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Which adjustable desk is best?

Standing desks may be all the rage these days, but most people will find an adjustable desk to be a better option. This is because they allow you to alternate between sitting and standing throughout the day, which can benefit both your health and your productivity.

You should consider the size, style, materials and storage of any desk before purchasing, but adjustable desks have another feature you should keep in mind — how they are adjusted. Some models, like the Vari Electric Standing Desk, are equipped with a motor that does the raising and lowering for you at the touch of a button. Others require you to manually lift and lower the desk yourself.

What to know before you buy an adjustable desk


Adjustable desks help you avoid staying in a seated position all day long, and potentially the many negative health consequences that come along with it. Studies from the National Library of Medicine link sitting for excessive amounts of time every day with obesity, back pain, postural issues, high blood pressure, poor mood and more. Therefore, an adjustable desk that allows you to alternate your position throughout the work day can allow you to not compromise your health for your productivity.

Standing vs. adjustable 

While a standing desk is a good option for your office space, if it is the only desk you own, then it will completely eliminate the option to sit down at all. The National Library of Medicine reports that standing all day, especially in a stationary position, can lead to negative health consequences as well, such as inflammation in the veins in the lower legs or knees, back pain and potential mobility issues later in life. An adjustable desk, on the other hand, will allow you to alternate between sitting and standing throughout the day, making it a great option.


Since you will likely be adjusting the height of your desk multiple times per day, you should consider how easy it is to adjust the desk model before purchasing it. Overall, motorized desks are the easiest models to adjust. You simply flip a switch or press a button to raise or lower the desk automatically. If these are out of your price range, or you simply don’t want to have to worry about the function of any electronic components, the next best options are adjustable desks that feature a well-placed hand crank or pneumatic lift. The last and least convenient (but often the most affordable) option is a model that requires you to remove and replace bolts to adjust the height.

Features to look for in a quality adjustable desk


Just like traditional desks, adjustable desks come in a wide variety of sizes. There are small models that only offer enough space to accommodate a laptop and a mouse pad, and even large L-shaped options with plenty of space for multiple monitors, a printer and any other office supply or peripheral device you may need. Consider how much working space you will need to ensure that you purchase a desk that will be suitable for you.


Just because most adjustable desks don’t have drawers doesn’t mean they are completely without storage. Some storage options to consider are small hooks or pegs to hang headphones or a backpack, a secondary shelf to raise a monitor up a bit higher and small compartments.


If you want the ability to easily move your desk around, choose a model that features caster wheels on the bottom. These should have brakes that can lock into place, so you don’t have to worry about the desk sliding around while you are working.


Often, necessary outlets can be hard to access in an office when they are located on the wall underneath the desk. Models with USB ports or traditional outlets integrated into the desk make plugging in (and unplugging) various devices much more convenient. 

Cable pass-throughs

If you do not want unsightly cables haphazardly hanging off the end of your desk, consider purchasing a desk with cable pass-throughs. These allow you to pass a cord through a hole in the desk for easy access to the wall outlets below. 


If design is important to you, then you should prioritize the style of your office furniture just as much as the furniture throughout other areas of your home. From rustic to modern, adjustable desks come in a variety of designs, materials and color schemes.  

How much can you expect to spend on an adjustable desk

Most adjustable desks cost between $100-$700.

Adjustable desk FAQ

Standing while working is causing pain in my heel. Is there anything I can do to mitigate this?

A. The two most common reasons why people experience heel pain while using a standing desk are wearing improper footwear or standing on a very hard surface. To mitigate this, consider changing your footwear to something more comfortable or purchasing an anti-fatigue mat to stand on when at your desk.

How do I know how high to raise my adjustable desk?

A. Ideally, a standing desk should be set at a height that allows you to stand up straight without slouching while working. Most will find this to be right about at the height of their elbows. You may find your most comfortable position is an inch or two below or above this, though, so adjust the height as needed.

What is the best adjustable desk to buy?

Top adjustable desk

Vari Electric Standing Desk

Vari Electric Standing Desk

What you need to know: This premium electric option is made from sturdy materials and comes in several styles, one of which is a beautiful reclaimed wood design.

What you’ll love: Its motor is quiet while raising and lowering the desk, and it offers a wide range of height adjustments to suit users of all sizes.

What you should consider: Its high price may put it out of reach for some consumers.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top adjustable desk for the money

BestOffice Adjustable Standing Desk

BestOffice Adjustable Standing Desk

What you need to know: This modern adjustable desk is surprisingly affordable considering the quality and size.

What you’ll love: Though manual, it is easy to raise or lower via the well-placed hand crank. Also, most people can fully assemble it in just 15 to 20 minutes.

What you should consider: It makes a lot of noise when adjusting the height.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Flash Furniture Mobile Sit-Down, Stand-Up Black Computer

Flash Furniture Mobile Sit-Down, Stand-Up Black Computer

What you need to know: If you are lacking in space or simply prefer a small and easily mobile desk that you can move around as needed, this option fits the bill.

What you’ll love: It offers a smooth pneumatic lift that hardly requires any effort on your part. There is also a small pen and pencil tray, so you don’t have to worry about your writing tools rolling away when you place them down.

What you should consider: Some users report that this desk can wobble slightly when writing and typing.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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Brett Dvoretz writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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