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Standing Desk Buyers Guide - What Standing Desk is Suited for You?

12 May 2021

Sit- Standing desks are getting more noticed in the last few years but the wide selections of options make it difficult for buyers to decide which is best for them. 

This buyer’s guide will explore different types of sit-stand desks to help the buyer to make an informed decision about which type of standing desk is right for their needs.


What is a Standing Desk?

“Standing desk” is a general term. That includes any kind of desk that people can stand up at. This can be a simple, fixed-height desk to stand at, but most people choose a height-adjustable, sit-stand desk. Known also as sit-to-stand and stand-up desks, it allows to comfortably stand while working. Also, it can adjust the height of the desk to sit. Having that option is important so you can alternate between sitting and standing with ease throughout the day.


The Reason for Using a Standing Desk?

Research in the health benefits of a standing desk is still being studied. But more people are choosing to stand or alternate between sitting and standing during the day. This is because standing at your desk makes you move more during the workweek. Studies have shown that standing desks burn more calories than while sitting. It also found that standing desks increase productivity which workers using sit-stand desks were 45% more productive than their seated colleagues.


Types of Height Adjustable Desks

There are four types of sit-stand desks – manual sit-stand desks, electric sit-stand desks, standing desk converters, and portable standing desks.

 1. Manually Operated Sit-Stand Desks

  • Although this is cheap, it has many downsides.
  • Generally, limited range of height and most do not raise high enough.
  • Low weight capacity   
  • Limited range of sizes due to weight and manual operation.
  • Slow to change the height
  • Can be difficult to use. People with injuries find them too hard or stressful on the body.
  • Most manual desks are generally too difficult to use and ultimately can’t get used at all.


 2. Sit Stand Desk Electric

These are standing desks that use electric motors with push-button controls to raise and lower the desktop. Try to look for is the quality and noise levels of the motors. Cheaper desks often have a single electric motor that is noisy and struggles with heavy loads. A high-end height-adjustable desk should have one motor in each leg and smooth, quiet operation.


3. Sit Stand Desk Converter

This is design to transform a standard desk into a sit-stand desk, a converter is placed on top of the existing desk. Then adjusted up and down to the needed height. For most standing desk converters, there is a lever at the side of the unit to operate it. The desk rises using gas or spring-assisted struts. High-quality converters don’t even need a lever. Instead, a weighted counterbalance system is used to make it smoother and easier to adjust the height.

Converters are suited for offices that have traditional desks and limited available space that won’t fit any additional furniture. Desktop converters are also a good alternative if on a tight budget and want to keep the existing desk.


4. Portable Standing Desks and Carts

For workers that move around during the day at work, a portable standing desk or cart is a good choice. Ideal for medical practitioners where they need to move between rooms with their laptops, for teachers while teaching around the classroom, and mechanics doing their repairs around their workshop. They can also be used for the home office worker who changes different rooms of the house. Depending on your needs, a smaller portable desk has enough space for a laptop and a mouse, or a larger unit that also has a monitor arm.


Choose your Setup and Type of Work When Choosing a Sit Stand Desk


The kind of work you do and the tools you use will determine what type of sit-stand desk works for you.

1. Choose a Sit-Stand Desk to Suit your Height & Body Shape

Not all sit-stand desks are suited for everybody’s size and shape. Most of these are designed for adults that are average in height and weight. If the user is taller, shorter, big, or small framed, specially designed standing desks are better suited to you than others.    

Sit-stand desks are made to be ergonomic to use but also should be easy to adjust without risk of injury. Here are some points before making your sit-stand desk decision.

2. The Best Height Adjustable Desk for Tall People? 

Anyone with a height of around 185 cm or more needs to find which type of sit-stand desk they can use. Some standing desk converters are not high enough for their arms. The arms need to be at the correct angle when using the keyboard. Other converters are not stable. If a tall or heavy person leans on the desk edge, it might topple over. Tall workers are advised to use an electric standing desk since they can extend high enough, offer stability and weight capacity.  


3. The Best Height Adjustable Desk for Smaller People?

If you are less than 165 cm in height or a small build, it will be difficult to move some standing desk converters that go up and down. When a desk is filled with monitors and a keyboard, it can be difficult to bring it down if the gas lift system isn’t working. 

When a standing desk converter is raised to its full height, it might be higher than some workers’ shoulders, making it hard to push the desk back down. 

The handle used to move the desk can be located away from the edge, under the desk, making it hard to reach for someone with small hands. These converter desks require strong, large hands to pull the lever to move the desk with ease.  

4. Keep Moving & Use an Anti-Fatigue Mat to Avoid Being Tired

It is recommended to keep moving around while standing at your desk to avoid fatigue. The best way to do this is by using a padded anti-fatigue mat. A mat with contours and different shapes will allow you to keep changing your standing position naturally. Get a mat that is lightweight and easy to move out of the way when lowering your desk and sit down.



This guide will help you decide which standing desk is better suited for you. But if you are still undecided a sit-stand desk electric can be adjusted with any height of the user. Make sure it is of good quality.