Several staggered grid schemes have been suggested for performing finite-difference calculations for the elastic wave equations. In this paper, the dispersion relationships and related computational requirements for the Lebedev and rotated staggered grids for anisotropic, elastic, finite-difference calculations in smooth models are analyzed and compared. These grids are related to a popular staggered grid for the isotropic problem, the Virieux grid. The Lebedev grid decomposes into Virieux grids, two in two dimensions and four in three dimensions, which decouple in isotropic media. Therefore the Lebedev scheme will have twice or four times the computational requirements, memory, and CPU as the Virieux grid but can be used with general anisotropy. In two dimensions, the rotated staggered grid is exactly equivalent to the Lebedev grid, but in three dimensions it is fundamentally different. The numerical dispersion in finite-difference grids depends on the direction of propagation and the grid type and parameters. A joint numerical dispersion relation for the two grids types in the isotropic case is derived. In order to compare the computational requirements for the two grid types, the dispersion, averaged over propagation direction and medium velocity are calculated. Setting the parameters so the average dispersion is equal for the two grids, the computational requirements of the two grid types are compared. In three dimensions, the rotated staggered grid requires at least 20% more memory for the field data and at least twice as many number of floating point operations and memory accesses, so the Lebedev grid is more efficient and is to be preferred.