Fixed-height standing desks can be some of the nicest-looking furniture you’ll find in the active-office category. At the other end of the style spectrum, you’ll also find in this category simple utilitarian desks more suited to a shop or warehouse than a modern office.
Their lack of the need to height-adjust frees the designers of these desks to incorporate features like drawers and bookshelves. In fact, some furniture shops have simply added a drawer or two to each pedestal to elevate their desktops to standing height.
Standing desks with pedestal-style designs are inherently more stable than height-adjusting desks. And even models with legs are sturdier than the multi-segment adjustable legs on sit-stand desks. Cable management is also simpler when you don’t have to account for height adjustability.
Ergonomically, these desks are not ideal. One of the reasons I’m such a fan of height adjustable sit-stand desks is that they can easily accommodate the height of different shoes and standing pads, and even your subtle change in height throughout the day (and even over the seasons of the year). But if you work at your desk only occasionally or if you can pair one of these desks with with a sitting desk, then one of these fixed-height standing desks can be a good active-office solution.
These desks generally offer better value than a similar-size height-adjusting desk. The lack of moving parts reduces complexity, which leads to some of the classy, simple designs you see in this category. And while there are now plenty of gorgeous hardwood desktops available for adjustable-height standing desks, it’s still more common to see high-end materials and more of an artisan’s approach to construction in the fixed-height standing desk world.
Fixed-Height Standing Desk Choices
These fixed-height stand-up desks come in a huge variety of designs, which I have arbitrarily organized into four categories for now:
Stylish fixed-height standing desks make a ridiculously large category on their own. From Colonial-style wood designs to industrial metal, from classy executive desks to understated minimalist, furniture makers have created some very attractive fixed-height stand-up desks.
- Erector Desk
- StandUpDesks Executive Desk
- Jaswig Large
- The desk shown at the top of this page, a rustic standing desk made with reclaimed wood available at Etsy, shows just one example of how woodworkers are using interesting materials, and the Etsy current listing of standing desks shows many more
- If you’re an antique collector, there’s even a Frank Lloyd Wright-designed standing desk
Drafting desks are among the earliest fixed-height standing desks. They have a tilt-able desktop that angles to facilitate sketching and design.
- Dorel drafting desk (wood)
- Studio Designs rustic oak drafting table (wood)
- Alvin Minimaster II drafting table (metal)
- Alvin Pavillon art and drawing table (wood)
Back-Office Standing Desks
Some fixed-height standing desks are best suited for the back office or for shops and warehouses. Their compact design, casters, and other utilitarian features make them perfect for small and/or flexible workspaces.
Crowd-Funded Standing Desks
The growing awareness of the problem of sitting disease has prompted a number of innovative Kickstarter and other crowd-funded campaigns. These standing-desk projects have done a great job of exploring new standing-desk design paradigms, but they don’t always turn into viable, ongoing products. Still, their creative use of materials and designs have shown new possibilities for standing.