Best Sustainable Standing Desks

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In this comparison of the best sustainable standing desks, we outline our research and reduce the number of contenders on the basis of features, quality, and cost.

Our Picks For Sustainable Standing Desks

Here are the best sustainable and eco-friendly height-adjustable desks you can buy:

  1. UpDown Pro Series – Best recycled wood standing desks with all the features
  2. Standdesk Pro – Best value for money
  3. MOOV ECO – Best recycled hardwood
  4. XDesk Encore – The most innovative sustainable desk
  5. UpDown Pro Bamboo Corner Desk – Best corner sit-stand desk with a bamboo desktop

Sustainable Standing Desks: 2024 Reviews

1. UpDown Pro Series – Best recycled wood standing desks with all the features

UpDown Pro Overview

UpDown is an Australian-owned and operated manufacturer of quality standing desks. The Melbourne-based company prides itself on its flagship product, the Pro series of adjustable sit-stand desks where you can choose from several recycled wood desktops. For our detailed insights, you can read our UpDown Pro review.

The UpDown Pro Series of standing desks are all about quality. As with a lot of other sit-stand desk companies, UpDown offers the ever-popular bamboo desktop which is sustainably sourced. But if you’re like me and have seen too many bamboo standing desks, then the Oregon or Messmate may be for you, especially if you want to be unique.

updown recycled messmate standing desk
UpDown’s gorgeous recycled Messmate desktop will also feature well as a centrepiece for your home office (image by UpDown).

Due to its hardwood fibres, every Messmate desktop is different. I’m happy that Messmate was able to be recycled into something as useful and elegant-looking as this and it would certainly be considered as my next standing desk upgrade.

At around $200 cheaper, you can also buy the recycled Messmate as a manually operated and eco-friendly desk. For a detailed insight into how manual and electric standing desks differ, you can read our comparison guide to help you determine which is better for you.

The UpDown Pro will not disappoint with its sound build quality, level of customisation, aesthetics, and industry-leading 10-year warranty. For example, its frame weighs in at 41kg almost double that of its competitors but this gives the desk its supreme stability. Even at its maximum height of 127 cm, the desk feels quite sturdy, so you can work with confidence leaning against it. Installing the matching caster wheels will make life easier if you foresee having to move yours about.

updown desk digital height controller
Quality details and finishes (image by UpDown).

The Pro Series standing workstations have an excellent control panel that allows you to adjust the desk’s height. The buttons can be pressed and held to change the height to the ideal height for you. The desk’s current height is displayed on the display screen, which is useful given that there are four memory functions accessible. The “anti-collision” safety function of the UpDown Pro Desk is among its better features, in our opinion. The up/down movement will come to an immediate stop if there is any resistance against the desk.

The UpDown Pro doesn’t have all the nifty features that other brands have. This is not to say it is lacking in this department, but UpDown has focussed on quality over quantity. As such, the price is a bit higher than other eco-friendly desks but it’s a case of what you pay is what you get.

I have to say, the customer service pre-, during and post-sale is astounding. As a testament to this, UpDown also offers the best trial period in the industry which allows you to return it within 100 days.

UpDown Pro Pros
  • 10-year warranty and 100-day trial period.
  • Same-day dispatch if the order is placed before noon local time (Melbourne only).
  • Unique recycled timber products as selectable desktops.
  • Also available as a manual-crank standing desk.
UpDown Pro Cons
  • Very heavy with its 41kg frame (but stable).
UpDown Pro Key Specifications
  • Desktop – Recycled timber (Messmate, Oregon)
  • Height Range – 61.5cm to 127cm
  • Load Capacity – 150kg
  • Lift Control – Dual electric motor
  • Price – $1,469 – $2,159
  • Warranty – 10 years (frame and electrical components), 5 years (tabletop)

2. Standdesk Pro – Best value for money

Standdesk Pro Overview

If you want a truly sustainable standing desk that ticks all the boxes including cost then the Stand Desk Pro should be considered. Stand Desk is an Australian and environmentally responsible company that is a member of the 1% For The Planet program which means they give 1% of their annual revenue to environmental causes. Other environmental initiatives and programs the Sydney-based company is involved in include Protect Our Winters, Forest & Bird, Our Seas Our Future, the Australian Marine Conservation Society, and the Toimata Foundation.

