Working from your bed or dining room table isn’t a sustainable setup. Make yourself a standing desk and you’ll be more comfortable—and probably more productive. Here’s how to build your own standing desk.
Your standing desk should be positioned at a height where your elbows can rest comfortably at a 90-degree angle while you type. Your monitor should be at eye level, without forcing you to tilt your head up or down. Find a height that allows you to maintain a neutral posture, with your shoulders relaxed, and position your keyboard there.
How to Build Your Own Standing Desk
The easiest and cheapest way to build your own standing desk is to place a box or pile of books underneath your laptop, raising it to eye level. However, this can cause strain on your arms (if you don’t have anything to rest them on as you type) and is an unstable setup.
Don’t forget to add an anti-fatigue mat to your standing desk setup, especially if you’re standing on a hard floor, as it will help prevent leg, foot, and lower back pain.
Portable Standing Desk
Don’t have room for a dedicated standing desk? Try one of these small gadgets that will easily and safely raise up your work station and can turn your regular desk or table into a standing desk.
- Levit8 Flat Folding Standing Desk: Based on an origami-style design, the Levit8 Flat Folding Standing Desk folds down flat and then quickly pops up to support up to 20 times its weight. It’s slim and lightweight, so you can use this if you want a standing desk while you travel as well.
- Allstand by Ready Desk: This simply designed stand allows you to elevate your laptop to the perfect height. It has three modes—laptop, tablet, and drafting—so you can use it for a variety of devices.
- Executive Office Solutions Portable Adjustable Aluminum Laptop Desk: If your laptop tends to overheat, give this adjustable laptop desk a try. It has vents to let hot air escape, plus USB-powered fans to help keep your electronics cool. You can use it as a standing desk, dinner tray, or bookstand in bed.
- Rocelco 19” Portable Desk Riser: When this desk riser isn’t in use, you can easily tuck it away under a bed or in a closet—it’s only an inch thick when folded. The surface is big enough to hold a laptop and a mouse.
Adjustable Height Standing Desks
If you have the space, adjustable height standing desks are surprisingly affordable—plus they allow you to switch between sitting and standing quickly.
- Multifunctional Adjustable Height Desk: This stylish desk raises from a height of 29 inches to 36.75 inches.
- Seville Classics Airlift Adjustable Desk: This portable desk has wheels, so you can easily move it around your house, and the wheels lock, so you’ll have a stable base when using it. The airlift design allows you to adjust the height easily with the squeeze of a lever.
- Trek Adjustable Standing Desk: Made from solid wood, this desk quickly adjusts to whatever height you need.
- SHW Electric Height Standing Desk: Adjust the height of this electric desk with the touch of a button, and it will smoothly glide up or down.
- Ameriwood Home Quinn Lift-Top Desk: This cleverly designed desk looks like a regular desk when closed, but the top lifts up to become a standing desk.
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Caroline Morse Teel is a Principal Editor for SmarterTravel. Follow her on Instagram @travelwithcaroline for travel photos and advice.