Are you tired of sitting on the job but don't want a whole new desk? We spent weeks using the 8 best standing desk converters available today to help you find the perfect converter for your work set-up. Making a choice is difficult with so many similar products on the market, but we spent hours pouring over product specs and buyer reviews before extensive in-person testing. We put these converters through the wringer, evaluating each of them for ergonomics, ease of use, adjustability, design, and quality. Whether you're looking for a small laptop stand or a converter compatible with dual monitors, our review will help you find the right product to meet your needs and your budget.Creating a streamlined office workspace that's comfortable and efficient requires everything from an ergonomic keyboard and wireless mouse to a top-notch office chair. Our reviews can help you deck out both your home and work office with items as simple as wrist rests to cushy standing desk mats to user-friendly home printers.
The 3 Best Standing Desk Converters of 2023
$507.74 at Amazon
$99.99 at Amazon
$425.00 at Amazon
$219.99 at Amazon
$169.95 at Amazon
|Pros||Effortless raising and lowering, straight up and down movement, easy-to-use keyboard tray||Straight up and down movement, large adjustable range, the keyboard tray is easy to assemble and use, nearly effortless to raise||Very stable, aesthetically pleasing, no assembly required, large keyboard tray||Very stable, recessed workstation, tablet/phone slot||Straight up and down movement, large adjustable range, keyboard tray easy to install and/or remove, nearly effortless to raise, tablet/phone slot in workstation|
|Cons||Button for raising/lowering is on the workstation, expensive, not enough room for vertical mousepad on the keyboard tray||Some play in the keyboard tray in the lowest position, requires some effort to lower||Swings forward when raising, fixed heights for adjustment, heavy, requires effort to lower, difficult to set into the lowest position||Requires effort to lower, swings forward when raising, rubber feet are easy to lose and can leave marks, requires a larger desk to accommodate base||Requires some effort to lower, wobbles in both raised and lowered positions, somewhat time-consuming to install the keyboard tray|
|Bottom Line||If you're looking for an effortless electric desk riser with smart features, quality construction, and an elegant design, this is the one for you||Easily the best value in our test lineup||A high-quality, ready-out-of-the-box option with a spacious keyboard tray||A super-stable riser with a recessed workstation and convenience features like a phone slot||A smooth-moving converter desk with a removable keyboard tray and storage slot for tablet or phone|
|Rating Categories||VersaDesk PowerPro||Smugdesk||VariDesk Pro Plus 36||VIVO DESK-V000VD De...||FEZiBO Standing Desk|
|Ease of Use (30%)|
|Quality of Materials (15%)|
|Specs||VersaDesk PowerPro||Smugdesk||VariDesk Pro Plus 36||VIVO DESK-V000VD De...||FEZiBO Standing Desk|
|Type of Riser||Electric||Gas Spring||Gas Spring||Gas Spring||Gas Spring|
|Maximum Weight||80 lbs||33 lbs||36 lbs||33 lbs||37.5 lbs|
|Product Weight||21 lbs||30.6 lbs||64.8 lbs||41.4 lbs||33.71 lbs|
|Work Surface Dimensions||36" (W) x 16 1/4" (D)||32'' (W) x 15.7''(D)||36" (W) x 12.25" (D)||36" (W) x 22" (D)||36" (W) x 15.7" (D)|
|Desk Size Options||36", 40", 48"||32"||36"||32", 36"||32", 36"|
Best Standing Desk Converter
We love the effortless and intuitive functionality of the VersaDesk PowerPro. This model raises and lowers straight up and down with just the click of a button. Because the keyboard tray attaches to the workstation with four thumbscrews, it's simple to install and remove. There are three ports to install monitors, and the desk works well with a dual monitor setup. The workstation uses high-quality particle board with a nearly seamless laminate, and the frame uses high-carbon steel, so it is built to last.
The downsides of this workstation are minimal and fairly inconsequential. The main drawback is that the push-button control is on the top of the workstation, a potential issue if you need to maximize your workspace. Additionally, if you require a mousepad, the keyboard tray is not quite deep enough to accommodate a vertical pad — though it does work well with a horizontal one. These minor things aside, we found this model ideal for anyone seeking a well-designed sit-to-stand desk that is effortless to raise and lower.Maximum Weight: 80 lbs
Product Weight: 21 lbs
Work Surface Dimensions: 36" (W) x 16 1/4" (D)
Desk Size Options: 36", 40", 48"
Size Tested: 36"
Best Bang for Your Buck
The popular Smugdesk quickly won our hearts, earning the top spot in our review. This model ticks the boxes on nearly every one of our metrics — it provides a wide range of adjustability, raises straight up and down, and moves fairly effortlessly between positions. As a bonus, it's affordable and aesthetically pleasing. There is minimal assembly required. Just screw in the keyboard tray and a few minutes later you are ready to work. As such, it is relatively easy to ditch the keyboard tray if you only want to use the main workstation. Like other pneumatic risers, it is nearly effortless to raise, and because there are no pre-programmed heights for adjustment, you can hone in on the perfect height for your desk.
