2020 has been a wild year, hasn't it? Restaurants and movie theaters are closed in parts of the country, we're wearing masks while out in public, and many of us are still working/learning from home. Depending on your living setup, this means tackling papers and reports either from a dedicated office space or wherever you can find room in your living room or kitchen.
There's a good chance many of us will continue working from home for the foreseeable future, and if that's a position you find yourself in, it might be time to consider upgrading your home office desk if you haven't already. It's probably something you've thought about a few times over the past months, but I'm here to tell you today that it's something you should go ahead and actually act on.
Earlier this year, I finally swapped out my traditional office desk with a standing one — specifically, the Vari Electric Standing Desk. There are so many standing desks to choose from right now, but Vari looked to offer the best overall experience without spending a ridiculous amount of money. After a few months with it, I'm happy to report that the desk has exceeded every one of my expectations. At this point, I honestly don't know how I ever lived without it.
At a glance
Vari Electric Standing Desk
Bottom line: If you're in the market for a standing desk, it's hard to do much better than the Vari Electric Standing Desk. Available in two sizes and a multitude of finishes, Vari has delivered a desk that's incredibly well-built, dead simple to assemble, and has programmable height settings, so you always have perfect ergonomics. You get all of that at a pretty reasonable price considering everything that's on offer, making this one of the best pieces of office gear money can buy.
- Assembly is a piece of cake
- Outstanding build-quality
- The Reclaimed Wood finish is STUNNING
- Smooth, quiet motors for height adjustment
- Reasonable pricing
- Backed by a five-year warranty
- You'll probably want two people to put it together
- Not as customizable as some competitors
Vari Electric Standing Desk Price and availability
There are two main versions of the Vari Electric Standing Desk that you can buy — one with a 48" x 30" size and another that comes in at 60" x 30". The former is available for $550 and the latter will set you back $650.
Both desks have the same exact height settings, ranging from 25" all the way up to 50 1/2". You also get the same finish options for both sizes, including Reclaimed Wood, Butcher Block, Darkwood, White, and Black.
In addition to being sold on Vari's official website, you can also buy the Electric Standing Desk on Amazon with free Prime shipping.
Vari Electric Standing Desk What I love
I suppose that shipping and assembly is the most logical place to start, so that's where we'll begin. Vari ships the Electric Standing Desk in two separate packages, including the tabletop and legs/other components. Shipping such a large item like this is no easy task, but everything arrived in perfect condition without any damage. Your mileage will certainly vary as a lot of different factors come into play with this sort of thing, but I had no issues in these regards.
Once everything did arrive at my apartment, it was time to assemble the desk. And, to my surprise, the whole process was shockingly easy. After opening the box with the tabletop, all you do is flip it over so you can attach the legs, the control box that powers each leg, the buttons for adjusting the height, and an optional cable management section.
Everything is assembled using hex screws, with Vari including two different hex keys that end up being the only tools you need. Getting the parts attached took a matter of minutes, thanks to clear instructions and smart designs for everything. Whether it be pre-made slots for the legs or easy-to-understand cables to power the desk, I can't imagine a better laid-out assembly process.
In the end, the most challenging part about assembling the desk was trying to flip it over onto its legs. I managed to do it myself with the 60" x 30" model, but that's only because I'm incredibly stubborn, and Kennedy (my wife) wasn't home at the time. If you get the desk yourself, listen to Vari's instructions and do it with a second person 😛.
With the desk all put together and ready to rock-n-roll, it's time to actually use it. And my oh my, what a lovely desk this is to use.
Working has been considerably more comfortable since using Vari's desk.
One of the reasons I wanted to migrate to a standing desk finally was to improve my ergonomics while working. I spend 8-9 hours of my day in front of my computer, and with my old desk, that often meant cramped hands/wrists once 4:00 PM rolled around. In the 3+ months I've been working from the Vari Electric Standing desk, that's not been something I've had to worry about.
I have two custom height configurations that I switch between during my workday — 42" when I'm standing and 28" while sitting. I can hop back and forth between the two with the press of a button (Vari gives you four programmable buttons for switching to a pre-made height), and if I ever need to fine-tune something, there are manual up and down adjustments you can make, too.
You'll need to play around with everything at first to find the settings that work best for you, but once you do, it's not something you really have to think about ever again. I press 1 when I want to stand, 2 when it's time to sit, and I get a perfect setup every single time.
You can certainly hear the desk's motor kick in when it's going up/down, but it's far from being loud or obnoxious. It also does so smoothly and quickly, and that's not something that's changed over the past few months of (mostly) daily height adjustments.
The Reclaimed Wood finish is gorgeous.
As for the tabletop, it's been every bit as good. I opted for the Reclaimed Wood finish, and out of all the available finishes, it stands out as being the most striking. It's easy to see that it's just a printed-on design when you look up close, but it gives the desk a soothing, rustic aesthetic that has yet to grow old on me. On top of its good looks, it also feels incredibly sturdy and has proven to be a breeze to clean.
I was a little hesitant about going with the larger 60" x 30" size, but in the end, I'm really appreciative of the extra space. Right now, I have a 27-inch iMac, two Nest Audios, and a Nest Hub that take up the most space. Along with that, I also have a few nicknacks, my iPad Pro for daily notetaking, a wireless charger, and my mouse/keyboard. Even with all of that constantly present (in addition to a couple of phones, tea, and other junk that piles up throughout the week), I never feel like I'm cramped or running out of space. The 48" x 30" is certainly a better choice if you're limited on space or have a tighter budget, but I'm really, really glad I decided to go big.
