Sitting is an essential part of the workday – but sitting in the same position for long periods, all day, every day, can pose long-term physical challenges, from back and neck pain to repetitive stress injuries.

To stay productive and highly engaged, people need a balance between sitting, standing and walking every single day. Of course, it can be challenging to get up and move when you’re on a tight deadline.

Fortunately, there is a solution: height-adjustable desks.

Height-adjustable desks let workers easily change postures from sitting to standing height throughout the day. They’re also linked to benefits such as increased productivity, better concentration and improved overall health.

When it’s time to make the switch, the options can be overwhelming. Whether you’re in need of a desk with digital controls or integrated features, you should read online reviews and choose an office furniture provider you can trust.

Here at Egyptian Workspace Partners, we believe height-adjustable desks are an integral part of any workplace that puts the physical, cognitive and emotional wellbeing of its employees before anything else.

With 140 years of industry experience, we know exactly what to look for and what to avoid in a height-adjustable desk, which is why we decided to do all the work for you.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll examine some of the best height-adjustable desks on the market, so you can find something that ensures your employees leave the office feeling happier and healthier than when they arrived.

Full Disclaimer: At Egyptian, we do sell some of the sit-stand desks listed below. This guide was based solely on publicly available third-party information and does not reflect our own opinions in any way.

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Steelcase Ology

Steelcase Ology height-adjustable desk

Steelcase Ology is a height-adjustable solution that supports the holistic wellbeing of workers. It encourages a more health-conscious work environment and provides ergonomic support tailored to individual needs.

To deliver on the promise of wellbeing in the workplace, Ology offers integrated features that focus on user comfort, including integrated storage, privacy and modesty configurations, integrated power and cable management.

Specs of Steelcase Ology

With basic and extended height ranges, Ology exceeds the ANSI/BIFMA height range recommendation of 22.6” to 48.7” and accommodates the 5th percentile seated female to the 95th percentile standing male:

  • Height Range: 22.6” – 48.7”
  • Weight Capacity (2-leg): 314 lbs.
  • Weight Capacity (3-leg): 471 lbs.
  • Leg Style: C-leg
  • Corner Style: Square or radius

Made of 56 percent recycled content, Ology is covered by the Steelcase lifetime warranty, which warrants electrical components and worksurfaces for 12 years, and the entire structure for life, regardless of shift usage.

Ology has four top shape options: rectangular, tapered, 90- and 120-degree. The worksurface comes in laminate and veneer, and base finishes are available in arctic white, black, merle and platinum metallic.

Pros of Steelcase Ology

Encourages Employee Wellbeing

Ology promotes all-day posture change, which has been proven to improve energy levels, increase productivity and prevent weight gain and cardiovascular diseases.

Obstruction Sensing Technology

Designed into the Ology legs, Obstruction Sensing Technology recognizes when the desk has collided with an object and acts as a signal to users to stop adjusting. 

Smart Technology

Ology has two intuitive controls to easily change worksurface height and posture. Active Touch reminds workers to change posture with gentle up-and-down motions, while Simple Touch lets users effortlessly move their desk up or down without taking their eyes off their work.

Cons of Steelcase Ology

No 2-Leg Corner Desk Option

Ology may offer several customization options, but it’s not available as a smaller, 2-leg corner desk.

Cable Management

Even though Ology supports a wide range of cable management options, it requires a different base to be used with each worksurface width.

Price

Ranging from the $800s to the $2000s, Ology is more expensive than other height-adjustable desks on the market. The final price will depend on the top shape, integrated features and customization options you choose.

Interested in learning more about Steelcase Ology? Read our comprehensive review for everything you need to know, including key features, customization options and more!

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Steelcase Migration SE

Steelcase Migration SE height-adjustable desk

Steelcase Migration SE is a height-adjustable desk that gives users the freedom to choose between postures throughout the day. It delivers high performance, value and quality while being attainable for everyone.

As a simple and reliable solution, Migration SE supports a broad range of applications with two control options, integrated storage, heavy-duty cable management and a double tube understructure with space to store and hide cords easily.

Specs of Steelcase Migration SE          

Like Steelcase Ology, Migration SE meets and exceeds the BIFMA/ANSI height range recommendation and fits the 5th percentile seated female to the 95th percentile standing male:

  • Height Range: 22.6” – 48.7”
  • Weight Capacity: 220 bs.
  • Leg Style: T-leg or C-leg
  • Corner Style: Square

Covered by the Steelcase lifetime warranty, the Migration SE electrical components and worksurfaces are warranted for 12 years, and the entire structure is covered for life.

Available in desk and bench versions, Migration SE has a rectangular top shape and either a laminate or veneer worksurface. Both basic and extended height T-legs come in arctic white, platinum metallic, black and merle.

Pros of Steelcase Migration SE

Obstruction Sensing Technology

Migration SE comes standard with Obstruction Sensing Technology, a built-in feature that recognizes when the desk comes into contact with an object and backtracks the desk to relieve the collision.

Aesthetic Appeal

With a sleek, minimal profile and no visible hardware, Migration SE has a clean aesthetic that seamlessly blends into any office setting.

Antimicrobial Protection

As an optional feature, BactiBlock antimicrobial technology can be molded into Migration SE. It uses naturally occurring silver to attack microbes and suppresses the growth of algae, mold, mildew and bacteria.

Cons of Steelcase Migration SE

Limited Top Shape Options

Migration SE only comes with a rectangle top shape. If you can’t use rectangle tops or need a broader range of top shapes to choose from, you may want to consider another option.

Limited Features

While Migration SE offers a lot of benefits, it lacks features that come standard with Ology, such as intuitive control options and integrated power.

