How to Choose a Height Adjustable Standing Desk

The purchase of a height adjustable standing desk seems to be a popular topic. I’ve been asked by both journalists and clients which ones I recommend. In celebration of Flexible Work Arrangement Week (May 7 – 11), I thought I’d share my tips on how to choose the right height adjustable standing desk. (Get it, you can be flexible with how you arrange your work? Ha ha!)

Based on my scouring of reviews, comparing desk characteristics, and watching how people operate, here’s what you need to be aware of (in no particular order) before choosing a standing desk:


1) If you use a mouse, make sure that the keyboard area is wide enough for mouse usage.

2) Some adjustable desks have bases that are too deep for narrow desks. Check your desk measurements.

3) Measure how much higher you need your current keyboard to be in order to stand properly. This will help you determine what height range you need in your adjustable desk. Some people base their desk height needed on other reviewers’ heights, but since we all have different leg, torso and arm lengths, what matters is the height your body needs for ergonomic function.

4) When the desk is lifted, does it go straight up vertically, or does it come out – meaning that you need to have a wide area in front of your desk for both the adjustable desk to stick out and you to stand in front of it?

5) How wide is the adjustable desk? Will it take up nearly all of your current desk? If so, will all of your absolutely-needed supplies fit on the adjustable desk? (Think project files, phone….What’s on top of your desk right now that truly needs to stay there?)


6) Check for potential weight/balance issues. Some adjustable desks cannot hold much weight (more than one monitor) and/or they tilt when you attempt to write.

7) Some desks are hard to adjust (lift up, set down), so check for those reviews.

8) Some desks need to be fully assembled, whereas others come ready to use from the box. Be sure to compare that if you’re not mechanically inclined or you simply don’t want to fiddle with that.

9) Some desks are single-layer (monitor and keyboard on same level) and some are dual-level (keyboard level is lower than monitor).  Which is best for your neck and eyes?

10) Does the adjustable desk have multiple heights, or is it only flat on the desk and completely open/adjusted to full height?

Most height adjustable standing desks range from $200 – $500 in price, so before investing in this piece of office equipment, be sure to purchase a standing desk that fits your needs.


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