Sitting and toiling away at your desk all day can be bad for your health and your posture. It can lead to back pain, fatigue, and even low productivity. Take a stand against these office space side effects by converting your regular desk into a standing desk.
Standing desk converters sit on top of your desk and, typically with the squeeze of a lever or the flip of a switch, raise your workspace (including your keyboard, monitor, and mouse) to a height from which you can stand and work.
Studies suggest these devices can help prevent fatigue, increase workflow, and promote better overall health, since you won’t necessarily sit (or slouch) for hours.
The best standing desk converters offer total flexibility in that they enable you to go from sitting to standing at your desk whenever you want. Not every standing desk converter makes it easy to do so.
Continue reading now to get a better idea of what to look for in a quality model—and don’t miss our roundup of top-favorite picks among the best standing desk converters available!
- BEST OVERALL: VIVO Standing 32 Inch Desk Converter
- RUNNER UP: Vari VariDesk Pro Plus 36
- BEST ELECTRIC: Stand Steady Flexpro Power Electric Standing Desk
- BEST COLUMN STYLE: Ergotron WorkFit-S Standing Desk Converter
- BEST FLOATING ARM: Mount-It! Sit Stand Wall Mount Workstation
- BEST FOR CORNER DESKS: FLEXISPOT Height Adjustable Standing Desk Converter
- BEST COMPACT: FLEXISPOT Standing Desk Converter
Types of Standing Desk Converters
On your journey to purchasing the best standing desk converter, you’ll find that there are a few styles to choose from. Depending on your needs or office space, one style might work better for you than the others. Check out these different standing desk converter types to get a better idea of your options.
Desk risers are the standard, most popular stand desk converters. These devices sit on top of your desk without clamps or modification. They often have tiered levels, with your monitor sitting at the top and your keyboard and mouse sitting below. When collapsed, desk risers allow you to work at a relatively standard desktop height, lifting your keyboard only an inch or two from the desktop. When open, they lift your monitor and keyboard up, allowing you to stand at your desk comfortably.
Desk risers come in a few varieties, including electric models, models that fit in a corner, as well as compact or dual monitor versions. Corner versions look very similar to a standard model; however, the rear corners are 45-degree angles, allowing you to tuck these models into a corner without sacrificing much workspace.
Column-style standing desk converters work a bit differently. As the name suggests, these converters have a column on which the keyboard and monitor sit. At their lowest setting, they can actually lower your keyboard below your desk’s surface. At the highest setting, a column-style converter will lift your keyboard and monitor up to a standing height.
Column-style converters typically clamp to your desktop. Although they’re useful, some models aren’t as stable as a desktop riser. They’re also easier to overload. However, if you’re a shorter person, you might appreciate the lower keyboard and flexibility that a column-style standing desk converter provides.
Flexible and space-conscious, floating arm standing desk converters are a great option if you need to make the most of a small desk space. These devices usually bolt to the framing inside the wall in front of your desk, but they can also screw to or clamp onto your desk’s surface.
These devices allow you to maneuver your keyboard and monitor into a range of positions in any direction, making it a good choice for users who need to share their screen or free up their desktop.
Floating arms can’t withstand a ton of weight, so overloading one could put too much strain on the joints or the surface the arm hangs from. Keep this in mind if you have a dual-monitor setup or if you need to keep several items on your standing desk converter.
Electric standing desk converters promote the ease of use. These devices, generally desktop risers, use electric motors to lift and lower your work surface. They operate quietly, smoothly, and usually require only the touch of a button to adjust.
In most cases, electric standing desk converters have two buttons: one to lift the desk converter and one to lower it back to sitting height. This level of convenience means you’re less likely to knock something off of your desk when adjusting the height, and you can adjust your position with one hand—especially helpful during long conference calls.
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Standing Desk Converter
Choosing the best standing desk converter doesn’t have to be difficult; you just need to know what features you want to prioritize. From size to shape, here are the factors to keep in mind when choosing the best standing desk converter.
Available space plays a role when selecting the best standing desk converters in two ways: the space you have on your desktop for the converter and the space the converter provides you to work on.
