Our working lives have ended up being more and more office-based in our modern day and age, and this means we’re sat at the desk, hammering away on keyboards for the majority of the day. You can make a massive change to your working day, health, and posture, by trying out a standing desk.
And standing desks have certainly taken the world by storm with numerous different types of standing desks that you may not even know existed. But in the battle between the pneumatic vs electric standing desk, which one should you go for?
While both pneumatic and electric standing desks have their pros and cons, the one you end up choosing will be based on what you want to get out of your standing desk. Let’s take a deep dive into the great pneumatic vs electric standing desk debate.
Pneumatic vs Electric Standing Desk – the Key Differences Explained
First of all, though, let’s have a look at the key differences between pneumatic vs electric standing desks.
While both have some shared similarities, the first and most obvious one is that they’re both standing desks, there are enough intricacies that each one has that make them unique and individual.
Both pneumatic and electric standing desks are designed to be easily adjustable to whatever height you need your desk to be at. And as they’re both standing desks, they help with your posture, your circulation, and your productivity – after all, it’s oft been touted that ‘sitting is the new smoking’!
Health benefits and similarities aside, let’s dive into the key differences between the pneumatic vs electric standing desk.
Pneumatic standing desks are usually powered by gas springs – the same sort in your standard office chair to raise or lower the chair’s height. Instead, these gas springs work on a slightly larger scale, moving an entire desk unit up or down as required by you, the user.
Smooth, quiet, and completely carbon neutral, the gas springs in the pneumatic standing desks can’t be found in the electric standing desk. This VIVO pneumatic desk riser is a prime example of a pneumatic standing desk featuring gas springs.
The electric standing desk uses carefully designed motors and gears to raise and lower your standing desk. Often, you’ll find these motors and complex gear systems hidden in the legs of the standing desk, so they’re really discreet – and there’s no chance of you getting caught up in them either!
The ABOX electric standing desk converter is a great model that we definitely recommend, if you’re in the market for an electric standing desk.
Effortlessly smooth, with some electric standing desks even having BlueTooth connectivity, meaning you can control your standing desk from your phone, you can also adjust the height of your desk at the touch of a button. Pneumatic standing desks, on the other hand, do not have electrical components.
A good, quiet working environment is essential for productivity levels and focus – we certainly don’t need to be telling you that! And while some people need absolute, uninterrupted silence for their work, others don’t mind a little bit of background noise.
If you’re in the former camp, and need your workplace to be as silent as possible, then you’ll want to go for a pneumatic standing desk. The gas cylinders that ‘power’ the pneumatic standing desks are about as silent as you can get, so changing heights is a silent experience.
On the other hand, an electric standing desk isn’t quite as silent as a pneumatic standing desk. As you can imagine, there is a slight rumbling and whirring as the gears and the electrics get moving, which can be a little frustrating. In recent years, though, electric standing desks have gotten much quieter – the MONOMI electric standing desk is one of the quieter ones out there.
This is the byword of any modern office, whether that’s at home or the workplace. More and more people are focusing on ergonomics in our day and age, as too often, posture and circulation can be negatively impacted by negligence and poor body positions.
While using a standing desk can really help with your posture, if you’re suffering from a pre-existing ailment, then you might want to go for an electric standing desk. At the push of a button, you can get to the exact height to suit you best.
With pneumatic standing desks, you’ll need to potentially bend down and sort out the height manually, which isn’t suited for people who may already be suffering from strains, aches, and pains. Similarly, if you need a shorter start height or a broader stroke range, a pneumatic standing desk is somewhat limiting.
In addition to using your standing desk, you’ll want to make sure you go through some of the best standing desk exercises – no matter whether you go for pneumatic or electric, doing these exercises will make all the difference.
You may not be too worried about how your standing desk looks, but we’re pretty sure that you’ll be worried about how much it will cost you. And when it comes down to the price difference between pneumatic vs electric standing desks, it will undoubtedly give you some food for thought.
As you can imagine, electric standing desks are on the pricier end of the spectrum – for instance, the FEZIBO dual-motor electric standing desk will cost you several hundred dollars. In comparison, if you go for a pneumatic standing desk like the SDADI pneumatic standing desk, it’ll set you back under $100.
Pneumatic Standing Desk – Review
Pneumatic standing desks were one of the first types of standing desk to hit the market. With their almost silent functions, they are easily movable and can keep you really flexible when it comes down to it.
As they are unpowered, there are no cables or cords to worry about, and no need to be positioned near a power outlet either, so you can change your working environment quickly and easily. This gives you total, uninhibited mobility.
Often you’ll find that a pneumatic desk is actually quicker to raise or lower than an electric standing desk – in fact, some of them are 8 times faster! Swift, smooth, and silent adjustments are the absolute hallmarks of the pneumatic standing desk, and truly make it a joy to use.
These adjustments also make for a much more comfortable standing desk experience. Pneumatic standing desks quickly and easily adjust to you, the user, allowing you to find the most comfortable position. Finding your flow state is so much easier with a pneumatic standing desk, with minor adjustments being made without the slightest bother.
