The best active chairs and stools for standing desks

There’s chairs, and then there’s active chairs. What’s the difference?

A chair is any old arrangement of cushions and/or mesh, comfy enough to melt into for several hours at a time. Some standing-height chairs are exactly this: a chair, jacked up a couple feet.

Active chairs engage your muscles. You might be sitting, but you’re also supporting yourself with your own back and core. Active chairs usually take the form of a stool or saddle. Some active chairs let you tilt the chair itself, others are permanently upright.

Active chairs are sometimes called “perching” chairs. Perching is somewhere between sitting and standing, and many people with lower back problems find the perching position puts less strain on their back.

Active chair advantages

  • Engage more muscle groups when you sit – rather than rely on the chair to support your entire body, you do some of the work yourself
  • Easier to switch to standing
  • Shift, twist, wiggle, reach around – it’s easier to move while you sit
  • Burn more calories
  • Strengthen your back and core muscles while you sit

Active Chairs for Standing Desks Compared

The chairs in this article are a little different than your average standing desk height chair. Because they’re active chairs, they’re designed to make you do some of the work of supporting your body while you sit. Presumably you switched to a standing desk for any (or all) of the myriad benefits of doing so, but standing all day can be harmful in its own ways (and quite tiring).

The ideal setup is one where you can easily switch between sitting and standing throughout your work day.

That’s why we think every standing desk setup should include a tall, standing-desk height chair or stool. Rather than raise and lower your entire workstation when you need a break, we think it’s better to rest in a chair designed for the purpose. Keeping your desk at standing height is also good for encouraging you to switch back to standing – you’re more likely to go stand if you don’t have to first crank your desk back up.

Overall top pick: HÅG Capisco ergonomic office chair

Meet the HÅG Capisco. This eye-catching, unusual chair is designed to keep you moving throughout the day.

Above: the HAG Capisco Puls model.

The design may be nearly 30 years old, but this often-copied, never-duplicated design has stood the test of time.

You sit “on” the Capisco, rather than “in” it, and rather than letting you melt into the cushions for hours on end, the Capisco encourages you to twist, reach, and move. The Capisco is sometimes referred to as a perching chair, because you can perch on it, but you can also sit in it like a normal chair as well. That makes it unique among our recommended active chairs – the rest of the chairs in this article are stools, not chairs, but the Capisco can function as both.

There are many ways to sit on the Capisco (including backwards and sideways!) but no matter how you choose to sit, you’ll engage more muscles than you would in an ordinary chair. During typical use the Capisco functions more like a stool – your weight is held by the saddle and your feet, and less so by your butt and back.

The Capisco encourages movement and self-support, rather than slouching into a seat back or leaning onto an armrest.

The back of the Capisco isn’t mean to fully support your back all day – that’s what your core muscles are for. The armrests are out of the way until you lean back for a rest. The chair works with either a sitting-height desk or a standing-height desk. When fully extended for use with a standing-height desk, your feet rest on footrests sculpted into the chair’s own legs.

Every leg of the HAG Capisco is tipped with a comfortable footrest.

Three Capisco models to pick from

There are three variants on the HÅG Capisco design: the Capisco, the Capisco Puls, and the Capisco Puls Plus.

The Capisco is the original. It has the thickest padding and the widest pommel (the part of the sattle that goes between your legs). The Capisco Puls is a more affordable update on the design – it features less padding and a narrow pommel, allowing users to sit with their legs closer together. Finally, the Puls Plus is like the Puls, but with a fully padded seat. Think of it as a hybrid between the Capisco and the Capisco Puls.

How it feels

The seat and back are firm, regardless of which Capisco you choose. It’s the opposite of the “butt hammock” popularized by the Aeron chair. The seat is sculpted like a saddle, so if you find the undersides of your thighs dig or sink into the edges of traditional cylindrical stool chairs, you might enjoy the Capisco’s sculpting.

Just like adjusting to a standing desk in the first place, active chairs like the Capisco also have their own adjustment period where your back and butt get used to doing more work while you sit.

For one user’s in-depth review, check out “A Year with a HAG Capisco” on

HÅG Capisco pros

  • Designer look
  • Sit actively – encourages motion and movement
  • Makes you use your muscles throughout the day
  • Easy assembly – just four parts to put together
  • Works at normal height, too – not just for standing desks
  • Highly adjustable – seat height (x” – y”), height of chair back, backward tilt resistance, lock tilt resistance, seat pan can be adjusted forwards and backwards
  • 10 year warranty
  • Good for more than just computer work – in particular, a lot of musicians seem to love this chair!

Musical chairs, Capisco style.

HÅG Capisco cons

  • HÅG only has showrooms in major cities so it might be hard to sit in one before you buy
  • Premium features come with a premium price tag
  • Might tempt you into sitting more than some of our other options

Where to buy a single HÅG Capisco chair

The best place to buy a Capisco chair right now is

Fully sells all Capisco models, with the option to customize the upholstery, color, and height of the lift.

You can also purchase a shorter lift, a foot rest, and/or a foot ring when you shop at

Amazon also sells all three versions of the Capisco, but only in black – and without any accessories.

Best standing-height stool: Muvman Sit-Stand Stool

If the Capisco chair is a bit too much chair for you, you might consider a swivel stool instead. You can’t really slouch into a stool, and if your butt starts to get uncomfortable (which it will after a while), that’s your sign that it’s time to return to a standing position.

The Muvman Sit-Stand Stool is a deluxe, standing-height swivel stool.

The cushion is designed to pad your butt bones while you lean back for a standing break.

The Muvman is marketed as a perching stool, after the position it encourages your body to take while you use it. Some people call this position “sit-stand” (hence the stool’s name). There’s a handle on the back so you can carry this 14 lb stool with you wherever you go.

The Muvman stool encourages the user to “perch” – a blend of sitting and standing.

Muvman Sit-Stand Stool pros

  • 360 degree tilt range for active sitting
  • Keeps you at standing height, so you remain eye-level with customers or your standing desk monitor
  • Support yourself with your hamstrings and buttocks – takes pressure off your back
  • 20-33″ seat height range
  • The seat is angled 4 degrees forward, so it’s more like you’re leaning into it a bit rather than just sitting on it
  • Encourages movement throughout your day
  • Stable and strong – supports up to 265 lbs
  • Soft cushion and flexible seat edge to minimize pressure on legs
  • Non-slip, non-scratch base 
  • Built-in handle for easy portability

This diagram from Muvman highlights our favorite feature of this stool: the cushion is flexible (yet supportive), so whether you take a traditional sitting position, or adjust its height so you’re somewhere between sitting and standing, the chair can lean (and the cushion can bend) to support your desired position.

The Muvman cushion is flexible and the seat’s design allows you to easily fine-tune your perching position.

Muvman Sit-Stand Stool cons

  • Requires an adjustment period to “perching” – possibly as long as several weeks

If there’s anything to beware of, it’s that a stool is really just that: a stool. It’s not a chair, and you’re not going to be able to let your body sink into it for a good hearty rest.

