Stand Up Desk Store (SUDS) Solid Wood Standing Desk Review

November 26, 2022
  • Forensic Review

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Overview

Review Summary

Stand Up Desk Store falsely claims that this desk is made with “genuine” solid wood. The bamboo version is not a real wood, it’s an engineered wood made from grass strands in an environmentally hideous process. The fir version is made using reclaimed wood, hideously ugly and likely to warp or crack in no time. The birch tops are made by gluing together small staves of wood into larger desktops. Some of the desktops are made of thin veneer over plywood, again not “genuine” solid wood. Photos don’t match descriptions, and the Amazon listing photos don’t match the company’s own website photos. Squared-off edges offer no ergo-contouring as you’d find on higher-quality desks, with sharp edges only sanded down to 2-4mm instead of 1/4″-3/4″ are we usually see on real solid wood tops. Poor instructions which lack English, a total lack of pre-drilled pilot holes, desk instability, grease leakage on the lifting columns, problems with the digital controller, and non-responsive customer service frustrate a lot of customers. We include this product in our solid wood standing desks category only because of the label that the manufacturer has given it, but none of these desktops technically qualify. To top it all off, this desk comes with NO WARRANTY and if you try to return it the restocking fees and reverse shipping charge could run you in the hundreds of dollars. Red alert!

MSRP / List Price $899
Street Price

In 48″: Bamboo is $899
In 60″: Bamboo, Birch and Walnut are $1,149,
In 71″: Reclaimed Fir and Walnut are $1,349

Shipping

Free to lower 48 states

Warranty

30-day return policy, but beware of $199 reverse shipping fee plus possible nebulous re-stocking fees

Lift Type

Electric dual-motor, dual-stage base

Transit Speed

1.2 inches per second

Controller

Push button controls with just two programmable memory heights

Sizes Available

48″, 60″ and 71″ widths, all at 30″ depths. Note that not all the colors are available in each size.

Colors Available

Bamboo
Reclaimed Fir
Natrual Birch
Walnut

Adjustment Range

Height adjustment ranges are “on glides,” or add optional casters to gain another 2″.
Bamboo: 25” to 50.5”
Walnut & Birch: 25.5” to 51”
Reclaimed Fir: 25.75” to 51.25”

Weight Capacity

220 lbs not including desktop weight

Dimensions

Bamboo:
Overall dimensions: 59″ W x 29.5″ D x 0.75” H
Walnut & Birch:
Overall dimensions: 59″ W x 29.675″ D x 1.25” H
Reclaimed Fir:
Overall dimensions: 60″ W x 30″ D x 1.5” H

Connectivity Features

No Bluetooth

Product Weight

120 lbs

Typical Assembly Time

SUDS claims 15 minutes, but expect to spend some time pre-drilling holes if the desktop if you don’t want to risk cracking it, and interpreting the pictures with no English words in the instruction manual may require some extra time. We’d call it a half-hour assuming you have the proper tools.

ANSI/BIFMA Certified

SUDS claims “built to ANSI/BIFMA standards” but it is not independently certified to any ANSI/BIFMA standard.
The height range does not meet ANSI/BIFMA G1 Ergonomic Guidelines for height range.

NEAT™ Certified by Mayo Clinic

No

Competition

Compare to All Top-Rated Standing Desks
Compare to Other Solid Wood Standing Desks
Compare to Other Reclaimed Wood Standing Desks
Compare to Other Bamboo Standing Desks

Where to buy Buy on Amazon

Rating

Ease of Assembly
2.5
Stability
2.5
Reliability
2.5
Customer Experience
2.0
Quality and Aesthetics
1.5
Ergonomics
2.0
Innovation
1.0
Value
1.0
Positives We really can't think of any.
Negatives This product is rife with false advertising claims. None of the offered desktops are what we would consider to be genuine solid wood products by American standards. Both the lifting base and desktop materials are poorly made in China. Instructions are lacking English, and the desktops are not even pre-drilled. The claim of a 15-minute assembly is therefore specious. Most concerning is the complete lack of warranty, which should be a red flag for any standing desk product. There is a 30-day return window but SUDS will charge you $199 plus potentially restocking fees to return the product.

Bottom Line

2.0
We rarely advise readers to completely avoid a product, but this is one where we must do so due to the fact that the description is rife with false advertising claims. Not only is there no warranty coverage, returns are expensive and a huge hassle.

What Exactly Is “Genuine” Solid Wood?

There’s a wide spectrum of quality when it comes to real natural wood. On one end of the spectrum is North American sourced wood, preferably from a sustainable species, that is responsibly harvested, smoothly sanded with rounded ergo-contoured edges all the way around, and then stained and sealed with low-VOC formulations that aren’t harmful to the woodworkers, the customer, or the environment. High quality cuts cost more, and there’s definitely a difference between “select cuts” and “rustic cuts” even within that definition. A highly-crafted product will also be backed by a solid warranty, typically no longer than five years.

