If you’re familiar with standing desks, you’ve probably heard of Varidesk. Perhaps one of the most recognized standing desk brands in the industry, Varidesk employs a variety of hard-hitting marketing tactics designed to drill recognition into the minds of potential clients.
You’ve probably seen them on television, heard of them on the radio, or seen them pop up on those questionable ads on social media.
But contrary to their popularity, Varidesk is often met with a lot of disappointment. And if you didn’t know any better, you’d think their products were top-quality.
Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case. As they say, companies often tend to over advertise products that fall short on delivery.
That’s why I dedicated my time to look for brands and the same models that are ultimately better in different aspects that the Varidesk Pro Plus 36 lacks in. Here’s what I found:
- 1. UPLIFT Desk V2
- 2. iMovR ZipLift+ Wide
- 3. The Duke Platform
- 4. Cadence Express
- 5. Cooper
- 6. AmazonBasics
- 7. VIVO
- 8. FlexiSpot M2B
Ultimately, I decided that the Varidesk lacks in delivering on a few important aspects: the lift mechanism, height options, and overall design.
While I found different alternatives that ultimately excel in some of these aspects, I settled on the Uplift Desk V2 Bamboo as the best analog.
The Uplift, by far, is one of the most functional models I’ve come across in a long time. The design boasts ingenuity and overall functionality.
I don’t need to go over the benefits of having a motorized standing model, but that was one of the main deciding factors for me. While the Varidesk Pro Plus 36 is a reasonable enough desk for the office, it features a manual lifting mechanism that is just awkward to operate.
About the Company. Where Are Varidesks Made?
Varidesk standing desks are made in China. Despite that, the US-based company will tell you that their desks are manufactured in the USA.
The production of adjustable height standing models started thanks to the innovation of the employees of Gemmy Industries when they saw their co-worker’s need for a more dynamic desk.
The Varidesk headquarters are located in Texas.
While it’s certainly not the best standing desk or Costco standing desk converter for office among dynamic furniture companies, the small Varidesk brand managed to reach wide-scale production thanks to their marketing tactics.
8 Best Varidesk Competitors Aimilar to Varidesk (List for 2021)
You’ll be surprised at how many standing desk converter models re available in the market that is ultimately better than the Varidesk option in many aspects. I chose the Uplift Desk V2 table as the overall best, but let’s take a look at your other options:
1. UPLIFT Desk V2 Bamboo – #1 Alternative Sit to Stand Desk
The Uplift V2 table remains to be one of the most innovative decks I’ve come across in the market. This table was voted the best by Wirecutter and Forbes, and for a good reason.
Starting at $539.00, this model comes with a motion board that allows you to optimize your standing while working experience.
Take a look at its best features:
Best Lifting Performance – the Uplift V2 Stand Up Desk is widely known as one of the most stable models in the industry. This table, despite the 355-pound weight capacity, continues to lift well beyond its capacity without any issues. The travel speed stays consistent throughout and only slows once you reach its weight capacity. You’ll also find that this model has one of the quietest motors available.
Advanced Controls – its soft-touch and easy to use keypad features a technologically advanced program that allows you to save user settings. This means you don’t have to reprogram your new desk every time you use it. You’ll also be able to set maximum and minimum height adjustments as you wish. It is a great table for studying.
Summary: This perfect table by Uplift might not be the fastest in the industry, but it’s certainly one of the best among low-mid range standing models. Its stability is unparalleled, and the adjustment speed remains consistent throughout its use. If you like to maintain a highly dynamic work environment, this is the best choice for you.
2. iMovR ZipLift+ Wide Standing Desk Converter – Best Ergonomics Varidesk Alternative
The iMovR ZipLift is a great analog if you’re simply looking for an ergonomic and highly adjustable standing desk converter.
Most of its features and benefits are the same as the Varidesk with two key advantages: the adjustment range is better, and it features a more ergonomic design.
Standing desk converters are ideal if you want to add a platform to your existing desk, or if you’re not ready to commit to a full-sized standing desk.