Best budget standing-height stool: Ongo Stand Ergonomic Office Stool

Some folks call the Ongo Stand ergonomic office stool a budget alternative to the Muvman, since its MRSP is nearly half the Muvman’s with few sacrifices. The Ongo Stand is marketed towards people who need to stand at work as a way to achieve “supported standing”.

With a height range of 11.5″ (24″ – 35.4″) the Ongo Stand is suitable for nearly everyone

Like the Muvman, the Ongo Stand is height adjustable and suitable for standing desks, and it swivels, making it great for active sitting. It features a soft cushion but, like any standing-height stool, isn’t really meant for relaxing and sitting still. 

The Ongo Stand’s forward lean makes it so you don’t really “sit on” it, you just sort of “perch” on it.

Ongo Stand pros

  • Keeps you at standing height – stay eye-level with customers or your standing desk monitor
  • Support yourself with your hamstrings and buttocks – takes pressure off your back
  • 24-35″ seat height range – about 2″ taller at the extremes than the Muvman
  • Microfiber fleece seat
  • Base design doesn’t interfere with your foot placement
  • 11 lbs make the Ongo Stand easy to carry 

Ongo Stand cons

  • The edges are designed to be soft, but users with larger thighs might notice them
  • There’s definitely an adjustment period to perching – possibly as long as several weeks
  • While the base’s legs are out of the way of your feet, the base’s legs may pose a trip hazard
  • No carry handle like the Muvman, so if you plan to move the stool frequently you might miss the handle

Where to buy Ongo Stand

Gaiam Adjustable Balance Ball Stool

Here’s a clever idea: take one of those inflatable yoga balls, cut it in half, and stick it on a standing-height stool! If you love sitting on a yoga ball, you might love the Gaiam adjustable balance ball stool!

It’s just like sitting on a yoga ball, minus the squeaky fart noises of your shoes rubbing against the lower hemisphere of the ball (not that I know anything about that phenomenon).

This balance-ball stool hybrid comes in a variety of heights and colors, so be careful which ones you choose – only the black and granite colors come in the full 33″ height you’ll (probably) need to make it work with a standing desk. 

Gaiam adjustable ball seat pros

  • Casters for easy gliding
  • Lockable feet for preventing easy gliding
  • Circular foot rest for your feet
  • Challenge your core muscles while you sit
  • Anti-burst ball
  • Adjustable between 18″ and 33″ tall – so you can use it at a sitting or a standing desk
  • Pump included!

Half stability ball, half chair.

Gaiam adjustable ball seat cons

  • Rubber seat doesn’t give your butt any ventilation – you’ll want to switch it up regularly to get some airflow
  • The initial setup is a bit laborious, since you have to inflate the ball yourself
  • Sitting on a ball isn’t for everyone – this is one of those you either love it or you hate it things

Focal Upright Locus Seat with footrest platform

Our last active chair is the Locus Seat by Focal Upright. The Locus Seat is a leaning seat (it can still rock side to side and back to front) but what really makes it unique is the angled anti-fatigue platform.

The Locus Seat is designed to go under your standing desk and has space for both normal standing and leaning.

The platform is made of a mushy but supportive anti-fatigue material, so whether you’re standing or leaning, your feet are getting some much-needed support. The seat itself can be adjusted to suit heights from 4’11” all the way up to 6’8″ (max. seat height is about 45″) and weights up to 300 lbs.

Locus Seat pros

  • Stand with your body bent about 130 degrees which takes pressure off your spine and nearby muscles
  • Side-to-side and back-to-front movement reduces pressure points and keeps you moving without becoming a distraction
  • Engages your abs and core muscles
  • Suitable for a large range of heights – 4’11” to 6’10”
  • Sloped anti-fatigue footrest reduces stress on your feet
  • Seat post folds and there are wheels on the footrest – easy portability and storage
  • 3 color options – black, red, and citrus

Locus Seat cons

  • The seat doesn’t work without the foot rest
  • Reduces under-desk storage space

The thing we love about the Locus Mobile seat is the way the seat moves and pivots with you. The overall feeling is that you’re not totally supporting your own weight, but you’re still standing and moving. The sloped footrest and seat work together to create a pleasant working experience.

The Locus Mobile seat in action!

And there we have it, folks – the best active seats for your standing desk!

IKEA SKARSTA is a solid, adjustable full-size standing desk at a great price


Once upon a decade ago, IKEA graced us with the (awesomely named) JERKER, a standing desk that has maintained a cult-like following despite being discontinued before YouTube was even a thing. The JERKER is still a hot commodity, with Facebook fan groups demanding its return and at least one blog maintained by a JERKER collector. I personally worked at a place (circa 2013) that still had three grungy, aging JERKERs, and some elaborate politics to determine who was worthy of one.

Needless to say, the world was ready for a new, affordably priced IKEA standing desk.

Introducing – the SKARSTA!

Okay, it’s not the JERKER, but there’s still quite a bit to love about this new standing desk from IKEA. And it’s not yet another “IKEA hack”, so put away your toolbox and drill.


The SKARSTA is an honest-to-goodness adjustable-height standing desk from IKEA.

Assembly is about what you’d expect from an IKEA product and the SKARSTA is (still!) one of the only adjustable, full-size standing desks available in its price range. The SKARSTA retails for about $240 USD, which is roughly half of what IKEA’s motorized BEKANT standing desk will run you. (Plus, the BEKANT has been dogged by complaints about its motor breaking for nearly as long as the BEKANT has existed.)

The height range is between 27½” and 47¼”. A lot of standing desks top out around 44″, so if you’re on the taller side, you might benefit from the extra few inches the SKARSTA affords you. (Find your standing desk height here.)

With a width of 47¼” and depth of 27½” (oddly enough, that’s also the height range) the surface area of the SKARSTA is on par with a full-size desk. If you don’t like the little “podium” style standing desks, or you want the entire desk at standing height,,the SKARSTA is an affordable option.

SKARSTA video review

YouTuber David Zhang put together an excellent 5-minute review of the desk. He identifies a small problem with the top of the desk tilting towards the back due to the weight of his monitor and accessories (about 40 lbs total), and a bigger problem with the crank itself.


IKEA SKARSTA Review: Our Take

We think the SKARSTA is a great standing desk, especially if you have lightweight monitors (or just one, or just a laptop) and few accessories to load it down with.

There’s a lot to love about the SKARSTA: its clean and modern look, affordable price, hand-crank for precise adjustments, stable footing, and a generous amount of surface space (it’s as large as our sitting desks).

Gettin’ cranky

This adjustable desk – like most in its general price range – lifts and lowers with a hand crank. There’s no electric option (for that, check out the pricier BEKANT). If you plan to adjust the height of this desk several times a day, get ready for an arm workout. If you don’t relish the idea of working your biceps and forearms a few times a day, consider a standing desk height chair.

But here’s some good news: the crank can be mounted on the left or the right side, and when it’s not in use, you can push it under the desk for a nice clean look.

Some reviewers have pointed out that the crank’s shaft gets scratched over time.

The degradation of the crank over time is a little worrisome, but we (and many of our colleagues) tend to put a standing desk in a standing position and then leave it there. We don’t usually adjust between sitting and standing heights all day long; instead, we just a standing-desk height chair. If this is also you, you might also be less concerned about the crank’s durability.

