The Best Standing Desks Under $400

January 23, 2023

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Best Stand Up Desks Under $400 Standing desk reviews Ikea bekant Autonomous SmartDesk 2

If you’re looking to get a cheap standing desk, 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. This is where our lab tests really serve to separate the wheat from the chaff.

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 affordable standing desks to consider, we previously asked our editors to compile their top picks under $700. Now we’ve asked them to compile the best you can buy for under $400.

You should note that the cost of standing desks has gone up almost everywhere in the market ever since the pandemic with the increasing costs of raw materials and shipping globally, so there are fewer options than there used to be in this price range.

What Is The Cheapest Standing Desk?

The cheapest standing desk we’ve reviewed is the IKEA Knotten at $159 (and there are even cheaper options available on Amazon) but options in this ultra-low price range probably won’t be quite what you’re thinking of when you picture a standing desk. They might not be height adjustable (like the Knotten), they might have sketchy crank handles for manually adjusting the desk height (slowly and noisily), or they might have such obvious design flaws that they can’t possibly hold up to regular use.

As for the cheapest standing desk that looks like a standing desk, we’ve reviewed the IKEA Bekant that starts at $199. It has two legs and a top, and adjusts electrically. However, you’ll often find that standing desks like these are even trickier because you’re sacrificing somewhere to make this price fit. You can read our Bekant review for more detail, but put simply: Electric height adjustable desks in this price range tend to be underpowered, poorly made, very hard to assemble, and very quick to fail.

When considering standing desks in this price range, it’s also important to consider the alternative of adding a standing desk converter on top of your existing desk. You can get an excellent converter for the price of a very cheap desk. For more information on making the choice, check out our primer on Standing Desk vs. Sit-Stand Converter and see reviews of our Best Standing Desk Converters.

How Much Does A Stand Up Desk Cost?

Standing desks we’ve reviewed range from $159 to well over $2,000. Desks with solid wood or custom desktops can be much more expensive, the biggest and nicest solid wood L-desks ranging up to $8,000. So there’s quite a range, but to make it simple we split up the desks we’ve reviewed into four tiers:

Ultra Premium (over $1,100) standing desks should offer the best desk you can buy. In this price range you should expect stunning finishes and premium quality components. Go to Ultra Premium standing desks roundup.

Premium (under $1,100) standing desks require a bigger investment, but are feature-loaded, usually feature better build quality and warranties, and are sure to match the décor of the executive suite. Go to Premium standing desks roundup.

Value (under $800) standing desks 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 for the dollar. Go to Value standing desks roundup.

Budget (under $400) standing desks have been optimized for cost-savings. They have generally lower, though not necessarily poor, performance specs, and come with the smallest price points and shortest warranties.

The Budget category is what we’re discussing in this roundup.

Is A Standing Desk Worth It?

Are standing desks overrated? As with most questions, that depends on context. We know that sitting for long periods of time is terrible for you. We also know most people have to work (often at a computer) for long periods of time. How do you reconcile these two facts? You stand while working.

At the same time, a standing desk is not a panacea for all of your back and neck woes. Alone, it won’t help you lose a lot of weight. A standing desk is worth it if you’ll use it (and some have a very effective “health coach” feature to make sure you do). A standing desk that stays at sitting height is just an overly expensive desk that lacks storage.

We also find standing desks to be an excellent “gateway drug” into the world of ergodynamics. Once they start standing more, most people will be very happy and many of those will then move on to explore monitor arms, keyboard trays and treadmill desks.

How Cheap Is Too Cheap?

As part of assessing which cheap standing desk is best for you, we’d 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 $400—in fact, only one model meets 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. For more detailed criteria, see our article How We Conduct Standing Desk Reviews. For more information on what warranties cover and don’t cover, 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 US 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 far more reliable than the few sit-stand crank desks still on the market.

It is also worth noting that there are now fewer cheap standing desk options as a result of the new Chinese tariffs, so we’ve had to drop a few former contenders from the roster below. For example, the Stand Desk which found tremendous success as the first $400 standing desk on Kickstarter in 2014 now starts at $479.95 when configured bare bones.

As you might expect the cheapest standing desks most commonly emanate from China. Learn more about the differences in quality, durability and performance you can expect from Chinese-made Standing Desks versus Made-in-USA.

