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Electric vs Manual Standing Desk: Which Desk Is Right for You?

Standing desks, also known as sit-stand desks, allow users to switch between sitting and standing positions while at work. There are two main types of standing desks: electric and manual, and there is some debate as to which is the better option. Although most of it comes down to personal preference, there are some clear differences between the two that set them apart, and could make one more suited to your lifestyle and requirements.

The Difference Between Electric and Manual Standing Desks

The main difference between electric and manual standing desks is in how you adjust them. Electric standing desks can be raised or lowered with the push of a button, whereas manual standing desks are adjusted with manual action, such as via a hand crank.

Other than the adjustment mechanisms, the two standing desk frames look quite similar. Indeed, most benefits of a standing desk can be applied to both types of frame

The Advantages of Electric Standing Desks

Convenience: Electric standing desks can be adjusted with the push of the button, meaning you can transition between sitting and standing positions with ease.

Precise Height Control: Electric standing desks provide precise height control, as you can use the button to fine-tune the desk to your exact height requirements. This is much harder to do on a manual desk.

Programmable Presets: Some electric standing desks come with programmable presets, which means your desk can remember your preferred sitting and standing heights. 

Routine: Some electric standing desks allow you to set schedules and reminders, so you can ensure you’re switching between sitting and standing positions at the right time. 

Time: The automated adjustments of an electric desk, alongside the potential to set presets, can also help you to save time, as you can switch between sitting and standing positions without interrupting your workflow. 

The Advantages of Manual Standing Desks

Affordable: Manual standing desks tend to come at a lower price point than electric standing desks, which makes them a more affordable option for those with a smaller budget. 

No Power Requirements: Manual standing desks don’t rely on electric parts, which means you don’t need to worry about having access to power. On a similar note, the lack of mechanical components means less maintenance and repairs over time.

Eco-Friendly: Manual standing desks are kinder to the environment than electric desks, which leave behind electrical waste. 

Easier to Move: Depending on materials, manual standing desks tend to be lighter than electric desks, because there is no motor. 

Active: Cranking a manual standing desk can encourage physical activity during work, which can have a positive impact on your health. 

Factors to Consider

Health: If you have specific ergonomic requirements or medical considerations, such as a bad back, an electric desk might be better suited for your needs. 

Budget: Manual standing desks tend to be much cheaper than electric standing desks, making them a better option if you have a tight budget. 

Frequency of Use: Determine how often you plan to switch between sitting and standing positions. If you anticipate frequent adjustments, an electric desk could be the better option.

Power: Does your workspace have power outlets? In workspaces where there are limited outlets, or areas where the power is unreliable, a manual desk could be better suited. 


When choosing between an electric and a manual standing desk, there's no one-size-fits-all answer; each desk has its own set of advantages that cater to different preferences and needs. What we do know is that a standing desk will allow you to reap the health benefits of switching between sit and stand positions, from better posture and reduced back pain, to enhanced focus and output due to increased blood flow.

Looking for a standing desk for your home, office or workspace? Check out our collection of standing desks, available for next working day delivery if ordered by 3pm. All of our desks come with a 7 year warranty, 30 day risk free return, as well as access to a UK-based customer service team to answer any questions that you might have.