminate desktops. Though both were attractive, and the walnut finish looked realistic, they also smudged during everyday use.

This desk works well for small spaces, and it has a height-adjustment range that’s ideal for people between 5-foot-8 and 6-foot-5. But the controls aren’t intuitive and have limited preset options.

The Branch Duo Standing Desk is a good option if you have limited space or are over 5-foot-8. But it doesn’t offer nearly as many customizable features as the Uplift, and there’s no option to upgrade to an advanced keypad.

This standing desk is well made. Many testers liked the overall look and feel of the wood-grain laminate desktop. They also said the two-tier lifting column was stable, and they noted that it ran smoothly during height adjustments. The Duo’s 10-year warranty and 275-pound lift capacity offer added peace of mind regarding its long-term durability.

It works in smaller spaces. This is the smallest standing desk we recommend. It comes in a 36-by-24-inch model that works well for small spaces, like a home office or studio apartment. (There’s also a larger 48-by-24 inch model.) The smallest Uplift model we recommend is sold in a 42-by-30 inch desktop. (But as of this writing, the small Uplift is $80 cheaper than our Branch pick, so it may be worth considering if you have the space for it.)

This desk (probably) works best for taller people. The Branch Duo’s desktop height can be adjusted from 28 to 47.5 inches, and it is ideal for people who are between 5-foot-8 and 6-foot-5. Still, a wide range of panelists—from 5 feet to 6-foot-9—were able to find comfortable sit-stand settings. This reminded us once again that an ideal ergonomic setup can vary widely based on your leg and torso lengths.

Similarly, a tester who uses an electric wheelchair felt they could adjust the desk to heights that worked both for their taller electric wheelchair and the shorter manual wheelchair they have at home.

The programmable keypad isn’t as intuitive as those of our other picks. Our panelists had mixed reactions to the control paddle; it requires users to lift or press down to adjust the height, rather than pressing an arrow, like on a traditional control keypad. While some enjoyed the simplicity of “lifting” the paddle to lift the desk, most didn’t like using its menu screen and found it frustrating to use.

The paddle’s side profile buttons cycle through presets and reminders, but there’s no way to go back if you accidentally make the wrong selection. Rather, you have to cycle through the entire menu again.

It’s unlikely you’ll share this desk with a partner or roommate. The Branch Duo can be programmed with only two height settings, while our Uplift and Herman Miller desks with optional programmable keypads can store four different heights. We prefer four height settings so that two people can have personalized sitting and standing presets.

The anti-collision feature works—but there’s an obvious flaw. Half the desks we tested in late 2023 had subpar anti-collision technology and faulty sensors, so we were pleased when this feature actually worked on the Branch Duo. But since this standing desk can go down to only 28 inches, the sensors won’t engage for children, pets, and objects sitting lower than that. The desk also descended another ¼ to ⅕ inch past our bodies while we were seated, applying an uncomfortable amount of pressure on our thighs. We fear that a kid who quickly dives under the moving standing desk could get their fingers pinched in the lifting column or get a bump on the head.

If you need the most stable standing desk possible, and you don’t mind less customization: The Vari Electric Standing Desk is the sturdiest we’ve tested.

Even at its tallest height, 50.5 inches, it barely budged when forcefully shoved in all directions. Vari’s desks come with thicker desktops than our picks offer (1.25 inches, versus the Uplift V2’s and the Fully Jarvis’s typical 1-inch thicknesses), and the crossbar running across the bottom of the frame is pre-mounted. A thicker desktop leads to a sturdier desk. And a pre-mounted crossbar reduces the number of steps it takes to assemble the desk; it also eliminates any potential user-assembly errors that could cause wobbling.

The memory pad worked smoothly, but the desk was a second or two slower to respond than our picks.

The Vari desk has the same height range as the Uplift V2, so it’s also best suited to those who are about 5-foot-4 to 7 feet.

But despite its stability, the Vari desk has a few other downsides beyond its lack of customization and slower response. It comes only with a five-year warranty (a third of what Uplift and Fully offer), and its cheapest configuration is both smaller and pricier than the least-expensive desks from Uplift and Fully.

