When you work from home, there are fewer distractions that create the opportunity for leaving your desk. You’ve got your coffee refill just a few steps away and there’s no daily meeting to get up and walk to the conference room for. You don’t even have to commute, getting those steps in during the walk across the parking lot or during your train transfer.

Along with these awesome benefits of working from home is the opportunity for you to choose what you purchase for your ergonomic home office, and for us, the home office we set up in our small apartment only has one other option for working: our couch (which we use for sitting).

Some of the most common mistakes when you work from home are either sitting all day in the same position (terrible for your body) or working from a desk that isn’t right for you. A standing desk fixes both of these issues, which is why standing desks are one of the most popular trends for working from home nowadays.

Because Becca and I now work from home full-time in our shared home office, I wanted to create an opportunity to have a flexible workspace that allows me to sit or stand easily. In this article, I’ll talk a bit about why I like to stand while I work by using a sit-stand desk at home, also known as a standing desk or adjustable desk

Let’s get started checking out options for affordable and budget-friendly standing desks for your home office.

Still trying to save money when working from home? Don’t worry. Keep in mind that my criteria for “affordable” is under $300. I’ve also excluded any convertible options, so you won’t see any recommendations for desk risers in this list.

Standing desk set up in a small location

SKARSTA desk from IKEA

This is my personal pick and it’s the affordable standing desk that I currently use.

I like that it was budget-friendly and was straightforward to set up. I also like that it’s manual instead of electric, and doesn’t require to be plugged in, for that reason.

I like not having to deal with the power cord and that it’s one fewer thing to break or figure out where to plug it in. I’ve had good luck with IKEA furniture in the rest of our apartment, and I can almost always trust that the quality will be good enough for a few years. For this desk, that statement was true and turned out to be a great investment.

I have the bigger option of the two IKEA standing desks that are currently available and it’s been great to work on. It’s incredibly sturdy. There’s almost no shake when I’m typing in the sitting or standing position.

The larger IKEA standing desk size is also a good size for keeping various items on your desk, like you would at your regular office. I have a few plants, my laptop on a Roost laptop stand, a keyboard, a wireless mouse, my hard drives and my iPad as a second monitor.

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Still on a budget? We’ve listed a selection of budget-friendly iPad stands for using that iPad as a second monitor on your standing desk.

Laptop stand setup on a white standing desk  Logitech MX Master mouse on a white desk  white iPad on top of books plugged in with a lightning cable

I also have enough room to take physical notes on real paper from time to time.

Why do I have the bigger option by accident? It’s because I got this desk used, rather than new!

Here’s what happened: We measured out the room where we have our shared home office for two and decided that the smaller standing desk would fit the best.

Then, I found the larger-size SKARSTA desk on Craigslist (and also listed on aptdeco.com) and I was so excited that I could get it delivered that I forgot to double-check the measurements.

When it arrived, it was much bigger than we thought it would be, because it was the larger size, not the smaller size. Despite it being the bigger option, it still fits in our apartment and I’m glad that it’s the one that we got.

Home office set up with a standing desk, plants and photography decorations

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Flexispot standing desk

The Flexispot standing desk is right on the edge of the affordable limit. It’s the most affordable option for electric standing desks. There is a simple up-down button feature, which would work for me, because I don’t need any specific memory settings.

If you choose to go with this standing desk option, find a spot on the wall or on yourself to use as a measurement. This way, you always know how high to move the desk up and you will limit the need to fidget with it to get the correct position.

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Stand Steady Joy Desk

This option is good if you want a second desk in your home office space to use for standing.

This affordable standing desk option would be good if you have the space for it. You won’t be able to have all of your things on the surface, but it would give you the flexibility to use it for other tasks and projects.

If you like to take notes or draw, you can use this standing desk as a dedicated space for those types of activities.

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The FEZIBO hits the limit of the high end of affordable options for standing desks at home. It does, however, have all of the bells and whistles of some of the more expensive options for sit-stand desks. Let’s see more about it.

This standing desk contains a memory feature. I think this is only useful if multiple people are using the desk, but that could be great if you share a home office with another person.

The memory feature would also be useful if you really want to be precise with the sit and stand orientations for yourself. I imagine this is useful to have in an office setting, where you have a dedicated monitor, keyboard and mouse for a few people who share it.

It also contains a cable tray. For what it’s worth, it’s an interesting feature because cable management for standing desks can be tricky. Having a dedicated space to put chargers would be a good idea if you have a lot of electronic products charging on your desk in your home office.

Helpful Tip

In being honest, I do have quite a few electronic products charging on my desk. To manage all the charging, I use a USB power hub that I recommend.

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Akway Standing Desk

Here is your super budget adjustable standing desk.

I included this as an option for budget-friendly standing desks because of how affordable it is. It technically does adjust, but you have to do it manually (without electricity). At the very least, I think this is a good option for a standing desk because you can fine-tune the height, which you can’t do with some of the fixed options.

Adjusting the height of this standing desk wouldn’t be very fun to do often, so I would consider this option as a secondary desk.

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Safco Computer Cart

I wouldn’t call this standing desk a traditional standing desk. I like this as an option because it has vertical storage space. It also has wheels so you can easily cart it around the house (on the same floor) if you’d like. That’s a cool bonus.

Because this sit-stand desk doesn’t have a lot of horizontal space, I would consider this as a secondary desk for you, with a standing option. Or, if you have limited space like in a small apartment home office, this option might be good if you can’t fit a traditional desk, but want to have a standing option.

