How to Select the Best Height Adjustable Desk

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Factors to consider when selecting a height adjustable desk
Standing Desks Height adjustment range comparison chart for electric desks
Height adjustment range comparison chart for gas or spring desks
Height adjustment range comparison chart for crank adjustable desks
Height adjustment range comparison chart for pin adjustable desks

Why consider a height adjustable desk?

Let's start off by discussing why someone would want a height adjustable desk. There are two primary reasons to consider a height adjustable desk.

1. To set the desk height to the correct height for the user. This is particularly helpful for shorter and taller users. People in wheelchairs also often benefit from a custom desk height. How tall the desk should be depends on the user and whether or not they are using a keyboard tray. Users without a keyboard tray will need the desk to go lower than those with a height adjustable tray. Consider a height adjustable desk for your children. It will grow as they do.

2. So the user can stand part of the day. Why stand? Research has shown for more than 30 years that sitting all day is unhealthy. In addition to adding to the obesity crisis, sitting is hard on the back. Additional concerns are poor circulation and after four hours, sitting can change the way blood sugar is handled by the body. Standing for an hour or two improves alertness and productivity. Dr. Mark Benden of Texas A&M University has done research showing that standing just two hours a day can help a person lose up to 20 lbs in just one year.

Factors to consider when choosing a desk

  • How high does the work surface need to be?
    • For sitting - sit in your chair with your feet flat on the floor, your knees approximately even with your hips (this is proper seated height). Your keyboard should be positioned low, in your lap so your forearms are approximately level with the floor when typing. If your keyboard tray doesn't let you do this, your desk may be too high. If your knees don't have enough room to move comfortably, a taller desk will be more comfortable.
    • For standing - we recommend the use of an anti-fatigue floor mat to reduce the stress of standing. Stand on the floor or the mat you will use. Your keyboard should be at the height that allows your forearms to be parallel to the floor.
    • Will the user only stand or sit and stand? We strongly recommend that you trade off between sitting and standing. As we've all learned over the years sitting all day at your desk can be very harmful, but standing all day can cause lower extremity issues.
    • Which desk best meets my sitting and standing height? Please make sure that the height adjustment meets your needs or look at adding a keyboard tray. A seated person who is 5'0" will need type at 21.4" to 21.9" (depending on chair height) off the floor and 36.4" to 36.9" off the floor when standing. On the other hand a 6'1" person will type at 29.5" - 30" while seated and 45.4" to 45.9" Standing.   
    • See Height Ranges Below:
    Choosing the best Sit Stand Desk Range
    • Pin-set height adjustable desks are meant to be set and left and are not well-suited for frequent height changes.
    • Crank desks use a crank (usually removable) to set or reset the height of the desk. Crank height adjustable desks usually do not have the height range to accommodate standing, and frequent height changes would be inconvenient. Crank desks are great for multi-user situations.
    • Gas cylinder or spring-assisted lift desks are a newer design and can allow for fast and easy height adjustments without requiring any electricity. This type of desk is an earth-friendly option.
    • Electric height adjustable desks offer maximum adjustment range and are easy to change from sitting to standing height in a matter of seconds. Some models offer memory settings and/or digital displays for height.
    • Will the user be installing a keyboard tray? We recommend using a height and angle adjustable keyboard tray for maximum positioning flexibility for the keyboard and mouse. However, pedestal desks may not always have enough clearance to handle a full length track (usually 22"). Shorter tracks are available for many brands but using one will prevent the tray from storing completely under the desk. Whether or not this is a problem depends on the user.

Single surface or dual? Most users will benefit from a single desk surface. Bi-level surfaces offer a built-in keyboard platform that is height adjustable and sometimes angle adjustable (depends on the model). However we don't recommend these for most purposes as tilting the keyboard platform can cause everything to slide off the desk, and the front platform will not push underneath the rear part of the desk. This makes the main surface hard to reach for phone access or writing.

Check out our selection of height adjustable standing desks.