On to the reviews. To see the detailed reviews behind each of these abstracts just click on the link.

The Best Height Adjustable Desks Under $400

1. Eureka i1 Standing Desk

Experts’ Rating: 3.5-Stars

Relative to other products in this price range the iMovR+Eureka i1 Standing Desk offers better reliability, durability, tech features and ease of assembly. Arrives in one box, unlike any other electric standing desk we’ve seen so far. Only one size, only two desktop color options. We’d love to see more options. In terms of overall value in a desk under $400 this Eureka Ergonomic desk sweeps the category. None of the disappointing shortcomings of other desks in this price range, a solid bargain for your money. Read our full review

Price: $339

Read our full review Buy on Amazon


2. FlexiSpot Comhar Standing Desk

Experts’ Rating: 2.5-Stars

This desk is made for a laptop user who doesn’t have specific ergonomic needs like a keyboard tray or monitor arm. Options and weight capacity are minimal, and it, unfortunately, comes with a crossbar running between the legs right where your feet want to be. It’s a good value for those who don’t mind the drawbacks because of its price, easy assembly and built-in drawer and USB ports. Read our full review

Price: $340

Read our full review Buy on FlexiSpot


3. ApexDesk Lumi Glass Top Standing Desk

Experts’ Rating: 2.5-Stars

The glass top on the ApexDesk Lumi Standing Desk may sound like it will give your office a stylish upgrade, and on the surface, an undamaged version of the desk could do that, at least until you start using it. The glass easily picks up highly visible prints. The controller can be annoying to use before you get the presets established. Lack of safety features in the controller can be dangerous. And that isn’t mentioning the flaws that are overlooked by quality control or damage that happens in transit. But the USB port is a nice addition, and controller being in the glass desktop will protect it from bumps from office chair arms. It is also pretty easy to assemble, if not the fastest we have seen. But those perks are probably not enough to make up for something that is supposed to look stylish but likely won’t arrive that way, even at its low price point.

Price: $399

Read our full review Buy on ApexDesk


4. Northread Electric Standing Desk

Experts’ Rating: 2-Stars

This Northread adjustable-height desk is a low-cost addition to the available compact standing desk and those with quick installations (relative to other commodity-grade standing desks in this price range). It does have some nice features, like the extra power ports built into the controller and pencil drawer. On the other hand, the manufacturing quality is quite low, resulting in short warranties, open gaps to the inner mechanics, misaligned parts, and shaky stability. However, that is basically what you will get when paying that little for a product you are going to use almost every day.

Price: $349

Read our full review Buy on Amazon


5. Northread Glass Top Electric Standing Desk

Experts’ Rating: 2-Stars

This Northread electric standing desk is a cheap option for basic functionality of a standing desk. It has a glass top and comes in either black or white, to fit various décor. Glass tops might be difficult to keep clean, but are pretty when they are spotless. It isn’t ideal for the tallest or shortest users because the height range is limited with a single-stage design. Having a power strip, pencil drawer, and USB ports are nice bonuses, but if you want to mount anything with a clamp, the frame will get in the way. In general, this Northread glass top standing desk is a low-cost addition to the available compact standing desk and those with quick installations (relative to other commodity-grade standing desks in this price range).

Price: $349

Read our full review Buy on Amazon


6. mopio Sterling "Solid Wood" Standing Desk

Experts’ Rating: 1.5-Star

This standing desk from mopio uses a rubberwood desktop. This doesn’t really meet the expectation of a solid wood standing desk buyer, as rubberwood is about as cheap a wood as you can find in China to make furniture from, basically being scrap wood from trees that no longer produce latex (be sure to read our detailed article on rubberwood desktops). Overall this is a very cheap standing desk posing as a high-end solid wood desk. The one year warranty should be another red flag for consumers. If you do buy this desk be sure not to overload it, as it is extremely underpowered and likely not to last much longer than its warranty.