The desktops of the Pro series are all sourced from sustainable plantations. The bamboo versions are FSC-certified, the birch is sourced from the Balkans, and the walnut and oak tabletops are from sustainable plantations in the USA. In addition to the sustainable use of fast-growing plant materials, Stand Desk frames are manufactured with no Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) and solvent-based paints to the point where they have achieved Australian Green Star certification.

The eco-friendly focus is also placed on the packaging that houses your Stand Desk during transit. The volume of foam is reduced by the use of 98% recyclable and biodegradable cardboard and bags.

stand desk sustainable wood sources
Image by Standdesk.

Apart from the eco-friendly use of FSC-certified wood as one of its major benefits for the sustainably-minded, the Stand Desk Pro offers great value for money. With starting prices ranging between $1,149 to $1,699 for the 1.5m (l) x 0.8m (d) size, the Pro sits at the lower end of the cost scale compared to other sustainable desks.

Whilst the load capacity of 100kg is fairly limited, the height range is on par with other electric standing desks (64cm to 127cm). Although Stand Desk seems to emphasise the rapid speed of its motors to elevate the desktop (80mm per second and almost double the industry average), this feature doesn’t offer any significant practical advantages.

Its rectangular-shaped legs and frame come in white, black and grey and it’s one more choice than the standard white and black offered by most other manufacturers.

stand desk hardwood
There is something aesthetically pleasing about thin hardwood desktops (image by Standdesk).

Despite its gorgeous looks and sustainable appeal, there are a few drawbacks to consider. Firstly, the digital controller is only able to save two height presets at a time. Today, electric stand desks usually come with 3 or 4 presets and this is an advantage because you can have multiple sitting pieces of furniture (or users) and still be able to quickly change elevation. Secondly, the cable management tray does not extend along the entirety of the desk’s length. This means that it may be tricky to fit a lot of cords and cables into it if you run several hardware and devices.

Overall, the Stand Desk Pro is a solid eco-friendly desk knowing that all of its components have been sourced and manufactured in an environmentally-conscience way. And you’re getting it for a very good price. To top it off, it carries the industry-leading warranty of 10 years on all its components, a 100-day trial period, and free shipping for returns (conditions may apply).

Standdesk Pro Pros
  • All materials are sustainably sourced and manufactured in an environmentally friendly way.
  • 10-year warranty on all parts.
  • Bamboo, birch plywood, walnut and oak desktops in three sizes.
Standdesk Pro Cons
  • Limited weight capacity of 100kg.
  • Limited desktop choices.
Standdesk Pro Key Specifications
  • Desktop – Bamboo, birch plywood, walnut, oak
  • Height Range – 64cm to 127cm
  • Load Capacity – 100kg
  • Lift Control – Dual electric motor
  • Price – $1,149
  • Warranty – 10-year warranty (all parts and components)

3. MOOV ECO – Best recycled hardwood

MOOV ECO Overview

The Australian-made MOOV Eco is constructed from repurposed wood sourced from old factories. The top is sealed, sanded, and polished to a smooth surface which gives it a premium feel. This is a sustainable alternative because it uses pre-existing timber and doesn’t involve milling any new trees which saves plantations.

moov eco standing desk
Simple but elegant design (image by WeAreMinimal).

With a price tag of $1,750, the MOOV Eco certainly costs a few hundred dollars more than other reclaimed wood desks. But if you have the money to spend, then it’s definitely worth a look since it possesses a beauty like no other. Handcrafted in Australia, black epoxy is used to fill up old flaws and screw holes and a clear matte polyurethane is applied last to provide a unique and hard-wearing surface. It’s these little imperfections made perfect that really lift its aesthetic appeal.

moov eco desktop
Image by WeAreMinimal.

