Electric Adjustable Height Desk Comparison Review

 

Integrated Treadmill Desk Workstations Comparison Review




Our most popular reviews…

Integrated Treadmill Desk Workstations Comparison Review

Treadmill desks are like stereo systems—you can mix and match components to build a workstation completely customized to you and your environment, or you can buy an all-in-one system. If you’re going to put together a customized walking workstation we highly recommend reading both our Comparison Review of Standalone Office Treadmill Bases and our Comparison Review of Adjustable Height Desks to help you pick out your ideal components.

Treadmill Desk

In this round-up review we compare all the integrated treadmill desks that are sold as a combo desk plus office treadmill base

In this roundup we look specifically at all-in-one integrated treadmill desk workstations that pair a desk and treadmill together. There is a wide array of different desk and treadmill options available when choosing your integrated treadmill desk, though some manufacturers offer more choices than others. Some, like the Steelcase, InMovement, Proform, NordicTrack and Exerpeutic Treadmill Desks, are only available as combined workstations.

Other vendors offer their treadmill bases for sale either standalone or coupled with a desk. LifeSpan, TreadDesk, and Rebel Desk have one or two desk options available with their treadmills. iMovR offers six different desk models that can be used with any walking treadmill, including their own ThermoTread GT office treadmill, to create thousands of treadmill desk configurations. Of the six models, the three Omega desks—the Everest, Olympus and Denali—are currently the only desks on the market that offer built-in, patent-pending, SteadyType™ keyboard trays, specifically designed for the treadmill desk user.

Treadmills also vary wildly in quality. Steelcase’s treadmill is an aging machine that no longer justifies the Walkstation’s exorbitant price tag. The TR1200-DT3 and TR5000-DT3 walking treadmills, based on LifeSpan’s running treadmills, have long been the popular choice to create first generation of walking treadmill desks. But the LifeSpan models now face stiff competition from iMovR’s all-digital, state-of-the-art ThermoTread GT; the first of a new, second generation of office treadmills. The ThermoTread GT is the first and only office treadmill built for the office environment, and features unique capabilities not available in the earlier generation of treadmills like a touch screen, LCD console and cloud connection options.

With the sheer number of choices available to treadmill desk consumers, it can be pretty daunting to find the right one. That’s why we’ve done the leg work to compile the specifications and create apples-to-apples comparisons of the different products in the market today. To learn more about our review process in general, visit our Anatomy of a Review primer.

To separate the treadmill desks into meaningful blocks for comparison we’ve created two categories:

  • Group 1: Treadmill desk workstations with built-in SteadyType™ ergonomic keyboard trays
  • Group 2: Treadmill desk workstations without SteadyType™

There is a third group of combo treadmill desk workstations offered by desk makers who merely resell the LifeSpan TR1200-DT3 treadmill base together with one of their desks. Because these desks are in no way integrated with the base—electronically, mechanically or even aesthetically—we did not include them in this comparison review of integrated treadmill desk workstations. However, you can read our detailed reviews of the NextDesk Fit Treadmill Desk, Multitable ModTable Treadmill Desk, and TreadDesk Treadmill Desk.

Since we get a lot of questions about it, we’ll toss in here that there is no such thing as an Ikea Treadmill Desk, despite the buzz among DIY enthusiasts on the internet. If you are looking to hack together your own treadmill desk workstation from a cannibalized running treadmill and something like an Ikea Bekant Standing Desk, be sure to read our DIY Guide on How to Build Your Own Treadmill Desk, and our DIY Guide to Standalone Adjustable-Height Desk Bases.

Our Unique Evaluation Process for Integrated Treadmill Desks

In our efforts to find the best of the best in office fitness furniture and ergonomic office products, we’ve developed a unique evaluation process that provides the most exhaustive analysis of any given product. Every aspect is put under our microscope, right down to packaging quality and ease of installation. This in-depth approach helps us create the most comprehensive reviews of any desk, sit stand workstation, or office treadmill, as well as side-by-side comparison guides such as this. While all product reviews start from this baseline process, we tweak our approach for each product category, paying special attention to its particular attributes. Some of the unique qualities we look at when reviewing an integrated desk include:

> User Weight Rating: It may seem completely counter-intuitive, but walking on a treadmill imposes far greater stresses on the motor than running on one. The reason? When running on a treadmill the user is helping the motor turn each time their foot strikes the belt, and is floating in the air half the time. When walking, the motor is required to pull the entirety of the user’s weight along the deck. This requires a strong motor with enough torque to overcome the friction between the deck and the belt. Learn more about the differences between cardio treadmills and office treadmills.

treadmill user weight rating

Many factors go into whether a treadmill has the oomph to pull along of a user of a specific weight, including such things as the pulley gearing ratio, flywheel weight and diameter, roller diameters, horsepower of the motor, quality of the deck and belt materials.

A good office treadmill needs to have high torque and low friction at low speeds of 1 – 2 mph. Running treadmills are designed to deliver high torque only at high running speeds, and generally deliver low torque at 1 – 2 mph. Insufficient torque can lead to premature motor or controller electronics burnout, excessive power consumption, belt hesitation, and ultimately safety and warranty issues.

Treadmill manufacturers are unfortunately notorious for inventing weight ratings in the marketing department rather through engineering design and reliability testing. So when we get a treadmill desk into our labs we examine all the componentry, and then we test the unit under real world conditions for at least a few weeks, and in some cases for several months or even years. Because of this experience we simply don’t accept any manufacturer’s claimed weight rating without our own testing, and we’ve had treadmills experience catastrophic failure after as little as 20 minutes of use by a heavier user, despite the spec sheet claiming to be able to support the user’s weight.

> Noise: We look at both the treadmill base and electric desk in making our noise measurements and observations. While there is no such thing as a completely silent motor, some are so quiet—as is the case for the iMovR ThermoTread GT treadmill or their iMovR Olympus desk—as to be below background noise level in the typical office (e.g. the air conditioning vents) while others can sound like coffee grinders or gym equipment. We understand that too much noise can make it hard for you and your co-workers to concentrate, so this is one of the first things we look at in evaluating a treadmill desk.

Battle of the Keyboard Trays - YouTube

MUST WATCH VIDEO: Battle of the Keyboard Trays demonstrates the difference in stability between conventional adjustable ergonomic keyboard trays and the built-in SteadyType trays found on iMovR Omega desks

> Stability: Any two-legged desk will be less stable than a four-legged table, and all sit-to-stand desks exhibit higher levels of instability at taller heights than they do at lower heights. Factors such as the desk’s maximum height, the width the base is set to, and the base’s construction quality all affect a desk’s rigidity. This is most apparent when using a monitor arm because any vibration in the desk can end up shaking your monitor, detracting from your productivity.

That’s important enough in a standing desk scenario, but when you’re walking on a treadmill stability becomes paramount, because the swaying motion of your body will send oscillations into the desk frame as soon as your hands make contact with the keyboard. Of the two groupings of treadmill desks in this round-up review, only the first group, Omega desks with built-in SteadyType keyboard trays, are virtually immune to these oscillations (See this video to learn why). For the rest, it’s a matter of the degree of instability.

> Maximum Desk Height: Just as some treadmill desk manufacturers have taken existing running treadmills and minimally re-skinned them—calling them office treadmills in order to capture part of this faster-growing market segment—some desk makers have taken conventional “ANSI/BIFMA” standing desks, sold them with a treadmill base, and called it good. The problem? With another 5″ – 6″ of treadmill deck beneath your feet, an average-sized user is suddenly transformed to a very tall one. When desks are raised to a point that the overlap area between the two or three leg segments is very small, instability ensues. Worse, taller users may find their keyboard too low to even reach without hunching over. We look for the necessary modifications to raise the desks’ reach up to the proper height for good stability and good ergonomics. For example, iMovR sells leg extensions that can be added to their desks to compensate for the treadmill step-up height, and their bases are made with longer-than-standard bottom leg segments to begin with; thus they can tower 7″ higher than any ANSI/BIFMA certified desk.

