Tournament of Desks November 2014: The UPLIFT Desk vs. the NextDesk Terra

Tournament of Desks November 2014: The UPLIFT Desk vs. the NextDesk Terra

Posted by Human Solution on Nov 11th 2013

The secret is out: sit-stand desks are an essential element of a comfortable and healthy workplace. It is truly a boom time for adjustable height sit/stand desks, but with this increase in popularity, its harder than ever to know which desk is the right one for you. That's why, all this week, our bloggers are comparing well-known standing desks to see how they stack up to our best-seller: the UPLIFT 900. Two (or three) desks enter, but only one can reign supreme!

Our November 2014 tournament of standing desks continues. All week long, we’re comparing our UPLIFT Desks to some of the UPLIFT’s competitors. One recent challenger to the UPLIFT that is a relative newcomer is the NextDesk Terra. Lately, it’s probably the desk to which I most get asked to compare the UPLIFT.

One immediately noticeable thing that sets the UPLIFT apart, obviously, is the price. The most popular height-adjustable model of the NextDesk, the Terra, will set you back a cool $1,500, more than twice the price of the UPLIFT. So, some customers used to products that cost more being better quality may gravitate toward the NextDesk thinking it must be a superior product. However, a deeper look at the features and appearance of the two will show that not only is the UPLIFT more affordable, it’s an all-around better design, both functionally and aesthetically.

First, let’s talk about the motor. Unlike the Terra’s chain motor, the UPLIFT’s dual motor system is spindle-in-spindle, which has much less of a chance of looseness or slippage. This also gives the UPLIFT a slightly more robust weight capacity, while still giving you the same extended height range as the Terra.

The UPLIFT also achieves this without that clunky crossbar in the middle of the legs, which is probably the most egregious design flaw of the NextDesk Terra. It impedes your leg room, of course, but it also just results in a less clean look for under your desk. The UPLIFT only requires one "hidden" telescoping crossbar underneath the desk, and even the inner crossbeams can be removed when used with our sturdy, thick laminate desktops without affecting stability. Also, the UPLIFT frame is width adjustable and NextDesk is not.

You may also think that the increased price may mean increased reliability as well. This, however, is certainly not reflected in the desks’ respective warranties. The NextDesk touts a “best-in-class three-year warranty,” yet the UPLIFT comes standard with a seven-year warranty, as well as the option for an extended 12-year warranty. And I certainly don’t think you can argue that the NextDesk is in a different class. The UPLIFT is tested for 20,000 cycles, it passed the ANSI/BIFMA rigorous testing, and is built to last, so the warranty reflects this. It covers all parts, including the motor, frame, controller and switch, as well as all other electronics and mechanisms.

Still not convinced UPLIFT wins this round? Still think that you’ll get a better desk if you throw down $1,500? Or maybe you think I’m not comparing apples to apples because NextDesk’s Terra model comes standard with a Bamboo top? Well, if you want to plunk down four figures for a wood top, you’d be better off going with the UPLIFT model with a beautiful premium Bamboo top. It’s an inch thick, is constructed of dense Moso bamboo, and features a gorgeous top grain and vertical core. The NextDesk bamboo top is less than ¾ inch thick and thus you see much less of the side profile grain of the bamboo desktop edge on the NextDesk that so many folks like to see. Side by side the UPLIFT bamboo is a more beautiful desk.

You get all this, along with the UPLIFT base’s superior design and features, for close to $1000 less than the NextDesk Terra for a comparably-sized top. There are several other real wood options as well, including Maple, Walnut, Cherry, Cedar and Mesquite, some of which end up still being more affordable than their NextDesk Bamboo counterparts, and all of which run circles around the NextDesk’s thinner and flimsier Bamboo top when it comes to sturdiness and overall aesthetics.

So if you’re looking for the best value for your money, the UPLIFT desk wins this round hands down. Or, if money is no object and you’re just looking for the best height-adjustable desk out there, the solid wood UPLIFT Desk still comes out on top. On to the next round!

Learn more about how the UPLIFT Desk stacks up to the competition at

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