FROM THE DEPT. OF THINGS TO BUY

Best Standing Desk Converters For Better Health

Stay loose with these adjustable and affordable fixes.

12. 4. 21 by Jen McCaffery
Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels
Image by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

Long hours hunched in front of your computer can take a toll on your health, increase your risk of neck and spinal pain, obesity, and cardiovascular disease. But standing desk converters let you combat inactivity without making a big investment. By giving you the option to sit or stand at the desk without changing out your basic furniture, these devices can keep you upright and on task. Users who switch to standing find themselves working better and more efficiently. Indeed, the ability to change positions throughout a workday can lead to better concentration and focus.

Most contemporary standing desk converters are designed as an X-frame with one or two tiers of desk space that can be raised or lowered to accommodate sitting or standing at the same station. Here are our recommendations to accommodate a range of work spaces:

Best Overall: FlexiSpot 32-inch Standing Desk Converter
Best Budget: Nulaxy Ergonomic Laptop Stand for Desk
Best No-Assembly: Fully Cooper Standing Desk Converter
Best Single-Tier: VIVO Single Top Height Adjustable 27 inch
Best 36-Inch: Seville Classics AIRLIFT 36-Inch Gas-Spring Height Adjustable
Best 46-Inch: Rocelco 46-Inch Large Height Adjustable Standing Desk Converter
Best Motorized: FlexiSpot Motorized Standing Desk Converter
Best Wooden: Readydesk 2
Best Portable: Rocelco 19-Inch Portable Laptop Riser
Best Corner Desk Converter: FlexiSpot Height Adjustable Standing Desk Converter

How We Picked The Best Standing Desk Converters

Methodology

The best standing desk converter is largely a matter of personal preference and space, but there are certain design features that can make a big difference in terms of quality.  These considerations include the shape of your desk, the stability of the desk converter, the durability of the materials, the slide and lock features on the frame, and special features such as an easily releasable keyboard tray you can remove without a screwdriver.

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To find the best standing desk converters, I researched multiple models from over twelve brands. While there is some redundancy among the top-quality brands in the market, I looked for the model from each brand that best differentiated itself from the herd—offering the most effective combination of design quality and unique features. Here’s what to look out for before making a purchase.  

Tiers: Most standing desk converters are designed for a desktop computer setup. These converters come with a flat top tier to house the best computer monitors, with a lower hanging tier for a keyboard and mouse. While this design will work for many users, given the prevalence of laptops, I prioritized designs that also work for laptop users. Some two-tier systems offer a scooped upper-tier designed with a larger lower tray, providing space to fit a laptop on the lower tier. These systems are ideal for anyone who uses a laptop with a larger monitor, or a Wacom or tablet device that might need more room. I also highlighted one option from Vivo that offers a one-tier design without a hanging keyboard tray.

Frame Design and Stability: When you’re purchasing an item on which you plan to set up your computer array, you want something with stability. I took note of each design’s frame build. I researched the build quality of the support struts and lock system, and the frame’s durability.

Materials: Material is also a factor in frame design. Across the board I looked for sturdy materials. Most of my picks use particle board for their surface, but I also included options that use woods such as pine or bamboo for their surface build.

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Special Features: I looked for design features that added value, such as a quick-remove keyboard tier, a scooped upper design, or built-in power bar or USB chargers.

Related: Embrace the future with one the best tech gifts for everyone on your list.

Best Standing Desk Converters: Reviews & Recommendations

Best Standing Desk Converter Overall: FlexiSpot 32-inch Standing Desk Converter

Solid Flexibility. FlexiSpot

Why It Made The Cut: This two-tier model can house a laptop on its removable lower tier, outshining similar designs.

Specs:
Tiers: 2
Height Range: 4.7 to 19.7 inches
Dimensions: 31.5 inches L x 16.3 inches W with a lower tier at 28.4 inches L x 12.1 inches W
Frame: 33-pound capacity steel X-frame with gas spring

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Pros:
Scooped top tier allows a keyboard-mouse combo on bottom tier
Quick-release bottom tier
No fixed height requirements, solid at any height
Side lever offers smooth up / down without offloading converter
Comes fully assembled

Cons:
Wood finish options are “engineered wood” rather than real wood
Keyboard tray can be too low at its lowest height for some smaller users to use while sitting

Flexispot synthesizes everything into one with this 32-inch converter. As a laptop user who often supplements an iPad and Microsoft Surface into my workflow for digital painting, I love to see a well-built converter that provides enough space on its lower tier for more than just a keyboard and mouse. This is an ideal device if you frequently use a laptop with an attached desktop monitor. The detachable lower tray also means that if you sometimes want to use your converter desk as a discrete solo surface you can quite simply tweak it to be that.

