Picking up one the best standing desks is one of the most straightforward ways of improving your everyday health. With study after study demonstrating the harmful effects of sitting for too long, finding more ways to stand up during your day is a powerful health hack. But what if you can’t afford to drop half a month’s wages on a new desk? Well, as we point out in this VonHaus Standing Desk review, there’s still a great option out there for you.
While electric standing desks have previously mostly only been accessible to those who can afford to drop £500 - £800 on office furniture, the VonHaus Standing Desk really is democratising access to healthier working habits. Making the tech available to students and those at the beginning of their careers is commendable – but are there sacrifices you have to make in exchange for such a price reduction?
Vonhaus Standing Desk review: price and availability
The VonHaus Standing Desk costs just £149.99 for a 100cm wide desktop or £199.99 for the larger 120cm model. If you’ve ever browsed the market for a standing desk, you’ll be aware this is a bit of a bargain, with many manual adjustable risers that just lift up your laptop coming in at a similar price. Especially when you consider the VonHaus Standing Desk is a fully electric desk.
VONHAUS STANDING DESK REVIEW: ASSEMBLY
Cards on the table: my last desk was a huge beast sold by a Scandi brand that rhymes with ‘sigh-kier’. Assembling it felt like something from Scrap Heap Challenge, in that it was cobbled together out of pieces that didn’t seem to fit together and wobbled dangerously every time it was put to the test. It also sagged worrisomely in the middle once all my stuff was loaded on it. So it's fair to say: I don’t have the best track record with assembling office furniture.
Fortunately, the VonHaus was a breeze to put together. It comes with all of the tools required to do the job and all of the fixings come in individually labelled bags, meaning you don’t have to spend half your time comparing the length of screws to work out which goes where. The instructions are clear and the desk comes in just eight parts, meaning it’s more Kinder Surprise than Lego build in terms of complexity.
It did take me a little longer to assemble than the estimated 60 minute build time, coming in closer to 85 minutes. But I do have a small confession to make on this front: I initially put the worktop on back to front and only realised when trying to connect the terminal that it was on completely the wrong side. Once again: I should not be allowed to build furniture.
Luckily, fixing my mistake only required me to undo eight screws and flip things round, so no lasting harm was done to anything other than my pride. And hooking up the mechanism was child’s play – once the shaft is aligned correctly, you just have to insert it into the socket on either side and tighten it up with an Allen key. Then all you need to do is hook the VonHaus Standing Desk’s terminal up to the motor with the supplied cable and you’re good to go.
VONHAUS STANDING DESK REVIEW: DESIGN AND BUILD
Once the VonHaus Standing Desk was built, I was suitably impressed. It’s an attractive, minimal design that would make it look great in most home offices or living rooms. And there’s a good level of customisation available for those of you looking to match it to your existing furniture. While I opted for the combo of maple desktop and white legs, a matching white top is also available; alternatively, if you go for the black legs, your choices of desktop are black or a classy looking walnut.
In terms of build quality, the VonHaus Standing Desk is sturdy without feeling overly bulky. The desktop feels solid and well-made and there was none of the flimsiness I’ve come to expect from furniture in the more affordable price range. Even once loaded up with all of my gadgets and extended to full height, there wasn’t any wobble or any hint of top-heaviness. And while this may sound like a low bar, I live in a Georgian terrace with very bowed floors so believe me when I say that this is no mean feat.
Some standing desks on the market can be a bit on the small side – quite a few I’ve looked at in the past simply wouldn’t fit all of the kit I use mine for. But the two sizes the VonHaus Standing Desk comes in – 100cm and 120cm – offer plenty of choice here. I reviewed the 120cm model and it gave me ample room for all of my tech, without everything feeling cramped and cluttered.
But with a standing desk, the horizontal measurements aren’t necessarily the most important. How does the VonHaus Standing Desk fair in terms of height?
Well it is true that the VonHaus Standing Desk offers a smaller height range than some of its rivals – at 72cm to 118cm, it’s not the rangiest on the market. And while at 5’11” I’m neither Richard Osman tall nor Rob Brydon short, I found it catered to the full span of my movement from sitting to standing and then some. I found a height setting of 106cm was perfectly sufficient for me to stand comfortably, so I wouldn’t worry about the extra inches unless you really need them.
The VonHaus Standing Desk also isn’t necessarily the most burly standing desk out there either: its 70kg max weight capacity is significantly lower than premium options like the Fully Jarvis Bamboo, which can shoulder up to 158kg. However, it is worth putting this in context: my desk is often loaded up with everything from a mixer to a midi controller and yet this barely makes the VonHaus Standing Desk break a sweat. So yes, if you’re lifting breeze blocks, you might need a bit more muscle – but I wouldn’t worry too much about this for standard office use.
