avoid cheap standing desk

Tempting as it is to look for bargain standing desks, there's always the danger that, in the long term, lower cost indicates lower quality. With the way the electric standing desk market is growing, of course you risk coming across adjustable standing desk companies determined to offer the lowest price. But beware! Electric standing desks under $400 have many of the following drawbacks in common, so it's probably not the cleverest idea to go too cheap when your designing your home office. Whether sitting or standing, here are some tips to avoid cheap standing desk pitfalls.

Table of Contents

Cheap Sit Stand Desks: What To Consider

Motor Quality

An electric standing desk has two electronic board systems; one for the power supply, the other makes the desk height adjustable for sitting and standing. Mass-produced, they are used for many different products outside the standing desk category. The inferior ways the boards are connected together does not give a reliable connection for moving faultlessly to standing desk height. Connections tend to be loose and are likely to be the first thing to fail.

Assuming, that low-cost standing desks use low quality electronics, in order to cut costs, ask yourself what other unseen budget decisions have been made.

Adjustment Speed

avoid cheap standing desk


Avoid a cheap standing desk and you avoid desks with the worst adjustment speed performances. If you work at a standing desk in a standing position for extended periods in your home office, rarely adjusting the height of your desk, then the speed it takes to toggle between between sitting and standing position won't be an issue.

However, in order to make sure you enjoy the benefits of standing time to avoid lower back pain and neck pain, and sitting to adjust your body alignment and relax your leg muscles, you may want to stand every hour. In this case,the average low speed of 0.8” per second for cheaper standing desks may find you banging your head against a brick wall eight times a day.

Motor Consistency

The standard of the electric motors fitted in a standing desk is often inconsistent, which can become a product issue. People don't want to hear a strange whining noise as you move from sitting to standing. And neither do you want to see your height adjustable desk slow down significantly when carrying your screens and computer!

An overworked motor is surely one of the ways to shorten its life span, and repairing or replacing a component will be time-consuming, meaning you could spend weeks sitting all day instead of alternating between sitting or standing.

Quality Control

desky homepage desk corner


It is very likely that all of the above could be avoided if your new standing desk went through rigorous quality control checks before being dispatched. Taking into account issues like patchy paintwork, messy, amateurish welding or excessive amounts of lubrication on the columns, these must be some of the easiest problems to fix and a clear sign that the manufacturer has taken their eye off the ball.

How these low-cost brands let this shoddy workmanship slip through the net is beyond belief. It is clearly more about getting the volume out the door than anything else. Investing your hard-earned cash in a new standing desk is not something to be taken lightly. And it's not too much to expect for the manufacturer to show at least some concern for what they are shipping out.

Load Capacity

Poor quality motors inevitably means smaller lifting capacity because of the lack of power coming from the control box. A standing desk that boasts a lifting capacity at or below 50kg should raise a red flag. Most, in practice, are underpowered.

Some of these desks are able to lift more than the advertised capacity, but most will quickly start to underperform once wear and tear on the motor sets in. A heavy solid wood workspace and a heavy computer screen will compound this problem.

Whenever you exceed a recommended manufacturer's weight capacity, you risk de-stabilising the desk or worse, breaking it. Manufacturers know when customers have abused their desk and this would fall under the abuse section in most warranties.

Warranty Periods

A long warranty is a manufacturer's show of faith in their product. Some brands offer a warranty as short as one year, but realistically even products that have a warranty period of two years raise concerns. If they only have enough confidence in their product to offer a one- or two-year warranty, you know it’s not top quality.

Will you be able to purchase replacement parts after the warranty period is up? How much will they cost and will this be a continuing problem? With all the to-ing and fro-ing, endless phone calls, sourcing and replacing broken components, you'll probably spend more money than if you had paid the extra money for a quality standing desk. A standing desk with a 3-5 year warranty is evidence that the company has confidence in their product and assures you that you won't be forking out extra money for repairs.

At Desky, all our dual series desks are backed by an industry leading 10-year warranty

Cheap Standing Desks in Australia

If you're wondering what is the cheapest standing desk that does not compromise on quality and craftsmanship, then look no further than the extensive range offered by Desky. Whoever you are, whatever job you do, and whatever your work style, using a standing desk from Desky provides quality ergonomic design to fit every budget, enabling you to avoid back pain, neck pain and body pain.