Choose the best sit stand height for you

Standing Desk Height Adjustment Range on Electric Desks

Brand Height Range Legs or Pedestal? Memory
Uprise Desk 24" - 50.5" 2 or 3 legs Yes
 S2S Desk 24" - 49" 2 or 3 legs Yes. Standard
Conset 501-27 22" - 48" 2 or 3 legs No
Conset 501-29 24" - 51" 2 or 3 legs No
Conset 501-19 25" - 46" pedestal No
ESI Rectangle Desk 24" - 50.5" 2 or 3 legs Yes
Ergoprise 2 Stage 27" - 47" 2 or 3 legs Yes
Ergoprise 3 Stage 24.5" - 51" 2 or 3 legs Yes.  
Sis Move 24" - 48" pedestal No
Sis Xtreme 24.5" - 51.5" 2 legs No
Sis Surf 2 22.1" - 48.6" 2 or 3 legs Optional
SpaceCo ILS 24" - 50" 2 or 3 legs Optional
Workrite Sierra 22" - 48" 2 or 3 legs Yes
Workrite Sierra HX 22" - 48" 2 or 3 legs Yes

Standing Desk Height Adjustment Range on Spring and Gas-Activated Desks

Brand Height Range Pedestal or Legs
Sis Move 26" - 45" Pedestal
Humanscale Float 27" - 47" Legs

Height Adjustment Range on Crank Desks

Brand Height Range Legs or Pedestal?
ESI Ergo 26" - 42" 2 or 3 legs
Idea at Work Proliftix 27.25" - 43.25" 2 legs
Mayline Basic 22" - 33" 2 legs
Right Angle NewHeights NC 27" - 47" 2 or 3 legs
Sis Move 24" - 48" pedestal
Sis Basix 24.25" - 52.25" 2 legs
Sis Xtreme 24" - 50" 2 or 3 legs
Workrite Sierra 22" - 34" 2 or 3 legs
Workrite Sierra HX 22" - 34" 2 or 3 legs

Height Adjustment Range on Pin Set Desks

Brand Height Range Legs or Pedestal?
ESI Ergo 26" - 42" 2 or 3 legs
Idea at Work Proliftix 27.25" - 43.25" 2 legs
Sis Basix 25" - 34" 2 legs
Workrite Sierra 22" - 34" 2 or 3 legs
Workrite Sierra HX 22" - 34" 2 or 3 legs


How to pick the best retrofit sit-stand workstation solution for your specific needs:

Finding the Best Sit Stand Workstations

You’ve read the headlines – Sitting Is the New Smoking!  However, Standing All Day can be Detrimental so, what are we to do?  Answer, a series of transitions of both throughout the day.

Sitting and Standing throughout the work day will have tremendous health benefits.  But confusion always occurs when there are too many of any solution to choose from. Our goal at is to assist you in finding the best justification for a Sit to Stand Workstation that meet your needs.  This guide this is to provide the most comprehensive and balanced overview.  It is our sincerest intent to show an extensive summary of the product (including the ideal height range for each solution).

One of the most important factors when choosing a retrofit for the workstation is that you can sit and stand in the most ergonomic and comfortable posture as possible. On the following page, I’ve enclosed two images from Dr. Hedge of the Cornell School of Ergonomics that will provide a helpful visual & convey information to understanding the importance of a proper set-up.

One of our greatest concerns which rarely is addressed with any desk-on-desk riser, is that they truly limit the users if the keyboard tray does not adjust below the work surface.  We’ve enclosed two graphics from the Cornell University School of Ergonomics of the ideal typing posture. We married Cornell’s ergonomic workstation guideline with the average female and male anthropocentric dimensions while seated and standing. This will give you an idea of what workstations will work for your height.  Knowledge is power; we truly believe that when one understands the correct seated, standing & eye height parameters, you will be amazed how important the technical specifications will determine which Sit to Stand Workstation is best for EVERYONE.

Finding the Best Sit Stand Workstations

 Best Sit Stand Workstation Position By Height

 In-depth Spreadsheet Comparison: Side-by-side Sit Stand Workstation Comparison 3-2-16