How to Choosing the Prefect Standing Desk

Update:04 Jan 2021

The right standing desk allows you to work while standing without compromising on your work quality. but there are so many choices that finding the best fit for your needs can be a challenge. This article summarizes things you should consider before you buy.

Is a standing desk right for you

Your goal should be to move often throughout the day, changing postures frequently, and a good adjustable desk is a tool that will help you do that. For many people, standing all the time is no better, and maybe even worse, than sitting all the time. In fact, it’s doing one or the other, all the time, that becomes a problem. If you choose an adjustable workstation, it will become a great tool on your path toward improved work comfort, performance, and your overall health and well-being.

Standing Desk Type

There are many ways to convert your fixed-height desk into a sit-stand workstation, from stacking your laptop on top of a cardboard box (don’t do that) to electric risers that cost upwards of $1,000. The most popular solutions are Z-Lift and X-Lift converters, like the Ziplift+ and Flexispot. They’re popular for a reason—this type of converter blends versatility, ergonomics, and affordability. See our standing desk converter comparison review for more info on all six types.

Height Range

Nearly all convertible standing desks, except for desktop risers, have a height adjustment mechanism for changing work surface height. The range of the work surface is an important factor to consider, especially if you are a taller worker. Many height ranges cap out where a 5’10” user is comfortable. Other units better accommodate taller users.

Some converters, especially Z-Lifts, have ‘dropped keyboard trays’ that rest lower than the work surface. This means you don’t have to raise your monitors as high to reach an ergonomic viewing position. They rest on the back of the work surface, which is several inches higher than the keyboard tray. The less distance your monitors need to be raised, generally the more stable they will be.


A 30″ depth is advisable as a minimum but this is taking into consideration that people will want to spread out their work. If that’s not an issue you can look at smaller footprints. Additionally, bear in mind there are often multiple options for the shape of the work surface.

Ideal Work Surface Size

Finding a balance between a roomy and slim work surface is a challenge. There’s space for personal preference here, but you want to be sure your keyboard and mouse fit with room to spare. And by the same token, you want to be sure the design of the work surface allows you to move your hands from typing to mousing with the least amount of movement possible.


Is the mechanism loud and disruptive or is it unobtrusive? When sit-stand desks are noisy they are often not utilized for fear of disturbing colleagues.

Ease of movement

There are numerous ways to raise and lower desks, from hand cranks to electric or pneumatic lifts. The latter two being the most quiet, efficient, and easy to use.

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