This is a high-end height-adjustable desk powered by two whisper-quiet motors (<50dB). Its motor operates whisper quiet and boasts a buttery smooth up/down motion. A chic control panel with a built-in USB port to keep your gadgets charged is used to adjust the height and nicely complements the desktop.

If you have the money to spend, are sustainably minded and appreciate the gorgeous look of reclaimed hardwood then the MOOV Eco is the perfect setup for home offices. It also sports a 140kg load capacity which is substantially more than the Stand Desk Pro.

  • Handcrafted from reclaimed hardwood.
  • 140kg weight capacity.
  • Slick digital controller with 4 height presets.
  • Hefty price as you pay for the workmanship involved.
  • A lead time of 4 to 6 weeks is required for out-of-stock orders.
MOOV ECO Key Specifications
  • Desktop – Repurposed Australian timber sourced from old factories
  • Height Range – 65cm to 126cm
  • Load Capacity – 135kg
  • Lift Control – Dual electric motor
  • Price – $1,750
  • Warranty – 10 years (frame), 5 years (electrical components)

4. XDesk Encore – The most innovative sustainable desk

XDesk Encore Overview

XDesk produces a variety of electric standing desk and converter lines. The Texas, USA-based business has carved out a marketplace for itself by employing eco-friendly products and a sustainability approach. With a blend of natural wood products and even recycled waste materials, every tabletop is individually made to offer a degree of distinctiveness that rival businesses can only hope to match.

xdesk encore desk
Image by XDesk.

Only a few brands have in-house frame building, including XDesk. The desk frames are constructed by hand, which is something I admire. Even though the company produces CNC-machined goods, they employ real tradespeople rather than machines to assemble their desks, which has an effect on the neighbourhood market. The Encore standing desk is a highly recommended option for individuals who like handcrafted items over automated desks, as it is a handmade product by all measures.

xdesk encore digital height controller
A unique digital controller design (image by XDesk).

Standing desks have many different material options, and their environmental friendliness and sustainability are their best features. Encore does not, even right out of the box, smell like chemicals or other unpleasant things like other workstations or furniture. This is a result of the manufacturing process not utilising any harsh chemicals, solvents, or paints based on VOCs. XDesk does not use formaldehyde, a known carcinogen that is sometimes used in the pressing of wood.

The Encore series of standing desks features bamboo, rubberwood, and WoodFree for the tabletop. Rubberwood and bamboo grow quickly, making them very sustainable. In actuality, the WoodFree desktops are constructed from recycled hay. XDesk noticed an opportunity to use a valuable waste product and lessen the amount of trees being cut down instead of burning the field wheat stalks. The end product is a sturdy desktop that looks like granite.

xdesk encore build materials
Each desktop is handcrafted in the USA (image by XDesk).

Even the locally produced aluminium frame is made from recyclable materials. That being stated, a steel frame is an option.

Remarkably sturdy and long-lasting, the handcrafted Encore standing desk boasts a remarkably substantial size. All of the connecting wires line up, the desktop rests level on the frame, and attaching extras is simple. The materials are of a higher calibre than those found in typical standing desks. Each tabletop is distinct in look and not two are alike, unlike those that are machine machined. If you value the subtleties found in nature, the desktop’s bevelled edges will appeal to you because it is quite distinctive.

XDesk Encore Pros
  • Fantastic as sustainable office desks, handcrafted from recycled and reclaimed materials.
  • No solvents, formaldehyde or other hazardous materials are used during construction.
  • WoodFree desktops are made from leftover hay which preserves forests and reduces plantation use.
  • Possibly the only eco-friendly desk that comes with a battery pack.
XDesk Encore Cons
  • Handcrafted in the USA – be prepared for shipping costs and timing delays.
  • More expensive than other sustainably-made standing desks.
XDesk Encore Key Specifications
  • Desktop – Plantation-sourced rubberwood, repurposed hay (WoodFree), bamboo
  • Height Range – 61cm to 129cm
  • Load Capacity – 142kg
  • Lift Control – Electric dual motor standing desk
  • Price – $1,446 – $1,597
  • Warranty – 5 years

5. UpDown Pro Bamboo Corner Desk – Best corner sit-stand desk with a bamboo desktop

UpDown Pro Corner Standing Desk Overview

If you are in need of an eco-friendly desk to fit a corner (or the centre of a room), then you can’t go past the UpDown Pro L-shape in a bamboo desktop finish. The desk’s capacity to convert from an L-shape to a linear arrangement, adds a level of versatility unrivalled in the Australian market and is one of its most distinctive features.

