Tired of sitting all day? Here are the best standing desk converters to keep you healthy and happy.
Updated Aug. 7, 2023 1:00 p.m. PT
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Taylor MartinCNET Contributor
Taylor Martin has covered technology online for over six years. He has reviewed smartphones for Pocketnow and Android Authority and loves building stuff on his YouTube channel, MOD. He has a dangerous obsession with coffee and is afraid of free time.
If you have a desk job, whether you work remotely or from the office, you're likely spending your day sitting for more than eight hours. Working out can help, but maybe it's time to think about investing in a standing desk. These come in all styles, with a variety of different features. For instance, there are electric standing desks, height adjustable standing desks and more.
Standing desks are a healthier alternative to sitting all day. They can help you increase your productivity levels, maintain your energy and maybe even improve longevity. These potential benefits can be a great relief to anyone with a particularly sedentary job.
Though there are DIY standing desk conversions that work well if you're willing to put in the time and effort, there's no shortage of commercial standing desk converters. You don't have to get out a hacksaw and hammer to update your desk situation.
Many standing desk converters have sit-stand capabilities and features, with varying texture and build options, from beveled wood to aluminum. Some come with an adjustable height range -- standing desk setups that don't offer your desired height are no good -- and a keyboard shelf. (One even has a removable tray.) Others have space for a keyboard and mouse mat at the same height as the computer monitor. If you have limited working space, you'll want one that's much smaller, with a laptop riser and just enough room for the essentials, but those are less useful if you have a keyboard and dual-monitor setup.
You're ultimately going to want a sit-stand desk that'll get you away from your traditional seated desk and lead to a quality working session and a healthier, less tired, happier you.
If you're ready to upgrade your regular desk or laptop stand with the best standing desk converter, the following are our top picks. We considered everything from adjustable height range to load capacity so your ordinary desk can rise to the occasion.
Varidesk Pro Plus is one of the most compelling desk conversion kits available today, which is why it's one of our top picks for the best standing desk converter. This stand-up desk converter boasts excellent desk riser quality and standing height stability for an overall smooth experience for its users and no wobbling. This adjustable standing desk converter is a two-tiered system that adjusts your monitors and keyboard and mouse together, in one swift motion, making it one of the best standing desk converter options for your workstation.
Varidesk Pro Plus comes preassembled and ready to use out of the box. Sit the desk riser on your existing desk, place your monitor or laptop on the top shelf, keyboard and mouse on the lower shelf and raise the desk to one of the preset height settings.
The Varidesk Pro Plus adjustable standing desk converter comes in three different models: 30, 36 and 48. The 30 is meant for a single monitor setup, while the 36 offers a dual monitor setup. The 48 is meant for people up to 6 feet, 1 inch tall and features work surface space for a dual monitor setup, as well as accessories on the top shelf and a keyboard, mouse and tablet on the lower shelf of the steel frame.
The Ergotron WorkFit-T and the Varidesk Pro Plus are direct competitors. The WorkFit-T has a similar design with comparable features and variations. The major difference between the WorkFit-T and Varidesk Pro Plus is that the WorkFit-T moves vertically, whereas the Varidesk shifts outward (toward users) when raised. If space is a tight squeeze, the minimalist WorkFit-T may be a better fit.
15-inch vertical lift
Holds up to 35 pounds, has a fair amount of workspace at standing or sitting height
WorkEZ is the middle ground between Varidesk Pro Plus and StandStand. This adjustable sit stand desk provides a smooth, small and lightweight conversion that can be easily installed or removed, but it's also highly adjustable and has a keyboard tray.
WorkEZ features three pieces: the laptop or monitor mount, a separate keyboard tray and a detachable mouse pad. The laptop and monitor riser can be adjusted to virtually any angle and up to an adjustable height of 18 inches above the existing desk height. The laptop stand, keyboard tray and mouse pad are all independently adjustable, making it one of the most customizable conversions available.
Good price point ($110)
Easy to install and remove
Easily the most customizable sit-stand workstation
Not the most smooth or stable stand-up conversion option
No additional workspace at standing height
Only fits one monitor or a laptop, and it can only hold approximately 13 pounds
Most standing desk conversion kits are semipermanent and solely seek to raise your existing desk workspace.
Place it on top of your current desk; add the monitor or laptop, keyboard and mouse; and adjust the riser to the proper height adjustment that you want for your work surface.
StandStand is an entirely different standing desk converter experience. From its inception, it was intended to be a truly portable, quality standing desk converter. This sit-stand desk converter is meant to be assembled or disassembled in a few seconds and users can effortlessly pack the desk riser away in a backpack.
Another benefit is that this desktop converter is very strong, yet lightweight. It is smooth and effortless to employ. This standing desk converter is also one of the most affordable workstation conversions available.
Incredibly affordable, starting at just $59
Very lightweight and packable
Comes in four different sizes between 9 and 16 inches
No additional surface workspace at standing height
If you were to take StandStand and turn it into a more permanent stand-up desk solution, you would end up with Readydesk, a wooden workspace elevator that comes with two adjustable height shelves.
Readydesk has a work surface wide enough to hold two 27-inch monitors, with an adjustable height to suit most people between 5 feet, 3 inches and 6 feet, 3 inches (1.5 and 1.8 meters) tall, and even features some built-in cable management.
You can also purchase an additional shelf or a laptop rise if you want additional workspace or need tilting ability to raise your laptop a few inches.
The Readydesk is easily assembled (without tools) and highly adjustable
Quality cross-braces keep the riser from shaking
At $160, Readydesk is still one of the cheaper standing desk converter options
Semipermanent, so not very versatile
Time-consuming to make adjustments
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Standing desk converter FAQs
Is a standing desk converter worth it?
When it comes to weighing up the pros and cons of a standing desk converter a lot of it comes down to the desk you already own.
Do you like the desk you already own?
Can you afford to replace it?
Is there space for a standing desk in its place?
Is your desk built-in?
Replacing your entire desk with a sit-stand desk can be pricey and a standing desk converter will be a much cheaper option. Built-in desks are common too, and they can't be replaced. A converter gives the health benefits of a standing desk without the need to tear out any furniture.
The cost of a standing desk converter is a fraction of the cost of a full desk, so it is a good way of trying the lifestyle without committing to a complete change.
How long should I use a standing desk?
Standing instead of sitting is not a zero-sum game. Most experts have suggested that for every one hour of work, around 15 minutes should be done standing, though there is new research that suggests closer to 30 minutes would be better.
The consensus is that no matter how long you sit or stand, you should vary them throughout your day to get the most benefits. Even the best office chair can become uncomfortable and standing for more than two hours at a time can cause lower back pain. Everything in moderation is key.