With a sturdy steel X-frame that raises and lowers vertically with one handle, this desk converter is capable of supporting 33 pounds of gear on its top tier, and 4.4 pounds on the lower detachable tray. It raises to 19.7 inches and lowers to just under 5, providing smooth stability at whatever height feels best within that range. While I chose the 32-inch option as the best overall standing desk converter for most users, Flexispot offers a range of size options between 28 inches and 42 inches. My only real gripe with this desktop converter is its aesthetics. While it looks decent, it doesn’t have the polish and beauty of real wood options like the pricier Fully Cooper Standing Desk Converter. However, as a lower-priced option, this Flexispot converter does have the right combination of features to make it the best overall converter for most users.

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Best Budget: Nulaxy Ergonomic Laptop Stand for Desk

Sleek Design. Nulaxy

Why It Made The Cut: This highly portable and affordable laptop stand has excellent extension that allows you to stand while working anywhere.

Specs:
Tiers: 1
Height Range: 1.18 to 21 inches
Dimensions: 12.87 inches L x 12.05 inches H x 2.72 inches W
Frame: 22-pound capacity aluminum frame

Pros:
Highly portable at 2.76 pounds
Space grade aluminum frame
Tight construction with little give

Cons:
No room for keyboard or mouse
Not as stable as it could be for typing at its furthest extension

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The Nulaxy Ergonomic Laptop Stand is a laptop stand that functions as a standing desk converter. Raising up to 21 inches on a tightly constructed aluminum neck, this laptop stand can bring your laptop or tablet to eye level anywhere you go. While it doesn’t have room for a mouse and keyboard, this device makes up for it with portability.

That said, at over 2 pounds, some users complain that the device is heavier than you might wish for travel. But that portability equates to sturdiness. While it easily slides into position, the stand doesn’t bend or wiggle. Silicone pads and a curved lip hold the laptop in place. The quality materials for the price point, height range, and portability made this my pick for the best budget standing desk converter. However, the HUANUO Adjustable Laptop Stand was a close runner-up.

Best No-Assembly: Fully Cooper Standing Desk Converter

Elegant Quality. Fully Cooper

Why It Made The Cut: With a superior build quality, real wood tiers as an option, and an above-average height extension, this is a beautiful converter that arrives pre-assembled.

Specs:
Tiers: 2
Height Range: .75 inches (lower tier) to 22 inches (upper tier)
Dimensions: 35.4 inches L x 20.7 inches W (upper tier) 28.9 inches L x 11.8 inches W (lower tier)
Frame: 30 pound capacity steel X-frame

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Pros:
Natural bamboo top doesn’t off-gas chemical smell
Hydraulic lift can be operated with one hand
Solid steel frame construction
Elegant design arrives pre-assembled

Cons:
Pricey
No scooped upper tier means that a laptop won’t fit on the lower tier

For those of us who live in cities, working from home often means working from our bedrooms. When you have only a little space where you both live and work, it becomes especially important that that space feels harmonious. The Cooper Standing Desk Converter delivers with design aesthetics that don’t sacrifice function. With a natural bamboo surface that doesn’t have that toxic chemical smell that comes with so much modern furniture, the Cooper Converter looks and feels great. Its hydraulic lift is operable with one hand, meaning you won’t be straining to readjust a heavy desk converter with 30 pounds of computer gear again and again as you reposition throughout the day.

At its higher price point, however, this standing desk converter isn’t a casual purchase. And the solid block top tier surface isn’t built for a laptop on its bottom tier. In addition, with the 30-pound weight limit for its top surface, you shouldn’t expect to use this converter to house a laptop, speakers, and two large monitors on the top tier. However, if what you need is a two-tier converter with great aesthetics and functional design that comes assembled right out of the box, the Cooper Standing Desk Converter will fulfill your needs with aplomb.

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Best Single-Tier: VIVO Single Top Height Adjustable 27-inch

One Focus. VIVO

Why It Made The Cut: While the two- tier design works for most people, some users might want one single uninterrupted surface; this one does its job exceedingly well.

