When it comes to finding sit-stand conversion desks, you won’t believe there is a war going on behind the scenes. This war is taking place between the proponents of electric motors and the fans of pneumatic pressure.

The thing is, every desk requires a source of power to move up and down. While some desks are powered up by integrating electric motors, others perform by gears to work effectively. Some of these desks use pneumatic pressure as you see in your office chairs for lowering down and raising up. Whereas some of these desks use cranking power to do this feat.

Since we living in 2021, we are sort of going to disregard the hand gear thing. Of course, you can burn some calories while raising your desk or lowering it down like we used to back in the 80s but the question is, why would you want to? The electric motor desk is a much viable option not to mention, it is widely available. So, we are already kind of pro-electric standing desk.

But don’t worry, we are not biased. The best answer to your question especially if you’re comparing pneumatic desks with electric ones, would say they both have their pros and cons.

Every product that you see in the market has some downsides and some upsides. It is completely up to you which standing desk would you like to go for. It depends on your own requirements and what is it that you’re looking for.

So yes, we are going to mention the pros and cons of pneumatic and electric standing desks so you can figure out on your own which desk would be the ideal choice for you.

Pros & Cons of Pneumatic Standing Desk

The mechanism of pneumatic desks is the same as that of the chairs integrated with gas cylinders. The technology is exactly the same, just used on a bigger and much larger scale.

Pneumatic standing desk

These standing desks feature pneumatic tubes filled with gas. When you lower the desk, the tubes are compressed and when you raise it, the compressed tubes expand while exerting pressure, making it easier for you to lift the desk. The gas springs in these tables are calibrated according to how much weight they will have to leave. If the springs aren’t in the correct calibration, then it will make it very difficult for you to lift the desk.

So, let’s discuss the pros and cons of a pneumatic desk,


Easy to raise – The pneumatic desks come with a spring that is very easy to raise or lower. As long as the springs and gas cylinders remain integrated well, you can lift and raise it up conveniently.

Quiet operation – Pneumatic desks are known for being quiet. Since there is no motor integrated, there won’t be any whining while you work.

Do not require electricity – One of the biggest advantages of pneumatic desks is they don’t require electricity. You won’t need to stop working if there is a power outage. Plus, you can place it anywhere you want without the restriction of a power socket.

Pros and cons of pneumatic standing desk


Gas cylinders’ loose pressure – Gas cylinders are prone to losing pressure over time. This is highly likely if the desk is close to its weight capacity. It’s very off-putting because nobody likes to watch their table sink low, especially the one they work on.

Jerky and abrupt – Pneumatic desks have a very jerky or abrupt motion. They are lowered or raised smoothly which can be difficult if you have tools positioned on them. It can lose its balance and you can have a catastrophe on your hands.

Pros & Cons of Electric Standing Desk

Now that you have read all about pneumatic desks, it is time for us to shed some light on electric standing desks. They come with a gearing mechanism that is powered up by an electric motor to lower and raise the desk.

electric standing desk

Commonly, they are integrated with a gearbox that is powered by a motor. The electric motor provides it a rotational power through which the desk is lifted and lowered. Mostly, the mechanism of an electric motor standing desk comes hidden but in some tables, the mechanism is visible to the user.

So, this is how an electric motor standing desk works. Let’s take a look at its pros and cons,


Don’t require manual power – Electric motors don’t require any effort for lifting. The motor is there to handle the entire mechanism. All you have to do is push the button and the table will lower and raise itself.

Smooth operation – The entire operation of raising and lowering an electric desk is far smoother than that of a pneumatic desk. Pneumatic desks, as mentioned before are either abrupt or quite jerky but electric desks are very smooth. You will not even hear a little bit of sound when lifting it up.

Feature-oriented – In the recent launches, many companies have come up with a smart standing desk that can be adjusted conveniently, with a memory chip. Once you set your table for the first time, it is entered as a pre-set. You will not have to adjust the height again because the table will do it all by itself.

Pros and cons


Wear out over time – First con of electric motor standing desks is there motor can wear out after some time. Once that happens, you will have to spend money to fix it which isn’t something a lot of us like. Whereas with a pneumatic standing desk, you will not have to worry about this.

A bit noisy – While most electric standing desks are quiet, some do make a whining noise that later on becomes a headache. It isn’t the case with every standing desk but the risks are there.


All in all, we found electric standing desks far more convenient than pneumatic standing desks. They are convenient, smooth, and don’t require any manual effort which is a win-win for us.

But then again, it is completely up to you that what is it you’re looking for. Both tables have their upsides and downsides. It’s your choices that which upsides are worth spending on.