Stand-up buys: The best standing desks for WFH

Stand-up buys: The best standing desks for WFH
Tired of sitting and working from a laptop or desktop? From adjustable to electric, reap the benefits of the best standing desks from Fellowes and Varidesk

There are few easier and quicker ways of helping to alleviate the aches, pains and long-term damage of sitting all day than by switching from a conventional desk to one that allows you to stand up once in a while.

Standing helps with posture, keeps you moving, improves circulation and much more besides. It’s not a cure-all, but being able to break up your periods of sitting down with half an hour here and there of standing is a great way to improve your productivity and wellbeing.

You may not want to be standing all day, which is where getting an adjustable desk comes in. These offer the ability to alter the height of your working area so that you can switch from sitting down to standing up without having to otherwise move or rearrange your desk area.

There are two main choices to be made when seeking a standing desk, or a sit-stand desk if you will. Either you can opt for a whole desk replacement or an on-desk solution.

The former means you get the full expanse of your desk to work with at whatever height you like, but it means replacing your existing desk. You can buy adjustable desk legs on their own so that you can keep your existing desk surface, but obviously, this is no good if your desk doesn’t have a removable top. The other bonus with full-size adjustable desks is that you can lower them to below the height of normal desks, making them potentially more comfortable when sitting too.

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同时, on-desk solutions allow you to keep your existing desk, and they’re often cheaper, but you generally only get enough adjustable desk space for your computer.

我们如何测试

To help you pick your way through the many different standing desk/sit-stand options, we’ve spent the last few weeks testing the very latest offerings. We looked at how stylish they were, how easy they are to install, how easy they are to adjust, build quality and of course price.

The best standing desks for 2021 是:

  • 整体最佳 – Flytta 2 standing desk: £779.94, Sit-stand.com
  • Best on-desk design – Fellowes lotus sit-stand height-adjustable workstation: £379, Viking-direct.co.uk
  • Best manual standing desk – Humanscale float adjustable table: £1,484, Think-furniture.com
  • Best for a desktop – Varidesk pro plus 36: £365, Vari.com
  • Best for larger desk area – Humanscale quickstand eco: £442, Officefurniturescene.co.uk
  • Best affordable standing desk – Yo-Yo desk mini: £255.14, Sit-stand.com
  • Best electric standing desk – Yo-Yo desk pro 2+: £457.94, Sit-stand.com
  • Best portable standing desk – Freedesk small: £240, Thefreedesk.com

Flytta 2 standing desk

最好的: 全面的

  • Desktop dimensions: 小的 (120cm x 80cm), 中等的 (140cm x 80cm), large (160cm x 80cm), extra large (180cm x 80cm)
  • Adjustable height range: 66厘米

This is a full desk replacement that uses electronic motors in each leg to move the desk up and down. A little control panel is attached to the front, underside of the desk and with it you can control the height directly or save and recall up to four preset heights. The movement is smooth and precise, if a little loud – 51dB going up, 46dB going down – but it only takes a few seconds to move. 还, we like that you have to hold down the button to move to a preset, rather than just tap it once which makes it inherently a little safer than some alternatives.

The frame is made up of thick, sturdy steel resulting in a desk that’s very stable no matter what height you have it at (60cm – 120cm). Powder coated in either black, silver or white, there’s also an elegance to the whole thing that puts it above some slightly chunkier looking rivals. Available either on its own or with a desktop, the tops provided are sturdy laminate offered in various sizes and colour variants – white, beech or maple.

The greater overall versatility of having a full desk plus the easy electronic adjustability, great build quality and very competitive price make this our go-to choice for a standing desk.

Fellowes lotus sit-stand height-adjustable workstation

最好的: On-desk design

  • Desktop dimensions: 80cm x 60cm
  • Adjustable height range: 44厘米

This desk offers the convenience and ease of an on-desk sit-stand solution but without the bulk. This contraption attaches to the back edge of a desk like a traditional monitor arm but instead of just a monitor at the end, there’s also a bent plywood tray for your keyboard and mouse. As well as offering vertical variability, it enables you to just push your whole PC setup out the way, clearing your desk for other uses.

It’s also an elegant-looking device, plus it’s built like a tank and the height adjustment is effortless. The downside is it’s quite expensive for an on-desk option, but given the versatility and perfect execution, this has to be one of our favourites.

Humanscale float adjustable table

最好的: Manual standing desk

  • Desktop dimensions: 180cm x 80cm
  • Adjustable height range: 52厘米

Instead of an electric motor system to adjust its height, this desk uses a mechanical spring system that you have to adjust the tension of in order to have the desk move easily up and down. This removes any safety concerns of motorised solutions and actually makes the desk quicker to adjust. 然而, it also means you can’t just hit a preset button and have it adjust to your preferred height – you’ve got to move it manually every time.

It also sits at odds with the very high price of this desk. When you can buy fully motorised desks for half the price, this desk seems very expensive. 那说, the overall fit and finish here is a cut above and looks particularly good in its all-white finish. 加, you don’t have to worry about any future electricity costs with a desk like this.

