If you have decided to make a transition to a standing desk, you have likely been overwhelmed with the amount of options available. Within recent years, many new products have been introduced into this category. One of the fastest growing segments within the standing desk category is the standing desk converter.
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What is a standing desk converter?
Standing desk converters allow you to convert your existing desk into a standing desk. They typically rest on top of your desk, clamp to an edge or use a grommet mount for a more permanent solution. This will allow you to keep your current desk and gain the function of a standing desk.
How Much Do They Cost?
When the first converters arrived to the market, adjustability was very limited or even nonexistent on some models. With advancements, the category has grown significantly, introducing options that are now electronically operated. With this has come a wide range of costs for the different products available. They are made up of four types: fixed height, basic manual adjustment, gas & spring, and electronic. Prices will range from $49.99 for basic options and up to $1130.00 for electronic models.
After 10 months of testing 40+ standing desk converters the results are in!
Fixed Height Riser
The first options we will look at are the fixed height converters. These are very basic standing desks that are typically a strong box that goes on top of your desk. The prices will range anywhere from $49 up to $180. Laminate and plastic structures will often be on the lower end, while bamboo and solid wood options will be much higher. These are one-size fit all and generally not recommended for proper ergonomic posture. Customers who might consider purchasing this type of product are in the very early stages of switching to a standing desk. We would recommend considering a DIY option and then transitioning to a nicer product if you enjoy standing.
Home Concepts Miracle Desk – $49.99
One of the first fixed height options on the market, The Home Concepts Miracle Desk, is among the cheapest standing desks you will find. This product is very similar to the shoe storage you can buy at stores like HomeDepot, Target and Walmart.
SwitchStand by BTOD – $129.99
The SwitchStand by BTOD is a heavy duty version of the Home Concepts Miracle Desk. This product is more stable than the miracle desk, but still very basic. With two height options it will fit a small percentage of the population properly.
Standee Classic – $179.95
The Standee Classic is the most overpriced box available for the top of your desk. Prices will range from $179.95 for the small and up to $249.99 for the XL. While this product is very stable, we would consider looking at some of the basic manual adjustable units or some of the low end gas/spring assisted.
Basic Manual Adjustment Converter
The basic manual adjustment type provides a small amount of adjustment. They are designed to create a more custom fit than their fixed height counterparts. Unfortunately, the adjustments tend to be cumbersome. While some of these will provide full sit to stand functionality, the amount of effort required to change positions is too great. Because of this, many customers will stop making adjustments and leave them at standing height. Most options within the category will range from $99 up to $299.
Original Stand Steady – $99.99-$169.98
The original Stand Steady is one of the first basic manual adjustment standing desks to hit the market. Developed in 2012 by Day Martin, this product has been a bestseller on Amazon for multiple years. With an adjustment range from 11.25” to 15.25 it will adjust to fit a decent portion of the population correctly. This product is only meant to be used for standing; sitting will require you to move your computer and paper work back to your existing desk.
HealthPostures Taskmate EZ – $299
The HealthPostures Taskmate EZ 6400 is on the higher end of the price range for basic manual adjustment options. Taskmate EZ’s provides fourteen height settings, with 1.5” adjustment per setting. At its lowest point it is 1.25” above the desk top. It will give the true sit to stand functionality for a wider range of users. Adjusting the keyboard platform and monitor mount is less than desirable for sit to stand transitions. At this price range we would recommend looking at low level gas/spring assisted models.
UpStanding Desk – $199.99-249.99
The UpStanding Desk is a product that came to market through the Kickstarter platform. It provides six adjustments for your monitor and five for the keyboard/mouse area. While this product will offer the sit to stand functionality, it doesn’t allow for fine adjustments. It is also much more cumbersome to make adjustments, meaning you will be more likely to leave it in a standing only desk.
Gas or Spring Assisted Converter
The gas/spring assisted segment has become the fastest growing. There are countless options within the category now, although many are copycats of the Varidesk brand. One of the greatest benefits of the gas/spring assisted is the ease of adjustment from sitting to standing. This creates a much more user friendly environment for those who like to switch from sitting to standing frequently. Also, with this adjustment customers are able to fine tune the desk to provide much better ergonomic posture. Most options in the category will range from $299 up to $849.