Here’s why you’ll like it:
Z-Lift Design – this perfect model utilizes a z-lift mechanism that features a single nesting bar. This allows the unit to remain well-stabilized without the unpleasant criss-crossing support bars that are ultimately ineffective.
Ergonomic Keyboard Tray – you won’t find another converter unit in the market with an ergonomically tilted. The ZipLift features a specifically designed tray that tilts up to 15 degrees to ensure maximum comfort.
Summary: If you’re trying to put several monitors on the top platform of this unit, you’ll need to be very careful with lifting it. In some cases, the base can’t handle the top-heaviness which causes the feet to lift up when you’re trying to adjust it. Other than that, you’ll enjoy the ergonomic tray, quick and silent adjustments and multiple adjustment options.
3. The Duke Platform Adjustable Desk Top for Monitors – Best Value
This model is an ideal solution if your current desk can’t support a multi-monitor setup. Generally, it works similarly to the Varidesk with a few key improvements: easy adjustments, ergonomic design, and an extendable keyboard and mouse platform.
Let’s discuss its best features:
Multi-monitor Capacity – this adjustable desk stand is suitable for anyone who would like to convert their standard desk to a multi-monitor setup without having to worry about running out of space. This desk stand is also ideal for multi-media users who like to switch between laptop and desktop use.
Smooth and Easy Height Adjustment – this desk is easy to adjust and is ideal if you tend to change positions and would like to keep your monitors and equipment dynamic. You can easily adjust it to any desired height without having to worry about your equipment toppling over.
Summary: One of the biggest drawbacks of the Varidesk is its awkward and space consuming lift mechanism. The rowing lift motion is okay, but a vertical movement is more ergonomic for many reasons. This desk easily moves up and down as you wish so you don’t have to worry about how you’ll adjust it.
4. Cadence Express Standing Desk Workstation – Single Monitor
This workstation is one of the best space-efficient units I’ve come across. It boasts great stability and is ideal if you’re looking for a platform for a single monitor.
This also gives you more space to work on your desk without having to compromise on your comfort.
Compared to the Varidesk, you’ll find that this desk is more ergonomic, offers better height adjustments, and boasts a sleeker design.
Here’s why you’ll like it:
Ultimate Balance – this model features a gas-assisted balancing arm that keeps your monitor and keyboard stable. This also means you don’t have to worry about it wobbling or potentially tipping over while you work. This allows you to focus on your work with little to no distractions.
Space-Saving Design – you’ll enjoy how this converter does not come with a bulky frame that takes up most of your desk space. The single balancing arm allows you to put away your monitor and keyboard when you’re not working on it so you can have a wide and uninhibited desk space to use for a variety of other activities.
Great Ergonomic Adjustability – the monitor tower not only allows you to mount your monitor to save space and ensure safety, but it also allows you to easily adjust it. The adjustment means your keyboard and monitor are ergonomically placed at all times according to your needs. The tower also rests on a swivel base, which allows you to access the adjustment knob easily.
Summary: If you only need a platform for one monitor, then this converter is the ideal choice for you. You’ll enjoy the easy access and space-saving design as well as the full adjustment range that allows you to customize the placement of your monitor and other equipment to fit your needs specifically. That said, it will not work for a dual monitor setup and some users have reported that when it is retracted for a sitting position(As mentioned before, standing uses more muscle groups than sitting), some instability will occur.
5. Cooper – Top Design
One of the biggest drawbacks the Pro Plus 36 has is its design. It’s not only riddled with flaws, but it doesn’t look sleek, so it isn’t easy on the eyes.
Aside from that, this desk boasts a better lift design than its more popular competition.
Its vertical lift adjustment is easy to access and operate, unlike the Vari, which moves in a rather awkward motion. Moreover, Cooper also brings you more space to work in. Its spacious design and easy adjustments make it a more reasonable option design-wise.
Here’s why you’ll like it:
Sustainable and Sturdy – this product is ideal if you want a surface with little to no guilt. It is made of sustainable bamboo and supported by a powder-coated metal frame with a crossed design. This design allows the desk converter to support the heavy load with ease and retract gently so as not to damage your equipment.
