How To Choose The Right Standing Desk For You

How To Choose The Right Standing Desk For You
February 19, 2023 hometrust

How To Choose The Right Standing Desk For You

Standing desks were once a rarity, but these days, it seems like pretty much everyone has one.

And for good reason – using a standing desk is said to bring about a plethora of benefits. Amongst other things, it’s said to lower your risk of weight gain, reduce back pain, and improve your overall mood and energy levels.

If you’re thinking of buying a standing desk so that you can improve your working environment, you’re at the right place.

In this article, we walk you through the different considerations in choosing a standing desk, and discuss all you need to know about choosing the right desk for you.

Ready? Let’s jump right in!

What Are The Different Types Of Standing Desks?

There are many different categories of standing desks, including:

  • Fixed standing desks
  • Adjustable standing desks
  • Standing desk converters

Fixed standing desks

Firstly, fixed standing desks are desks that are fixed at a certain height. These are generally less popular than adjustable standing desks because, well, you don’t get the flexibility of an adjustable desk.

With a fixed standing desk, it’s crucial that your desk is adjusted to your height. Because of its lack of flexibility, this might not be the best choice for folks who have to work long hours.

However, if you only work at your desk for short bursts of time (say you’re a property agent, and you’re constantly out and meeting clients), this option might work for you.

Adjustable standing desks

wide screen standing desk

Next, adjustable standing desks are what we call “sit-to-stand” desks. There are electric and manual versions – with the manual version, you’ll have to manually crank your desk to adjust its height; with the electric version, you can simply press a button and have the table automatically move higher or lower.

With adjustable standing desks, you’re not “locked in” to a specific height – you can experiment with different heights, and figure out what works best for you.

This also gives you the option of adjusting your desk up or down several times in a day, based on your schedule. For instance, some folks might like to start the day off sitting, then move their desk higher so they can stand after their lunch break.

Standing desk converters

Next, standing desk converters are essentially small desks that you can place on top of your existing desk. These are typically very affordable and versatile, and may be a good option for those on a tight budget.

However, keep in mind that some of these converters are manually adjustable, and some aren’t. If you’re purchasing a converter that’s fixed at a certain height, measure your desk first and make sure that the height works for you!

On top of that, if you plan to move between sitting/standing several times a day, you’ll need to have a dedicated space to place your converter (while you’re sitting).

What Should You Consider When Choosing A Standing Desk?

Before you choose your standing desk, here are a few questions to ask yourself:

  • What’s your budget?
  • How many people will be using this desk?

What’s your budget?

small standing desk

Budget is definitely a key factor in choosing a standing desk. If you don’t have much to spend, the cheapest option are typically standing desk converters – you can get these on Shopee or Lazada at less than $100 a pop.

In the middle of the spectrum are fixed standing desks, which are more expensive than desk converters, but less expensive than sit-to-stand desks.

Finally, sit-to-stand desks are the most expensive, but also arguably the easiest and most functional when it comes to usage. That said, with standing desks growing in popularity over the last few years, we do see more affordable options available in the market. For instance, IKEA sells sit-to-stand desks for <$400, and these come with a 10-year warranty.

Of course, price shouldn’t be the only factor that you look at when purchasing a standing desk. Do keep in mind that cheaper standing desks may be poorly made or constructed – ideally, you’ll want to find something that works for your budget, but is also ergonomic and stable enough to work on.

How many people will be using this desk?

dual adjustable desks

If you’re the only person using the standing desk, that’s fairly straightforward – you can go for whatever option you prefer (including a fixed standing desk), seeing as you won’t need to shift it to different heights.

However, if you’ll be sharing this standing desk with other people in your family, a fixed standing desk might not make sense (unless everyone is roughly the same height).

In this case, you’ll probably get more utility out of a sit-to-stand desk. There are some models that are programmable – so you can configure a preset such that you can access your optimal sitting or standing height with a few clicks of a button.

How To Shop And Evaluate A Standing Desk

So you’ve figured out what type of standing desk you want… the next step is to go to a couple of retailers and experience their standing desks in-store, so you can get a feel of what you prefer.

office adjustable desks

(Quick aside: standing desks are one of those things that you should not purchase online. Ergonomics play a huge factor in which desk is right for you, so you’ll want to see, touch and experience the desk in real life, before committing to a purchase).

Once you’re at the store, here’s what to look out for when evaluating a standing desk…

Range of adjustment

Firstly, look at the standing desk’s range of adjustment and try it out at different heights. Does it feel comfortable? Does it allow you to stand at an optimal posture? Is the desk as stable at full height as it is at other heights?

Here’s what to keep in mind with regards to standing at a standing desk:

  • The top of your monitor should be at eye level (or just below eye level)
  • The monitor should be around 18 inches away from your face
  • The screen should be tilted back slightly
  • Your head should be in an upright position, where your ears line up over your shoulders
  • Your shoulders should be lifted and upright, not rounded forward
  • Your hands should be at or below elbow level, not above elbow level

Storage & built-in features

Does the standing desk come with drawers or other forms of storage? Does it come with built-in features such as USB ports or charging stations? Is cord control solutions included?

Weight capacity

white standing desk

This isn’t as important if you’re just using a lightweight laptop. However, if you’ve got two or three heavy monitors that your standing desk will need to hold, then definitely make it a point to look at the standing desk’s weight capacity.

Sound of motor

Electric sit-to-stand desks utilise small electrical motors, and some models may be louder than you expect. Check how loud the motor is, and also consider where the desk will be placed in your home. If it’s placed in an open area (as compared to an enclosed study room), the noise of the motor might be distracting to others at home.

Is there a warranty?

Some cheaper models may only offer 1-year warranties – you’ll have to consider whether you’re willing to bear the risk of having to repair the desk yourself (assuming it breaks down right after the warranty period), in exchange for a cheaper price tag.

BONUS: How To Properly Utilise Your Standing Desk

Once you’ve evaluated a few different models, made your pick, and purchased your standing desk, you’ll probably be excited to get it set up and start working on it.

choosing standing desk

Here’s an important tip to keep in mind: Don’t push yourself to stand the entire day – you should be doing a combination of standing + sitting throughout the day!

This is especially the case for folks who aren’t used to standing all day – if your body is not used to standing for long periods of time, don’t push yourself. Studies have shown that prolonged standing is bad for you, and is associated with negative outcomes such as varicose veins and lower back pain.

To unpack this a bit: Researchers say that it’s not standing per se that eases discomfort such as back pain – rather, it’s movement. If you’re stiff from sitting, stand for a while. Once you get uncomfortable while standing, it’s time to sit down again.

Now that you’ve got the standing desk of your dreams… want to check out home renovation projects for inspiration? Browse home design ideas on Hometrust, or click the button below to get connected with expert designers.

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