Price: $339

Read our full review Buy on Amazon


7. FlexiSpot Vici Quick Assembling Standing Desk (EC9)

Experts’ Rating: 1.5-Star

FlexiSpot uses the very use cheapest actuator mechanisms and a single-drive motor to make the Vici a bottom-dollar offering, and they only use only a single-stage base that won’t go low enough for very short people or high enough for very tall people. The Vici’s warranty is not great either (5 years for the frame, motor and other mechanisms, 2 years for the electronics, and zero on the desktop), which tells you about how much confidence they have in their own product. As for the promise of being “quick assembled” that is perhaps the most specious claim of all of FlexiSpot’s hyperbolic marketing copy (they literally put this in the product name).

Price: $299

Read our full review Buy on FlexiSpot


8. Autonomous SmartDesk 2 Standing Desk

Experts’ Rating: 1-Star

The company makes over-the-top marketing claims like “the highest-rated desk in the world” and maintains its bases are of “unparalleled technology.” As far as we can tell, the only things this company is “best in the world” at is their gift for marketing hyperbole, and finding the cheapest possible components to make a standing desk. Customer complaints on public forums number in the hundreds.

Price: $399

Read our full review Buy on Autonomous


9. IKEA Knotten Standing Desk

Experts’ Rating: 1-Star

The IKEA Knotten is great at what it is: A piece of furniture designed for storage in a foyer. The issue is when IKEA calls it a standing desk. It comes in one size and can’t handle either monitor arm or keyboard tray installation, so it’s in an ergonomic barren space. The desktop surface is very small. It is still an IKEA product, so installation is going to be a chore.

Price: $159

Read our full review Buy on Amazon


10. Stand Steady Tranzendesk Standing Desk

Experts’ Rating: 1-Star

One of the few standing desks we’ve seen that includes a clamp-attached monitor riser, The Stand Steady Tranzendesk is pretty unique in that it includes its own monitor riser (for a little extra cost). Customizability for the desk is incredibly lacking, with only one option for color and size. However that size is pretty decent for the amount of money you are putting into it. The height range is lacking on the short end, which isn’t great for shorter users. The low-quality top might not last all that long. It doesn’t really have the conveniences that most standing desks have, which is why it costs so little. One of the many “you get what you pay for” situations.

Price: $399.99

Read our full review Buy on Stand Steady


11. SHW Memory Preset Standing Desk

The SHW Memory Preset Standing Desk is a cheap option for a sit-stand workstation with a standard laminated tabletop and has a decent number of options in color and a few sizes.

Price: $194

Read our full review Buy on Amazon


12. FAMISKY Dual Motor Standing Desk

This FAMISKY Dual Motor Standing Desk is a sit-stand workstation option in a low price tier with a few color and size options that you can get through Amazon.

Price: $220

Read our full review Buy on Amazon


13. FlexiSpot Willow Standing Desk

The FlexiSpot Willow starts at $339.99 and comes with a solid wood top, which is quite cheap for a standing desk in solid wood. Though this translates to lower quality construction than competitor desks in solid wood. The collection ranges from super weak lifting capacity and a bit stronger with two motors. Several kinds of controllers let you choose from super simple to one with a bit more control.

Price: $339.99

Read our full review Buy on FlexiSpot


14. FlexiSpot E5 Standing Desk

The FlexiSpot E5 is cheap for a dual-motor, dual-stage desk, but it’s held back by poor stability and desktop quality.

Price: $389.99

Read our full review Buy on FlexiSpot


15. FlexiSpot E9 Standing Desk

The FlexiSpot E9 standing desk is another cheap option in the FlexiSpot lineup. It’s a single-motor, single-stage standing desk with no frills. The standout feature for the E9 is assembly.

Price: $299.99

Read our full review Buy on Flexispot


16. FlexiSpot E1 Standing Desk

Starting at just over $200, the E1 is an entry into the bottom-tier of the market for standing desks. The specs are generally unimpressive, as you would expect for this price, but there are many different desktop options.

Price: $310

Read our full review Buy on FlexiSpot


17. Vorii StellarDesk Standing Desk

The Vorii StellarDesk Standing Desk is a budget option from Vorii that is on the super affordable end of the spectrum of standing desks. At this price, it only offers the most basic of specifications and a tiny 5-year warranty. Though some available accessories can help in the organization and convenience of your workstation.