Easy Installation – This product ships assembled. This means you don’t need to spend your time and effort, trying to figure out how to put it together. It also eliminates the risk of receiving wrong or misaligned parts. Moreover, this means you can install and use it right after unpacking.
Summary: This model is an ideal analog if your main concerns over the Pro Plus 36 are design and the lifting mechanism. You’ll enjoy the vertical lift and stable movements as well as the sustainable desk tops. However, it is quite bulky so if you would like to have more room on your desk, this won’t be ideal. Additionally, if your desk is heavy with equipment, the single handle adjustment can be quite difficult to operate.
6. AmazonBasics Height Adjustable – Top Budget
At $350, the Pro Plus 36 standing desk converter is certainly not cheap. It’s also not the best option, but it’s definitely not the most expensive in the market either.
Thanks to their marketing tactics, you might be compelled to purchase it, thinking you’re buying a more budget-friendly unit.
Unfortunately, this isn’t true. ThePro Plus 36 is overpriced, in my opinion. So I found a better analog that’s budget-friendly, reasonable, and full of great features.
Take a look at its best qualities:
No Assembly Required – this model is ready to go right out of the box. Unlike other standing desk converters, it eliminates one of the most tedious parts of receiving your package. It’s also safer since you’ll be able to identify any defects easily without having to spend an hour putting it together.
Ergonomic Keyboard Tray – the integrated sliding keyboard tray moves together with the desk, so it’s always ideally positioned to be ergonomic and ideally proportioned to your monitor’s placement. It’s spacious enough to fit a full-sized keyboard and mouse. You can also slide it backward to have more writing or working space on your desk.
Summary: This converter works similarly to the Varidesk except it isn’t limited on height adjustments and it doesn’t have the awkward lifting motion. Moreover, it’s also decidedly the cheapest option I’ve listed here. At just a little over $100, you’ll have a reliable converter. Unfortunately, it isn’t ideal for multiple monitor setups.
7. VIVO – TOP Electric Standing Desk
This one is the best electric varidesk alternative model moves quickly and quietly. It’s a great choice if you’re looking for a motorized analog to the Pro Plus 36.
Unlike the awkward manual rowing lift mechanism on the Varidesk option, this converter allows you to sit and stand with the push of a strategically placed button.
Here’s why you’ll like it:
Generous Space and Ergonomics – this model is designed to support a multiple monitor setup with ease. It’s also ideal for laptop setups and is compatible with a monitor arm so you can maximize your platform space. The keyboard tray is also designed to move with the converter, so it’s always ideally positioned.
Minimal Assembly – this table requires some assembly, but it isn’t extensive. This gives you time to check if all the components are properly fitted and are working properly without having to spend copious amounts of time trying to figure out where each part is supposed to go.
Summary: This electric height adjustable standing desk is ideal if you’re set on the Vari but want an electronic option. The one-push button makes it easy to lift and lower as you wish and the spacious workspace makes it ideal for multiple monitor settings. However, it does tend to take up quite some space because of its bulky design.
8. FlexiSpot M2B
The Flexispot M2B is ideal if you want something as recognized as Varidesk, but better in performance. I found that this desk is similar to the Varidesk in many ways but ultimately was better when performance is considered.
Take a look at its best features:
Multiple Height Adjustments – this desk features 12 height settings that make it easy for you to determine which height you want your desk to lock into. The vertical lifting mechanism means it’s more space-efficient and that it is also easier to use.
Quality and Durability – this desk has been fatigue tested multiple times to ensure its stability and durability. This means your desk will be able to lift heavy loads without any problems.
Summary: Much like the Pro Plus 36, this product features limited height settings. That said, the predetermined height adjustments are generous enough and will be more than comfortable for any user. You’ll enjoy the smooth lift motion and spacious design on this unit that is cheaper than the Varidesk.
Varidesk vs Vivo
While Varidesk does come with its own set of issues, I found that the Vivo desk—aside from being motorized, did not do much better than the Varidesk.
The motorized lift mechanism in itself is a good enough reason to choose Vivo as an analog, but you will find that the Varidesk does come with better height adjustments.
