L-Shaped Standing Desk Reviews
- Lab tested
How to upgrade a traditional L-Desk to an L-Shaped Sit-to-Stand Workstation
As popular as standing desks have become—and as many companies as there are producing them these days—so-called “Standing L-Desks”, “L-Shaped Standing Desks” or” “Height Adjustable L-Desks” have been the red-headed stepchild of the active workstation category. Until recently.
While there aren’t a plethora of L-shaped standing desk options compared to their rectangular brethren, there are now enough offerings in the market to ensure that regardless of your space requirements, budget or existing décor, there’s an electric L-desk out there that will likely suit your needs. And if not, there’s always the DIY route, and we’ll cover that here as well.
It’s fair to say that it’s actually easier to shop for an electric L-desk than a standard two-legged one because there are fewer options, but they’re still hard to find through a simple Google search. So, we’ve put together this comparison review of the most popular models available today.
If you still can’t find what you’re looking for, just ping us in the live chat box on the lower right of your screen and ask for one of our L-desk product experts.
Two, Three and Four-Leg Desk Configurations
The lifting columns are the most expensive part of most standing desks. A conventional standing L-desk will have three legs in order to lift the entire work surface in unison. That work surface will be comprised of two rectangular desktops that are perpendicular to each other.
There is a less costly option that will work for a lot of users, and that’s to use a two-legged “corner desk,” ideal for dimensions of up to 65” per side. Key advantages of a corner model include much lower cost (only two legs instead of three), much easier assembly, and an easier time of mounting monitor arms along the chamfered back edge. You can also add a side table by mating a corner desk with a compact (24”-deep) standing desk from the same product line, technically making it a four-leg system, but with a lot of versatility and desktop surface area. Check out our Corner Standing Desk Reviews round-up to learn more about this option.
There are a few manufacturers who also offer what’s known as a “pork chop” standing desk, sort of a platypus design in between a regular sit-stand desk and an L-desk. These are made with either three legs or just two legs but with different length feet on the left and right legs (not the most aesthetically pleasing option, but it exists). We haven’t reviewed those separately yet as they are not a very popular option.
Depth and Width Options
Most L-shaped standing desk makers offer only a single depth on both the right and left sides of the desk, usually 30” just like the main desk portion. A few, like iMovR, offer the option of 30” or 24” on the left or right side, creating countless size combinations (40+), and making their desks much more usable in conventional cubicle systems where fixed-height countertops with 30” of depth on one side and 24” on the other is the norm. Other sit-stand L-desk makers typically offer three to five “combo” sizes, like 60x60x30, or 72x84x30.
Desktop Surface Options
Desktops are fabricated from 5’ x 8’ sheets of MDF lumber so the largest desk or table top you’ll generally see offered for sale will be no bigger than 48” x 96”. This isn’t big enough to make a single-piece L-shaped table, though it is large enough for the aforementioned corner desks. As stated earlier, a true L-desk is going to be comprised of two work surfaces, usually rectangular and mounted perpendicular to one another. In iMovR’s case the side surface can be either rectangular or “peninsula style,” i.e. ending in a semicircle.
Work surface materials run the gamut from run-of-the-mill, edge-banded, high-pressure-laminate (HPL) to ultra-durable and visually-stunning Surf(x) 3D laminate with ergo-contouring to astoundingly beautiful, hand-craft solid wood options. See our Ultimate Guide to Standing Desk Surfaces for a detailed explanation of the differences between these different desktop options. Most of the time you’d need to buy an external keyboard tray as an add-on, but note iMovR offers an L-Desk with their patented SteadyType keyboard tray built-in to the desktop surface, in both 3D-laminate and solid wood.
How the two desktops come together is something users will want to keep in mind. If you’ve worked at an L-desk before, you probably noticed that there’s often times a groove in the work surface where the two desktops meet. This can be pronounced or it can be subtle, but there’s always going to be some sort of groove and/or grain switching where the two desktop surfaces come together.
With one exception (which we’re going to get to shortly), building a height-adjustable L-desk is quite an elaborate affair. You might think it’s just 50% more work than building a regular two-legged standing desk—the proverbial “IKEA kit”—but it’s actually far more complicated. Complicated enough that corporate buyers ordinarily contract out L-desk assembly to pricey professional installers. There are two things that make it an arduous task to assemble a sit-stand L-desk.
First, you need to have enough free space in the room to flip the entire L-base over when you’re done assembling it; and at least one, if not two or three extra hands to do so without bending or breaking the base. Second, you’re going to need to screw the tops into the base while lying down on your back and scooting around underneath the desk. If using wood screws be sure to wear protective glasses to avoid getting sawdust in your eyes.