To figure out how tall a desk should be when you’re sitting, furniture retailer Wayfair recommends dividing your height in inches by 2.5.

We found that this guideline is fairly accurate, within a half-inch to an inch. The Fully Jarvis with a low-range frame can accommodate people who are 4-foot-9 and above; the Uplift V2 can accommodate those who are 5-foot-4 and above. Of course, people have different torso and leg lengths, so your experience may vary.

For standing height, you can multiply your height in inches by 0.6 to get a close approximation of how high you’d need a standing desk to go. These desks should accommodate people who are over 6 feet tall (as tall as 7 feet for the Uplift V2 and the Vari; 6 feet for the Jarvis with a low-range frame).

We’ve researched more than a dozen inexpensive standing desks, and we found that their seemingly reasonable price tags of $200 to $500 were invariably accompanied by major flaws. Namely, budget-priced standing desks are made with lower-quality materials and are harder to assemble than the slightly pricier models we recommend. They also offer low weight limits, narrow height ranges, and short warranties.

Of the desks we found under $500, several lacked predrilled holes to ensure accurate assembly and long-term stability. Additionally, most desks in this price range have tabletops made of split particle board, rather than having a solid bamboo, laminate, or wood desktop piece, like our picks have. That’s because it’s easier for manufacturers to ship the entire desk in a single box this way.

On average, these budget desks can hold only up to 150 pounds (sometimes including the tabletop’s weight), compared with the 300-pound-average weight limits of our picks.

Combined, the split tops and low weight limits make budget standing desks less stable than our picks, when loaded with heavy computer gear.

Budget standing desks often have narrower adjustable height ranges than our picks. They aren’t built for people who are, on average, under 5-foot-7 or over 6-foot-4.

These budget desks also offer subpar warranties ranging from one to three years. So they’re a bigger risk for the buyer, and they’re more expensive on a year-by-year basis compared with our picks that have 15-year warranties.

Lastly, many of the cheapest standing desks aren’t motorized. They need someone to manually adjust the desk’s height with a hand crank, making them inaccessible to people with mobility issues or limb differences.

If you’re on a strict budget and aren’t ready to commit to one of our picks, you’re better off opting for a standing desk converter. These tabletop desks offer more stability and a better height-adjustment range than any budget standing desk we found.

This is not a comprehensive list of all the standing desks we’ve tested. We have removed models that are discontinued or no longer meet our criteria.

The Uplift V2-Commercial was our previous top pick due to its wide height range (suitable for people 4-foot-9 to 6-foot-1) and ample customization options. This desk is slightly more stable than the Fully Jarvis and the standard Uplift V2 at tall heights. But after reevaluating all of the options with an eye toward both price and features, we determined that the standard Uplift V2 is a better overall value. And we found that the Fully Jarvis is a better choice for people who fall outside the V2’s height range (5-foot-4 to 7 feet).

Starting at under $450 (with the bamboo top), the FlexiSpot E5 (formerly EC4) was a potential budget standing-desk pick. It comes in a plethora of laminate desktop options and in several sizes. But we found it to be one of the least stable desks we’ve tested, both from front to back and side to side. Because of the E5’s wobbling, we think you’re better off investing in a pricier Uplift V2 or Fully Jarvis, or even paying more for the Vari desk’s superior stability.

Juniper Think desks also start at attractive prices, but we dismissed them from testing because of their limited height range (26.5 inches to 45.5 inches) in comparison with that of our picks. Juniper’s desks also have fewer memory presets than the other desks, and they’re only available in four laminate desktop finishes.

We decided to skip testing the Autonomous SmartDesk Core because it lacks anti-collision, offers limited customization, and has a poor warranty.

The IKEA Bekant is a seemingly promising, fairly inexpensive, height-adjustable standing desk, but two Wirecutter readers have mentioned returning theirs due to stability problems. And we’ve come across more problems and negative customer reviews for this model than for any other standing desk. It has the fewest desktop-customization options of the desks we researched. And unlike the major standing-desk manufacturers, IKEA charges high delivery fees if you can’t pick it up in-store.

