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How Much Weight Can a Standing Desk Hold?

How Much Weight Can a Standing Desk Hold?

So, you’ve decided to finally make the switch to a standing desk for your daily computing needs.  Good job!

You’ve seen the reports of better circulation, lower blood sugar, half the risk of heart disease, and other assorted benefits. Now it’s time to make the switch.

The question now is; can it support the equipment you’re used to having on your traditional desk? The short answer is “Yes!” and here’s why.

Standing desk weights in a nutshell

Heavy weight on the floor

Starting off, we can see that the weight capacity of a pneumatic, or “manual” standing desk is not identical to that of the usual “Sitting desk,” which is about 150 to 350 pounds (68 to 159 kilograms for the non-imperial fans).

Instead, the average pneumatic standing desk holds 30 to 55 pounds (13.5 to 25 kilograms), while a more expensive (and heavy!) electric desk can hold anywhere from 50 pounds to 350 pounds (159 kilograms).

Now, you could walk away right now with that information if you’d like. However, a deeper dive can help you understand this information better. Read on!

The typical standing desk setup

Two monitors on a Large Electric Height Adjustable Standing Desk

On a general scale, the typical desktop isn’t that intensive when it comes to weight. Computer monitors have graduated from huge and heavy CRT models (with tubes even!) to lightweight flat screen monitors weighing less than fifty pounds, speakers, keyboard and mouse weighing a few pounds, and the laptop, of course.

Usually, the heaviest part of your pneumatic standing desk setup (the laptop) only weighs about four pounds. This means the average load on any desk is not a factor to worry about, so no need to worry at all.

The non-typical standing desk

Electric Height Adjustable Standing Desk with Drawers

Some people, however, don’t conform to the minimalist style that a standing desk suggests.  For them, it’s about having their usual setup, but in a standing desk configuration.

You’ll see these kinds of electric standing desks are used for musicians who will probably have not only a computer but a keyboard and a mixer as well.

They may also have a midi keyboard, mixer, and other assorted recording gear. The good news is that this still doesn’t get them even close to the weight capacity of an electric standing desk.

Design of a standing desk is all about perception

A man and a child working on a Standing Desk with drawers

Most of us who listened in our high school science class know that, when things get taller, they need to be wider. We quickly learn all about how things can be “top-heavy”.

So, we get a bit worried when we see what seems like more than a thousand dollars worth of electronic equipment looking like it’s sitting on two skinny legs.

However, standing desks use a few tricks to distribute the weight evenly, such as long feet and the way the braces are set up under the desk surface that move weight from the center of the desk to the outside edges.

Fortunately, as with many things in life, there’s a more specific set of standards to help us feel a bit more comfortable with a standing desk choice.

BIFMA regulates the weight a standing desk can hold safely

work safety signboard

Yes, there is an actual organization that has worked out safety standards for office furniture.

According to their website, they evaluate everything about the safety of chairs and desks in every environment from personal office space to large corporate office pools.

Among the most obvious would be whether a standing desk would “fall forward”, causing a very bad day for both the computer and the user, or collapse if the weight goes a little over the “ideal weight capacity.”

You can read all about it for yourself by following this link HERE.

Splitting hairs with the two types of standing desks and their weight

Height Adjustable Electric Desk with laptop and computer on it

As you’d expect, there are two types of standing desks to choose from: pneumatic standing desks or electric standing desks.

The most basic way of describing it is that this is a choice between using manual or electrical ways of raising and lowering the desk, but you can also see it as paying more or less for how you want to lift and lower that standing desk.

Because the pneumatic standing desks hold less weight (30 to 50 pounds), they are more for the laptop user. Great for offices or the casual user.

Meanwhile, the electric standing desk can hold a lot more (up to 350 pounds), it’s more geared for the power user or gamer.

At the end of the day, how you use your computer and the amount you want to spend on the standing desk are the only other things to think about before you buy.

Keeping the weight ideal for a standing desk

Adjustable Height Standing Desk with laptop and computer on it

One of the things you may see talked about is “Ideal Weight Range.” Remember where we talked about the typical desktop environment and how much weight that came to?

This is where that information comes in. On a pneumatic desktop, you probably will be putting around 50 pounds (23 kilograms) worth of weight on your standing desk.

At this weight, you’ll be able to easily lift your pneumatic standing desk in about three seconds. If you need a bit more than 50 pounds, say another 15 pounds, you may need to give a pneumatic standing desk a helping hand by pulling or pushing as you hold the lever.

Needing extra weight in a standing desk as the pros do

Height Adjustable Electric Standing Desk in a room

Earlier, you may have seen that an electric standing desk can hold up to 350 pounds. This number is very impressive, to be sure!

In addition, you can have height presets at your fingertips for multiple users, or simply convert to a sitting desk.

These desks are ideal for those with the extra money to burn or have a higher demand, such as a professional studio.

They’re also a lot easier for those who have physical challenges that inhibit them from manually raising and lowering the desk.

Where to go, now that you know?

Now that you understand the differences between pneumatic and electric, the only question left is “Which one is right for you?”

Are you a minimalist with an a-typical setup, or a hardcore or industrial user  needing greater weight capacity?

Here are two helpful suggestions to consider that have been proven to have solid quality and design.

A solid “L” shaped electric desk

Computer, printer and laptop setting up on Electric Standing Desk

The  is an excellent choice for an electric standing desk with it’s 55 inch surface area and 155 pound weight capacity.

By adding the “L” shape, the typical space needed for the mouse is offloaded to the side, letting the focus of the desk be on viewing your monitor.

It is a bit more expensive as an electric desk, but the three piece assembly makes it ideal for setting up as needed.

Keeping with the manual life

ODK Mobile Standing Desk Adjustable Height with wheels

The is an excellent choice, as it sits above the pack with it’s 133 pound capacity on an available 47 inch surface area.

Using gas pneumatics, this desk can convert from a sitting desk to a standing desk in about three seconds.

Wrapping it all up neatly

In the end, there’s no wrong answer to what you choose in a standing desk. Whether it’s the pneumatic standing desk that holds 30 to 50 pounds, or the electric standing desk that can hold up to 350 pounds, you can’t go wrong.