The exception is the iMovR Lander L-Desk, which comes almost entirely factory pre-assembled, and requires only 4 machine bolts and 5 wood screws to secure the side table to the main desk. The entire assembly effort is about 10% of what conventional L-desk models like the Jarvis, UpLift or MultiTable require, in both time and physical effort. Where a typical L-desk can easily suck up a couple of hours to assemble (with help), we had one staffer put an entire iMovR Lander L-desk together by himself in under 15 minutes with a coffee break.
Note that the prices for these L-desks are listed as “starting at” for their smallest offered size, and include shipping. While some makers do offer a slightly less expensive 2-button height controller, iMovR offers full digital controllers with programmable height presets. Add more for larger desk sizes or upgrades to the desktops.
The economy tier of $1,300-$1,500 for the smallest sizes (e.g. 60”x30” on one side and 60”x30” on the other) are built with lower-quality bases and tops made in Asia. These include the Jarvis L-desk from Fully, the UpLift L-shaped desk from Human Solution, and MultiTable’s L-desk.
At this price range you’ll be limited to 30” deep tops on both sides and a very limited set of size combinations, typically only three to five size combos are offered by these makers. Colors are also limited to typically four to six options including both solids and wood grains, so a much more limited ability to customize the desk to your space and décor requirements.
The Jarvis L-Desk from Fully is based on the Chinese-made Jiecang base and sports a low crossbar for needed stability reinforcement. It comes in only three HPL colors (black, walnut or oak) and three combination sizes. Bamboo is also offered in just two sizes. Prices start at $1,249. Fully also lists an even cheaper version of this desk on their website using powder-coated (spray painted) tops and starting at only $1,145. However, they have been showing as out-of-stock for a long time and may have been discontinued. (Learn about bamboo, powder-coat and HPL differences.)
Human Solution offers two different UpLift L-Desks in the economy tier. Both are based on the Chinese Jiecang base, similar in performance to the Jarvis’ Jiecang base but aesthetically different (there is no low crossbar for stability reinforcement). The difference between these two UpLift L-desks is in the type of tops that are offered. The less expensive version starts at $1,329 and is available in only three sizes and six economy desktop colors.
The costlier version is the UpLift “Custom Laminate” L-desk featuring five sizes and six HPL colors. The notable aesthetic difference versus the cheaper unit, other than the size and color combos available, is that where the two desktops meet there is a radiused inside corner instead of the classic 90-degree inside corner, which is a nice touch.
The MultiTable Mod-E Pro Electric L-Desk starts at $1,369 and comes in four sizes and five colors of a thin, 3/4″ HPL desktop. While we know the MultiTable L-desk base is made in Asia, there have been previous claims that their tops are made-in-America. As stripped down and basic as an L-desk can get, the Multitable is a simple product with few options, yet as hard to assemble as it’s Jiecang-based competitors. It currently stands at a 1-star review, however, due to the fact that users cannot select sizes when ordering off their website, apparently due to a long-standing software bug. So if you want one of these you’ll probably have to call.
All the products in the economy tier feature comparable warranties of seven years on the bases and notably no warranty on the desktops.
In the premium tier of $2000-$2300 you have the choice of an entirely made-in-the-USA, iMovR Lander L-Desk (starting at $2,048) or Human Solution’s L-Shaped Custom Solid Wood Desk, utilizing the Chinese Jiecang base and American-sourced wood for the tops (starting at $2,304).
The iMovR Lander L-Desk is the newest, state-of-the-art, standing L-desk to hit the market, featuring a whopping 1,920 size and color combinations just in their Surf(x) 3D laminated tops (we hear that real wood and other desktop options are planned in the near future). These ergo-contoured tops are not only aesthetically superior to any other lamination technology, they’re more durable and will even stand up to harsh cleaning chemicals. Even the grommet holes are completely laminated, giving these tops the look of being carved from natural wood, at a fraction of the price—and you don’t need any ugly plastic grommet covers to hide raw MDF.
One of the key advantages of iMovR’s on-demand-manufacturing is that their 3D laminated tops can be offered in 640 size combinations, from 65” to 83” per side (in 6” increments), and with the option of 24” depth on the side table, not just 30”, as well as a peninsula-end option for the side table.
The unique architecture of the Lander L-Desk’s ergo-contoured tops allows you to swap the side table from one side to the other should you ever change your office configuration, saving you the hassle and expense of getting rid of one table and buying another. And if you ever move to a new office without enough room to make an L-desk you can simple remove the side section and have a fully-functioning 2-legged standing desk remaining. These kinds of post-purchase modifications are simply not possible with other electric L-desks, so keep this in mind should you foresee any office relocation or remodeling down the road.
Also unique to the iMovR Lander is that it’s the only height-adjustable L-desk with the grain running in the same direction all along the entire desk surface, whereas all the other L-desks have the grains of the two tops running perpendicular to one another. While this is a non-issue with solid colored tops, perpendicular wood grain directions can be visually cacophonous.