We think the value of the crank is for getting a precise height, and adjusting as needed after a period of use. It’s all too common to build a standing desk to a particular height and then realize it’s a bit too tall or a bit too low – and with a non-adjustable desk, there isn’t always an easy fix. With the SKARSTA, you can fine-tune your height choice until you settle in a happy place.

Wobbliness and shaking

Some wobbliness is to be expected from virtually any standing desk that isn’t anchored to the wall in some way. If you’re judging shakiness by monitor shake, keep in mind that modern flat screen monitors are pretty lightweight and tend to shake even when placed on a stable, sitting-height desk.

The desk has a 110 lb weight limit, but that’s evenly distributed – they don’t mean you can stack a few 45 lb plates on one corner and expect it to hold up. 110 lbs is easily enough, however, to hold two flat screens.

SKARSTA desks from around the web

Beautiful art studio with a SKARSTA desk, by Instagram artist @artonthefridge user sunapple shared this sweet Skarsta setup

SKARSTA desk from a gumtree listing demonstrating just one possibility for storage under the desk

Our rating

We give the SKARSTA 4 stars out of 5.

To earn a 5th star, we’d like to see more color/finish options and an improved crank – the model we saw at our local IKEA was missing the crank entirely.

The SKARSTA table top is particleboard and acrylic paint. A solid wood option would rock our world, like IKEA’s GERTON (which we love). IKEA has always been the land of mix and match desks, after all. Only the SKARSTA top is designed to go with the SKARSTA frame, but that’s not to say you can’t get clever – TopSetup magazine shares DIY steps for combinining a SKARSTA frame with a GERTON top.

The bottom line

The SKARSTA is a rare find: a full-size adjustable standing desk for about $240. You’d be hard-pressed to find a better desk at this price. Most of what’s available in this range is either just a frame or a lift, designed to lift only your keyboard and monitor instead of your entire desk.

Shop for the SKARSTA on

The best standing desk converters for tiny desks and compact cubicles

Compact standing desk converters are perfect for small offices and tight workspaces. These standing desk converters sit on top of your existing desk (which should please your office manager 🙂 ) and they look good in a professional work environment.

Best standing desk converter for small offices: the Ergotron WorkFit-S Dual with Worksurface+


Look at that tiny footprint! The Ergotron WorkFit-S Dual with Worksurface+ is a fantastic space-saving standing desk solution for small offices and workspaces. You can use it standing or sitting and it adjusts easily and without tools. When you move to a new desk, simply un-clamp it and take it with you. This one’s great because it not only has support for two monitors, it elevates them up into the space where there tends to be more, well – space – the “open air” above your desk.


Pros: It’s height-adjustable, so you can use it sitting or standing and adjust its height with ease (no tools required). It clamps onto your current desk, so you can keep your existing furniture and move it to an entirely new location without having to reorganize your entire office layout. The dual monitor mounting system means you don’t have to sacrifice your dual monitor setup. Also great: the platform directly under the monitors can be used to hold things like coffee, notepads, and office toys.

Cons: The keyboard platform sticks out into your “sitting space”, so be sure you still have enough space to sit comfortably in your chair once the keyboard platform’s depth of about 8″ is accounted for. While the Ergotron itself is suitable for a small cubicle or work area, it does dominate the space you give it. You won’t be able to use the desk underneath it for anything.


Another great compact standing desk converter: Mount-It! Sit Stand Workstation


If you don’t have two monitors or just don’t want to (or can’t) mount your screens, check out the Mount-It! Sit Stand Workstation instead. Like the Ergotron, it’s got a small footprint and separate monitor and keyboard platforms, which will suit taller users. 


Pros: Nice, hefty design that is easy to set up (no clamping, no tools needed) and move with you when you change teams or projects. The assisted lift mechanism helps you convert it between sitting and standing configurations in seconds and doesn’t require any tools. The keyboard platform is large enough for both a keyboard and a mouse, and there’s a cable management system in the back to keep things tidy.

Cons: The desk space underneath this thing is pretty much a loss: the platform is flat, so you can at least set your coffee on it, but it’s awkward for a notebook and only suitable for small objects. It’s only got enough space for one (huge) monitor.

Best budget-friendly small standing desk: The Original Stand Steady Standing Desk


It might lack the pizzazz of adjustable standing desk solutions, but the Stand Steady Standing Desk is a popular pick because it’s budget-friendly and takes up very little space. You can use the space underneath it, making it a great standing desk solution for small desks.


Pros: You can use the space underneath! I think that’s supposed to be a printer in the stock photo, but I could see this space being useful for laptop docks, phones, and notebooks. The Stand Steady’s biggest advantage over the competition is its low price – it’s considerably less expensive (to the tune of several hundred dollars) than most other space-saving standing desk converters. Like other standing desk “add ons” for small spaces, the Stand Steady is easy to take down and move to a new location in your office.

Cons: The Stand Steady doesn’t switch between sitting and standing modes like more expensive standing desk converters. To sit, you’ll either need a standing desk height chair or you’ll need to move your keyboard, mouse, and monitor every time you want to switch. (Or if you’ve got a laptop, keep it on the desk and use its keyboard and screen when you sit.) Since this desk is designed to suit small spaces, it’s not really wide enough for two monitors.

They make a wider version of the Stand Steady, though, so if you need two monitors and have the space to accommodate a 32″ wide table, check it out. Also, since the monitors just sit on the surface of the Stand Steady, taller users may find them too low for all-day use.

Best laptop-only standing desk converter: iCraze Adjustable Laptop Stand


The iCraze adjustable laptop stand is about as little as you can get when it comes to space-saving standing desk solutions. If you (or your employees) are primarily laptop-based, then this small laptop stand might be all that’s really needed to get standing.


Pros: Adjustable height, so you can use it sitting or standing! It’s vented, to help keep your laptop cool, and there’s even a little platform for your mouse. Despite its small size and thin frame, it can hold up to 30 lbs of laptop, so virtually all modern laptops can be adequately supported – even this 21″ 17 lb behemoth by Acer. (For comparison, a modern Macbook weighs just over 2 lbs.)

Cons: It’s just for laptops – no peripherals besides a mouse will fit. Tall users are likely going to find the monitor rather low and possibly uncomfortable for all-day use in the standing configuration.

And there you have it: four great standing desk converters suitable for small desks, tiny tables, and compact offices.

The best standing desks with wheels for every budget

Sometimes you need a desk that can go!

Many standing desks, from full-size (60″ wide) to micro come with wheels. In this review, we’re looking specifically at standing desks that come with lockable caster wheels on the bottom.

Why get a standing desk with wheels?

If you’re choosing a desk for a home office or cube farm, you might think you won’t get much use out of the wheels. However, having wheels can be useful for all those times when you need to add a new monitor, re-arrange desks, move to a new part of the office, etc. Since wheels don’t compromise stability (much), it’s worth considering the option.

Full-size standing desks are heavy – usually over 100 lbs once loaded. If you ever want to run some new cables or move the desk a few feet to the left, wheels make that a lot easier. Nearly all standing desks with wheels have a locking mechanism, and stability isn’t compromised.