Specs:
Tiers: 1
Height Range: 1.5 to 16.1 inches
Dimensions: 27 inches L x 21.3 inches W
Frame: 22 pound capacity steel X-frame

Pros:
Comes pre-assembled
Raises straight up with two side handles
Sturdy
Multiple positions

Cons:
Not the best weight support
Doesn’t raise as high as some others
Buttons on side can be faulty

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VIVO is known for the quality of its standing desk converters and this single-tier standing desk converter is one of the best options on the market. With a much lower profile at its resting position than anything else on this list (1.5 inches), this converter doesn’t get in the way while you’re sitting, yet raises to 16.1 inches when you’re ready to stand. The single-tier design won’t appeal to some users, but could be extremely helpful for some others. If you’re looking for a standing desk that’s optimal as, say, a drawing platform, this could be the one for you.

Also worth a look, the VIVO Black Ultra Slim is a slimmer version of this converter for about the same price. However, with a bolt adjustment that sets one fixed height and a lower weight bearing capacity, the Ultra Slim isn’t as broadly functional. VIVO also offers a wide array of dual-tier standing desk converters in many different sizes.

Best 36-Inch: Seville Classics AIRLIFT 36-Inch Gas-Spring Height Adjustable

Adjustable Ergonomics. Seville Classics

Why It Made The Cut: This 36-inch standing desk converter has great build quality coupled with an ergonomic keyboard tray and a gas spring lift.

Specs:
Tiers: 2
Height Range: 5.9 to 19.7 inches
Dimensions: 35.43 inches L x 23.3 inches W (top tier); 35.43 inches L x 12.60 inches W (lower tier)
Frame: 33-pound capacity, steel

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Pros:
Fluid height adjustments
Large size
Ergonomic keyboard tray cut

Cons:
Takes a good bit of force to raise
Some users complain that there isn’t enough room to comfortably use the mouse on the keyboard and mouse tray

Seville Classics has been making furniture for 40 years and this 36-inch standing desk converter reflects that experience.  This desk converter comes with a built-in slot in the top tier designed for angling a phone or tablet, which is a novel feature. It’s also made with an ergonomically designed lower keyboard tray. That said, some people complain that the position of this tray beneath the top tier doesn’t offer a lot of room for mouse movement. 

While a gas spring lift (operated with two handles on both sides) does offer impressive fluid positioning without fixed steps, some people complain that it can take a good bit of force to move. Folks who may have smaller builds should mull the issue over before putting this converter in the shopping cart.

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Best 46-Inch: Rocelco 46-Inch Large Height Adjustable Standing Desk Converter

XL Ergonomics. Rocelco

Why It Made The Cut: This capacious standing desk converter is sturdy enough to hold two monitors and adjusts with ease.

Specs:
Tiers: 2
Height Range: 5 to 20 inches
Dimensions: 45.75 inches L x 23.25 inches W (upper tier); 25.75 inches L x 11.25 inches W (lower tier)
Frame: 45-pound capacity frame

Pros:
Strong enough to hold two large monitors
Scooped design allows for laptop on lower tier
Fluid positioning with gas piston
Pre-assembled

Cons:
Some issues with gas piston longevity
Heavy
Some history of shipping damage

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This 46-inch standing desk converter from Rocelco has all the brawn that you need to lift multiple monitors and devices. With a grommet hole included to make cord management easier, the design features a scooped front that allows for a laptop on the lower tier while still offering lots of desk space on the top. It uses two gas pistons for stepless fluid positioning. Rocelco’s other standing desk converters are also worth a look, particularly their triangular-corner-format standing desk converters.

While this desk converter has everything most users would need in a 46-inch converter, it may have some issues. Some people complain about the gas pistons losing their air seal with time. While the piston is replaceable with parts from the manufacturer, this is a drag. However, it does seem to be a rare issue rather than the rule.

Best Motorized: FlexiSpot Motorized Standing Desk Converter

Controlled Power. FlexiSpot

Why It Made The Cut: This motorized desk converter does all of the up and down work for you, moves smoothly, and keeps the office quiet.

