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.
We take the following criteria and weigh them based on the percentages shown below:
Here are our 6 criteria in more detail and the reasoning for why we value them.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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