There are a few minor drawbacks that come with this model. Like other pneumatic risers, this desk requires effort to overcome the spring and lower your workstation. In the lowest position, our testers noticed some play in the keyboard tray. While it's not a major issue, individuals who type vigorously or use a manual keyboard may find it annoying. The workstation features an "alcove" cut-out, which creates more space for unimpeded typing. However, this could be a disadvantage for those who wish to use the workspace for monitor/s and a laptop. Overall, this model is great for students and telecommuters seeking a nearly effortless sit-to-stand desk converter that won't break the bank.Maximum Weight: 33 lbs
Product Weight: 31 lbs
Work Surface Dimensions: 32'' (W) x 15.7''(D)
Desk Size Options: 32"
Size Tested: 32"
Affordable and Ready-to-Go
FENGE Sit to Stand Desk Converter
The Fenge Sit to Stand Desk Converter was one of the unsung heroes of our review. It strikes a balance between simplicity, ease of use, quality of materials, and affordability. Just open the box and this riser is ready to go. It features a single lever, a small pneumatic spring, and rubber wheels integrated into the legs of two of the feet, so when you elevate your workstation, the wheels roll along your desk until you get it in the proper position. It is simple, intuitive, and relatively easy to raise and lower. It is the lightest gas spring model in our test fleet, so it's easy to move between desks or set aside when you need it out of the way. Despite being one of the lightest, it also proved to be just as stable as the burlier gas spring models.
The Fenge is more pared down than other models in that it lacks a keyboard tray. That said, it is comfortable enough to use with a laptop. Additionally, it is easy to raise and lower this riser, but it still requires effort. You must give the workstation a slight boost past the first inch to activate the gas spring. When you lower it, it lowers smoothly until the final inch when it wants to collapse into its footprint. This could be a problem if you tried to raise or lower the desk with a full cup of coffee balanced on your workstation (not recommended!). This certainly isn't a dealbreaker, but it took our testers a few tries to master this model's raising and lowering mechanism. Finally, while the rubber wheels did not leave any marks on our desks, they may leave marks on yours over time as the wheels wear down. Despite these issues, the Fenge is a great option for those seeking a portable laptop riser on a budget, especially those with minimal office space or smaller desks.Maximum Weight: 37.4 lbs
Product Weight: 17.2 lbs
Work Surface Dimensions: 25.7" (W) x 15.9" (D)
Desk Size Options: 25.7"
Size Tested: 25.7"
Why You Should Trust Us
We waded through more than 40 of the most promising standing desk converters before whittling them down to the selection you see here. Once they arrived, we busted the risers out of their boxes, assembled them as needed, and put them through rigorous side-by-side comparison. In our analysis, we considered ergonomics, ease of use, quality of materials, and design. We loaded them up, used them standing and sitting, tested each of their moving parts, and tried to find their weaknesses. If you found our review because you feel overwhelmed by the proliferation of similar-looking and sounding products, read on to learn about their subtle differences and how each riser stacks up against the competition.Our standing desk converter testing is divided across four different metrics:
- Ergonomics (40% of overall score weighting)
- Ease of Use (30% weighting)
- Quality of Materials (15% weighting)
- Design (15% weighting)
This review is brought to you by Mary Witlacil. As a perpetual graduate student, Mary has logged thousands of hours writing and reading at her desk at home and in the office. Her years spent working on a Ph.D. lend to an astute eye and analytical mind, ideal for examining every aspect of the standing desk converters covered in our review.
Analysis and Test Results
To test each converter's quality, we considered every riser from the box to the desk and assessed each model for strengths and points of failure. Our reviewers tested the risers for the ease of raising and lowering, the stability of the desk, ergonomics, features, design, quality, and aesthetics. Below, we've detailed the ins and outs of each metric.
We don't explicitly include price as part of a product's overall score; instead, we compare the two; this is what we mean by value. When looking at standing desks, the products with the highest value are those with a higher overall score and lower price. The Smugdesk represents a great value, and the Fenge offers good bang for the buck, too. The VersaDesk PowerPro is by far the highest scorer but is also very expensive.
Ergonomics is the most important consideration when choosing a standing desk converter. For the sake of our review, ergonomics encompassed each riser's adjustability, the riser's stability while in the highest and lowest positions, and the proper position of the workstation relative to the keyboard tray. We also considered if each model worked well when either standing or sitting.
