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A guide to every type of sit-stand desk

Deciding you'd like to try a sit-stand desk is an excellent start to a healthier working life - but it is just the start. With hundreds of models to choose from, how do you find the right sit-stand desk for you?

Having the choice to sit or stand to work can change how we feel both physically and mentally. This simple movement activates the muscles and raises the heart rate, which over the working day can add up and not only burn a few extra calories, but more importantly, help stimulate the mind, allowing for better focus, confidence and creativity.

This is our brief guide to the different types of sit-stand desk available.

Sit-stand platforms

Sit-stand platforms are designed to be placed on top of existing worktops to provide an adjustable surface that can be used in both sitting and standing positions. This is a practical, lower cost solution that means you don't need to get rid of your existing desk or spend a lot of money on a full-sized sit-stand desk.

Sit-stand platforms are popular for home offices - especially smaller, more streamlined models like the DeskRite 100, Ergotron WorkFit, or the VARIDESK Pro 30.

If you have a lot of equipment - whether that's dual monitors, or an additional laptop or tablet you like to keep nearby while you work, we recommend investing in a larger platform like the VARIDESK Exec 40, or the slightly cheaper VARIDESK Pro Plus 48.

Sit-stand platforms come in a variety of styles, including:

Portable

Most sit-stand platforms are too heavy to be easily moved from desk to desk. In 2018 we developed a new-concept sit-stand platform called the Opløft. Working with a couple of bright young Danish designers, we developed a platform that was strong, yet thin and light enough to be easily stored away and carried between different rooms or desks. Opløft is ideal for a home office or hot-desking environment.

Cascade

If your work tasks require you to use reference papers and documents, you might prefer to try a cascade style of sit-stand desk, like the Lotus™ series of sit-stand workstations by Fellowes, which feature a sloped back panel between the top and bottom tiers, allowing you to rest documents and books here for added productivity.

Manual adjustment sit-stand desks

If you would prefer your entire desk to be height adjustable, you can opt for a full-sized sit-stand desk, which comes with a choice of mechanisms: manual and electric. Manual crank desks, like the DeskRite 200, feature a handle crank to move the surface up and down to any height. This gives you all the benefits of a full sit-stand desk but at a lower price. Choose from a range of smart wood finishes and keep your worktop neat and tidy with the inbuilt cable management system.

Electric sit-stand desks

Take the effort out of adjusting your workstation entirely with an electric sit-stand desk like the high quality DeskRite 500. At the push of a button you can queitly and smoothly rise or drop to your desired height. Accessories like the Linak Wellness Switch can be added to count calories and set timers to remind you to stand up.

Corner cut sit-stand desks

If you're working with a small or oddly-shaped space, a corner desk like the VARIDESK Cube Corner 36 can slot into room corners to help make use of otherwise wasted space. Shaped desks can also help with ergonomics and productivity. Try the DeskRite 500 Right Stance, or DeskRite 500 Left Stance if you frequently move between typing and handwriting - the nook allows you to sit at an angle so you can swivel between the two tasks comfortably.

Bench system sit-stand desks

If you are buying for your entire office, a bench system is the most efficient solution. The DeskRite Evolve Sit-Stand Bench Desk System keeps the area neat, compact and stylish and allows you to configure your office to your own preferences. The surfaces share a frame but operate individually so staff can choose to sit or stand whenever they want.

Arms and monitor raisers

There a number of smaller sit-stand solutions if you don't have the space for a full-sized desk or platform. The Portable Height Adjustable Desk can easily be wheeled around - whether in an office, lab, clinic, or in the home. It supports a laptop at standing height with a number of tilt adjustments, and folds down for easy storage when not needed.

The Mukava Reading Table provides a similar experience. The adjustable surface is large enough for a tablet or laptop, and can be adjusted to standing height - or it can act as a simple reading table at sitting height.

The Easy Glide Sit-Stand Work Platform is a monitor arm with a platform for your keyboard and mouse so you can stand up to work for short bouts of time. This is ideal for communal and collaborative spaces.

Still not sure what sit-stand desk to buy? Browse all sit-stand desks and platforms here.