The Lander L-Desk arrives 90% pre-assembled, making it ten times easier to assemble than the Fully, Uplift or MultiTable options. Its advanced height control paddle comes with a Bluetooth-enabled smartphone app for controlling your desk and taking advantage of its built-in “health coach” feature. For shared workstations each user can carry their own height preferences and coach settings around on their smartphone, and sync up every time they walk up to that workstation. Enterprise customers appreciate the ability to build the desk easily without having to schedule professional installers.
The Human Solution offers their L-Desk in an upgraded natural wood version for about $1,000 to $2,400 more depending on which of the 13 offered species you select. These come in five size combinations. Note that some natural wood tops require 10-12 weeks for shipping. One downside to the natural wood version is that the radiused inside corner featured on their custom laminate desk goes away, leaving you with the standard 90-degree inside corner. The base is the same Jiecang that UpLift uses on their economy tier L-desks.
In the ultra-premium price tier of $4000-$6000 there’s the new Lander L-Desk in Solid Wood, with 36 different species/stain combinations of sustainable, domestically-grown and hand-crafted desktops—bringing the total number of customizable versions of this desk to over 6,000 combos. If you’re looking for the very pinnacle of sit-stand L-desk design, this would be your go-to choice. The wowing photo at the top of this page is that of a maple top with “leather” finish.
There are some differences to note between the solid-wood and 3D-laminate versions of this iMovR L-desk. Manufacturing time is 3-5 weeks for solid wood versus one week for 3D-laminate. On the 3D version the desk extension is interchangeable between the left and right side of the desk (a feature unique to iMovR), whereas on the solid wood version you have to order a permanent left-side or right-side orientation, like all other L-desks. While there is no groove at all where the two desktop sections meet the grain does change direction at this interface (again, as it does on all other L-desks with wood grain tops).
Going the DIY Route
You can go the DIY route if you’d like to make your own desktops, but don’t expect to save a lot of money doing so. All these manufacturers sell their 3-legged bases in standalone form (iMovR also has their standalone Vigor base for extra heavy tops like granite). See our Guide to DIY Standing Desk Bases for more information.
If you’re budget sensitive and don’t mind the lower-quality bases and tops from Asia, the UpLift, Jarvis and Multitable L-desks are all relatively comparable, with the exception that UpLift also offers $1,000-$2,400 upgrades from their basic HPL tops to natural wood tops.
For about $600 more than one of the economy models you could spring for the higher-quality, American-made, state-of-the-art iMovR Lander L-Desk, and choose from 640 size and color combinations. Because the Lander is 90% factory pre-assembled, you’ll be up and running in less than 15 minutes rather than spending a good chunk of your day building your new desk or having to pay a professional installer to do it (see assembly video). And the cool Bluetooth-enable smartphone app is a bonus.
Making a choice between Asian-sourced and American-made for an L-Desk is similar to making the choice for a standard 2-legged desk, which you can read all about in our primer on How Asian-Made Standing Desks Compare to American-Made. While stability is less of a concern with a 3-legged desk, precision manufacturing tolerances and precision electronic controls are paramount to ensuring that the three legs move up and down in perfect unison; if one leg gets out of sync with the others, the entire desk could easily break. (With recently introduced Chinese tariffs it’s also likely that the Jiecang base desks (from Fully and UpLift) will be getting significantly pricier in the near future.)
Because adjustable-height L-desks are bigger investments than standard 2-legged standing desk our advice is to go with quality components that are sure to last a long time. One indication of quality is the warranty term a manufacturer provides on their product. Jarvis, UpLift and MultiTable offer 7-year warranties on their bases and no warranty on their tops. iMovR offers an industry-leading 10-year warranty on both its bases and 5 years on the desktops, plus their standard 100-day satisfaction guarantee.
While all the L-desks can be customized in length on both the left and right side of the desk, the Lander is the only one with a 24”-deep option for one size, and this piece of the desk can be easily swapped to the left or right side, offering more versatility than any of the other electric L-desk. The peninsula option is also great if you plan to meet with clients across your desk, and another feature exclusive to iMovR’s Lander line.
Another brilliant aspect of the Lander L-desk design is that you can buy the main 2-legged desk first and add the side table later—no other manufacturer offers this kind of upgradability. The difference between this desk and a standard Lander Desk is that the controller has a third port for the third lifting column, and the tops are pre-drilled for adding the side table down the road. This is a great option if you plan to move to a larger office in the future and want the flexibility of converting it to an L-shaped desk.
If you already bought a regular Lander desk from iMovR and are upset to have missed out on the L-Desk, don’t worry because iMovR has your back with an upgrade option to make your desk a full L-Desk if you are willing to drill a few of your own holes and switch out the 2 leg to 3 leg motor controller box. The side table is still 90% factory pre-assembled, so installation is as easy as they could make it.