Desks on wheels are much easier to move. Choosing a standing desk on wheels would be particularly useful for offices that tend to move workers around every so often. A desk on wheels is much easier to push down the hallway and might be the difference between moving your own desk and having to wait for the office maintenance crew to move it for you.

We didn’t notice any significant decreases in stability on desks with wheels vs. without, especially with ordinary office equipment (two flat panel monitors, keyboard, mouse, note pads, Nerf guns) on top.

We also didn’t notice any significant difference in costs. So, if you think there’s any chance you’ll want to move your desk’s physical location, consider a desk with wheels.

What to look for in a standing desk with wheels

  • Lockable wheels – this is a must, and every desk we considered for this review had lockable wheels
  • Sufficient surface space, not just for your keyboard and mouse but your notebook, water bottle, glasses, anything else you might put down and pick up throughout the day
  • Enough space for your feet to move around underneath the desk – we found some desks included a low-to-the-ground shelf that might seem handy for storage, but we also found it too easy to accidentally kick those shelves (and the things on them)
  • Overall sturdiness – weight and overall size contribute to sturdiness (the heavier the better), but nearly all desks feel more sturdy once loaded up with monitors and other equipment
  • A high enough max height for you – some desk names start with an inches number, like “60” stand up desk”, but in our experience that 60″ is often the width of the desk, not its max height. Look carefully.

Best deluxe (electrically adjustable) full size standing desk with wheels


The best of the best, the cream of the crop – the Luxor Stande 48″ Height Adjustable Electric Standing Desk has everything you could want, including convenient electrically-assisted lifting/lowering so you don’t have to turn a crank for a minute straight. It comes in numerous color palettes, from all-dark to all-light, with some wood grain options, too. It’s 48″ wide, which is probably enough for most people, but if you’re like us and you live at your desk, you might love the extra foot of width on their 60″ version, the Luxor Stande 60″ Height Adjustable Electric Standing Desk.

(As an aside, I wonder how you pronounce Stande? Is it “stand-eh”? Or a long A sound like in “stained”? Or maybe the “e” is only for decoration, and it’s just “stand” after all.)

Anyway, here’s the desk’s stock photo: the adjustment buttons are under the model’s right hand.


This desk comes in four different color palettes, but we chose this image depicting the white-framed version of the desk because it makes it easy to see where the adjustment buttons are located (look under the model’s right hand).

Why this desk is tops: 

  • Electrically powered height adjustment
  • Generous 47.25″ x 29.5″ surface area – and there’s a 60″ wide version for us ridiculous people
  • Hand-crank adjustable up to 45.25″ tall (and down to 29.5″)
  • Locking wheels


They also make a hand-crank version of this desk (the stock photo looks exactly the same – look on the right side of the desk for the crank) but it’s surface area is significantly smaller than our top pick in the hand-crank category, below. If you’d rather have a 47″ wide hand-crank desk over a 59″-wide hand crank desk for the same price, go with this one. Otherwise, keep reading for our (wider, deeper) top pick in the hand-crank category.

Yes, the stock photo for the Luxor Standup version looks exactly like the Luxor Stande with the electric-assist lift. The only real difference is the hand crank on the right side.

In your searches for an electric-lift standing desk, you might come across the Stand Up Desk Store’s similar offering, the 60″ Electric Stand Up Desk. This is a fine desk, but we didn’t choose this desk as our top pick because at the time of this writing this desk does not ship with Prime, so you pay around $50 to ship this behemoth. You’d be better off buying a Prime membership, getting the Luxor, and enjoying the other benefits you get from Prime for the year.

Best hand-crank full size adjustable standing desk with wheels

If you still want a full-size adjustable desk on wheels but you don’t need the bells and whistles of a motorized lift, take a look at the rather  generically-named Crank Adjustable Height Standing Desk from the Stand Up Desk Store. It’s got a nice, huge working surface (59″ wide x 29.5″ deep) and cranks up to a maximum height of 45.25″ (lowest height is 29.5″). The big working surface is why we rank it above the Luxor Standup Hand-Crank desk (see above). 

It comes in numerous color palettes, ranging from all-black to wood grains to all-white.

A hand-crank can be a bit of work, and it’s about 40 seconds of crank twirling to switch between sitting and standing heights. The crank is conveniently located on the side of the desk, rather than on the top where it eats up precious surface space. 


Why it’s great: 

  • Hand-crank adjustable up to 45″ tall
  • Huge surface space: 59″ wide x 29.5″ deep (if that’s too big, look at the similarly priced Luxor Standup which is 47″ wide and same depth)
  • About half the price of a motorized sit/stand desk (and it takes about 30 seconds to go from low position to high, or vice versa)
  • Strong and sturdy – put all the monitors and printers you want on this desk
  • Assembly tools included, ~30 min setup
  • Locking wheels


If you’d rather have a hand-crank desk on wheels with a split surface, check out the Stand Up Desk Store 60″ Crank Steel Adjustable Sit to Stand Up Desk. This split-surface desk isn’t our top pick for this category because it’s a bit pricier than the LUXOR Standup-CF48-DW and we generally prefer one-big-desk to two-narrow-desks.


But this desk is great at a few things:

  • The top surface has a range of 33″ – 47″ and the lower surface has a range of 29″ – 43″
  • You probably won’t need monitor stands

Best mid-range / budget standing desk with wheels

Maybe you don’t need an adjustable standing desk at all. Adjustable sit/stand desks cost more than standing desks that are really only meant to be standing desks, and you might prefer using a standing-height chair instead.

In that case, check out the Mobile Ergonomic Stand up Desk Computer Workstation. It does exactly as it says on the tin: it’s mobile, it’s ergonomic, and you’re probably going to use it with a computer. It’s a split surface desk, though, so if you’d rather have one big tabletop, take that into consideration when choosing this desk. 


It only does “standing” heights, but if you don’t need a desk that can be both a sitting desk and a standing desk (or you BYO tall chair) then you can pocket hundreds of dollars in savings by going with this desk instead.

Why it’s great: 

  • Separate keyboard and monitor surfaces reduce your need for a separate monitor stand
  • Adjust top shelf and bottom shelf heights independently for maximum ergonomic goodness
  • Wheel it wherever you want
  • Sturdy construction
  • Budget-friendly price 
  • Lots of widths available: 40″ wide version and 48″ wide version

What you might not like:

  • Bottom shelf is both convenient and easily kicked
  • No obvious place to put a PC tower; this is a good desk choice for laptop, Mac Mini, iMac users, but might pose some difficulties for traditional PC users who have to stretch cables all the way up to standing height

Best laptop-size standing desk with wheels


The minimalist design of Techni Mobili’s “laptop podium” has made it a popular choice for folks who need to save space. When we say laptop-size, we mean “a laptop is the only thing you’re going to fit on this desk”. There’s not even room for a mouse off to the side.

That makes this desk a good choice for short-term uses, such as presentations in a classroom or shared office space, or a convenient place to park your laptop while you work in the kitchen. It’s probably not a great place to spend every single work day.

Techni Mobili laptop podium

It’s little but it’s got all sorts of uses, from the classroom, to the kitchen to office meeting rooms.

