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Among all of the new technological applications and contraptions that have inundated our homes in recent years, the change to modern furniture ranks as one of the most drastic and innovative. Interactive cabinetry, fold-down changing tables, hidden drawers in benches, couches and even stairs; all of them with abilities to open, close and change their position in a dozen different ways. These examples are quickly becoming the benchmark of the interior of modern homes and offices. From all of these modern devices, are another furniture staple that have been offering great value, both technologically and convenience-wise for the user. The adjustability of these desks can be achieved through manipulating a desk frame or column that supports a compatible tabletop. This page will outline all aspects of standing desk frames and columns, giving you a thorough insight into their capabilities and benefits.

Standing Desks

All height adjustable workstations consist of two major parts – a flat tabletop on top of an adjustable frame or column.These components all combine to result in an adjustable standing desk, allowing for the changing of the desk height to suit the user’s preferences. Today, the scope of tabletops, frames and columns is so wide that it’s easy to get lost in the field of contemporary furniture, with dozens of modifications coming in different materials, sizes, shapes, and colors.

The shape and the size of the desktop depends greatly on the space you are going to place your table. Therefore, you need to ensure you select the correct height adjustable desk size. The hue of the desk and all its customizable parts are a matter of personal taste and can be chosen based on your preferences. Although, sometimes the scope of colors for you to choose from is limited by the material the adjustable height standing desk is made of.

Adjustable desk frames

Frames in Standing Desks

Desk frames make a great standalone base for standing desks and can be purchased separately based on the requirements of the user. For instance, a single frame is perfect for a custom construction of a desk that has a suitable, compatible tabletop. Some frames can be customizable, making them an option that can be multi-purpose for your furniture requirements. There are various models of frame units available, with different capacities for additional devices and compartments. You can supplement your standing desk with a cable management solution, a keyboard tray, USB hub, power holes, and other compatible accessories. The below image provides an overview of a standing desk frame and its core components:

While it’s clear that our desk frames are height adjustable, they can also be width adjustable to fit your desired tabletop size. This is yet another custom feature that makes this standalone product compatible with unique projects or alternative tabletops and accessories. The anti-collision feature within all of our tabletops also ensures that your experience is safe and secure.

Lifting Columns

Lifting columns are a great solution to provide linear motion to unique applications. They are designed for heavy applications, providing quiet and fast movement. Manufactured with light-weight aluminum and durable steel, Progressive Desk lifting columns are durable and dependable, allowing you to seamlessly adjust the height of your desk. Lifting columns are extremely efficient as they are multi-staged, allowing for flexible height adjustments while staying compact and mobile. Coming in sets, they can be strategically placed to allow for optimum raising and lowering of your tabletop.

Standing Desk Frames

Types of Adjustable Desk Frame Mechanisms

There are two principal types of lifting mechanisms used in the frames of adjustable tables.

Manual Mechanisms

A manual height adjustable desk frame is operated with the help of a mechanical cranking system. This consists of a number of knobs that allow you to choose the desk height. When the desired position is achieved, you hold it in place with clamps.

Motorized Mechanisms

The second type of mechanism that we at Progressive Desk specialize in, and that is also in-line with the automation trend taking over the world, is a motorized desk frame. This type of frame leverages linear actuators with lifting or lowering the desktop to change the frame height. How does this work exactly? We have outlined this process below.

An electric linear actuator converts the rotational motion provided by an AC or DC motor into linear motion, in an extracting/retracting movement. Thus, the adjustable-height mechanism is achieved in the table frame. Actuators (or drives) come in an array of different types (we will discuss this further below) to fit different desk frame formats and projects as a whole. Electric linear actuators in a typical height-adjustable sit-stand desk are usually powered by a single or dual-motor system. The essential difference between the two is the speed of motion - one motor can be more than enough for light-duty purposes, while two of them enable an ultimately faster and more capable lifting experience.

motorized standing desk frame

Why opt for an Adjustable Desk?

