What type of motor is used in standing desks?

If you've ever wondered what type of motor is used in standing desks, you're in good company. As standing desks are becoming increasingly popular in offices worldwide, the question of their mechanism comes to the fore. Without further ado, let us delve into the details.

What kind of motors do standing desks use?

When it comes to the type of motor used in standing desks, typically there are two variants incorporated. Firstly, a single motor runs one vertical leg of the desk, offering basic functionality.

Secondly, dual motors enhance stability and the ability to handle heavier weight, powering two columns independently. With a dual-motor setup, it grants greater stability and a larger lifting capacityDepending on the quality of the desk, the longevity of the motor varies greatly. 

For a more in-depth comparison between the two, you can refer to our article on Single vs. Dual Motor Standing Desk: Which Is Better?

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How is a standing desk powered?

Turning a traditional desk into an adjustable standing desk involves using electric lifting columns. An electric motor powers these columns, replacing static legs and powering the desk's height adjustment capability.

The user can adjust the desk height via a specialized control system. This unique setup offers both comfort and accessibility, allowing the user to alternate between sitting and standing positions seamlessly. To determine the best type for you, consult How Do I Choose A Standing Desk?

What mechanism do standing desks use?

Among the various mechanisms of standing desks, the pneumatic counterbalance method has a key role. It employs a gas-filled cylinder, aiding in lifting the work surface.

Much like this, a counterpart system using spring tension facilitates the elevation of the desk. It operates on a hydraulic principle where gas or fluid flows through or surrounds a piston, thereby balancing pressure on both sides. These mechanisms make adjusting your desk smooth and effortless.

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Is a standing desk manual or motor?

When it comes to standing desks, both manual and electric types exist, offering similar health benefits. Electric desks offer smooth operation and easy height adjustments. Yet, those opting for cost-effectiveness might prefer manual types.

Power outages do not affect manual desks because they use a hand crank mechanism for adjustment. While they require more physical effort to adjust positions, they are cheaper and need less maintenance. Explore more about these options in our Standing Desks & Adjustable Sit-Stand Desks collection.


Regardless of whether they use a single motor, a dual motor, or a hand crank, standing desks aim to enhance user comfort and productivity levels. Their mechanisms might differ, but the end goal remains to create a workstation that can seamlessly alternate between sitting and standing positions.

From simple single-motor models such as our Desky Single Sit-Stand Desk, to advanced dual-motor ones like the Desky Dual Softwood Sit-Stand Desk or cost-effective manual desks, understanding your requirements can make an informed decision while investing in office furniture. This knowledge helps in making a decision.

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