Standing Desk Weight Capacity & Limits: Common Myths & Tips To Know
Standing desk weight capacities are primarily influenced by electric motors and desk materials. But how much weight can adjustable standing desks handle? All standing desks are made with a steel frame. A desk’s weight capacity is influenced by many other aspects as follows.
- Electric standing desks have the highest weight capacity among standing desks where 150kg is typical and more than enough to cater to the needs of a single user.
- You should load your standing desk to a maximum of 80% of its specific weight capacity.
- Desk converters have far lower weight load capacities where up to 20kg is common.
What is a good weight capacity for a standing desk?
The lifting capacity of an adjustable standing desk is influenced by desk frame materials, tabletop materials, motors, and even by the type of desk as each has its own standard weight capacity.
- Electric desk weight capacity: One of the higher weight limits is seen on electric sit-stand desks. The extra size and the strength of the materials are often combined with multiple strong electric motors for their higher weight capacity.
- The maximum load capacity of manual standing desks: With similar height adjustment capacity, manual standing desks based on crank adjustments lift almost as much as electric sit-stand desks. Different weights are supported from one model of desk to another.
- Weight limits of pneumatic desks or standing desk converters: Smaller and limited by pneumatic adjustments, pneumatic desks have the lowest weight-lifting capacity. A pneumatic desk is designed to lift a limited number of items such as a laptop or a simple monitor, keyboard, and mouse setup.
What does a weight capacity or weight limit mean?
Standing desk maximum load considerations when choosing a desk
If you’re looking for a standing desk there are two items regarding weight load that you need to consider.
- Consider your needs for lifting capacity: Standing desk weight rating refers to the maximum load as recommended by the manufacturer. A lower weight rating is ideal for a simple setup with one computer display or one laptop. Make sure you consider your ideal setup and its combined weight before sitting on a new standing desk.
- Consider choosing a higher-weight capacity desk for minimal effort adjustments: Most standing desks have a high weight capacity but this is a characteristic that can be subjective, depending on your needs. It’s always best to choose the best standing desk for you and its extra weight capacity may prove practical in the future when you add more office supplies such as displays to your setup.
Learn more about choosing the ideal size standing desk for your needs.
Types of Standing Desks and Their Weight Capacities
Standing desk load capacity varies depending on your desired type of office space. For example, the key difference between an electric standing desk and a converter is that the former has a much lower load capacity, and only lifts a few kilograms.
A high-quality office desk comes with a tested maximum load. Here are a few examples of standard weight ratings on Australian electric desks.
|PRO Series (electric)
|PRO Series (manual)
|Motorised Sit Stand Desk (electric)
|Life Series Desk Converter (electric)
Ready to invest in a new desk? Here’s our list of the best standing desks to choose from.
How should weight be distributed on a standing desk
The ideal weight range of a standing desk always covers more than the equipment (computer, mouse, keyboard, cable management trays, and multiple monitors) as it needs to support your wrists while typing.
- Even distributed weight is ideal: Evenly distributed weight is ideal even on high-load capacity desks. Even a high-quality product needs some type of weight-balancing use.
- Front and back even loading is important on frames with two legs: Regardless of the manufacturing quality, stability issues might be encountered at a maximum elevation that can feel like the standing desk is wobbling, particularly on a desk frame with just 2 legs. This is why you need to place your displays and monitor arms at the back of the desk and the keyboard in the front. It balances the wooden desktop. Even lightweight high and medium-density fiberboard materials need to be balanced as hardwood desktops.
Standing desk weight ratings for multiple users
Several factors come into place with the maximum load for most people. Ideal use weight on sit-stand desks is different depending on the number of people working at the desk and on the number of computer displays.
- Ideal desk weight capacity for 1 user: A minimum of 14 kg for electric standing desk converters or pneumatic standing desks. At least 120kg weight capacity for electric height adjustable desks used by a single person.
- Ideal desk load capacity for 2 users: 130kg to 200kg minimum load capacity for a standard long (150 cm to 200cm) electric standing desk for 2 people. At least 170kg maximum load for an L-shaped desk for 2 people.
- The ideal weight range for 1-2 monitors: Minimum of 120 kg to 130kg sit-stand desk hold capacity for up to 2 computer displays.
- The ideal weight range for 1-3 monitors: Minimum of 120 kg to 140kg load capacity for adjustable sitting and standing desks with up to 3 displays.
Factors that Affect Standing Desk Weight Capacity
Four main factors affect the load capacity of a sit-stand desk. All of them should be correlated according to your setup.
- Electric motor quality and strength: An adjustable standing desk is as good as its motors. Make sure the motors are high quality by checking for a specific warranty of at least 3 years for electronic components (these include the motors).
- Desktop materials: What a standing desk is made of can affect the weight limit. Softwood and engineered wood materials tabletops are lighter and easier on the motors of a height-adjustable standing desk. Oak, maple and other hardwood materials add tabletop weight and limit the maximum load.
- Tabletop weight: You can expect lower load capacity on a DIY height adjustable desk with a heavy desktop. Hardwood desktops can weigh up to 40kg.