There are numerous arguments to make the transition from a regular to an adjustable desk. Their capabilities and adjustability allow the user to cater their work environment to their physical needs, without having to leave their workstation. Sitting in one position for the duration of your working day is not a healthy or productively beneficial thing to do. Therefore, a compromise that offers great flexibility and health benefits is an adjustable height desk. Moreover, these desks are great for shared workspaces, whereby users can adjust the desk to their desired height without having to adjust to their colleague’s environment.

2 Legs Frame

Height Adjustable Desks: The Key Benefits

We have listed four of the key benefits of opting for an adjustable desk frame below:

Convenient Technology

One of the most obvious benefits of adjustable desk frames is the convenience of this technology. With the simple press of a button you can adjust the frame to your desired height, saving any height you wish with memory keypad function. Sharing a desk with colleagues or family members means you can all have your own ideal preset height!

Reduced Aches & Pains

Staying dynamic in terms of working positions can help greatly with any neck, shoulder, and back pain you may be experiencing. Sitting in one position for a prolonged period of time can prove tedious on your posture, resulting in aches and pains from lack of movement.

standing desk benefits

Boosted Productivity

Practicing active movement with your adjustable table frame can result in boosted productivity. This is due to the increase of blood flow around the body that can positively affect your mood, which results in better overall productivity.

Healthier Solution

A healthy life depends on movement. Standing and moving throughout a day burns lots of calories and contributes to keeping your body fit on a daily basis. This movement can also help with any underlying health conditions that are worsened from stagnant movement or continuous sitting.

Corner Ryzer Frame - 90°

Height Adjustable Desk Frames: Factors to Consider

The motorized desk frame is what makes Progressive Desk desk’s adjustable (unless you utilize a converter). Therefore, correct desk frame selection will ultimately determine how satisfied you are going to be with your height adjustable desk. Whether you purchase a ready-made table or an adjustable desk frame only (to combine it with a tabletop), you should be very meticulous about making the right choice. What are the factors to pay attention to while aiming for the best standing desk frame?

how to choose standing desk


The first is the weight of the desktop which will rest on it. For instance, a solid wood desktop would require an adjustable table frame that is strong and sturdy, and for stone desktops the strongest steel available for the frame would be necessary.

However, the weight of the tabletop is not the final figure you should go by when choosing adjustable frames. If you are shopping for an adjustable computer table, the weight of the monitor or the laptop you will place on it will have to be added to the desktop load. Also factor other items such as stationery, accessories or other desktop items that will cover your workstation.


Ensure that the tabletop you are accompanying with your desk frame matches up dimension wise. If you are not sure about the width of the desktop for your adjustable desk, opt for a desk frame equipped with telescopic crossbars. This solution will allow the desktop of any reasonable size to be placed upon the frame.


When shopping for frames only, you are making a long-lasting investment. As specialized products, desk frames are almost always expertly built pieces of professional equipment. With sturdiness as an ultimate requirement, height adjustable desk frames usually have high-quality materials at their core. On top of that, such long-lasting solutions come with prolonged warranties (8 years for our standing desks), and available support service backup.

Consider this choosing standing desk

Ready-Made Desk or DIY Project?

Once you have decided to proceed with an adjustable table, do you want a ready-made desk or will you try and build your own, going down the DIY route? Both options have their advantages and drawbacks. If you are leaning towards the DIY option, you need to consider whether you have the time and ability to search for a desktop and a desk frame, comparing their numerous types and varieties. After you have all the parts you need, you will have to assemble them, which requires sufficient skills and necessary tools. This process can be extremely time-consuming and daunting. A more efficient option if you are unsure in any way would be to speak with professionals and research the best quality, most affordable price and most available support systems.

Desk Frames Collection

Actuator Types: Why Electric is the Best Choice

There are three types of linear actuators to choose from, all differing in the capabilities and applications. Here, we will discuss each briefly and highlight why electric linear actuators are the prime choice for standing desk frames.

