MDF Wood vs. Solid Wood Standing Desk: What're the Differences
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MDF Wood vs. Solid Wood Standing Desk: What're the Differences

|Nov 9, 2020

standing desk is an incredible tool that can be used to improve complications caused by sitting at a desk for too long. The benefits of using a standing desk have made the device wildly popular. The types of materials used for the desktops and the selection of colors, sizes, and shapes were very limited when standing desks first came out on the market.

However, with the vast numbers of standing desks available, customers have a wide variety of desks to choose from. One of the different materials that standing desks are equipped with is solid wood and MDF wood stand-up desktops. We have prepared this in-depth guide into the difference between these two materials, along with which is the best material to use. Take a look at our guide to help navigate the topic of MDF wood vs. solid wood standing desk choices.

MDF Wood vs. Solid Wood Standing Desk: Definition

A Solid Wood Adjustable Height Desk

A solid wood adjustable height desk is a standing desk that’s equipped with a solid wood desktop. Solid wood can be classified as lumber that's been milled directly from trees. This type of wood is different from engineered wood, as it has been cut from a tree. Engineered wood is made from the composition of wood fibers, which are held together with adhesives.

Solid wood has wood fibers that are contained throughout the entire piece of lumber. No adhesives or fillers are used in a piece of solid wood. It’s important to consider that each type of solid wood has its own unique characteristics. This includes differing texture, color, and grain pattern.

A solid wood adjustable height desk

An MDF Wood Desktop Standing Desk

MDF wood is a type of wood that’s commonly known for being used in the construction of a standing desk. Medium-density fiberboard is more often referred to by its initials, MDF. It’s similar to that of plywood and other engineered wood products. However, its versatility and affordability are what makes the product so competitive.

MDF wood is created from shavings and sawdust, along with all of the tiny bits and pieces of wood that have been formed as a byproduct of industrial milling. These wood fibers are dehydrated and mixed with wax and resin to be shaped into panels. These panels are then compressed under intense heat and pressure, which causes the MDF wood to become rigid and contain a hard shell.

a MDF Wood desktop standing desk

MDF Wood vs. Solid Wood Standing Desk: Pros and Cons

What Are the Pros and Cons of Using a Solid Wood Adjustable Height Desk?


Solid wood is an excellent material to use when constructing an adjustable standing desk. Here are some of the reasons why solid wood is incorporated in an adjustable height desk:

One reason for this is that solid wood doesn't warp very easily, whereas other wood types, such as engineered wood and veneers, do warp relatively easily. Moreover, solid wood is also easier to repair than many engineered woods.

In addition, there is a large variety of solid woods available to choose from, which provides a wider selection for those who want a specific look or texture desktop on their solid wood adjustable height desk.


Although solid wood does have its advantages, this material is known to be incredibly susceptible to stains. Due to this, more work needs to be put into the desktop to remove these stains or measures that need to be put into place to ensure that this staining doesn't occur.

Moreover, pieces of solid wood are also more expensive than most types of wood. This mainly comes from the piece of timber being extracted from a large tree. The measures are undertaken to gain this material are more complex than simply putting wood fibers together with adhesives, such as what's done to construct engineered wood.

Also, solid woods are known for being incredibly vulnerable to cold and heat. The drastic changes in humidity and temperature can have devastating effects on your standing desk. The solid wood can also become a site for infestations. Woodworms, termites, and other pests can inhabit the wood and drastically reduce the lifespan of the wooden piece.

What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Using an MDF Wood Desktop Standing Desk?

MDF Wood standing desk


One incredible feature about MDF wood is that it's difficult to crack or flex. The durability of MDF is outstanding when compared to other engineered wood and solid wood. In addition, MDF wood can be effortlessly supplied and is more affordable than solid wood. All of this provides you with a desktop for your standing desk that won't cost you a fortune, can easily be supplied and is exceptionally durable.

Moreover, MDF wood is easy to seal and paint. This provides you with the ability to customize your standing desk to fit the interior of your office or workspace. MDF wood is different from solid wood as it lacks specific texture or grain. As a result of this feature, sanding and priming are easier. 

