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Linear Actuators in Furniture Design: Functionality And Aesthetics


Modern-day furniture is more than just rigid tables, chairs, and sofas. They offer comfort and convenience, a degree of automation, and express our artistic individuality.  

That’s what modern furniture makers strive to accomplish: marry aesthetics and practicality in furniture. But can they? Yes. They make it possible by incorporating technology into furniture. Most often, actuators are the components that do the hard lifting.

In this article, we will delve into the role of actuators in furniture design and explore how they have transformed how we interact with our furniture.  We will also examine some of the challenges and opportunities for actuators in furniture design.


The Evolution of Furniture Design

Furniture design has come a long way, evolving to reflect the changing social tastes of different periods. Let’s look at how it has grown by comparing traditional and modern-day furniture.

Traditional vs. Modern Furniture

Traditional furniture styles prioritised craftsmanship – the more ornate, the better. But they tended to be more rigid and less customisable.

On the other hand, modern furniture has a minimalist and sleek design approach. They are made of wood and other materials such as plastic, steel, glass, or sometimes, fibres. These new-age furniture typically feature sumptuous curves, lines, smooth surfaces, and simple designs.

The emphasis of modern furniture setup is functionality and efficiency. The goal is for each piece to serve its purpose effectively without wasting space or resources.

The Integration of Technology

You may have seen clips of homes with automated features like TVs appearing out of nowhere or secret bookcase doors emerging by clicking a button. In most cases, actuators make these kinds of responsive furniture possible.

With the help of electric actuators, you can bring a certain of automation to your furniture pieces by adjusting their height, angle or position based on your preferences or posture. And all it takes is pushing one button. If you want, some furniture can be made to unfold itself to save space or create room, and so on.

We’ve seen the rise of furniture that can connect to the internet and use actuator motors to provide features and services. This enhances our living experience, allowing us to access information entertainment options, health monitoring tools and even environmental control directly from our furnishings.  

Functionality in Furniture Design

One of the factors in furniture design is its functionality.  Functionality refers to how a furniture piece fulfils its intended purpose or function. For a piece of furniture to be worthy of a home, it has to be functional, which involves considering aspects such as ergonomics, comfort, space management, durability and versatility.

1.  Ergonomics and Comfort

One way to enhance ergonomics and comfort in furniture design is by optimizing seating and bedding. Seating and bedding are two types of furniture that we interact with daily. They have an impact on our well-being, such as posture, blood circulation, breathing, digestion and sleep quality.

A practical approach to optimizing seating and bedding is using linear actuators. These actuators enable users to adjust the position or angle of their furniture based on their needs or preferences.

2.  Space Optimization

We all value buying furniture that packs functionality and aesthetics without taking up too much space. Thanks to linear actuators, different types of responsive furniture can now change their shape when you want.


This can affect how people make the most of their living or working areas. Optimising space can enhance user convenience,  accessibility, and overall aesthetics. Actuators in furniture can be used to raise beds or sofas, unveil hidden storage compartments, and so on. They also come in handy for folding or unfolding tables and chairs, saving space when they’re not in use.  

Today’s Innovative Furniture Designs With Actuators

To illustrate the role of linear actuators in modern furniture design, we will look at some innovative furniture designs that use linear actuators to enhance their functionality and performance.

Adjustable Desks and Workstations

Workstations are typically rigid and unmoving, with no chance of customization to a certain degree. By incorporating actuators, we have adjustable desks and workstations that provide a world of flexibility. This allows users to customize desks or workstations according to their needs and preferences.

These furniture pieces enhance user productivity, well-being, comfort, and creativity by allowing height, angle, position, or shape adjustments.

For instance, some modern workstations allow you to switch between sitting and standing positions or adjust the desk or workstation height.  This promotes flexibility and helps mitigate potential health issues associated with prolonged sedentary behaviour.

Drop-down Televisions

For the DIY enthusiast, concealing your TV in the ceiling can be a good choice. Your choice of construction method largely hinges on the availability of ceiling space. In cases where an attic exists, the screen can ascend and descend vertically from within the ceiling.

Alternatively, you can construct a flip-down TV if your project room lacks such compatibility. This involves positioning the TV parallel to the ceiling when not in use. This project represents a perfect space-saving solution in either scenario, particularly suitable for environments like yachts, RVs, and other space-challenged premises.

Cabinetry and Storage

Cabinets and storage units are not left behind. Modern kitchens use linear actuators in cabinetry and storage units, allowing them to be concealed, drawn or extended as needed. Linear actuators can also help raise wall cabinets, pull out or push in drawers, fold or unfold shelves, etc


To enhance user comfort and ergonomics when using cabinets and storage units, they can be adjusted to the height, angle, or position. Linear actuators enable tilting or swivelling cabinets, rotating or sliding storage units, and lifting or lowering countertops.

Linear actuators are versatile and easy to install in cabinetry and storage units. They can be controlled by switches,  remotes,  sensors,  or even voice commands. They can also be customized to fit different sizes,  shapes,  styles,  materials, and colors of cabinets and storage units. Linear actuators can transform any ordinary cabinet


If you have a dream and the right tools you can turn any furniture project into reality! The use of actuators is no longer limited to big companies. Nowadays even hobbyists and do-it-yourself enthusiasts are adding motion control components to build their one-of-a-kind cost-effective furniture with actutators.

With the ability to hide, retract or extend furniture pieces as needed, actuators ensure flexibility and adaptability. They also contribute to ergonomics and comfort by allowing users to adjust furniture height, angle or position according to their preferences. This personalised approach enhances user experience significantly.