Varidesk pro plus 36

最好的: For a desktop

  • Desktop dimensions: 91.5cm x 75.5cm
  • Adjustable height range: 33厘米

One of the original desktop sit-stand brands, Varidesk offers a range of adjustable on-desk solutions that largely work via the same principle. Two sets of parallel legs raise the main desk section, projecting it up and forward for use when standing. 然而, because the mechanism sits under the desk section, it’s too high when lowered for use in a sitting position. As such it requires a lower keyboard and mouse tray. This makes it a fairly bulky, ungainly affair that takes up a lot of desk space – especially in this extra-wide pro plus 36 configuration – so there’s not much room beside it other than for a mug and a desk tidy.

The pneumatic lift mechanism works very well, 尽管, so it’s quick and easy to shift working modes. It’s also competitively priced. 因此, if you do require a large sit-stand solution but don’t want to replace your whole desk, the Varidesk pro plus 36 is a good choice.

Humanscale quickstand eco

最好的: For larger desk area

  • Desktop dimensions: 70cm x 48cm
  • Adjustable height range: 47厘米

The key advantage of this desk over many other desktop sit-stand solutions is that its main desk section can drop low enough to not need a separate keyboard and mouse tray. This means you get a larger overall desk area, in turn making it more versatile. It also has a smaller footprint than most, leaving more of your desk for other duties.

The downside is it’s rather tall, with its lifting pillar rising high up on your desk, and looking a little odd in the process, especially if you opt for the laptop version that doesn’t have a monitor at the top. 除此以外, Humanscale has done a great job of making the eco look as elegant as it possibly can with a nicely uniform white finish used throughout. The adjustable-tension, spring-based lifting system also works well, though did require a lot of tightening before the tray would stay in place. It’s also built to a very high standard, making it one of the more tempting premium on-desk options.

Yo-Yo desk mini

最好的: Affordable standing desk

  • Desktop dimensions: 68cm x 59cm
  • Adjustable height range: 35厘米

Mini by name and nature, this desktop sit-stand solution offers a manually adjustable platform for your monitor, mouse and keyboard but in a more compact package than some alternatives. Like other multi-legged solutions, such as its main rival the Varidesk, it sits high on the desk so requires a lower section for your keyboard and mouse. And it’s this that is its main problem – the keyboard tray is a touch small, so the area for your mouse feels a little cramped.

Other than this, it offers a nicely balanced compromise between being compact enough to not totally dominate your desk and yet large enough to feel practical. The adjustment mechanism also works reasonably well, though it isn’t quite as smooth as the Varidesk, and the low price makes this a tempting option for those not yet wanting to spend big on a sit-stand desk.

Yo-Yo desk pro 2+

最好的: Electric standing desk

  • Desktop dimensions: 小的 (120cm x 80cm), 中等的 (140cm x 80cm), large (160cm x 80cm), extra large (180cm x 80cm)
  • Adjustable height range: 50厘米

This is another electronic sit-stand desk that uses a motor in each leg to smoothly raise and lower the desktop from a height of 60cm all the way up to 120cm. It comes with a control panel that lets you manually adjust the height or set and recall up to three presets. 然而, unlike the Flytta, you don’t need to hold down the button to move to the preset. This is more convenient but does raise a slight safety concern. The motors will stop if there’s too much resistance but there’s enough power here that you could potentially do some harm before the motors cut out.

除此以外, it’s another very sturdily made unit and its motors are quieter than the Flytta, too – 42dB both up and down. 然而, it isn’t quite as elegantly made as that desk. 尽管如此, thanks to its impressively low price, the Yo-Yo desk pro 2+ is a great option for those seeking a full electronic sit-stand desk on a budget.

Freedesk small

最好的: Portable standing desk

  • Desktop dimensions: 39cm x 58cm
  • Adjustable height range: 33厘米

This is by far the cheapest and simplest standing desk solution we’ve tested. Originally a Kickstarter project, this simple tea tray-style device uses an elasticated folding leg system to pop up. Despite being so simple, the mechanism works well and it’s easy to adjust the top to your desired height. It can be folded completely flat to used as it is, or to be easily be stowed away somewhere.

The small version also looks the part thanks to the use of solid wood for the legs and frame, and it has a nice white laminate top. 然而, it’s only suited to use with laptops and the build quality could be a little better – the frame on our sample came apart at the corner. The non-Lite versions use a solid desktop instead, 尽管, so should hold up better. 尽管如此, this puts a bit of a dent in its appeal, especially considering its price, but we still think it’s a good place to start if you’re considering a standing desk.

Standing desk FAQs

How long should you stand at a standing desk?

It’s recommended that we should alternate between sitting and standing regularly, 和 research suggesting that you should spend one hour standing for every three hours spent sitting down.

What are the benefits of a standing desk?

There are a number of benefits associated with standing as opposed to sitting at a desk, particularly when it comes to your posture. Research shows that incorporating standing into the working day reduces back pain caused by prolonged sitting. 一种 study published in the British Medical Journal also noted that they have the ability to reduce tiredness among workers and boost productivity.

Can you get a prescription for a standing desk?

In the UK you can’t currently get a standing desk on prescription.

判决: Stand-up desks

For those looking to get the full standing desk experience, 这 Flytta 2 is the way to go. It’s easy to use, looks the part, and is surprisingly affordable. For its low cost and easy storage, 这 Freedesk is a great entry into the world of standing desks. 同时, if you’re set on keeping your existing desk but want a bit more versatility, 这 Fellowes Lotus RT is a great way to maximise desk space.

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