Ergonomic Standing Desks and Chairs

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8 Questions to Ask Before Buying a Sit-Stand Desk

28 April 2021

So you’re considering switching to a sit-stand desk but aren’t entirely sure whether it is worth the investment. You see, standing desks aren’t all that cheap and even the ones that aren’t made with quality materials may cost you a few more Benjamins than you expect. 

Even if you find affordable options, the sheer amount of features and alternative models out there can leave you feeling confused, or perhaps even overwhelmed. To make your choice a little easier for you, we have compiled a list of questions as a guide to you picking the right sit-stand desk for your needs.  

1. What Kind of Budget Are You Working With?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question and how much you spend on a sit-stand desk should depend on the level of quality you’re expecting in exchange for your investment. Like any purchase, you can find sit-stand desks in a variety of price points. However, before settling for the cheapest options, remind yourself that you are investing in the health benefits of height adjustable desks. 

It really helps to consider quality features and how long a model will last you. The latter is also a good reason to look for warranties so you can protect your investment in case the desk malfunctions. 

All things considered, top-of-the-line height-adjustable desks can cost you thousands of dollars but the best quality models are typically sold between the $300 and $500 range. 

Click here to browse through a couple of our favorite sit-stand desks.  

2. Do You Need a New Desk or One That Can Be Added On Top of An Existing Desk?

When standing desks were first introduced, interested buyers had to remove their current desk to replace it with an entirely new desk that could convert from sitting to standing with the help of an electric motor or crank. However, you will now come across several other cheaper options that include:

  • Height adjustable desk legs (which can replace the legs of your current desk)

  • Desk mounts or standing desk converters

  • Scissor lifts, sit-stand keyboard trays, and other combinations.

The answer to your question largely depends on how much space you have available in your office or home office space. If you’re dealing with a significant amount of space or if you would prefer to spread your belongings over a larger area, it would be a good idea to invest in an entirely new sit-stand desk. However, if the desk you’re using currently is perfect, you should look for a desk mount or standing desk converters

Additionally, if you’re planning on doing most of your work while standing, you should consider the option of permanently raising your desk to a standing height as a viable solution. The only problem here is that you will need to buy a chair that is also at a raised height, such as a lab stool that has a foot ring. 

If your work involves a lot more sitting than standing, you should consider buying a model that raises and lowers your entire desk. If this sounds like something you’ll be interested in, your only two options will be electric desks and crank desks. 

3. Do You Need a Height Adjustable Desk?

In most cases, it is pretty crucial that the height of your desk be adjustable because you might need to set it at different heights for various tasks or perhaps many people may be using the same desk. 

For instance, someone would prefer a particular height for their writing tasks whereas the other who prefers another height for computer-related tasks. Similarly, people with different heights and work preferences in the same home would prefer a height adjustable model. 

The Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturers Association (BIFMA) suggests that height adjustable desks should range anywhere between 22.6 inches to 48.7 inches. However, your choice of product should depend on what you plan on using the desk for. 

4. How Deep Should Your Sit-Stand Desk Be?

In case you’re wondering, the depth of a desk is the distance between the front to the back of the tabletop while you’re facing the fixture. With that in mind, you should settle for a sit-stand desk that is at least 30 inches deep. 

Having a depth close to this minimum grants users the ability to fan out their belongings as opposed to working in the midst of a cluttered desk. Of course, if you have limited space in your office or if you don’t need this much area, you can always choose a desk with a smaller depth. 

5. Is Weight Capacity An Important Consideration?

Most height adjustable desks are constructed in a manner that they can easily carry the weight of all those things that are usually kept on a desktop. This may include a phone, laptop, printer, desktop computer, etc. 

However, if your work requires you to place much heavier items on the tabletop, you should consider looking up each model’s weight restrictions before investing in them. You see, the weight restrictions of all sit-stand models tend to vary quite a lot and the perfect product for you should match these requirements. 

6. What Should I Consider Before Buying a Sit-Stand Desk?

Most height-adjustable standing desks exceed expectations in terms of convenience and quality. Still, some key considerations that would help you make a more informed decision include:

Noise-Level During Operation

If your productivity relies on a calm and quiet environment, then you should consider desks that feature noiseless transition between both heights. 

Electric Vs. Manual Operation

Some sit-stand desks are designed to be operated with manual hand cranks while others feature pneumatic or electric lifts that can lift or lower your entire desktop with a push of a button. Which method you prefer can have a huge impact on your noise level, ease of operation, and speed. 


If a desk takes a supremely long time to shift between both heights, you might not find it suitable to your work routine.


Some sit-stand desks can easily be programmed with various height preferences so they may effortlessly glide to your preferred position. 


Ask yourself whether your choice of standing desk needs to work with specialized equipment or privacy screens? Or should the desk match a specific aesthetic in your office? By answering all of these questions, you might not be able to find a desk that complies with all of your needs but one that is the best product as compared to its alternatives.

7. Should My Desk Be Kept In a Standing Position All Day?

Since you’ve heard of all the desirable health benefits of height-adjustable desks, and all the health risks of a sedentary lifestyle, you may be of the opinion that keeping your desk standing all day may be a good idea. However, standing around for a very long period of time can also be as harmful as excessive sitting. 

One of the health benefits of height adjustable desks is that they cure back pain by changing how they work throughout the day. The ideal way to use standing desks is to vary between both postures and divide how much of each you do over your work hours. For instance, if you remain seated for one hour, it should play to your advantage to stand up and stretch your muscles. If you’ve been standing up for a while, you can then relax your legs and sit down. 

8. Electric vs. Manual Sit-Stand Desk: Which Is Best?

At this point, you’re probably sold because it isn’t very difficult to see the benefits of height-adjustable standing desks. However, you will still have two options to choose from: height-adjustable standing desks and crank (manually-adjustable) standing desks

You’re probably looking for a standing desk that can be easily transitioned from the sitting position to a standing one, without disrupting your work, and at an affordable price. Well, crank standing desks may be as affordable as they come, but they might take up to 30 turns to bring to a standing position. In contrast, an electric sit-stand desk will just have two buttons that you need to know about - the up and down buttons. 

Final Thoughts

With all of your questions answered, the only thing you need to do is pick the right sit-stand desk for your office or your home office space. If you prefer a traditional American design in your height-adjustable desk, we’d like to introduce you to Flexispot’s Theodore Standing Desk

This standing desk blends rustic elements onto a 48 inch table top, which also features a built-in USB port and an integrated storage drawer. What’s more, you can handle its simple set-up process yourself in just a few minutes.