Why it’s great: 

  • Super budget-friendly price
  • Height adjustable from 27″ – 43″
  • 4 casters; 2 locking wheels

What you might not like: 

  • It’s small
  • It’s a bit tipsy if you don’t weigh it down on the bottom shelf

Still, this desk has its place and it’s one of the best sellers among visitors to this site.

A few more things to know about standing desks on wheels

No obvious place to put a PC tower – Notice the stock photos make no mention of a PC tower with all the attendant cables. If you’ve got a wired keyboard and mouse, you might find their cords aren’t really long enough to reach a PC tower that sits on the floor. I’ve solved this problem in the past with a night-stand size piece of furniture or shelving underneath the desk, and you may have to get similarly creative.

All of these desks require some assembly from you – most can be put together in under an hour, but you’ll probably want a helper (or at least some moral support) when moving large pieces of furniture around.

There is a small but noticeable effect on stability with some desks. This seems to come down to weight – if you put a lot of heavy stuff on your wheeled standing desk, you’ll probably end up with something more stable than a non-wheeled desk that isn’t loaded down with stuff.

You may still need monitor stands. When standing, you may find you need to elevate your monitor even higher than they can go by default. The good news is, monitor arms have come down in price considerably in just the past few years. Some good choices here are the Mount-It! MI-705 and the 2-monitor supporting VIVO Dual LCD Monitor Desk Mount Stand.

The bottom line

We think standing desks with wheels are absolutely the way to go; they’re just as affordable as non-wheeled versions, there’s minimal sacrifice to stability, and the increased portability is a huge help every time it’s time to change offices at work or re-configure the home office.

Stand Steady X-ELITE PRO vs. Varidesk Pro Plus 30 adjustable standing desk platforms

An adjustable riser standing desk converts your existing desk into a standing desk. Standing while you work (even periodically) has many proven health benefits – improved cardiovascular health, energy and mental boosts, plus potential reductions to back pain.

If you can’t convince your boss to give you a fully-fledged standing desk, or you can’t squeeze one into your home office, these adjustable height desks are the next best thing.

Today, we’re comparing two similar adjustable desks: the Stand Steady X-Elite Pro and Varidesk Pro 30They’re both solid choices, but separated by about $100 in price and a few key features differentiate them.



How they work

Both of these desks are similar in price, size, and functionality.

They sit atop your existing desk and support your monitor(s) and keyboard, turning any ordinary desk into a standing desk. When you get tired of standing, switching it back to the lowered “seated” position takes just seconds.

Video demos!

This minute-long video from Stand Steady shows how easy it is to adjust the X-Elite Pro:

And this 20-second video shows you how easy it is to adjust the Varidesk Pro 30:

Stand Steady X-Elite Pro vs. Varidesk Pro 30 comparison

 X-Elite Pro
Varidesk Pro 30
Width x depth28" wide x 20" deep30" wide x 23" deep
Max. height16"15.5"
Lowered position height5"8"
Footprint (base dimensions)24.5" wide x 16" deep30" wide by 26.75" deep
Height stopping pointsAnywhere between 5" and 16"11 set stopping points
Max. load weight20 lbs35 lbs
Construction materialsParticle board surfaces and steel legsHeavy duty plastic
Lift assistAir-pump assistedSpring-assisted
Special extrasPull-out keyboard tray

Max height and stopping points

Both desks go to about 15″ high (be warned, they get wobblier the higher you go).

The X-Elite Pro can be locked at any position between its flat position (5″) and its max height (15″), and the Varidesk has the same range and can be stopped at any of 11 set stopping points. The thing to think about here is how tall your existing desk is. Use our guide to find your ideal standing desk height, then use the heights of your existing desk and your adjustable riser to figure out if it’ll be a good height for you.

Load capacity

X-Elite Pro holds up to 20 lbs; Varidesk Pro holds up to 35. Most modern monitors weigh far less than 20 lbs, with a few exceptions from Apple:


Both desks come completely assembled, just plop ’em on your desk.

They are, however, rather heavy – 30 or 40 lbs each. You may want a helper to help you place your adjustable desk onto your existing desk.

What fits?

Depending on the size of the monitors, you can cram as much as two monitors, a keyboard and mouse with a little room to spare. You can probably fit two 20″ monitors, but two 24″ wouldn’t fit unless one is rotated vertically. A laptop would fit easily, but you’ll want to prop it up on something and use a different keyboard for better ergonomics.

This Varidesk Pro 30 action shot from shows the Varidesk Pro 30 in use with a small flat panel monitor atop a ream of printer paper, a 20″ keyboard, and mouse.'s Varidesk Pro 30 setup

Lift Assist

Both desks have a pump assist for lifting and dropping (like an office chair). Lifting the desk surface does require some mobility on your part – you’ll have to lean over it and squeeze the handles to lift or lower the desk.


The X-Elite Pro is a bit shakier compared to the Varidesk, which is heavier a little less shaky when typing. Both will shake more or less depending on how hard you type.

Other things to know

There’s not much room for anything else up there

Neither desk is wide enough to place anything (a notebook, stack of documents, etc) adjacent to a keyboard and mouse.

Not quite desk-level when flat

  • The X-Elite Pro sits about 5″ above the surface of your desk when lowered.
  • The Varidesk Pro 30 sit about 8″ higher than the surface of your desk when lowered (with a keyboard pullout tray).

You might need to raise your chair up a bit to compensate for this default height with either desk.

There is, however, a little trick you can do with the X-Elite Pro. You can remove the pin that prevents it from laying completely flat. The catch: the hydraulic lift assist only kicks in at 5″ and higher, so the first 5″ of lift will be unassisted if you do this.

Watch the drop

The Stand Steady X-Elite tends to drop – hard – when you lower it. Hold on tight for the last few inches. (Don’t worry about smashing your fingers, though, both the X-Elite and the Varidesk Pro have safety bars to prevent that.)

Pull out keyboard platform on the Varidesk Pro 30

The Varidesk Pro 30 has a nice slide-out keyboard support tray. This is nicer than the X-Elite Pro’s “all on one surface” design because it lets the rest of the Varidesk Pro desk act like a monitor stand, while your arms can rest comfortably lower than the monitor’s base.

Here’s the Varidesk Pro 30 in the lowered position. Note the pull-out keyboard tray in front!

Varidesk Pro 30 in down position; keyboard tray extended

Which one is better? Stand Steady X-Elite Pro vs. Varidesk Pro 30


The Varidesk Pro is our top pick between the two.

The X-Elite Pro is a fine choice, but we think this is one of those times where it pays to pay a little more. The Varidesk Pro is sturdier and larger, and the keyboard tray improves its ergonomics while using it seated.

Varidesk Pro 30 advantages over X-Elite Pro:

  • larger surface (6″ wider than X-Elite pro)
  • it lifts more smoothly
  • it can hold 15 lbs more than the X-Elite Pro (ideal for Thunderbolt and iMac users)
  • it’s more tolerant of hard typing (less shaky)
  • pull-out keyboard tray for seated position

The Varidesk Pro 30 won us over with better stability, a higher weight capacity, and ergonomic pullout keyboard tray.

