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Working from home? You need a comfortable stand-up desk that improves your productivity and preserves your health. To help you choose the best standing desk, I’ve put 6 best-selling sit-stand desks to the ultimate test. Specifically, I’ve evaluated how they stack up in terms of:
- build quality
- value for money
.. and more.
I’ll provide you with full insight into my judging criteria shortly. But first, let me put 6 most popular stand-up desks under the microscope and reveal my #1 choice.
Best overall stand-up desk.
The UpDown Pro Desk has taken the #1 spot in my review of Australian stand-up desks because it provides the best range of customisation options in a stylish and well-priced package.
This desk is very well-made and rich in desktop options, including Victorian Ash, Jarrah, Bamboo, Messmate and hard-wearing Melamine board.
I found the Australian-sourced, recycled hardwood eucalypt desktop (also known as Messmate) to be the most attractive option, with Victorian Ash and Acacia in a tie for second place.
I loved the fact that UpDown Desk offers a risk-free, 30-day trial on all of its Pro series electric standing desks.
This is a spectacularly long trial period that enables you to experience the desk with complete peace of mind. Even more impressively, the company will pay for the cost of the shipping if you choose to return the desk.
The best feature of the Up Down Pro desk, however, is the huge range of options that enable you to further personalise your workspace to your needs. Choose castor wheels, monitor arms, handy lockable drawers and power rails to build an ergonomic, stylish and efficient workspace – to your exact spec.
Build quality is also second-to-none.
The desk responds quickly to control-pad input and remains rock-solid even at the tallest heights.
In case something does break or get wobbly, the frame and electrical components are backed by a 10-year Australian warranty.
While the UpDown Pro desk’s range of options is comprehensive, this makes it quite easy to spend above your budget.
By the time you option your desk with a beautiful hardwood desktop, a lockable drawer, a cable tray, an anti-fatigue standing mat and a power rail (essential, IMHO), you may find yourself spending more than you had initially planned.
My other (albeit minor) frustration is the fact that the cable management holes are optional. To spec your desk with these you will need to purchase an $84 set of grommets.
The company will drill the holes for you (if you purchase the grommets at the same time as the desk), but be mindful that this will void the 30-day trial on the desktop.
My suggestion is that you skip the cable management holes altogether (to preserve the 30-day trial), run your cables directly to the back and be sure to spec your stand-up desk with a power rail + cable tray.
This will keep all your cables neatly tucked behind the rear of the desk and your power sources within easy reach. (I personally really dislike having to fish under my desk for an available power socket).
The UpDown Pro Series is my #1 recommended stand-up desk in Australia because it has every feature you need in a stylish package that will add to – not detract from – your WFH environment.
Personally, I’m a lover of solid wood furniture, which is why I upgraded to the UpDown Pro from the Artiss (see below).
If you are the same, opt for a hardwood Messmite or Victorian Ash desktop on your UpDown Pro desk – you won’t regret it. Not only is hardwood beautiful to the eye and great to touch, but at 27mm it’s 2mm thicker than the other options, which amplifies that rock-solid, quality feel.
✔ Huge selection of optional accessories
✔ 30-day, risk-free trial period
✔ Sturdy and wobble-free
✔ 100% Australian owned and made
✘ Options can get expensive
✘ No pre-made cable holes
The UpDown Pro Series stand-up desk isn’t cheap, but you do get what you pay for. Prices start at $899 for a desk with a Melamine desktop and top out north of $2,000 when specced with hardwood and optional extras.
The good news is that during September, UpDown will give you a bonus bundle, valued at $295, when you buy the Pro series desk. It includes a set of grommets and free shipping.
The grommets will be colour matched to the colour of your frame and the offer will present itself at checkout.
As a next step, I suggest you use the UpDown Desk Builder to configure your perfect desk and get an instant price.
➤ Load capacity: 150 kg
➤ Work area: 150cm (W) x 75cm (D)
➤ Extension Height: Between 64cm and 129cm
Best if you’re on a budget.
The Artiss is my #2 overall sit-stand desk because you get a lot of desk for a relatively small price.