If you work on a large desk with a lot of available space, you don’t have to be overly selective about your standing desk converter’s size. If you’re working in tight quarters, however, you’ll probably need a desk converter with a smaller footprint. Cluttering your converter with a phone, desk blotter, and other items can make things a bit tight, so make sure you choose one that leaves space for these things on the desk.
More important is the available space on your new standing desk converter. You need room for the obvious items like a monitor and keyboard. However, if your work requires dual monitors, you’ll appreciate a standing desk converter that has space for both. Also, if you work from a laptop, look for a converter with a keyboard shelf deep enough for your computer.
Your desk’s shape and placement in the room can affect which standing desk converter best fits your needs. L-shaped desks that tuck into a corner will require a different solution than a writing desk against a wall or a banker’s desk in the middle of a room.
When it comes to L-shaped desks, the best solution is probably a desk riser explicitly designed for corners. These devices have 45-degree corners in the rear that allow you to tuck the converter as close to the corner as possible, maintaining workspace on either side.
Many writing desks have shelves along the back that could make a desk riser incompatible. In this instance, you might prefer a floating arm or column-style converter.
Just as people vary in height, so do standing desk converters. If several people use the same desk in your office or at home, a standing desk converter with adjustable height will make for a comfortable, adaptable work environment.
Converters don’t all extend to the same level, so be sure to choose one that will work for your height, particularly if you’re a taller person. Determine how high you’d like your keyboard to stand, and choose a model that will accommodate that height. For most people, this height will be the distance from their desktop to their hands with their elbows bent at roughly 90 degrees.
Overloading your standing desk converter is a sure way to wear it out before its time. Thankfully, today’s desktop computers are much lighter than the old, heavy towers from the past.
In general, you’ll want a standing desk converter with a weight capacity above 25 pounds. This capacity should allow you to use your converter for two or three monitors, a monitor arm, keyboard, and mouse, as well as rest your hands from time to time. If the converter’s capacity is lighter than that, you may find yourself crouching as the desk lowers throughout the day.
Keep in mind, the larger your work surface, the higher weight capacity you’ll want.
Ease of Use and Assembly
To limit your frustration and improve your workflow, look for a standing desk converter that is easy to set up and simple to use. Luckily, most converters are ready to go straight out of the box, requiring very little from you to get started. At most, you’ll want to look for a converter with a one- or two-step setup process.
Ease of use is especially important when you plan to operate it every day. If you’re not going with an electric, push-button model, consider one that requires very little effort, to minimize the chances of knocking something off your desk. Several models come with one-handed operation that only requires you to squeeze a handle to lift the converter. Most manual converters do require two-handed lowering action, however.
Our Top Picks
Now that you have an idea of what options meet your needs, you’re ready to start shopping. Selected with the aforementioned shopping considerations in mind, this list includes some of the best standing desk converters for your home or office desk. Also, take a look at which one we thought stood strong, even after exhaustive testing.
With its sturdy build and a broad range of adjustability, this standing desk converter is a great choice for those who would like to stand up while they work but want to keep their existing desk. Its broad base and substantial weight of close to 30 pounds keep this desk converter stable, even when it’s extended to its maximum height of 20 inches. It also offers two surfaces. At nearly 32 inches wide, the upper tier has ample room to fit two monitors. Plus, the second tier that sits 3 inches lower is large enough to accommodate a standard keyboard with room for a mouse and pad.
We found that its powerful hydraulic lift, which provides 33 pounds of force, made raising the desk to a standing position easy. Despite the amount of weight on the desk, which included two monitors, we had little trouble raising the desk and found that it was quite stable. However, that sturdiness did make the desk a little bit harder to lower. Even so, this standing desk is a great option for those looking to untether themselves from their office chair from time to time.
If you’re looking for a high-quality, stable standing desk converter, the VariDesk should be on your list. This converter has a heavy, weighted base that makes the unit stable and sturdy, reducing wiggling or movement. It has two tiers: a 36-inch by 12.25-inch top tier large enough for two monitors, and a keyboard tray with plenty of room for a laptop and a mouse.