Varidesk Pro 30 fully extended

*Our top pick*
》》》Shop for Varidesk Pro 30 on 《《《

》》》Shop for X-Elite Pro on《《《

The best standing desk floor mats, reviewed and ranked (2016)

We standing desk geeks are a bit odd: most people standing up for their job on a retail floor or a factory line wish they had more opportunities to sit, and here we are standing up at our desks by choice.

In the United States, OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, recommends (but does not require) anti-fatigue mats for workers in a variety of standing jobs (and they think of everything). There’s good reason for that: anti-fatigue mats improve circulation and reduce strain and fatigue.

If you plan on standing all day, you should invest in an anti-fatigue mat. The right mat can improve your standing desk comfort, provided you also wear supportive shoes, change position frequently, and stand at your desk with good posture.

If you take one thing from this review, it’s that you should buy a real anti-fatigue mat, not a carpet square or a repurposed welcome mat from your local home decor shop. Don’t be fooled into thinking you can get away with an anti-fatigue “kitchen mat”, those are meant for 45 minutes of scrubbing dishes, not 6+ hours of standing at a workstation.

The mats in this review aren’t cheap, but they’re the right tool for the job. If you’re standing all day, you deserve a real anti-fatigue mat!

Top tier choice: Imprint CumulusPRO Commercial Grade Standing Mat

24″ deep x 36″ wide x 3/4″ thick

The Cadillac of standing desk mats is the Imprint CumulusPRO Commercial Grade standing mat. This heavy-duty mat by Imprint doesn’t mess around. It’s thicker (3/4″), heavier (6.5 lbs), and more durable than virtually any other standing mat on the market. The edges don’t curl and have a nice bevel to discourage tripping on the edges of the mat. Even Microsoft chooses ’em, according to the manufacturer.

Note: Imprint also offers the CumulusPRO Professional Grade mat, which comes in six colors, a few inches smaller on each dimension, and is slightly less rugged.

CumulusPRO mats are made of a non-toxic, tear-resistant, anti-microbial material and have a non-slip bottom that can be used on a hard floor or a thinly carpeted floor. The mat is easy to wash with soap and water. It’s not recommended to place a chair of any kind on a standing mat (hence why it’s a standing mat, you know?). It’s one of Amazon’s best sellers and the same mat recommended by The Wirecutter.


CumulusPRO commercial grade standing desk may be one of the pricier mats we checked out, but it’s a high performing, generously sized mat that will make your standing desk significantly more comfortable to use for hours on end. It comes in two color options: black and brown.

Much like mattress preference, how you feel about its firmness will come down to your own preferences. Some people say it’s too soft; others say it’s like standing on concrete. What gives? It’s hard to articulate the softness of something through text alone, but we think it’s just right. It feels firm at first, but after a day of standing on it, the heavier duty support is appreciated. Also, you can squish your toes into it, which is oddly satisfying.

See the Imprint CumulusPRO Commercial Grade anti-fatigue mat on Amazon

Best budget standing desk mat: Imprint CumulusPRO Professional

20″ deep x 30″ wide x 3/4″ thick

(By “budget”, we mean around $50 or less)

Versus the CumulusPRO Commercial Grade mat, you lose 6″ of width and 4″ of depth with the CumulusPro “Professional” version, but you also spend about half as much money. The edge bevel is a bit smoother but the mat is just as thick and features the same cushion core technology.

You also get six colors to pick from! (Note that some colors have a slight texture to them which may or may not drive you batty.)


The complete mat, in all its beveled glory:

It looks like the CumulusPRO Commercial Grade mat with a different bevel, but there is more to it than that. This mat is slightly less supportive and has a different texture.

What are the tradeoffs versus the pricier commercial version? You’d be surprised: Imprint markets this mat to look like the only difference is the beveled edge, but there’s more to it than that.

Compared with the CumulusPRO Commercial Grade mat, the less expensive Professional version is slightly squishier (softer), has a different surface texture (some reviewers describe it as “oily” or “slippery”) and less supportive for long standing sessions.

I think if you’re only standing for part of the day, this mat is a fine choice. If you intend to stand all day, every day, the extra cost of the CumulusPRO Commercial Grade mat is worth it.

See the Imprint CumulusPRO Professional anti-fatigue mats on Amazon

If you need a wider standing desk mat: Sky Mat anti-fatigue mat (70″ wide!)

24″ deep x 70″ wide x 3/4″ thick 

That’s just a few inches short of 6 feet wide! The extra-long Sky Mat mat is a beast: not quite 9 pounds but wide enough to stretch across even the biggest workstations and host a standing friend or two.

(Note that the Sky Mat comes in many colors when you get it at its smaller 24″ x 39″ x 3/4″ size, but the 70″ wide version only comes in black at this time.)

Up-close look at the Sky Mat reveals a weave texture and slightly rougher edges than the CumulusPRO mats.

The Sky Mat has a scaly “weave” texture which can collect small crumbs and particles, and since we tend to eat at our desks we favor the smooth Imprint CumulusPRO mats unless you specifically need a longer mat. Cleaning it is as easy as sweeping it or wiping it with a wet rag.

If your workstation is extra-wide or you frequently show your work to colleagues (who inevitably have to stand at your standing desk with you) you might prefer a wider mat. The Sky Mat features a non-slip backing that makes it a good choice for hard floors, but it can also be placed on carpet with no slippage or reduction in its anti-fatigue benefits.


Alternatively, check out the Smart Step Home Collection 72″ incher for your extra-long anti-fatigue mat needs. It’s a bit pricier than the Sky Mat but comes in more colors and is just as well reviewed. Prices vary (significantly, in some cases) by color, so be careful to check the price on the color you want.

Check out the Sky Mat collection on

Don’t buy this mat: Genuine Joe anti-fatigue mat

24″ deep x 36″ wide with various alternative sizes

Obviously, it lacks the thickness and support of the CumulusPRO Commercial Grade mat, but at about the cost of an entree at a nice restaurant, you’ve got to expect a few compromises. Those compromises are to not use this mat as a standing desk mat, even though it currently sits in Amazon’s #1 best seller slot for “Floor Comfort Mats”. Not everything in life makes sense.

The Genuine Joe anti-fatigue mat has an anti-skid back but the edges are a far cry from the anti-trip bevels seen on the mats recommended above. You can even see the edges curling up in the stock photo from the manufacturer!

It’s thin and flimsy, and you might find more use for it as, say, a mat for placing under your Rock Band drum kit to help prevent floor damage from the kick pedal.

This mat isn’t meant for a standing worker trying to avoid fatigue and physical strain.

How to use an anti-fatigue mat (plus some buyer’s tips)

  • Don’t be tempted to roll your chair onto it as you switch between sitting and standing throughout the day. Anti-fatigue mats aren’t designed to withstand chair wheels and sitting unevenly (half on the mat, half off it) negates any ergonomic benefits
  • Get a big one so you can move around on it – if you’re confined to a small space, you’ll miss out on the benefits of shifting your weight, stepping to the side occasionally, etc
  • An anti-fatigue mat can’t make up for poor posture – you’ll still be sore if you spend all day staring at a too-low monitor or using a keyboard that puts your shoulders at an awkward angle
  • Don’t get any old mat, especially if you plan to stand as much as possible at your standing desk. Look specifically for a mat designed for standing workers, not a kitchen mat or a rug that happens to feel kind of squishy. The difference might not be apparent at first, but over the hours (or days) you’d benefit more from a supportive mat designed for the job you’re giving it.