Versadesk vs Varidesk
The Versadesk unit allows for a better side-by-side comparison with the Varidesk because it also features a manual lift mechanism.
The difference being that the Versadesk offers a more ergonomic lift motion by moving vertically as opposed to the Varidesk’s supposedly more ergonomic rowing lift motion that requires unnecessary space for movement.
How Much is a VariDesk Pro Plus 36?
The Pro Plus 36 retails at $395.00 with free shipping on Amazon.
VertDesk Global LLC, a Salt Lake City-based startup developing “hacker” desks and “livework” spaces, has come up with what it believes to be the first adjustable standing desk for the home and office. Created by researcher Billie Greenberg in partnership with Daron Seyfert, co-founder of the Assistive Technology Clinic at the University of Utah, the VertDesk L-3 does not require any adjustments during your working day. Suspension technology combined with a spine bridge and two legs and armrests allows you to change the height of the desk and adjust the position of the slats on your desk. In the future, VertDesk said it could introduce laser technology that would “compose light beams and bend them to precisely mimic spinal bending and avoid the strain associated with it”. The idea of the L-3 is to allow someone who is always on their feet to take a break and reduce the strain on their neck, back, and wrists.
VertDesk’s website describes it as a desktop that can be used for “just about anything” including sitting, working, standing, studying and watching TV, but also that is flexible and mobile and can be rearranged when needed. VertDesk 4,7 delivers unsurpassed strength and versatility while adding connectivity and all-new HD video capabilities. The new VertDesk 4,7 model includes upgraded ultra-precise LED controls, special branding, storage support for mobile devices, and USB power cables. The VertDesk 4,7 is now the most affordable VertDesk on the market. The new VertDesk 4,7 can be easily customized with your choice of six different cabinet configurations, including a high-integrity glass tray, a slide-out desk tray, six-wheel trays, or a double-height box with storage cabinets, including a cabinet with two drawers, extra-tall drawers, and double-height storage cabinet. VertDesk 4,7 models include an optional MSRP display price for US locations. Currently, this includes the US with the added feature of four four-sided optical discs.
Does a Stand up Desk Really Help?
Generally, standing desks are all about aesthetics. Here’s an even-bigger-stand-up-desk-that-really-works-and-is-insane: But some studies show that while standing may be good for you, working on your feet for extended periods of time is actually more dangerous for your health than sitting at a desk all day. For example, it can increase the risk of a heart attack, type 2 diabetes, and an overall lower life expectancy. The study, published in a 2009 issue of the British Medical Journal, found that working all day long had a negative impact on the heart and “the worse your lifestyle, the worse your risk of mortality. According to the United States Department of Labor, more than a quarter of U.S. workers don’t use a desk all day.
What Can I Use Instead of a Standing Desk?
Simple – put a CD player near your office chair. Your office chair is great because it encourages movement, but sitting in your office all day gets very boring after a while. What better way to stay entertained while you work? Thanks to the wonders of wireless technology, a Bluetooth speaker can be used to play music while you work. Alternatively, a streaming music service like Spotify is perfect for streaming music from your computer to a Bluetooth speaker, and then playing it in your office.
Some office chairs include Bluetooth, but the wiring might be difficult to spot. For more people with a wired-in office chair, using a small wireless speaker like a UE BOOM 2 or JBL E11BT ($100 and $90, respectively) will play your music just fine. There are a ton of Bluetooth speakers available, though, and all will fit into the mentioned categories above.
Final Thoughts. What is the Best Standing Desk Alternative?
By now, you may have realized that the Varidesk Pro Plus 36 is simply over-advertised. It’s one of the most popular standing desk options out there simply because it’s heavily marketed.
Newbies in the standing desk community might not be aware that Vari products tend to lag behind their competition when it comes to actual results.
Overall, I found that the Uplift Desk V2 standing desk is the best alternative to the Varidesk Pro and one of the best ergonomic desks. It’s ultimately more functional and feature-rich. Not to mention, it’s one of the most stable two-legged desks in the industry. Jarvis Standing Desk is another model to consider if you are looking for a similar setup.