Standing Desk Converter Comparison Reviews

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Standing Desk Converter Comparison Reviews

Contents

What is a Standing Desk Converter?

Standing desk converters are devices that rest on top of your desk and raise up and down so you can stand and work. These popular desktop adornments act as sort of a middle ground between standard desks and full-blown, height-adjustable standing desks. Basic ones only include an adjustable work surface, but they get fancier from there with advanced models including built-in monitor arms (some supporting up to four monitors) and “dropped” keyboard platforms (the best tilting like ergonomic keyboard trays), as well as other ergonomics-enhancing features.

How Do the Best Converters Stack Up?

Due to the dramatic influx of new standing desk converter models, on this page we synthesize our detailed reviews and sort them by performance and customer value, so at the end of the day, you can make sure you find the best product for your needs. When you narrow down which products sound most interesting, just follow the links to our full reviews. You can also do a quick side-by-side comparison of your top picks by clicking the “Add to Comparison Table” link on each review abstract and then hitting “Go” in the bottom right corner of the page. If you find what you see here helpful, and are ready to move to the next step,  the “Where to Buy” button will guide you to an online retailer carrying the product.

Buying Tips

1. Discover VariDesk Alternatives

We have to start off this comparison review with an obligatory word of praise, plus a healthy dose of caution regarding the one brand of standing desk converters that is 99 times more likely to be known than any other, Varidesk. Thanks to this spinout division of costume industry giant Gemmy, and the millions of dollars they have lavished on television, radio, online, magazine and newspaper advertising over the past few years, hundreds of thousands of people search the web every month for deals and reviews on Varidesk products. In fact, WorkWhileWalking is proud to have been the first site to review the original Varidesk back in 2013.

Varidesk Pro Plus Adjustment Movement

All Varidesk models move out towards the user in an arced movement (an inherent mechanical attribute), introducing instability and pushing you away from your desk.

Since then they’ve added several models (and we’ve added follow on reviews for each), such as the Varidesk Soho, Varidesk Pro, Varidesk Pro Plus, Varidesk Cube, Varidesk Exec 48 standing desk converters, and the platypus of the pack, the Varidesk Pro Desk. Back then, before competitors arrived, we gave the first model – a most novel invention at the time – a 5-star review. But check out our reviews today, and you’ll find many competing models offer far better ergonomics and consumer value, while Varidesk has mostly stuck to its original, dated mechanical structure.

While it is unquestionable that Varidesk helped raise the tide of sitting disease awareness and floated all boats, to the benefit of now a couple of dozen competitors, most Varidesk owners we hear from abandoned them within six to twelve months of purchase. While they appear very cost effective, these Chinese-made products tend to be overhyped with glitzy advertising claims, yet ergonomically deficient. Hence not only the rampant number of new competitors continuing to appear on the market every month but the ballooning number of online searches for “varidesk alternative” into Google.

2. Consider a Stand Up Desk

A key benefit to sit-stand converters is that they let you keep your old desk drawers, and eliminate the hassle of having to move out your old desk. There is also the perception that standing desk converters are less expensive than adjustable-height desks. It should be noted, however, that this price difference keeps getting smaller, especially when comparing the top-rated standing desk converters to any of the newest and greatest, low-cost, adjustable-height desks that have hit the market in the past couple of years. Some of the less expensive, yet high quality standing desks – such as the Upsilon, Ellure or UpTown – actually cost less than some of the fancier sit-stand converters – such as the Humanscale QuickStand, Winston or Electric Kangaroo.

iMovR Upsilon Adjustable-Height DeskOn the plus side, standing desk converters tend to be quicker and easier to install, lighter, and, often cheaper, than full-grown adjustable-height tables. There is a trade-off in stability and surface area – you’ll find that just about all of these products will jiggle a little during use, and it’s harder to set up a full workstation without the sweeping expanse of space you can get with an adjustable-height desk. Still, there’s no denying that a lot of standers will find these converters to be an extremely convenient and cost-effective alternative to changing out their beloved sitting desks.

