It’s not just your investment that’s on the line when you equip yourself and your team with a sit/stand desk. The right standing desk aids productivity, supports health and well-being and gives energy levels a boost. But how can you tell the nearly right from the really right?
We’ve dug into the detail (and explored an independent review or two – see below) to compare FRISKA’s desks with one of our most popular competitors: Fully.
Clearly, we’re a desk manufacturer, so it’s natural you’ll assume there a generous dollop of bias in this comparison. But a biased side-by-side comparison of standing desks doesn’t do anyone any favours, so despite the fact that we have ‘skin in the game’ we’ve worked hard to stick to the facts as they appear on our own and Fully’s promotional material.
After all, we may be convinced that you can’t get a better quality desk than a FRISKA - even if you spend considerably more – but it’s one thing to say it. Now we have to prove it.
NOTE: All information correct at time of writing.
What are we comparing?
Generally speaking, we’re looking across the range of desks produced by each company. Where we’re focusing on a particular element (for example, sturdiness) we may focus on specific models to compare best performance.
Standing desk comparison: Height
FRISKA 59.5 - 130 cm
Fully 55 - 127 cm
A sit stand desk faces a dual challenge that regular desks don’t. It not only has to be the right height for you when sat down. It has to be a perfect match for you when stood up too.
If you’re 6’ 8” (203cm) the height of your standing desk will need to top out around 129-130cm to enable to you stand and work in comfort. Similarly, if you’re around five feet tall (where ‘ideal’ sitting height is around 60cm), you’ll need a desk with a range that’s right for you.
Fully have three desk frames designed to support a range of heights. Between them they span 55.6cm to 127cm, measuring to the underside of the desk.
FRISKA covers a greater height range with a single frame, topping out at 130cm (to the desk surface). Fully achieves a lower minimum height - FRISKA’s 59.5cm to the underside of the desktop means there’s 4cm in it. For most, this won’t make a practical difference, but it may be an issue for some.
To put this in context, we’ve had customers who stood around 4’10 test drive our desks. At the lowest setting they found the desk was suitable for them.
Standing desk comparison: Adjustment speed
FRISKA 4.2 cm/sec
Fully 3.8 cm/sec
A Fully standing desk (irrespective of frame) moves at 3.8cm per second. FRISKA gets there quicker, at 4.2cm per second – almost 10% faster.
But does that really matter? Put both to the test and you’ll find the FRISKA noticeably quicker, but isn’t a slightly slower adjustment speed something that’s easy to live with? Actually, the customers we speak to find almost exactly the opposite. While the speed difference feels of little importance initially, that view changes when you live with the desk, raising it and lowering it multiple times a day.
Little things (like desk adjustment speed) only stay little things as long as they don’t start to irritate you. The same applies to noise level.
While we’re on the topic of making life as blissfully simple as possible, both the Fully and FRISKA come with the option of a memory switch, which will at the touch of a button reset your desk to a pre-programmed preferred height. If you want to adjust your desk height without the slight ‘up a bit, down a bit’ faff of getting things just right, we’d always recommend choosing the memory switch option.
Standing desk comparison: Noise level
FRISKA 38 dB
Fully <50 dB
Fully is a little vague about its noise levels, stating on its website that operating levels are “below 50dB”. FRISKA is considerably quieter at just 38dB.
As with movement speed, if you feel this is of little importance, consider what 50dB equates to. According to the American Academy of Audiology (AAoA) it’s the equivalent of moderate rainfall, hardly a racket, but certainly noticeable. 38dB, according to the AAoA, is a whisper.
Standing desk comparison: Frame load
FRISKA 160 kg
Fully 158 kg
If you’ve had to relocate your iMac recently, you’ll know it’s a weighty piece of equipment. A 27” Mac will weigh a little under 10kg. If you have two of them on your desk, plus assorted other pieces of kit, you’ll need a desk with plenty of load capacity.
Thankfully, every FRISKA and Fully desk will be comfortably up to that challenge. At the heaviest duty end of the spectrum the Fully will take a 158kg load and the FRISKA will manage a 160kg load (including desktop). Both are robust enough to withstand the weight of a 24 stone person sitting on them, not that we’d advise it.
Standing desk comparison: Sturdiness
It’s one thing to be able to cope with a significant load. But with that load in place, you’ll want your desk to remain steady. There are two main standing desk components that define the sturdiness of the end product. One is the assembly on which the desktop sits. The other is the frame mast (or leg) construction.
