Desks can be somewhat of an enigma when trying to estimate how much weight they can hold.
Some desks are flimsier than they seem, while others are stronger than what they appear.
A desk is usually designed with a specific purpose in mind, which determines the sturdiness of the desk. The materials used in the construction and the design of the desk will also play a role in the amount of weight it can bear.
This is why it may not be a good idea to use some desks for a different purpose, such as trying out your latest dance moves!
Most desks are designed to hold between 100 to 300-pounds or 45 to 136Kg. The exact amount of weight the desk will be able to carry will be determined by the materials used to construct the desk. The intended purpose of the desk is also a contributing factor for its weight-bearing capability.
Some well-constructed desks can hold much more than this, in some cases, up to 800-pounds, or in excess of 350Kg.
Desks come in a wide variety of purpose, styles, and construction materials. Some desks are made to be designer pieces, while others focus on function. Let’s examine some desk types and the weight they can potentially hold.
This detail will give you a good idea of which desk type and style will suit your needs.
How Much Weight Can A Standard Computer Desk Hold?
Computer desks are generally smaller desks that are designed to fit into smaller workspaces. As we have mentioned, the capacity for weight-bearing depends on the material used and the design. Wood is the common choice for a computer desk, which does give them considerable weight holding capacity.
The average wooden computer desk can hold between 150 to 200-pounds or 68 to 90Kg.
Computer desks made from metal have a greater capacity to hold weight, particularly if the design of the legs is robust. A steel computer desk can typically hold anywhere up to 250 to 300-pounds or 113 to 136Kg.
Of course, this is dependant on the type and thickness of metal used and the design of the legs of the desk.
Floating desks are desks that appear to be joined directly to the wall and have no visible legs. This construction method looks very elegant, but it is not a robust construction style. All the weight is being held by a bracket on the wall, making the front edge a leverage point that can pull the desk off the wall if too much weight is put on it.
Floating computer desks can typically only hold between 50 to 100-pounds or 22 to 45Kg.
How Much Weight Can A General-Purpose Office Desk Hold?
Office desks are usually of sturdier construction than a computer desk and are built to offer a little more weight-bearing capacity. There are different levels of office desks, each with different capacities to carry weight, so some designs may be sturdier than others.
Most general-purpose office desks are made to be sit-down desks, so they need to be capable of holding constant weight on the desktop but also the weight of people leaning on the desk.
An office desk of this nature can hold a weight of between 200 o 300-pounds or 90 to 136Kg.
Office desks that are built for larger offices or managerial-style desks are generally built from better, sturdier wood for a more executive look. These desks can hold a considerably higher weight load than a general-purpose office desk.
How Much Weight Can A Plywood Desk Hold?
Plywood is a common choice of material to make desks because it is durable, strong, and cost-effective. Plywood is cheaper than wood, and the layers of laminated wood enhance the strength of the material. The weight that a plywood desk can hold is determined by the thickness of the plywood and its span rating.
Plywood desks can hold from 185-pounds up to 300-pounds or 83Kg to 136Kg depending on the thickness of the board used.
Generally, the thicker the plywood board, the more weight the desk can handle, but the capacity is also dependent on the span of the supporting joists under the desk. The wider the joists are apart, the less weight the desktop will be able to support without cracking or breaking.
How Much Weight Can A Standing Desk Carry?
A Standing desk is a fairly recent trend to counteract the number of hours we sit behind a desk, which is not very healthy for us. Standing desks are purpose-built to only hold a limited number of items. They are often adjustable, which makes it impractical to place heavy objects on them.
Standing desks are designed to support the bare minimum, such as a computer, monitor, notepad, and perhaps a lamp.
The purpose for the design of the standing desk limits its weight-bearing capability, which means they are typically made to hold a desk load of 40 to 50-pounds. Considering most people use laptops, which are lightweight and modern computer monitors are also light, this weight limit is more than adequate.
The rating does not mean the desk will collapse at weights higher than this, but the adjustability may be limited.
Standing desks are not designed to support the weight of a person leaning on them, and since they are at standing height, it is unlikely that you need to lean on the desk to push yourself up. Most standing desks can hold up to 100-pounds as a maximum, even though the rated desk load may be lower.
Wrapping things up
Most manufacturers will indicate on the packaging of the desk what the maximum weight limit is that the desk can safely hold. Your choice is weight-bearing capacity will be mostly influenced by what you want to use the desk for, the size of the desk, and the level of elegance you are looking for in your desk.
Typically desks that are designed to boost the chic level of your office or home office are not as robust as standard models.
If you are looking for a desk that is elegant as well as strong, a combination of a wood desktop with elegant metal legs and structural support would be the materials to choose. The metal legs and supports can be thinner than wood-based structural supports, lending elegance, class, and strength to the design of the desk.