The most obvious case where a sit-stand converter will always work better than a standalone desk is when you’re contending with a built-in desk, where the expense of ripping out the furniture will clearly be out of the question. As for losing your desk drawers when switching to a sit-stand workstation, a lot of people just use mobile file pedestals to vanquish that particular problem. Solid ones can even do double duty as an extra seat for your office visitors.

3. Go Ergo Friendly
standing desk converter

The best standing desk converters feature easy ways to adjust your monitor height – for optimizing ergonomics.

If a stand up desk isn’t right for you, and you want the health benefits of standing and working, a standing desk converter can be an excellent solution. But keep in mind not every standing desk converter is created equal. Take away an ergonomic feature – like VESA mounts, adjustable work surfaces, or tilting/adjusting monitors, and your ergonomics could be compromised.

Each of our product reviews features an ergonomic assessment, ranking the product in relation to its competition, so you can be sure of its long-term health benefits. A lot of what determines a product’s ergonomic soundness has to do with our individual anthropometries (fancy word for study of body measurements). Some standing desk converter manufacturers, perhaps in the efforts to cut costs, continue to ignore this, and end up producing products that cause as many ergonomic problems as they purportedly solve.

Choose Your Standing Desk Converter Type

The rising tide of standing desk converters over the last year has flooded the market with options and made it hard to stay on top of a complex product category. We’ve done our best to build a boat to navigate these waters by simplifying the products into four categories: Z-Lift, Post & Base, Hover, and Electric.

imovr ziplift desktop riser

1. Z-Lift: Grab the main work surface on the left and right edges, squeeze the brake release paddles, and lift the platform up to the desired height, then let go. Zip. These models offer the best stability, lowest cost, and speed and ease when moving from sitting to standing height. Named after their Z-shaped architecture. Jump to Z-Lift models

Kangaroo Pro Desktop Riser

2. Post & Base: These units sport a sturdy post that holds a keyboard platform and a monitor. Typically they rely on their own weight for stability – no need for cumbersome desk clamps or mounts. They often take up less space on your desk than Z-Lifts, and the better models have stability that almost rivals their cousins at the bottom of the alphabet. Many also offer impressive monitor adjustability (with built-in monitor arms) for adjusting to ideal monitor height and angles. Jump to Post & Base models

Cadence Express Sit Stand Converter Silver Single Monitor

3. Hover: Hover models are essentially oversized monitor arms that hold work surfaces in addition to monitor mount(s). They “hover” over your desk in a large 3-dimensional area, saving more desk space than any other model. While the stability of other models is hard to match, these units offer the very best ergonomic adjustability and fine-tuning available, and make screen-sharing and collaboration a cinch. Jump to Hover models

Winston-E, Single Monitor

4. Electric: Welcome to the Cadillac Showroom. Electric models owe a structural debt to the “Post & Base” category, but add an electric lift mechanism for an effortless transition from sitting to standing. A press of a button and you’re off to standing heights. Programmable height presets allow you raise your work surface to the same height every time you stand. Overall, a classy option for those with the budget available. Jump to Electric models

standee2

5. Desktop Riser: These units sit on your desk and raise your workspace like other types, but only to one level. Without the ability to change monitor height or keyboard tray height for instance, these converters don’t offer much ergonomic adjustability. They’re suboptimal for day-to-day standing, but they’ll work in a pinch if you want a short break from sitting. They tend to be lightweight, and generally inexpensive. Jump to Desktop Riser models


Choose Your Standing Desk Converter Model

Now you’ve seen the types of desktop risers, it’s time to narrow down to the risers themselves. Take a look at our review summaries below for more details on each product.

If you’d like a quick side-by-side comparison of your top picks. First click the “Add to Comparison Table” button in each review abstract. Then hit “Go” in the bottom right corner of the page. You’ll be taken to a new page comparing your selections.