Customers agree – the desk is currently the #1 Best Seller in Home Office Desks category on Amazon Australia, with a 4.6-star rating.
I had one of these desks in my home office for almost 2 years, until I upgraded to the UpDown Pro Series (mostly because I wanted a desk made from hardwood) – and I had very few complaints about it.
(The ones I did have are covered in the Cons section below).
Let’s start with simplicity. When ordering your Artiss desk, you only have two decisions to make – your desktop colour and your frame colour.
Well, to be perfectly honest, there’s also a choice of 120cm and 140cm desktop sizes, but I recommend that you automatically default to the larger 140cm size – unless you’re really, really constrained on space.
The lack of extra options means the price stays low while you get all of the essential features.
Further on that note, the desk includes cable management holes, complete with grommets – as standard (hooray!).
Because the Artiss stand up desk isn’t expensive, I was worried that its electronics would look and feel like they belong on a children’s toy.
To my great surprise, the height adjustment buttons proved to have a nice, tactile feel – and the control module itself features a minimalist, modern design.
While the desktop material doesn’t look and feel cheap, but it’s not going to be mistaken for solid hardwood Tasmanian Oak, either.
In my opinion, the look and feel of the desk are exactly spot-on for this price point. Think ‘Ikea’ rather than ‘Coco Republic’; the desk looks well-designed and charismatic rather than beautiful and unmistakably high-end.
If you do want the latter, get yourself an UpDown Pro (my #1 overall choice). You’ll have a piece that elevates your WFH space, and will last for 10+ years.
Another interesting observation is the Artiss‘ 70kg load capacity. While this is enough to support a couple of monitors, a computer and the weight of your body parts, the UpDown Pro beats this figure by over 200%, with its 150kg maximum load rating.
This is not so much a practical point, as I doubt that you’ll ever exceed the desk’s 70kg limit, but more of a proxy indicator of overall build quality.
It confirms my observation that the UpDown Pro is a flagship, premium desk while the Artiss is the best option if you want to keep your costs down.
As someone who has owned this desk for almost 2 years, I know first-hand that it deserves the #2 spot. It represents the best choice for people who want quality without the price tag.
If I had to summarise the Artiss in a single phrase, it’d be “outstanding value for money”.
✔ Stylish control panel
✔ Very sturdy
✔ Not expensive
✘ Not a statement piece
✘ 70kg load capacity is decent without being outstanding
➤ Load capacity: 70 kg
➤ Work area: 140cm (W) x 70cm (D) or 120cm (W) x 60cm (D)
➤ Extension Height: Between 72cm and 122cm
Best converter for your existing desk.
The super-quiet electric motor and spacious 115cm x 70cm work area design are just a few things to love about Movi’s height-adjustable desk converter.
You can choose from Lite and Pro models, with the latter including nice-to-have (but not essential) features like one-button memory recall and two USB charging ports.
What’s also great is that the Movi stand up desk converter moves fairly quickly at 3 centimetres per second, but be mindful that it’s only rated to 15 kg. A chunky monitor plus a couple of peripherals will see you nudging against that limit. If you’re used to having multiple heavy monitors, the Movi desk converter may not be the best solution.
Like most desk converters, the Movi arrives at your door fully assembled – and the 2-year warranty covers all parts.
✔ No assembly required
✔ Low cost (when compared with dedicated stand up desks)
✔ Keep your current desk
✔ Award-winning design
✘ Moderate 15kg weight rating
Please check current price on the manufacturer’s website.
➤ Load capacity: 15 kg
➤ Work area: 115cm (W) x 70cm (D)
➤ Footprint: 109cm (W) x 52cm (D)
➤ Extension Height: Elevates up to 44cm above your existing desk
Best if you need a large workspace.
Desky’s Dual Scalloped adjustable standing desk is available in a range of colours and sizes, but the sweet spot is the 150cm X 75cm option in stylish black frame underneath burnished wood top.
It’s the best desk for professionals who need a large, heavy-duty adjustable workspace, but don’t want to compromise on style.