Price

Priced in the mid $600s, Migration SE isn’t an affordable option for everyone. The final price will depend on the height range, integrated features and customization options you need.

Did you know we wrote an in-depth review of Steelcase Migration SE? To read the full version, visit our Learning Hub!

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AMQ ACTIV

AMQ ACTIV height-adjustable desk

AMQ ACTIV inspires people to get up, stay active and change postures as needed. With a versatile range of styles and options, it can be customized to perfectly suit every user’s individual needs.

To help users set their seating and standing preferences, ACTIV comes standard with digital handsets with four programmable settings. It pairs seamlessly with ILINE, a power and data beam that supports privacy screens, monitor arms and integrated storage.

Specs of AMQ ACTIV

With 2 stage and 3 stage height ranges, ACTIV meets and exceeds the ANSI/BIFMA height range recommendation. It fits the 5th percentile seated female to the 95th percentile standing male:

  • Height Range: 23.5” – 49”
  • Weight Capacity (2-leg): 225 – 250 lbs.
  • Weight Capacity (3-leg): 300 lbs.
  • Leg Style: T-leg or C-leg
  • Corner Style: Rectangular

As an AMQ product, ACTIV is made of 80 percent or more recycled content. It’s covered by a 10-year warranty that covers all parts and approved labor for normal installation and standard eight-hour use.

ACTIV-Pro comes with a linear top shape and two- or three-stage rectangular legs in T or C foot styles, while ACTIV-Pro3 has linear, 90- and 120-degree top shapes with three legs and dual motors.

Pros of AMQ ACTIV

Anti-Collision Technology

ACTIV comes standard with Anti-Collision Technology, built-in gyroscope sensors that detect angle and speed changes, triggering the anti-collision safety feature. When activated, the bases reverse directions for two seconds.

Fast Shipping

If you need a height-adjustable desk on short notice, you’re in luck. AMQ will ship ACTIV to you in just five days, although you’ll have fewer worksurface finishes to choose from.

Price

ACTIV is an affordable option for anyone with a limited budget. Starting in the mid to upper $400s, the final price depends on whether you choose ACTI ACTIV-Pro or ACTIV-Pro3.

Cons of AMQ ACTIV

Assembly Time

ACTIV can take 20 to 30 minutes to assemble, depending on whether you buy ACTIV-Pro or ACTIV-Pro3. While this may not seem like a big deal, the time you spend putting everything together can quickly add up, especially if you have multiple desks to get through.

Limited Features

Even though ACTIV offers features like Anti-Collision technology and digital controls, it doesn’t have as many as Ology or Migration SE.

Worksurface Finishes

ACTIV may offer 10 different laminate worksurface finishes, but it has fewer options than Ology and Migration SE.

Want to learn more about AMQ ACTIV and whether it’s the right solution for you? Our full review can help you answer that!

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Alera AdaptivErgo

Alera AdaptivErgo height-adjustable desk

Alera AdaptivErgo lets users set the perfect height when sitting or standing. While it lacks some of the high-end features that other sit-stand desks have, it does come with easy-to-use controls and a price tag that’s attainable for everyone.

Despite how affordable it is, AdaptivErgo also has adjustable leveling glides to compensate for uneven floors, and a strong steel frame with cross bars to provide stability and prevent racking.

Specs of Alera AdaptivErgo

AdaptivErgo meets the ANSI-BIFMA height range recommendation and accommodates the 5th percentile seated female to the 95th percentile standing male:

  • Height Range: 26.17” – 39.57”
  • Weight Capacity: 100 lbs.
  • Leg Style: T-leg

AdaptivErgo is covered by a limited five-year warranty that doesn’t apply to normal wear and tear, customer modification, products used for rental purposes and improper installation or use.

Unlike other height-adjustable desks, AdaptivErgo offers no customization options. The table base is only available in black, and the rectangular top only comes in white or grey.

Pros of Alera AdaptivErgo

Pneumatic Controllers

AdaptivErgo doesn’t require electricity. Instead, it has a pneumatic control lift-assist trigger underneath the top, so users can either press up or down with both hands to move the table to their desired position.

Build Quality

The AdaptivErgo table base is recommended for up to 100-lb. capacity, which includes the weight of the worksurface. It’s also compliant with ANSI/BIFMA safety standards for desks and tables intended for commercial use.

Price

As the most affordable option on this list, AdaptivErgo costs around $400 for the top and table base.

Cons of Alera AdaptivErgo

Weight Capacity

AdaptivErgo has a 100-lb. weight limit, including the weight of the worksurface. Still, it lacks the weight capacity of other height-adjustable desks on the market, which can range anywhere from 200 to 500 lbs.

Components Sold and Shipped Separately

The AdaptivErgo top and table base are sold and shipped separately. When it’s time to place your order, you’ll have to keep in mind they may not arrive at the same time, which can be an issue if you’re on a tight schedule.

Not Recyclable

AdaptivErgo is made of zero percent total recycled content and none of its components are recyclable at the end of its life. If sustainability is a top priority, you may want to consider another option.

To learn more about Alera AdaptivErgo, head over to our Learning Hub to read the full review!

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Still Have Questions about Sit-Stand Desks?

The health of any organization is dependent on the wellbeing of its employees. Height-adjustable desks encourage people to stand more and sit less, so they can move, think and feel better at work.

Whether you're hesitant about the cost of replacing the existing desks in your office or you have more questions about height-adjustable desks, your partners at Egyptian are here to help.

We'll take the time to learn what your needs are and educate you on the ergonomic benefits of sit-stand desks, to ensure your employees have everything they need to be healthy and highly engaged every single day.

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Kate Rumatz

Written by Kate Rumatz