 Back to ‘Choose Your Riser Type’

Top Z-Lift Standing Desk Converters

1. iMovR ZipLift Sit Stand Converter

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Experts’ Rating: 4.5-Star 

iMovR ZipLift Desktop Riser

Summary: The newest competitor attempting to dethrone the Varidesk, the ZipLift introduces an ergonomically-adjustable keyboard tray, a silky-smooth and quiet Z-lift mechanism with infinite stops, a grommet hole for mounting an ergonomic monitor arm, and granite-hard stability even at full 20″+ height extension. For the same money as a Varidesk Pro, it overcomes all the deficiencies of its highly popular, yet outdated competitor’s design. Read our full review

Price: $349

Where to Buy


2. FlexiSpot Classic Standing Desk Converter

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Experts’ Rating: 4.5-Star 

Summary:  The FlexiSpot Classic Standing Desk Converters offer spacious work surfaces, sturdy frames, and extraordinary low prices in a variety of size options. A fleet of standing desk converters that beat each corresponding Varidesk size on all accounts. Straight up-and-down lift, removable and retractable keyboard tray (no tilting though), and all models fit comfortably on narrow 24″ deep desks.

Price: Models starting at $269

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3. Ergotron Workfit-T Desktop Converter

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Experts’ Rating: 4-Star 

Ergotron Workfit-T Desktop Riser

Summary: Unlike the similarly-designed VariDesk Pro Plus, the Workfit-T offers superior neck and wrist ergonomics with its optional monitor kit. Install is simple, no tools required. Its lever-locking adjustment mechanism doesn’t allow for precise adjusting, and there’s not space aplenty for your keyboard and mouse. But its impressive stability makes it a sound choice for sit-stand workers. Read our full review

Price: Starting at $436

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4. WorkEZ Portable Desktop Workstation

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Experts’ Rating: 3.5-star 

WorkEZ Standing Desk

Summary: The price tag alone was enough for this minimalist desktop riser set to catch our attention – only DIY desks can compete with the WorkEZ in terms of thrift. WorkEZ desks can be frustratingly shaky, and don’t adjust as quickly as we’d like, but those gripes seem relatively minor given these risers’ tiny price point and ergonomic benefits. They also travel better than any other riser, thanks to lightweight construction and complete collapsibility. Read our full review

Price: $99.99

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5. Varidesk Exec 48 Standing Desk Converter

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Experts’ Rating: 3-Star 

Varidesk Pro Plus Desktop Converter Review

Summary: Purpose-built for taller users, the Exec 48 has the largest height adjustment range of any desktop converter in Varidesk’s catalog (18″), finally surmounting the low height maximums typical of Varidesk. Despite its enhanced height range and expansive work surface, the Exec 48 is still burdened by Varidesk’s classic adjustment mechanism, which lacks the precision (only nine height settings), smoothness, and quietness of more advanced workstations. A $125 monitor arm add-on is necessary for proper ergonomics. Read our full review

Price: $595

Where to Buy


6. Varidesk Soho Standing Desk Converter

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Experts’ Rating: 2.5-Star

Varidesk Soho Sit Stand Workstation Review

Summary: With the smallest footprint of any Varidesk desktop converter, the Soho is the most compact workstation in Varidesk’s catalog. Its height adjustment mechanism looks identical to the easy-to-use lever locking system of the original Varidesk, but unlike other Varidesk models, its vertical adjustment doesn’t force the work surface to arc out towards you. However, the Varidesk Soho still leaves much to be desired when it comes to work surface space, weight capacity, and ergonomics. Read our full review

Price: $175

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7. Varidesk Pro Standing Desk Converter

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Experts’ Rating: 2.5-Star 

Varidesk Adjustable-Height Desk

Summary: VariDesk’s first standing desk converter model, the VariDesk Pro, is also the most basic, most affordable standing desk converter in VariDesk’s catalog. Once among the best choices for transforming a fixed-height desk into a sit stand workstation, the VariDesk Pro has since been outdone by newer workstations with a host of new, innovative ergonomic features. Read our full review