Designed to meet Australian ergonomic standards, the Desky Dual standing desk has 4 programmable presets that allow you to save your most frequently used height settings, while the huge 140kg load capacity will easily cope with all of your monitors, cameras, monitor arms and laptops.
I love the carved scallop at the rear of the desk, which allows monitor arms and cables to freely run to the back. Because cables and accessories do not hang over the edge, you can place your desk directly against a wall without any interference.
A generous 10-year warranty on all parts ensures peace of mind while a hassle-free return option allows you to try out, then return your desk within 7 days from the date of purchase.
✔ Scalloped design allows placement against a wall or an opposite desk
✔ Cable management system conceals unsightly cables
✔ Huge working area
✘ Not cheap!
Please check current price on the manufacturer’s website.
➤ Load capacity: 140kg
➤ Work area: 150 cm (W) X 75 cm (D)
➤ Extension Height: Between 60cm and 125cm
Best standing desk for taller people.
The Vari Desk is the Toyota Camry of stand up desks. It’s not going to win any design awards, nor does it do anything that other desks can’t, but – like the Artiss stand-up desk, it’s practical, user-friendly and relatively inexpensive.
If you want a good stand-up desk without blowing the budget, the Vari is for you. That being said, the Artiss does pretty much everything that the Vari does – for about $300 less. This is why the Artiss is my #2 choice and the Vari is in the #5 spot.
However, the Vari desk does have one party trick up its sleeve. It boasts a best-in-class extension height of 128cm, which makes it a perfect fit for taller people like me (I’m 2 metres tall!).
You can choose between five colour finishes and the company claims that the desk’s T-style legs provide enhanced stability (truth be told, almost all stand up desks that are being sold in 2021 have this type of leg design).
✔ Tallest desk on the market
✔ Claimed assembly time of 5 minutes
✘ “Corporate-ish” design
➤ Load capacity: 99.8 kg
➤ Work area: 122cm (W) x 76cm (D)
➤ Extension Height: Between 63.5 cm and 128 cm
The Lamborghini of stand-up desks, shipped from the U.S.
The XDesk Encore is a standing desk that you will want to proudly display as a centrepiece of your den, rather than hiding it in the back room of your house.
Designed and built-in good ol’ Texas USA, it uses sustainable materials such as natural bamboo and recycled aluminium to remind us that ergonomic furniture can be beautiful.
Modern yet understated, the XDesk Encore features handy integrated storage bins and shelves to keep your most important tools organised and close by.
The option to seamlessly connect Harmon Kardon speakers seems a tad excessive at first, but I’d certainly tick it if I was setting out to build the ultimate WFH workstation.
I love XDesk’s “build your desk” website functionality, which allows you to configure and order your desk exactly to your spec.
The main downside that I can see with the XDesk Encore (or any standing desk in the XDesk range, for that matter), is the need to organise shipment directly from the US.
They do ship worldwide, but you will need to obtain a shipping quote prior to placing your order, either by calling (00+1) 512-212-7758 or using their international shipping form.
Finally, there’s the question of compatibility with international electricity grids. The desk is built with North American power supplies in mind, which means you’ll need to fork out another $60-$250 on a step-down transformer to plug it into a typical Australian household power socket.
✔ Best in class lifting speed
✔ Ultra-quiet operation: 60db during transitions
✔ Elegant design: no exposed screws, hardware or motors
✘ Shipped from the US
✘ Requires a step-down transformer to work in Australia
✘ Costly, especially if you get carried away with options
➤ Load capacity: 160 kg
➤ Work area: 160cm (W) x 80cm (D)
➤ Extension Height: Between 60 cm and 128 cm
Why Should You Trust My Review?
Two years ago, I decided to upgrade my home office with an electrically adjustable standing desk which, at the push of a button, gives me the option of working from a standing position.
The Australian market is flooded with standing desks from local and international brands. Some sit-stand desks are cheap and flimsy; others are unnecessary overpriced.
I also found reviews of best standing desks to be lacking in necessary context and detail. Most of them simply rehash the specs you can easily find on manufacturers’ websites and pad them with superlative detail.
