This guide details 6 Standing Desk options. Several options are improvised using common retail products to assemble a standing desk without tools. I have also listed several commercial options, some with fixed heights and some with adjustable heights.
I have also included seating options that are compatible with standing height desks with some being adjustable for standard height desks as well.
I have personally used all these options for work, and I currently use several of the desks shown in my home office. My primary work desk uses a Halter (Manual) Adjustable Height Table Top (unfortunately, the cream colored desktop shown above is no longer offered) setup on top of a spare household writing desk.
Standing Desk Options
1) Halter Adjustable Desk Table Tops
- Halter Manual Adjustable Height Table Top (via Amazon)
- Halter Electric Adjustable Height Table Top (via Amazon)
This retail option is specifically designed to convert a standard desk into an adjustable desk to allow sitting and standing. It uses a hand-crank to manually adjust height of the desk to create a desk surface anywhere between 29″ at the lowest adjustment and 44″ when fully raised.
The desk surface is constructed from thick, dense fiberboard, much sturdier than similar materials used in Ikea furniture. In this case, fiberboard construction helps reduce overall weight of the unit.
I use this option as my primary desk (manual version) where I spend insane hours creating 3D graphics, playing games, and building websites all while standing.
For anyone taller than 6’6″, this option might end up being a bit low.
|Adjustable on the fly using crank or electric.||Portable but heavy.|
|Excellent customer service for repairs and replacement.||Does not allow use of a stool at full height.|
2) UNICOO Adjustable Height Standing Desk
This option is very commonly used in corporate offices, and I used one for roughly a year while working at a game studio. This option allows use of both a chair or a stool and can alternate from being a standard height desk to a standing height desk using an included crank handle.
Unlike many other adjustable desk products, this option includes the frame and the table surface for half the price as many offerings which include only the frame.
This adjustable desk creates both standard height sitting and standing height table surfaces ranging from 29.5″ at the lowest height and 45.2″ at maximum height.
|Fully adjustable, can be used as a regular desk or a standing desk.||Assembly with moving parts required.|
|Includes frame and table top (many standing desk frames do not include a table top)||Not transportable.|
3) Lifetime Adjustable Table + Risers (Improvised)
- Lifetime 4428 Height Adjustable Folding Table (via Amazon)
- Utopia Bedding Adjustable Furniture Risers – 3, 5, 8 inch (via Amazon)
This improvised option is the best all-around option for portability, ease-of-setup, adjustment range, and price. This option allows pairing with a stool and is great for anyone who needs to alternate between standing and sitting.
Setup is extremely easy, and this option does not require assembly, tools, or a base desk. It uses a folding table with adjustable legs which is raised 5″ to 8″ off the ground to provide a desk height of 39″ to 44″. The table itself weighs 19 lbs, folds in half, and features a strap-style carry handle for transport that can be hidden when not in use. The risers can be nested into one another for compact packing and transport.
I personally use this desk setup as an extra desk and worktable, and I use this setup when I am on-the-go. Suitable for extended hours using a dual monitor setup, keyboard, and mouse for writing, creating computer graphics, and developing websites. I stand at 6’5″ and this option has been perfect for me at maximum height.
|No tools or assembly needed.||Might need placement against a wall.|
| Height is adjustable but not adjustable “on-the-fly”.|
4) Best Choice Folding Table + Base Desk (Improvised)
This improvised option is extremely handy, easy to setup, and is very transportable provided that your destination will provide a desk or table to act as its base.
Setup is extremely easy, and this option does not require assembly, tools, or a base desk. To setup, simply remove the leg extensions from the folding table and store them in slots molded into the underside of the table surface meant for retaining the leg extensions.
Place upon a standard desk or table to create a 48″ high standing desk surface. The space beneath the desk can be used as storage for office supplies, books, computer equipment, etc.
This improvised standing desk setup is great for tall people. Again, I stand at 6’5″, and I have used this desk for extended hours to capture, edit, and render video along with 3d computer graphics: All time-intensive work.
|Simple, sturdy hybrid option.||Very tall, not adjustable.|
|Can be setup on any desk or table.||Needs a base desk.|
5) Fixed Height Wood Standing Desk
Built with real wood and steel, this option is the heaviest and sturdiest standing desk on the list. While being sturdy and heavy, it is still very easy to assemble while standing at a 48″ standing desk height.
Working on this table is very similar to bar-height counters at Starbucks or any other coffee shop that has bar seating against the front window. This option allows use of a stool to alternate between sitting and standing.
This is the only standing desk I found suitable for heavy-duty work dealing with machined parts, equipment, or for performing work involving power tools.
At 48″ tall, this desk is also suitable for people taller than 6’6″.
|Heavy-duty construction.||Not adjustable.|
|Easy, simple assembly.||Not transportable.|
6) Z-Line Multi-Use Standing Desk
Constructed using a steel frame and a fiberboard desk surface, the Z-Line provides at 48″ standing desk height while still being lightweight and relatively portable.
Despite being made out of steel, it is a versatile, lightweight desk can be moved around a room with relative ease. It also can readily serve as a lectern or presentation table.
This standing desk also allows use of a stool to alternate between sitting and standing.
At 48″ tall, this desk is also suitable for people taller than 6’6″.
|Steel frame construction yet relatively lightweight.||Avoid heavy duty use involving power tools, heavy parts, etc.|
|Easy, simple assembly.||Not adjustable.|
Optional Seating for Standing Desks
1) Multi-Purpose Drafting Stool with Adjustable Foot Rest
This seat is commonly paired with standing desks used in commercial offices, and works well with a standing desk height range of 40″ to 50″.
With a built-in footrest, a seated person can sit with their knees below their hips to engage muscles in the hips and core to maintain an upright sitting posture for extended periods. Odd-numbered (5) casters provide a solid base while preventing unintentional rolling or movement.
Designed specifically for drafting, medical, and spa use, this stool features a sitting surface that can be adjusted from 30″ to 36″. Unfortunately, it cannot be used with a standard height desk.
|Built-in footrest that allows.||Incompatible with standard height desks and workbenches.|
|Wide, stable base.||Flat seat shape can punish people who attempt to lean or recline.|
2) SONGMICS Adjustable Height Ergonomic Chair
The SONGMICS chair represents a relatively new wave of ergonomic office furniture which combines traditional ergonomic furniture design with the versatility and adaptability of standard office furniture form.
While offering key features such as the ability to rest one’s knees below the hips to keep the hips and core engaged, the SONGMICS Ergonomic Chair is adjustable for heights of 19.5″ to 27.5″ making it suitable for standard desks and standing desks.
This makes the SONGMICS Ergonomic Chair suitable for standing height desks up of 37.5″ to 44″ while allowing taller people to utilize it for even taller desk surfaces.
|Adjustable for standing and standard height desks.||Might not be suitable for standing desks taller than 44″.|
|Tilting feature allows for movement and adjustment while sitting.||Relatively new product; long-term heavy-duty use not tested.|
Before buying any office furniture, it is advisable to try a standing desk configuration if one is available in your office or a friend has one at their home.
While it is difficult to accurately judge whether or not a standing desk is the right option without actually using one for more than an hour, you might have a visceral reaction that reveals whether or not you will find standing refreshing or awkward.
The improvised standing desk options are a great way to “test-drive” a standing desk without paying hundreds of dollars or importing and housing a large, heavy piece of furniture into the home or office.
If someone finds the improvised standing desks do not suit them or they decide to upgrade to other options, all the improvised components can be readily repurposed as regular tables and furniture risers.
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