Vari Electric Standing Desk Amazing accessories
While the Electric Standing Desk is the main focal point of this review, it's not the only Vari product I've been using. In addition to it, I've also been testing out the Vari Task Chair and Standing Mat — both of which have done nothing but elevate my experience with the desk.
Starting with the Task Chair, I'm pretty confident in saying that it's the most comfortable chair my butt has ever graced. The seat cushion is extremely comfortable while still offering great support, the whole thing is assembled in just a few minutes with no tools required, and you have virtually endless adjustments to make — including the back, seat, armrests, and back tilt/tension. During the parts of my day when I sit, it's been a huge contributing factor to alleviating some of that wrist strain I'd otherwise feel.
$295 is a lot of money, but compared to something like a $700+ Herman Miller, you're getting a pretty similar experience for hundreds less.
Then there's the Vari Standing Mat, and while it's not as exciting as the Task Chair, it's equally important for completing your perfect work-from-home setup. The 36" x 24" size that I have has been as good as I could ask for, offering ample support for prolonged standing sessions and a large enough size that I can move around a bit when my feet get antsy.
Even when torn up by pesky cats, the standing mat is still a great add-on.
A quick word of advice, though. If you have cats and get a standing mat, put it away when you aren't using it. My cat Polo recently decided he likes to claw at the mat in the middle of the night, resulting in the mutilated mess you see above. Even with all of the carnage, though, the mat has held up quite well and is still every bit as comfortable to use.
Those are the two accessories I've been rocking in my office, but Vari has a wealth of other options to offer. Whether it be a standing mat with a built-in rocker, file cabinets, monitor arms, a power hub, or anything else, there's a lot on offer. You obviously don't have to buy other Vari products if you get the company's Electric Standing Desk, but it is nice to see a whole ecosystem of devices designed with the Electric Standing Desk in mind.
Vari Electric Standing Desk What could be improved
At the risk of sounding like a Vari shill, there's honestly not much I genuinely dislike about the Electric Standing Desk. In the over three months it's been in my office, I've yet to run into any notable drawback or limitation.
If I had to complain about something, it would be nice to see expanded customization options at some point down the road. Some competing standing desks allow you to change things like the leg color and even how the height controller looks, and being able to add a more fine-tuned personal touch would be great.
Vari Electric Standing Desk The competition
Vari knocked it out of the park with its standing desk, but the fact remains that it's far from the only option available to you. One of Vari's closest competitors is the UPLIFT V2. Pricing for the UPLIFT V2 starts at $599 for the 42" x 30" size, with UPLIFT offering a total of four sizes all the way up to 72" x 30". Not only do you have more choice for the size of the desk, but there are also 20+ finishes available, customizable frame types, and more. You have a lot more granular control over exactly how your UPLIFT V2 looks, and if that's important to you, it could be reason enough to go with it instead of Vari.
Another popular alternative is the Autonomous.AI Smart Desk 2. Customization is similar to the Vari Electric Standing Desk, and pricing is a bit lower, too (a 53" x 29" desk sells for $479). Autonomous doesn't have quite as strong of a brand reputation as Vari does, but if you want a premium standing desk for a bit less cash, it's definitely worth a look.
Finally, if you want something even more affordable, there's the Flexispot Electric Standing Desk. Currently available for just $255 on Amazon, Flexispot's desk offers 48" x 24" size, easy installation, and an electric motor for raising and lowering the desk. It's a bit more basic than a desk from Vari or UPLIFT, but there's no arguing its value proposition.
Vari Electric Standing Desk Should you buy it?
You should buy this if ...
- You want to improve your ergonomics while working/learning at home.
- You want a high-quality desk that's easy to assemble.
- You want to switch between sitting and standing throughout the day.
- You want a fantastic standing desk at a great price.
You should not buy this if ...
- You like being uncomfortable while working from home.
I've had the opportunity to use countless Android phones, true wireless earbuds, and all sorts of other gadgets throughout this past year. But out of everything, the Vari Electric Standing Desk easily stands out as the most game-changing and memorable product I've been privileged to review.
If you work from home, you need this thing. It's that simple.
Standing desks aren't anything new in 2020, but recent events this year did see more people working from home than ever before. Whether you entered the work from home lifestyle for the first time this year or have been doing it for a while like me, I cannot stress the importance of getting a quality standing desk.
This is something I put off doing for years, and now that I've been living with the Vari Electric Standing Desk for some time, I don't know how I got by without it. I'm putting less strain on my body, I feel more productive, and I feel better about not sitting on my rump for 9 hours out of the day (most of the time, that is).
Just about any standing desk is an improvement over a non-standing one, but if you're planning on picking one up, I strongly urge you to consider buying from Vari. The features, build quality, and performance that you're getting at this price is simply outstanding. It's a big purchase, yes, but it's one I think you'll be really happy with for years and years to come.
Vari Electric Standing Desk
There are plenty of standing desks to choose from right now, but if you want a virtually perfect mix of features, build quality, and value, the Vari Electric Standing Desk is what you want. Vari's desk is thoughtfully designed, puts up with long workdays without a hitch, and allows for great customization options. If you're spending any amount of time working or learning from home, you owe it to yourself to check it out.
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