When it comes to ergonomics, most people focus on the chair, often neglecting another important piece of the puzzle- the desk.
According to the 2012 report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, ergonomic injuries account for 34% of all workplace injuries.
A good ergonomic desk works hand in hand with an ergonomic chair to promote good sitting posture, neutral wrists (when typing), and even easy alternating between standing and sitting at work.
Before we head on to our list of the best ergonomic desks for 2019 to pair up with your chair, let’s talk about just what constitutes a good ergonomic desk.
Important Features to Look for in Ergonomic Computer Desks
When buying an ergonomic computer desk, the first thing that you have to ask yourself is – who will be using the desk?
If the answer is multiple people, a desk that is height adjustable is vital to cater to everybody. Did you know that the standard desk height is 29″, which is actually best suited for someone who is 6 feet tall. The chances are, you’re either shorter or taller than that.
Another factor you need to consider is the type of computer that will be used. If it’s a desktop, you may need a desk with a larger surface area to accommodate the large or dual screens set up. If it’s a laptop, a desk with multiple levels to house an external keyboard below the laptop is crucial.
Last and perhaps most importantly, will you be using it as a standing desk from time to time? If so, a desk that is capable of easy and dramatic height adjustments is obviously a must.
Keeping in mind these three factors, let’s take a look at the different features to focus on when looking at ergonomic computer desks.
The most important feature that you need to pay attention to is desk height since it has a directly bearing on your posture and amount of leg clearance underneath.
If your desk is:
- Too low – Causes wrist extension, text neck and cramped leg space.
- Too high – Causes wrist flexion.
- Right height – Neutral neck, shoulders, and wrist. Adequate leg clearance under the desk.
As you can see, the proper desk height is absolutely critical from an ergonomic standpoint. In this position, the strain to the neck, upper arms, forearms, and wrists are reduced, minimizing the risk of RSIs.
So, what is the ideal desk height?
There is no one size fits all desk height since it varies depending on the user height and shoe height. But as mentioned, the standard height of most desks is 29″, which is optimized for a person 6 feet tall. If you’re taller than that, take a look at the best computer desks for tall people.
Desk Height Calculator
To know your ideal desk height, see the below ergonomic desk calculator:
If you alone will be using the computer desk, then simply follow the results of the desk height calculator. For multiple users, a computer desk with an adjustable desk height is a must.
What about Standing Desks?
Just like with sitting computer desks, you have to consider your height when choosing an appropriate standing desk. The ideal desk height again should create a 90° forearm to upper arm angle, neutral wrist position, and the ability to view your monitor without bending your neck.
Standing Desk Height Calculator
To know your ideal standing desk height, see the below ergonomic desk calculator:
Another important thing to focus on is the mechanism that raises and lowers the standing desk surface.
There are many types of lift mechanisms, from ratchet, crank, electric, gas cylinder, to counterbalance systems. A good mechanism should allow you to easily and quickly adjust the height of the desk, even with a full load. Otherwise, the hassle means your standing desk will probably just stay in one height setting most of the time, negating the benefits.
Adjustable Keyboard Tray
The keyboard tray is an often overlooked but important component of a good ergonomic desk. Most desks don’t come with a tray built in, but there are external keyboard trays you can easily purchase separately.
What ergonomic roles do an adjustable keyboard platform play?
- Helps achieve a negative keyboard tilt, keeping your wrists straight as you type.
- Takes the keyboard to you, so you do not have to bend forward or stretch your arms.
- Staves off carpal tunnel disorder and other musculoskeletal disorders in the arms and hands.
- Moves your arms away from the hard edge of the desk.
- Protects your vision by keeping you at a healthy 20” to 30” distance away from the monitor.
The keyboard should be close to your body and slightly above your lap. Your wrists and arms should be parallel to your lap.
A good adjustable keyboard tray should be independently height and angle-adjustable. It should also be large enough to accommodate your keyboard and mouse.
As mentioned before, there should be enough leg room under your desk. There should be no clutter nor restrictions that stop you from changing your position or stretching throughout the day.
For Laptop Users
If your laptop is your primary computer, then the design of an ergonomic desk is especially important to keep wrist, neck, and back pain at bay.