If I was going to be really picky, one element of the design that could use a little more work is the integrated cable management. While the VonHaus Standing Desk does have a single enclosed rail to run cables through, it’s not the most capacious cable storage option and there are no grommets in the desktop to run your leads through. All this meant I still had a dangling vineyard of cables running down the back of my desk – enough to give me a bit of trepidation every time I made a major height adjustment to the desk.
VONHAUS STANDING DESK REVIEW: PERFORMANCE
No matter how a standing desk looks when it’s static, the important thing is how it performs when it’s in motion. And here the VonHaus Standing Desk doesn’t disappoint. It’s incredibly easy to use: tapping the up or down button makes minor adjustments in its height, while holding them means it will glide in that direction until you’re happy with its new position.
Naturally, you’re not going to want to hunt down the perfect height each time you change your posture. Fortunately, the VonHaus Standing Desk has three memory settings that take the hassle out of hitting your preferred position. To program each one, you simply manually select your chosen height, hit the S button and then tap the program number. Then you can recall your chosen setting whenever you hit that button.
The motion of the VonHaus Standing Desk is smooth and suitably fine grained – not only will you have no issue finding your preferred position, you don’t have to worry about your monitor taking a nosedive every time you change the desk’s height. Also, at a maximum of 55dB, the motor is relatively quiet: I don’t know if the gentle whine is enough to disturb colleagues in a busy office environment but I never personally found it distracted me or marred the music I was listening to.
Of course, the purported health benefits of using a standing desk are only really any good if you find yourself actually using it. So what is it like in use?
Personally, I found myself standing up at the VonHaus Standing Desk way more often than I’d expected to. Working at it felt incredibly natural, either while sitting or standing, and I ended up standing for much longer stretches than I’d originally intended. Ergonomically, it didn’t feel unusual typing away at my laptop for long periods of time and there was none of the awkwardness I’ve previously felt trying to integrate more standing into my working day.
But I found the versatility of the VonHaus Standing Desk even more useful in other contexts. Being able to make music while standing up actually allowed me to better reach my mixer and instruments – and there’s nothing like being able to actually move about when you’re making beats. And I’m sure this will make it a solid option for creatives of every stripe: being able to prop up an easel in your exact eyeline or rest a graphics tablet at the most comfortable height for long sketching sessions would be a game-changer for a lot of artists.
VONHAUS STANDING DESK REVIEW: VERDICT
If you’ve always wanted to try out a standing desk but the cost has been putting you off, the VonHaus Standing Desk is definitely one to consider. It makes for an attractive addition to any office, being made of good quality materials and offering a decent amount of desk space. It’s easy to put together and yet sturdy once you have and using it is an absolute breeze, thanks in no small part to its intuitive interface and simple to program memory settings.
Naturally, achieving that cheaper price means making some sacrifices somewhere. The VonHaus Standing Desk’s height range stretches less than some of its more premium rivals and it won’t be lifting weight like a bodybuilder. But I would argue that these are savings made in the right place: you get a premium-feeling product and only need to shop elsewhere if you really require the extra height or weight. And while I’d personally like a little more cable management, I do have more devices to power and audio kit to wire up than the average user.
Realistically though, the biggest factor in helping you decide whether to pick up the VonHaus Standing Desk is going to be that super affordable price. If you have the budget, you can definitely get more desk for your dollar. But there’s very few options out there that offer as quality a standing desk for this kind of money and the VonHaus Standing Desk is absolutely to be lauded for putting standing desks in easier reach of a majority of people.
VONHAUS STANDING DESK REVIEW: ALTERNATIVES to consider
If money is no object, the Fully Jarvis Bamboo should be your first port of call. Not only is it sturdily built and made of high-quality components but it offers a level of customisability we haven’t seen from any other standing desk. You can pick a width from the VonHaus’s 120cm to a Scrooge-McDuck-ian 160cm. You can add power grommets, programmable memory settings, comprehensive cable management. You can even get a concave front edge to allow you to get better access to your kit. But some of those extras will cost you: prices range from £725 to an eye-watering £1,065.
A more middle-ground option, the Flexispot Adjustable Standing Desk Pro E7 offers a better height range and more lift than the VonHaus Standing Desk, without the Jarvis’s asking price. However, it doesn’t come with a desktop under its £399.99 RRP – you can either supply your own or pick up anything from maple- to mahogany-lacquered bamboo from £79.99 from Flexispot’s store.