On the other end of the spectrum are woods sourced from overseas (most typically Asia but also some from South America and Africa), often farmed in monoculture forests and/or in ways that can harm the environment. They may be assembled from “staves” with a lot of adhesives, creating sort of a patchwork or butcher block look rather than being assembled from large planks. Stains and sealants contain harmful chemicals and emit odors, or worse, harmful levels of VOCs (volatile organic compounds). They tend to have a minimal finish, with little or no ergo-contouring around the edges, and they can often be roughly sanded or sprayed, sometimes even pitted or having knots or pitch streaks that have not been filled in. Often they will not even be pre-drilled for the lifting base they are sold with, leaving the customer to do the pre-drilling or risk cracking the wood while screwing it to the base.

We wish we could say that the desktops offered by Stand Up Desk Store (SUDS) with this desk are as good as the latter, but sadly they are not. Let’s go species by species:

  1. Bamboo. This is not a natural wood, it’s an engineered process that is very harmful to the environment in which bamboo grass strands are baked and squeezed with a lot of glue and chemicals to make an extremely inexpensive “wood.” It has a tendency to delaminate quickly, usually within a year or two, and if it has any warranty coverage the manufacturer tends to get themselves off the hook by calling any such deterioration “normal wear and tear.” See our complete primer on The Inconvenient Truth About Environment Claims Regarding Bamboo Desktops.

  2. Natural Fir. That’s what SUDS calls it but it’s actually a reclaimed fir, which you can tell from all the saw blade and nail marks in the photos. Reclaimed wood from Asia is not sourced from some 100 year old barn built from old growth timber, it is junk wood that’s glued together and very likely to warp and crack after a year or less. See our complete primer on Reclaimed Wood Standing Desk Tabletops to learn about why this kind of desktop should be avoided at all costs. Fir is also extremely soft, suitable for framing a house but a terrible material for making desktops.

  3. Natural Birch. Rather than being constructed from long planks of hardwood, this top is assembled from a large number of small staves, all glued together to make a desktop as cheaply as possible. It isn’t very pretty, and like bamboo, it tends to delaminate rather quickly. The word “natural” in the label only refers to the clear coat finish, not the underlying wood.

  4. Walnut. SUDS imports this walnut from South America, only to stain it and seal it in China and ship it to American consumers. Forget the carbon footprint for a moment, this isn’t even real wood. It’s a veneer sheet glued to a plywood core; a complete marketing sham.

To learn all about the different desktop materials used in standing desks, please check out our primer on The Ultimate Guide to Desktop Materials. We’ve seen them all over more than a decade of testing over a hundred standing desk models, and this is some of the worst we’ve witness yet. In particular because not only do the desktops not carry a warranty, neither does the lifting base itself. We’d refer the reader to our primer on how to compare warranties on standing desks but SUDS doesn’t even provide one on any part of the desk, so that’s moot.

Complaints of Poor Quality

We’ve pretty well covered the desktops above, so let’s talk about the base. It is as cheaply made as you might expect from this vendor, given what they do with desktops and the fact that there is no warranty on this desk at all (high quality bases will come with a 10-15 year warranty, and are usually made in the USA or Europe). The first tip-off about the low quality of this base is its lethargic 1.2 ips transit speed, a very yesteryear spec.

The plasticky handset on the SUDS solid wood desk has only two programmable height memories, and looks very cheap on a “solid wood” desk.

The instruction manual for assembling this desk lacks words, it’s just a bunch of pictures to puzzle out. Since the desktops are not pre-drilled, the customer will need to figure that out on their own. It has a two-memory controller, no anti-collision feature, no Bluetooth, and pretty much as primitive as you’re going to find on a standing desk these days. We’ve reviewed $250 desks with better controllers, but this one sells for $899-$1,349 so it’s rather appalling. Customers complain about poor stability of the base and grease leaking out of the lifting columns, which all go together when we see commodity-grade bases like these.

The thing that’s puzzling is why would SUDS put such a low quality base with such expensive tops, shoddy as they are? But then again, even American sellers like Fully and Uplift put cheap Jiecang bases under their solid wood offerings—just not this cheap.

Bottom Line

We rarely have to tell readers to completely avoid a product, no matter how cheaply priced it is, but in this case it’s not even a cheap desk. For this kind of money you could by a premium quality American-made standing desk with far better desktop surfaces and a 15 year warranty, so why would you want to set your money on fire by purchasing something this low quality from such a disreputable seller?

If you still decide to go for it despite all the cautionary comments above, do yourself a favor and at least buy it through Amazon. At least you’ll have a small chance of a full refund if the product is dead or damaged on arrival (it’s not sold through Prime, so the refund policy is up to the seller, Stand Up Desk Store). If purchased directly from the SUDS website, you’ll have only 30 days to return the product, will be charged $199 for shipping it back, plus any restocking fees they vaguely threaten.

Be sure to check out some of our other solid wood standing desk reviews to help you find the best one for your ergonomic workplace. And if you’d like to look at other desktop materials besides solid wood, check out our master round-up of the top-rated standing desks.

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