- Desk accessories: Electric desks often come with plenty of accessories. Maximum load is impacted when you add on all of these accessories such as keyboard trays or storage drawers.
Should you use the Standing desk maximum loads?
You should not use the maximum load of a desk as this puts your desk at its physical limits. The simple answer is most brands prefer you to use a smaller load that doesn’t weigh as much on the motors as this is one of the key areas of the sit-stand desk when it comes to durability. A good rule of thumb is to use 80% of your standing desks’ maximum load capacity.
What happens if the weight exceeds the rating?
- You lose the desk’s warranty: Most warranty policies only cover faults when the height-adjustable standing desk is used according to its manufacturing specifications. The warranty is lost when you add extra weight that breaks motors or another component of your desk.
- The desk might not move: Electric desks and pneumatic desks have a difficult time even moving when you add on too much weight. Storing printers and other heavy computer accessories that take up space and exceeded the maximum weight capacity may make it very difficult for the standing desk to operate. This is a common reason why standing desks won’t go up if the weight capacity is exceeded.
- The desk could break: Your adjustable sit-stand desk may break under extreme weight, in the worst-case scenario. The motors and the desktop are among the first component to break when forced to lift a heavier weight than then designed to handle.
Practical Solutions if you Exceed Standing Desk Weight Capacity
If you’re the type of user that needs all your computer and office accessories on your desk, you may want to limit the weight placed on the tabletop. Furthermore, you don’t need all your office supplies at the highest desk height. Printers might not need to lower and elevate with the desk s they can be stored in another area of the office.
- Consider only using the bare minimum of computer accessories: You can reduce clutter on your desk to reduce the weight it has to lift when adjusting the height. You may not need the largest displays. One of the best options to reduce monitor weight is to choose a larger primary display and smaller secondary computer monitors.
- Switch from a desktop computer to a laptop: Desktop computers can be heavy and bulky. They also make your desk motors work extra hard to adjust elevation for standing and sitting. Lightweight laptop alternatives may prove more practical otherwise placing a desktop computer on the floor is also an option.
Common Myths and Misconceptions About Electric Desk Weight Capacities
The home office space has been known to share a few myths about standing desks. Many share pictures of aesthetic desks which are loaded with computers, accessories, books, and other decorative products such as potted plants. All of these add unnecessary weight to your desk.
- Weight capacity is just a number that can be overlooked: The first standing desk load capacity myth comes with its maximum load rating. This is not just a number on a specifications sheet. It needs to be adhered to, unlike a classic non-adjustable desk that may be loaded with heavier objects.
- The desk’s warranty will cover any damages regardless of how you use it: Standing desk manufacturers advertise the longest warranty of a desk which typically covers the frame, but not the electric motors which are covered by a separate warranty dedicated to electrical components. A desk might say it offers a 5-year warranty, but this may only cover the frame while its motors which raise the weight are covered by a shorter warranty (typically around 3 years for Australian sit-stand desks). Overall, expect the standing desks to last between 5 and 10 years before replacement.
Tips for Maintaining Standing Desk Weight Capacity
Maintaining your up-and-down desk ensures you can keep it for a long time and have it work just as well years from now. Here’s how to do it.
- Don’t overload the desk: Overloading the desk is one of the primary user faults that break the desk. Make sure you always abide by the weight rating of your sit-stand desk. A good rule of thumb is to utilise up to 80% of your desk’s stated load capacity.
- Use memory presets to prolong motor life: Memory presets save your standing and sitting positions. This saves adjustment time and also limits the time electric motors have to work to find your ideal desk elevation.
- Consider the weight of a hardwood desktop on DIY standing desks: Make sure you factor in the weight of your DIY tabletop if you’re building a DIY sit-stand desk. For example, a motor capacity of 100kg on a desk frame becomes a 70kg maximum load if your chosen hardwood desktop weighs 30kg.
Frequently asked questions
A maximum load between 100kg and 140kg is specific to standard standing desks. Adjustable L-shaped sit-stand desks have a higher weight capacity of between 120 and 200kg as they’re made for more equipment and accessories.
You maximum load capacity of your standing desk is noted in the specifications sheet. Measured in kilograms, it indicates maximum lifting power and it marks the maximum combined weight of all your computer equipment and desk accessories.
A maximum weight between 130kg and 150kg will be ideal for a single-person standing desk with one or two computer displays. This capacity ensures there’s more than enough power for all of your computer gear and all desk accessories. Standing desk converters should come with at least a 14kg maximum load. A lower maximum weight rating is specific to a pneumatic desk that doesn’t use electric motors to adjust the height. Manual sit and stand desks should also come with a 130-140kg weight capacity, similar to electric standing desks. These desks need to lift a similar load and they have the same size, minus the electric motors which may make them a bit lighter. For heavier loads, you can also consider an L-shaped corner standing desk depending on the room size and shape. L-shaped standing desks generally have a higher load capacity. Read more in our comparison between a regular and an L-shaped standing desk article.