6 Desks Compared, Plus How to Pick a Desk That Matches Your Needs 100%

By February 12, 2019Web Design & Development
Literally, if it wasn’t for the price (usually in the range of $200-$800), the motorized desk would be the best solution of them all, hands down!

But as much as I love my desk, I do have to acknowledge that it’s not the perfect solution for someone new to standing desks who doesn’t necessarily know yet if it’s a style of work they’re going to stick with. The investment is just too big.

🎓 The verdict on which type of desk to choose

In summary, here’s the conclusion on the best type of standing desk:

Types of standing desks
Fixed standing desks Converter desks Sit-stand desks
Best for a newbie. Best if you want a portable setup and don’t mind the flaws. Best if you’re already confident that standing desks are for you.

Now that you know what type of desk is probably going to be best for you, let’s look at actual desk models that you can get:

🔥 Looking for the best standing desk: six options compared

Skip to:

👉 Fixed desks
👉 Sit-stand desks
👉 Converters

IKEA DIY build

6 Desks Compared, Plus How to Pick a Desk That Matches Your Needs 100%

😌 Best standing desk for a newbie

  • type: fixed
  • price: $83-$160
  • max height: 36 3/4 “
  • top: 47 1/4 x 23 5/8 ” (cheap) OR 61 x 29 1/2 ” (premium)
  • lifting capacity: 110 lbs
  • extra features: none

The cheapest standing desk you can get at IKEA (at the time of writing) is $83. In that price, you get four of these legs, and this table top. If you want to go more premium and also get more desktop space, get this top instead.

Frankly, the dimensions above are just an example since IKEA allows you to customize your desk however you wish. You can pick from a huge catalog of table tops and legs and then just put the two together to get a more personalized look.

One additional benefit is that the legs in this setup are adjustable, meaning that if you don’t end up loving your desk, you can still lower it down to a sitting position and use it normally.

On the flip side, you don’t get any additional features with this desk. No drawers, no cable management elements, etc. That being said, it’s IKEA we’re talking about here, so you can always just grab yourself those as you’re going through the store.

IKEA SKARSTA

6 Desks Compared, Plus How to Pick a Desk That Matches Your Needs 100%

💰 Cheapest sit-stand desk

  • type: sit-stand
  • price: $249-$279
  • max height: 47 1/4 “
  • top: 47 1/4 x 27 1/2 ” (cheaper) OR 63 x 31 1/2 ” (more expensive)
  • lifting capacity: 110 lbs
  • extra features: none
  • motorized: no – there’s a hand crank

SKARSTA is IKEA’s only sensible sit-stand desk, as it turns out. While the company does offer solutions like BEKANT, which come with an electric motor, the reviews on those are not stellar (2/5) – so you’d most likely experience some problems further down the road.

SKARSTA, on the other hand, has very good reviews, and most people seem to love it! … Sans the need to crank it up and down by hand.

The mechanism is reliable, and there are two main versions available, based on the top size.

Actually, those are the exact desks that we have at the office. Check them out:

When it comes to extra features, there aren’t any. Cable management, drawers and storage, that’s all on you. But, again, you can get all you need from IKEA as you’re buying the desk itself.

Generic electric desk from VIVO/Allcam/PrimeCables

6 Desks Compared, Plus How to Pick a Desk That Matches Your Needs 100%

⚙️ Best value motorized desk

  • type: sit-stand
  • price: $250-$450
  • max height: 48 1/2 “
  • top: 41 x 23 ” to 85 x 44 “
  • lifting capacity: 175 lbs
  • extra features: heights memory
  • motorized: yes – electric

This is the desk I currently use. And, in all honesty, it looks like it’s a generic electric desk of Chinese origin. You can buy it all over the world under a handful of different brands. PrimeCables sells it in Canada under their own brand, Amazon sells it in the US, branded VIVO and in the UK and Europe, branded Allcam. Those all look to be the same once you start examining the assembly instructions.