> Ergonomic Considerations: There’s no pretty way to say this so we’ll be blunt. Many of the treadmill desks on the market today were designed with zero consultation from an actual ergonomist. Their designs tend to stem from the gym equipment industry, where “computer hunch” is not a design factor they’ve ever had to consider. Desks that have built-in, wide rubber wrist pads or a treadmill control console located between the user and their keyboard exacerbate computer hunch by forcing the shoulders forward a placing undue stresses on wrists and forearms. Most aren’t even compatible with an ergonomic keyboard tray, meaning that repetitive strain injuries (RSIs) may not be far down the road for the hapless user. We point out which designs are going to keep you safe, comfortable, and typing productively.

> Top Speed: Maximum speed of the treadmill, given in mph. Typical (“NEAT”) walking speed is generally 1-2 mph. Treadmills with top speeds in excess of 2.5 mph are going to be geared to deliver lower torque when you’ll need high torque.

Treadmill Desk: ThermoTread GT treadmill belt width> Belt Walking Area: Belt width is extremely important, as users with a wider gait will find narrower belts (under 20″ wide) constraining and potentially perilous. Belt length is also important; too short is unsafe, and too long takes up too much floor space in your office. Where running treadmills can have decks as long as 70″, office treadmills that are typically used at speeds of 1.0 to 2.5 mph do not need more than 50″ of belt length.

> Treadmill Desk Dimensions: Important when planning your office layout.

> Treadmill Weight: Total weight of the treadmill and the desk, given in pounds. In our experience, heavier treadmills and desks may be harder to move, but tend to be more solid and better built.

> Warranty Term: Beware of frames that have less than a lifetime warranty. Look for motors with at least three-year warranties. Parts and labor will vary; the more the treadmill costs, the longer the warranty, as a rule of thumb.

> Customizable Desk Options: Your desk should fit your office, not the other way around. When we review desks, we look at the different table top widths, depths, thicknesses, shapes, colors, and standard finishes available. The best desks can be tailored to fit your space and match your design sensibility by providing a wide array of these options. Since the bulk of the cost of an adjustable-height desk is the base itself, the best bases have telescoping crossbars that can create workstations at least as small as 48″ in width, and at least as wide as 72″, by simply changing out the top.

> Assembly: Unless you’re a real desk and treadmill nerd like us lucky reviewers, assembly and installation isn’t fun. You’d rather spend less time putting a desk together and getting back to your real job sooner. During testing, we evaluate the amount of time and effort spent in assembly, as well as the clarity of any accompanying instructions. Desk manufacturers that give you the option of bypassing assembly completely by offering factory pre-assembly or on-site assembly get serious bonus points.

In our experience, factory pre-assembly is generally 100% reliable, whereas on-site assembly can be fraught with issues because drivers have rarely seen the same model twice, have no training, often have incorrect tools for the job, and can consume a lot of time in your office. Factory pre-assembly may cost slightly more due to cubit freight charges for the larger box, but is well worth it for hassle-free delivery.

Group 1: Treadmill Desk Workstations with SteadyType™

The first generation of treadmill desks generally combined a converted running treadmill with an adjustable height standing desk. While these fledgling workstations did the important work to start the active office revolution, ergonomically-sensible they were not. They left a lot to be desired in height reach and stability, with some models displaying a tendency to get very shaky as soon as the user started walking or touching the keyboard.

We’re now solidly in the second generation (“2G”) of the treadmill desk industry with desks like the Omega models that were actually designed specifically for the ergonomic requirements of a walking computer user. These Omega desks are rock solid where other two-legged standing desks can be quite shaky, especially if those other desks have an ergonomic keyboard tray that increases the “moment lever” on the fulcrum. Watch this video for a demonstration of the difference in stability between an Omega desk and any other two-legged adjustable-height desk.

In the quest for achieving the most neutral posture possible, keep in mind that conventional ergonomic keyboard trays were designed for sitting users, and thus only go to -15° of tilt adjustment. However, the highest typing productivity, greatest comfort, and least exposure to repetitive strain injury are now known to be achieved at keyboard tray tilt angles of -30° to -45°. These SteadyType-equipped desks can hold onto their keyboards even at extremes of up to -85°of tilt, and are typically used at 20 to 35 degrees when standing, or 30-45 degrees when walking.

Such angles simply cannot be achieved by conventional under-desk mounted keyboard trays. Furthermore, conventional keyboard trays can’t even be mounted on the vast majority of standing desks because the crossbars of the desk frame interfere with the slide-in rail of the retractable keyboard tray. Hence the novelty of the SteadyType tray that is currently found only on iMovR Omega desks, and why they get their own grouping in this comparison review.

Omega Everest Treadmill Desk


ThermoTread_Everest1200x1368Experts’ Rating: 5-star
Read the full review

Starts at: $2,773

Pros: The Everest is quite arguably the very best treadmill desk available on the market today. All of the iMovR Omega Desk models (Everest, Olympus and Denali) feature the patented SteadyType Keyboard Tray that gives them superior ergonomics for typing while walking. Combining the exceptional performance, reliability, and aesthetics of the Everest desk with the state-of-the-art, all-digital ThermoTread GT office treadmill makes this our #1 recommended walking desk workstation. The desk’s ability to reach an astounding 55″ in height means that even the tallest users can still enjoy a highly stable desk platform. Like all iMovR desk products, the Everest can be ordered in any of eleven standard 3D-laminate colors, and can be pre-assembled before delivery. This is the top selling workstation into professional offices (e.g. legal and financial firms) where high consideration is given to decor matching and trouble-free reliability. The ThermoTread GT is the quietest, strongest, and most reliable office treadmill made today, with future-proofing features like downloadable software upgrades and a future CloudStation adapter option for uploading data to the cloud, your favorite wearable devices, and popular corporate wellness software platforms.

Cons: The Everest desk is made entirely in America and features the most extensive warranty on any treadmill desk workstation, but there’s a cost. If you want to save a few bucks definitely check out iMovR’s mid-tier Omega system, the iMovR Olympus Treadmill Desk. Or, if you can live with a manual desk (crank-up) instead of electric, save even more with the iMovR Denali Treadmill Desk. The Everest’s 220 lb. lifting capacity is actually less than the Olympus’s 360 lb. capacity. Although the motors are equally powerful, they are governed to the lower lift capacity all in the name of electric power conservation, which is particularly important to large enterprise customers in key markets like California.

Omega Olympus Treadmill Desk

iMovR Olympus Treadmill DeskExperts’ Rating: 5-star Read the full review

Starts at: $2,523

Pros: Of the many treadmill desk configurations you can buy, the best value is clearly the iMovR Olympus Treadmill Desk combo. It is also the quietest of all treadmill desks on the market, with a noise signature of under 41 dB. Uniquely, the Olympus can be ordered with any of five different tabletop sizes—in eleven standard 3D-laminate colors—making it arguably the most customizable adjustable-height desk in the world. All of the iMovR Omega Desk models (Everest, Olympus and Denali) feature the patented SteadyType Keyboard Tray that gives them superior ergonomics for typing while walking. Combining the exceptional performance, reliability and aesthetics of the Olympus desk with the state-of-the-art, all-digital, ThermoTread GT office treadmill makes this our top pick for value for your money. Like all iMovR desk products, the Olympus can be delivered after being pre-assembled at the factory for minimum disruption to your productivity. With a 360 lb. lifting capacity it is one of the strongest standing desks made—even stronger than iMovR’s top-of-the-line Everest. The ThermoTread GT is the quietest, strongest, and most reliable office treadmill made today, with future-proofing features like downloadable software upgrades and a future CloudStation adapter option for uploading data to the cloud, your favorite wearable devices, and popular corporate wellness software platforms.

