How Much Weight Can a Standing Desk Hold?

By Robert David Orr / Last updated: Nov 4, 2022

If you’re thinking of switching to a standing desk, you’re probably wondering, “How much weight can a standing desk hold?” Because there are so many different height adjustable desk types, there’s no one simple answer.

Standing desks can hold anywhere from 30 to 700 pounds of weight. Electric standing desks have higher weight limits than pneumatic standing desks. Additionally, higher-quality electric desks can hold more than lower-end ones. 

The range between 30 and 700 pounds is vast. Thankfully, you can probably narrow down how much weight you will actually need relatively easily. Consider how you will use your standing desk, what you will put on top of it, and how much you are willing to spend.

With these factors in mind, you will likely find that an average electric standing desk that holds 150 to 200 pounds should suffice.

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What Are the Weight Limits for Adjustable Standing Desks?

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Adjustable standing desks are desks that can become taller or shorter depending on their users’ needs. Often these are electric desks, but they can also be pneumatic or even manual.

Each adjustable desk has a weight limit, the same as a regular desk that doesn’t move up and down. Every flat surface can only hold so much weight before it buckles under the pressure. So, what are the weight loads of height-adjustable desks?

The answer is that it depends. A wide variety of factors help determine the true load capacity of different desk types, including those that are adjustable.

How Important Are Electric Standing Desk Weight Limits?

white wooden table with chairs

It’s easy to wonder if maximum load capacity really matters when using an electric desk, especially when the average weight load capacity is usually about 150 to 200 pounds.

However, these motorized desks have weight limits for a reason, so it is important to consider them when choosing an electric desk for your home office or workspace.

Manufacturer quality and materials used play heavily into a desk load capacity. For example:

  • Desk frame – A sturdy desk frame will ensure it can handle weight along the edge. This is especially important when using monitor arms.
  • Tabletop weight – A desk’s weight capacity doesn’t always account for tabletop weight, so don’t forget to take that into consideration.
  • Even distribution – Your desktop items aren’t likely to be evenly distributed across your desktop, which means your electric desk’s motor might not be operating at its highest efficiency.

The better and more stable your desk is to start with, the less you’ll have to worry about the points above.

That doesn’t mean you have to purchase the most expensive and high-end electric desk. Just consider that manufacturing quality and durability can go a long way when it comes to electric desk performance.

Consider What You Will Put on Your Height Adjustable Desk

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For most people, exceeding their standing desk’s weight limit isn’t usually a concern. Workstations get lighter and lighter every year.

However, you know what your desktop looks like better than anyone. What do you plan on placing on top of your adjustable height desk?

Common desktop items include:

  • Laptop computer
  • Monitor(s)
  • Keyboard and mouse
  • Cellphone and tablet
  • Charging station
  • Pen and utensil holder
  • Desk lamp
  • Decor (photo frames, plants, etc.)
  • Books
  • Portable appliances (printers, scanners)

In most cases, CPUs are stored underneath desks or are mounted to the wall above adjustable desks. There is no real need to store a large CPU on an adjustable desk. However, small CPUs can usually fit horizontally on desks of all sizes without incident.

The list above includes items that many people probably don’t use on their adjustable desks, but we’ve included them here to cover all bases. Many people who use standing desks prefer a decluttered, minimalist look and stick with their essentials.

Regardless of how you personally choose to organize your desk, ensure that you take your tabletop weight into account.

Consider your desk’s weight limit, subtract your tabletop’s weight, and be sure your desktop items don’t exceed your desk’s weight capacity.

For best results, distribute items on your desktop as evenly as you can. This will give your desk’s electric motor the best chance at lifting and lowering your desk with ease.

Popular Standing Desks and Their Weight Ratings

Popular Standing Desks and Their Weight Ratings

 

UPLIFT Desk – V2 Bamboo Desktop Standing Desk, Height Adjustable Commercial Frame (White), Adv. Memory Keypad & Wire Grommets (White), Bamboo Rocker-X Board (72″ x 30″)

  • Chosen “Best Standing Desk” by Wirecutter from 2019-2022″
  • Natural, high-quality, 1″-thick solid bamboo desktop is sturdy, attractive, environmentally friendly, and includes two wire management covers

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ApexDesk Elite Series 60″ W Electric Height Adjustable Standing Desk (Memory Controller, 60″ Black Top, Black Frame)

