The Best Standing Desk Converters of 2018

Last Updated May 23, 2018

What are Standing Desk Converters?

Standing desk converters, also known as desktop risers, are adjustable units that you place on top of your existing desk. They give you the option of standing without getting rid of or moving your current desk.

Why Get a Standing Desk Converter?

There are many reasons, aside from the health benefits of standing, to consider a standing desk converter when shopping for a standing desk solution. Here are the main reasons to get a standing desk converter:

  • Price – If budget is your concern a standing desk converter can be one of the most cost effective ways to start standing. No only is the unit itself commonly less expensive than a full standing desk, you don’t have the extra costs associated with removing, disposing or donating of your current desk. There are also extra cost savings when it comes to shipping as well. Due to their compact size they can be shipped with normal parcel carriers right to your door.
  • Ease or Lack of Assembly – Assembling furniture is rarely enjoyable and if you’re like most of us that don’t want to spend time building your desk a standing desk converter may be best for you. Most of them are ready to go right out of the box with maybe one or two small tasks like clipping on the keyboard tray, most not requiring any tools.
  • Keep Your Current Desk – Keeping your existing desk or furniture is one of the most popular reasons to get a standing desk converter. If you have a desk you love or one with ample storage it may not be realistic to get rid of it. A converter is a great compliment to any existing desk.
  • Portability – Most of us don’t often move office locations but a standing desk converter does allow you to change locations occasionally. Working at your kitchen counter, or dining table can be easily accomplished.

Our Formula to Rate Standing Desk Converters

We take the following criteria and weigh them based on the percentages shown below:

Formula Diagram for Best Standing Desk Converters 2018 Methodology

Here are our 6 criteria in more detail and the reasoning for why we value them.

  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. Although the objective of all the standing desk converters out there are the same, there is a lot of variety in design, keyboard tray size/shape, usable space and comfort.
  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. Transitioning from sitting to standing should be effortless and repeatable to find your desired height.
  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 or less then 5’4″. Our survey of user reviews helps us understand the edge cases and represent situations we may not encounter in our testing process. This also exposes quality issues that only someone using the desk for an extended period of time would observe.
  4. Quality refers to the materials used and the construction. Products with low quality mechanics, electronics and platforms score lower. Although first impressions are often good of a brand new product, torquing their frame helps expose weaknesses and susceptibility to racking forces.
  5. Aesthetics is near the bottom of the list as this is mostly subjective, but some manufacturers have taken steps to improve appearance. Standing desk converters are generally a form follows function design meaning that the function is the priority over design. This leaves us with a very mechanical looking projects that for the most part aren’t sleek or stylish. However some innovative designs look fantastic and don’t compromise function.
  6. Customer service will only matter to you if you have any issues with delivery, repairs, assembly or returns. However, most standing desk converters can ship with normal parcel carriers like the UPS, Fedex or USPS and don’t require you to be home at a certain time like freight carriers. They come pre-assembled and you’re less likely to need to talk to customer service over full standing desk units.

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 can Trust 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.

Types of Standing Desk Converters

When shopping for a standing desk converter we recommend getting familiar with the different types available. We'll go through each design, it's pros, cons and our verdict so you can choose the right type for you.

PROS

These are the most stable of all models. They usually come pre-assembled, they’re easy to adjust, they’re not expensive compared to the electric options, 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

This design 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. This is one of the very few options that offer the seamless operation of a full standing desk.

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 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.

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.

PROS

They’re typically very inexpensive, often 1/5 the cost of a mechanical standing desk converter.

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 parallel 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

Flexispot M2B

Flexispot M2B - Top Standing Desk Converters 2018

Bottom Line:
The Flexispot M2B offers an improved and innovative standing desk converter design with excellent value and ergonomics.

Top Design & Lifting Mechanism
  • Desk raises straight up when you lift it as opposed to up and towards you like most other models
  • One paddle lifts the desk as opposed to 2 which is easier to use
  • Free shipping
  • Great warranty
  • Slot for holding cell phone of tablet upright
  • 30 day guarantee
  • 35 lb. weight limit
  • High quality construction: passed of fatigue test of 6,000 height adjustments
  • 4 colors available
  • Price: $$$

#2

Fancierstudio Riser

Fancier riser desk - Top Standing Desk Converters 2018

Bottom Line:
The Fancierstudio Riser is best for those wanting maximum value for money without spending too much or too little.

Great 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
  • Low price but comparable value to higher priced models
  • 8 height levels that range from 5″ to 17.7″
  • 38-inch wide x 29.5 deep x 5 to 17.7-inch high
  • Price: $$

#3

iMovR Ziplift

iMovR Ziplift - Top Standing Desk Converters 2018

Bottom Line:
The IMovR Ziplift is an excellent option for consumers looking for some of the best ergonomics available in a standing desk converter due to the adjustable keyboard tray tilt.

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
  • Price: $$$

#4

Cadence Floating

Cadence Floating - Top Standing Desk Converters 2018

Bottom Line:
The Cadence Standing Desk Converter offers a truly unique and minimalist solution to convert your existing desk for standing.