Finally, the pros of using MDF in the construction of office furniture are undisputable. MDF wood is equipped with different variations, which allows users to choose between raised, euro-styled, fully, partially overlay, and flat-paneled designs. All of these variations offer excellent resistance against moisture.

Using MDF Wood standing desk


One drawback of using MDF wood is that it is heavy. A false assumption is that solid wood is heavier than MDF wood. MDF wood is incredibly heavy. However, many of the standing desk structures, such as ones available from Autonomous, can support this heavy load and function effectively.

In addition, MDF wood is able to take on a large amount of weight. The wood may begin to sag if too much pressure is placed on it, as these MDF boards can't sustain a massive amount of weight. This isn't a major problem as desktops don't ordinarily withstand huge amounts of weight. MDF wood is more than equipped to handle the weight of computers, monitors, laptops, books, and whatever else you need to have on your desk as an office or remote worker.

What Are the Most Popular Types of Solid Wood?

There are a variety of different solid woods that are wildly popular as a material in the construction of a standing desk. Here are some of the most popular solid woods:

1. Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus solid wood comes in a variety of subspecies. Each of these subspecies has its own distinctive set of fine points. These include texture, palette, etc. Some of the most common and popular subspecies are spotted gum, blackbutt, Tasmanian oak, and Jarrah. All of these different types come with its corresponding colors, such as red, caramel brown, palish brown, and creamy.


2. Cedar

Cedar is known for offering its unique range of colors from red to pink. This type of solid wood has a soft, straight grain. The material is mainly used for outdoor furnishing, so it's unlikely that you are going to find a cedar solid wood adjustable height desk desktop. Nonetheless, cedar is known for resisting mold creation very well and comes at a reasonable price.

3. Oregon

Oregon solid wood is also called Douglas fir. This type of solid wood is equipped with a straight grain, and it's incredibly light. Nonetheless, this solid wood lives up to its name as it's very sturdy. This sturdiness makes it an excellent material to use in the construction of a standing desk.


4. Pine

Pine solid wood is very commonly used in interior design. However, this type of solid wood does have its downfalls. One major problem is that pine wood is very vulnerable to pests. Infestations cause the wood's lifespan to decrease drastically. This is the case for all pinewood unless it's treated against molds and bugs.

Moreover, these infestations can cause a chain reaction and result in damage being caused to your entire property. The upkeep of preventing these infestations can be incredibly challenging, time-consuming, and costly.

5. Ash

Ash solid wood is one of the brightest types of solid wood you have the opportunity of using in furniture. This particular type of wood is very common in the construction of standing desks, and many manufacturers use it as an alternative to white oak.


6. Others: Beech, Birch, Mahogany, Maple, Oak, Teak, Walnut


What Are the Best MDF Wood Desktop Standing Desk Options?

With all that being said, finding a good-quality MDF wood desktop standing desk can be incredibly challenging. Nonetheless, we have some of the top options to choose from. The first is the Autonomous Autonomous Desk 2 - Business standing desk.

This desk is equipped with an electric motor, which makes the change from a sitting to standing position effortless and quick. Moreover, the design is fitted to be sturdy and can hold up to 300 lbs. This ensures that the desk can efficiently carry the weight of the MDF wooden desktop.

Autonomous Desk 2 Premium

Another fantastic option is the Autonomous L-Shaped Autonomous Desk. This standing desk is built to be completely customizable and versatile. It also can easily fit into any corner of a workspace or office. Its robust system is truly admirable as it combines an anti-rust industrial steel frame structure with a high-performance triple motor system.

l-Shaped Autonomous Desk

The size of the desk is what sets it apart from the rest as it is equipped with double the workspace than that of ordinary standing desks. Thus, you get to do more work and have more space while reaping the ergonomic benefits of a standing desk

Conclusion: MDF Wood vs. Solid Wood Standing Desk

Although this answer is highly dependent on your own needs and specifications, it’s clear that a standing desk that’s equipped with MDF wood is the best option for most situations. Unlike solid wood, MDF wood is extremely durable while being very cost-effective. This provides users with the opportunity to gain a material that lasts for longer without having to break the budget. In addition, customization is made incredibly easy as you can paint the material to fit with the colors and decorations of your office or workspace.

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