- Dedicated laptop level: Look for an ergonomic desk with at least two levels of workspace, the upper level large enough to accommodate your laptop.
- External Keyboard Level: The bottom or second level of your ergonomic desk should be where you place an external keyboard. Having an external keyboard helps you maintain neutral wrists as you type while keeping the screen positioned at eye level.
Last but not least, according to Queensland’s Ergonomic Guide, scalloped desks, or desks with a shallow curve cut out at the center, can be beneficial from an ergonomic standpoint in the following ways:
- Offers more forearm support by letting you get closer to the desk
- Easier access to your immediate workspace
- Improved posture when using more than 1 monitor, especially a L plus scalloped shaped desk.
There currently aren’t many desks on the market that employ such a cut out unfortunately.
Now, let’s check out the best ergonomic computer desks in 2019!
1. Tangkula Standing Desk– Best Budget Ergonomic Desk
Largest Surface Area: 33.5″ L X 20.5″ W
Height Range: 27.5″ To 42″
Maximum Weight Capacity: 66 lbs
Our pick for the best budget-friendly ergonomic desk, the Tangkula Standing Desk, is an affordable chic-looking desk with a scalloped edge.
This desk offers excellent height adjustability and portability. One satisfied buyer mentioned that he loves that the adjustability is on an infinite “slide”. This means that instead of just a sitting and standing position, you can lock it in any height.
Let’s take a closer look at its features:
- Adjustable Height: The Tangkula can go as high as 42” to as low as 27.5” with its lever-controlled gas spring mechanism. This means that you can easily switch from a sitting to a standing position.
- Portability: Equipped with 4 casters (2 lockable), moving it to different areas of your office is a simple task.
- Compact Design: At 33.5″ long and 20.5″ wide, the Tangkula is compact enough to fit into small spaces while still having enough surface area to accommodate 2 monitors and some extras.
- Spacious Leg Room: There’s a lot of room to stretch your legs and change positions, with 32 inches of space between the two front casters.
At its price point, it’s to be expected that there are some limitations. The Tangkula doesn’t come with an adjustable keyboard tray. Also, some customers are confused about the legs that come uneven right out of the box. The good news is that you can easily adjust them before or after assembly.
At the end of the day, the Tangkula is probably your best bet if you’re in the market for a cheap but sturdy ergonomic computer desk.
2. Mount-It! Mobile Stand Up Desk– Best Multi-Level Ergonomic Desk
Largest Surface Area: 27.5” L X 15.75” W
Height Range: 37” to 54”
Maximum Weight Capacity: 132 lbs
If you prefer having different shelves for your monitor, keyboard, and printer, then the Mount-It! Mobile Stand Up Desk is simply one of the best desks you can get.
Combining organization and ergonomics, this desk offers 4 differently sized shelves, two of which are height-adjustable. Furthermore, the maximum height of the top shelf is 54”, making this an awesome inexpensive standing desk.
Aside from the high weight capacity and portability, buyers also love the desk for being really space-saving. In fact, one user who lives in a small apartment highly recommends it to people who want to have a home office without taking up too much space
So, what are the features that make the Mount-It! shine?
- Adjustable Height: The top two platforms can be adjusted to a height range of 37” to 54” with 11 locking intervals using the knob on each leg.
- Space-Saving: With an overall width of 28”, a depth of 27.5″, you can put all of your IT equipment on the Mount-It! without using up too much room space.
- Portability: Move your desk anywhere you want with ease with its 1.5” casters which can turn in any direction. To keep the desk in place, just lock the two front casters.
- High Weight Limit: Despite its compact design, each of the shelves of this heavy-duty desk can handle 33 pounds of weight, for a total maximum weight limit of 132 pounds.
Just like any other product, the Mount-It! is not without faults however. First, it’s hard to tweak the height once the shelves are loaded with your computer setup. Also, the casters are made of plastic, so they’re on the flimsy side.
Still, for an entry-level ergonomic computer desk, the Mount-It! gives you your money’s worth.
3. Single Column Stand Up Desk– Best Single-Level Hand Cranked Standing Desk
Largest Surface Area: 39.375″ W x 23.625″ D
Height Range: 30.11″ to 45.28″
Maximum Weight Capacity: 154 lbs
Looking for a spacious single-level height-adjustable standing desk? Well, you can do a lot worse than the Stand Up Desk Store’s Single Column Stand Up Desk.