Fully employs a ladder-type assembly beneath the desktop that performs pretty well as a sitting desk, (although, see the YouTube review at the foot of this section), but allows some wobble and rocking at raised heights, as demonstrated in this independent standing desk review.
FRISKA uses a solid U-beam with multiple fixing points that creates an extremely effective cross-brace. Our customers have described our desks as “rock solid” even at height.
Both Fully and FRISKA utilise a three-mast leg construction. Like Russian babushka dolls, each leg houses two smaller legs which sit inside the first and extend when the desk is raised. To keep the legs apart (so they don’t grind against each other) each desk uses a plastic insert between each leg – and this insert is crucial to desk stability. If the tolerances are out by even a small amount at each point the effect will be magnified by the time the desk is fully extended.
FRISKA’s inserts are machined specifically to each individual leg. It means there’s enough room for the leg to safely raise and lower, but no additional space to cause wobble.
Competitors like Fully don’t manufacture their inserts to be individually matched to a specific leg. Instead, all the inserts are a ‘one size fits all’, operating to a tolerance of 1mm. That ensures the desk is free to raise and lower easily. But it also leaves potential for a larger gap between each insert and mast.
What practical difference does that 1mm make?
On a FRISKA, manufactured to the tiniest tolerances, you can type like a granite-handed giant and barely notice a vibration. Even then, what slight movement there is will typically be a result of the castors or carpet on which the desk sits. Remove the castors or place the standing desk on a solid floor and you’ll all but eliminate even that.
When you’re working with less rigorous tolerances, you’ll find things feel less stable. That doesn’t mean the desk is about to collapse – far from it – but it does mean you’ll notice much more screen shake. The more weight you add to the desk the worse things will get.
In worst cases, a fully extended desk can result in sufficient wobble to create a feeling of onscreen blur as you type.
If you want to test that out, try doing a Zoom call with someone who’s using each type of desk. Fully extended, you’ll notice far more camera wobble with the one manufactured to the lowest tolerances. Alternatively, subject your standing desk the ‘pot plant test’, as Alex did in the below review.
FRISKA vs Fully stability – an independent view
Alex Gear & Tech produces independent, down to earth tech reviews on YouTube. Here, he compares his experiences with the FRISKA Stockholm and Fully Jarvis. Just to stress, we haven’t paid him or sent him a free desk to get this review!
For our purposes, the section you need starts at 1:20, where he says he’s “not entirely happy” with his Fully Jarvis.
Alex says: “FRISKA make this amazing desk and I’m really happy with it. For about the same price as the Fully Jarvis what you get is of much better quality. The frame is better and the choice of desktops as well, in my opinion, is far superior.”
At 2:27, he drops the stability bombshell: “I don’t like this desk anymore,” he says of the Fully Jarvis, before subjecting it to the crucial pot plant test. Take a look for yourself as the plant’s leaves dance around as Alex taps the keyboard.
“What none of the reviewers out there seem to tell you is how wobbly this thing is,” he says. “It actually moves a lot even when you’re sitting down. I’m not hammering the keyboard… and the monitor is wobbling like crazy.”
A Stockholm, on the other hand, lets plants and monitors sit quietly and undisturbed.
Standing desk comparison: Finishes
Possible finish combinations
Both sit/stand desk manufacturers are constantly introducing new models and finishes, which makes any attempt to count them feel out of date virtually the moment it’s published, but we’ll have a go.
Fully’s Jarvis is, at time of writing, available with seven frame finishes, including three limited edition options. Other desks in the range, such as the Remi, don’t offer the same breadth of frame choice.
Desktops are in laminate, whiteboard, designer ply, hardwood and bamboo (about which, more below). 10 available desktop finishes mean 70 possible top/frame combinations.
FRISKA offers six frame finish options: black, white, silver, anthracite and (in the Stockholm Signature range) raw steel and chrome. To those you can add any one of 26 (!) desktop types, giving a total of 156 possible standing desk combinations. Desktops include:
- 18 x MFC (commercial grade melamine faced chipboard) finishes
- 3 x Fenix high tech laminates with the impressive ability to self-heal micro-scratches (so your desk really does stay looking better for longer)
- 3 x engineered wood tops, which utilise a medium density fibreboard with a real wood veneer to give the luxurious feel of real wood without the warping.
