Standing Desks17 Feb 2018
I’ve been getting a lot of back pain since I sit at my desk for extended periods without moving. I made a standing desk at my previous workplace in Utah using old textbooks. It worked great for a while, but it was hard to smoothly between standing and sitting.
So I did a bunch of research on standing desks before settling on the Jarvis L-shaped standing desk made by Ergodepot. Mine cost about 1400 including shipping. It’s a good standing desk that’s quite stable. The only problem with the whole experience was to get it shipped directly to my office, and they didn’t offer a service that would come and install it in your office. I could have just put it together myself, and it would have been a lot less complicated, I suppose. In the end, I had it shipped to a local office supply and furniture store that brought it into my office and installed it. They did not do a really good job, and this made the experience a little disappointing. However, Jarvis’ customer support was pretty good for the most part.
The Human Solution/UPLIFT also sells a similar L-shaped desk. It costs a little more, but they do have a service that will deliver to your office and not just to the University loading dock. I might go with their desk next time. I went with Jarvis because their longer desks have a lower crossbar that might help with stability.
One of the most important specifications for me was the desk range. The L-shaped Jarvis desk goes all the way down to 24” and goes all the way up to 48”. They call this the “extended range” version, and I highly recommend it.
I started with the wirecutter’s article on standing desks. They didn’t review too many desks, and so I was a little disappointed with their review. They did push the Jarvis hard though. They also reviewed UPLIFT’s competing desk.
So I did a bunch of digging around on the internet reading reviews. One thing to be wary about is that there are a lot of sites that look like legitimate review sites, but are actually manufacturers reviewing their own products. One of the worst offenders appears to be the iMovR desks.
The main things that seem to matter are the stability of the desk, and the reliability of the motors. The Jarvis and UPLIFT desks use the same base: it’s made by Jiecang, a Chinese manufacturer. They do seem to customize their desks a bit, though. For example, the Jarvis has a cross-bar in its L-shaped model that is supposed to help with stability a lot. Mine is pretty stable at all heights.
I’ve seen some manufacturer “reviewers” (like Vivo’s online reviews) that the “cheap” Chinese electronics aren’t as good as the European electronics manufacturers like Linak. I decided that these comments might be a little biased, and that I shouldn’t really take them too seriously.
I looked at a few reddit reviews of the Jarvis, and I found this one useful. He has a bunch of pictures on his post. The review sounded legit since he didn’t buy the wiretamers and other options from Ergodepot and instead bought them for cheap from Amazon.
I looked into these other desks as well:
- Herman Miller. The University of Rochester has a furniture supplier that they recommend we all use, but the Herman Miller standing desks are pretty expensive, especially in the L-shaped configuration. The regular standing desks are very solid, good Herman Miller quality, and just a few 100 more than the Jarvis or the UPLIFT. It’s totally worth it, but the lead time was way too long. I would have to wait 3 weeks or more for the desk, whereas the online suppliers deliver in a few days.
- NextDesk. These have a crossbar, and they’re supposed to be high quality. Some reviews claim that despite charging a lot of money, they aren’t really great.
- UpDesk. They use Linak actuators and electronics, and many people say that this is better quality than the Jiecang actuators used by Jarvis. See this guy pushing it on reddit
- iMovR. I didn’t like them. There aren’t too many real reviews online, and they do a lot of negative marketing in the form of fake reviews.
- BOTD. another website that reviews their own tables well. They use Linak electronics as well.
- Human Solution Uplift Desk. People like their desks and despite people worrying about the wobble, most people say that it’s hardly noticeable.
- GeekDesk. Not so great reviews online..
- Anthro Elevate II. Good reviews, but really expensive. It has a crossbar.
- Vertdesk. I don’t have much to say about it, but I did see some reviews comparing it to the Jarvis.
- Build your own. Get an electric stand from Alibaba/Aliexpress or Amazon (there are a bunch there), but its quite hard to source them without being a company. Then you can get a nice wooden tabletop from IKEA. This costs about the same as buying a readymade one.
I compared two nearly equivalent desks from UPLIFT and Ergodepot to compare costs.
|Top Size 60 x 30”||$90.00|
|1 Powered Grommet||$39.00|
|Desk Heights from 27.25” to 46.5” - Save||-$25.00|
|Handset Programmable Memory||$35.00|
|Locking Casters Please Add||$29.00|
|Black WireTamer Cable Trays (2x)||$20.00|
|Mat Standard Size - Black||$79.00|
|5 year warranty|
Total 782. Plus shipping and installation is 275. 1057. Actually if I got everything, I get 850 + 275 assembly = 1125.
|Desktop Size: 60x30: 60” x 30”||+$90.00|
|bambooEE: 1” thick Bamboo Curve||+$20.00|
|UPT019 Advanced Keypad||+$34.00|
|UPLIFT Accessory Kit (mat,usb hub, stand, tray)||+$0.00|
|One wire & one power grommet||+$39.00|
|Wire management tray only||+$19.00|
|Add Black Task Light||+$59.00|
|Add Half Circle Drawer||+$29.00|
|Warranty: 7-year, standard|
But this is missing the contoured topo mat, which people really like. Now the new cost is 1084. If I got the discounted option, then it would be even cheaper.
Most of these desks come with a bunch of options. I went with
- Programmable handset. This is invaluable.
- A topo mat. I like mine and think its occasionally useful.
- A little pen tray under the desk.
- Wiretamer trays. These are great for wire management and to hold power strips.
People recommend that you don’t get the casters since it makes the desks quite wobbly.
A manual desk for home
I decided that I don’t really need a fancy desk for home, and went with a manual desk. I tried the ViVo manual desk from Amazon. It costs about $250, and I used an old IKEA tabletop. It was a wee bit wobbly and this bothered me a little bit. Also the range was a little lacking: it didn’t go low enough. I ended up exchanging it for the Titan desk from here. I’m quite happy with it.