The IKEA Idåsen is priced similarly to the Uplift V2 and Fully Jarvis desks, and if you have an IKEA nearby, it’s easy to try out the desk for yourself. Although you can remotely control the height of the Idåsen with your phone, the desk’s keypad lacks the customizable height-preset buttons found on our picks. It also comes in only four laminate desktop options.

The VertDesk v3, sold by (Beyond the Office Door), is one of the most stable two-leg standing desks we’ve ever tested, similar to the Vari. In previous tests, panelists voted its desktop the best of the laminate options, thanks to its lightly textured feel and realistic wood look. We didn’t pick the VertDesk v3 for most people because its assembly process is more involved than that of most desks we tested. And it has a more-limited height range, from 27 inches to 47.5 inches.

The StandDesk we tested is quite similar to the Fully Jarvis in terms of stability. It has decent typing and movement transfer, fair-to-okay front-to-back stability, and better side-to-side stability (with a crossbar attached). It also has the best instructions and labeling we’ve seen for building a typical standing desk. Unfortunately, the StandDesk’s motor didn’t respond as quickly, and its control pad wasn’t as precise or easy to use as those of the Uplift and Fully desks.

The Xdesk Terra 2s and Terra are beautiful desks that are unusually easy to assemble. They come partially assembled, sparing you a good 20 minutes of work compared with assembly time for most desks. However, they are far more expensive than our picks, louder than any of them, and significantly less stable.

The EvoDesk came with predrilled holes that were alternately tight or loose, so assembly was a pain, and ultimately the desk didn’t feel properly seated on the frame. It wobbled more than the Uplift and Fully desks. And considering that it costs more than our picks when similarly configured, we recommend passing.

The Right Angle Elegante is too expensive for a desk that’s not as sturdy as our picks.

The FEZIBO Electric Standing Desk has an appealing price tag, but we didn’t test it because of its two-year limited warranty on electronic components and motor, and its paltry weight limit of 155 to 175 pounds.

Several readers have asked us about the ApexDesk Elite Series Standing Desk, but we skipped testing because it has only a two-year warranty—a no-go for such a pricey desk.

We considered testing the Vari Essential Electric Standing Desk as a possible new budget pick for this guide. But it fell short of our criteria due to its short, three-year warranty and 150-pound weight limit.

The Vortex 48" Series M Edition Standing Desk features narrow height adjustments that are ideal only for people averaging 6 feet tall, and it has only a two-year warranty.

The SHW Memory Preset Electric Height Adjustable Standing Desk features an unsatisfactory one-year limited warranty, and it has a weight limit of 110 pounds, inclusive of the desktop.

The FAMISKY Dual Motors Standing Desk and the MONOMI Electric Height Adjustable Standing Desk offer inconsistencies in their product descriptions, feature narrow height adjustments that are ideal only for people averaging 6 feet tall, and have poor warranties.

The FlexiSpot E7 Pro Plus Standing Desk didn’t impress our testers. Most thought the desktop and keypad looked cheaper than those of the other models we tested. Panelists also noted that its motor was marginally louder compared with motors on other models, including the Flexispot Comhar Pro.

Our panelists had divided opinions about the Flexispot Comhar Pro Standing Desk Q8. They universally liked its built-in wireless charging station and slim drawer. However, many disliked the non-customizable bamboo top because it was rough and had sharper edges than those of other models we tested. It also wasn’t as stable as our picks.

The Ergonofis Sway Desk is one of the most expensive standing desks we’ve tested. Our panelists loved its materials but said the recessed keypad wasn’t intuitive to use, and many gave up trying to adjust it to their preferred heights. This desk was also harder to assemble than half of the models we tested. Overall, we found its assembly method—which uses snap clamps, rather than screws—to be less secure than that of our picks. Lastly, the Sway’s 10-year warranty is shorter than the Uplift V2’s 15-year warranty, even though the Sway typically costs about twice as much.

The Autonomous SmartDesk Connect doesn’t work until it’s been paired with the company’s app, which offers minimal functionality. Our panelists thought it was overkill to be able to adjust the desk’s height from across the room. Multiple testers also called this desk “cheap” and “wobbly.” Plus, the anti-collision feature didn’t work during our tests, and the white desktop smudged easily.

