The Best Standing Desk Converters of 2017

Last Updated July 31st, 2017

What are standing desk converters?

Standing desk converters, also knows as desktop risers, are adjustable units that you place on top of your existing desk to give you the option of standing or leaning at your desk. Most desktop risers are less expensive than buying an adjustable standing desk.

Our formula to rate the converters

Our 6 criteria for rating standing desk converters:

  1. Ergonomics is our most important criteria as this is why many of us are using standing desks. If your monitor, mouse, and/or keyboard aren’t in the right position, you can end up with back, neck, or wrist pain.
  2. Adjustability is ranked second because we’ve found that if we can’t easily change the height of our converter from sitting to standing, we tend to sit way longer than we should.
  3. User reviews is how we understand different users experiences of the converters. Our team of testers are of various ages and sizes, but we don’t have anyone, for example, that is under 100lbs.
  4. Quality refers to the materials used and the construction.
  5. Aesthetics is near the bottom of the list as this is mostly subjective.
  6. Customer service will only matter to you if you have any issues with delivery, repairs, or returns.

Our testing process

When we test a desk, each of our staff spends several days to weeks using the desk (or months to years if we really like it) to find out what we like and don’t like. We compare notes from our testers who are different heights, weights, and ages.

In addition to our own testing, we spend many hours reading and watching video reviews from users. When we have questions we’ll call the manufacturers directly.

Why you should listen to us

We’re standing desk nerds. Every day we’re using and reviewing products, staying on top of the ever-evolving ergonomics industry. When we test a product, we very quickly can find the strengths and weaknesses as we’ve been through the evaluation process so many times, as opposed to the average user who will figure out if a product is working for them often after weeks or months.

Members of our staff have had back pain, knee pain, carpal tunnel syndrome; most of us have lost a little weight using standing desks and/or leaning chairs. We’ve all noticed more productivity, better mood, and higher energy since we started standing.

What are the different types of standing desk converters?

PROS

The only electric standing desk converter we’ve seen is post and tray model, which frees up a lot of space on your desktop. They have programmable controls save your height preferences. To get to your preset height, you simply press a button.

CONS

These are the most expensive of standing desk converters and may wobble slightly when typing.

VERDICT

If you anticipate that having to manually raise and lower your desk throughout the day is going to be an issue, these are a great option.

PROS

These are the most stable of all models. They usually come preassembled, they’re easy to adjust, and they’re our favorite model for most standing desk converter users.

CONS

Depending on the size of your desk and the size of the standing desk converter, they can take up a lot of space.

VERDICT

They’re our favorite model because they’re the most stable, so there’s no shaking while you type, they’re easy to use, and they look great.

PROS

These take up the least amount of space on your desktop, and are very easy to adjust. You can even swing the entire unit out of the and to the side. This is our second favorite type of standing desk riser, after the Z-shaped models.

CONS

There is sometimes a slight wobble when you type.

VERDICT

Our second favorite model, they look great, take up very little space and have great ergonomics.

4. Post & Keyboard Tray

PROS

These take up little space on your desk and are usually easy to adjust.

CONS

Some of these models can be a little shaky when you type (although the unit pictured, the Ergo Desktop Kangaroo Pro has an extra support pole under the keyboard for stability).

 VERDICT

If you want to keep your desktop space free, these can be a good option of you don’t like the floating models. If you think the slight wobble while you type may annoy you, look at the Z-shaped models.

5. Mobile Cart

PROS

Most often used by doctors, nurses, and respiratory therapists, these units can be moved around and the wheels can be locked when working. Includes tray for keyboard, printer, an additional shelf for extra items, as well as a penholder.

CONS

These are designed for users who only stand while they work-there’s no option for sitting.

VERDICT

Only buy if you need a worskstation that you need to move around AND you never sit when you work.

6. Adjustable table

PROS

They’re cheap.