Cons: It all boils down to a few relatively minor differences between the Olympus and its more upscale sister product—the Everest—including a shorter warranty, and having only three programmable preset heights in the digital hand controller instead of four. While maxing out at a height of 51″ already makes it more stable and taller-reaching that 99% of the desks out there, the Olympus does not presently have the option of 4″ leg extenders like the Everest does, so very tall users may want to stick with the Everest for now (iMovR says these extenders will eventually be offered for the Olympus as well). The base is made in China, albeit to the highest manufacturing tolerances and production quality, as compared to the made-in-USA base of the Everest.

Omega Denali Treadmill Desk

Omega Denali Treadmill Desk with ThermoTread GT Office TreadmillExperts’ Rating: 4.5-star Read the full review

Starts at: $2,363

Pros: If optimal ergonomics are a prerequisite for you, then it’s hard to beat the Denali for the money. With the built-in SteadyType keyboard tray that comes with all of the iMovR Omega desk models (Everest, Olympus and Denali), stability and typing proficiency are assured. The hand crank on this manually-adjustable desk is extremely efficient at only 3 turns-per-inch (compared to the 5 – 10 turns most crank desks require), and its 200 lb. lifting capacity is impressive given the low force required to turn the handle. Like all iMovR desk products, the Denali can be ordered in any of eleven standard 3D laminate colors, and can be purchased as components to assemble on your own, or factory pre-assembled. The ThermoTread GT is the quietest, strongest, and most reliable office treadmill made today, with future-proofing features like downloadable software upgrades and a future CloudStation adapter option for uploading data to the cloud, your favorite wearable devices, and popular corporate wellness software platforms.

Cons: Manual (crank) desks are still quite popular in Europe and elsewhere in the world, but in the US the market has shifted to almost entirely electric nowadays. With increased production volume, the costs of electric desks have come down so much in the past couple of years that manual just isn’t as popular as it once was. The Denali is also more limited in top height (48″ compared to 51″ on the electrics, or 55″ with their leg extension kits), meaning that it really isn’t going to work for users over 5’9″ tall when working at the treadmill’s step-up height. The option for a “sit-stand-walk” workstation is also limited to the other two iMovR Omega treadmill desk workstations, the Everest and the Olympus.

Comparison Chart: Treadmill Desk with SteadyType™

Integrated Treadmill Desk - with SteadyType

Click to See Details

Group 2: Treadmill Desk Workstations without Built-in SteadyType™

The following products are listed in order of their respective Experts’ Ratings, from highest to lowest.

ThermoDesk Elite Treadmill Desk

ThermoDesk Elite with ThermoTread GT Office TreadmillExperts’ Rating: 4.5-star Read the full review

Starts at: $2,498

Pros: Similar to the Omega Everest model above, but without the built-in SteadyType keyboard tray. Powerful, stealthy motors can hoist heavy loads, while sipping only the bare minimum of electricity. The Elite is made entirely in American, and backed by a stellar warranty—an Elite’s 3D-laminated tabletop actually carries the same warranty as some other desks’ steel frames. A large range of base width adjustment makes the Elite ideally suited to sit-stand-walk applications. Unique features like recessed, threaded nuts for aligning and installing the base, and pre-drilled pilot holes for installing keyboard trays make the Elite easy to put together, and take apart. Durable and elegant 3D-laminated desktops set the Elite table tops ahead of the competition by providing the appearance and durability of natural hardwood, yet at a cost equal to or even less than conventional high-pressure laminate offered by most desk makers. The ThermoTread GT is the quietest, strongest, and most reliable office treadmill made today, with future-proofing features like downloadable software upgrades and a future CloudStation adapter option for uploading data to the cloud, your favorite wearable devices, and popular corporate wellness software platforms.

Cons: Aiming for a super low power consumption profile (easily a third as much as other desks) and a long life under warranty, the powerful motors on the Elite base have been de-rated to a maximum lift capacity of 220 lbs. Minor gripe given the miniscule weight of modern computers and monitors.

ThermoDesk UpTown Treadmill Desk

Treadmill Desk UpTownExperts’ Rating: 4.5-star Read the full review

Starts at: $2,218

Pros: Similar to the Omega Olympus model above, but without the built-in SteadyType keyboard tray. UpTown is the most configurable desk in the world, giving the UpTown Treadmill Desk Combo some 200 decor options (desktop size and thickness, laminate color, and base color). It is also categorically the quietest treadmill desk made, with the desk motors operating at under 41 dB and the ThermoTread GT office treadmill putting out 42.7 dB at 2.0 mp running speed. Powerful, dual precision motors provide 360 lbs. of lift. A large range of base width adjustment makes the UpTown ideally suited to sit-stand-walk applications, with six-foot and seven-foot wide desk sizes available. Unique features like recessed threaded nuts for aligning and installing the base (on the five SelectTop desktops), and pre-drilled pilot holes for installing keyboard trays make the UpTown easy to put together, and take apart. Durable and elegant 3D-laminated desktops set the UpTown tabletops ahead of the competition by providing the appearance and durability of natural hardwood, yet at a cost equal to or even less than conventional high-pressure laminate offered by most desk makers, and carry the same warranty as other desks’ steel frames. The ThermoTread GT is the quietest, strongest, and most reliable office treadmill made today, with future-proofing features like downloadable software upgrades and a future CloudStation adapter option for uploading data to the cloud, your favorite wearable devices, and popular corporate wellness software platforms.

Cons: Compared to the ThermoDesk Elite, which is made in America and comes with the industry’s longest warranty, the UpTown has a shorter 5-year warranty on all components (lifetime on frame), and a slightly less fancy digital hand controller.

ThermoDesk Ellure Treadmill Desk

ThermoTread Ellure Treadmill Desk from iMovRExperts’ Rating: 4-star Read the full review

Starts at: $2,118

Pros: Similar to the Omega Denali model above, but without the built-in SteadyType keyboard tray. The ThermoDesk Ellure Treadmill Desk combines the very best office treadmill on the market—the ThermoTread GT—with the elegant yet frugally-priced Ellure manual (crank) desk. Durable and elegant 3D-laminated desktops set the iMovR tabletops ahead of the competition by providing the appearance and durability of natural hardwood, yet at a cost equal to or even less than conventional high-pressure laminate offered by most desk makers, and carry the same warranty as other desks’ steel frames. The extra-thick tabletops have unique features like recessed threaded nuts for aligning and installing the base (and pre-drilled pilot holes for installing the optional Stowaway Ergonomic Keyboard Tray) that make the Ellure easy to put together and take apart. Durable and elegant 3D-laminated desktops set the Ellure tabletops ahead of the competition by providing the appearance and durability of natural hardwood, yet at a cost equal to or even less than conventional high-pressure laminate offered by most desk makers, and carry the same warranty as other desks’ steel frames. The ThermoTread GT is the quietest, strongest, and most reliable office treadmill made today, with future-proofing features like downloadable software upgrades and a future CloudStation adapter option for uploading data to the cloud, your favorite wearable devices, and popular corporate wellness software platforms.

Cons: Manual (crank) desks are still quite popular in Europe and elsewhere in the world, but in the US the market has shifted to almost entirely electric nowadays. The Ellure is also more limited in top height, 48″ compared to 51″ on the electrics (or 55″ with their leg extension kits), meaning that it really isn’t going to work for users over 5’9″ tall when working at the treadmill’s step-up height. The option for a “sit-stand-walk” workstation is also limited to the other two iMovR ThermoDesk treadmill desk workstations, the Elite and the UpTown.