Duke Mount by BTOD – $369
The Duke Mount by BTOD is a sit to stand system designed for mainly computing tasks. With dual ergonomics, the monitor and keyboard platform are able adjust in height separately. Because the system is connected to a long adjustable arm, it is not as stable as other gas or spring assisted products. This product will lower almost flush to the desk top providing a better fit for short users.
Duke Vesa by BTOD – $499-588
The Duke Vesa is a converter that rests on top of your existing desk. It will provide a small area for writing tasks, but is mainly designed for computing tasks. It includes dual ergonomics for proper posture while seated or standing. It will require a vesa compliant monitor; f you have a monitor with a base or a laptop you should consider the platform version. The Duke Vesa is one of the more stable options available; however, the monitor adjustment is a little more cumbersome than others in its class.
Humanscale Quickstand – $699-$849
The Humanscale Quickstand is the most expensive option in its class. It is also the most well put together product, with nice lines and a very nice encasement. It comes with various mounting options including freestanding, clamp and grommet mounts. Dual ergonomics mean you will be able to fine tune and fit most users comfortably. A low profile surface will also allow the Quickstand to lower almost flush with your desk top.
Kangaroo – $399-$599
The Kangaroo product line from Ergodesktop is the original gas/spring assisted desktop converter. Introduced in 2012, this product has steadily gained popularity with the rise of the converter category. Built in the USA, the Kangaroo products are built to last; however, friction from the aluminum columns, used for its structure, makes it one of the most difficult to move up and down. The option to add a kick stand will allow you to create an extremely stable working platform.
Varidesk – $395-$595
Varidesk is without question the most well-known brand name within the entire standing desk category. Their large budget for national ad campaigns has grown awareness for the entire industry. The Varidesk products ship fully assembled and are ready to use once you pull it out of the box. Without an adjustable monitor platform, the Varidesk requires the use of a monitor arm to provide proper dual ergonomics. With an up and outward movement for height adjustment, the Varidesk requires a fair amount of working space.
One of the lesser known types within the converter category is the electric standing desk converter. While companies like Healthpostures have provided an electric option for some time, most of the products offered have been introduced within the last couple years. The category is the most expensive and oftentimes the hardest to justify. Because they sell for around the same price as complete electric standing desks, we will typically recommend looking at a new desk. For customers who are unable to remove their existing desk and want the ease of electronic adjustments, this is your best option. While most are limited in space, products like the Versatables is now offered up to 60” wide.
Versatables – $390-$799
Versatables Power Desktop is one of the most affordable electric standing converter options. The product boasts an 80 lbs. capacity and provides 18” of height adjustment. A thick keyboard and mouse platform will add an additional inch to your existing desk height. This is not a good fit for short users that require something flush to the desk top. With large sizes up to 60” wide, there is enough space to bring all of your desk contents to standing height. However, you may consider purchasing an entire desk if you will be taking up that much real estate on your desk.
Kangaroo Electric – $699-$799
The Kangaroo Electric series takes their popular gas/spring converters and adds push button height adjustment. The look is almost identical to their existing line; however, the button and electronics are visible. The visible electronics make this look a little crude and not as well put together as others in its class. The keyboard/mouse platform adjusts 20.5” above your existing desk, allowing it fit tall users very well.
Taskmate – $860-$1130
The first electronic converter available, the Taskmate series has provided true sit to stand functionality for years. Proper dual ergonomics are created with an adjustable keyboard platform. Unfortunately, the Taskmate offers the least amount of adjustment range at 13.5”. An optional copy holder and phone holder are available, making these items more accessible while standing.
Winston E – $936
The Winston E is the most well put together product in its class. With nice molded plastic covers hiding the crude parts inside of the converter, this won’t be an eyesore on your desk. A large 18.4” of height adjustment for the keyboard/mouse platform it will fit a wide variety of users. Unfortunately, the depth of the desk surface might put some users to close to their monitors. The Winston E is available in single, dual and triple monitor mount options.
Depending on your needs and current budget, converters have a lot to offer. While most of the fixed height options should be avoided, users who don’t like projects might prefer these to DIY options. We highly recommend the gas/spring converters; they will provide the best value and typically have full sit to stand capability. If you are looking to make the switch to a healthier work environment and are unable to remove your existing desk, a standing desk converter could be the perfect fit.