8 Things to Consider When Choosing A Standing Desk (Height-Adjustable Desk) for Home Office

A Buyer’s Guide for Standing Desks (It’s not just the height!)

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Photo by ERGOBOND

There are many offerings out there, but which one is the best for you and your budget? Firstly congratulation on your decision to buy a standing desk. Your back and body will thank you for this investment.

I’ve worked for many desk companies in the past (I still do). Standing desks can look quite similar on the outside and seem that the only difference comes down to price but let me tell you, there are many differences to the standing desk out there in the market.

Here are the 8 things you need to pay attention to when choosing your height adjustable desk!

1. Type of Adjustment

Electric Motor

An electric one has one or two motors (sometimes 3) and requires a plug to be used. They are the most common version in the market. Motorized desk is ideal for those who will be loading heavier weight, don’t mind having to plug their desk and want something with no surprises.

Gas Spring (pneumatic/lever)

A pneumatic (lever) one raises up and down using a gas spring similar to your office chair height adjustment. It is electric free, so you are not limited to using it in a place with a plug. The difference between a good one and a bad one can be very high, so it is vital to read other customers’ reviews. They are more flexible than electric ones, and adjustment speeds are faster.

Crank

Crank is a manual mechanism that requires you to turn in a circle until it raises up. This is the cheapest option for all three. Ideal if you have a limited budget and still want to enjoy a height-adjustable desk’s benefits.

To Sum-up

The only one I would never recommend is a crank desk. Crank desks are hard to use; a loaded desk can become very hard to raise, and it takes a lot longer to adjust the height. Usually, electric motor ones will be more expensive, but a good pneumatic desk usually costs the same as an electric desk.

2. Number of Motors (Only for Electric Desk)

A dual motor is always better than a single motor. It is like having a 4x4 car vs a 4x2 car. Single motors work just fine if you are not a heavy user. A single motor desk can be a lot cheaper than a dual-motor one. However, they are more prone to losing equilibrium but can easily be fixed with a rest.

You should get a dual motor desk if you put a lot of weight on the desk; the weight is not proportionally distributed, and if stability when raising and lowering the desk is essential to you.

3. Two stages or three stages/ adjustment range

Commercial height adjustable desks are mostly 3 stages because it allows the higher range of adjustment (lower height and higher height). If you are taller or shorter than average, a 3 stage height adjustable desk is likely to provide you with the correct heights for you.

However, if you are comfortable with the min and max height of a two-stage desk, I would go for a two-stage one as they are cheaper than a three-stage one.

Always check the ideal sit/stand height based on your height (with and without shoes), and make sure the desk you buy offers a few inches above and below the min and maximum adjustment.

4. Memory controller (Only for Electric Desks)

A memory controller allows you to record a preset height and move automatically to the preset with one button. This can be very convenient as you can easily reach your ideal height with one click rather than holding up or down until the desired height has been reached.

Some controllers come with an LED display to indicate the exact inch/cm your dek is set up. I think the memory function is worth it, but if it adds a lot to the price, I wouldn’t mind skipping it. Also, three memory slots are more than enough if you are the only one using the desk.

5. Weight Capacity

Here is where a lot of the price difference comes in. When comparing desks is very important to see if the weight capacity. Check if the weight capacity includes the desktop weight or not. Remember to add that before reaching.

The higher the weight capacity, the better quality of motor and frame is built. Even if you will not have many things on your desk, it is always good to leave a few pounds extra as a buffer.

For gas spring desks, it works a bit differently, and I am happy to go into detail if someone needs it in the comments sections.

6. Noise Control

A motorized desk can be noisy when in use. The noise will magnify if you are using it in a small space. This factor is usually more critical in a commercial office than in a home office. Suppose a bit of noise when adjusting your desk doesn’t bother you, then it’s fine. Do know that a less noisy desk usually is of better quality, or the height adjustment is slower. If you want genuinely no noise experience, choose a pneumatic desk.

7. Adjustment Speed

Usually, the pneumatic desk will be the fastest to adjust (just like the height of your chair). The motor desk varies. The quicker the adjustment, the higher quality of motors, and the pricier the desk. Does the speed matter? Well, honestly, it does. When you are very focused on your work and want to change your position, you will like to transition seamlessly and as fast as possible. Anything above 1" per second is good. If it is a motor desk and they do not display the adjustment speed, SKIP!

8. Years of Warranty

An easy way to see the difference between the quality of desks is the years of warranty. A brand that is willing to offer longer warranty terms, especially for motorized desks, is likely using better quality material, motors, and built. Motorized and gas spring products usually have a limited lifetime, and brands know it. An easy guide is anything below five years warranty is on the cheaper spectrum and anything above 5–7 years you can consider it a high quality built.

And those are the eight main things I would watch out for when choosing a height-adjustable desk! A suitable desk just like a good chair and a good bed can be a significant investment. Make sure to get the one that fits your needs!

Remember that your home office is meant to make you more productive, support your goals, and not burn you out.

A stardust born into Earth. Passionate about balanced workspace, data science and our cosmic existence. Sharing makes me happy.

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