Price: $375

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8. Varidesk Pro Plus Standing Desk Converter

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Experts’ Rating: 2.5-Star 

Varidesk Pro Plus Desktop Converter Review

Summary: Varidesk’s original Pro standing desk converter is getting an ergonomic makeover with the introduction of a separate, suspended keyboard platform. This new “Pro Plus” model enhances the ordinary Varidesk with more acceptable ergonomics, while an optional monitor arm provides more ergonomic viewing angles than the Varidesks of old. These much-needed updates keep the Varidesk Pro Plus competitive in an evolving standing desk converter market, but still fall short against more advanced height adjustment mechanisms of other ergonomic risers. Read our full review

Price: Starting at $375

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9. Varidesk Cube Standing Desk Converter

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Experts’ Rating: 2.5-Star 

VariDesk Cube Corner 48 Sit Stand Workstation

Summary: The Varidesk Cube Corner is purpose-built to fit inside the confines of a small corner desk. Its triangular work surface fits snugly into any cubicle corner while still providing plenty of user space, and its suspended keyboard tray extends the distance between your monitors and keyboard, creating a more ergonomic setup than the original Varidesk. But the Cube Corner still suffers from some Varidesk-specific shortcomings, most-important of which is its antiquated height adjustment mechanism. There are now also new options available for full standing corner desks that can fit into most any cubicle, worth considering. Read our full review of the VariDesk Cube.

Price:$495

Where to Buy


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Top Post & Base Standing Desk Converters

1. The Winston Sit Stand Workstation

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Experts’ Rating: 4.5-Star 

Winston Workstation

Summary: The Winston’s biggest advantage is its locking air cylinder, which prevents the work surface from moving out of place and lets you switch from sitting to standing with a hand lever embedded in the underside of the work surface. This quick adjustment method, coupled with an impressive weight capacity and the ability to hold as many as four monitors, gives it an edge in usability. One sour note is its lack of an independently adjustable monitor-height setting, which prevents the Winston from being a perfect ergonomic workstation. Read our full review

Price: Starting at $679

Where to Buy


2. Ergotron WorkFit-S Sit-Stand Workstation

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Experts’ Rating: 4.5-star 

Ergotron Workfit-S Sit-Stand Workstation

Summary: Attractive, simple, user friendly. The WorkFit-S has the sleek, efficient design we love in Ergotron products. Setup is incredibly easy, as the clamp attaches to the front of an existing desk. No cranks or motors; instead the unit moves with the signature Ergotron glide. This model may lack the flexibility of other sit-stand options (and its keyboard tray is a little flimsy), but it makes up with superb stability and ease-of-use. Plus Ergotron stands behind their products; customers can expect a rock-solid 5-year warranty and outstanding support. Read our full review

Price: $499

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3. Wallaby Adjustable Sit-Stand Workstation

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Experts’ Rating: 4-star 

Wallaby Sit-Stand Workstation

Summary: The Wallaby is Ergo Desktop’s budget-class alternative to their successful Kangaroo sit stand workstation. It’s based on the same design, sporting the same free-standing steel base, impressive weight capacity, and peerless stability, but without the gas-assisted monitor lift mechanism that made the Kangaroo such an ergonomic hit. Despite this, the Wallaby still features a robust set of capabilities that make it a great value for any office. Read our full review

Price: $348

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4. RightAngle Helium Standing Desk Converter

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Experts’ Rating: 4-Star 

Helium Standing Desk Converter

Summary: From its $549 price tag to its freestanding, heavy-duty design, the Hover Helium clearly takes aim against industry leader Kangaroo. It has many of the Kangaroo’s beloved features—simple, clamp-free installation; an expansive work surface; and a smooth, silent gas-assisted lift mechanism. But the Helium goes a step further by introducing a locking air cylinder attached to a Bowden cable to create a seamless adjustment method you can operate with one hand. Like the Kangaroo, and unlike some of the lower-quality entrants in desktop converter category, the Helium is a precision-crafted product made in America. Read our full review