Specs:
— Tiers: 2
— Height Range: 5.7 to 19.7 inches
— Dimensions: 16.3 inches L x 36 inches W x 5.7 inches H
— Frame: 55-pound weight capacity with a patented bracing system

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Pros:
— Patented bracing system slowly lowers riser
— 44-pound weight limit on top tier and 11 pounds on lower tier
— Push-button operation
— Spacious square footage

Cons:
— Rough edge on the front of the lower tier

Flexispot’s motorized converter comes in two sizes, and they both have a patented lift bracing system that makes this model a joy to use. The bracing maintains a slow, consistent speed as the desk lowers, preventing any jostling of the monitor, laptop, or keyboard. In total, it holds 55 pounds, with the top tier supporting 44 pounds and the lower tier holding 11 pounds. 

Even fully loaded, the converter moves using push-button operation, making raising and lowering simple and easy. The motor moves smoothly, and, more importantly, with very little noise. It can be used at home or in an office without disturbing co-workers or family members. We’re highlighting the 36-inch model, but it also comes in a 40-inch version, and both offer plenty of workspace. One thing to watch out for is the front edge of the lower tier. It can be rough and can scrape your wrist if you’re at the right angle.

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Best Wooden: Readydesk 2

Modern Sophistication. Readydesk

Why It Made The Cut: The Readydesk 2 stands out for its sturdy design, beautiful clean lines, and adjustable tiers.

Specs:
— Tiers: 1 or 2
— Height Range: N/A
— Dimensions: 24 inches L x 31 inches W x 22 inches H
— Frame: Birch

Pros:
— Holds 75 pounds despite weighing only 14.9 pounds
— Two, independently adjustable tiers
— Large enough for two monitors
— Strong, solid build

Cons:
— Not tall enough for users over 6 feet tall
— Cannot collapse

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If metal and engineered wood aren’t your aesthetic, the Readydesk 2 is a beautiful all-wood alternative. This sturdy frame only weighs 14.9 pounds but can hold up to 75 pounds worth of equipment, which is more than many metal desk converters. The frame provides a sound foundation and doesn’t wiggle or shift while in use. 

It also includes two independently adjustable tiers. Users can adjust the tiers so that the Readydesk 2 functions for sitting or standing. Each tier provides ample space for up to two monitors. However, even at the highest settings, this model may not work for users over six feet tall. Also, in terms of storage, the Readydesk 2 doesn’t collapse either.

Best Portable: Rocelco 19-Inch Portable Laptop Riser

Thin and Light. Rocelco

Why It Made The Cut: The Rocelco provides a 10-inch by 19-inch work surface that, at only 7 pounds, can go with you from home to work and anywhere else.

Specs:
— Tiers: 1
— Height Range: 8 levels with top level being 15 inches
— Dimensions: 10 inches L x 19 inches W x 15 inches H (when extended) inches
— Frame: Plastic and steel

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Pros:
— Lightweight and portable
— Comes with carrying case
— Sturdy when fully extended
— Folds down to 1-inch tall

Cons:
— Some units have uneven platform
— Latch can be difficult to use

The Rocelco portable converter features a compact design that comes with a handy carrying case. At only 10 inches by 19 inches by 1 inch when closed, it’s 7 light pounds can go with you from home to the office or to do a presentation on the road. This model rises to a maximum of 15 inches, with eight levels in between 1 and 15 inches. Even when fully extended, the Rocelco offers a sturdy surface. 

A latch system locks the frame in place at the desired level. While that keeps it from falling, it can also be tricky to disengage the latch when lowering the platform. Additionally, a few units warp over time, resulting in a curved top.

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Best Corner Desk Converter: FlexiSpot Height-Adjustable Standing Desk

Corner Seat. FlexiSpot

Why It Made The Cut: The FlexiSpot slides into corner desks so as to not waste space and still provides two tiers and ample desk space.

Specs:
— Tiers: 2
— Height Range: 5.9 to 19.7 inches
— Dimensions: 41.3 inches L x 23.1 inches W x 5.9-19.7 inches H
— Frame: Sturdy, 53-pound wood and alloy steel

Pros:
— Heavy, sturdy build
— 41-inch surface provides plenty of desk space
— Easy to raise and lower, with 12 levels
— Removable keyboard tray

Cons:
— Heavy
— Low maximum weight limit

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Corner desks take advantage of every square inch of space, but if you add a desk converter, positioning can get awkward. The FlexiSpot Height Adjustable Standing Desk Converter lets you maintain the arrangement of a corner desk and still provides plenty of space, with a 41-inch wide top. 

