Why Standing Desk Noise?

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Updated August 30, 2022

If you purchased an electric standing desk, you might wonder why your standing desk noise is louder than you expected. The best standing desks have little impact on the office noise levels, but some cheaper models are louder.


  • Some adjustable height electric standing desks experience high noise levels due to the motor or motors that adjust the desk’s positions.
  • You may have exceeded the weight capacity for safe lifting, causing the desk to make a groaning noise and the motor to struggle.
  • Cheaper desks often have a weaker motor or less support that can cause the desk to adjust slowly and loudly.

Some sit-stand desks make noise because they are old. Others make noise from wobbling, while still others struggle to lift their desktops. Read on to find out more about why an adjustable standing desk adds noise to your office and how to reduce the effects. If you want to make your office more comfortable, check out why do I need a footrest for my standing desk footrail.

Insider Tip

You might be able to get a replacement part for the leg of your desk if it’s rubbing against another part.

What is Standing Desk Noise?

Several different issues cause louder noises in an electric standing desk, and some of these reasons even occur in a regular desk. You may have too much on your desk, causing your motor to struggle. Likewise, your desk legs may be rubbing against their chamber as the height-adjustable desk switches to sitting or standing.

Although many offices have a higher basic noise level of about 60 decibels because of people talking, you contribute to the noise level during the adjustment process. For example, if you work in a quiet location, like a library or your home, you probably notice the sound more than you would in the office.

Read on to find out how to fix or reduce the noise of your sit-to-stand desks, though this likely won’t apply to a treadmill desk. Then, if you want to know if an electric standing desk is worth the hassle, check out our article on why a standing desk motor remains essential in the office environment. Keep in mind, however, that a dual-motor and the type of wood will increase the price of a standing desk.

Over the Weight Capacity

All-electric sit-stand desks have an assigned weight rating with a designated height range, and this maximum weight outweighs that of a manual standing desk. However, if you surpass this weight, you probably will end up with a noisier desk, especially at the maximum height adjustment. This problem is because manufacturers base the limit on the amount the desk can lift while sitting and while lifting or lowering the desk from the control box.

Two common noises occur if you have too much weight on your desk. First, you may hear “groaning” when you put any weight on it, similar to using your current desk or crank desks with too much on top of the desktop. Second, you may hear your motor or motors struggling to lift or lower the surface at a safe rate. This sound typically results in louder engine noise than average while using an adjustable height desk.

Old or Weak Motor

One common cause of a noisy standing desk stems from the quality of the engine contained in the desk. When you buy a cheaper desk, the model probably includes a weaker motor than a more expensive one and a lower max height with a higher minimum height, and it may also have fewer motors in total. As a result, the engine may struggle more lifting the desk height.

If you’re having trouble with noise when switching your desk positions, you may want to consider decreasing the load by removing unnecessary items. To make this process easier and keep your papers, extra monitors, and keypads nearby, you could invest in a small table that doesn’t have an adjustable height. However, if it’s stationary, you might get a higher weight limit for the same size table. Additionally, your motor ages as you use it, so it might move slower or make more noise. If the noise becomes unbearable, you should contact a repair center.

Rubbing within the Leg Cavity

As you raise or lower your desk, you hear a rubbing noise from within your desk. This sound results from the inner portion of the leg interacting with the outer part. This problem can be quite loud for some height-adjustable desk frames, meaning you make a loud noise every time you change positions.

If the noise is unbearable, contact the desk manufacturer and find out if they will send you a replacement part for the leg portion of the desk frames. This issue could be common for some companies, meaning they might send you a replacement if you express your displeasure. Unfortunately, this process depends largely on the manufacturer, so there isn’t a standard response or fix.


Your standing desk may make more noise during positional adjustments with heavy items on top, so you may want to keep your desktop as light as possible by using a side table.


Do noise levels of a standing desk matter?

Most of the time, your height-adjustable standing desk noise level will match or be lower than the typical office volume of about 60 decibels. However, some cheaper or older products may exceed this level, making the noise matter more. Height adjustable crank desks may be quieter than electric desks.

How many calories do you burn standing vs. sitting?

You burn slightly more calories standing versus sitting, and some research estimates the difference is about eight calories more an hour. For people who are overweight or underweight, this amount changes. Manual crank desk options burn more calories when you adjust the height because they require manual adjustment.

Do standing desks use a lot of electricity?

An adjustable standing desk uses more electricity as they transition between positions and significantly less when in standby mode. So, you typically won’t see that much of an impact on your electrical bill from an electric desk.

STAT: Your desk may produce an unusual sound or vibration if one of the legs is out of alignment. (source)

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