We skipped testing the Autonomous SmartDesk Pro (formerly known as the SmartDesk 2) because it lacks an anti-collision feature, which is an important safety consideration for anyone using a standing desk.

The anti-collision feature on the Branch Standing Desk didn’t consistently work during our tests. While the sensors identified obstructions at the front of the desk, they failed to sense objects and even our panelists’ legs at the back of the desk. Additionally, our testers found the motor to be too loud, and they thought the desk edges were too sharp to rest against while typing at a computer.

The Charcoal Desk is well-reviewed by other publications, but our experience with it was subpar. The desk requires an app to unlock all of its features, but again our panelists found those extra features useless. Charcoal promises to “supercharge” your day by reminding you to take breaks via app notifications, plus a glowing dot on the desktop’s surface. After creating a profile with our age, gender, and sleep habits, we anticipated a personalized experience. But the app only offered generic, unrealistic break tasks, including taking a 9-minute nap. It never personalized suggestions, and the desk didn’t intuit breaks, sitting, or standing time based on our desk usage.

Additionally, the keypad wasn’t responsive, the desk motor was loud, the white acrylic desktop smudged easily, and its edges were too sharp to lean against while working. Lastly, the anti-collision feature only worked at the front of the desk. The free cable tray blocks sensors at the back, and it fell off whenever it hit an object during our tests. Bottom line: None of our testers thought the Charcoal Desk was worth $1,200 to $1,500. “If it costs $550, that is too much,” said one panelist.

At $2,300, the ErgoAV ErgoFx Sit Stand Desk is one of the most expensive models we’ve tested. Our panelists loved the tech-forward features, including a lighted drawer, USB ports, and a wireless charging base that automatically spins and tilts toward you when used. But this desk fell short of blowing us away because its capacity limit is at 176.5 pounds, while our Uplift pick can carry loads twice as heavy. Plus, its adjustable height range can only be preset for above 35.5 inches and below 35.5 inches. This means people who share a desk can’t create multiple presets, and neither can people who use two wheelchairs at home (such as a manual and electric wheelchair of different heights). There’s an optional app that offers more preset options, but it didn’t work during testing.

At the time we tested this desk, the manufacturer’s website indicated it offered a one-year warranty. But a company spokesperson later relayed that this information was incorrect. Now, the website reflects a two-year warranty for the charging components, and a five-year warranty for the frame and motor—all of which applies regardless of the purchase date.

This article was edited by Ben Keough and Erica Ogg.

April Chambers, assistant professor in the Department of Health and Physical Activity at the University of Pittsburgh, email interview, February 5, 2020

Kaitlyn Wells is a senior staff writer who advocates for greater work flexibility by showing you how to work smarter remotely without losing yourself. Previously, she covered pets and style for Wirecutter. She's never met a pet she didn’t like, although she can’t say the same thing about productivity apps. Her first picture book, A Family Looks Like Love, follows a pup who learns that love, rather than how you look, is what makes a family.

Melanie Pinola covers home office, remote work, and productivity as a senior staff writer at Wirecutter. She has contributed to print and online publications such as The New York Times, Consumer Reports, Lifehacker, and PCWorld, specializing in tech, work, and lifestyle/family topics. She’s thrilled when those topics intersect—and when she gets to write about them in her PJs.

by Kevin Purdy and Melanie Pinola

We built and worked on 17 standing desk converters, and we found that the Ergo Desktop Kangaroo Pro Junior remains the best way to stand at a stationary desk.

We’ve spent over a thousand hours testing more than 100 pieces of gear that encourage ergonomically healthy posture.

by Kaitlyn Wells and Melanie Pinola

We’ve tested all of the most popular standing desk mats and found the Ergodriven Topo offered the best comfort and support while encouraging movement.

I’ve balked at the steep price of a standing desk. But if you consider how much time you spend at your desk, the investment pays off.

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Adjustable Desk Lift Wirecutter is the product recommendation service from The New York Times. Our journalists combine independent research with (occasionally) over-the-top testing so you can make quick and confident buying decisions. Whether it’s finding great products or discovering helpful advice, we’ll help you get it right (the first time).