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How to build the perfect standing desk workspace

Alvina Wang/BestReviews

The secret’s out: sitting all day is bad for your health, and if you spend most of your workday at a desk, it’s better to get a standing desk. Whether you’re looking to alleviate back pain, lower your risk of heart disease, or simply update your workspace, a standing desk is an easy investment to make in yourself and your career.

If you’re thinking about making the switch to a standing desk — or you just want to spruce up your existing standing desk — take some time to plan what you want your workstation to look like and everything you’ll need on it. Most standing desks are smaller than traditional desks, so it’s important to plan for making the most of limited space.

Ready to build your perfect standing desk workstation? Start with our list of workstation essentials to plan what you’ll need to keep handy, then check out the products we’ve picked for some of our our favorite setups.

Shop this article: MacBook AirSoundance model and Portabe Height Adjustable Standing Desk

What you’ll need room for

Here are the basics you should plan on keeping on your standing desk.

  • A laptop is a must for using a standing desk — just make sure you get one that doesn’t take up too much space.

  • A laptop stand is ideal for making sure your eyes are level with the middle of the screen, which can go a long way towards reducing eye strain.

  • Depending on the screen size of your laptop, you may want to use an external monitor. Using an external monitor is a good way to get more screen real estate from your laptop.

  • Don’t forget the audio! Pick up a set of computer speakers to make sure your music and online meetings sound as good as they can.

  • Be good to your eyes: pick up a desk lamp to make sure there’s enough light on your workspace.

Our picks

Ready to build your perfect workspace? Check out our favorite builds.

For the minimalist

If you love the minimalist aesthetic, you’ll appreciate the gear that goes into this very “Zen” workspace.


MacBook Air

Laptop: Apple’s ultra-thin laptop, the MacBook Air, is a master class in simplicity.

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Soundance model

Laptop stand: This Soundance model is both portable and ergonomic. 

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Pebble speakers

Computer speakers: Creative Labs’ Pebble speakers complement Apple’s white-and-silver motif perfectly, and they produce remarkably clear audio.

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Magic Mouse

Mouse: Apple’s own Magic Mouse is, not surprisingly, beautiful and easy to use.

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Magic Keyboard

Keyboard: Pairing Apple’s Magic Mouse with their Magic Keyboard is an easy decision for any minimalist.

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For the tech-obsessed

If you want a standing desk workstation, but need the top tech to go with it, you can’t go wrong with these cutting-edge components.

Standing desk with an extra-large tabletop from Autonomous

Standing desk: You’re going to need room for all your gadgets — so pick up a standing desk with an extra-large tabletop from Autonomous.

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Microsoft Surface Pro

Laptop: We love the way the Microsoft Surface Pro’s sleek tablet looks hide its powerful hardware under the hood.

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Monoprice MP 35" Zero-G Curved Ultrawide UWQHD Gaming Monitor

Monitor: For most computer work, a high-resolution monitor is a must. We recommend the Monoprice MP 35" Zero-G Curved Ultrawide UWQHD Gaming Monitor because it’s huge, it’s supports 1440p resolution, and it’s got great curves.

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S2000MKIII Powered Bluetooth Bookshelf Speakers

Computer speakers: Why not grab a set of audiophile-quality computer speakers that support Bluetooth? We can’t say enough good things about Edifier’s S2000MKIII Powered Bluetooth Bookshelf Speakers; they sound even better than they look.

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Stick Table Lamp with Charging Outlet

Lamp: It’s important to have enough USB charging ports for all of your gadgets — add a few with LimeLights’ Stick Table Lamp with Charging Outlet.

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MK550 Wireless Wave Keyboard and Mouse Combo

Mouse and Keyboard: Logitech’s MK550 Wireless Wave Keyboard and Mouse Combo offer better ergonomics, and can both use the same adapter, so they’ll only take up one USB port.  

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For the traveler

If you find yourself working from hotel rooms a lot, or having to create impromptu workspaces wherever you go, you can still enjoy the benefits of a standing desk. Here’s our setup for office road warriors.

Portabe Height Adjustable Standing Desk

Standing desk: consider the Portabe Height Adjustable Standing Desk. It’s rests on any surface to create a standing desk anywhere.

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Dell XPS 13 9360 Laptop

Laptop: Dell has finally mastered the balance between portability and power with the XPS9360. It’s fast enough for any office work you can throw at it, and light enough that you won’t mind taking it everywhere you go.

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Mouse: If you’re traveling with a mouse, you’ll need it to be durable, so a Logitech mouse is a safe bet. We love the M317 because it’s portable and about as “plug-and-play” as you can get.

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Keys-to-Go Portable Keyboard

Keyboard: Good travel keyboards can be hard to find, but Logitech’s Keys-to-Go Portable Keyboard is ready to go wherever you do. We love the Bluetooth connectivity, but the three-month battery is the real scene-stealer here.

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Laura Duerr is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.

BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.

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