Best affordable standing desk?

I think I'm going to need to buy two standing desks - one for my home, and one for my parents home where I'll be spending a lot of time. I'm looking for any recommendations that people have for a high-quality affordable desk?

The cheapest I can find online is the Autonomous SmartDesk 2 Business Edition ($429), but what scares me is that some reviewers are saying that it'll wobble a bit when it's elevated high, and that the motors that the desk uses aren't the most reliable. Even if there's a warranty that covers electronic failure, I don't want to deal with shipping back an entire desk for warranty replacement.
Head of Nook Incorporated

Re: Best affordable standing desk?

There is just too much choice in the standing desk market nowadays Tom. You'll find many many different brands that sell very similar products at a wide range of prices.

Before going into some options below that I've used/considered/researched I would urge you to look on secondary markets like Craigslist or FB Marketplace as there's a ton of resellers/businesses liquidating that will sell you a quality standing desk (likely steelcase or equivalent) for cheap. I've seen some go for as cheap as $250-$300 compared to $600+ for similar retail models. Unfortunately, I don't have a way of transporting myself/a desk locally, so this wasn't an option for me.

There's also the factor of features - the main one being if you need an electric desk (w/ memory?) or if you are okay with a manual-hand crank standing desk. IMO - If you plan on converting the desk from sitting/standing (or vice versa) more than twice a day you should get an electric model.

I personally use this manual Mount-It brand standing desk. It was by far the cheapest I could find online, esp. with the 20% off Coupon code and 5% back on Rakuten when I purchased it ~7 weeks ago. It's sturdy enough for my use case (a couple laptops, monitor, speakers, small trinkets, etc.), but I have used nicer standing desks that are a bit less-shaky at maximum height (I'm not tall so I don't use this anyway) That being said, it looks like it's currently sold out.

My roommate purchased the Uplift Standing Deskbased on the Wirecutter's reccomendation. It's sturdier than the one I have for sure, but I don't appreciate how they nickel and dime for every additional 'feature'/'add-on'.

One other factor here is if your current desk that you're replacing with a standing desk has drawers, I'd recommend getting a small file cabinet or organizer to store under your desk (as standing desks alone typically don't feature much, if any, storage).

Overall, I'd really recommend looking at used desks on Craigslist vs. buying one new as the savings is just immense. Best of luck in your search!

Re: Best affordable standing desk?

Thanks Nealio, it looks like you've done a lot of research here and I really appreciate it. I'm really liking the idea of looking secondhand to save some money, a sturdy desk won't show any wear even if someone else did use it.

Lugg allows you to hire movers and a truck / van, they charge by the minute, and I figured I'd use this service to transport a desk.

How did you and your roommates' desks arrive to you? Were they in a big box and you assembled them yourselves?

You got me a bit scared when you said you'd recommend an electric one if you plan on going up/down more than twice a day. Is it that hard to crank it? I think I've been spoiled by the desks at work, I tend to go up and down frequently.
Head of Nook Incorporated

Re: Best affordable standing desk?

It's really not physically taxing on your arm to manually crank the table up and down. The bigger issue I've found is the smoothness of going up and down on a manual desk isn't as great as an electric desk. As such, especially if you have a ton of loose things on the table, they may move around a bit as you adjust the height. This can be a minor inconvenience or could possibly force something to fall off your desk and break.

My desk came in one large box, while my roommates came in 5-6 medium/small boxes (Aside from the package containing the table top). There were no issues with the delivery folks dropping the packages off at our apartment.

I've also seen certain secondary resellers offering to deliver as well. That could save you the trouble of Lugg or needing a 3rd party.

Hope this helps!

Re: Best affordable standing desk?

Ahh, that makes sense. I feel like you wouldn't be able to store a lot of loose, light things on the desk if they might fall. Even with my stable non-moving desks I'm a bit paranoid about my cups of coffee if I accidentally knock my leg into the desk's legs.

I'm not too afraid of putting together a desk, but I hate the idea of lugging a pre-built desk all the way up to my apartment.

I'm going to start keeping an eye out on secondhand standing desks - especially if someone is down to help me bring it into my apartment! I can't imagine working from home for the upcoming months without it.
Head of Nook Incorporated

Re: Best affordable standing desk?

I bit the bullet and bought the Fully Jarvis Bamboo Standing Desk, it was Wirecutter’s second pick, but far less expensive than their first. I bought the dark bamboo since it ships quicker, even though it cost a little bit more. You get 5% off if you sign up for their newsletter (they instantly mail you a unique code), which was a great way to save $30. As FYI, the desk was far cheaper on Fully’s site than on Amazon today.

The desk won’t ship until late June, but I’m looking forward to posting a full review then!

Re: Best affordable standing desk?

Hi everyone,

My Jarvis standing desk finally arrived, and I've been using it for a week now. I was wrong in my last reply - they shipped the electronics and the legs, but the desk tabletop itself took three more weeks to ship, which is in-line with their shipping expectations.

The desk is relatively easy to assemble. I'm not a professional by any means, but I wasn't confused by anything and didn't need to backtrack.

One surprise is that the base edition desk only has a switch to move up or down, it doesn't have the LED display to show your height and doesn't have the memory buttons to store pre-defined heights. This is fine for me, but this wasn't showing in their marketing materials.

The desk is super sturdy overall. No wobble, even when it's high up. It's not too loud, it feels just as reliable as the desks I'm used to at work.

You can do some good cable management under the desk, but there's one cable that needs to stick straight down for 2", which ends up being visible when the desk is lifted. Not a huge deal, just a weird design choice.

I ordered the dark bamboo finish and I love it, the tabletop feels amazing to work on.

Overall, I'd recommend the desk based on quality and value, but as Nealio pointed out earlier, a more affordable route is definitely to purchase a used desk from someone.

Re: Best affordable standing desk?

Hello everyone. Standing desk is a great thing and there is no matter if you are working at home or at office. I've bought Uplift Standing desk a few months ago after reading tons of reviews and feedback and I am satsiifed. But, it will be good to go to the shop and try different desks if it is possible. If not read the reviews at and post about the Best 2020 Standing Desks at Wirecutter. I think it will be enough to visit these two sources. Also, read some articles at Harvard website about the benefits of such desks and you will have more desire to buy them.

Re: Best affordable standing desk?

I've had the Fully Jarvis standing desk for one month now, my assessment of the desk has nt changed. It's still reliable as always, it still looks beautiful, and I've even done some cable management to make the desk even prettier. I used 3M Command Strips to attach a power strip to the underside of the desk (to the metal bar, not the wood), and it's holding up well.

The ugliest part of the desk is still this plug, since you're forced to plug-it in facing down (this takes power to the desk leg motor). Even if the desk is completely lowered, this plug is visible when you're sitting nearby the desk.
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