The Best Sit-Stand Desks Under $800
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If you’re looking to get into a sit-stand desk on a budget, the good news is there are many options on the market to choose from. The bad news is that not all of them are of decent quality. Our experts have lab tested dozens of sit-stand desks over the years (you can see all of them in our Best Sit-Stand Desk Reviews round-up). As we frequently get requests from readers for a short list of the best budget sit-stand desks to consider, we asked our editors to compile their top picks here.
As part of assessing which sit-stand desk is best for you, we’d also like to point out some other important articles on the subject, which we highly recommend any prospective desk buyer reads before they commit to one brand or model over another. Probably the most important is our primer on Why Some Sit-Stand Desks Shake More Than Others, since reasonable stability is going to be the main thing that will be hard to find in a desk under $800—only a few models meet our experts’ standards in this price range.
Along with stability, any buyer should be concerned about manufacturing quality, ease-of-assembly, ease-of-use, customer support and warranty when buying a product of this complexity and cost. There’s a bright dividing line between American-made and Chinese-import when it comes to sit-stand desks. Surprisingly, there are now American-made options under $700, included below. To learn more about the differences between made-in-USA and Chinese-made sit-stand desks, and to learn about higher-end options in American-made, too, check out our primer on Made-in-America Standing Desk Reviews. For more information on warranties, be sure to read our primer on How to Compare Warranties on Standing Desks.
We have not included any manual sit-stand desks in this round-up because they represent less than 2% of the market at this point; the electric sit-stand desk has won the game, and at this point there are numerous electric desks that are less expensive and better than the few sit-stand crank desks still on the market.
The Best Sit-Stand Desks Under $800
When you need a desk as fast as possible, and are willing to pay a little bit more to not have to worry about product quality, reliability, durability or lack of cutting edge features. What you trade off is size and color personalization, but those desks take longer to built-to-order and ship.
iMovR has managed to take the industry’s #1-rated, premium-technology standing desk, the original Lander, keep 90% of the technology features and significantly lower the entry price with this new Lander Lite offering. Like the original, it’s made entirely in the USA from the highest quality materials and highest precision robotic manufacturing techniques, resulting in a superior value to the consumer. It’s a winner because of features like factory pre-assembly, Bluetooth-enabled height control paddle and smartphone app, built-in health coach, and the choice of 58 colors of Surf(x) 3D-laminated or solid wood desktops are accessible to a lot more users at this great price point.
iMovR’s new Freedom Standing Desk Line takes cheaply-made imports to task, combining American-made quality with an impressively low price point. The Energize model (reviewed here) features iMovR’s standard ergo-contoured, 3D-laminated tabletop while the Cascade model includes iMovR’s built-in SteadyType™ keyboard tray.
Another entrant in the category of standing desks with drawers, the FlexiSpot Esben distinguishes itself from the similarly priced and similarly featured FlexiSpot Theodore with an extra drawer and more utilitarian looks.
The FlexiSpot Theodore is very specifically designed for the person who wants a drawer in their standing desk, and doesn’t intend to install any ergonomic accessories like a keyboard tray or monitor arm. It’s minimalist in performance specs, easy to assemble, and if it matches your traditional office decor, it may be one of the best values out there.
The first standing desk to ship in one box, the Eureka i1 is actually brimming with features for a desk that costs only $399. It’s single size option, limited color options, limited height adjustment range and low lifting capacity will not be for everyone, but if you’re looking for a budget standing desk you won’t have to replace within a year of buying it, this is a solid product backed by a solid engineering-focused company.
As commercial office furniture sales plummeted with the pandemic, Knoll and its Big Furniture peers (Steelcase, Herman Miller, et al) all scrambled to get a “WFH” (work from home) desk line in the market. These are not digitally-native companies and all their offerings have been artificially constrained so as not to cannibalize sales from their historically exclusive commercial furniture dealer channels. It seems Knoll tried the least to make a viable offering, likely to also avoid channel conflict with Fully, which it acquired in 2019. The Hipso may have hip branding, but the offering is so constrained in height range, sizes and colors offered, warranty length, etc., that even at this price point it is completely uncompetitive.