Price: $245

Read our full review Buy on Vorii


18. FEZiBO Electric Standing Desk

The FEZiBO Electric Standing Desk is pretty cheap for all of its sizes. That’s probably because it only offers a single motor and single stage legs, which is close to the bare minimum for standing desks. This isn’t including that a lot of the assembly is gonna fall on the user that can be complex and difficult. Stability will be lacking as well because of the lack of quality construction. A fabric pull-out drawer might help with storage issues. But with short warranties on the parts, it might not last as long as you want.

Price: $254.99

Read our full review Buy on FEZiBO


19. FlexiSpot Seiffen Standing Desk

The FlexiSpot Seiffen standing desk is a very configurable piece of office furniture that starts on the very cheap side of the price range. It does have a decent number of color options, and some sizes and colors offer a curved edge. You can even choose the frame you want to get the power and range you think you need for your workstation. Even the hand controller is customizable. Though having a short warranty calls into question the quality of all the parts.

Price: $309.99

Read our full review Buy on FlexiSpot


20. Stand Up Desk Store Basic Electric Standing Desk

The Stand Up Desk Store Basic Electric Standing Desk starts in the lower price range for the most simple model. However, this also means that it only has the specifications for bare minimums in power, height range, and likely durability. The warranty of only 5 years is indicative of the low quality on the various parts.

Price: $399

Read our full review Buy on Amazon


How About Building Your Own?

The other route to go when searching for a cheap standing desk is to build your desk with an inexpensive base and an inexpensive top. This is slightly more work because you have to make two purchases instead of one, but it shouldn’t add any more assembly since full desks in this price range generally require attaching the desktop as part of the installation. We’ve added abstracts below for all of the standing desk frames we’ve reviewed that are under $400. Be sure to check out our full roundup of electric base frames and our guide to choosing the right desktop for more information about the process of building your own desk.

The Best Standing Desk Frames Under $400

1. iMovR Freedom Standing Desk Base Frame

Experts’ Rating: 4-Stars

iMovR’s new Freedom Standing Desk Line takes cheaply-made imports to task, combining American-made quality with an impressively low price point.

Price: $524

Read our full review Buy on iMovR


2. iMovR Studio 470 Standing Desk Base Frame

Experts’ Rating: 4-Stars

The Studio 470 was designed for one purpose: to make a high-quality yet inexpensive small-sized standing desk. Supremely lightweight design is easy to handle and perfectly suited to the compact footprint. It is not the base to place under a large, heavy desktop, or to be used with a lot of desktop equipment. If you’re looking to make a fast and simple compact standing desk for use with a laptop setup or minimal computer gear this new robotically-manufactured base gives cheap Chinese-made DIY frames a serious run for the money.

Price: $399

Read our full review Buy on iMovR


3. VIVO Standing Desk Base Frame (V102E)

Experts’ Rating: 1-Star

One of the cheapest standing desk frames available, we can only barely recommend this frame for a medium-sized user on a super-low budget. It will enable correct ergonomic positions because you can add a keyboard tray and monitor arm, but the experience won’t be pleasant because of persistent and infuriating controller errors and horrible wobbliness at standing height. Overall it is a flawed design with extraordinarily poor quality construction.

Price: $249.99

Read our full review Buy on Amazon


4. Autonomous SmartDesk 2 Standing Desk Base Frame Only

Experts’ Rating: 1-Star

The company makes over-the-top marketing claims like “the highest-rated desk in the world” and maintains its bases are of “unparalleled technology.” As far as we can tell, the only things this company is “best in the world” at is their gift for marketing hyperbole, and finding the cheapest possible components to make a standing desk. Customer complaints on public forums number in the hundreds.

Price: $399

Read our full review Buy on Autonomous


5. FEZiBO Standing Desk Base Frame

Experts’ Rating: 1-Star

This is about the cheapest electric lifting base desk we’ve ever found in the retail market, and you can count on getting what you pay for in the poor overall quality. If you’re a medium-height user on a super-low budget, this desk should allow you to get into a solid ergonomic position since you can add accessories like a keyboard tray or monitor arm. However, you’re taking a risk with this Chinese-made desk leg kit because it has a track record of poor verified user reviews and zero warranty support.

Price: $179.99

Read our full review Buy on FEZiBO.com


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.

Need more help? Read how to find your correct desk height, then check out 10 ways to improve your office ergonomics and answers to the most common standing desk questions.



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