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The shallowest and deepest desk top options for sit/stand desk frames

Filling an office space with standard desks is generally a simple equation. Having a dedicated space, often open plan or at least specifically designed for working, means the standard desk top depth (typically 800mm) is ideal. However the home office is generally less straight forward. The most awkward or smallest space in the house is often designated as the office!

As such, there are a host of options to provide sit/stand functionality to desktops of all shapes and sizes. Finding the best frame for your space however can be a little tricker, as every manufacture has a different way of detailing their frame dimensions and compatible top sizes. Hopefully this post can point you in the right direction!


We make solid wood oversized and undersized desk tops

One thing to mention right at the top, the figures mentioned below (ranging from 250mm to 950mm) are the manufacturers recommended sizes. This doesn’t necessary preclude fitting a top larger or smaller than the recommended size to the desk frame.

Solid Wood Tops frequently oversizes desk frames to customer requirements. We cannot guarantee it won’t effect stability/safety, but we are happy to offer our own advice and existing customer experiences on request, feel free to get in touch.

Desk frame leg options

When looking for options on the fringes of what is possible, you will likely need to depart from the standard 2 legged frame. Here are some hints and tips when it comes to leg options:

Desk top depth options for sit/stand frames with 2 legs

With the familiar 2 leg frame, the shallowest top you can support is probably around 560mm. The deepest top won’t be much more than 800mm.

When considering the desk frame specification to assess the possible minimum depth, bear in mind the need consider the overall dimensions. Often the frame arm length will be less than the frame foot length. If you need the top depth to be shallow, likely you do not have extra space for the feet to extend beyond the top.

For extra shallow desk top options consider ‘no leg’ or 1 leg desk frames

If you need to have a desktop below 560mm, you might need to consider pedestal sit/stand desk frames. These are quite specialist and as such not particularly cheap, despite seemingly getting less for your money. They can accommodate a top around 500mm deep. A 1-column frame will also have quite a small maximum length desk top requirement to ensure stability.

A ‘no leg’ frame is a wall mounted frame. Generally just 1-column that can be attached a (pretty solid) wall with a motor that provides the height adjustable functionality. These frames can support tops as small as 250mm deep!

For extra deep desk top options consider 4 leg desk frames

Despite what the name might suggest, 4 leg frames rarely have 4 separate legs. To motorise 4 legs independently whilst keeping the desk top 100% level is very difficult. These legs generally look more like industrial box legs on either side, and often have a dual cross beam. Due to their design, they can accept much deep tops of 950mm or more.

This style of sit/stand frame is more expensive, but at least you are getting more frame and technology for paying more. Along with the depth, this frame can have heavier loads, and longer desk tops.

Bespoke/tailored desk frames to support unique desk top sizes

Many desk frame manufacturers import desks from China, specifically the Ningbo region. However, there are some manufacturers for height adjustable desks right here in the UK. These companies can often modify their desk frames to increase or decrease the desk top size. This might not be as expensive or difficult as you think, as these companies add sit/stand functionality to various items for accessibility reasons.

What is desk top depth?

Frustratingly, terms to measure desks can vary. Depth is generally use to describe the measurement from the front of the desk, to the back of the desk. Length is generally from the left of the desk, to the right of the desk. Thickness is from the top, to the bottom.

Why have minimum and maximum desk top depths?

A sit/stand desk frame needs to be stable both when sitting and standing. The higher a desk top is raised, the more wobble is introduced. A key factor to keep the desk top as steady as possible is the depth, it keeps the desk as a whole balanced, preventing too much weight being distributed to the back or front, which could force the desk to tip over. This would be dangerous, and probably very expensive!

Manufactures have tested their frames at various depths, and will generally provide a range of depth and length that is suitable. Interesting, the range may exceed what is available from their range of tops. I.e. a frame with a depth range of 600-800, and the length range of 1200-2000 probably will never have a desk top option of 2000x600mm. It will certainly never have an option of 612-1987mm… that is where we come in!

Manufacturer recommend minimum and maximum depths

When trying to work out the biggest or smallest depth, consider the desk frame overall dimensions, not necessarily the minimum desk top size. I.e. the manufacturer will probably advise a minimum of 600mm, as visually having a little overhang would be preferential, or perhaps the controls default location requires space between the frame and edge.

Also be aware a frame supplier may state that 600mm is the minimum, simply because their top sizes start at 600mm and they are communicating the smallest top size you can buy from them. (Solid Wood Tops can make a top of any size to fit on the desk frame!) Same is true for the maximum. If you can purchase the desk as “frame only” then generally this is not the case, and the min-max is not related to their desk top options.

Sit/stand desk frames to oversize/undersize

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