What Types of Standing Desks Are There? 7 Kinds Of Standing Desks For Your Home Office

By Robert David Orr / Last updated: Feb 2, 2022

Trying to figure out what kind of standing desk you should get?

There are several types of standing desks available today:

  • Electric Motor Standing Desks
  • Manual Adjusting Desks
  • Hydraulic Desks
  • Fixed Height Standing Desks
  • DIY Standing Desks
  • Exercise Standing Desks
  • Adjustable Sit to Stand Desks

The standing desk you choose is very important because it has to fit your style of work, your home office space, and your needs for sitting versus standing or other postures you adopt while you’re at your desk.

It also plays a vital role in how much time you spend working productively and can even affect whether you enjoy your job or not.

In addition, it also affects your health. For example, some studies show that sitting too much can lead to a variety of health problems the least of which is chronic back pain.

There are several types of standing desks available today. Standing desks are made from all different kinds of materials, from exotic hard woods to laminate.

Each has its advantages and disadvantages. Before buying a standing desk, it is essential to consider your preferences and lifestyle.

So which one is right for you?

We’re going to talk about each kind of standing desk in detail, so keep reading!

Real quick before we get too far into this: if you want to get more great ideas for your home office and connect with other home office hackers to make your space the best join my free private Facebook group, Home Office Hacks here.

What Is A Standing Desk?

Standing desks are becoming more popular because they allow people to work without being confined to a chair.

A standing desk is a desk that simply enough allows you to comfortably reach your desktop surface so you can work standing up, which is preferred by many people for a variety of reasons.

However, some people may feel uncomfortable standing for long periods of time while they work.

In some instances a standing desk may be adjustable and will allow you to sit down to work when you need to and conversely, stand up at your desk and still be able to get quality productive work in.

Standing desks are usually made from wood or an engineered wood product like MDF or particle board. Adjustable desks usually have a metal base and legs and feature a platform that sits on top of that base.

The height of this platform varies depending on the model. Some models have an adjustable height, while others do not.

Advantages of Using a Standing Desk

What are the advantages of using a standing desk? Using a standing desk offers numerous benefits.

There is much research about how harmful sitting is for long periods of time, and standing desks can help you take control of your healthiness in the workplace.

Here are just a few of the advantages of using a standing desk:

Improves posture and reduces back pain

Studies show that using a standing desk improves posture and reduces back pain.

This is because when you stand up straight, you naturally assume better posture. In addition, standing upright helps reduce the amount of pressure placed on your lower back.

Reduces stress

Stress reduction is another benefit of using a standing desk. Studies show that standing up for extended periods of time relieves tension and anxiety.

Increases energy levels

Using a standing desk increases energy levels. It’s easier to concentrate and focus on tasks when you’re standing instead of sitting.

Better concentration

Research shows that standing up throughout the day boosts brain power. When you’re standing, your body automatically shifts into a more alert state.

More comfortable

Many people find that using a standing desk makes them more comfortable than sitting all day long. The reason for this is that standing requires less muscular effort than sitting does.

Easier to move around

You don’t have to worry about reaching across your desk to grab something if you decide to move around. It also makes it super easy to get out and walk around too, and to resume work at your desk without having to get situated in your office chair.

Standing burns more calories

According to WebMD, studies have found that you actually burn more calories when you’re standing.

Standing desks are very popular nowadays. People use them to be healthier and more active. They also increase productivity.

Greater productivity

Studies have also shown that workers with standing desks are more than 40% more productive than those who sat during their entire shift.

Different Types of Standing Desks

What are the different kinds of standing desks?

You’re sold on the idea of a standing desk, so let’s talk about what the different types and kinds of standing desks are available on the market today.

Although these types of standing desks are all different from one another, they’re all easy to use and set up in your home office.

So which one should you choose? Here are the different kinds of standing desks so that you can make an informed decision on what you need to get for your office.

Electric Motor Standing Desks

The electric motor standing desk has become one of the most popular options among people looking for a new way to stand while they’re working.

Electric motor standing desks use a motor to raise and lower the desktop surface.

Many models now come with the ability to program some preset heights so that you can move your desktop surface with the touch of a single button.

The electric motor standing desk is far and away the most popular standing desk available on the market and is available in just about any configuration you can think of.

The only downside to these electric motor standing desks is that they rely on electricity to power the movement.

In the event of a power outage, if your desk isn’t in the right position for you, you’re stuck until the power comes back on.

In addition, the motor can eventually wear out.

That means that it can’t lift your desktop surface without assistance, or even at all.

If you’re looking at an electric motor standing desk, make sure the weight capacity of the desk you’re looking at is more than enough to handle the load you plan to place on top of your desk.

Manual Adjusting Desks

The most common type of manual adjusting desk is the hand-crank adjustable height desk.

It’s just like a regular desk, the only significant difference is that the height of the desktop surface is adjusted using a hand crank.

Instead of an electric motor, as we talked about before, this desk relies on manual adjustments made by a user-operated crank mechanism that’s built in to the corner underneath the desktop surface of the desk.

The pros of a manual crank adjustable desk are that they don’t require power to raise or lower your desktop surface.

In addition, they’re less problematic than their electric-powered counterparts which are unusable without power.

While you don’t have the convenience of presets in the same way that an electric standing desk does, you can still make fine-grained adjustments so your desktop surface is at the perfect height for you.

They’re not as convenient as other types of standing desks, but they’re still worth considering if you want a simple solution.

height and angle so that you can find the perfect sitting posture.