This standing desk has vertical storage, which I consider to be good for home entertainment, like speakers, media storage, game consoles, etc… If you are into video production or photography, this storage could also be utilized for hard drive storage.

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The original IKEA standing desk hack

Beware: this recommendation is not an ‘actual standing desk.’ It’s a hack for a standing desk.

The “IKEA standing desk hack” will set you back around $20 in total. It won’t be the most glamorous option, but it will be the cheapest option for a standing desk, by far.

It’s not a dedicated desk, but it (a tiny table) goes on top of your existing desk. The options are endless with how you can use it. If you live near an IKEA, this will be an excellent option if you have a tight budget. Check out the original idea from Colin Nederkoorn at his blog post about the IKEA standing desk hack.

The not-so-budget options for standing desks

During your reading of this article, you may have considered that your budget is bigger than you previously thought it was.

If you do have a bigger budget, I’d consider checking out these options below. These standing desk ideas set the standard for standing desks and have various pros and cons to consider. I don’t go into too much detail here, because they’re not as budget-friendly (averaging $500 or so) as the standing desk options I’ve discussed above!

Vari Desk

This electric standing desk allows for fast setup and apparently is even able to be ‘assembled in minutes.’ I guess you’ll have to see for yourself, or see how fast you can set up a standing desk. It has “T-legs” for enhanced stability (no shaking while you type!) and four programmable memory settings. Fancy!

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This standing desk comes with a walnut wood-inspired finish and was rated the “Best Standing Desk by Wirecutter.” It has a ‘shallow’ depth in order to save space, and for this reason, it’s recommended to use monitor arms to float your monitors. The main idea here is the more shallow desk footprint in your home. It also has built-in wire grommets to hide your wires.

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Jarvis by Fully

The Jarvis is a leader in standing desks for professionals who work from home, and the product is prized as a “tough, beautiful, active, Earth-conscious” standing desk. I think the most surprising aspect of it is that it elevates as high as 50 inches, and as low as allowing you to even sit on the floor. The outside laminate is made from a waterproof, scratch-resistant material and is available in black and white, so you can choose based on your home office design theme.

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SmartDesk by Autonomous

This standing desk is strong and robust! It has four convenient programmable height settings and silently rises and lowers at the touch of a button. The desk color itself comes in a choice of two colors, wood or natural bamboo, and comes in two sizes: classic and extra-large. The frame comes in white, black and gray, so you can personalize. Assembly is required, but it’s considered “easy.”

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Why I decided to get a standing desk

Above, I briefly mentioned that being in an office provides an opportunity for getting up from your desk more frequently. I noticed that when Becca and I are working from home, I tend to sit, way too much.

Becca naturally gets up often. She’s good about getting up to stretch – one of the best ways to still stay fit when you work from home, walking around the neighborhood or to grabbing something from the kitchen. I can go hours without getting up and need a lot of encouragement in order to not be sitting. I guess I need to read up on those fitness hacks for people who work from home.

This is why I wrote our list of tips for using a standing desk at home, mostly so that I make good use of this handy advice.

Man using a mouse and a laptop stand with a standing desk

Because we don’t have a lot of space in our small apartment home office, the chairs we selected aren’t the most ergonomic. We wanted something that would double as additional seating space if we entertained others and didn’t want the look of a traditional office chair. If we had more space or a dedicated room for working from home, we may have opted for more traditional and ergonomic chairs.

I’ve noticed that my posture starts to slip a bit when I’m sitting down for a while. If I get tired toward the end of the day, I might move towards sitting on the couch. When I’m on the couch, I’m usually laying down or hunched over. Even if I’m fairly upright, I’m not in a great posture.

I decided to get a standing desk early on in my remote work and work-from-home career because I wanted to prevent injuries and start forming good habits for working efficiently. I didn’t want to form a habit of working from the couch or get used to being hunched over all the time.

What I’ve liked about my standing desk since I switched over from a traditional desk

While my schedule when I work from home varies day to day, it’s typical that I could have a series of meetings that last one to two hours. Like I mentioned earlier, my chair isn’t super comfortable. While I could fix this by getting a new chair, I actually prefer to stand because I think it helps me become more alert during the meetings. If I’m sitting in on a series of meetings for two hours, it starts to feel like a movie.

Helpful Tip

See our list of tips for using your standing desk in a home office to brush up on posture and finding that perfect height for your desk that’ll be comfortable for your height.

In comparison to being in an office, I usually have more interactive meetings in which I would write something on a whiteboard or change meeting rooms to get a change of pace.

Roost laptop stand in a home office setup

Standing for some parts of the day helps me with prioritizing some work. Before a meeting, I might adjust my desk to the standing position and then work like that for the rest of the day. It’s a minor thing, but it helps change the scenery enough and provides a tiny bit of variety for the day.

Standing while working helps me focus and work on smaller bits of work, so I feel like I’m using the best practices of using a standing desk at home. Instead of embarking on a long three-hour task, I know that I might not want to stand for that long, so I’ll intentionally break up that work.

We hope this article has helped you out with being less overwhelmed by all the decisions that exist when you’re choosing a sit-stand desk for home. There are lots of affordable standing desk options out there, so it’s up to you for whether you want to focus on finding a standing desk based on size, like a small standing desk for a small room, or a manual vs. electric automatic standing desk.

The choice is yours, and we hope you find your next best ergonomic addition to your home office setting.

Last updated on January 15th, 2021