When we set out to find the best options for standing desks, we didn’t necessarily have high hopes we’d find a model that would stand up to the usual $500 price tag of most top-quality options. Well, the SHW Electric Height-Adjustable Computer Desk proved us wrong, showing you can get something for less than $250 that’ll stand up to the best desks out there.
What we loved about it
First off, we were surprised by just how sturdy this affordable desk was once assembled, with minimal wobble from front to back and side to side at all heights. Assembly was easy-breezy, clocking it at roughly 25 minutes when all was said and done (note that you’ll need a Phillips screwdriver). The desk is lightweight enough to move around a room with one set of hands, and building it solo is more than feasible, even for the furniture-assembly-averse.
This desk comes standard with a digital keypad featuring four memory presets; while programming the memory presets was not as intuitive as it was with some of the other desks we tested, once you know how to do so, it’s a breeze. Adjustable from 28” to 46” high in round-number increments (though reflected on the LED screen as 69 to 114, which we can only explain as being a roughly accurate conversion from inches to centimeters), this desk moves smoothly up and down without a hitch. It also comes standard with one small, uncovered grommet at the left back corner as well as an under-desk mesh tray at the front.
This desk efficiently supported our monitor, laptop, books, desk plants and more — including a spry cat frequently jumping on and off of it — without issue. It’s offered in just one size, 47.25x24”, a bonus for anyone working with limited space for their office setup. The desktop is available in black, oak, light cherry and walnut finishes, and while we found that the black desk easily showed smudges, you get, as they say, what you pay for.
What we didn’t like about it
While a few customer reviews mention the motor slowing down over time, we experienced no such issues; we’ll report back and update this piece should we notice any failure in that regard. The desk offers only a one-year warranty, but for an additional $30, an extended three-year warranty will cover any motor issues.
We should note that the desktop is actually two planks of wood rather than one solid piece as the product photos may lead you to believe.
Sure, it looks and feels a bit cheaper than the $500+ models in our pool, and, well, that’s because it is. But if you’re looking for the best electric standing desk at an under-$250 price point that’s sturdy and easily goes up and down as promised, with presets for multiple users — and particularly if you’re a fan of the metric system — you can’t go wrong with this SHW desk.
How it compares to other desks we recommend
Best budget standing desk
Most customizable standing desk
Best standing desk overall
|What we loved||We were surprised by just how sturdy this affordable desk was once assembled, with minimal wobble from front to back and side to side at all heights. The this desk moves smoothly up and down without a hitch. Setup took just 25 minutes.||We value choice. And with such an investment, we appreciated Uplift's customizability — from size to finish to keypads — that ensures you're getting the exact desk you want.||The Branch Adjustable Standing Desk is a near-perfect desk — the sturdiest we tested (no matter the height) and one of the most comfortable to belly-up to thanks to its a slightly diagonally cut finish in the front. Setup took just 20 minutes.|
|What we didn't like||We should note that the desktop is actually two planks of wood rather than one solid piece as the product photos may lead you to believe. Certainly looks and feels a bit cheaper than the other models highlighted.||The Uplift was one of the toughest desks to assemble, thanks to and assembly took nearly an hour due to all the parts required. Expect an hour-plus of assembly time.||While you can choose from several finishes for the desktop, you're stuck with white legs. Also, the side edges did peel a bit and showed some scuffs — but from pretty unnatural, heavy bangs.|
|Key specs||47.25-inch wide by 24-inch depth; adjustable from Adjustable from 28-inches to 46-inches high||42-inch wide by 30-inch depth up to 80-inch wide by 30-inch depth; adjustable from 22.6-inches to 48.7-inches high||48-inch wide by 30-inch depth; adjustable from 25 inches to 52 inches high|
The bottom line
If you’re on a tight budget — or you’re just looking for a standing desk to use temporarily or infrequently — there is not a better option under $250 than the SHW Electric Height-Adjustable Computer Desk.