The VersaDesk PowerPro performed impressively on this metric, providing a surprising degree of stability and one of the highest ranges of adjustability (from 5 - 20" above the surface of your desk). The keyboard tray's height compliments the workstation's height, though the difference between the two works better with a monitor than a laptop. The keyboard tray can easily accommodate an ergonomic keyboard and mouse but can also be removed by twisting three thumbscrews if you don't need it.
We were also impressed by the ergonomics of the Smugdesk, which offers a nominally better range of adjustability (from 4.75 - 19" above your desk surface) and impressive stability for a model with an x-spring raising and lowering mechanism.
Ease of Use
The second most important aspect of a standing desk converter is its ease of use. To determine this metric, our reviewers paid attention to the setup and assembly process, the ease and intuitiveness of raising and lowering each riser, and whether or not it was seamless to move between standing and sitting. Was the product ready to go out of the box, or did it involve an aggravating assembly process? Were the instructions easy to follow? Finally, how easy was it to lift and lower the desk?
In general, the electric-powered options are the easiest to raise and lower, with some variation in their required assembly. The VersaDesk PowerPro is a clear winner in this category, as it arrived with minimal assembly required out of the box, and it raises and lowers with the push of a button.
The Smugdesk was the easiest pneumatic gas spring option to raise, lower, and assemble. Generally, elevation is easy and smooth on pneumatic spring risers, but lowering the workstation can require a little effort. Overcoming the mechanical resistance of the spring while lowering could be a challenge for folks with low back problems, arthritis, or other medical conditions. This can also be problematic with a fully loaded workstation or for shorter folks. However, of all the pneumatic options, the Smugdesk proved the easiest to transition between sitting and standing. Lift it out of the box, situate it on your desk, install the keyboard tray, load it up with your equipment, and go!
Quality of Materials
When investing in a standup desk converter, one primary concern is whether it can withstand heavy use over the long haul. To address the quality of each product in our review, we considered the quality of the work surface, laminate, frame, and lifting mechanism. We paid attention to each desk riser's moving parts, hardware, and joints, noting any weak points in manufacturing.
Yet again, both of the electric models scored favorably in this category. The VersaDesk PowerPro features scratch-resistant laminate over a durable particleboard surface. The hardware is powder-coated carbon steel and built to last.
No surprise that the VariDesk Pro Plus also performed well in this category. The work surface is top-notch with a seamless laminate, and the brackets connecting the keyboard tray are steel and riveted to the tray. The covers for the feet are plastic, which could chip or wear over time, but that's likely only a concern if the converter gets moved around a lot. The VIVO DESK-V000VD Desk Riser rounds out the higher performers in this metric with its nearly seamless laminate, steel mounting brackets for the keyboard tray, steel hardware, and high-quality spring. It also has plastic covers for the feet that seem to be better fitting and less likely to crack than those on other units.
To assess design, we polled a group of friends and colleagues, asking them to rank the desk risers based on their aesthetic appeal. Besides asking for our friends' opinions, we also considered each model's features, how well the keyboard tray integrated with the workstation, and whether the converters left noticeable marks on our desktop.
The VersaDesk PowerPro scored very well in this category, holding up to scrutiny in both form and function. It is attractive and designed to meet the needs of all users. The keyboard tray is easily removable, and the work surface has three cut-outs for mounting monitor arms or routing cables. With the release of four thumbscrews, you can easily remove the keyboard tray, a great feature for those using a laptop. However, the switch for raising and lowering the desk is on the top of the work surface, which could be a problem depending on how you organize your workspace.
The Smugdesk and the VariDesk Pro Plus tied in our design survey. The Smugdesk is attractive and works well with a laptop or monitor. The keyboard tray is well-integrated with the desk. The VariDesk is sleek and elegant and provides ample space for whatever equipment and accessories you want on your desk. The keyboard tray is fixed but large enough to accommodate a laptop or a large keyboard and mouse. The only aspect of the design that raises questions is that when you raise or lower the desk, it swings forward and requires extra attention to ensure it doesn't rise too fast. It also requires a bit of extra muscle to engage the lowering mechanism.
If you want to stand your way to better health but don't want a whole new desk, a standing desk converter can be a great solution. However, it can be challenging to discern between many similar-looking and sounding products on the market. Our expert review team tested some of the best options to help you decide which model is best for you. We assessed each model for stability, adjustability, and features, testing each in various ways to help disambiguate the field. Whether you're looking for a high-end electric converter to accommodate multiple monitors or a simple laptop stand, our review can help steer you in the right direction.
— Mary Witlacil
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