As a mid-range standing desk, the Single Column is extremely sturdy and well put together. Most importantly, it’s so easy to adjust its height, so much so one buyer credited this desk for allowing him to continue working even after undergoing back surgery.
- Adjustable Height: The Single Column can go from 30.11” to 45.28” tall in just 10 seconds even when it’s loaded with your computer and other work necessities.
- Retractable Crank: To tweak its height, just turn the crank. Once you’ve set it to the right position, slide the crank out of the way or remove it.
- High Weight Limit: Thanks to its durable steel frame, the Single Column can handle 154 pounds of evenly distributed load.
- Locking Casters: This desk combines 4 3-inch smooth-rolling lockable casters and a very stable base to move your workstation safely from room to room without needing to unload your computer.
- Excellent Customer Service: One buyer received a dented desk due to the shipper’s rough handling. Just a phone call and the company sent a replacement right away.
The Single Column is easy to assemble too as you can see from the video below:
There’s still room for improvement though. First, the hand crank is a little noisy. The same goes for the hard plastic casters. What one buyer did is replace the casters with rubber wheels.
There are 4 available colors to choose from. You can also opt for the smaller 36” version which comes with a bag hook, pencil tray, and a bottle holder.
4. Two-Tier Stand Up Desk – Best Double-Level Hand-Cranked Standing Desk
Largest Surface Area: 59″ W X 16” D
Height Range: 28-7/8″ to 42-5/8″ (lower surface) and 33-1/2″ to 47-1/4″ (upper surface)
Maximum Weight Capacity: 154 lbs
For those looking to upgrade to a 2 level standing desk for improved monitor and keyboard positioning, this is the one we recommend.
With overall dimensions of 59″ W x 14″ D in the upper level, this desk is spacious enough to accommodate a dual-monitor setup. Other noteworthy features:
- Two-Tier Shelf Design: Spaced 4.6″ apart, the two shelves provide the most ergonomic set up for your keyboard and monitor or laptop.
- Hand-Crank Mechanism: The metal crank mechanism works smoothly even with a full load, encouraging height adjustments throughout the day.
- Heavy-Duty: Featuring a sturdy steel frame with a durable powder coat finish, this desk has a 154-pound weight limit. It’s also very stable so you can adjust the height without your things slipping.
- Cord Management: There are four predrilled holes on the crosspiece and loops for cord management.
- Portability: Sporting four 3″ furniture grade casters, you can move your workstation with ease. To keep it stationary, lock the two front casters.
Just like the previous desk, this two-tier desk is easy to put together.
Though most buyers are very satisfied with this double-level desk, there are still some minor complaints. The handle sometimes pop off when you turn it vigorously. To prevent this, just use a bit of inward push while turning the crank.
Overall, we highly recommend this popular product from Stand Up Desk Store if you’re able to spend a little more for the best ergonomics.
5. Flexpro Power Electric Standing Desk – Best Electric-Powered Ergonomic Desk
Largest Surface Area: 39.25″ W X 16” D
Height Range: 5.5” to 19” (monitor shelf), 1” to 14.5” (keyboard shelf)
Maximum Weight Capacity: 45 lbs
Turn any existing desk into a truly ergonomic, height adjustable one using the Flexpro Electric desk.
At 48.5 pounds the Flexpro Power is heavy and sturdy enough to support 45 pounds of weight without tipping over. The edge of the desk is slightly rounded so it doesn’t cut into your arms when you type.
Many users have mentioned that this desk is very effective in eliminating back pain caused by sitting down for long periods of time.
- Height Adjustable: With a fixed distance of 4.25” between each other, the shelves can be adjusted up to 14.5” in height.
- Electric Powered: Only takes a few seconds to quietly change the height of the shelves with its electric powered lift mechanism. The shelves can’t be manually adjusted.
- No Assembly Required: The Flexpro Power can be plugged and used right out of the box.
- Cord Management: There are also built-in hooks which can keep your cords out of the way.
- Warranty: 30-day money-back guarantee and 1-year manufacturer’s warranty.
You can see the Flexpro Power in action here:
The only drawback to this electric-powered desk is that you can’t change its height manually. This means that if the power goes out, you’ll be stuck in one working position.
