*When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no additional cost to you.

One of the downsides of full-standing desks is that they’re costly and most people don’t have a budget for them. Plus, most folks don’t have enough space to accommodate this model.

And this brings us to our main question: “How can you turn your existing desk into a standing desk?”

There are several methods you can implement to start standing, some of which don’t even require you to spend your money.

Find out more details below…

Tips for turning your regular desk into a standup workstation:


Below, we discuss various tricks office workers have used before to transform their traditional desks into sit-stand workstations to avoid sitting in their office chairs for long hours.

Make a DIY standing desk

One of the simplest ways to turn your desk into a standup workspace is by making one yourself.


Here, you’ll need to elevate your monitor (or multiple monitors), keyboard, and mouse. The rest of your work equipment can stay in their positions as long as the cables are of adequate length and still reach.

If you can find any materials in your house that will help you raise these key items to an ideal working height on top of your existing office workstation, then you’ll have made yourself a new desk.

Examples of these materials include wood, bricks, and a nest of tables. Any flat surface will work!

But the most common DIY sit-stand workstation used by most people involves a pile of books or a box…

Using a stack of books

Simply set up 3 stacks of books; for your keyboard and mouse, and monitor or laptop. You can then add or remove 1-2 books to fine-tune the height to the correct height as per your body height.

convert desk into standing desk with books laptop

However, this method doesn’t offer good stability for your setup and the possibility of your equipment toppling is quite high.

It also reduces the amount of desktop real estate when standing.

Nonetheless, this is a completely FREE alternative method for turning your sitting-only workspace into a standing desk. You can set it up in a matter of seconds. It is a temporary setup and you can take it down in seconds.

Sit-stand desk converter

A standing desk converter, also known as a desk riser, is essentially a semi-permanent standup desk that you put on top of your regular desk to make it a sit-or-stand desk.

Unlike the DIY setup, this model enables you to easily switch between sitting and standing. It is also more affordable than full units and doesn’t take up a lot of room in your work area.

Note that there are multiple models out there, some of which are high-end and will cost you as much as $500.

But the good thing is you can get a simple, decent model that costs you as less as $100. This model will give you all the benefits of standing while working.

standing desk riser with plant

If you’ve got a higher budget, you can get an even model with top tier as the main work surface plus a specialized mouse and keyboard trays set at different heights from the computer screen.

Others feature built-in monitor mounts and extensive desktop real estate that favor multi-monitor setups.

Just like our DIY method above, a sit-stand desk converter will reduce the desktop surface compared to the full desk model. Remember, this unit occupies almost the entire desk area on your old desk.

These risers also feature lower weight limits which limit how many items they can carry.

Most of them require manual operation, meaning you’ll need to do some manual work every time you want to make desk height adjustments.

Put your existing desk on top of a coffee table

Another way to turn your desk into a stand-up desk is by placing it on your coffee table.

The idea behind this method is to elevate your current desk to a standing height.

For this method, you’d want to use a sturdy coffee table with roughly the same dimensions as your office desk. This will help raise your desk to around 1 to 2 feet.

But this setup will still require raising the monitor height slightly so you can use it comfortably.

This method is advantageous in that you don’t need to raise your entire computer. You also get to retain your entire desk surface. It also results in an extremely stable temporary setup.

However, there are a few caveats to this method. Firstly, raising your desk on or off the coffee table takes time and effort. You’ll also still need to raise your computer screen slightly higher.

NOTE: We also found some people on the internet who have also elevated their desks by using car jacks to raise the desk legs.

However, we don’t find this method safe or reliable. A single kick to any of the jacks is all it takes to bring the entire setup down to the floor.

Get a full standing desk frame

If the above methods don’t seem to work for you, you may also consider this method of repurposing your existing desk into a full sit-stand desk.


To implement this method, you’ll just need to get the sit-to-stand desk frame and then attach your regular desk surface to it. This is a great idea if you already have a decent-sized regular desk and will help you save significant amounts of money needed when buying full-size desks.

The process is as simple as putting together the new frame and then using screws (which come with the package) to attach the existing desk surface to your new frame. You don’t need to hire any professional services for the assembly part!

For this method to work, however, you need to ensure your regular desk has removable legs and is not a welded one-piece type of desk.

You’ll be spoilt for options when looking for a new sit-to-stand desk frame. You can get well-made, quality manual desk frames for around $200 or you can purchase electric models that cost you around $400.

The entry-level manual frames can only rise so far. Their structures are thinner and less supportive. And the fact that they’re manually operated means you’ll need to flex some muscles to lift them up or down.

Expensive models, on the other hand, offer you great support for various heights. Most of them are also equipped with electric motors to help you easily raise or lower them to your desired height with the touch of a button.

Final Thoughts

That’s it for the various tricks you can use to turn your existing desk into a standing workstation and avoid sitting for long periods of time.

These methods are easy to implement and will help you enjoy the benefits of standing while avoiding the high costs of full-standing desks.

The DIY method is completely free and doesn’t require you to spend a dime.

The converter and full standup desk frame methods will also work great but will require you to spend some cash. But they still offer you a more affordable option compared to that of a brand new standing desk.

Scroll to Top
Scroll to Top