What We Like
- Recyclable and have a much lower carbon footprint
- Safer to use with no electrical components causing potential fire hazards
- Durable and long-lasting, with the potential to last for 30+ years
- Smaller risk of malfunctions and need for servicing
- No complicated presets
- Easier and quieter to operate than electric standing desks
What We Don’t Like
- Cheaper gas cylinders can become squeaky after heavy use
- Counterbalance can be a bit of a headache with pneumatic standing desks
- Motion can be jerky
- Often have much lower weight ability than electric standing desks
- Requires some physical exertion to make adjustments
Pneumatic Standing Desks – Our Picks
If you like the sound of a pneumatic standing desk, then that’s great! Here are a few of our favorites that we can recommend if you’re in the market for a pneumatic standing desk.
Flexispot standing desks are some of the best standing desks that you can find today. Sleek design, a well-sized work surface, and a variety of different styles to choose from, whether you’re looking for the best pneumatic standing desk or the best corner standing desk converter, Flexispot will have something for you.
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Varidesk are also titans in the standing desk world, and offer up many different products. However, they have fairly high price points due to the quality of the build and the unrivaled benefits their desks offer. With plenty of Varidesk alternatives out there, you may not want to dive in at the deep end straight away, though.
Electric Standing Desk – Review
The future has truly arrived with the electric standing desk. Home workers and office workers the world over are pushing themselves into the 22nd century by upgrading to an electric standing desk. Sleek and smooth, some of them even come with BlueTooth compatibility, meaning that you can control your desk with your phone.
Never before has a desk been so modern and futuristic – you can program your standing desk to extend to the correct height while making your morning coffee, or even adjust it on the fly if you need to. Though if that’s a bit too much technology for you, a simple press of a button on the clear interface will suffice!
With no physical exertion required to raise or lower the level of the desk, and all done really smoothly due to no worries about counterbalance, an electric standing desk can be excellent for people who are constantly on the go, and may not have time to make minor adjustments as and when they need to be made.
You can even create your own presets for specific heights, depending on your position throughout the day. And as technology gets better and more advanced, there’ll soon be options to program your desk to adjust to these heights throughout the day, as you need them.
What We Like
- No effort required to raise or lower the desk
- Completely smooth movement, with no jolts or judders
- No need to worry about counterbalancing
- Presets for different heights can be made
- Quick adjustments can be made at the press of a button
What We Don’t Like
- Has to be plugged in to mains electricity to work, making it less mobile
- Motors and gears can be noisier than pneumatic springs
- Trickier and more expensive to mend or replace the motor or gears
- Doesn’t last for as long as a pneumatic standing desk
- Notably more expensive than other standing desks
Electric Standing Desks – Our Picks
While electric standing desks might not be everyone’s cup of tea, we can recommend the following electric standing desks.
SHW makes some of the best and most reliable electric standing desks out there at the moment. With a focus on functionality and features and being available in several different colorways, the SHW electric standing desk is a surefire contender for your home office.
- Included Accessories: 2 hanging hooks, cable management organizer and a multi-purposed center drawer. Mobility - ease to move between working space with 4 lockable wheels.
- Digital Display Handset - 4 memory preset options for easy adjustment.
Uplift is also one of the contenders for the best electric standing desks that money can buy. Featuring extra quiet duel motors along with a height range that gives other electric standing desks a run for their money, along with an industry-best warranty of 10 years, there’s not a lot to sniff at when it comes to the Uplift standing desk.
Frequently Asked Questions about Pneumatic vs Electric Standing Desks
How does a pneumatic desk work?
Gas or liquid flows through the cylinder that contains the piston, making sure that the pressure is equal on both sides. The way the force is provided is by the difference in the area in the cylinder.
Are electric desks worth it?
Many people argue that using an electric desk directly contributes to their productivity, as they spend much less time tinkering with the height and making sure everything is counterbalanced.
Is it bad to use a standing desk all day?
Not at all. Studies show that standing throughout the day positively impacts your health compared to sitting down all day. Of course, you may genuinely need a sit-down after a few hours standing!
How long do standing desks last?
If you get your hands on a well-designed, well-built pneumatic standing desk, you can expect it to last for up to 30 years – that’s as long as you take good care of it and check the counterbalance is correct each and every time. A well-built electric standing desk will last for slightly less time, as gears and motors wear out quicker than gas or liquid cylinders.
Pneumatic vs Electric Standing Desk – Final Thoughts
So now we’ve had a dive into both the pneumatic standing desk and the electric standing desk, and it should be clear to see the intricacies of the different types of standing desk that you might want to get your hands on.
Which one you go for is entirely up to you and how you want to work, though.
While the pneumatic standing desk is the cheaper option, you have to fiddle around with the adjustments and consider counterbalance at all times when working out the perfect height for you.
Electric standing desks may adjust quickly and easily, but their price point is often much higher, and you end up being restricted by where you can move and be in the room.
At the end of the day, the primary purpose of a standing desk is to keep you more mobile and improve blood flow and the like while you work. If you’re looking for other really great bits of kit that can help you, an anti-fatigue mat for your standing desk is another great way to help circulation. We also did a rundown of the best balance boards for your standing desk, which again can really help you reap the benefits of standing to work.