Other than that small drawback, it’s hard to find much fault with this ergonomic desk riser. It’s available in three sizes – 32”, 36”, and 40” so you can get the one that fits your needs. Don’t forget to check if you have enough space on your existing desk for the Flexpro Power. The 40” version, for example, has a footprint of 40” W x 23.5” D.
6. Eureka Z1-S Ergonomic Gaming Desk – Best Ergonomic Gaming Desk
Largest Surface Area: 44.5” W X 24.2” D
Height Range: 30.5” (from the floor)
Maximum Weight Capacity: 200 lbs
Stay comfortable even after long hours of gaming with the Eureka Ergonomic Gaming Desk. From its ambient LED lighting, convenient accessories, spacious surface, and stable design, it’s a great partner for gamers.
Many buyers happily reviewed that this desk is extremely well-built. All the holes line up perfectly unlike some other similarly priced products. It’s also quite sturdy with materials like steel, CARB 2 compliant particle board, and ABS plastic.
- Spacious Gaming Surface: The Z1-S has a wide 44.5” W X 24.2” D gaming surface with a carbon fiber texture. To match it, there is an ultra large mouse pad to make your gaming experience smoother.
- Sleek Design: This desk has a sporty red and black design that is accentuated by the blue LED lighting.
- Spacious Leg Room: The tall 30.5″ desk provides plenty of leg room underneath, allowing for quick leg position changes. It’s very stable as well, supporting up to 200 pounds of load with its Z-shaped legs. The feet are also threaded so you can install some casters if you want to add some mobility.
- Accessories: To make your gaming experience even better, the Z1-S comes with a cup holder, headphone hook, and controller stand.
- Cable Management: The Z1-S has a grommet hole which can help keep your cables out of the way, for a more organized gaming station.
The biggest drawback to the Z1-S is its lack of adjustability. Not only does it not have a keyboard tray, it’s height can’t be adjusted either. At a fixed 30.5” height, it would be best to pair it with a versatile ergonomic gaming chair so you can maintain a 90° arm angle and a neutral wrist position while playing.
If you don’t mind this drawback, the Z1-S is a high quality, reasonably priced gaming chair.
7. Mount-It! Standing Desk Converter – Best Compact Standing Desk Converter
Largest Surface Area: 25″ W X 17″ D
Height Range: 6.1″ to 19.5” (top shelf)
Maximum Weight Capacity: 17.6 lbs
Prevent back pain by turning your ordinary desk to a standing one with the very affordable and compact Mount-It! Standing Desk Converter.
The 25″ W x 17″ D upper platform can hold one large monitor while the second platform, measuring 25″ W x 11″ D, has just enough space for a keyboard and mouse. One buyer who only has a small office space commented that he loved how this product helped him get rid of his back pain without taking up too much space.
- Height Adjustable: Raise the monitor platform to up to 19.5” whenever you want to switch to a standing position.
- Gas Spring Assisted Lift: Effortlessly lower and raise the platforms with the easy lift, spring-loaded mechanism.
- Compact Size: With the weighted base measuring only 16.5″ W x 19.5″ D, this desk converter can fit on most office desks.
- Built-In Device Slot: The second platform has a long, thin slot which you can use to prop up your tablet or mobile phone.
- Warranty: If you’re not satisfied with this Mount-It! product, you can return it within 30 days for a refund.
The common complaint about this desk converter is about its assembly. Though it is actually easy to put together, the instruction about the screw size is wrong so it can be confusing for some.
The good news is that once you get past this mistake in instructions, using the Mount-It! is smooth-sailing. It’s the best choice for you if you only have a small desk space and don’t want to get a new sit-stand desk.
8. X-Elite Pro Standing Desk Converter – Best Compact Desk Riser
Largest Surface Area: 28″ W X 20″ D
Height Range: 2.5″ to 16″
Maximum Weight Capacity: 20 lbs
For a compact, easy to use desk riser that instantly turns any desk into a standing desk, the X-Elite gets our vote for the best budget options out there.
Coming ready to use out of the box, just place this on your desk, set your computer, and you’re ready to work while alternating between a sitting and standing position. It’s easy to adjust, durable, and sturdy. One user who got this said that aside from saving his back, it helped him focus and boost his productivity.