An exclusive private-label desk offered only through a single ergonomics products retailer, Fully, the Jarvis is built on a commodity base frame made by Jiecang of China (see our separate lab test review of the Jiecang base). A minor modification of a heavier foot distinguishes it slightly from direct competitor UpLift Desk. Fully offers many choices for its desktops, including very cheap Chinese-made options and very pricey American-made alternatives. The standalone Jarvis base gets high review marks on Amazon from DIYers who use their own tabletops. Compares favorably against other Chinese-sourced bases like Uplift, S2S and Conset. But for slightly more you can get an American-made base if not an entirely made-in-America desk from makers like iMovR.
It’s no secret that we’re not fans of the poor general quality of Autonomous standing desks, so we’ll have to just say the SmartDesk First Class is the “best of the worst.” First Class is a misnomer as this desk represents a mere $50 upgrade over the SmartDesk 2 Business Edition, which doesn’t put it anywhere near the premium desk category. One desktop option and only four color combos is so limiting we can’t understand how Autonomous expects a lot of buyers for this, their new “signature line” standing desk. Taiwanese linear actuators do give the First Class a definite edge over their other commodity-produced, Chinese standing desk frames.
($3.5B+) Steelcase is the biggest brand in commercial office furniture but this new Solo standing desk is targeting the home office user, and the jury is still out on whether the company can eventually learn how to sell to and support the residential customer. The Solo desk aims to hit a $600-$700 price point with stripped-down basics and limited size and color offerings, but a much easier assembly process than their other desk lines that they’ve repositioned and repriced for the home office. Based on a new Linak base made in a new Thai factory, it circumvents the higher cost of American-made or Danish-made Linak bases while avoiding Chinese tariffs and quality issues. The desktop, however, is very basic, not of the highest quality, and at 55 dB it may be one of the noisiest electric frames out there.
It’s popular. Really popular. Not necessarily because it’s an awesome product but because it’s very heavily advertised, with hyperbolic marketing claims that don’t hold up to close inspection. The UpLift is probably the top-selling, Chinese-made commodity standing desk on the market in the sub-$800 price tier, now on its third generation design (the “V2”). The improvements over the last generation appear to be more behind-the-scenes in cost reduction moves than in tangible, valuable features that can benefit most users. After weeks of testing in our labs our reviewers detail the pros and cons of the new design.
The V2-Commercial carries over the standard V2’s negatives and adds a couple of its own—a crossbar, plus limited maximum height for taller and treadmill users. Outside of a few very specific scenarios, there’s no reason to pick the V2-Commercial over the standard V2.
The StandDesk was created by millennials, is marketed straight at millennials, and has been gobbled up by millennials in impressive volumes. While it carries a ten-year warranty (the longest of any Chinese-made base), in this case it’s not necessarily a reliable indicator of the expected useful life of the lifting columns. But for the price, the StandDesk is a great lower-cost alternative to the UpLift, Jarvis and other Chinese-made desks. Despite its stability issues this is a far better product than the Autonomous SmartDesk or IKEA Bekant could ever hope to be, and a good value overall. It’s the mid-priced offering in the broad category of Chinese-made desks that is winning over customers from both its cheaper and pricier peers.
If you’re a fan of IKEA DIY assembly projects and already own other pieces from IKEA’s Idasen furniture collection that you want to match, this desk might be worth consideration. Only two color schemes and two desktop sizes make this one of the most limited options in the standing desk world, where some models come in literally thousands of variations. For the money you could do much, much better. And with most standing desks shipping in one week or less these days, waiting a few more days to get a higher-quality desk of just the right color and size for your office would be wise. Read the full review to understand our review experts’ numerous caveats on quality, reliability and ergonomics.
Autonomous has revamped their website, changed the names of many of their desks and increased prices in an effort to change their reputation. The SmartDesk Core helps in that effort with an improved warranty and more desktop options, though there’s still plenty of work to do to bring this desk up to the next tier of more durable, reliable, and higher value standing desks. Despite its new website’s impressive marketing polish, Autonomous still has both feet firmly planted in the “race to the bottom,” commodity-grade category of Chinese-built standing desks.
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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