- 1 x character oak solid desktop for standing desk purists who value deep grains and the comforting real wood smell
- 1 x reclaimed scaffold board desktop for a sit stand desk with a vintage feel and impressive sustainability credentials
Standing desk comparison: Sustainability
The Chinese-manufactured Fully Jarvis is GREENGUARD certified, indicating it has been tested and scientifically proven to have low chemical emissions.
Perhaps the most notably sustainable product (at least, on the face of it) is Fully’s Bamboo desktop. Bamboo is theoretically about as sustainable a wood as you’ll find. But there are issues. First, while bamboo is sustainable, its carbon footprint when shipped from China makes it rather less eco-friendly.
And while it’s certainly true that bamboo desktops look lovely for the first 18 months or so, they don’t stay looking lovely unless you give them the TLC they need. Without regular care (and that means more than a dose of occasional furniture polish from the cleaner) they can start to look rather tatty rather quickly.
FRISKA doesn’t currently offer a bamboo desktop, but all the rest are UK made and FSC (Forest Stewardship Council)-certified, which indicates that all forest products used in manufacture (in our case, wood) come only from well-managed forests or recycled sources.
All our standing desk frames (with the exception of the new Activ desk) are manufactured in Sweden and 30% of the steel used in each frame is recycled.
Standing desk comparison: Delivery and installation
FRISKA Delivery: Next day (with 2pm cut off) Installation: Yes, usually within days
Fully Delivery: 1-2 days (ships from Belgium) Installation: Via third parties
Order your FRISKA standing desk by 2pm and it will be despatched same day for next day delivery. Although it’s not guaranteed, we generally install within 10 days and we carry out the work ourselves.
Fully ships in 1-2 days from Belgium. There is no in-house installation service, but this can be arranged with Fully’s third parties.
Standing desk comparison: Bespoke
Fully doesn’t offer a bespoke standing desk service. You can buy a range of frames and desktops separately, but choice is limited. Laminate desktops, for example, are available in four sizes.
FRISKA offers an entirely bespoke standing desk service, limited only by the requirement that the desktop must fit the frame (i.e. it can’t be the size of a football pitch, nor can it be smaller than the frame on which it sits).
This offers much greater potential for flexibility, enabling you to match the desk to the available space and/or the kit you’ll want to place on it. We’ve recently created a 2.5m x 2.5m corner desk which works beautifully on a heavy duty frame.
All bespoke FRISKA orders are delivered in about three weeks.
Let’s talk awards. FRISKA’s mantelpiece is virtually buckling with them (it’s probably time we put them on one of our desks because there’ll be no buckling there). For the purposes of this section, the awards most worth shouting about are the UK Enterprise Awards’ eCommerce Customer Service Excellence Award 2021 and the Best Standing Desk Supplier – Europe for 2022 from Build magazine (part of Home and Garden).
Fully is also a regular amongst the ‘best of’ lists, but for a truly independent assessment of service standards, you really need to consider each company’s independent reviews…
Take a look at our on-site reviews and you’ll nearly 300 x 5* reviews. No on site reviewer scored us less than 5* which we realised was starting to look as though we were only showing the good ones (we really weren’t).
So in 2020 we opened a Trustpilot account to add a layer of independence. Since then, things have adjusted a little. Now, 90% of our customers rate us as excellent. We also have an incredible 5 star rating with Google with over 200 x 5 star reviews!
Fully has thousands of reviews onsite and averages at 4.5 stars, commendably including its 1 and 2 star reviews as well as the 5 star ones. There’s a greater contrast between its onsite and Trustpilot reviews, however, where Fully’s ‘excellent’ rating is 30% at time of writing. Several reviewers note service-related issues and you will find amazingly that they sport more 1 star reviews on Trustpilot than they do 5 star reviews! Is this saying 'Buyer Beware?'
FRISKA gives you the opportunity to split your payment into three interest free instalments with Klarna, making it easier to budget for your new standing desk.
Although Fully offers multiple payment methods (as do we), there appears to be no facility to spread payments.
The best standing desk money can buy
In so many departments, the Fully and FRISKA desks are closely matched. Yet from sturdiness to build quality, adjustment speed and noise level to delivery time, installation, review and even payment options, we believe FRISKA has a clear edge.