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
  • Price:$$$$$

#5

Winston-E Electric Sit-Stand Desk

Winston-E Electric - Top Standing Desk Converters 2018

Bottom Line:
The Winston-E Electric Sit-Stand Desk is one of the only standing desk converters that allows you the effortless raising and lowering operation of a full electric standing 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
  • Price: $$$$$$$

#6

Varidesk Pro Plus 36

Varidesk Pro Plus 36 - Top Standing Desk Converters 2018

Bottom Line:
The Varidesk Pro Plus 36 is a spacious standing desk converter that enables those of us with large setups or multiple monitors to stand with ease.

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)
  • Price: $$$$
Flexispot M2B - Top Standing Desk Converters 2018

Flexispot M2B

Top design, excellent lifting mechanism and great overall value.

Are you new to Standing?

If you're new to standing there are a few things we've learned over the years that we wish we would have known. These tips can get you started the right way and make standing a sustainable part of your day at the office.

  • Ease into it - Rarely does anyone form habits to things they start or stop cold-turkey. In order to avoid getting burned out or feeling fatigue don't force yourself to stand for long periods of time. Remember that movement and variability between sitting and standing is the key. Try sitting and standing in 20 min intervals working up to a maximum of an hour at a time. Also, see what duration works best for you.
  • Stretch and Move - Stretching and minor movement can help you avoid any soreness or pain as a new stander. Something as simple as working back and fourth or changing the foot you have your weight on can dramatically extend the amount of time you can stand. If you do start to get sore try stretching and focusing on your calves, hamstrings and quads.
  • Consider Leaning Chairs or Stools - Leaning chairs are designed to be used with a standing desk and give you another position option other than standing and sitting. You can vary up your routine from sitting to standing, then to leaning. While it burns less energy than standing it still helps you avoid the dangers of long periods of sitting and the back pain that can be associated with it.
  • Consider a Standing Mat - Standing does put more pressure on your ankle and knee joints than sitting but choosing the right footwear or adding a standing mat can significantly help standing fatigue and improve comfort.

Startstanding.org is supported by it’s readers. If you purchase any products from this page, our educational website will receive a small commission from the Amazon.com and/or other affiliate programs, which will help cover our costs, and doesn’t affect your price.

Comments

  1. Hey, your link to the iMovR actually goes to Cadence. I figured it out in the end, but you might want to fix it?

    1. Thank you very much E-Ching Ng for catching that error with the link. We fixed it!

  2. Thank you for such an informative article. I have purchased the Fancierstudio desk largely due to this article.

  3. Excellent reviews, this is a great overview of the choices available. Standing desks are truly a blessing for the office space, getting a standing desk converter is a great idea if you’re trying them out for the first time .

    1. We agree! Standing desk converters tend to be much cheaper, and there is no need to eliminate your existing desk. You can easily switch between sitting and standing with most standing desk converters so which makes easing into different positions no problem at all.

  4. Im looking for a desktop converter that DOES pull toward you and you increase the height.

    I need something that pulls forward at least 12″ do to overhang on custom made work station.

    1. The varidesk Exec Series will get you very close to 24 inches. Check the specifications here to see if this will work. That’s the furthest forward we can find.

    2. I use the varidesk at work every day. It pulls forward about 12 inches and it raises about 12 inches. I like it but I’m thinking about getting a new standing desk. I just like being able to sit and stand often, but I feel like having more space on my desk would be nice. The varidesk takes up most of the space on the rest of the desk that it’s sitting on.

      1. We’re with you! Converters are great for convenience, but a full adjustable height standing desk is usually the best long-term option. They tend to offer more space, stability and quality.

  5. what if you are trying to write on paper – and not use a monitor? – then which is the best option to purchase

    1. In that case, we recommend the Varidesk Pro. It offers a flat surface with no keyboard tray. You should have ample space to write. Let us know what you think!

  6. Hi, I’m actually looking specifically for an ‘up and towards you’ model, because I have an iMac that currently sits within a freestanding unit cubbyhole, i.e.: there is a shelf less than an inch above it. This means that if I could get some means of moving it from its current position to come forward (out of the cubbyhole / box it sits in) and up to standing height, then that’d be brilliant – and I’d be happy!

    Can anyone please help solve this one??

    Thanks

    1. Author

      The Varidesk Pro Plus 30″, 36″, or 48″ will all work for you as they come up and forward. Good luck!

  7. Hello Start Standing,

    How hard is it to lift most of these desk converters?

    I’m worried that with all of the things I put on my desk I won’t be able to lift it.

    I don’t know how to describe how much I can lift in pounds, but if there is a video or comparison you could make I would really like that.

    Thank You,
    Norma

  8. I’m looking for a standing desk converter that would support two monitors with monitor arms that also has a lower level keyboard tray. Of the options that there are, do you have one in mind that is the best value overall?

    1. Hi Andrew, most modern standing desk converters support two monitors and a secondary level for a keyboard. The best overall value that meets your needs is the Flexispot M2B.

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