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6 Truths and a Lie about Weight and Pneumatic Standing Desks.

So you’re in the market for a sit stand height adjustable desk – maybe a pneumatic standing desk, or perhaps an electric desk. In either case, it’s clear that a standing desk gets a whole lot easier to use if you have some assistance with the heavy lifting. 

It’s time to talk about weight. Can a pneumatic desk support my desk’s load?  The best almost certainly can. To help you find the best height adjustable desk to fit your needs, here are 6 important truths – and a lie – when it comes to weight and pneumatic desks. 

Truth #1: The average desk only carries about 15 lbs.

Traditional stationary desks are often built with a 150+ lb weight capacity. The thing is, the average desk surface has only about 15 lbs of tech on it. How much does a laptop even weigh?

  • Apple’s latest 16”: 4.3 lbs
  • HP’s latest notebook PC: 2.2 lbs
  • Dell’s latest 17” Inspiron: 6 lbs
  • Lenovo’s latest 14”: 2.4 lbs

→ AVG Weight: 3.7 lbs

A keyboard, mouse, and external monitor, and riser weigh about 5 lbs all together. So it’s safe to say the average desk has far less than 15 lbs of computer equipment on it.

So why does the standard weight capacity for a traditional sitting height desk hover around 150 lbs? That’s three bales of hay. Three large bags of dog food. It’s actually difficult to imagine 150 lbs worth of keyboard, monitor, and laptop. 

A 150-pound desk weight capacity is impressive. But it’s simply not necessary for our modern devices

Truth #2: Your desk load will be even lighter in the future. 

With the biggest manufacturers selling ‘weightlessness’ or ‘featherweight’ laptops, slimmer, sleeker, and thinner are the future for computer tech. 

When it comes time to upgrade, devices will be even lighter. You simply don’t need a desk with even a 50 lb weight capacity, much less a 150 lb weight capacity. And you won’t down the road, either.

Truth #3: You’ll like the simplified look of a minimalist standing desk.

We find that as most people rediscover the awesome ability to move, they keep their desk load light. Whereas with a fixed-height desk, they might have let papers and devices pile up, simply because the desk never moved, most people like their pneumatic desk cleared of clutter.

Truth #4: Desks are described with different weight metrics. 

It helps to know that “weight capacity” and “ideal use weight” are two different metrics.

WEIGHT CAPACITY OR LIMIT is simply the weight that the desk can support without breaking. A pneumatic sit stand desk’s weight capacity averages 150 lbs. Our Ändern and Lüften desks hold +150 lbs safely when locked in place (their internal compression spring is lockable). But bear in mind that you won’t be able to move the desk up and down with that amount of weight on it — a pneumatic mechanism is specifically designed to lift and lower those 30-50 lbs with minimal user effort

IDEAL USE WEIGHT is the rough weight range that a pneumatic desk lifts and lowers quickly, with minimal effort on your part. Manufacturers will sometimes call this “lifting capacity” or “ideal weight range” or “recommended use weight” or describe it by saying the “desk ‘holds between X-X pounds” or that the desk is “built for a desk load X-X pounds.” All of these terms describe the same thing — the weight load within which the desk adjusts most smoothly and easily. 30-50 lbs is a typical “ideal use weight” for pneumatic standing desks. 

If you come across a pneumatic desk’s product specs with an “ideal use weight” of 30-50 lbs, you might think that means the desk will break if you put 50 lbs on it. That isn’t the case (at least not with our pneumatic desks). 30-50 lbs is merely the range within which adjustment will be smooth and effortless.

Truth #5 “Ideal use weight” is a central design feature unique to pneumatic desks.

“Ideal use weight” is a relatively new term to the standing and height adjustable desk industry, so it can cause confusion. Every pneumatic desk was designed to raise and lower a range of weight at a quick pace with minimal effort from the user. 

How quickly does a pneumatic desk adjust? 3 seconds from sit to stand is the gold standard originally set by our KlöudÄndern, and Lüften pneumatic standing desks. 

And how minimal is the effort on your part exactly? If the weight of your laptop and computer accessories falls roughly within your pneumatic desk’s “ideal use weight,” adjustment will be about as close to effortless as it gets with a sit to stand desk. You’ll simply guide the desk up or down as you hold its adjustment lever. A lever which, fittingly, is also tension-adjustable on our Ändern and Lüften, to give you the ultimate ease of use. 

Truth #6: You won’t have to “lift” or “lower” the difference.

If you exceed the “ideal use weight” of a pneumatic desk by a few pounds, the pace of adjustment will simply be a little bit slower than 3 seconds. If you exceed it by ~15 lbs or more, you’ll have to assist the desk by pushing down or lifting up as you hold its adjustment lever. 

Our Lüften pneumatic desk, for example, is a dual-column pneumatic adjustable desk built for a 40-50 lb desk load. Yes, the desk will still go up and down from sit to stand if you put 65 lbs on it. And those “extra” 15 lbs won’t wear out its lifting mechanism (pneumatic Swiss steel legs) over time or shorten its lifespan. The desk will still move quite easily. The adjustment will just be a little bit slower and will require some effort on your part.

The Lie: High weight capacity equals high quality.

We tend to associate a high weight “capacity” or “ideal use weight” (or really, a high number of any kind) with a high-quality product. The truth is, a pneumatic standing desk’s durability hinges on the quality of its design and materials, not its weight metrics (“capacity” or “ideal use weight”). Design and material quality are what will make for a long-lasting pneumatic product that will lift and lower your desk’s load dependably year in and year out. 

Our pneumatic desks are benchmarks of good design and high-quality materials, priced comparably to many of the industry’s best standing desk converters. 

When our team at The Standing Desk designed the Ändern and Lüften pneumatic desks, we did our research to provide two desks that cover 90% of weight needs. 

Our Ändern pneumatic desk is made for a desk load of roughly 25-40 lbs. It’s a single-column pneumatic desk with a 30″ x 48″ or 24” x 40” work surface — perfect if you work off a laptop.

Our Lüften pneumatic desk is made for a desk load of roughly 40-50 lbs. It’s a dual-column pneumatic desk with a 30″ x 60″ work surface – perfect if you have a larger monitor. 

Need more? We also offer an adjustable pneumatic desk or an electric desk for those who need a desk that’s up for some heavy lifting. 

Our Kloud weight adjustable pneumatic desk can be adjusted to lift anywhere between 50 to 175lbs load capacity. With a 30″x 48″ or 30″x 60″ work surface — ideal for bigger projects or multiple monitors.

Our Oben brushless electric desk offers over 200 lbs lifting capacity. It’s a single-column pneumatic desk with a 30″ x 48″ or 30″x 60″ work surface — ideal for bigger projects or multiple monitors.

Quality comes from craftsmanship and commercial-grade materials, not weight. Find a height adjustable desk manufacturer that meets the benchmarks we meet at The Standing Desk. That’s how you’ll find the best pneumatic standing desk on the market. 

    • Designed in Germany by expert furniture makers
    • Minimal design = fewer components — a long-lasting, dependable height adjustable desk 
    • Commercial-grade Swiss steel legs = long lifespan
    • Michigan-manufactured (Made in USA) to meet or exceed American manufacturing standards

Do you have any questions we didn’t answer? Contact us or drop us a line via our contact form: https://www.thestandingdesk.com/contact/ — we want to connect!

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