The VariDesk does require two hands to lift and lower it, but the company designed it with a “rowing-lift,” spring-loaded mechanism that allows you to use your legs to raise it in place instead of your back or arms. It has 11 adjustable height settings, the highest of which is 17.5 inches from the desktop’s surface. It also has a 35-pound weight capacity.
Check out this Stand Steady option if you’re looking for an option with electric adjustability and plenty of work space. This unit’s two-tiered work surface includes a 39.25-inch-by-16-inch upper section that can handily accommodate two monitors and a laptop, and a 39.25-inch-wide keyboard tier that’s 9.5 inches deep. It adjusts between 5.5 inches and 19.5 inches in height and offers a 45-pound weight capacity.
Adjusting the height is simple with the Stand Steady’s push-button operation. This mechanism is quiet and smooth, allowing you to make adjustments during conference calls without worrying about items falling off or making too much noise. The desk converter also comes ready to use, no assembly necessary.
For a tight space desk styles that don’t support desk risers, Ergotron’s WorkFit-S may be the solution. This column-style standing desk converter clamps to most stable work surfaces and provides plenty of vertical adjustment.
The WorkFit-S provides up to 23 inches in height and has a weight capacity of 31 pounds. The keyboard tray measures 24 inches wide by 7.9 inches deep. This converter can handle two monitors side by side, and its small footprint frees up your desk space for a phone, fan, or other necessities.
If you’re looking for a standing workstation option but would prefer to forgo the normally necessary desk, check out the Mount-It! workstation. This wall-mounted unit bolts to your wall and provides a monitor capacity of up to 17.6 pounds and a keyboard weight capacity of up to 2.2 pounds. The height adjusts up to 19.9 inches, allowing you to choose between sitting and standing.
The Mount-It! arm swivels 90 degrees to either side, with the monitor mount doing the same, allowing you to push the entire stand up against the wall and work comfortably. It also includes cord storage to keep wires hidden and is compatible with VESA 75×75 and 100×100 monitors.
Do expect some assembly with this option, as you’ll have to put the arm together, run the wires, and mount it to the wall.
You don’t have to give up some function to find a standing desk converter to work for your cubicle or corner desk. The FLEXISPOT has plenty of capability. This converter has a 37.4-inch-wide-by-24-inch-deep work surface with the rear corners nipped off to allow for a snug fit in a corner position. It has a 35-pound weight capacity, offers adjustable heights between 5.9 and 19.7 inches above your desk, and has enough space to accommodate two monitors.
The FLEXISPOT uses a one-hand operable lever to lift and lower. The keyboard tray also disconnects from the unit easily, allowing you to work below the FLEXIPRO when needed. It also comes out of the box ready to go—no assembly required.
When desk space is a major consideration, you need a standing desk converter that offers plenty of vertical adjustment in a small footprint. This unit from FLEXISPOT offers both, with its 19.7-inch maximum height above the desk and tight 28.4-inch-wide by 16.3-inch-deep footprint. It collapses down to a 4.7-inch height and has a 33-pound weight capacity.
You can operate the FLEXISPOT with one hand, adjusting to a comfortable height anywhere throughout its 15-inch vertical range. It also has a removable keyboard tray—a benefit in tight workspaces, as removing the tray can provide a bit more workspace underneath.
FAQs About Standing Desk Converters
If you’re still unsure whether a standing desk converter is for you, or you have some questions about how they work, this section might help you out. Below, you’ll find the most commonly asked questions and corresponding answers about standing desk converters.
Q. What is a standing desk converter?
A standing desk converter is a device that sits or attaches to your desk (or wall) and allows you to adjust your computer’s height. They allow you to stand up and stretch, improving your posture and possibly relieving back pain.
Q. Why get a standing desk converter?
If you already have a desk but would prefer to stand occasionally when you work, it’s worth considering this add-on. Standing desk converters are usually less expensive than replacing your entire desk with a standing desk.
Q. Can you use a standing desk converter with multiple monitors?
Yes, you can. There are several options available with the space and weight capacity to hold or mount more than one monitor. With the use of a monitor arm (available here), you might even fit three.