The best standing desk chairs reviewed and ranked (2016)

Standing up is great, but sooner or later, you’re going to want to sit for a bit. Ordinary desk chairs won’t do: they can’t raise up high enough. Adjusting your desk’s height on a whim can be tedious, dangerous, or outright impossible.

What you need is a standing desk height chair!

(If an active chair or stool is more your style, check out our Best Active Chairs and Stools for Standing Desks.)

Standing Desk Chairs Compared

The chairs in this article are almost all chairs I’ve sat in and have some personal experience with. Here, I’ve ranked my favorite standing desk chairs and highlighted some of each chair’s best features.

Overall top pick chair: Safco Metro standing height chair


The Safco Metro standing height chair is like an ordinary chair but taller.


Pros: The Safco Products Metro chair gets the honor of being top pick because it’s the most chair-like standing height chair I’ve encountered. The cushion is 18″ wide and supportive – great for those of us who don’t care for sitting on a mesh chair. The chair’s back tilts if you lean on it for extra ergonomic comfort.

In general, this chair’s just got a good heavy duty feel to it. My corporate day job office gives these to workers with standing desks and they are quite popular.

Cons: For this chair’s price tag I’d expect the arm rests to be included (arm rests are sold separately!) but I suppose it’s nice they are optional for those who think armrests just get in the way. Also, some reviewers report the foot rest ring slides down and has to be repositioned occasionally. I’ve found this to be true of many other chairs I’ve used, so your mileage may vary.

Height range: 22″ to about 31″ when sitting in it
Upholstery: 100% black acrylic
Armrests: sold separately (click here)
Hardwood casters: sold separately (click here)

Top budget chair: Boss Caresssoft Drafting Stool


The Boss Caresssoft Drafting Stool‘s firm cushion and supportive back and <$100 price tag make this standing height chair a solid choice.


Pros: The Boss Caresssoft drafting stool has been my own at-home standing desk chair for a couple years now. After 2 years of daily use, the cushion has only started to sag a bit around the edges where my thighs hang over. It’s got a nice lift to it when I pull the handle and the chair has a good sturdy feel to it, even for sitters over 200 lbs. This chair goes higher than any other chair I’ve tried, so if you are particularly tall (over 6′) and/or your standing desk is particularly high up, this chair might be the one for you.

Cons: I wish it had arm rests. Also, to be completely frank, the 15″ diameter cushion isn’t that great to sit on for hours on end as my bum is about the same width. In a way, this is a good thing because the growing discomfort in my butt prompts me to go back to standing.

Height range: 28″ to about 35″  *tallest standing height chair* 
Upholstery: “Caresoft Plush” (it’s soft and leather-like)

Top mesh chair: Eurotech Apollo mesh back drafting stool

The Eurotech Apollo mesh back chair keeps your back cool and your arms supported with the included arm rests. (Note: I don’t know why the manufacturer calls this a drafting stool, it’s clearly a chair.) 


Pros: Some people love mesh chairs. I’m not one of those people, but if you are, then the Eurotech Apollo might be the chair for you. It’s the priciest chair I tried, but it’s sturdy and well-reviewed by over a hundred happy Amazon customers. The 20″ wide seat is comfy and the widest of all the chairs I tried.

Cons: If the Eurotech’s price makes you cringe, check out the Safco Extended-Height Mesh chair (just know that armrests are sold separately and, once you’ve bought them, you’re almost up to the Eurotech’s price).

Height range: 26″ to about 33″
Upholstery: mesh back and black acrylic seat cushion

Best backless chair (stool): Winsome Spectrum airlift swivel stool

The Winsome Spectrum airlift lacks a back (you win some, you lose some?), but it’s cheap and efficient for short sits.


Pros: It’s inexpensive and simple. The Winsome Spectrum stool features a 15″ x 15″ faux leather platform to rest your butt on. There’s no back, but that might be a good thing if your goal is to encourage good posture (I tend to just slouch into a chair back if given one). The pneumatic lift makes height adjustments a snap.

Cons: It’s best for shorter folks with lower standing desks (it falls about 3 to 5″ shorter than other chairs in this comparison). If you’re 5’8″ or under, this stool will probably work for you. Also, it’s not a very comfortable chair for long sits. If you need to sit for extended periods of time (or you want arm rests), this chair isn’t for you.

Height range: 24″ to 30″
Upholstery: faux leather

Best stool with a back: Flash Furniture vinyl stool

The Flash Fitness stool is cushiony and has a back.


Pros: Inexpensive, simple, and it comes in a bunch of colors! The Flash Fitness stool adds height and a splash of color (or black, white, green, yellow, purple, and more if you’d rather not have it in orange) There’s also a two-pack of these chairs, if you want a matching set. This stool offers easy assembly (four screws) and a relatively light weight (22 lbs), despite the large base. Manufacturer says it’s good for folks up to 300 lbs.

Cons: As with many stools, be careful putting it onto a scratchable floor. Consider using a rug or something underneath if you’re worried about your hard floor. No arm rests and the foot rest is rather dinky.

Height range: 23″ to 31.5″
Upholstery: vinyl

Honorary mention: Wobble stool by Uncaged Ergonomics

It’s definitely not a chair – it’s a stool you can lean on! This thing is too weird to not include – have you used the Wobble Stool by Uncaged Ergonomics? Do you like it? I haven’t tried it, but I can see how it might appeal to people with very active desk lives.


The base is designed to let the sitter lean in any direction (and I have no idea what happens if you lean backwards so hold onto something if you try it). The Wobble Stool is designed to encourage movement even while sitting, and with a max height of 33″ you can even use it with your standing desk!

If you’re not 100% sold on the idea of a standing chair (too sedentary!), then the Wobble Stool might be worth your consideration.

Height range: 22″ to 33″
Upholstery: faux leather

There we have it, folks – the best extra tall chairs for your standing desk.

Varidesk Pro Plus Review

The Varidesk Pro Plus is not exactly a desk: it sits on top of your existing desk to create an adjustable-height surface for your keyboard and monitor. Convert from sitting to standing by squeezing the handles and pulling upwards. The lift is spring-assisted, and the transition is smooth. If a motorized adjustable standing desk isn’t feasible for whatever reason, the Varidesk Pro Plus is the next best thing.


See Varidesk Pro Plus on (affiliate link)

Varidesk Pro Plus Review

TLDR: The Varidesk Pro Plus is a fantastic adjustable height standing desk. Adjustable, sturdy, fast to set up, and it even supports 10 different heights. It’s the largest adjustable desk offered by Varidesk, giving you the maximum amount of space for your monitors, laptops, and accessories.

Varidesk Pro Plus Dimensions

36″ wide x 23″ deep – this is enough for two monitors of about 23″ wide each, or one 24″-29″ monitor.

