Enough has been written about the perils of constant sitting that you probably already know you should be working while standing up. For many, standing desks have been the answer. However, not everyone is willing — or able — to splurge on a desk that moves up and down. The perfect alternative is the standing desk converter, a convenient little contraption that can make any flat surface a standing desk. Essentially you could turn your dining table, or any table, into a sit-stand desk for just a few (OK, more than a few) bucks. For those looking to get on their feet as they work without having to buy a whole new desk, these are the best standing desk converters for most people.
Fully Cora Standing Desk Converter Read More
Original DeskStand Read More
Flexispot AlcoveRiser Read More
Humanscale Quickstand Eco Single Monitor Standing Desk Converter Read More
Zinus Molly Smart Adjust Standing Desk Read More
Why Use a Standing Desk Converter?
In case you haven’t heard, there’s a growing consensus among the medical community that spending all day, every day on our butts at work is incredibly detrimental to our overall health. Sitting is increasingly referred to as “the new smoking,” and the numbers show that that’s not really much of an exaggeration. According to the Heart Foundation, citing a 2011 study of 800,000 people, those who sit the most have a 112% increased risk of diabetes, a 147% increased risk of heart attack or stroke, a 90% increased risk of death from cardiovascular events and a 49% increased risk of death from any cause.
And even if we were to take away the reduced risk of disease and death that standing for a few hours can bring (which we shouldn’t), you still get ergonomic benefits from using a standing desk — provided that you’re following the usual rules with your monitor at eye level and your keyboard comfortably at elbow height.
Clearly, we need to be sitting less, and a standing desk converter makes it easy to do so without interrupting our productivity. Plus, purchasing a converter is a much more affordable option than scrapping your current desk and taking the plunge on a full-on standing desk.
What to Look for in a Standing Desk Converter
If you buy a standing desk converter that’s too big to fit on your desk, it isn’t going to do you much good. So you’ll always want to check the width and length of your standing desk converter to make sure it’s going to not only fit on your desk, but give you enough room to work comfortably. Measure your workspace, figure out what kind of footprint will work best for your needs and then begin your search.
Some standing desk converters rise to a single height, while others offer multiple levels of adjustment. Given that people come in all sorts of various sizes, it’s best to look for a standing desk converter that offers multiple heights, that way you end up stuck with something that’s either too short or too tall to use, as either is going to do more ergonomic harm than good.
Keyboard Tray/Multiple Tiers
If you’re just placing your laptop on a standing desk converter, you’re not really putting yourself in the best ergonomic position to spend several hours of your workday. Instead, you should be using a separate keyboard set at about elbow height, and for that you’ll need a separate tier or dedicated keyboard tray on your standing desk converter that allows you to set your keyboard several inches below your display.
The Best Standing Desk Converters
Fully Cora Standing Desk Converter
- Footprint: 31.3 x 22 inches
- Max Height: 15.7 inches
Fully's standing desk converter is the perfect addition to the brand's lineup of standing desks. It's simple to use, controlled through side levers that allow you to adjust the converter between 1.3 inches to 15.7 inches. It weighs 22.5 pounds, which could be heavy for some, but it's still fairly simple to store when not in use. Cora has a weight capacity of 22 pounds, which is more than adequate for a laptop and an extra-large coffee (and other miscellaneous desk items). It only has one work surface, so you can't place your monitor or laptop on one level and your keyboard and mouse on another, but Fully does make the Cooper standing desk converter, which does have two levels — for a pricier $299.
The DeskStand Original DeskStand
- Footprint: 30 x 20.9 inches
- Max Height: 28.7 inches
The DeskStand is a fairly simple-looking device that does wonders for your posture. Arriving flat pack, the DeskStand is essentially a ladder with slots for placing two separate shelves: one for your monitor and one for keyboard and mouse. The lower shelf offers ample space for all of your gear, and it's tall enough to be used as a standalone desk for when you're working from the sofa.
- Footprint: 28.4 x 16.3 inches
- Max Height: 19.7 inches
One of the most affordable standing desk converters is Flexispot's AlcoveRiser, which has a two-tier design and takes up minimal space. You can adjust the converter with just one hand, and it has a quick-release design so it's easy to set up whenever duty calls. While the AlcoveRiser is easy to set up, it does weigh 34 pounds making it a bit of a workout to constantly set it up and store away. That weight does make the AlcoveRiser pretty sturdy, so no worries about having all your hard work toppling over. Plus, if you have a larger workspace, the AlcoveRiser comes in four additional larger sizes, from 30 to 42 inches wide.
Humanscale Quickstand Eco Single Monitor Standing Desk Converter
- Footprint: 28 x 29.2 inches
- Max Height: 18.6 inches
The Quickstand was voted as the best office accessory of the decade in 2015 by Interior Design magazine, and it really is a wonderful office accessory to have. While this one is made specifically for those with a monitor, there is a standing desk converter for laptop users and those who use dual monitors. Grip the shelf by its side and easily glide the contraption up or down to achieve your desired height. A couple of knocks against the Quickstand are that the keyboard stand cannot be adjusted independently from the monitor, and the setup is more of a permanent fixture than the one you put away every night.
Zinus Molly Smart Adjust Standing Desk
- Footprint: 28 x 21 inches
- Max Height: 15 inches
Zinus is known for its cheap furniture (think mattresses and outdoor furniture), but it also manages to do pretty well in the home office space too. Its Molly standing desk converter uses gas spring action to go from 3 inches to 15 inches, which should be enough of a range for most people. The converter has legions of fans (just check out all of its five-star reviews on Amazon), and because it's just a little over $100, you can't go wrong with at least taking this out for a test run.
Vari VariDesk Pro Plus
- Footprint: 30 x 29.75 inches
- Max Height: 17.5 inches
The VariDesk Pro Plus is like having a whole other work desk on top of your work desk (or dining table or coffee table or whatever table). The two-tier design has 11 pre-set height adjustments, which we usually don't prefer, but with that many options, you should be able to find a setting that works well for you. We wish the keyboard tray could be adjusted so that there's a greater distance between it and the monitor, but other than that, this is a fairly well-designed standing desk converter that's easy to use and a breeze to set up.
Readydesk 2 Adjustable Standing Desk
- Footprint: 24 x 31 inches
- Max Height: 22 inches
The Readydesk 2 looks more like a staircase than anything else. The notches in the base provide support for a monitor shelf and keyboard shelf, both of which can be adjusted to ensure the correct working posture. The whole setup can support up to 75 pounds, which is impressive considering the contraption itself weighs just 15 pounds. The top shelf provides ample space, enough to support two monitors or even just a laptop and a monitor. While the Readydesk 2 is incredibly functional, its bulkiness makes it a hassle to constantly assemble and disassemble, so you'd better put this somewhere it won't hog up space.
Symple Stuff Hassett Height-Adjustable Standing Desk Converter
- Footprint: 29.13 x 14.56 inches
- Max Height: 14 inches
At a quick glance, this standing desk converter looks like a treadmill for small pets. It is, in fact, a standing desk converter, and a pretty good one at that. It's dead simple to use, and it arrives fully assembled. It folds flat for storage, so it's good for those who need to make sure their working space can still be used for its original intended purpose. Many of the reviewers claim it's heavy — and at 17 pounds it can be considered a bit weighty — but that heft also adds to the item's overall stability.