The two tiers offer 12 different levels between 5.9 inches and 19.7 inches high. The lower tier/keyboard tray doesn’t retract, which can leave it sticking out in some setups. However, you can remove the keyboard tray if needed. Users like that it can be removed if needed for better ergonomics and comfort. This model also works for a standard desk. 

There are some limitations. It’s heavy at 53 pounds, and the maximum weight capacity is low. The upper tier can hold 35 pounds, and the lower can hold 9 pounds for a total of 44 pounds.

Things to Consider Before Buying a Standing Desk Converter

A standing desk converter can drastically improve the build of a home office. However, before you invest in a standing desk converter, it’s a good idea to strategize on just what you want out of your piece.

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Usage

It’s important to know how you’ll be using your standing desk converter when you make your selection. If you’ll be working on your converter on a dining room table that needs to be cleared by supper time, you may want to consider one of the smaller models, like the 28-inch Flexispot or the Nulaxy Ergonomic Laptop Stand. However, if you have a large dedicated desk, one of our bigger picks may serve you better.

Standing Desk Converter v. Standing Desk

While standing desk converters function brilliantly at offering the flexibility needed to create a standing desk environment in a preexisting space, there are some situations where purchasing the best standing desks might work better. The Fully Jarvis Crank Powered Standing Desk Frame gives you the important bits you need to build a full standing / sitting flex desk for little more than you would pay for the converter. This device with the addition of a large oak panel can get you a top-quality crank-powered standing desk without the ultra high price tag of a fully built model. If you’re not attached to your desk or table, a frame such as the Fully Jarvis is worth a look.

Storage

With the exception of the Rocelco 46-inch, most of the converters on this list will house one monitor and laptop. If you want multiple monitors, or lots of devices, make sure to evaluate how much your standing desk converter can hold. Also, consider the piston system. If you have trouble lifting much weight, it could be important to select a standing desk with good lift support. If you’re a laptop user, consider if you need a standing desk with a scooped top tier to allow you to type on your laptop on the lower tray, or if you need a single tier converter. Whatever you choose, be careful not to overburden your standing desk converter.

FAQs

Q: Is a standing desk converter worth it?

Standing desk converters can make all the difference for both spine health and productivity. These devices allow you to stand and work without changing stations in the office. For the relatively low price tag, standing desks can be of incredible value (it’s also one of the best tech gifts).

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Q: What is the largest standing desk converter?

While the largest standard size for mass market standing desk converters is 46 inches, it would theoretically be possible to make a much larger standing desk converter.

Q: Can I convert my desk to a standing desk?

Yes. Standing desk converters offer an easy solution by adding a desk surface that has a lift mechanism built in. If you’d rather do a little DIY work, it would be possible to take off the top of your desk and convert it to a standing desk with a frame like the Fully Jarvis Crank Powered Standing Desk Frame.

Q: What size standing desk do I need?

Standing desk converters range from the size of a laptop up to around 46 inches. The size you need depends on what you aim to do with it. If you want a small portable standing desk converter for your laptop consider the Nulaxy Ergonomic Laptop Stand. However, if you need lots of space, Flexispot offers a 42-inch model or you could go with our XL pick for the best 46-inch standing desk converter from Rocelco.

Q: How much does a standing desk converter cost?

Standing desk converters can cost under $50 or well over $500. These designs can range in style from quasi laptop stands to true pieces of furniture. There’s no amount of money you should spend. Rather, in choosing the standing desk converter that’s right for you, consider what you want your converter to do, and think about your budget.

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Final Thoughts on Standing Desk Converters

A standing desk converter can be the perfect solution to waning attention spans and slouchy futures. As more of us work from home, we often find ourselves at bedroom desks on uncomfortable kitchen chairs. The health and productivity benefits of standing desks are common knowledge. Standing desk converters allow you to reap the benefits of standing desks without overhauling the basic furniture in your office (or home). These converters take many forms. For an especially unobtrusive single tier converter the VIVO Single Top Height Adjustable converter stood out to me for its low profile when not extended—no-one will even suspect it’s there until you pop it up. However, my favorite still has to be the Fully Cooper 35-inch for its natural bamboo top, truly smooth control, and gorgeous design. That said, the FLEXISPOT 32 inch still ranks as the overall best with its scooped upper tier and great balance of quality and price.

Related: Win the holidays with the best gifts for gamers.

This post was created by a non-news editorial team at Recurrent Media, Futurism’s owner. Futurism may receive a portion of sales on products linked within this post. 


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