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A good quality height adjustable standing desk will cost you between $500 and $1000, depending on the model, features, configurations, and brand.
This makes these desks a serious investment. And you want to ensure you get one that can last for many years since buying a new model every year can strain your finances.
That said, we researched standup desks’ longevity and found some valuable information that we’re going to share with you below.
We’ll discuss how long various types of sit-stand desks last and additional helpful tips that enable you to extend the longevity of your desk.
Table of Contents
How long do standing desks last?
These desks come in a variety of types, so we’re going to discuss how long each of them will likely serve you.
Manual standing desk
Manual standing desks are usually more durable and last for around 5 to 10 years. However, you can make them last even longer if you give them proper care and maintenance.
This is because they feature simplistic designs compared to the electric standing desks (more details about electric standing desk longevity below).
If you put a manual and electric desks side by side, you’ll easily notice that the former has fewer parts vulnerable to breaking or getting damaged.
In other words, these manually operated desks don’t feature any electronics or motors like the electric sit-stand desks that are highly likely to break down and cut short their lifespan.
The only potential problem with these desks is that their cranking mechanism (the handle or gear mechanism) is likely to break down.
Luckily, you can easily replace the handle if it breaks. You can ask for a replacement part from your desk supplier or get an old gear handle from your local hardware store that will work with your desk.
Remember, fixing this hand crank is not only easy but also cheap compared to fixing the electric motor of an electric standing workstation.
Pneumatic standing desk
A good-quality pneumatic standup desk can last for up to 30 years or more. These desks are usually rated up to 50000 lift cycles over their lifespan.
This is double the amount recommended by the Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturers Association (BIFMA) standards.
Pneumatic standing desks will also outlast motorized electric standing desks since there’s no maintenance required.
There are no plug-ins or cords to connect to an electrical outlet. This means no parts that are highly likely to malfunction while at the same time making the workstation more mobile.
And you don’t have to worry about potential motor burnout as well as other electrical malfunctions. This greatly extends their longevity and makes them a more reliable option for your standup workstation setup.
It is also worth noting that these pneumatic standing desks boast a low carbon footprint as many manufacturers are nowadays building them using 100% recycled materials.
Electric standing desk
Electric models, also known as motorized standing desks, last for around 5 to 15 years. The lifespan of these desks is mostly dependent on their motors.
A typical motor is taken through a cycle test to achieve 5000 to 10,000 up and down movements. Though some models can achieve an upward of 20,000 cycles.
It is difficult to establish the exact lifespan of any given motor as it depends on several factors including the motor quality, load capacity, frequency of use, and the level of care and maintenance you give it.
Although we have said that these desks can last for up to 15 years, your model may surprise you with signs of malfunction just a few days after setting it up in your home office.
How to estimate your electric standing desk lifespan:
You can estimate the lifespan of your electric desk by checking the manufacturer’s warranty.
If you find a manufacturer who is not willing to back up their product for more than 5 years, then the height adjustable desk will most likely not last for more than that duration.
For a manufacturer who offers an extensive lifespan on all the craftsmanship and material defects of up to 10-15 years (or more), then you can rest assured you’re getting a well-made, durable, and long-lasting product.
A perfect example is Flexispot, a renowned office furniture manufacturer that offers an excellent 15-year warranty for its top-rated height adjustable standing desks. They offer a 15-year warranty for their motors, frames, and other mechanics.
On top of that, they offer a 15-year warranty for the electronics, controllers, and switches.
Uplift standing desks also offer you an extensive 15-year warranty as proof that they have confidence in the quality of their products.
Getting a Flexispot or Uplift desk is quite a guarantee that you’re indeed getting the best standing desk that will serve you for many years to come. You may also consider Jarvis desks or Vari desks.
Standing desk converter
A well-made standing desk converter can last for 5 to 15 years. Sometimes this lifespan can be extended if you show your unit good care.
Just like the full-standing models, these converters can be manually or electrically operated. The latter has a motor and electronic components that are likely to break down, limiting their lifespan compared to manual and pneumatic models.
You can easily estimate how long your unit will last by checking the manufacturer’s warranty.
If you come across a manufacturer willing to stand behind their product for less than 5 years, that’s an indicator that your unit might not hang around for more than 5 years.
However, sit-stand desk converters backed by an extended warranty of 5-10 years or more are a sure bet in terms of longevity. They’re likely to serve you for a longer period of time.
Manual vs electric standing desks longevity
Manual desks last longer than electric standing models. Manual models have a lifespan of up to 20 years. And some can go up to 30 years if accorded good care.
Even the cheap manual desks will easily click the 15-year lifespan!
The electric units have a lifespan of up to 15 years. It is, therefore, safe to say that the manual desks will outlive the electric models.