InMovement Treadmill Desk

InMovement Integrated Treadmill DeskExperts’ Rating: 2-star Read the full review

Starts at: $4,599

Pros: If comparing to a 2007-vintage Steelcase Walkstation the InMovement Treadmill Desk features a more updated control console setup using a small LCD screen embedded on the left side of the desk instead of a membrane keypad console that slides out from the center of the desk. It also has a fancy connector bar and cable management channel integrated into the desktop.

Cons: Despite its Rolls Royce price tag this product lacks a proper ergonomic design, and offers an extremely limited option of one desktop size. It’s a one-size-fits-all design that’s got even fewer options than the 2007-vintage Steelcase Walkstation treadmill desk that it attempts to replicate. Unfortunately, InMovement also copied the WalkStation’s poor ergonomic desk setup, which means it will exacerbate “computer hunch” and increase the potential for repetitive strain injuries. Sure, there are some improvements with the embedded LCD control console and an integrated plug bar at the back edge of the desktop, but nothing remotely worth the outlandish ticket price.

Steelcase Walkstation Treadmill Desk

Steelcase Walkstation Treadmill DeskExperts’ Rating: 1.5-star Read the full review

Starts at: $4,599

Pros: Back when treadmill desks were virtually unknwon Steelcase was the only game in town, and the Walkstation helped to spark a revolution in office fitness.

Cons: The granddaddy of commercial treadmill desks, Steelcase’s vintage-2007 design is becoming antiquated compared to what can be purchased from top-rated walking treadmill and adjustable-height desk manufacturers. Steelcase pricing has fluctuated over the past year in response to ankle biting from competitors, but has remained extremely high for such outdated technology. Much better values can be had by combining iMovR or LifeSpan treadmill bases with any number of gorgeous and functional adjustable-height desks in order to achieve the perfect workstation for your needs, for $2,000 less. Steelcase is just too lazy to kill this product, and yet new competitors like InMovement (Life Fitness) are still imitating its egregiously non-ergonomic design and trying to sell their products at the same price.

LifeSpan TR5000-DT7 Treadmill Desk

Experts’ Rating: 2-star Read the full reviewLifespan TR5000 DT7 Treadmill Desk

Starts at: $2,499

Pros: The TR5000-DT7 is LifeSpan’s top-of-the-line, multi-user treadmill desk, with a 400 lbs user weight capacity and “self-lubrication” feature. The TR5000 treadmill base has a robust AC motor that is built to endure a lot of abuse, designated for up to 10 hours of use per day. The aluminum finish is much nicer than the TR1200’s plastic side rails, which are prone to scuffing. The DT7 desk is very solidly built and has a decent height reach.

Cons: The desktop of Lifespan’s DT7 electric desk—the design of which is a copy of the original 2007-vintage Steelcase Walkstation—is the least ergonomic desk on the market due to the extreme distance it places between the user and their keyboard, plus its inability to accommodate any sort of ergonomic keyboard tray. It’s a formula for “computer hunch” and repetitive strain injuries. For the $1,000 price tag you can find much nicer desks that will work much better with a treadmill, with many size and color options besides this one-size-and-color-fits-all unit that was obviously designed by gym equipment engineers.

The treadmill, representing 60% of the cost of this workstation, is very yesteryear. It lacks the silent operation, smaller footprint, higher-quality components, all-digital console and future cloud connection option (CloudStation™) of the equally priced iMovR ThermoTread GT. Self-lubrication is nice but once the impregnated wax has all worn off the belt you’re facing an expensive service call for replacing it. With a continuous fan running on the TR5000’s AC inverter it is by far the noisiest treadmill you can put in an office.

LifeSpan TR5000-DT5 Treadmill Desk

Experts’ Rating: 1.5-star Read the full reviewLifeSpan-TR5000-DT5

Starts at: $2,499

Pros: The TR5000 treadmill base has a robust AC motor that is built to endure a lot of abuse, designated for up to 10 hours of use per day. The aluminum finish is much nicer than the TR1200’s plastic side rails, which are prone to scuffing. The DT5 desk is very solidly built and has a decent height reach.

Cons: The TR5000-DT5 is a platypus that combines Lifespan’s 400-lb user rated, multi-user treadmill with desk that is only “height-adjustable” when two people remove the pins in both legs so you can change the desk height. The DT5 desks cannot be adjusted by a single person, making it completely unsuitable as a multi-user workstation. The desktop of Lifespan’s pin-adjustable DT5 desk—like the design of their DT7 electric desk—is a copy of the original 2007-vintage Steelcase Walkstation. It is the least ergonomic desk on the market due to the extreme distance it places between the user and their keyboard, plus its inability to accommodate any sort of ergonomic keyboard tray. It’s a formula for “computer hunch” and repetitive strain injuries. For the $500 price tag, or just slightly more, you can find much nicer desks that will work much better with a treadmill, with many size and color options besides this one-size-and-color-fits-all unit that was obviously designed by gym equipment engineers.

The treadmill, representing 60% of the cost of this workstation, is very yesteryear. It lacks the silent operation, smaller footprint, higher-quality components, all-digital console and future cloud connection option (CloudStation™) of the equally priced iMovR ThermoTread GT. Self-lubrication is nice but once the impregnated wax has all worn off the belt you’re facing an expensive service call for replacing it. With a continuous fan running on the TR5000’s AC inverter it is by far the noisiest treadmill you can put in an office.

LifeSpan TR1200-DT7 Treadmill Desk

LifeSpan-TR1200-DT7Experts’ Rating: 2-star Read the full review

Starts at: $1,999

Pros: Prior to the introduction of iMovR’s ThermoTread GT based treadmill desks, the TR1200-DT7 was one of the most popular walking workstations sold. It combines the economy and quality of Lifespan’s most mainstream office treadmill base with their one and only model of electric height adjustable desk. The TR1200 is well-built, and the quietest of the Lifespan office treadmill bases—with a decent 350 lb. user weight rating. The DT7 desk is very solidly built and has a decent height reach.

Cons: The TR1200 treadmill base was modern when it was first launched in 2011 but has since been eclipsed by much more advanced models—in particular the iMovR ThermoTread GT—that offer quieter operation, a smaller footprint, higher-quality components, an all-digital, smartphone-like control console, and robust software and cloud connectivity features and options. The yesteryear design is not one that StrengthMaster, Lifespan’s Taiwanese brand licensor, is planning to upgrade anytime soon.

The desktop of Lifespan’s DT7 electric desk—the design of which is a copy of the original, 2007-vintage Steelcase Walkstation—is the least ergonomic desk on the market due to the extreme distance it places between the user and their keyboard, plus its inability to accommodate any sort of ergonomic keyboard tray. It’s a formula for “computer hunch” and repetitive strain injuries. For the $1,000 price tag you can find much nicer desks that will work much better with a treadmill, with many size and color options besides this one-size-and-color-fits-all unit that was obviously designed by gym equipment engineers.

LifeSpan TR1200-DT5 Treadmill Desk

LifeSpan-TR1200-DT5Experts’ Rating: 1.5-star Read the full review

Starts at: $1,499

Pros: This Lifespan bundle combines the economy and quality of their mainstream office treadmill base with their pin-adjustable desk. The TR1200 is well-built, and the quietest of the Lifespan office treadmill bases—with a decent 350 lb. user weight rating. The DT5 desk is very solidly built and has a decent height reach.

