The Best Standing Desks Under $500 You Should Buy
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The Best Standing Desks Under $500 You Should Buy

|Jan 31, 2024
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Everyone needs the right desk on which to work. If you’re working at home, you may want an electric standing desk under $500. There are plenty of options out there, and we’re going to discuss them all and help you choose the best height-adjustable desk under $500.

Top 3 Standing Desks Under $500

1. SmartDesk Core from Autonomous

As someone who is all about paving the way forward in ergonomics, it would be an injustice for me to give the top spot to anything else. Before you take the deep dive with me, let's look at things on the surface. What are some of the things that make the SmartDesk Core so great?

First, if you are looking for a standing desk under $500, this is one of the quietest ones you are ever going to experience. I do enjoy a bit of tranquility myself, so any unit that gives me that is going to get bonus points.

Next, we can't forget that what you want to be doing here is working efficiently. Therefore, if your table is going to have amazing adjustability features, they shouldn't really be getting in the way of that. I can confidently say that these are some of the most user-friendly and intuitive controls you will ever experience, making the whole operation feel seamless.

Imagine having a luxury standing desk without the exorbitant price tag, and you have the Autonomous SmartDesk Core. Safety is the order of the day, and a big part of that is the anti-collision technology that has been baked into the design.

SmartDesk 2 premium from autonomous

I'd also like to briefly touch on the height adjustment range, which I find to be incredibly generous. After all, the expectation is that customers are going to have different heights, meaning that their needs are going to vary. Being able to design for that kind of consideration is a badge of honor.

So, what do I see here when it comes to talking specs? First, assembly is going to be very straightforward, and the instruction set reinforces that. This should be a one-person job, which is always awesome since not everyone is going to be able to find a partner. You should be in and out of there by the time 20 minutes have passed.

This is an ANSI/BIFMA, UL-certified desk. Additionally, you can expect to be offered two separate warranties. The first is a five-year warranty for the standing desk frame, and this is complemented by a one-year warranty for the top.

Speaking of the top, you can get it in any of two variations. If you're looking for more of a small standing desk, then you can get the little variation measuring 43 inches by 24 inches by 1 inch. The classic top keeps the one-inch height, but the other measurements become 53 inches by 29 inches.

Furthermore, the smaller variation comes in black or white, with the classic one being available in white oak, bamboo, white walnut, white, or black. Finally, while the classic top will be made of natural bamboo or warp-proof MDF wood, only the latter option is available for the small top.

A dual-motor design is implemented with a lifting capacity of 250 lbs. Additionally, with the top included, the height range is 29.3 inches to 48.5 inches. Finally, the frame is made of SPCC steel.

2. FlexiSpot E7

Another one of the best adjustable standing desks you can get your hands on is the FlexiSpot E7. There is a misconception out there that a flexible height adjustable table is one that is flimsy. Sure, I can see where arguments like that would come from, but do not think that they are absolute. The E7, for example, is specifically designed for sturdiness.

I find it quite incredible that a base with no stability bar can stand firm regardless of its height. This remains true even when the workload gets heavy. Much of this is attributed to a near-perfect column gap and thicker legs. With that in mind, you will end up with a setup that offers seamless and smooth movement across each of the columnar stages.

It's also important to mention the carbon steel base, which is nothing short of solid. Apart from the aforementioned stability, this is going to be one of the reasons why you end up with a durable table.

As far as weight capacity goes, you're looking at 355 lbs. here, offering you a great amount of versatility in your workstation. Note that there is a pro option that can bear up to 440 lbs., which is effectively the weight of two decently heavy grown adults. What's my point? Fitting all your essentials on this desk should be no challenge at all.

Of course, we do have to pay some attention to the visual element of things. I find the FlexiSpot E7 to be very aesthetically pleasing, partially attributed to the choice to go with a holeless leg design. It also helps that the color has a high level of consistency, and much of this is because of an anti-wear coating with very impressive temperature resistance.

FlexiSpot E7

I do also want to mention the Nordson Enviro Coat powder spraying system that contributes to the sustainable quality of the desk’s composition. FlexiSpot also went for a laser welding technique here, contributing to a respectably sleek visual.

Your frame can come in a couple of variations. There is the C-frame with a 25-inch to 50.6-inch adjustment range. Alternatively, you can get the T-frame which has a 22.8-inch to 48.4-inch window. The C-frame goes with the E7 Pro, which is purposely designed backward to allow for extra space under the desk. However, if you want more stability and a symmetrical visual, you will want to go with the T-frame instead.

I've always been a huge fan of standing desk cable management, and while I wouldn't say that a sit-stand desk under $500 loses anything by not having a cable tray, I do think it's a nice inclusion here. If nothing else, it helps you to be as discreet with your cables as possible.

Finally, I want to mention the touchscreen keypad that's used for adjustment. Apart from the height presets that are typical of these desks, FlexiSpot included a very convenient child lock. Who knows? You could be using this in a home office setup, and it seems like the kind of thing kids would love to play with. When you have the child lock on, neither your kids nor your pets will be able to mess with the desk.

