A Simple Guide to Choosing the Right Frame (Base) for your Standing Desk

If you want to make use of an old tabletop, all you need to do is buy the frame or the base. It’s also a viable option if you’re trying to save some money. 

But buying the desk frame is just as challenging as buying the entire standing desk. Buy the wrong one, and you’ll be throwing away money.

Are you planning to build a DIY standing desk, you will need to know the best frames available. The truth is that there are a lot of options to choose from. This article will discuss the pros and cons of some of the top models, and what to look out for when choosing these frames. And moreover, we have curated a simple guideline that will help you choose the right base and frame for work or study.

standing desk and how to choose the right base

Before we go into the top models of frames that are available, however, let us take a brief look into why a lot of persons actually go for buying a standing desk frame and sourcing for their own desks.

A major reason for DIY

A major reason why people go for buying a standing desk frame, as you might have envisaged is in order to save cost. Others also do this in order to add a touch of personalization, they have some unique requirements that only they themselves can satisfy.

Apart from the aforementioned, when you buy a standing desk frame, you get the benefit of electric adjustment, stability, and memory settings.

Choosing the Right Frame

It is understandable that DIY’ers are always searching for the cheapest component that they need to buy, it should be noted, however, that this practice is not advised when you are dealing with electric bases with adjustable heights. You might need to spend a little bit more in order to get yourself a more reliable desk base.

In choosing the right frame for your standing desk, you need to know that bases that are made in either America or in Europe are more likely to be stable over time compared to similar Chinese products.

In order to determine the lifting capacity of the frame, ensure that you calculate the weight of the tabletop you plan to use (a thick tabletop or one made out of heavy hardwood or stone will obviously weigh more), and subtract it from the lifting capacity of the base.

If you are also planning to use a tabletop that is beyond 59” in width, you should ensure that the tabletop is at least 1” thick in order to ensure that the table does not warp as time goes by, it is also needed in order to avoid increased side loading on the lifting legs of the desk.

For treadmill deskers that are thinking of adding an under desk treadmill to their workstation, it will be a very smart choice for you to try as much as possible to avoid bases that are made in China as they become more and more unstable as the height is increased. As the desk rises, the leg segments reach a point there is little or no overlap, when it reaches this point, the base’s lateral shakiness will increase to a point where the user will literally be unable to take it anymore.

So, if you truly care about stability, you should not be anywhere near the top of the height range. This is even more important when you use such a table when typing, as the desk gets shakier, your typing accuracy and speed will definitely be affected. So, it is much better to go for premium bases that are made in America that offer 6” leg extensions. Some of them include Freedom bases and iMovR Lander, these are some of the brands that will help compensate for the height of the treadmill deck.

diy a standing desk - a simple guide

A Simple Guide to Choosing the Right Frame (Base)

Knowing the proper desk height will help you choose the ideal range for your desk frame. And you have to consider the proper desk height both when seated and standing.

Know the ideal desk height for you

Knowing the height range or the stroke capability of the frames is one way to make sure that the desk will serve your needs. Especially if you are taller or shorter, you might have a more challenging time finding a suitable frame.

Your Height Ideal Desk Height Ideal Monitor Height Ideal Chair Height
4′ 10″ 21″ – 23″ 40″ – 42″ 12″ – 14″
5′ 22″ – 24″ 41″ – 43″ 13″ – 15″
5′ 2″ 22″ – 24″ 42″ – 44″ 14″ – 16″
5′ 4″ 23″ – 25″ 44″ – 46″ 15″ – 17″
5′ 6″ 24″ – 26″ 45″ – 47″ 15″ – 17″
5′ 8″ 25″ – 27″ 47″ – 49″ 16″ – 18″
5′ 10″ 26″ – 28″ 48″ – 50″ 16″ – 18″
6′ 26″ – 28″ 49″ – 51″ 17″ – 19″
6′ 2″ 27″ – 29″ 51″ – 53″ 18″ – 20″
6′ 4″ 28″ – 30″ 52″ – 54″ 19″ – 21″
6′ 6″ 29″ – 31″ 54″ – 56″ 19″ – 21″
6′ 8″ 29″ – 31″ 55″ – 57″ 20″ – 22″

Taller folks will need a frame that can go high as 50-51”. Those of average height around 5’10-5’11 can find 44-45” quite comfortable already, and it’s quite easy to find frames or standing desks with this height range in the market.

And if you are petite, you need frames that will be able to go down to at least 23-24”.

And while you can check the height range or the stroke capacity of the frame to see if the desks can suit your height, sometimes being able to physically see the frames first or the desk can mean more brownie points for comfort.

That’s why some users visit the store to check the frames or standing desks for themselves. If this is viable for you, then this can save you fees on returns should the desk not meet your expectations.

Where is it made from? 

Knowing where the frame is manufactured will give you a glimpse of how sturdy or durable can be. 