Price: $549

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5. Kangaroo Height-Adjustable Desk Desktop Converter

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Experts’ Rating: 4-Star 

Kangaroo Desk Adjustable-Height Desktop Riser

Summary: The Kangaroo sit stand workstation is one of the few models with independent monitor and keyboard platform adjustment, making it one of the most ergonomic standing desk converters around. It can’t be beat for convenience with a wide range of style and pricing options. It features a variety of optional upgrades, and comes with a removable stabilizing leg (a little cumbersome). But with the help of the leg, it becomes the most stable workstation we’ve ever reviewed. We fully recommend going down under if you’re after a sit stand workstation. Read our full review

Price: $499

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6. QuickStand WorkStation

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Experts’ Rating: 3.5-star 

Humanscale QuickStand Desktop Riser

Summary: Sleek, modern aesthetic – clearly the ‘looker’ in the bunch. The QuickStand oozes with Humanscale’s trademark modern design aesthetic, making it the best choice for office environments that covet high architectural design. As you would expect at this end of the price range the monitor and keyboard heights are independently adjustable. A couple of minor design tweaks would earn this product a 5-star rating from our desktop riser expert review team, but we can wholeheartedly recommend it for those users who are willing to pay a little more for a clean, modern look that won’t clash with the elegance of their desk or office. Read our full review

Price: $829

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7. Taskmate Go 6300 Sit-Stand Converter

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Experts’ Rating: 2-Star 

Taskmate Go 6300

Summary: A decent standing desk converter when evaluated on its own, but severely under-featured and overpriced when compared to other items in the category. Its lever locking-height adjustment is loud and doesn’t offer as many height settings as a gas-assisted riser, so it’s more difficult to find an ergonomically proper height. No true secondary adjustment for monitor height, or at least no easy adjustment. A “v-shaped” base allows the central column to rock much more than we’d like. Clamps to the front of the desk, reducing the amount of accessible space on your desk top. Read our full review

Price: $495

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Top Hover Standing Desk Converters

1. iMovR Cadence™ Standing Desk Converter

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Experts’ Rating: 5-Star 

Cadence Standing Desk Converter

Summary: iMovR’s first entry into the standing desk converter category literally rises above sitting disease. The Cadence workstation’s space-preserving “hover” design retains virtually all of your desktop real estate and maximizes mobility and collaboration. It also brings more ergonomic adjustments to the table than any other standing desk converter we’ve ever reviewed—with the ability to move throughout an astounding 105”-diameter area—providing a more comfortable and productive experience for all users, sitting or standing. With all of its ergonomic improvements and elegant styling, the Cadence gives the venerable, but aging progenitor of hovering sit stand workstations—the Ergotron Workfit-A—a run for its money. Read our full review

Price: $549

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2. iMovR Cadence Express™ Standing Desk Converter

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Experts’ Rating: 3.5-Star 

Summary: If you’re looking for great adjustability and an aesthetically pleasing design, the Cadence Express does it all for a very competitive price. With a five-year warranty and high-quality components, it is built to last, unlike many of the products in this price range. While it doesn’t have the fancy independent keyboard tray and friction slide monitor mount of the original Cadence, the slightly smaller size of the Cadence Express is likely to appeal to a greater number of users, and the price definitely will. Read our full review

Price: $379

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3. Helium Junior Standing Desk Converter

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Experts’ Rating: 3.5-Star 

Hover Helium Junior, Right Angle

Summary: Its small dimensions fit well in tighter work spaces. Takes up minimal space on your desk. Relatively light weight for easy installation. Sturdy construction, and decent (though not best in class) stability for a Hover model. Five-year warranty. Read our full review

Price: $430

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4. Ergotron WorkFit-A Sit-Stand Workstation

