How-To Geek

15 Ideas to Buy or Build Your Perfect Standing Desk

Once you’ve tried using a standing desk for yourself and decided you want something more permanent, your next option is to build a desk of your own or buy something you can use full time.

We have already shown you how you can modify your existing desk to make it a standing desk, but if you want more options or prefer something that looks more professional, here are some options to build or buy a permanent standing desk.

Build a Desk From Scratch

Building a standing desk is a cheaper option than buying one that’s professionally made. It can also give you more options for space restrictions and allows you to include any drawers, shelves, or options you want.

Here are some ideas to get you started with building your own standing desk from scratch. Click on the picture for a link with more information.

Our very own Jason Fitzpatrick built his desk using two filing cabinets, four milk crates, and a door. The whole desk costs a fraction of a pre-built one and has served well for quite some time. Click the picture for a closeup of how he kept the crates together.

For $200, this IKEA modified desk looks great and has a ton of storage built in. Click the picture for the parts list and build instructions.

This is my work bench in my garage but it works as a great standing desk too. It is a piece of recycled wood for the top and four 4×4 posts cut to 36″ each. The legs are held to the top with shelving brackets. The bench cost about $60 for the legs, brackets, and screws and the bench top I salvaged from the trash. Click the picture for another look.

This IKEA hack uses a filing cabinet and table legs. It looks great and includes a book holder and takes up a minimal amount of floor space. Click the picture for the full build information.

This $40 stand up desk is one of the easiest to build. It gives you the benefit of having a lot of desk space and taking up no room on the floor.

This build costs a bit more but looks fantastic in a modern office. Chris also has some great videos explaining how he put everything together.

Much like the first shelf desk, this one hangs on the wall. The benefits here are multiple tiers and adjustable height. It may take a bit of work, but this could easily be converted for multiple computers and multiple heights and costs about $50.

With a few items from IKEA, this standing desk looks very clean and costs only about $200. Is a great idea if you can’t put holes in your wall or, like this picture, want the desk in front of a window.

This wall mounted IKEA DVD storage unit makes a great standing desk that can hide your cables from view. It only costs about $100 and an afternoon to set up.

Where to Buy a Standing Desk

When you don’t have the time to build something, and have the money to spend, here are some great options for buying a standing desk.

The FREDRIK from IKEA is pretty much the gold standard when it comes to standing desks. It’s simple, adjustable, and has a plethora of accessories to go with it. It starts at $150 which makes it one of the cheapest standing desks you will find anywhere.

This is my current standing desk made by Ergotron. It attaches to a normal desk and converts it into a standing/sitting desk. There are a few different accessories (monitor mounts, large keyboard tray, shelf) and the price can add up when the base model starts at $380.

The GeekDesk is a great option when looking to buy a standing desk. Not only does it have a large work surface, but it also adjust to sitting height at the touch of a button. It comes in two different sizes as well as frame and desk top colors. At $800 the price can be a bit steep. Click on the picture for more information.

The UTBY is another IKEA solution that looks simple and costs less. This one is available in two different heights and is great for buying a standing desk in a small amount of space. Starting at $140 it’s also not going to break the bank.

If you want a stand up desk you can take with you, you should look at the Tabletote. It can be used as a sitting or standing desk and is completely self contained so you can put it in your bag and take it with you. Starting at $40 it is a great portable standing desk option.

If you’re in need of a corner desk that will also let you stand, Ergodepot has you covered. It’s not cheap, starting at $1200, but it would give you a lot of desk space and the option to sit or stand.

Justin Garrison is a Linux and HTPC enthusiast who loves to try new projects. He isn't scared of bricking a cell phone in the name of freedom.

  • Published 01/18/12

Comments (6)

  1. deno

    Do you have any suggestion for a laptop desk, not standing , but where one can sit on teh chair and use the laptop. The one I bought from officemax sucks… Thanks for your help

    IkEA is the way to go , let me know if you have any other sugegstions

  2. Trevor

    I recently showed my employer the wonders of the standing desk and we converted an entire office space to standing desks. We used the GeekDesk frames without the table top and then purchased our own table tops from Ikea. We used the Galent table tops with a desk “extension” for a matching monitor riser. They look great, cost less then the regular GeekDesk, and give you the L configuration.

    Here is my workstation:

  3. Trevor

    Sorry, the previous link is not working because of the SOPA/PIPA blackout protests. Here is a link that does work though:

  4. mrhhug

    I have desperately been looking for something like the Tabletote, except made for actual people to stand at… im of average height (6foot) and i dont like the strain my neck or back looking at a tablet. the Tabletote is only comes less than half way to my eyes…. i have poor vision to begin with!

  5. Frank

    since I got my netbook a couple of years ago – I’ve rarely touched my desk/top computer and am about to throw out my ergonomic desk chair to free the unused space.

    What I use everyday, as right now, is a cheap piece of 1/4″ fibreboard (masonite in Oz) – it was about 3’x2′ with epoxy-glued small timbers stuck onto the edges – longside with flat pine 42mm x 19mm wristrest and to hold paper & pens, and right hand short side with 19mm square timber as a handle to pick up the board – I previously used it to read the broadsheet daily newspaper, but since I dropped that subscription and read the news on the net, I cut the dimensions a bit smaller to (about 31″x18″) straddle the width of my recliner armchair to balance/sit/take the weight on the armchair armrests – I use either knee to raise it slightly to desired angle or let it horizontal as I feel – no strain.

    When I get up, which is often, I simply lift off my netbook (plugged in – no battery – lighter – 1.1kg/2.3lbs) and wireless mouse (mouse pad is blutacked to the board), place them on the dining table beside me, and get up holding the board which weighs not much, about 2kg/4.5lbs, and lean it slimly against the nearby bookcase as I stroll into the kitchen to make a cup of coffee – it sticks out 2″ – nothing. Return with cup – reverse the process – easy, comfortable, do this dozens of times a day !

    So – I’m relaxed and comfortable in my recliner armchair reclining at whatever angle I feel like, my reading board/desktop is no weight on me as it rests on the armrests, and I can sit here all day between watching PVR pre-recorded TV, browsing the web, reading emails, and typing my replies and reports.

    The board being bigger – also provide desk/work/writing space for papers with or without the netbook, so I can have several papers left and right, above and below for reference and work while I’m on the computer.

    Done it for years – and it suits me to a tee …

  6. Holly H

    I’ve been eyeing the WorkEZ stands by Uncaged Ergonomics. I haven’t cracked out the plastic for my very own set just yet but I’m close!

More Articles You Might Like

Enter Your Email Here to Get Access for Free:

Go check your email!