- Height Adjustable: In the sitting position, the X-Elite Pro lies flat at 2.5” high. If you want to switch to a standing position, you can adjust it to varying heights between 7” to 16”.
- Easy to Adjust: Use the easy to grasp side handle to move the platform up and down in just 3 seconds. The innovative air pump system works together with the wheeled sliding tracks to make the change in height go smoothly.
- Small Footprint: With a footprint of 24.5” W x 16.8” D, this compact desk riser fits most desks.
- Sturdy: Supporting the durable laminated particleboard are the strong, X-shaped steel legs which evenly distribute the 20-lbs maximum weight capacity of this product for stability.
- Excellent Customer Service: What’s impressive about Stand Steady, the company behind X-Elite Pro, is that they listen to their customers and actually make improvements to their products. Compared to the previous version, the improved product now changes height slower and smoother, and it lays lower in its sitting position. Their customer service is also quick to replace products with defects.
You can check out this product here. Video
A lot of buyers observed that the X-Elite Pro has a tendency to wobble a little if you type too hard and fast. This is something to keep in mind.
For its price, this compact desk riser is an excellent buy. Just make sure that your computer is within the 20-lbs weight limit so you can use it without any worries.
9. Kensington SmartFit Easy Riser Laptop Stand – Best Portable Laptop Stand
Laptop Compatibility: 12” to 17” laptops
Height Range: 5.5” to 7.5”
Tilt Angle: 25° to 50°
If you work outside often with your trusted laptop, trying to create an ergonomic set up can be tricky. The Kensington SmartFit is a great portable laptop stand that can easily create the ideal height and viewing angle for your laptop wherever you are.
The Easy Riser can also make your laptop components and battery last longer by keeping your device cooler. Plus, it’s highly portable and easy to use.
- Height and Tilt Angle Adjustable: Position your laptop at the optimal viewing angle by adjusting the height from 5.5” to 7.5”, and the angle from 25° to 50°.
- SmartFit System: Find out the best suitable tilt angle for your height by using the .color-coded fitting chart. Find the closest color to the size of your hand and adjust the knob accordingly.
- Stable: The Easy Riser has padded inserts at the sides that can keep 12″ to 17″ tablets and laptops firmly in place.
- Boosts Air Circulation: This product prevents heat buildup with its hollow back and by lifting your device off the desk. By preventing your device from overheating, you’re also improving its lifespan.
- Portable: Our pick for the best portable laptop stand can be folded to take up as little space as possible in your bag.
The most common complaint about the Easy Riser is that it’s still bulky despite being foldable. However, this bulk is actually needed to accommodate different laptop sizes and to make it stay firmly on the table.
Other than this minor drawback, we recommend the very affordable Easy Riser to anyone looking for an easy to adjust laptop stand which you can take anywhere you go.
10. Boyata Laptop Stand – Best Adjustable Laptop Stand
Laptop Compatibility: 11” to 17” laptops
Height Range: 1.5” to 10”
Tilt Angle: 0° to 45°
Last but not least, we have our pick for the best adjustable laptop stand, the Boyata Laptop Stand. For an affordable price, you get a chic and sturdy aluminum laptop stand which can be both height and angle-adjusted to prevent neck and back stiffness.
A lot of users mentioned that it’s built like a tank. With its simple but durable aluminum construction, it can hold a 17″ laptop without wobbling. Plus, the protective hooks and 4 anti-skid silicone pads keep your device from slipping.
- Height and Tilt Angle Adjustable: Adjust the height from 1.5” to 10” and the angle from 0° to 45° until you find the perfect viewing position for your height.
- Ventilation: The surface supporting your laptop has several holes that encourage good ventilation, preventing your device from overheating.
- Stability: The Boyata has silicone pads that keep your device very steady as you work.
- Wireless Keyboard Space: The raised platform creates space underneath for a keyboard. Great to use on a small desk or tight spot.
The one caveat to the Boyata is that it’s on the heavy side at 4.2 pounds. This means that, unlike the Easy Riser, this product isn’t something you can bring with you everywhere you go.
Overall, the Boyata is a great buy if you don’t mind its lack of portability. It stands out for being very adjustable while being sturdy at the same time.