For instance, there are a lot of standing desk frames, the more affordable ones in the market, that are made from China. 

Cheap China frames often cost 250-300 dollars. But along with a flimsy construction, you also will get a stingy warranty.

But there are also China-made frames that may serve you well. These mid-range frames can run about 500-600 dollars. An example of this is China-made Jiecang base that you can also see in Fully Jarvis and Uplift. 

Though these are made in China, they are more durable than the ones we have mentioned above. The brand tossed in a generous warranty so that can amp up your confidence in these kinds of frames.

But if you want frames that are heavy duty and robust, we recommend frames that are made in the US and Europe. These frames are also the more advanced ones that have extra features such as an anti-collision feature, a more sensitive tilt detection, faster and more quiet transition. And these frames also tend to have a larger capacity too.

Also, they offer a more generous warranty that ranges from 10-15 years. Though Fully also offers this type of warranty with their Jiecang base.

Warranty

Let’s elaborate more on the warranty in this section.

Frames with a stinger warranty of fewer than 2 years can be a rip-off. Sure you’ll be spending less money upfront. But come 3 years and the frames and their mechanisms start to go gaga on you, you’re on your own. 

The cost of repairs may sometimes be more than the cost of buying a new frame itself.

While frames with a more generous warranty can help you make more savings in the future. This also tells of the brand’s confidence in their own product. Who will toss in a longer warranty if the product is bound to be useless in less than 3 years? Well, no one.

Single-stage legs vs dual-stage legs

What is the difference between these two?

Check out the telescoping section of the frames. The stage refers to the number of telescoping segments the frame has. Single-stage legs will have two telescoping segments while dual-stage legs will have 3 telescoping segments.  

Let’s translate that into layman’s terms. 

A dual-stage leg with 3 segments will have a wider height range. Also, it is more stable and less shaky.  

That’s why the best list of things often features standing desks that are dual-stage. You’ll be getting more value for your purchase. 

Dual motor vs single motor

You’ll get more value for your moolah with a dual motor frame. 

While it can have a higher cost, a dual-motor will also mean that the frame will have a greater power output.

So dual motors will have a higher weight capacity and the adjustment speed is better. But they are also pricier.

Though there are instances wherein a single motor can still serve your needs. If you are very tight on the budget and need just a basic desk where you can place a laptop and no other equipment, it might suffice. 

Desktop/tabletop size

The size of your tabletop must match the size of the frames, both in width and length. Otherwise, you might not be able to fit your old tabletop into your new frames if you do not do the proper measurements before purchasing. 

tabletop fit a frame

And frames with adjustable width will be more versatile. If you decide to change your tabletop in the future, you don’t need to purchase a new frame. If you don’t know how to custom a tabletop, you may want to read this guide: How to choose the best tabletop for your standing desk?

Presets and controls

The desk frame will come with control panels. You will use these to change the height settings of your standing desk. It often comes in two types. The basic control has only an up and down toggle switch or button. And the more advanced ones will include an up and down button along with memory presets. 

Control panels with memory presets are more convenient, especially if you’re not the only one using the desk. 

And If you tend to change positions within the day, you just need to save your favorite height settings and just push the button every time you need to transition. So it will not be a guessing game all the time.

The price

Of course, the price can be the ultimate deciding factor. But do not let it be. Instead weigh the price versus all the other factors that we have mentioned above.

That doesn’t mean that you’ll be really cheap nor does it mean you have to go beyond your budget.

Carefully weigh all the factors that we have mentioned above versus your financial circumstances. Also, keep in mind what frames will give you the most value.

It’s not just all about the price

Choosing the right standing desk frame can be as tricky as buying the entire standing desk itself. 

While you want to get the best of the best, you also have to compare your cost vs your needs and wants. 

And checking legit reviews will also help you get the best idea of how a frame or standing desk performs.

Now, we will be taking a look at some of the standing desk bases that are recurrently available. We will be largely classifying them as either a budget standing desk base or a premium standing desk base:

Best Bases for Budget Standing Desks

Below are some of the pocket-friendly desk bases that are available in the market at the moment:

StandDesk Pro Base

This unique brand is actually the first brand to offer, although the quality was not as fantastic as at the time of initial production, the company has made a whole lot of improvements since then, and after a while, they released their StandDesk Pro in the year 2017. Although it is very similar to a lot of other Chinese bases, it has some nice and unique features that are not found in other Chinese bases.

StandDesk Pro Base

One of the major differences between the StandDesk Pro base, and other Chinese competitors is that the former comes with an amazing 10 years warranty on all of its components. When it comes to price, the StandDesk Pro is between the Jiecang and the Autonomous products but offers better quality. 