Cons: The TR1200 treadmill base was modern when it was first launched in 2011 but has since been eclipsed by much more advanced models—in particular the iMovR ThermoTread GT—that offer quieter operation, a smaller footprint, higher-quality components, an all-digital, smartphone-like control console, and robust software and cloud connectivity features and options. The yesteryear design is not one that StrengthMaster, Lifespan’s Taiwanese brand licensor, is planning to upgrade anytime soon.

The desktop of Lifespan’s pin-adjustable DT5 desk—like the design of their DT7 electric desk—is a copy of the original, 2007-vintage Steelcase Walkstation. It is the least ergonomic desk on the market due to the extreme distance it places between the user and their keyboard, plus its inability to accommodate any sort of ergonomic keyboard tray. It’s a formula for “computer hunch” and repetitive strain injuries. For the $500 price tag, or just slightly more, you can find much nicer desks that will work much better with a treadmill, with many size and color options besides this one-size-and-color-fits-all unit that was obviously designed by gym equipment engineers.

LifeSpan TR800-DT5 Treadmill Desk

Experts’ Rating: 1-star Read the full reviewLifeSpan-TR800-DT5

Starts at: $1,299

Pros: This is the lowest-cost Lifespan treadmill desk combo, you’ll get what you pay for.

Cons: The TR800 base is made in China, not in Taiwan like Lifespan’s other units, and it shows. The quality is not on par, and for $200 more we’d strongly urge any prospective Lifespan customer to upgrade to the TR1200 for its better componentry, quieter operation, and longer warranty. The 18″ wide walking belt is constraining, gritty and noisy. It’s 300 lb. user weight limit might be a stretch; we’d recommend this unit only for fairly slight individuals with a narrow-set gait. That said, it’s stronger walking base than you’ll find on the Rebel, Tread Desk or anything else you’ll find in a DIY-hacked consumer running treadmill.

The desktop of Lifespan’s pin-adjustable DT5 desk—like the design of their DT7 electric desk—is a knock-off of the original, 2007-vintage Steelcase Walkstation. It is the least ergonomic desk on the market due to the extreme distance it places between the user and their keyboard, plus its inability to accommodate any sort of ergonomic keyboard tray. It’s a formula for “computer hunch” and repetitive strain injuries. For the $500 price tag, or just slightly more, you can find much nicer desks that will work much better with a treadmill, with many size and color options besides this one-size-and-color-fits-all unit that was obviously designed by gym equipment engineers.

NordicTrack Treadmill Desk

NordicTrack Treadmill Desk Height AdjustabilityExperts’ Rating: 1-star Read the full review

Starts at: $1,599

Pros: Desk top and treadmill deck have an attractive cherry laminate. Treadmill folds up vertically to save space.

Cons: Desk must be swiveled to the side to fold up treadmill. Desk has too low height adjustability to be used comfortably as a sit/walk desk. Small desk top can’t support monitor arms or keyboard trays, making for poor ergonomics. More of a running treadmill fitted with a desk surface, the NordicTrack Treadmill Desk—despite being a decent running treadmill—doesn’t meet the minimum criteria for an office-ready treadmill desk. If you’re searching for a new treadmill desk, look elsewhere.

ProForm Thinline Treadmill Desk


Proform Thinline Desk TreadmillExperts’ Rating: 1-star Read the full review

Starts at: $1,599

Pros: Sturdy exercise treadmill (though this is not useful in an office setting).

Cons: The ProForm Thinline and Thinline Pro “desk treadmill” models both fall far short of our criteria for a treadmill desk, lacking the office aesthetics, work-surface stability, and ergonomic adjustability, that we expect in this category.

Rebel Treadmill Desk

Experts’ Rating: 1-star Read the full reviewRebel Desk Treadmill Desk

Starts at: $1,299

Pros: The treadmill is very lightweight, so the company positions it as a “portable” treadmill.

Cons: The Rebel 1000 treadmill truly is “lightweight” in every sense of the word. Thin steel and corner-cutting componentry, designed to be cheap to produce and ship, but not designed to last. As of now, we cannot recommend the Rebel Treadmill 1000. Two days of lab testing left us with a severely malfunctioning unit. We like the company, and we like some of their design choices, but their first go at a walking treadmill has come up very short. In this review update two years after our first test of the product, nothing has changed to improve the quality of the product.

Comparison Chart of Integrated Treadmill Desks without SteadyType

Integrated Treadmill Desk Comparison Review - No Tray

Treadmill Desk Reviews Click to See Detail

 




 

Electric Adjustable Height Desk Comparison Review

standing desks at the beach

Searching for the best standing desk for your office? Start here.

Electric Adjustable Height Desks are by far the most populous category of sit-to-stand products. Electric adjustable height desks are powered by precision, linear motor drives and easily change in height with the press of a button. They have a distinct advantage over most manually-operated desks in speed, convenience, and performance, but tend to cost a little more than their crank-operated cousins. Nevertheless, with dozens of adjustable height desks from which to choose, spanning a wide range of capabilities, feature sets, and price tags, it remains the active workstation of choice for homes and offices across the country.

With the sheer number of choices available to adjustable height desk and treadmill desk customers, it can be pretty daunting to find the right desk. That’s why we’ve done the leg work to compile the specifications of every electric adjustable height desk we’ve reviewed into a few handy tables. These provide an apples-to-apples comparison of the different products in the market today, and are a great place to start your search. To learn more about our review process in general, visit our ‘Anatomy of a Review’ primer.

Since price is often the first qualifier most prospective adjustable height desk users think of when desk hunting, we divided electric adjustable height desks into three tiers, based on their price tag. The premium desks require the biggest investment, but are feature-loaded, and are sure to match the decor of the executive suite. The budget adjustable height desks have been optimized for cost-savings. They have generally lower, though not necessarily poor, performance specs, but come with the smallest price points. The value tier is just what it sounds like, adjustable height desks that offer good feature sets and specifications without costing as much as the premium adjustable height desk offerings. This tier is typically where you find your best value offers.

Our Electric Adjustable Height Desk Evaluation Process is Unique

In our efforts to find the best of the best in office fitness furniture and ergonomic office products, we’ve developed a unique evaluation process that provides the most exhaustive analysis of any given product. Every aspect is put under our microscope, right down to packaging quality and ease of installation. This in-depth approach helps us create the most comprehensive reviews of any adjustable height desk, desktop riser, or treadmill, as well as side-by-side comparison guides such as this. While all product reviews start from this baseline process, we tweak our approach for each product category, paying special attention to its particular attributes. Some of the unique qualities we look at when reviewing an electric stand up desk include:

> Weight capacity: An electric adjustable-height desk’s lift capacity is usually an indicator of the strength of its motors. A high weight capacity rating means that the desk’s actuators can confidently withstand larger loads without risk of overheating or other damage. The higher the lift capacity the better from a reliability and durability standpoint; however, there is one exception to this rule. Some high-end adjustable height desks, like the ThermoDesk Elite and Everest, artificially govern their lift capacity specifications well below the capabilities of their motors in order to minimize parasitic standby power consumption – an increasingly common concern for corporate buyers in particular. This has the added benefit of ensuring that the desk’s lifting columns always operate in a mechanically healthy range.

> Noise: Electric adjustable height standing desks have motors, and motors make noise. There’s no such thing as a completely silent motor, and any motorized standing desk will exhibit some noise during adjustment. However, some desks barely register above ambient office noise while others sound more like a coffee grinder firing away. For your sake (and for the sake of your co-workers), choose a desk that won’t cause a racket at work.

