As soon as I saw FluidStance’s decks with beautiful designs, materials and a goal to bring motion to standing desks and other settings, I knew that I wanted to give them a try. For the last week I’ve been using two of the three models they offer, and without a doubt, I’m totally hooked.
For about six months, I’ve been using a standing desk and have enjoyed the various benefits. However, much like my colleague Trevor noticed as he made the transition to a standing desk, I found some challenges that have created stiffness in my body. I created a habit of locking my legs and often put more of my weight on my right side. So beyond FluidStance’s decks just having an awesome look and seeming like a fun time, I was hoping its products would resolve my stiffness.
Up until last week I was standing at my desk about half of the time and sitting the other half. Since I’ve been using The Level and The Plane by FluidStance, I’ve found I’m spending almost the whole day standing while I have fun moving, balancing, and fidgeting.
I’ve found I’m not locking my legs or joints hardly at all and with the smooth motion I’m rarely putting all my weight on one side for more than 30 seconds at a time. I’m also not feeling stiff like when I had more static standing habits.
The highly useful and enjoyable function paired with great form of both The Level and The Plane are enough to make these products a must have for my office setup. However, I find the company’s focus on sustainability, making their products in the US, and pledging 1% of all sales to a non-profit give me even more to love about these decks.
Build & Design
The Plane is the most compact of the three decks by FluidStance, but that doesn’t make it feel cramped at all. It measures in at 24 x 12 x 2.5-inches, weighs just over 7 pounds, and is built for use under 200 pounds.
The Plane is made in the US from 100% recycled materials including high-molecular HDPE (high-density polyethylene) for the molded base and recycled low-emitting rubber for the top of the deck (low-emitting means it won’t release significant pollutants into your indoor environment).
Another bonus for sustainability and the environment, the entire product is recyclable. Although you won’t need to do that for a very long time (based on how solid these feel I don’t see why one of these wouldn’t just about last a lifetime).
The Plane comes in four colors: Storm (dark gray), Cloud (white), Cumulus (white/dark gray, shown above), and Nimbus (dark gray/white). All of these colors feature a black with speckled white rubber top.
The Level steps things up in a few different aspects. First, it’s a bit larger with 26.5 x 12.2 x 2.5-inch dimensions, 7 pounds 12 ounces in weight, and supports up to 250 pounds.
Also made in the US, The Level features a die-cast, military grade aluminum base (in silver) with the top deck made from your choice of half-inch maple wood with a natural or walnut finish, or solid bamboo.
FluidStance protects the deck top with a low-emitting finish for hardwood floors and the aluminum base is made in a solar-powered facility in California with zero waste.
FluidStance does have one other model I didn’t try out: The Original. This model is most like The Level, but is hand cast, comes in five colors, and supports up to 300 pounds with its thicker base walls. FluidStance also offers its decks in quantities of 5 with a slick rack for storage and sharing.
All of FluidStance’s decks include a 30-day money back guarantee. The Level and The Original offer lifetime guarantees against manufacturing defects. The Plane and all FluidStance accessories have a limited one-year guarantee against manufacturing defects.
All of the decks feature a rounded base that provides smooth 360° movement. Founder Joel Heath says that FluidStance tested 27 versions to find the right angles and shape.
Use & Feel
Everything about these products is well designed and executed, including the packaging it arrives in. In the box you’ll find your new deck, a user guide, a getting started guide/thank you hand-signed by someone from the FluidStance team, and a protective cloth bag (bag only with The Level).
In all honesty my first impression when I hopped on to the decks was “are these too easy to balance on?” But then I remembered that I’m using these while working, reading, typing, and not for an intense workout or a difficult balance challenge.
Heath’s vision for FluidStance’s decks is to bring playfulness, motion, and better body positioning to places like work environments where there is inherently less movement (they’re a lot of fun to use in the kitchen, gaming, and lots of other scenarios too).
After using both The Plane and The Level for the last week I think FluidStance really nailed the right amount of movement with its decks. It’s enough to keep you active and easily moving, but not so much movement or difficult to balance that you’re distracted from work.
As I mentioned earlier, the ability to do a variety of simple, fluid movements has relieved the stiffness that I used to have from some of my poor standing desk habits. I’m enjoying being on a deck so much I’m hardly sitting during the day at all, have more energy, and just feel better. I also don’t take as many stretch breaks and seem to be working more efficiently (not sure how much of the efficiency is placebo/mental but either way it’s working
Here are some of the different moves I’ve been doing:
My office is carpeted, but I’ve also done some testing on wood and concrete floors. As you’d imagine it’s a slower, softer feel on carpet, and a bit faster movement on wood and concrete. Personally, I preferred using the decks on wood or concrete as it made movement a bit more effortless (and fun rotations easier like the GIF above). No matter your flooring though, the decks still provide a great expereince.
FluidStance seeks out feedback from its users and so far has found that 76% feel more comfortable, 66% stand more, and 83% are happier.
The Plane vs The Level
When comparing these two models both share the same major benefits and have an almost identical shape, so deciding which is best for you or your business will probably come down to aesthetics, feel, and price.
As for the design and look of the different decks this is a matter of personal taste. I happen to have a standing desk with a white frame and light wood top, so I find both The Plane and The Level look great with my setup.
When it comes to feel, The Level has slightly larger dimensions which seemed to add a little bit more range of motion when compared to The Plane, but I found the same benefits with either one.
The only other difference I noted was The Plane has a softer feel with the recycled rubber top as opposed to a maple or bamboo top with The Level that provides a firmer feel. This again will likely come down to personal preferences or things like what kinds of shoes you wear (or maybe you work barefoot).
The Level has three price points and is only available directly from FluidStance. The Level with maple top deck and natural light finish is $289, $339 with walnut finish, and $389 with bamboo.
The Original which comes in five colors with a bamboo top deck comes in at $489.
I highly recommend either of these decks after going feet-on with The Plane and The Level for anyone who is looking to bring more healthy movement and fun to your daily routine. Although the prices may feel high at first glance, I find the quality and value of FluidStance’s decks are well worth the price, especially when you think about the cost over a period of 10 years or more.
FluidStance also offers some accessories such as mats to provide protection and some grip to your deck experience as well as a storage option for individual decks.
Buy The Plane from:
Buy The Level or The Original directly from FluidStance.
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