See our detailed reviews of each L-desk by clicking on the name of the desk in the review abstracts below. Note that all prices in the reviews are inclusive of shipping costs. Reviews are ranked by our staff experts’ ratings. Learn more about how we conduct our lab reviews here.
Pros: More size/color combinations than any other standing L-desk (1,920). 3D tops are made with advanced Surf(x) 3-D laminate, ergo-contoured and ultra-durable. Wood grain runs in same direction for the entire desk surface, uniquely among electric L-desk offerings. Solid-wood tops are hand-crafted from domestically-grown, highly sustainable species. Arrives 90% pre-assembled, requiring about eight minutes to put together. High-tech features like Bluetooth-enabled height control paddle that connect to smartphone app; users can store their own height preferences and health coach settings in their phones. Longest warranty on any standing L-Desk (10 years on base, 5 years on desktops).
Cons: Slight groove between the two tabletop sections in 3D-laminate tops, but it does preserve ergo-contouring all around every edge of the desk (not found on any other sit-to-stand L-desk) and makes it possible for the side table to be easily swapped from left to right anytime.
Sizes offered: Main desk is 30” deep and comes in 65”, 71”, 77”, 83”, 89″ and 95″ widths. Side extension can be either 24” or 30” deep, with widths of 65”, 71” or 77”, for a total of 24 size combos. The side table also comes in a “peninsula” variation, adding another 16 size combos, for a whopping total of 40 different L-desk size options. Now available with iMovR’s patented SteadyType Keyboard Tray. This keyboard tray is built-in to the tabletop, offering extraordinary typing stability. It also tilts downwards with a wide adjustment range, so you can find the most ergonomically-sound typing position whether you’re sitting or standing.
Colors offered: A total of 16 3D-laminate colors are offered, including 5 solid colors, 8 wood grain and 3 specialty colors including Carbon Fiber and 2 nebula colors. In solid wood there are eight species offered and a total of 36 species/stain combinations.
Pros: Upgrades the less expensive UpLift L-desk models to natural wood.
Cons: The ergonomic radiused inside corner on the less expensive desk goes away and you get the 90-degree intersection back. For such nice tops it seems odd to pair with a low-quality Chinese base. Desks are only available with 30”-deep tops on both left and right sides. Difficult assembly.
Sizes offered: 60×60, 66×66, 72×72, 78×78, 84×84
Colors offered: 13 species of natural wood
Pros: Main differentiator with the cheaper UpLIft L-desk is that this one has an ergonomic radiused inside corner instead of 90-degrees. Two more sizes offered. Nebula colors offered (popular with some corporate buyers). Desks are only available with 30”-deep tops on both left and right sides.
Cons: Awkward vertical groove where the two desktop sections meet. Difficult assembly.
Sizes offered: 60x60x30, 66×66, 72×72, 78×78, 84×84
Colors offered: 2 solid, 4 wood grain and 2 nebulae in 1” HPL
Pros: Least expensive option for an electric L-desk, a reasonable option for the home office where one of the limited size offerings can fit well.
Cons: Awkward vertical groove where the two desktop sections meet. Side tables are an odd 27” depth versus industry standard of 24” or 30”, so may be too deep or not deep enough for common cubicle configurations. Low-mounted stability enhancement bar can be an obstruction to the seated user (and shouldn’t be necessary for an L-desk). Difficult assembly.
Sizes offered: 60×60, 72×60, 72×72
Colors offered: HPL black, oak or walnut. Also bamboo is offered but just in 81×60 or 81×72
Pros: Inexpensive and very simple.
Cons: HPL tops are only ¾” thick, where most of the competition offers 1” to 1.25” thick tops. Asian-made base, not known for being of the highest quality. Difficult assembly. Weak motors are slow (1.4″/sec) and light duty (330 lbs).
Small Desk Top: 24” X 40“ X ¾”
Medium Desk Top: 24” X 48“ X 3/4”
Large Desk Top: 29” X 57“ X 3/4”
Extra Large Desk Top: 29” X 72“ X 3/4”
Custom Desk Tops: Min. 24” X 47” X 3/4” – Max. 36” X 84” X 3/4″
Colors offered: 2 solid and 3 wood grains.
Completing Your Ergonomic Workstation
Acquiring the best standing desk for your decor, budget and performance requirements is Step One. But making it a true ergonomic workstation involves adding the appropriate accessories you’ll need to keep your body in a correct posture, and have a neat and tidy setup. Check out our comprehensive guides to monitor arms, keyboard trays, anti-fatigue mats, ergonomic seats, cable management kits, power management modules, foot rests and under-desk treadmills for both expert advice and lab-tested product reviews of options in each of these categories.
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