  • 𝐑𝐀𝐓𝐄𝐃 𝐁𝐄𝐒𝐓 𝐎𝐕𝐄𝐑𝐀𝐋𝐋 𝟐𝟎𝟐𝟏 𝐁𝐘 𝐂𝐍𝐍 𝐔𝐍𝐃𝐄𝐑𝐒𝐂𝐎𝐑𝐄𝐃 – Debuted in 2015 and for six years running, the Elite Series has been the favorite of reviewers and users. Many improvements have been made over the years. The desk has become more stable, quieter. We’ve updated packaging to reduce shipping damages to a minimum. Replacement parts are shipped within 24hrs from Los Angeles if shipping damage occurs. The desk ships in three packages and may arrive 1 to 2 days apart.

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Fully Jarvis Standing Desk 60″ x 27″ Natural Bamboo Top – Electric Adjustable Desk Height from 30″ to 49″ with Memory Preset Controller (Rectangle, Black Frame)

  • EASILY ADJUSTABLE: Award winning sit stand adjustable desk frame easily adjusts from 30″ to 49″ (including desktop) with 350 lb lifting capacity, fits people 5’10” to 6’9″ tall
  • PROGRAMMABLE, FAST, QUIET, ELECTRIC LIFT: Easy to read handset with 4 customizable memory presets for quick 1.5″ per second height adjustment with industry leading warranty.

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Vari Electric Standing Desk 60″ x 30″ (VariDesk) – Sit to Stand Raising Desk for Office or Home – Program 4 Height Settings – Powerful Dual Motor Adjustable Desk w/Sturdy Steel Legs (Reclaimed Wood)

  • SPACIOUS WORK SURFACE: Voted the Best Overall Standing Desk by CNET 2021, our rising desks include a solid one-piece table top with a durable laminate finish, providing a spacious and sturdy work area at any height. Measuring 60″ x 30″, you have plenty of space for two computer monitors, a laptop, a notebook, accessories, and extra hardware.
  • ERGONOMIC MOVEMENT: Vari motorized standing desks make it easy to go from sitting down to standing up throughout the day. Research shows that standing or moving more at work can improve productivity, boost your metabolism, and reduce back pain. Our easy-to-assemble and even easier-to-use sit-stand workstations help you get more done and feel better doing it.

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Electric vs. Pneumatic Standing Desks

person holding black and silver box mod

Both electric and pneumatic desks are height adjustable. They achieve their height level adjustments differently, however. Pneumatic desks work with pressure while electric desks work with motors.

Electric standing desks are easy to use and very common with adjustable desk users. Below is a pros-and-cons list of electric adjustable desks.

Pros of Electric Cons of Electric
No effort is required to raise and lower Requires electricity to operate and must be within plug-in distance
Items on the desk won’t be jerked around during desk adjustment Motors can sometimes be noisy
Some electric desks can be programmed with height presets  

Pneumatic desks can’t hold as much weight as electric desks because of the gas spring mechanisms that allow pneumatic desks to lift and lower.

However, pneumatic desks have their own sets of advantages that some people prefer over electric desks. Below are some pros and cons of pneumatic desks.

Pros of Pneumatic Cons of Pneumatic
Easy to raise and lower with almost no effort Less weight capacity than electric desks
Very quiet (no motor sounds) Gas cylinders can lose pressure if weight is overloaded
No electricity is required so desks are totally portable  

Pneumatic Standing Desks and Ideal Use Weight

When dealing with pneumatic desks, you’re likely to come across the term “ideal use weight.”

Other names for this include:

  • Recommended Use Weight
  • Lifting Capacity
  • Ideal Weight Range

These terms all refer to a pneumatic desk’s ideal estimated weight range. Because a pneumatic desk requires its user to push or pull on it slightly to trigger the mechanism, the least amount of effort is ideal.

A desk’s ideal use weight is the estimated range at which a user will have to exert the least amount of effort to get the desk to raise and lower quickly, smoothly, and efficiently.

Next Up:

Still curious? Click here to learn more about Are standing desks good for your back?

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Robert David Orr

Robert is a writer & creator, author of the WordPress Website Blueprint, award winning web developer, and leader in digital strategy. He's also a tenured work at home veteran who's been working from home for more than 10 years. Learn more. Got questions? Reach out and connect here - Contact Home Office Hacks here.

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