Jiecang Base

The frames with adjustable heights that are commonly used by standing desk, desk manufacturers that produce low-cost desks, such as Fully Jarvis, GeekDesk, Uplift 900 – is the Jiecang Base. Like most other bases, the Jiecang base can be set to vary widths to accommodate table tops ranging from 74 to 48 inches. It should be noted, however, that once the base is extended beyond 72”, it becomes unstable.

The Jiecang Base normally ships with a digital controller that features four memory pre-sets, or a simple two-button up and down the controller, so it is advisable that you look for this specification when shopping online.

When it comes to reliability, the Jiecang base desks seem to have earned a reputation for not being as reliable as would be wanted in the field. It is offered in black, silver, white, or alloy paint colors. 

Autonomous SmartDesk DIY Kit – The lowest price for DIY

Check this frame price here

This is literally the electric base with the lowest price that can be gotten out there. In this design, however, it is sad that you actually get what you pay for. Although it has an attractive price, it leaves users with a weak, shaky, noisy, and unreliable platform.

This desk frame is both available in home and business editions. The home edition is a single-stage, single-motor desk that is weak, slow, and unreliable, while the business edition is with dual-stage and motors. It also has overload protection on the motors and a higher life capacity.

SmartDesk Kit DIY

If you need a frame that will be at the core of your daily work routine, you might want to opt for a better frame, but if you are simply keen on getting the Autonomous SmartDesk Kit, then keep going

Titan Single Motor Desk Frame 

Check price

The electric Titan desk frame is compatible with almost any type of desk. This product gives you the liberty of choosing the desk that you want. It’s a customizable standing desk that can be adjusted to your preferred height.

The height adjustment is accessible with the programmable button. You may also pre-set your preferred table height from 27” to 46”. The memory control allows you to do that. But you can also adjust it manually with the tow control buttons.

Moreover, it’s one of the few desks where you can adjust the width. So if you have a small space, it’s easy to squeeze in the desk frame. It offers width adjustment from 43” to 53”.

And in terms of durability, this single motor steel frame can support the weight of up to 176 pounds. In addition, it’s manufactured from a cold-rolled steel plate. meaning, it can last for many years. Furthermore, this type of material protects the table from overheating. So it’s ideal for those who have their computers on almost the entire day.

Overall, The Titan desk frame is one of the most customizable standing desk frames that you can get on the market. You can choose your own tabletop and freely adjust the height and width of the table too.

Pros

  • Comes with accessories needed for the installation
  • Easy to set up
  • Adjustable height and width
  • Heavy duty
  • LED height indicator

Cons

  • The programmable controller is connected to the motor via wires
  • The wires look a bit unorganized

Where to buy it

Best Premium Standing Desk Bases

As it has been earlier noted, the budget DIY desk frames are from China. The bases that will be discussed below, however, are either from the USA or from Taiwan. They are of higher quality, have longer factory warranties, and possess greater reliability.

imovr lander base
imovr lander base with full tabletop

IMovR Lander

In nearly all aspects of performance, the Lander is a top-notch product. It has a lift capacity of about 365 pounds, and a comfortable reach that will accommodate the tallest of users and a desk that is 7 feet wide. It also comes with an optional 6” leg extension kit that gives it a top height of 56” – the tallest desk in the market.

IMovR Lander

It is also very easy to build a desk with the Lander base kit, and will shave time off your work as compared to almost any other DIY base. Also, the Lander comes with a ten-year warranty on all components. It is present in both black and white color.

Where to buy this frame

Uplift V2 Commercial 4-leg frame

Check price

The Uplift V2 commercial frame is the best stability frame for those looking for a high-quality, durable and affordable option. It features a tough powder-coated finish that is resistant to scratches, nicks, and dents, while the steel construction ensures years of use. The frame also includes all the necessary hardware and instructions for easy assembly.

Weighing in at just 153 pounds, the Uplift V2 commercial frame 4-leg is one of the lightest on the market. It’s easy to transport and can be set up in minutes, making it a great choice for busy people who don’t have a lot of time to spare.

The desk has a weight capacity of 535 pounds, which is more than enough for most people. The height range is from 22.6” to 48.7”, so you should have no problem finding a comfortable position whether you’re 5’2” or 6’4”.

There are four different sizes to choose from: small, medium, large, and extra-large. The small size is ideal for those who need a bit more workspace, while the extra-large is perfect for those who want plenty of room to spread out.

You also have the option of adding a CPU holder, which is great if you want to keep your computer off the ground. This can help to prolong the life of your device by keeping it cool and preventing it from overheating.

The Uplift V2 commercial frame comes with a 10-year warranty, so you can be sure it’s a quality product that will last for years to come. If you’re looking for a durable, affordable, and easy-to-use desk, the Uplift V2 commercial is a great base for you guys

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Now that you have seen some of the best desks frames that are currently available, both the low cost and the high-quality ones, you are better equipped to make the right choice when it comes to choosing the right frame for your DIY standing desks.