Hydraulic Desks

Hydraulic powered desks use hydraulic-powered tubes to raise and lower the desktop surface.

This the same kind of mechanism that’s used in your car on your brakes on your car, and to power the flight control surfaces of aircraft.

Instead of relying on an electric motor, or a manual user-operated crank system to do the work, the hydraulic desk uses pressurized fluid to lift the surface.

A hydraulic standing desk uses a pump to pressurize a fluid filled chamber beneath the desktop surface.

When the pressure builds up, it forces the desktop surface upward.

This allows you to adjust the height of the desktop easily and quickly.

Interestingly enough, these hydraulic pumps can use either a manual crank, or electric system to power the pneumatic cylinders to raise or lower the surface.

Makers of hydraulic desks claim that they’re able to life twice the weight and endure twice the number of raising and lowering cycles, which makes for a seriously heavy-duty desktop.

The hydraulic desk is an under-the-radar desk that may be worth looking at if you’re in the market.

These desks come in various sizes and prices depending on what features they include. Some models also come with built-in lighting, USB ports, and charging stations for your phone.

Fixed Height Standing Desks

Another popular kind of standing desk is the fixed height standing desk.

Fixed height standing desks have much more in common with traditional desk styling, the only main difference is the height of your work surface.

If you want to use a fixed height desk as a sit-stand desk, then you’re going to need to get an office chair that’s tall enough to elevate you to your desktop surface, if you want to sit.

These desks can get really expensive too.

You can see several executive style desks available on sites like standupdesks.com.

A static, fixed height desk is a great choice if you’re looking for something simple and easy to use.

Since there are no adjustment options there’s nothing new to learn when it comes to your new desk.

In addition, fixed height desks are available in just about every conceivable style and can be equipped with all the power cut-outs you need for power, USB cables, charging ports, and more.

DIY Standing Desks

The options for creating your own adjustable standing desk are virtually without limit.

Creating your own DIY standing desk is also a great option if you’re concerned about your budget.

More on that in just a minute though.

Here’s a simple way for you to create your own DIY adjustable standing desk fast.

Pick up an adjustable lifting frame from Amazon and then put whatever kind of top you want on it.


One great option is to use a nice slab of butcher block from Home Depot or Lowe’s. That way you can get the exact size you want, get a high-quality wood surface that will endure forever, and it will look amazing!

You can trim the butcher block to whatever size you’d like it to be, stain it, and oil it to be whatever color you want, and cut all the needed holes for your devices, cords, and chargers making it a completely custom setup.

My first standing desk was a DIY standing desk.

So was my second standing desk.

Both of those were fixed-height standing desks, and I used a drafting chair to elevate me to the surface for those times when I needed to sit down.

In my case, in both instances, I used an old dining room table, removed the old legs, and got some 4×4 wood from Home Depot, and some brackets and attached them.

It was super simple and cost me less than $100 for everything.

There are many options out there for people who want to build their own standing desk. Some of them are cheaper than others but all of them will provide a comfortable place to stand at work. If you’re looking to save money, then this might be the best option for you.

Treadmill Desks

For those of us who are seriously health-conscious and like to be able to keep moving at every opportunity a treadmill desk may be the way to go for you.

A treadmill desk is a standing desk that incorporates a treadmill so you can walk at your desk while you’re working.

And a good treadmill desk is also an electric desk that can also serve as a stand-up desk, or an adjustable sit-stand desk.

And the health benefits of treadmill desks is off the charts.

As I mentioned previously, just standing while working will burn more calories.

But walking burns so many more calories than simply standing!

There are roughly 2000 steps in a mile, depending on your height.

And at a casual pace, if you walk for 1 hour you could cover 3 miles while working that can mean that you’re burning can burn an extra 200-calories!

And let’s not forget to mention that walking is a fantastic way to keep your heart healthy. It’s also great if you want to improve your overall health.

Here’s the challenge.

It takes getting used to walking while you work, and this may not be for everyone.

And this isn’t the kind of desk you want to use with your formal work shoes.

You can also create your on DIY treadmill desk by simply adding a treadmill to your standing desk.

It’s a win/win!

Related Question: What Is An Adjustable Sit to Stand Desk?

What about an adjustable sit to stand desk?

Are they any different than any other kind of standing desk?

The answer is no, they’re not.

An adjustable sit to stand desk is just another name for any of the adjustable height desks we’ve discussed here in this article, and there are many adjustable sit to stand desks available on the market, as we’ve discussed.

Next Up:

Need to learn more? Click here to learn more about What are standing desks made of?

Next Steps

Standing desks are more than the latest fad.

Regardless of where you work, whether it’s in a traditional office or in your home office, it’s important to gets up, move around occasionally.

It’s important that you learn about these different types standing desks so you can make an informed decision for your home office workspace.

Want to join others who are creating the most amazing home offices and get more tips, tricks and hacks on how to make your home office the best it can be?

Join my brand new free private Facebook group, Home Office Hacks to connect with other home office hackers to make your space the best!

Robert David Orr

I'm an award-winning web designer & developer, creator, an all-around digital marketing guy and, most importantly when it comes to this site, a long-time veteran of the working from home life. My work from home life spans more than 10 years, and I've experimented with just about everything you can think of when it comes to getting the most out of my home office, how to work from home without going crazy, and found solutions to the numerous challenges that those of us who work from home run into in this life.

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