American Made Standing Desks
Thoughtful design, premium components, and top-notch service can be scarce these days. Particularly in office furniture, where most manufacturing is done in Asia and shipped to North American customers. American made standing desks, manufactured in the Grand Rapids, Michigan, come out on top in nearly every category.
What types of standing desks are there?
Standing desks are offered today are either fixed height or height adjustable, and there are several categories of height adjustable desks.
Fixed Standing Desks
Fixed height standing desks are made for people who do all of their desk work while standing. These desks lack the flexibility to change from sitting to standing positions, so they have limited usefulness for anyone who works at a desk all day.
Height Adjustable Desks
Height adjustable desks can be adjusted for sitting and standing, and each style has its own advantages.
- Manually adjustable standing desks come at a lower price point than other types, but the manual cranking mechanisms tend to be slower and more cumbersome.
- Pneumatic standing desks raise and lower the work surface smoothly with air-powered pneumatic cylinders. This type of adjustment makes them exceptionally smooth, quiet, and fast.
- Electric standing desks provide controlled, powered assistance to raise and lower the surface of the desk. Electric desks often have some of the highest lifting capacities, so they can be a good bet if you have an extra electrical outlet and need a desk that lifts 200+ lbs of computers and accessories.
- Hydraulic standing desks use fluid to achieve mechanical power, and they usually require electricity as well. Hydraulic desks sometimes leak oil, but they are capable of lifting heavier loads.
- Standing desk converters are placed on top of a traditional desk so it can function as a standing desk. For someone who already has a traditional desk, a converter is a way to try out a standing desk too. Usually standing desk converters offer more limited desk space and require ergonomic compromises that are hard to maintain over time.
What are the most important factors in choosing the best standing desk?
Desk workers come in all shapes and sizes and do a variety of work tasks. So do desks. Finding the best standing desk means factoring your body type and habits, and also the type of work you do. When narrowing down the best standing desk for you, keep in mind a few key factors:
Height Adjustment Range
The optimal desk height for a sitting desk is generally 28-30”, but there is considerably more variability in optimal heights for standing. If you’re above or below average height, you can verify your ideal standing desk height to make sure the desk will work for you.
When considering how much surface area you need, keep in mind the space available in your office, because the footprint of your desk makes a difference. For multiple monitors, desks up to 30”x60” or larger provide ample space. A small standing desk, on the other hand may measure 24”x40” – enough to hold a laptop and monitor and other office supplies, but small enough to tuck into cozier spaces.
Ease of use
The ease of adjusting the desk with a crank, a lever, or a switch will affect how often you end up adjusting your desk from sitting to standing. An electric desk or pneumatic desk will help move the weight on the surface, which can be a real advantage. Casters can help make a more portable and flexible standing desk.
Standing desks tend to have a minimalist aesthetic, but some are more institutional models that would be tougher to incorporate in a home office. Desks are available in a variety of surface and frame colors to coordinate with your space.
Quality materials & construction
Materials define the overall style of the standing desk and also determine whether the desk will last a year or hold up to daily use for decades to come. Steel –particularly high quality Swiss steel – is the strongest material for standing desk bases, powder coated to achieve durable color options. A laminated wood substrate offers extra durability and strength, but you can also use custom work surfaces made from solid hardwoods, bamboo, or plastic.
Sturdiness and Stability
Any standing desk model should have a recommended weight capacity, and design makes a difference in whether the desk wobbles at its highest point. The furniture industry has a regulating body, Business Institutional Manufacturers’ Association (BIFMA), and many of the best performing standing desks are tested to ANSI/BIFMA X5.5 standards.
Think about the items you expect to have on the desktop, and come up with a rough estimate of the weight your standing desk will need to support. For most office work, the weight adds up to less than 15 lbs – a few papers and books, a laptop, a monitor, and some other gadgets and office supplies. If the desk will need to support and lift heavier objects like 3-4 monitors and a desktop computer, printers, and other equipment, then weight capacity becomes more important.
A longer warranty period indicates confidence that the desk will hold up over time. Consider not just the length of the warranty, but the reputation of the company as well. It’s one thing to offer a 5-year warranty, but quite another to be around in 5 years and to honor it cheerfully.
What are the best standing desks?
For anyone who uses a desk, there is one best standing desk that will check all your most important criteria. The Standing Desk has several top recommendations for various categories.
Best All-Around Pneumatic Standing Desk
The best pneumatic desk category really depends on whether you prefer the center-column design of the Luften or the split-leg design of the Nimbus. Both are designed for all-around performance for most common uses around the office and the home. And they’ll never need a power outlet.
Best Electric Desk for Small Spaces
When your space is limited and your desk holds heavier loads up to 150 lbs, take a look at the Andern electric desk. With a 30” x 40” surface, the Andern electric fits easily in most rooms.
Best Pneumatic Desk for Tall People
Best Standing Desk for Small Spaces
When your space is limited, take a look at the Andern pneumatic mono-column desk. With a 30” x 40” surface, the Andern can hold a monitor, a laptop, and more, without taking up the whole room.
Best Electric Desk for Heavy Loads
Electric standing desks with brushless electric motors are known for having extra weight capacity. The Oben electric desk can lift and lower up to 250 lbs., with a collision detection feature for extra safety.
Best Pneumatic Standing Desk for Heavy Loads
Extra monitors, printers, desktop computers, and heavy equipment can add up to more than a height adjustable desk might reasonably be expected to lift and lower. For loads of up to 90 lbs (in addition to the weight of the desk surface), the Kloud pneumatic excels.