I decided to invest quite a bit of time in research, so that I could buy the best sit-stand desk for my needs. The research took me over 40 hours, and I’m hoping that I’ll save you time by sharing my discoveries below.
I ended up buying the Artiss standing desk because at the time I had a limited budget and didn’t want to spend more than $700. I needed something that would work well, look good and wasn’t going to cost me an arm and a leg.
Two years later, I moved into a different home and decided to use this as an opportunity to upgrade my WFH environment. The Artiss went into storage and I bought the UpDown Pro instead.
This explains why my analyses of the Artiss and the UpDown Pro above are very rich in detail, while those of the Movi, the Vari, Xdesk and Desky are more on the factual side. I actually personally owned and used the first two in my home office.
Disclaimer: some of the links below are affiliate links; I may get paid a small commission if you decide to buy a desk that I recommend.
That being said, my conclusions are not driven by financial incentives, and I’ll be surprised if the commissions end up being more than beer money. My primary goal is to share with you my thought process around choosing the best stand up desk on the Australian market.
If you find my findings useful, I’d love to hear from you – please let me know whether you agree with my findings in the comments below. If you have further questions, do the same – I’ll be happy to provide further insight.
EDIT: I’m stuck at home due to lockdowns, so I decided to continue pimping my work-from-home space to ensure that I remain healthy, happy and productive. Check out my thoughts on the best coffee machines for those who work from home. More soon!
3 Types Of Standing Desks.
The terms “standing desk”, “sit-stand desk” and “stand up desk” are interchangeably used to refer to one of three types of desks that are available on the Australian market. Those are:
- Dedicated Standing Desks
- Desk Converters
- Fixed Height Standing Desks
For this review, I only considered desks in the first two categories – that is, products that either transform your existing desk or replace it altogether with an adjustable one.
I omitted fixed height standing desks because of their limited utility in the context of WFH. Most home offices don’t have the space – or the need – for a dedicated standing-only desk.
What Makes A Stand-Up Desk Great?
Some people value design at the expense of everything else. Others prefer practicality – even if it’s packaged up in ugly forms.
I’m the type of person who does not like to trade off practicality for good design, and vice versa.
Performance and design – at least for me – is always the winning combination. That’s why I use Apple Mac laptops as work machines and why I drive a Land Rover Discovery.
Products like these inspire me because they score highly across those two – often diametrically opposed from an engineering point of view – dimensions.
For our stand-up desk test, I identified the following as essential criteria:
- Aesthetics (design, UX)
- Practicality (useful space, ruggedness, cable management)
- Value for Money
Accessories For Your Stand Up Desk.
While your electrically adjustable stand up desk is the ergonomic centre of your WFH activity, it’s useful to remember that your home office upgrade is not complete until you consider at least some of the following:
- Chairs / Stools
- Power & Data Cable Management
Check for these with each manufacturer. Some stand-up desk manufacturers offer these as options; others as inclusions.
EDIT: Consider fuelling your WFH productivity with a coffee machine for your home office. I just wrote a review that will help you choose the best one for your needs.
Why Should You Buy A Standing Desk?
Working from home can be the ultimate perk.
Indeed, the arrival of 2021 has heralded a new era for remote work. Advancing technology coupled with the devastating emergence of COVID-19 has enabled more businesses and employees alike to wake up to the prospect of working from home (WFH).
However, working from home is not without challenges.
When you first start working from home, you improvise. You work hunched over your kitchen table. Lounging on your living room couch. Reclining on the back deck.
These unexpected freedoms come with a cost. Personally, after doing this for 10 years, I’ve noticed that my posture is not the same.
Bad posture leads to spinal problems, including neck and back pain. Some studies even link it to digestive issues and heart disease.
Summary Of The Best Standing Desks In Australia.
- Up Down Pro Series – Best overall standup desk in Australia.
- Artiss – Best value standup desk.
- Movi Pro – Best sit-stand desk converter.
- Desky Dual – Best if you need a large workspace.
- Vari Desk – Best for taller people.
- XDesk Encore – Best for creating a “WOW” effect. The Lamborghini of standing desks.
Enjoy “the new normal”!