Pneumatics is air, put to work.

Its power comes from air that has been compressed to transmit force and energy. By harnessing the power of compressed air, a pneumatic adjustable height standing desk is simple, reliable, and requires no energy to operate.

When you look at a pneumatic standing desk vs electric, there are 8 key differences – and the pneumatic desk wins every time.

1. A pneumatic desk = the easiest way to start standing — or stand more

A pneumatic desk is the easiest way to support the active, standing lifestyle. Why? Because a pneumatic adjustable height desk naturally supports your movements, moving at pace with you when you change positions throughout the day. It adjusts in 3 seconds, allowing you to tweak until you find just the right spot.

This overall usability of a pneumatic desk lets you gradually build the muscles needed to stand more — and to make a real change over time. With a sit-stand desk, you still have the option to sit as needed. When transitions are so easy, they become second nature, which is the key to lasting change.

2. A more economical and long-term investment 

Generally, a quality built pneumatic desk is less expensive than electric, motorized desks. A well designed pneumatic desk, built with commercial grade materials, can last 30 years or more – a very wise investment over time. Our desks are the only commercial-grade pneumatic standing desk on the market – quality, American-made pneumatic desks designed in Germany, built with Swiss steel.

With fewer components than a motorized desk, a pneumatic system is simply more dependable. Though electric desk motors are known for motor burn-out and failures, pneumatic desks introduce no maintenance or malfunction. So no service calls or power losses, no spikes or collisions.

As a long term investment, a pneumatic desk has a key advantage: it’s powered by air. And air is free. When you compare the monthly cost of operating a pneumatic vs electric desk, it’s hard for the electric desk to compete with “free.”

3. Safer than an electric, motorized desk 

Pneumatic-powered desks are safer than electric desks. You aren’t going to cause an electrical fire or damage your standing desk’s lifting system just by spilling your coffee. And there is no risk of fire from a voltage issue or a wiring break. And if you want to stop the desk movement quickly to avoid pinches or collisions, you can stop a pneumatic desk instantly.

  • Can stop the desk instantly when adjusting; you control the motion
  • No risk of electric fire when you spill your coffee
  • No chance of voltage or wiring break causing a fire

4. The lower carbon footprint desk 

A desk with a long product lifecycle and a low carbon footprint helps keep our planet green. While an electric desk consumes electricity whenever it’s plugged in, a pneumatic desk is powered by a completely renewable resource – air. A high quality pneumatic desk can easily last 30 years or more, and will be built for 100% recyclability (like our Andern and Luften desks). Their electric counterparts are subject to motor burn outs and malfunctions, so they’re more apt to become non-functional and end up as waste, with multiple electric components that aren’t recyclable.

  • No 24/7 electricity drain
  • Will last 30+ years (whereas electric motors notoriously burn out or malfunction) 
  • ~100% recyclable materials without electric motor 

5. A pneumatic desk is easier to install 

Because there is no integrated power cord or cable management feature, a pneumatic desk installation takes about 10 minutes. That’s it. There’s no need to mount and connect handsets, control boxes, or cables to the desk. And once it’s assembled, it’s ready to use, no training required.

The no-fuss nature of a pneumatic design — adjusting until the sweet spot is found — means no complicated programming is needed. Just touch a button and go.

→ Check out our standing desk height guide for reference on where to set your desk height 

  • 10 minute or less installation
  • No training needed to get started standing
  • No need to mount or connect desktop tech 
  • No complicated presets — just fine-tune to find the sweet spot

6. Pneumatics = smoother, quieter, easier adjustment

A pneumatic standing desk is the smoothest, quietest, and easiest of all standing desk models to operate. Just hold the handle as you lift the desk, or push it down until it meets the right height. No hand cranking, no complicated presets, no manual pin setting.

Our Luften and Andern designs are actually 8X faster than your standard electric, adjusting in about 3 seconds. It moves while you move! And its adjustment is gentle and smooth. The soundless operation of a pneumatic desk vs electric desk motor noise will keep your coworkers happy too!

  • 8X faster than electric
  • Easier to operate
  • Quieter
  • Smoother, satisfying adjustment

7. Pneumatic desks afford total mobility

A pneumatic workstation offers complete mobility because there’s no need to set up shop near an open outlet. Add lockable casters and slide your workstation around wherever you need to, without running over your desk cord. A strong, lightweight tabletop – like particleboard surfaced with Formica – means there’s no need to call in the furniture movers.

  • No extra cords = easy to relocate and no risk of running over your desk’s cord
  • Lightweight (if you opt for a strong, but lightweight tabletop) 
  • No outlet-based limitations on where you can take your desk
  • Total mobility (just add lockable casters) 

8. A pneumatic standing desk is more minimal and compact 

A pneumatic standing desk reduces the clutter of cords and allows flexibility in your room layout. Lift your desk at the end of each day and tuck your chair underneath. Or nest all your pneumatic workstations together around the perimeter when you need the open space for another activity. Whatever flexibility your office space needs, a pneumatic standing desk supports it every step of the way.

  • No cord, no clutter
  • Total freedom on your room’s layout 
  • Sleek and space-saving 
  • Tuck your chair beneath at the end of each day
  • Nest them to clear the room

When comparing a pneumatic standing desk vs electric, both have the advantage of a powered assistance to support easy sit-stand transitions. In actual daily use, though, the pneumatic desk simply brings more to the table.

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