For a corner workstation, the UpDown Pro Series Electric Corner Desk is about as high-end as they come. The L-shaped standing desk, which measures 195 cm by 180 cm by 75 cm when single, is made with a steel frame and rectangular legs for stability and longevity. The premium desktop and sturdy construction together allow you to lift an amazing 150 kg at its utmost capacity.

updown l-shaped desk
Image by UpDown.

The smooth motors that produce very little noise and the anti-collision detection system add to the sit-stand corner desk’s longevity. The digital controller allows you to easily save four height presets and explore its extensive vertical range of 64cm to 129cm. This function is vital if you plan on staying active at your standing desk.

Its corner sit-stand desk can be equipped with any of UpDown’s standing desk accessories to maximise its usefulness. Given that the UpDown twin monitor arms also contain HDMI and power connections and are simple to install on the desktop, they are a great option if you intend to set up two monitors. You may attach heavy-duty wheel castors, metal desk drawers, power grommets and rails, and a cable management tray by screwing it to the underside.

If you are looking for a premium, reliable, and smooth desk for a corner in your home or office then the UpDown Pro should be considered.

UpDown Pro Corner Standing Desk Pros
  • Free shipping, a risk-free trial period of 100 days, and an accommodating return policy.
  • Impressive load capacity of 150kg.
  • Can be switched from an L-shape into a linear configuration.
UpDown Pro Corner Standing Desk Cons
  • Slightly more expensive than other bamboo L-shaped desks.
UpDown Pro Corner Standing Desk Key Specifications
  • Desktop – Bamboo
  • Height Range – 64cm – 129cm
  • Load Capacity – 150kg
  • Lift Control – Electric triple motor system
  • Price – $1,900
  • Warranty – 10 years on the frame, 5 years on the desktop

Types Of Sustainable Materials Used In Standing Desks

Bamboo is the most common type of sustainable desktop with FSC-certified wood and reclaimed wood coming in second, but there are a few more types to choose from.

  • Bamboo – Bamboo’s quick growth and inherent resilience make it a preferred sustainable material. Desk frames and desktops frequently use it. Bamboo is an environmentally favourable material because it is renewable and doesn’t need to be replanted after harvest.
  • Recycled Wood: Reclaimed or recycled wood is used in the building of some standing desks. This lowers the need for virgin lumber while also repurposing pre-existing resources to cut down on waste.
  • FSC-Certified Wood: Wood from sustainably managed forests is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). FSC-certified wood desks guarantee sustainable sourcing of raw materials and contribute to forest conservation initiatives.
  • Recycled Plastic: Certain desk accessories and cable management systems, for example, may be constructed from recycled plastic, which lowers the demand for the manufacturing of new plastic and helps to reduce waste.
  • Metal: Recycled materials can be utilised to make desk frame metal, and powder-coating techniques are widely used by manufacturers to reduce the amount of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) released into the environment during production.
  • Glass: Another choice for environmentally friendly standing desks is desktops with tempered glass. Glass may be created from recyclable resources and is strong. When the desk is no longer in use, recycling is likewise a simple process.
  • Salvaged (reclaimed) Materials: To develop distinctive and environmentally friendly desk designs, several manufacturers of sustainable desks recycle salvaged materials, such as old doors or beams. By doing this, waste is decreased and these items are given new life.
  • Natural Oils and Waxes: Some environmentally friendly desks are finished with natural oils and waxes rather than conventional varnishes or finishes. These eco-friendly treatments bring out the natural beauty of the wood.
  • Cork: Desk surfaces can be made of cork, an environmentally beneficial material. Because it is extracted from cork oak tree bark without endangering the tree, it is renewable. It also has a built-in defence against mildew and mould.
  • MDF with Low Formaldehyde Content: Desk components are frequently made of medium-density fiberboard (MDF). Low formaldehyde content MDF can be used in sustainable workstations to reduce the release of this dangerous toxin.
  • Compressed wood chips are used to create strand board, an engineered wood product. It may be obtained from forests that are responsibly managed and are frequently used to make desks.

