What Are the Best SmartDesk Alternatives?

March 3, 2021

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smartdesk alternatives

You love the price of the $448 SmartDesk 2 standing desk, but not the terrible reviews and lack of size and color options, so you may be asking what’s a worthy budget standing desk that is going to perform well and last a long time trouble-free? Our expert reviews staff has put together their top recommendations for standing desks that start under $650 including shipping.

Stay With Chinese-Made?

Not surprisingly, the most popular desks are the least expensive, and that translates to made-in-China. Of the dozens of standing desks we’ve reviewed at WorkWhileWalking several are best on the commodity Jiecang base frame, and for the most part their prices are equivalent, be it Jarvis, UpLift or any other peer using the same platform. For the same configuration as the SmartDesk 2 one of these will set you back only about $630. On the plus side their warranties are longer at seven years, and they have WAY more desktop size and color options.

standdesk review
The StandDesk Pro is a good economical option, and features a longer warranty than any other Chinese-made desk.

Priced in between, however, is the StandDesk Pro, which is our top pick for a made-in-China alternative to the Autonomous SmartDesk. It costs less than the Jarvis or UpLift, and comes with a ten-year warranty. StandDesk doesn’t yet offer as many desktop options as their pricier competitors but they’re adding more all the time, and they definitely offer a whole lot more than Autonomous ever will.

The one big consideration going this route is stability (read more in our primer on Why Some Standing Desks Shake More Than Others), so if you’re thinking of a desk larger than 30″ x 60″ or you’re a taller-than-average individual you might want to move up to American-made and get a desk that’ll give you a more ergonomic solution and positive user experience.

Or Go American?

It’s a surprisingly short hop from the top-end of Chinese-sourced stand up desks to the low-end of American made. Standing desks that are made in the USA are far more reliable, durable and quiet compared to the Chinese brands. Learn all about the differences in manufacturing processes and component quality in our primer on Made-in-America Standup Desks.

Most American-made standing workstations are priced significantly higher than the aforementioned, such as the iMovR Lander (pre-assembled, with its own smartphone app) or Humanscale Float Table (fast-moving counterbalance base). But there is a terrific option at nearly the same price point as the Jiecang-based models that features the same precision manufacturing, 3D laminated desktop surfaces and ten-year warranty of iMovR’s higher-end desks, the Freedom line.

iMovR Energize Stand Up Desk
The iMovR Energize is the least expensive American-made standing desk, with superior quality and performance, yet surprisingly close in price to the higher-quality desks made in China.

iMovR’s Freedom line includes the lowest-cost American desk made today, the Energize, and its SteadyType-equipped cousin the Cascade. These are both top-rated standing desks, very easy to assemble (pre-assembly option also available), and they come in an astounding assortment of sizes, shapes and colors numbering in the thousands of combinations.

The Takeaway

If budget rules and you’re OK with going Chinese-made, the StandDesk Pro is our experts’ pick for the best value and reliability. If you can stretch another $100 or so you’re into made-in-America territory with the iMovR Energize, in its wide array of standard, compact and corner configurations.


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