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How Much Are Standing Desks?

When you’ve heard enough about the benefits of a standing at work, it doesn’t take long to know you want a standing desk.

Ideally a height adjustable standing desk, so you can stand and sit at will. But can you actually get one of these ergonomic beauties at a reasonable price? How much are standing desks anyway, and how can you make sure you’re getting the best value?

Bargain Alternatives to a Standing Desk

Cheaper alternatives to a height adjustable standing desk do exist, although each comes with some of the tradeoffs you might expect.

Fixed standing desk ($100 to $600): When most of us think of a standing desk, we’re actually picturing a sit-stand workstation. However, there are also fixed standing desks where you remain standing while you work, without the option of changing the desk to a sitting position. Some are mobile workstations, like those used in medical settings. Because they can only be used while standing, fixed standing desks offer little in the way of ergonomic advantage. Standing offers a healthier work posture than sitting, but standing all the time can create new problems.

Standing desk converter ($100 to $600): Converters are often advertised as a budget alternative to a height-adjustable standing workstation, assuming you already have a standard desk. What these converters offer is at best a poorer substitute. Many converters are manually operated, which takes a bit of effort for each adjustment, and tends to result in fewer transitions and less time standing. For the same price, you should be able to find a real height adjustable standing desk that does offer all the benefits. In the end, it’s not really a bargain to take a half step towards a standing desk with a clunky, less-than-ideal conversion.

Height Adjustable Standing Desk Prices

Real sit-to-stand workstations started off with a reputation as expensive ergonomic office furniture, with a price tag of $1000 and up on the earliest models. Now you will find a lot more options and choices in standing desks at all price points, from $150 up to $2000. Given all the technology involved in moving parts, you can expect to pay a little more for a height adjustable standing desk than for a standard fixed desk. But maybe not much more.

Engineering, construction, and features play in to the factors that determine the price of a standing desk:

  1. Quality. Lower end desks are typically manufactured in China, while the highest end of the spectrum come from the US and Western Europe, where manufacturing standards are strictest. Some of the best ergonomic desks are designed to exceed BIFMA X5.5 standards for performance, durability, and structural adequacy. Quality is generally reflected in the overall stability of the desk, with most designed to last at least 5 years and optimally 10.
  2. Size. Desks with work surfaces smaller than the average 30″ x 60″ may cost about 10-15% less. They will also hold less.
  3. Materials and technology. Product specs vary depending on your needs, and some of the options affect price. Differences that affect the price tag include speed of adjustment, noise level, desk height, amount of weight the desk can support, height adjustment mechanism, and construction materials used in the work surface and frame.

Generally, when you’re talking about the price of height adjustable standing desks, they can be categorized based on the adjustment mechanism.

  • Manual height adjustable desks generally range from $100 to $400. These desks usually support the least amount of weight, and the awkwardness of manual adjustment makes them harder to love.
  • Pneumatic height adjustable standing desks usually range from $300 to $1500. Pneumatic desks can generally handle heavier loads, offer greater stability, and function quickly and quietly without needing a nearby power source.
  • Electric standing desks range from $400 to more than $2500, and features vary quite a bit, with some offering height presets and particularly quiet motors. Electric standing desks can usually hold the most weight.

When you’re ready to try a standing desk, you want to get the most value for your money. First figure out the features you want – adjustment type, speed, noise level, and style – and how you picture yourself using the desk. That way you make sure to get all the features that are most important for you, but don’t pay for what you don’t need.

The benefits of standing are worth the investment. Once you find a dependable standing desk that fits your budget, it’s hard to go back to full-time sitting again. With the right height-adjustable standing desk, you won’t have to.

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