The price varies a lot depending on where you buy it. Mine was $350, but I did need to buy the table top separately since there was only the frame in the package (double check that when buying yours).

When it comes to the mechanism, it’s nice, and there are dual motors. Relatively silent, but you’re not going to be moving it up and down all the time anyway, so it’s no big deal either way.

You can store three height settings and switch between them via this cool touch console, which also displays the current height.

6 Desks Compared, Plus How to Pick a Desk That Matches Your Needs 100%

The arrows allow you to move the desk up and down in small increments. The box contains all the components needed, but the whole thing comes disassembled. Though it can be intimidating when you see all those parts, the setup is pretty straightforward and takes about 30 minutes.

Another perk is that the frame can also be adjusted to fit different size tops. Refer to the manual when making the purchase.

Jarvis Desk

6 Desks Compared, Plus How to Pick a Desk That Matches Your Needs 100%

🤩 Top higher end motorized desk

  • type: sit-stand
  • price: $420
  • max height: 45 3/4 “
  • top: from 30 x 27 ” to 72 x 30 “
  • lifting capacity: 350 lbs
  • extra features: heights memory
  • motorized: yes – electric

Buy from Amazon or Fully.

Jarvis offers a couple of interesting standing desks and a range of accessories that go with them. Though it can get expensive quickly, the reviews seem to suggest that the investment might be worth it.

First off, you get to pick the shape of the top, add a chair that’s built specifically for sit-stand setups, get an additional standing mat, plus a couple of other interesting things.

You may also be interested in these articles:

VIVO Converter Desk

6 Desks Compared, Plus How to Pick a Desk That Matches Your Needs 100%

💰 Cheapest converter desk

  • type: converter
  • price: $140 (manual), $230 (electric)
  • max height: from 4.2 ” to 19.7 ” above your desktop
  • top: 31.5 x 15.7 “
  • lower deck: 31.3 x 11.8 “
  • lifting capacity: unknown
  • extra features: adjustable heights of the top and lower deck
  • motorized: electric and hand crank models available

VIVO is the one used by our colleague Colin, though he has a couple of extra elements added (the converter itself is highlighted):

6 Desks Compared, Plus How to Pick a Desk That Matches Your Needs 100%

What this standing desk has going for it is that you can adjust the height of both surfaces – the top (for your monitor) and the lower deck (for your keyboard). This gives you a lot of customizability, which can make longer sessions easier.

However, the thing about converters is that they still can’t be cheaper than fixed desks most of the time. There’s just too many parts to make the mechanism work, compared to just a standard “legs + top” setup of fixed desks.

In this case, you can get the manual version for $140 and the motorized one for $230, which is a bit too close to the price of a normal motorized sit-stand desk if you ask me.

Fancierstudio Riser Desk

6 Desks Compared, Plus How to Pick a Desk That Matches Your Needs 100%

🏗️ Best value converter desk

  • type: converter
  • price: $180
  • max height: from 5 ” to 17.7 ” above your desktop
  • top: 29.5 x 38 “
  • lifting capacity: 30 lbs
  • extra features: adjustable heights of the top and lower deck
  • motorized: no – easily adjustable by hand

Fancierstudio Riser Desk is a great alternative to VIVO’s if you want something perhaps a bit better looking and you don’t mind the higher price tag compared to the entry-level model of VIVO.

The Fancierstudio’s desk has really good reviews and an interesting mechanism. Whereas VIVO moves kind of like a harmonica, the Fancierstudio’s Riser moves up and towards the user. This helps you gain more space and avoid the protruding desktop problem that I talked about above.

See it here:

6 Desks Compared, Plus How to Pick a Desk That Matches Your Needs 100%

It also looks quite good when you’re using it as a monitor stand when sitting down.

📊 Best standing desk: summary

Here’s a quick summary table of everything that we’ve discussed in this post:

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