The 5 Best Standing Desk Converters to Upgrade Your Home Office
If you feel yourself preferring to change up between standing and sitting throughout the day, a standing desk converter is an easy way to transform your existing desk into a standing desk. These converters are adjustable units placed on top of your existing desk that allow your workstation to be effortlessly raised and lowered. Most units offer about 20 inches of lift, bringing your screen to eye-level and your keyboard to a more ergonomic position that relaxes the shoulders and brings the spine to a neutral position. While standing desk converters can be somewhat pricey, they're often a more affordable alternative to replacing your existing desk.
To help people determine the best standing desk converter to suit their needs, we dedicated hours to researching the top-rated options, evaluating models for their stability, versatility (aka range of height settings and adjustable angles), and ease of use. We also consulted Master Ergonomist Heather White of the Ergonomics Center at NC State University on how to choose the right fit and get the most from using your standing converter.
"There are two elements that determine success when implementing a piece of equipment: Choosing the right equipment for the current workspace and using it correctly." One thing users should definitely consider? "Ease of use," she says. "If users don't alternate between sitting and standing once the change in workstation is installed, the intended benefits may not be realized."
Our top pick, the VariDesk Pro Plus, earned its spot for its ease of use: with little effort and no motor assist, both tiers move in tandem to one of the 11 different height settings. Its 30-day risk free warranty, five-year limited warranty, and uber-responsive customer service make it a reliable brand that consistently earns consumer trust.
Here, the best standing desk converters available now.
Our Top Picks
- Best Overall Standing Desk Converter: VariDesk Pro Plus
- Best Electric Standing Desk Converter: FlexiSpot Motorized AlcoveRiser EM7
- Best Budget Standing Desk Converter: Huanuo Adjustable Laptop Stand for Desk
- Best Standing Desk Converter for Multiple Monitors: Rocelco 46″ Large Height Adjustable Standing Desk Converter
- Best Standing Desk Converter Design: Uplift Desk E7 Electric Desk Converter
Best Overall Standing Desk Converter: VariDesk Pro Plus
Best Electric Standing Desk Converter: FlexiSpot Motorized AlcoveRiser EM7
Best Budget Standing Desk Converter: Huanuo Adjustable Laptop Stand for Desk
Best Standing Desk Converter for Multiple Monitors: Rocelco 46" Large Height Adjustable Standing Desk Converter
Best Standing Desk Converter Design: Uplift Desk E7 Electric Desk Converter
If you're looking for a solid, quality standing desk converter that will work with a basic laptop and monitor combination, the VariDesk Pro Plus is a great option, and comes in a few different sizes to accommodate different desks. For setups with multiple monitors, we recommend the Rocelco 46″ Large Height Adjustable Standing Desk Converter instead.
Questions You May Ask
Who should buy a standing desk converter?
Anyone who spends prolonged periods of time sitting in front of a screen can benefit from using a standing desk converter. "Studies have found that energy expenditure, mood, low back comfort, productivity, and overall health all improved by increasing the amount of time spent standing during the day," notes Master Ergonomist Heather White. Additionally, she adds, "The neutral posture for the spine is standing," which is at odds with most office and computing tasks. Don't ditch your office chair just yet though—It's important to mix things up. "Alternating between sitting and standing is recommended over maintaining one type of posture throughout the day." (Turns out that standing too much also poses some health detriments.) The converter is great for those who don't want to opt for a full standing desk and those who simply want to optimize their current desk.
What's the most ergonomic position for my standing desk?
Becoming familiar with neutral sitting and standing positions can help users, White insists. "If users use the workstation incorrectly it could potentially introduce additional physical stressors." The lowest tier of your standing desk converter (where your keyboard rests) should be just under elbow when your fingers touch the keyboard, and your shoulders should feel relaxed. "The keyboard and mouse should be within ~12 inches of the worksurface edge so that they can be utilized while the elbows are close to the waist, and the top row of characters on the screen should be approximately at the user's standing eye height," notes White. The distance of the screen should be approximately an arm's length away with fingers extended, with a small upwards tilt between 10 and 20 degrees. This helps you combat the impulse to tilt your neck up or down. This article from UCLA Health provides a handy diagram.
How to Shop for a Standing Desk Converter
The average non-electric standing desk converter can support between 35 and 45 pounds. Those with heavier setups should consider an electric desk converter which touts a higher average weight capacity, between 45 and 80 pounds. However, consumers should note that electric standing desk converters will be slower to adjust (compared to manual setups).
Happily, most standing desk converters require little to no effort to install. Where users typically run into issues is their extant tech and supplies. To account for the vertical or forward movement of the desk riser, users should ensure that their existing cables have enough slack to enable movement, about 12-14 inches. Another important consideration is desk depth: you don't want your converter hanging off the edge of your desk. As most converters are at least 20 inches deep, they may not be compatible with narrow desks.
The particular lifting mechanism of a standing desk converter determines a few things, namely, loudness, adjustability, and price. One benefit of a gas strut model is its quiet adjustability (an undeniable pro in a quiet workplace or a home office shared with a napping toddler). These units are also highly customizable, allowing for infinite stops rather than predetermined intervals. Spring lift models feature predetermined intervals which produce louder 'clicking' when adjusted; on the plus side, they're often more affordable than other types. An electronic lift responds to the touch of a button, doing all the manual heavy lifting for you—and speaking of heavy lifting, electric models generally have a higher weight capacity than other types, so they're especially great for those who have (or are considering) multiple monitors. One minor con is that these units can be slower to adjust than other models—but hey, you need to get those extra stretches in anyway.
Take Our Word for It
This article was written by Leslie Joblin, a writer with two years of experience writing product reviews and lifestyle content. Her work has appeared in The Spruce, Brides, and MyDomaine. To compile this list, she dove deep into the research and reviews on the top-rated standing desks and solicited advice from Heather White, Master Ergonomist at the Ergonomics Center at NC State University.