> Stability: Any two-legged standing desk will be less stable than your standard four-legged table, and all desks exhibit higher levels of instability at taller heights than they do at lower heights. Factors such as the standing desk’s max height, the width the base is set to, and the base’s construction quality all affect a desk’s average rigidity. This is most apparent when using a monitor arm because any vibration in the desk can end up shaking your monitor, detracting from your productivity. We look for standing desks that are stable enough to minimize this issue. As far as locating your new workstation, keep in mind that carpeted floors can be less stable surfaces than wood, tile or other hard floors, because of the cushion pad underneath. Also, this is as good a time as any to mention that it is vitally important to use the leveling pads on all four corners of your desk’s feet to ensure that the frame is not twisted. Electric standing desk bases are sensitive mechanisms that can generate squeaking or grinding noises, and wear down prematurely, if not on a perfectly level floor (most floors are surprisingly uneven).

> Controller type: While the majority of electric adjustable height desks, usually the lower-costing models, offer a basic up/down controller, some are capable of saving different heights in programmable buttons, just like programmable memory car seats. Office treadmill deskers who share a workstation with other employees will find this feature particularly useful, as will users who want to save their preferred sitting, standing, and walking heights for easy access. When looking for an electric adjustable height desk, consider how you intend to use it, and what kind of controller will work best for you.

> Ergonomic Considerations: When configuring your new adjustable height desk or treadmill desk workstation, the desk is just the beginning. To optimize your ergonomics at the office and maintain a comfortable and productive workstation, we always recommend an adjustable monitor arm and ergonomic keyboard tray. To that end, we evaluate how compatible these standing-desk accoutrements are on any given desk. If a desk’s table top is obstructed in such a way that doesn’t allow for these ergonomic add-ons, it’s a mark against the desk.

> Customizable Options: Your desk should fit your office, not the other way around. When we review desks, we look at the different table top widths, depths, thicknesses, shapes, colors, and standard finishes available. The best desks can be tailored to fit your space and match your design sensibility by providing a wide array of these options.

> Assembly: Unless you’re a real desk nerd like us lucky reviewers, assembly and installation isn’t fun. You’d rather spend less time putting an adjustable height desk together and more time standing, walking, and working. During testing, we evaluate the amount of time and effort spent in assembly, as well as the clarity of any accompanying instructions. Desk manufacturers that give you the option of bypassing assembly completely by offering a pre-assembly or white glove service get serious bonus points.

Premium Adjustable Height Desks

Uncompromising in their features and capabilities, these high-tier standing desks are perfect for desk shoppers who want the best that money can buy. Nearly every adjustable height desk in this price category includes a digital hand controller, and many come equipped with advanced safety and reliability features that give them longer warranties than average – the ThermoDesk Elite and Omega Everest, for example, have a lifetime warranty on their baseframes as well as an industry-leading 10-year warranty on all moving parts and motors. Not just the most functional, these stand up desks tend to have the best aesthetic as well. Thicker table tops with beautiful finishes abound in this space, and you can also find hardwood and bamboo tops here. Of course, even among the high-tier desks, there is a wide range of quality and prices. But beware, reader: High price and high quality don’t always go hand in hand, so research all your options to find the right one for you.

Omega Everest

CompareComparing…

 

Omega Everest Adjustable-Height Desk with Dual Keyboard Platforms

Experts’ Rating: 5-star

Pros: The Omega Everest is the ultimate adjustable height desk to use standing, sitting, and especially walking. It pairs the ThermoDesk Elite’s electric-adjustable base with an embedded version of iMovR’s proprietary, SteadyType keyboard tray. The platform surpasses any other desk on the market in terms of ergonomic adjustability, rock-solid stability, and typing productivity. The SteadyType tray’s ability to work at any tilt angle is not only more ergonomic and comfortable, it’ll increase your typing speed and accuracy. If you’re a treadmill desker, the elimination of “palm anchoring stresses” makes the Omega line a superior choice compared to any other desk on the market, and will allow you to type accurately at faster walking speeds, with far less shaking.

Cons: The keyboard platform does not work well with certain “tenting” keyboards like the Kinesis unless laid flat, but does work with 99% of keyboards otherwise.

Omega Everest Adjustable Height Desk Customer Comments

ThermoDesk Elite

CompareComparing…

 

ThermoDesk Elite 30x72 cherry height-adjustable desk

Experts’ Rating: 5-star

Pros: Similar to the Omega Everest model above, but without the built-in SteadyType keyboard tray. Powerful, stealthy motors can hoist heavy loads, while sipping only the bare minimum of electricity. The Elite is entirely American-made, and backed by a stellar warranty – an Elite’s 3D-laminated tabletop actually carries the same warranty as other desks’ steel frames. A large range of base width adjustment makes the Elite ideally suited to sit-stand-walk applications. Unique features like recessed threaded nuts for aligning and installing the base, and pre-drilled pilot holes for installing keyboard trays make the Elite adjustable height desk easy to put together, and take apart. Durable and elegant 3D-laminated desktops set the Elite table tops ahead of the competition by providing the appearance and durability of natural hardwood, yet at a cost equal to or even less than conventional high-pressure laminate offered by most desk makers.

Cons: Aiming for a super low power consumption profile (easily a third as much as other desks) and a long life under warranty, the powerful motors on the Elite base have been de-rated to a maximum lift capacity of 220 lbs. Minor gripe given the miniscule weight of modern computers and monitors.

ThermoDesk Elite Adjustable Height Desk Customer Comments

RISE Table

CompareComparing…

 

RISE Height Adjustable Electric Standing Desk

Experts’ Rating: 3-star

Pros: The RISE was the first true sit-stand-walk adjustable height desk we discovered here at WorkWhileWalking (apart from the aging travesty that is the Steelcase Sit-to-Walkstation). Highly width-adjustable and built to last, RISE desks are quiet and heavy lifting – only iMovR Electra and UpTown adjustable height desks can boast a lower sound signature and higher lift capacity. Conference table-thick 1.375” tabletops are highly durable and add some extra stability.

Cons: With an 83″ long top and the desk elevation set up all the way to the top there can be some significant lateral shaking in the desk. Shorter table tops and lower elevations are solid but basic physics apply here as they would to any desk of this width and thickness (i.e. weight) set to the extreme high position. RISE doesn’t seem to be quite ready for retail. Recent trouble with warranty returns and excessively long delivery times has led to some drops – RISE is down two editorial stars, and is no longer offered through any retail stores, to our knowledge.

GeekDesk Max:

CompareComparing…


GeekDesk Height Adjustable Electric Desk

Experts’ Rating: 3-star

Pros: The vintage classic electric adjustable height desk, GeekDesk has been around a long time, is solidly built, affordably priced and loved by their users. Admittedly, GeekDesk users tend to be – you guessed it – a bit on the geeky side (including some of our staff here at WWW who fondly remember the days when GeekDesk was pretty much the only available option.)

Cons: Despite being one of the first kids on the block GeekDesk is today a boutique-y, lifestyle manufacturing company that has not stayed on top of its game, and lacks the vast array of color and size options and the adjustable-width bases that other manufacturers now offer. Assembly takes longer than most other desks. The crossbar is necessary for lateral stability but can be a bit of a knee crusher for the individuals with long legs. It’s the turtle of the pack, with a lifting speed of only 1.1″ per second, compared to the speedy 1.5″ – 2.0″ per second of its competitors. Persistent production delays usually mean the desks can take as long as five to eight weeks to arrive, longer than most people are willing to wait.

Geek Desk Max Adjustable Height Desk Customer Comments

NextDesk:

CompareComparing…


NextDesk Terra with Bamboo Desktop and optional Keyboard Tray

Experts’ Rating: 3-star

Pros: If you just want something that is elegant yet looks very different from most every other desk in the office – and are willing to pay the steep price for it – this one may be for you. NextDesk was the first adjustable height desk manufacturer to offer exotic tabletop materials like the Terra’s bamboo and the Air’s aluminum/glass composite. Others have since followed, like the Uprise Desk. The third fastest of the electric desks, NextDesk is still much louder than a ThermoDesk Elite but not as raucous as a Mod-E, and about the same as the GeekDesk.