Hydraulic Linear Actuators

A hydraulic actuator contains fluid inside of a pump that moves a cylinder piston, enabling the motion of the base it is attached to. This actuator type generates a considerable force and a high speed of motion. However, it is not used to power a motorized standing desk frame due to its high maintenance cost. Furthermore, hydraulic actuators may leak fluid which reduces their efficiency and raises cleanliness issues. Given the above, such actuators are mostly reserved for industrial environments.

Pneumatic Linear Actuators

Pneumatic actuators operate essentially along the same lines as hydraulic, but instead of the driving fluid, there is air inside the cylinder with a piston. Besides the working principle, they share some of the downsides of the previous type also: they are subject to pressure losses because of leakage and may contaminate the environment by the oil or lubrication used in them.

Electric Linear Actuators

In an electric linear actuator, the rotational motion of a lead screw through a nut (in some models it is the nut that moves along the fixed screw) is powered by electricity. This is turned into linear motion that is seen in the up and down movement of standing desk frames. These actuators are extensively used in adjustable furniture, including electric height-adjustable tables. Offering total high-precision control of motion, speed, stroke length and force applied in an electric height adjustable desk frame, it is the ideal choice for not only desk frames but all adjustable furniture.

Choosing a Tabletop for your Standing Desk Frame

The two most popular materials for the desktop are solid wood and laminated wood. Both materials have their pros and cons and it is ultimately down to user preference when opting for either one.

How to choose tabletop for standing desk

Solid Wood

Solid wood desks are respectable, presentable, and high-quality. Price is a big factor with this type of material as these tabletops can be pricier than their laminated alternatives. Another factor to consider is that solid wood furniture is likely to grow rather shabby after a while and is not considered a highly durable option. However, the nature of the substance allows for successful renovation, which is not possible for the laminated surfaces. If durability is a key specification you are looking for in a desk but still wish to opt for solid wood, there are sturdier and heavier options you can choose. This hardwood is pricier, but it will last you longer than the softwood alternatives.

Laminated Wood

Laminated wood is the more cost-effective alternative to solid wood tabletops. It is quite affordable, rather durable (being moisture-resistant) and comes in a large variety of colors. All of these mentioned qualities become evident when you learn about the process of laminated board manufacturing:

  1. First, scrap wood is ground into minute particles bound together with the help of resin or other adhesives.
  2. Veneers are then attached to the multiple-layered board from the top and bottom.
  3. With this final step, Medium Density Fiberboards (MDF) are ready for further handling.

Depending on the type of the veneer application MDF’s fall into several categories (which also differ in price tags):

  • The cheapest option is powder lamination which is achieved when the paint is sprayed on an MDF plank, creating a thin layer. This surface is vulnerable to moisture and physical damage.
  • High-pressure lamination allows for a better-quality plank that is covered with plastic from the top and bottom, with PVC band at the edges (which is more expensive than powder coated planks). However, unprotected grommet holes and corners are easily affected by moisture.
  • The best MDFs feature thermofoil (aka 3D lamination) which is wrapped around all areas of the board structure that can be clearly seen. It is attained through a reversed process of MDF manufacturing. First, the plank is given the shape and size in accordance with the customer’s needs and only after that, the laminating film is attached to the surface. Such technology guarantees not only the protection of problem areas and gives the MDF an appearance of solid wood but allows to form rounded edges and corners. In fact, it is these ergo contours that serve as a hallmark of this highest-quality (although the priciest) lamination type.

Conclusion: Make an Informed Choice

Adjustable desk frames are a convenient, functional product that will ergonomically enhance your workstation. Choosing a compatible tabletop to pair with this product is vital if you have chosen to buy them separately. The benefits and factors to consider prior to purchasing an adjustable table frame have been outlined, allowing each individual to choose the best table frame that suits their requirements.

Reading through this page and all associated articles on desk frames will make your choice informed and help you navigate through the product choices. If you are still unsure on what route to take with this, or any of our products, please contact us and one of our engineers will be delighted to assist you.

Height Adjustable Standing Desk Frames

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