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The best standing desks of 2023

September 20, 2023

Sitting kills. OK, maybe that's a little dramatic, but there's ample evidence that parking your posterior all day is bad for your health. Consider: You're in an office chair, hunched over a keyboard, which is hard on the back, neck and shoulders. You're bent at the waist, which can lead to tight abdominal muscles and back pain. And doing this for hours at a stretch? Without even stretching? You don't need me to tell you why that's bad.

Time to stop sitting down on the job. A best standing desk lets you alternate between butt and feet, the better to keep your limbs loose and body active. I've used one for years, typically switching positions every 45 minutes or so. When I'm in a standing position, I like to sway a little bit, move my hips and basically just fidget on my feet — a great way to get the blood moving while staying productive.

And here's good news: We've got recommendations for the best stand up desk for every need and budget. You can get a fully motorized height adjustable desk model with multiple memory settings. You can get something compact for tight spaces or something L-shaped with tons of work surface. You can get a riser that converts your existing desk to a sit-stand setup. And there are even models designed with gamers in mind.

Below I've rounded up some of the top picks for best electric desk from these and other categories. My selections are based on a number of specs, including user ratings, professional reviews, product reputation, price point and, where possible, personal experience.

Health benefits of using a standing desk

As noted above, sitting for long periods can be detrimental to your health. According to at least one study, long hours of sitting are linked to higher risks of cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity and straight-up "premature death."

Thus, the key benefit to using a standing l shaped desk is a simple one: less sitting. You're not likely to burn many calories, so don't look upon this as a weight-loss tool (unless you add an under-desk treadmill to the mix), but standing can help reduce neck and shoulder pain and even return blood-sugar levels to normal more quickly compared with sitting at a standard desk.

Of course, too much standing can be hard on the feet, and it's important to keep good posture while you're upright. That's why most experts recommend starting slowly as you add standing into your work day and switching back and forth between sitting and standing throughout the day.

Should you choose a desk or riser?

If you already own a desk, you don't necessarily need to replace it with a new desk. A mechanical or motorized riser can sit on top of your desk and raise or lower to give you the desired sit-stand options. The benefit with a standing desk small converter is that you get to leverage the furniture you already own (which may have drawers and other storage options you like) and potentially save some money: Risers tend to be cheaper than standing desk with drawers.

However, a desk riser or standing gaming desk converter will likely have less usable workspace area than a full-fledged desk, something to consider if you want to, say, spread out with multiple monitors. And because it sits atop your desk, it adds a little extra desk height even when it's in the "down" position. That could make it trickier to find comfortable keyboard and monitor placement, especially when you're seated.

Standing desk features to consider

What should you look for in a standing computer desk? Obviously, size will be a key consideration, along with color and price tag. But there are some other features to evaluate as well:

Height settings: This isn't crucial, but it's awfully nice to have a height adjustable electric model. With the push of a button, the desk will raise to your preferred height. Another push and it lowers to exactly where you like it. These adjustable height preset buttons are increasingly common, but if you're going to be sharing the desk with, say, a family member in a home office, look for one that offers multiple preset heights and customization options. ergonomic office chair is good.

USB ports: Need to charge your phone, earbuds and other gear? Choose a desk with powered USB ports embedded in the top or front edge. This is a seriously handy feature, one I truly prize.

Cable management: Standing desks are wide open underneath, meaning you may end up looking at unsightly cords running from your home office workstation to the power outlet. If you're not wild about that, consider a desk that has cable-management options: grommet holes, rear or underside cord clips and so on. Luckily, it's pretty easy to add that stuff to just about any desk; here's a complete cord-management kit for $15.

Built-in drawers: When you switch to a standing desk, you often give up storage. A built-in filing cabinet, for example, is out of the question due to weight. But even drawers tend to be somewhat rare, which raises the question of where to keep all your pens, paper clips and the like. Thankfully, there are some desks that have drawers; I've identified one top pick in the list below.

Anti-collision sensors: If a desk encounters some kind of obstacle while lowering — your chair, for example — it could seriously damage the motor, to say nothing of whatever it ends up squishing. Some desks automatically halt if they detect an obstacle.

OK, let's move on to the best standing desks you can buy for work, whether at home or in an actual office.

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