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Experts’ Rating: 3.5-Star 

ergotron workfit-a product image

Summary: Among Ergotron’s standing desk converters, the Workfit-A is the acrobat. It’s easy to move from sitting to standing and side to side. The only footprint is the small base mounted to your desk, and it can be lifted out of the way when you need more desk space. It does suffer more from monitor shake than either the Workfit-S or -T, and its lift capacity is weak compared to more “grounded” risers. The Workfit-A was once a pioneering product, but it’s now being overshadowed by more innovative, ergonomically adjustable units. Read our full review

Price: $524

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Top Electric Standing Desk Converters

1. Winston-E Desktop Riser

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Winston-E Dual

Experts’ Rating: 4.5-Star 

Summary: The original Winston is already a favorite among standing desk converter users. Add a swift electric lift mechanism, innovative ergonomics, and a polished aesthetic to boot, and the “Winston-E” lands itself comfortably in territory no riser has been before: the executive suite. Read our full review

Price: $968

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2. Electric Kangaroo Desktop Riser

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Experts’ Rating: 4.5-Star 

Electric Kangaroo Desktop Riser

Summary: Upgrade the strong and stalwart Kangaroo Standing Desk Converter to Electric, and you’ve hopped your way up to most sturdy electric riser on the market. It boasts a heavy-duty motor with 150 lbs. lift capacity, and features the same wide range of adjustability signature of the Kangaroo line. It may not be the prettiest with its ‘form follows function’ design philosophy, but its stabilization leg prevents shaking. The Kangaroo remains the sturdiest electric we’ve tested. Read our full review

Price: $699

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3. TaskMate Executive

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Experts’ Rating: 4-Star 

Taskmate Executive Desktop Riser

Summary:  One small rise for HealthPostures, one giant leap in riser design. The Taskmate Executive riser was the first entrant into what we hope will become a much more populous category. A satisfyingly “clicky” switch and a highly responsive electric motor don’t disappoint – the Executive is downright enjoyable to adjust. It takes all the knob-twiddling and lever-locking out of using a riser, and all the effort out of lifting a loaded platform. An adjustable keyboard tray gives this riser a valuable second variable-height component. However, it is an extremely expensive option, and requires some tricky assembly. Read our full review

Price: $1,130

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4. Ergotech One-Touch Free Stand Desktop Converter

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Experts’ Rating: 4-Star 

Ergotech One-Touch Free Stand Electric Desktop Riser

Summary: Ergotech’s new desktop riser, the One-Touch Free Stand, represents a step in the right direction for electric-powered risers. Its main competitor, the tankish Taskmate Executive, seems like an anachronistic behemoth next to this comparably sleek and customizable new riser. The monitors may be somewhat difficult to tilt/pan/rotate, and installation is a bit complicated, but it boasts tons of customization options and can accommodate up to four monitors. It has a massive 100lbs weight capacity, and its easy one-touch electric height adjustment is quiet and smooth. Read our full review

Price: $799

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Back to ‘Choose Your Riser Type’

Top Desktop Risers

While technically not standing desk converters, these devices will raise your workspace to standing height. They’re fixed-height and ergonomically primitive, but inexpensive and easy to set up.

1. Standee Desktop Converter

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Experts’ Rating: 2.5-star 

Standee Bamboo Standing Desk

Summary: The Standee’s low asking price may persuade those deterred by more expensive options to stand more at work. But without a height adjustment mechanism, Standee users risk different ergonomic maladies that can make their standing breaks uncomfortable and miserably short. Its renewable bamboo is lightweight and easy on the eyes, and assembly and disassembly is a piece of cake, which is a good thing because you can expect to take it apart fairly often. However, its lack of any real adjustability coupled with no monitor arm or keyboard tray options puts users in an ergonomically suboptimal work position. Read our full review

Price: $179.00

Where to Buy


Other Units Under Review

The following standing desk converters have been slated for future reviews:

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