Cons: You might want to find eye protection before looking at the price tag. Too many performance claims on their website descriptions are overwrought, if not outright false. We’ve called them on it and they’ve chosen not to revise their marketing claims. For example, NextDesk claims to be the quietest, fastest, greenest and tallest-rising of the adjustable-height desks, when in truth it is none of these things. You can get a lot more desk for $500 less. While the table tops are exotic, there have been some reported delamination problems. See comments left by buyers at the end of the NextDesk review. Some are happy with the final product but many experienced deep frustrations with severely long delivery times, bad customer service, and some quality issues. For all the hype, NextDesk seems to garner more negative user feedback than any other product we’ve ever reviewed, both on our site and others’.

Premium Electric Desk Comparison Chart

Premium Electric Desk Comparison Chart Thumbnail

Value Adjustable Height Desks

For the most bang for your buck, you’ll find that the mid-tier adjustable height desks offer the best combination of features and value. More function than form, these desks may lack some of the bells and whistles of the fancier desks on the market: their table tops may be thinner and less exotic, and their electronic controllers may be simpler two-button devices. But make no mistake, these adjustable height desks can handle nearly anything your workday can dish out: they come in a variety of sizes to fit any office environment, and most come with hefty lifting capacities. Most of the desks in this category can lift upwards of 300 lbs.

Omega Olympus

CompareComparing…

 

iMovR Olympus Adjustable Height Standing Desk

Experts’ Rating: 5-star

Pros: The Olympus is a mid-tier cousin of the Omega Everest that pairs an embedded adjustable keyboard tray with the same electric base as the affordable UpTown. The SteadyType keyboard tray provides peerless adjustability, to guarantee perfect ergonomics. It’s embedded into the desk, giving you closer access to your workstation and making the desk more stable. Program your sitting, standing, and walking heights with the LED controller’s four programmable height presets, and raise your desk to a 54″ maximum height suitable for any standing or treadmill desk user, regardless of height. The base is the quietest on the market, yet has a lift capacity of 360 lbs.

Cons: The SteadyType tray’s ergonomics and stability benefits come at the cost of desktop space (19.5″ x 10.5″). Not as good as the Everest in terms of aesthetics or warranty.

standing desk versus sit-to-stand deskUpTown

CompareComparing…

 

Experts’ Rating: 5-star

Pros: The ThermoDesk UpTown adjustable height desk offers a vast array of customization, more than any other desk line on the market. Users can choose different sizes, colors, and the thicknesses of its 3D-laminated tops. New 4″ leg extenders can increase the maximum height to 55″ for tall users and treadmill deskers. The base is the quietest on the market, at 41dB—hushed enough to blend into the office background noise. It features a digital programmable controller, and its acceleration/deceleration damping ensures a smooth transition from sitting to standing.

Cons: The plastics on the digital hand controller are not as nice looking as some of the high-tier desks like the Everest or Elite. But for the money, the controller is on par with the competition’s offerings.

ElectraThermoDesk Electra height-adjustable desk cherry with silver base

CompareComparing…

 

Experts’ Rating: 4.5-star

Pros: The workhorse of the bunch, the Electra has a max lift capacity of 490 lbs. This makes it ideal for workstations with the heaviest workloads, as well as custom hardwood and marble tops. The desk adjusts in height at a rate of 1.7″ per second, one of the fastest on the market. Delivered largely pre-assembled, users need only unfold the legs and attach the feet and 3D-laminated tabletop. Its motorized legs are on the quiet end of the spectrum, registering at just 42 dB

Cons: The Electra is available only with a basic up and down controller.

Uprise

CompareComparing…

 

Uprise Adjustable-Height Standing Desk

Experts’ Rating: 4-star

Pros: The Uprise is Ergoprise’s newest line, an improvement over their aging S2S model. With the same quality base as the ThermoDesk Electra, the Uprise is quieter and stronger than a number of desks on the market, clocking in with a 42 dB noise signature during adjustment and a rated lift capacity of 360 lbs. The base adjusts at a rate of 1.7″ per second, faster than the majority of desks out there.

Cons: Everything above the Uprise’s base is plain-Jane. Its standard, high-pressure table top isn’t as durable as 3D lamination and is susceptible to moisture damage and delamination. Bamboo tops are available for the Uprise, but the added cost would put the desk well above the mid-range category.

Jarvis

CompareComparing…



Jarvis Electric Standing Desk

Experts’ Rating: 3.5-star

Pros: The Jarvis is a low-cost adjustable height desk with a decent warranty. It comprises a commodity Jiecang base which normally exhibit poor performance stats, but uses some customized components that – according to the company – give it better stability than the stock base product.

Cons: The Jarvis desktop is an ordinary high-pressure laminate, lacking the improved durability of 3D lamination. Additionally, its motors move at a crawl, with a 1.25″ per second adjustment rate that’s on the low end of the spectrum for mid-tier bases. (ErgoDepot, the ergonomics retailer that exclusively makes and sells the Jarvis Desk, has elected not to submit their their product to our testing lab.)

Jarvis Adjustable Height Desk Customer Comments

UpLift 900

CompareComparing…


Uplift 900 Adjustable Height Desk

Experts’ Rating: 3-star

Pros: The UpLift adjustable height desk is low-cost, and features a digital controller with four memory presets.

Cons: UpLift uses a run-of-the-mill high-pressure laminate desktop. While it does feature some modifications to the base, the UpLift’s commodity, Chinese-made, Jiecang base is notorious for being unstable at taller heights. (HumanSolution, an ergonomic retailer that exclusively makes and sells the UpLift, has elected not to submit their desk with the WWW labs for testing.)

Mod-E

CompareComparing…

 


Modtable Mod-E Electric Variable Height DeskExperts’ Rating: 4-star

Pros: The Mod-E is the fastest adjustable height desk in the West, with a 2.0 inch-per-second transit speed.

Cons: The Mod-E only comes with a simple up/down controller. It’s also on the louder end of the desk noise spectrum, and at 75dB sounds like a coffee grinder during adjustment. A low max height of 47 inches may be too short for taller deskers and most treadmill desk users. Made in Malaysia, the Mod-E’s tabletop is not of the most impressive quality, and its design is somewhat dated.

GeekDesk v3

CompareComparing…

 


GeekDesk Height Adjustable Electric DeskExperts’ Rating: 3-star

Pros: The v3 is a simpler but more affordable variant of the GeekDesk Max. It has decent specs, available in three desktop sizes. Its 275 lb lift capacity is capable, though not as beefy as its high-tier counterpart, or even other mid-tier competitors for that matter.

Cons: The v3 shares the painfully slow adjustment speed of its more expensive counterpart, coming in at 1.1″ per second. Its 48.75″ max height is fine for standing, but both taller users and those moderate height users on office treadmills may be challenged by this limitation. The design is somewhat dated, lacking, among other things, an adjustable-width base.

Value Electric Desks Comparison Chart

Mid-Tier Desk Comparison Page thumbnail

 

Budget Adjustable Height Desks

This low shelf is where bargain desk hunters can find the cheapest deals for their sit-to-stand offices. These adjustable height desks come with small price tags – sometimes cheaper even than desktop risers and some manual-adjustable desks. While this price tier does include a small number of desks that perform adequately, all sorts of other cost-reduced desks come crawling out of the woodwork as well. Buyers shopping around for the lowest deals should be especially mindful of what they’re getting themselves into.