CONS

If you put your monitor and your keyboard on the same surface, you’re either reaching up to type, which strains your arms and upper back, or you’re looking down at your monitor, which strains your neck.

Verdict

Do not buy unless you’re on a tight budget and you’re using it just to get your monitor up to eye level. And make sure that your keyboard is at a height that when you type your elbows are close to your body and your forearms are paralell to the floor, or angled slightly down (to reduce strain on the wrists).

 

PROS

If you’re a laptop user on a budget, or just wanting to try out standing at your desk, this is an option. To get your keyboard at the correct height, attach a USB keyboard to your laptop so you’re using the laptop mainly as a monitor.

CONS

If you want to sit, you’ll need to take the laptop off of the stand and set it on your desk. And this layout won’t work if your desk too high or too low to type comfortable.

VERDICT

The cheapest way for laptop users to start standing and spend very little money.

Top Standing Desk Converters

#1


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Fancierstudio Riser Desk

Best Overall Value
  • Keyboard tray has enough room for mouse (many competitors don’t)
  • Supports up to 30 lbs
  • Comes fully assembled
  • High quality construction
  • Great customer service
  • 8 height levels that range from 5″ to 17.7″
  • 38-inch wide x 29.5 deep x 5 to 17.7-inch high

$$

#2

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iMovR Ziplift

Best for wrists, & silent and exact height adjustment
  • Smooth adjustment via silent gas-strut enabled Z-lift mechanism, with infinite stops for perfect height adjustment
  • Has the option of tilting the keyboard to reduce wrist strain
  • Includes slot for phone or tablet
  • Stable even at full height
  • 20 5/8″ maximum height
  • Has center grommet hole for accomodating most monitor arms
  • Available in black or white
  • 40 lb total weight limit
  • 2 year warranty

$$$

#3

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Cadence Standing Desk Converter

Semi-luxury option
  • Easily adjusted arm (many risers take strength to lift and lower)
  • Tilted keyboard for less strain on wrists
  • Clears up all of the space on your desktop
  • Available in white or silver
  • Single or dual monitor setup available
  • Built in cable management
  • 5 year warranty
  • Holds up to 25 lbs

$$$$$

#4

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Winston-E Electric Single Monitor Mount Sit-Stand Desk

Luxury electric adjustment
  • Programmable control remembers your height preference
  • Single, dual, and triple monitor models available
  • Compact (16″) and standard (22″) tray sizes available
  • Clears up all of the space on your desktop
  • Built in cord management
  • Beautiful design
  • Built in cable management
  • Overall height adjustment over 18″
  • Monitor rotates 45 degrees back and 20 degrees forward; also monitors rotate from horizontal to vertical
  • 40 lb weight limit
  • Accommodates most monitors up to 24″ widescreen

$$$$$$$

#5

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Varidesk Pro Plus 36

Highly Rated Desktop Converter
  • Easily convert your current desk to an adjustable standing desk
  • No assembly required; just take it out of the box and set on top of your desk
  • Free shipping
  • Great warranty
  • Built in cord management
  • 30 day guarantee
  • Built in cable management
  • Also available in 30″, 48″, as well as cubicle models and the Exec models (for taller people)

$$$$

Advice for new standing desk users

  • Connector.

    Ease into it.

    Don’t force yourself to stand for long periods of time. Remember that movement is the key. Sit for 20, stand for 20.

  • Connector.

    If you get sore, stretch.

    The number one are to focus on the calves, but you may benefit from stretching the hamstrings and quads as well.

  • Connector.

    Look into leaning.

    There are chairs designed for standing desks that give you the option of leaning. You can then vary up your routine from sitting to standing, then to leaning, where you lean back against a chair or stool. It burns less energy than standing, yet keeps you safe from the dangers of long periods of inactive sitting.

  • Connector.

    Standing desk mat?

    Many standing desk users benefit from using a mat designed for standing desks, which are also known as anti-fatigue mats.

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