What Are Standing Desks Made Of?

By Robert David Orr / Last updated: Nov 4, 2022

Standing desks are designed to maximize comfort, ergonomic efficiency and stability and will allow you to work while you sit or stand at your desk. The idea behind them is to increase productivity and lower stress levels.

Because they allow us to stand while working, they provide us with a wealth of advantages while using a standing desk and this helps with all kinds of health issues, not the least of which is to reduce back pain and improve posture.

But what exactly are standing desks made of?

Standing desks are made from a variety of materials, such as steel, various kinds of wood, laminate, and even glass. Some models are adjustable, while others are fixed.

There are all types of different standing desks – from different layout configurations, to different materials used in construction, and they’re built from a variety of different materials.

Here are the most common building materials you’ll encounter in standing desks.

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Real Solid Wood

Real wood is a surprisingly common and available material used in manufacturing standing desks. Most wood standing desks are manufactured using hardwoods like maple, cherry, oak, etc. that are stunning visually and strong. The downside to real solid wood is that they can be expensive and require maintenance.

Composite Engineered Wood

Composite engineered wood is an alternative to real solid wood for those who want something less expensive but still have the look and feel of real wood. It’s typically made with plywood or particle board over a core of medium density fiberboard (MDF).

Butcher Block

Butcher block is another option for those looking for a different look but still using real wood. Butcher blocks are also commonly used as kitchen countertops. They’re often sealed and stained a variety of different natural brown colors.

Wood Veneer

Veneer is a thin layer of wood that is applied over an existing piece of wood. The process of applying veneer is done to increase the appearance of the original piece of wood. Veneer is often used on top of plywood, particle board or MDF.


Laminate is a popular choice for many people because of its low cost and yet can still look and perform great. It’s a great solution for high-traffic areas and is a great solution for an office space. While not quite as high quality as real wood, laminate is usually extremely durable and easy to clean.


Composite wood products are very popular with desk manufacturers. Many standing desks are manufactured using some kind of composite wood like plywood, particle board, MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard), and other composites.

This is another way low-cost desks are able to save money because composite materials are far less expensive than their solid wood counterparts.

Metal & Steel

Metal and steel are two other options for standing desk manufacturers. You’ll find metals of various kinds used to build the frames and legs of a standing desk, but not the surface.

Surfaces for standing desks are usually some kind of wood, or wood composite, or like we’ll talk about in just a minute, glass.

The gauge (thickness) of the metal will vary from one manufacturer to another and this is often an area where low-cost standing desks like to trim back to save money. These options offer a sleek modern appearance while being extremely sturdy.


Plastics are also used in the manufacture of many standing desks. Plastics aren’t used so much in the surface or frame, but in the accompanying parts and pieces that make up the desk, like rings for the cord cutouts, binding for the edges of the desk, and many other places.


One of the more popular recent innovations is to use a glass desktop surface for a standing desk. Glass is also used in the manufacture or standing desks. Glass standing desks are manufactured with dense, strong, tempered glass, which helps prevent breakage.

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Robert David Orr

Robert is a writer & creator, author of the WordPress Website Blueprint, award winning web developer, and leader in digital strategy. He's also a tenured work at home veteran who's been working from home for more than 10 years. Learn more. Got questions? Reach out and connect here - Contact Home Office Hacks here.

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