Upsilon

CompareComparing…


iMovR Upsilon Adjustable-Height Desk

Experts’ Rating: 5-star

Pros: The King of Cubicles. More than just an exceedingly affordable adjustable height desk, the Upsilon is purpose-built for the most compact office environments. Despite its low price, the Upsilon’s 360lb weight rating and 41dB noise signature make it stronger and quieter than even some of the high-tier desks on the market. Its confident warranty and durable 3D-laminated tops culminate in an impressive value.

Cons: The Upsilon’s 24″ desktop depth is a blessing for compact spaces but less than ideal for use with a treadmill (we recommend desktops at least 30″ deep for treadmill desks, for their longer feet and greater longitudinal stability).

Ikea Bekant

CompareComparing…

 

IKEA Bekant Adjustable Height Desk ReviewExperts’ Rating: 2.5-star

Pros: A constant companion in college dorms and budget-conscious homes, Ikea aims to make the sit-stand office as affordable as possible with their adjustable-height Bekant. The desk manages to come in at $489 and offers a 10-year warranty. If your office furniture is IKEA brand this desk would fit in well with the rest of the decor.

Cons: The Bekant’s low cost comes at the expense of unimpressive stats: its 154lb weight capacity is eclipsed by most desks, even manually-operated desks, and its low max height of 48″ makes it less than ideal for tall users or treadmill desk use. For a few dollars more you can get a much higher caliber desk from a manufacturer that specializes in these products.

Ikea Bekant Standing Desk Customer Comments

EvoDesk

CompareComparing…


IKEA Bekant Adjustable Height Desk Review

Experts’ Rating: 2.5-star

Pros: The EvoDesk uses a powdercoat wood finish that is a step above the standard high-pressure laminate of other desks in terms of shaping and contouring (though of far lesser durability).

Cons: Its commodity-class Jiecang base is known for instability, especially at taller heights. Furthermore, users have complained about the powdercoat finish leaving a rough, stippled pattern on the desk, making it difficult to write smoothly. EvoDesk is marketed as a low-end complement to NextDesk’s high-tier desk, the Terra, and unfortunately is over-hyped with the same outlandish marketing claims NextDesk has become famous for. Great photography, video and website sales copy put a high sheen on this mundane “me too” late comer to the low-tier desk market. Caveat Emptor.

Budget Adjustable Height Desk Comparison Chart

Budget Electric Desk Comparison Chart

Comparison Criteria

Here is a comprehensive list of criteria to help you compare all the most important attributes of a desk. Everything from prices to warranties is recorded here. Read detailed descriptions of each criterion below:

Testing Criteria:

Tabletop Thickness: Thickness of the tabletop in inches. An industry standard, especially for low- and mid-tier desks, is 3/4″. While great for smaller desk sizes, once you start looking for a top over 72″ wide, 3/4″-thick desks start to bow in the middle. If you’re shopping for a seven-foot-wide desk we recommend a tabletop thickness of 1.125 to 1.375 inches.

Leg Spacing: Virtually all adjustable height desks have width-adjustable bases as well. This criterion measures the range of space between the insides of a desk’s feet from its narrowest to its widest setting. If you’re planning to use the desk with a treadmill you’ll need at least 30″ of clearance between the legs. To fit a treadmill and a chair side-by-side at a full, sit-stand-walk workstation, you’ll need 63″-75″ of clearance.

Controller Type: Desks generally come with either a 2-button up/down controller, or a more advanced, digital memory readout controller. Digital controllers also generally come with presets, which allow users to save their favorite heights for easy future access.

Lift Speed: Adjustment speed of a desk, measured in inches/second. Some manufacturers that claim very high lift loads don’t disclose that travel speed may go down at higher loads. Modern electric models generally travel in a sweet spot range of 1.5 to 1.7 inches per second. Anything faster tends to be obnoxiously noisy.

Noise Level: Volume of a desk in operation, measured in decibels. There is sometimes a large discrepancy between noise when lifting versus descending, which we note in our reviews. Context is important here. Most offices have a background noise of 41 to 44 decibels. The quietest desk on the market, the ThermoDesk UpTown, puts out a barely audible 41 dB, despite being priced in the mid-tier. Others like NextDesk (60 dB) and MultiTable Mod-E (75 dB) are a lot noisier, so price is not always a good guideline for determining sound signatures. Best to read our reviews, since most manufacturers don’t publish their decibel ratings.

Range of Height Adjustment: Lowest point to highest point that an adjustable height desk can cover. The distance between is known as the “stroke” and is usually in the range of 650 millimeters or 26 inches, if a true sit-to-stand desk. Corporate, educational and government buyers will want to look for ANSI/BIFMA certified products. But taller users and anyone planning on using a treadmill with their desk will want to look for one that exceeds ANSI/BIFMA on the top end of the range. The higher a desk adjusts the more stable it is at every point in its height range due to increased overlap between the lifting segments.

Lift Capacity: Maximum weight a desk can safely move, measured in pounds. Always account for the weight of the tabletop itself. Depending on the quality of MDF core used, weight index may vary. Top quality, laminated tabletops usually weigh around 4 – 5 lbs per square foot. Some desks have a published “Max Lift” specification, which means they’ll safely lift this amount of weight but the travel speed will be reduced. “Rated Lift” is the weight the desk will lift with no reduction in travel speed. For example, the ThermoDesk Electra has a rated lift capacity of 180 lbs. at 1.7 inches per second travel, but will lift as much as 490 lbs., at slower speeds.

Warranty: Length of warranty tends to be in line with the price you’ll pay for the product. Warranty lengths will often vary for steel frame, moving parts, table top and electronics, just like on a car. Expect frame warranties to be the longest (typically 5 years, though several now offer lifetime), and electronics to be the shortest (typically two to five years). The big ones to look out for are tabletop warranty (5 years is a good sign of quality) and moving parts warranty. You’ll pay a bit of a premium for a moving parts warranty greater than two years.

Available Depth for Keyboard Trays: Free space available on the underside of the tabletop, measured in inches from the front of the desk to the first obstruction, usually a crossbar. Affects a desk’s ability to mount a keyboard tray. The vast majority of adjustable height desks cannot accommodate a slide-in, under-counter keyboard tray because of interference with the cross bar. Some desk manufacturers got clever by mounting the slide-in rail sideways, and some have pre-drilled pilot holes on the desktop’s underside for easy installation.

Tabletop Finish: The composition of a tabletop, ranges from standard high pressure laminate (“HPL,” the most commonly used) or more high-tech 3D laminate (found on all iMovR desks, as well as the Anthro’s Elevate II and Elevate II Adjusta), to composite bamboo (Ergoprise Uprise, NextDesk Terra), powercoat paint (EvoDesk), aluminum and glass (e.g. NextDesk Air), and lacquer-coated surface (GeekDesk).

Country of Origin: The country in which a company assembles its desks. Many materials are internationally sourced. Most commonly, US manufacturers will make their tops locally and source bases from Asia. Rule of thumb: Warranty length, and price, tends to go with where the products are made.

White Glove Installation: Cost for a full company installation of the product, if available. White glove services generally include unboxing, setup, and removal of packaging. Generally speaking, if you order white glove installation expect the delivery crew to spend an hour or more at your office putting the desk together.

Price of Stand-Walk Table Delivered and Installed: Full price of a stand-walk (too narrow to fit a treadmill and chair side by side, generally <60″ in width) configuration, including desk, delivery, and installation.

Price of Sit-Stand-Walk Table Delivered and Installed: Full price of a sit-stand-walk (wide enough to fit a treadmill and chair side by side, generally =>72″ in width) configuration, including desk, delivery, and installation.