Holds up to 35 lbs – plenty, even for two monitors and a laptop.

Max height of 18″ (monitor) and 14″ (keyboard) – and there are 10 heights to choose from. Depending on how high your existing desk is, 18″ may or may not be enough for you. The most positive reviews on this desk come from people between 5’2″ and 5’11”. Some users over 6′ have complained that Varidesk isn’t tall enough.

52 lbs – it’s heavy, so be sure the surface you’re using it on is strong enough to hold the stand plus your equipment.

Works best for – people between 5’2 and 6’0 tall. Taller users may need to find additional ways to elevate their desk or the monitor(s) sitting on the Varidesk Pro Plus, such as with the addition of a monitor bracket.

Varidesk Pro Highlights

  • 5 minute setup: the Varidesk arrives assembled and ready to use
  • Switches modes in seconds
  • No mounting or modifications to your existing desk
  • Plenty of space for ergonomic keyboards and space for up to two monitors
  • Easy and quiet spring-assisted adjustment (squeeze the handles and lift)
  • Keep your chair! No need to buy a standing-height chair
  • Sturdy and strong – rubbery feet to help keep it in place, thick surfaces, heavy weight (52 lbs)

My friend and colleague Steve Vallee photographed his Varidesk Pro Plus in both its “seated” position and “standing” position.

Stand Up, Even at a Sitting Desk

My favorite thing about the Varidesk Pro Plus is the way it transforms otherwise static desks into adjustable standing desks. No need to ditch your chair or haul out your current desk: just plop a Varidesk on top and you’re good to go.

This makes the Varidesk ideal for corporate offices with fixed desks, cubicles with nonadjustable surfaces, heirloom desks, kitchen tables, and so on. If you can’t convince your boss to hook you up with a full size standing desk, you might be able to convince him/her to invest in one of these instead.  Even if you end up buying your own Varidesk for your office, you can easily take it with you when you change workstations or companies.


This review photo from Chloe Fan demonstrates the Varidesk Pro Plus in use with a Mac keyboard, MacBook, and Thunderbolt widescreen monitor.

Sitting to Standing in 6 Seconds Flat

You adjust the Varidesk Pro Plus switches by squeezing the handles on either side of the workstation and pulling up. The springs do the heavy lifting. Reverse the process for returning the desk to the seated position. The adjustment is effortless, quiet, and smooth. There are 10 settings for height, so you can learn which one works best for you and choose it whenever you return the desk to standing height.

This video demonstrates how easy it is to adjust the desk:

Spacious Surfaces

Many adjustable desks only have enough space for one monitor, but most people like to have 2 these days, or like to combine a laptop with a monitor. The extra surface space on the Varidesk can hold water bottles, notepads, pens, toys, etc. For even more surface space, you can attach a monitor stand to your Varidesk’s top surface and free up the top platform.

Some owners recommend getting a wireless mouse and/or keyboard to go with this desk, since the lack of wires will make adjusting between sitting and standing easier. Depending on where your computer is in relation to your desk, you can probably get away with not switching to wireless accessories.

Varidesk Pro Plus with a Monitor Stand

Varidesk doesn’t have an official monitor stand, but some users attach third party stands with success. Credit goes to RT7 for demonstrating that yes, you can attach a monitor bracket to the Varidesk Pro Plus. They used a Duronic DM352 with their Varidesk Pro Plus. (For some reason, this monitor bracket isn’t well known in the US. However, it is quite popular in the UK.)


The Duronic DM352 Double Twin LCD monitor bracket can attach to the Varidesk Pro Plus.


The Duronic monitor stand in action with a Varidesk Pro Plus. This setup is ideal for taller folks who will benefit from using the top surface as the keyboard shelf and the elevated monitors.

Varidesk Pro Plus Drawbacks

Monitor shake – Depending how hard you type (or if you bump into it), your monitors may shake. The desk isn’t unstable, it’s just the inevitable result of the monitors and the keyboards resting on the same structure.

Keep an eye on your cables. If your computer is very low, your cables may not reach once you’ve extended the Varidesk Pro to its maximum height.

The keyboard surface height is not adjustable. You can’t tilt it or make it higher or lower. Some users resort to putting paper or books under the keyboard to get it at a comfortable height.

Large footprint. The Varidesk Pro Plus eats up a lot of desk space, and since it’s adjustable you can’t just put things underneath the elevated surface.


All in all, the Varidesk Pro Plus is a great concept fantastically executed.

Owners report that it is stable and sturdy, easy to adjust, and worth the investment. I like the Varidesk because it lets you keep your existing chair (getting a standup chair can cost around $100, and that’s a good deal of the way to buying the Varidesk) and because the Varidesk can adjust to the right height for you.

It’s not ideal for people over 6′ tall unless you add on a monitor bracket for additional screen height and use the top shelf as the keyboard shelf instead.

If you want a standing desk but can’t afford (or can’t convince your boss to get you) a fully adjustable standing desk, the Varidesk is the next best thing on the market.

More Varidesk Pro Plus Reviews & Links

Code Fellows’s DIY IKEA Standing Desk with Bed Risers

This simple DIY standing desk was found at the Code Fellows campus in Seattle, WA. It’s an instructor desk, so it’s typically used to hold a laptop, beverage, and little else. It stands comfortably at about waist height (to a 5’8″ person, at least).


Nice standing desk, Code Fellows!

The white desk top and grey legs are from IKEA’s GALANT desk family, shown here with adjustable A-legs resting on top of a set of Simplify plastic bed risers.

The foot of the desk fits perfectly into the cup on top of the bed riser and is kept in place by tall, sturdy walls. I use these same bed risers in two of my own standing desk setups and they’re rugged as all get out.


I’ve always been a fan of IKEA standing desks. IKEA desks are cheap, customizable, and easy to move. If there are any downsides to IKEA desks, it’s that the desktop finish usually chips easily and some of IKEA’s adjustable legs (like these GERTON legs) are downright tedious to twirl until they’re at the right height. These aren’t desks you can adjust on the fly, but they’re sturdy and reliable once set up.

PS: The table top might appear sloped in the first photo, but that’s just an illusion caused by lens distortion.

Find Your Standing Desk Height

Considering a standing desk? You might be wondering how tall your desk would need to be, especially if you’ve noticed that some standing desks top out at 44″ (too low for many people over 6 feet tall).

Here’s how to measure yourself to find the right standing desk height for you.

Measuring For Your Standing Desk

find your standing desk heightThis is easier if you’ve got someone to help you, but even if you’re on your own all you need is a measuring tape and the following steps:

  1. Stand comfortably upright, feet about shoulder-width apart
  2. Don’t stretch or slouch – just stand normally
  3. Relax your shoulders
  4. Bend your arms 90 degrees, as if you’re holding an imaginary serving tray in front of you
  5. Measure the distance between the floor and your elbow

Be sure to wear shoes if you intend to wear shoes while at your standing desk, since they can add a bit to your height.

Deciding between “Too High” and “Too Low”?

Some standing desks and accessories might not be able to get the exact height you need. If this is yours, go with “too low” – you can always put your keyboard and mouse on a board to get that extra half-inch or so.

See our Standing Desk Buyer’s Guide.