Reasons Why You Should Consider A Sustainable Standing Desk

Reduced impact on natural resources

Eco-friendly materials like bamboo and reclaimed wood, which lessen the need for virgin lumber and encourage forest conservation, are given priority in sustainable standing workstations. This decision protects important ecosystems and natural resources. It’s a deliberate action to make the world greener.

Reduced emissions

Manufacturers of sustainable workstations focus on energy-efficient production practices that decrease carbon emissions. This reduces climate change and can result in cost savings, which makes these workstations a wise financial and environmental decision.

They are made to last

Sustainable products are made to last – after all, what’s the point of having to replace them and therefore using more materials which is not sustainable. Sustainable standing desks are made using premium components and building methods to last. Because of its durability, your desk won’t need to be replaced very often, saving you money and resources. It is evidence of excellence and environmental awareness.

No harsh chemicals

Low-VOC coatings and adhesives are used in the production of several environmentally friendly desks, improving indoor air quality. These low-VOC materials ensure that your workstation stays a comfortable and toxin-free environment while also being healthier for your health.

Materials are responsibly sourced

Responsible sourcing of materials, frequently from well-managed forests, is given priority by manufacturers of sustainable desks. This pledge ensures that the raw materials are sourced sustainably and promotes biodiversity as well as forest regeneration.

Recycling and reuse

End-of-life concerns are taken into account while designing sustainable desks. This implies that when they’re no longer needed, items can be imaginatively repurposed or recycled with ease. These desks support a circular economy by encouraging recycling and reuse, which lowers waste and increases resource efficiency.

Ethical labour

The ethical labour practises of sustainable desk manufacturers guarantee equitable treatment and remuneration for labourers across their supply chain. By fostering social responsibility in the sector, this commitment also includes safe working conditions.

Long-term cost savings

Although the initial cost of sustainable standing desks may be more, over time, their lifespan and endurance add up to significant savings. In the long run, their resilience to deterioration and fewer replacement requirements make them an economical and environmentally responsible option.

Buying sustainable says a lot about your values

Selecting eco-friendly products makes your values very evident. By endorsing companies who put sustainability first, you’re promoting the market’s adoption of environmentally responsible practices. A world where consumers make decisions that are in line with their commitment to the earth and its future is made possible by the transition towards ethical consumption.

The Downsides To Buying and Using A Eco-Friendly Standing Desk

Although standing desks manufactured sustainably have many benefits, there are a few possible disadvantages to take into account:

  • Greater Initial Cost: Standing desks manufactured responsibly might typically have a higher initial cost since they use sustainable materials and eco-friendly production techniques. For some people, this higher standing desk cost may be prohibitive, particularly in comparison to more affordable, traditional solutions.
  • Restricted Aesthetic Options: The range of colours and styles available for sustainable materials may be limited. Compared to more traditional options, sustainably built standing desks may offer fewer options if you have certain style preferences.
  • Restricted functionality: When compared to their non-sustainable equivalents, certain sustainable standing desk models may provide fewer functionality or fewer options for customization. For instance, you can be limited in your options when it comes to desk size, height adjustment systems, and other attachments.
  • Availability: Depending on where you live, sustainable standing desks might not be as accessible as traditional options. This may make it more difficult to locate the ideal sustainable workstation for your requirements.
  • Complex Assembly: Because of their design and use of environmentally friendly materials, certain sustainable desks may be more difficult to install, however, this is more likely to be a rare occurrence. You may need to put in extra time and effort during setup to accomplish this.
  • Weight and Sturdiness: Sustainable materials may occasionally weigh less than conventional materials, which may have an effect on the stability or weight-bearing capacity of the desk. It’s critical to confirm that the durability and weight support of a sustainable desk satisfy your needs.

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