Sorry to break it to you, but even the robust most durable electric standing units will hardly hit a lifespan of 30 years like the pneumatic units.
So, why do manual desks outlive electric standing models?
As we discussed earlier, the main reason for the limited longevity of the electric height adjustable tables compared to manual models is their mechanisms.
It may seem like a lot of hassle pulling the lever manually to adjust a desk height, but it keeps the overall operation of the unit simple, without any complications whatsoever.
You just make a pull and the piston moves into the inner chamber, forcing gas to run into an expandable chamber, and consequently raising the legs’ height.
The chances of this mechanism are next to zero. The only time it is sure to fail is when the motor involved hits its pre-determined cycle hit.
The case of electric stand-up workstations is different. The motorized units are as convenient to use as just pressing a button and the table goes up or down to your desired height.
But this ultimate convenience doesn’t come without a cost. And that is a complex mechanism for this type of desk.
Blame the complex mechanism…
The various components involved in this complex mechanism can easily collapse and refuse to work at any given time!
With too many components involved in this mechanism, repairs might prove too tricky and pricier than manual units. This makes the electric standing desks’ reliable ratings lower than that of a manually operated sitting and standing desk.
Overall, manual standing units (whether using a hand crank or pneumatic mechanism) last longer than electric standing desks.
But if you still want the convenience that comes with the latter, then we advise you to go for a good-quality unit, with a longer warranty of up to 15 years.
This will help minimize the chances of the desk breaking down too early and maybe serving you for a longer period of time.
Remember, however, that the good maintenance provided will help your electric standing desks last longer. And this brings us to our next topic below on how to ensure your desk lasts longer…
How to extend your sit-stand desk lifespan?
This section outlines these key tips and tricks that will help maximize the longevity of your sit-stand desk, so it can serve you for longer. And, hopefully, you get to enjoy the ultimate value for your money.
Keep the height adjustments frequency low
The reason you’re getting a standing desk is to help you change positions for a healthy workspace.
Thus, you’ll need to frequently move up and down the height range throughout the day.
But making excessive desk height adjustments translates to torturing your desk and cutting short its lifespan.
Also, you don’t have to extend your desk to the highest setting at all times. Remember, these workstations become less sturdy and stable with every inch of height adjustment.
Using the maximum height limit often makes your desk less sturdy over time, which in turn negatively impacts the standing desk lifespan.
Avoid setting the highest limit as much as possible. Make 5-inches less your desk’s max. height your new highest height position.
Proper care is key to your desk longevity
Here are some additional tips for taking good care of your new piece of office furniture as discussed below:
- Wipe your desk regularly: This is especially helpful if you have a habit of spilling coffee or tea on your desk. These might end up staining your desktop and cause it to deteriorate over time.
- Keep off items that might damage the desktop surface: For such items, make sure you have a pad in place before placing them on the desktop.
- Put your desk out of your curious kids’ reach: Your kids may put too much pressure on your electric sit-stand desk when playing with it. Make a habit of locking your home office door when you’re not working.
- Don’t attempt to fix your standing desk if it malfunctions: If you’re not sure what you’re doing, it’s always advisable to hire an expert. Else, things might turn horribly wrong for your desk.
Don’t overload your desk
Standing tables come rated with varying weight capacities (you can easily find this crucial info on the desk instructional manual).
We advise you against loading your desk with more weight than it’s designed to handle by the manufacturer.
For instance, if your desk has a maximum lifting capacity of 355lbs, the total weight of items you put on its desktop surface should weigh less than this. To be on the safer side, we recommend putting a weight of 150-350lbs. No more than that!
Only put necessary items on the tabletop, eg your computer and desk lamp to help bring the weight down.
Unlike what most people think, the maximum lifting capacity doesn’t mean that your desk will stop moving if you go beyond this rating.
Instead, it means you’ll get a quicker height adjustment speed if you stick to this weight limit. Otherwise, if you overload your unit, it will take longer, say more than 30 seconds in most models.
Multiply this by the number of times you’ll need to touch your keypad and see how much time you’d waste in the process. Not to forget, your desk might suffer permanent damage due to overloads.
Standing desks cost a hefty sum of money, so you want to know how long the model you’re buying costs to see if it will give you value for money.
These desks can serve you for 5-30 years. But the exact lifespan will depend on the type of desk you buy and how well you take care of it.
Manual and pneumatic models tend to last longer than motorized models since they have fewer components that are likely to burn out. they also require less maintenance.
The good is that you can make your motorized standing desk last longer by keeping the daily height adjustments low, avoiding overloading it, and giving it good care and maintenance.
Hopefully, the information we have shared above has given you a clear picture of how long a standing desk lasts.