3. SHW Standing Desk

The final desk I will be looking over is the SHW 55-inch electric height adjustable option. Right out of the gate, you can see that the tabletop real estate you will have is quite imposing, and who is going to have a problem with that? Additionally, this is the cheapest option you will find of the three being reviewed here.

Does having a low price tag necessarily mean that the quality is subpar? That may or may not be the case, but why don't you explore this build with me so we can determine where it stands? First, let's talk about the different available color options. You can get it in black, white, or even walnut, which are pretty standard.

However, there are some other interesting options such as cherry, maple, oak, and rustic brown. The tabletop measures 28 inches by 55 inches, but you should note there are a few different sized variations. While the width is 55 inches by default, you can also opt for a 40-inch, 48-inch, or even an outstanding 62-inch design.

The base material is alloyed steel, and you will be getting a laminated finish with your purchase. As for the tabletop, it is engineered wood. Some people prefer to get a standing desk with drawers, and while you're not necessarily getting that here in the truest sense, the conveniently included under-desk mesh tray can accommodate a couple of items apart from just cables. I also think it's cool that there are two hooks on either side under the desk, one of which is intended for your headphones, and the other which is for your backpack.

SHW Standing Desk

As was the case with the previous two desks, you will be getting an electric lift system that is fully motorized. It will allow you to enjoy anywhere between 28 inches to 45 inches of adjustment. To this end, you will also be able to capitalize on a digital display handset that offers four memory presets, making shifting from one height to the next a breeze.

Assembly is a very straightforward venture, and that boils down to the intuitive design that SHW went for. Particularly, the idea is that customers should be able to use the least hardware possible to have to put the desk together.

There is one elephant in the room that I must mention if I'm being fair. Based on everything I've said so far, it sounds like there are a lot of inclusions for a desk that is on the cheaper side of the fence, right? Well, this happens to be a pretty frequently returned option, as some customers have run into issues.

Am I trying to say that the design is bad? Not necessarily, as on the flip side, there have been many satisfied customers who have purchased this table from SHW. Be that as it may, I think it's my responsibility as an expert reviewer who prides himself on being one of the needle movers in the ergonomic space to ensure that I provide my readers with the full picture.

What to Consider When Buying a Standing Desk Under $500?

First, I don't believe that the purchase of an ergonomic desk is something that you should even try to look at through an objective lens. Sure, there are some absolutes such as the height adjustment range. However, I think you should always consider the factors that matter to you most.

For example, if your whole thing is to have an all-white office, a desk that does not offer a white tabletop may not be so appealing to you. Additionally, if you are trying to keep costs as low as possible, then a budget option is probably going to stand out.

The point here is that, as you look at the different features and you're evaluating the strengths and weaknesses, make it as much about your personal preference as possible. Guess who is going to be the one that has to use the desk, whether it's satisfactory or not?

What to Consider When Buying a Standing Desk Under $500?

How We Pick

Here's a brief look at the elements that I used to decide what makes the best standing desk under $500.

Cost

This one goes without saying, especially as the whole idea is that there is a definitive figure that should not be exceeded. I wouldn't even say that buying a table under $500 is your looking for a budget option. With that kind of price range, you're going to get some exceedingly great desks, as you can infer from the alternatives presented.

Materials and Aesthetic

Build quality is arguably the most important element of the decision-making factors. It's going to determine the amount of stability and durability that you're getting out of your tabletop. Strong metallic frames and renowned wooden tabletops will always get the win for me. Of course, the visual is also important, as you want your office space to look awesome.

Features

What kinds of inclusions did the manufacturer opt for? This will include the height adjustment range, the availability of memory presets, the noise level of the desk, etc. The little extras are going to make the difference here.

How We Pick

What Is the Best Pick?

I will have to go with the Autonomous SmartDesk Core here. Don't get me wrong as the FlexiSpot E7 and SHW 55-inch desks are nothing short of phenomenal.

However, with the SmartDesk Core, we're talking about a unit that has a superb height adjustment range, great price, awesome warranty, exceptional customizability, and a very sturdy design. Let's also not forget how quiet it is during its transitional operations.

What Is the Best Pick?

Frequently Asked Questions

Are standing desks healthier than sitting desks?

I would say that the desks allow you the option to work healthier. However, it's on you to use them well. Standing for an entire work session is not much healthier than being seated the whole time, since there are disadvantages on both sides. Considering the body is built for movement, what you want to get comfortable with is sit-stand sessions, alternating at intervals.

How expensive should a standing desk be?

This is a subjective matter and is up to you to determine based on your budget. Note that if you don't want to exceed $500, any of the desks here will allow that.

What is an acceptable warranty period for a standing desk?

You'll want at least a year for your tabletop, and more for your frame, if possible, since the latter is expected to be on the stronger side.

Conclusion

I'm very happy with the options put forward, considering they all have great advantages I didn’t even get to mention.

For example, while none of them may be L-shaped, you can make any of the three a corner standing desk if you so desire.

Of course, I'll take one last opportunity to reiterate the fact that the Autonomous SmartDesk Core stands above the other two if you're looking to get the best value.

SmartDesk One offer

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