What is a Standing Desk’s Wood?

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Updated August 30, 2022

When people buy new items, they often want to know what they are made of, so the question of what is a standing desk’s wood is pretty standard. The type of material used for the desktop varies depending on the price and functionality of the best standing desk. Most electric standing desks feature either solid wood or a composite of wood and adhesives, including resin or glue.


  • Many different types of wood make up electric standing desks, so there is no universal wood used.
  • Some lightweight, manual desks feature medium-density fiberboard, allowing them to move easily and avoid staining.
  • Solid wood desks consist of one large piece of wood, usually with a motor to adjust the desk height, and have a higher lifting capacity for a monitor, keyboard, and other equipment.

Although some people have complications from standing all day, most office workers benefit from reducing their sedentary lifestyle. However, a manual standing desk requires the user to crank a handle to adjust the table, meaning that this range with lower prices typically has different desktops than electric ones, though you may want a keyboard tray. You may also be interested in knowing when are standing desks better.

How Standing Desk Wood Affects the Weight Capacity

Whether your standing desktop is made of wood or another surface, you can expect to reap several health benefits. However, the type of material affects the weight capacity. Additionally, the weight of the desktop affects whether the desk can be an electric or manual design. Check out our article on what is standing desk weight capacity based on material and type of standing desk.

Additionally, depending on the material you select, it may increase the cost of the standing desk. Plus, if you don’t know how to set up a standing desk for ergonomic comfort or if it’s making a strange noise, those costs will continue to go up.

Insider Tip

Solid wood standing desks typically have higher weight capacities.

Your new desk might feature a fiberboard or solid wood desktop with an electric or manual height adjustable surface. Because many companies have models with differing woods, you should find one to suit your needs. The main differences between the two surfaces other than the materials used stem from the weight capacity and strength of the desk. When you pick your new adjustable height desk manufacturer, you should still consider your desired preset heights. A sit-stand desk depends mainly on its assembly process and desk frame.


One popular substance used for creating inexpensive, lightweight standing desks is medium-density fiberboard (MDF) laminate desktops. Technically, these surfaces contain wood, but the wood is ground up and bound by desk makers. Then, the company combines the wood scraps with a sticking agent under pressure and power to create the assembly.

MDF provides the basis for laminate desktops and desk converters with a low to medium range of prices, though the lamination process differs between brands and changes the prices further. Whatever process you choose, there should be multiple layers of lamination to protect the desktop from your monitor, keyboard, equipment, and spills from yourself or your deskmate.

Effects of MDF

Fiberboards weigh less than a block of wood, making them easy to move when using a standing desk. If you have a manually adjustable height desk or desk converter, you probably have this surface type. However, you also have a decreased weight capacity for your monitor and other equipment because of the MDF and the lack of power for your assembly.


Your electric standing desk may come from one of a large variety of wood types, from hardwood like birch to softwood. Experts refer to a perfect desk created using wood alone as a solid wood adjustable standing desk. While MDF uses small bits of wood combined with adhesives, a solid wood desk features one large piece of wood cleaned, sanded, and stained by desk makers.

How Solid Wood Affects Standing Desks

You may find you prefer the appearance of a specific wood type over another since each one has its own characteristics. These slabs of wood reduce the chance of warping under the weight of your monitor, keypad, drawers, and paperwork, to which other materials are susceptible. Additionally, a design color may be available in multiple wood versions, matching whatever your current office design and color is.

A solid wood adjustable desk typically comes with an electric motor with a maximum height and a minimum height. These specifications are necessary because large pieces of wood are heavier than MDF, making them power products with a wide range of desk height options, including presets with a higher range of prices and higher assembly weight capacities for your monitor. In addition, because you have a variety of wood to choose from and wood is plentiful, these desktops can be easier to repair during the week. However, your desk assembly may be more susceptible to temperature changes and stains.


You may stain your solid wood desk by spilling things on it, so you should consider an MDF model if you are clumsy.


Is it safe to use a reclaimed wood adjustable desk?

Some reclaimed wood desks lack quality when using them for heavy objects or wobble a lot. However, most reclaimed wood desks are safe to use with lower-weight desktops.

Do Vari desks use real wood?

Most Vari desks feature an MDF, a laminate wood composite with adhesives.

Is MDF the best-reclaimed wood for a standing desk?

Reclaimed wood works for height-adjustable desks because it is more durable than other materials than laminates.

STAT: 100% recycled Elmwood is used for the desktops, which is smooth and high-quality. (source)

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