One way to minimise costs without substituting quality is opting for a manual stand up desk. Here's a guide that might help you decide if an electric or manual stand up desk is right for you.

Desky Air Lift Zero Sit Stand Desk

desky air lift zero sit stand desk
Desky Air Lift Zero Sit Stand Desk


With this nifty manually adjustable stand desk, pneumatics supply the lifting power, and no electricity is needed. You'll be able to position your sit stand desk anywhere in the room. Its steel frame and square constructed legs, teamed with a reinforced crossbar means 100% stability.

The manual pneumatics lever generates enough pressure to smoothly raise any laden adjustable desk in a few seconds, even with a massive 145cm x 73cm worktop, suitable for your home office needs. The spacious scratch-resistant particle board desk surface should remain pristine for years to come. Our comprehensive 3-year warranty is further evidence of the confidence you can place in the longevity of your new adjustable height desk.

We've recently expanded our manual stand up desk range to include a few new models; the Zero Manual Sit Stand Desk, and the Zero Pedestal Standing Desk. A great alternative if power is at a premium and you want a reliable platform with minimal parts that could fail you.

Desky Single Sit Stand Desk

desky single sit stand desk white


Presenting a minimalist setup whose single motor system makes this possibly the most affordable adjustable height desk on the market, an industry-leading frame design provides a robust, stable work surface.

The Desky Single comes with all the adjustable desk advantages you would expect plus an 80kg-strong motor. Its three pre-set heights glide to your specific memory settings in seconds, easily accommodating the tallest and the smallest.

If sitting all day gives you twinges in your back and neck, can simply press a button, leave your chair and go make a coffee. Upon your return, hey presto! Your laptop screen will be at eye level, you can rest on your elbows and work with renewed energy levels and avoid eye strain with your screen at your eye level.

Cables are neatly hidden away, keeping your desk top clutter-free and requiring no compromise on performance or style.

Desky Single Sit Stand Pedestal Desk

desky single sit stand pedestal desk


The Desky space-saving Single Sit Stand Pedestal Desk is perfect if users want to stand but space is restricted. This was a key product development attributed to our recent business acquisition.

The telescopic single leg frame, fitted with the same controller system as our other standing desks, lifts up to 50kg, and and has three pre-programmable heights. The square base and adjustable feet calibrate to the most stable position on any surface. The perfect standing desk for a home office with small spaces!

Why Are Sit Stand Desks So Expensive?

why you should avoid cheap stand desks


Quality desks that allow for sitting and standing are complicated bits of kit and should be constructed from robust, rigid, adjustable steel frames, atop first rate feet and finished off with a first class workspace and desk surface that complements your home office. Although they need to look good too, it is what the eye cannot see that really lifts the calibre of your well-chosen piece. If a cheap gliding system is controlled by poor quality electronics, this, minus a snug fit into the staging columns means a manufacturer must use excessive, greasy lubricant, a cheap way to aid a smooth action.

What you are left with is a frequently-failing, impossible to keep clean, wobbly standing desk. The most effective solution would be rigorous quality control. Issues such as blotchy paint finishes, unskilled welding or significant amounts of grease are surely some of the simplest problems to fix. If a low-cost brand can ship out these frames in such poor 'brand new' condition, this raises a huge red flag about the way they do business. We've covered some ikea standing desk alternatives before if you want to make the leap from big box store to custom quality products.

Make sure you and your money are not being taken advantage of. Ultimately, our team at Desky aims to provide customer satisfaction with high-quality standing desks that come with a guarantee on part replacement. Our range does not comprise of the cheapest height adjustable standing desks out there, but our extensive selection offers mid-range pricing for a high-quality product. They come with a 10 year warranty; testament to our confidence in our products. Check out Australia's best standing desk range through our buying guide for an in-depth comparison of each product.

So, if you're looking for a reasonable price tag and no compromise on quality or reliability, then consider a Desky standing desk as your next investment in your health and posture while working from home.

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