In this article, I will go over the top reasons why someone might want to buy a stand up desk converter. There are a lot of reasons to consider a converter, but they are far from perfect. If you are interested in learning about the potential problems with stand up desk converters, then I would recommend looking at our top problems with standing desk converters article. A standing desk converter is a piece of furniture that either attaches to your desk or goes on top of your desk. It then gives you the ability to raise and lower a platform or platforms so that you can work while standing.
Over the past two years, we have brought in and tested close to 50 of the most popular standing desk converters. This has given us extensive knowledge on the category as a whole. Through the testing process we have learned the advantages of standing desk converters. Often a converter is the optimal choice when compared to a full standing desk. This article will focus on the attributes that may make a standing desk converter the right choice for you.
Need help? Get our Free Standing Desk Converter Buying Guide!
Full Disclaimer: We are an office furniture dealer and sell some of the products we review. To learn more about the products we sell, our review process and why you can trust us, please visit: Why we’re different. Who is BTOD.com and The Breakroom Blog?
1. To Create a Healthier Work Environment
I want to preface this by saying that we do not believe that standing for prolonged hours is healthy. We also do not think sitting for prolonged hours is healthy. We believe that a combination of the sitting and standing throughout the day is the best option. This philosophy is backed by industry leading ergonomists, like Alan Hedge from Cornell. Switching off between sitting and standing, while also mixing in some light movement, is thought to be a good method for staying healthy in the workplace.
A standing desk converter with height adjustment allows you to accomplish this. Most converters can adjust their height within a few seconds. That means you can easily switch from sitting to standing and back again, several times a day. Combine this with a few walks around the office to get the blood flowing a bit and you will have less muscle tightness and soreness that you likely have from sitting in the same position all day.
2. Less Expensive Than Most Full Standing Desks
Standing desk converters are often an option because they can be found for less money than full standing desks. Not all standing desk converters cost less than all full standing desks, but you will be hard pressed to find a full standing desk for less than $200. There are dozens of different converters that cost less than $200. You can get the Ergodriven Spark for as low as $25. It is made of cardboard and won’t have any adjustments, but it gets you standing for only $25. If you want something with a little more functionality, there are plenty of height adjustable products for under $100.
For a bit more money you will start getting into some dual platform products. These items will be on the lower end of the quality spectrum, but they are not a big investment and carry small replacement costs if they break down. Once you get up around $400-$500 you start to get into some good quality products with a high amount of adjustability. $500 for a converter may seem high but for an equal quality full standing desk, with the same functionality, you will be paying $700+.
3. You Can Keep Your Existing Desk
One of the biggest reasons to go with a stand up desk converter is that they allow you to keep the desk you already have. There are a lot of people out there that would like to be able to stand for portions of the day, but they don’t want to give up their desk. Maybe the desk you have is really nice, with a lot of storage options. Maybe it is custom built for the area it is in. Or, maybe your employer won’t allow you to change out the entire desk. Whatever the reason is, a stand up desk converter gives you a lot of options to stand, while keeping the desk you already have.
The huge selection of converters out there means that you shouldn’t have too much trouble finding a model that fits your desk. There are models that can clamp to the front of the desk or the back of the desk. There are models that sit on top of your desk. Some of them are better designed for wide, short desk spaces and others are better for narrow and high spaces. There are also models that are designed specifically for corner desks or cubes. Whatever style of desk you have, there should be a converter that works with it.
See The Best Standing Desk Converters For 2020
After months of testing 40+ standing desk converters, the results are in!
4. Don’t Have To Fully Commit To Standing
The unfortunate truth about standing desks is that most people do not stick with them. They may last a few days or few weeks, but studies have shown that there are a large number of people that stop using them. At some point they lower the desk and it isn’t used in the standing position again. A standing desk converter is a great way to see if you will like standing for a portion of your work day, without having to commit several hundred dollars. You also do not have to go through the process of swapping out an entire desk, only to find out that you don’t like to stand while you work. You can make a much smaller investment, place a converter on your desk and try it out. If you decide that you really like standing and want to fully commit, then you can think about upgrading to a full standing desk.
A standing desk converter is also a good option for people that know they don’t want to fully commit to standing but still want to be able to stand sometimes. Maybe you are someone that gets a tight back every once in a while and standing helps to loosen it up. Being able to pull a converter out of the closet, when needed, is a nice tool to help you be more comfortable while you work.
5. Less Assembly Required For Most Converters
Assembly on a large piece of furniture can be intimidating for some people. It can be even more intimidating if the furniture has electronics that also need to be installed. Greg, the President of BTOD.com, has assembled over 20 standing desks. The Varidesk ProDesk 60 Electric is the fastest desk he has assembled, and it took him a little over seven minutes. Most standing desks will take about 30-60 minutes to assemble and they almost all require the use of a drill or electric screwdriver.
On the flip side, there is a huge selection of converters that arrive fully assembled or with assembly that takes five minutes or less. Most do not require any tools. There are exceptions to this rule. Some standing desk converters have lengthy assembly processes, but I am not aware of a full standing desk that is currently available that arrives fully assembled. Going with a converter that is ready to use out of the box is great for people that are not mechanically inclined. It is also great for businesses that don’t want to deal with a bunch of installations.
6. Can Provide Portability
There are some standing desk converters that are small and lightweight enough to move on and off your desk. This makes them useful for many different applications. I have heard them being used by people that sew. A converter lets them stand instead of being hunched over a sewing machine. When they are done sewing, they put the sewing machine and converter away for next time. I have also heard of converters being a popular choice for drafting applications or just drawing. Many converters are just a single, flat surface. This makes them nice drafting and drawing platforms while you stand, without having to buy a full drafting table.
Those are just a couple examples of ways to use a standing desk converter that most people don’t consider. I think the best use for portable standing desk converter is for laptop users. Having something that you can move around with you makes it a perfect pairing with a laptop. If you want to stand with your laptop for a while you can, yet you also have the freedom to use your desk or table without a converter on it.
7. Many Different Stand Up Desk Converter Styles
There are a lot of different ways to make a standing desk converter. There are desk risers, z shaped bases, x shaped bases, floating arms, single surface products, electric converters, post & tray converters. Within all these categories, there are variances in designs from manufacturer to manufacturer. This wide range of designs means there is a converter to suit almost anyone’s needs.
Is your main concern ergonomics? Post & tray converters are great for ergonomics, with large adjustment ranges. Some of them have keyboard trays that can go below the desk, which is great for short people. Others go high enough for tall people. Do you want something that is rock solid at any height? You may want to consider a z shaped or x-based model. These units have wide bases and sturdy platforms. Do you want to load your converter with two large monitors and a bunch of accessories? There are electric models that can handle the weight capacity you need. There are many different situations and scenarios I can come up to show why a specific style of converter would be a good choice. Regardless of the situation, there is usually a style that will work.
8. Some Come With Dual Ergonomics Built-in
Some standing desk converters give you the ability to mount your monitor directly to the converter. Converters that allow you to do this almost always have a lot of adjustability for the monitor. Post & tray and floating converters are the most common converters to have this functionality. Things like monitor height adjustment, tilting, panning, rotating are all common adjustments when you mount your monitor to a converter. Being able to adjust your monitor gives you the ability to have the proper viewing angle. This is important for reducing neck and eye strain from prolonged use.
This type of functionality is what you would get from purchasing a monitor arm, which is what you need to do with a lot of standing desks to get true ergonomics. Monitor arms can cost quite a bit, depending on where they are made, and the adjustment range they offer. It can sometimes be a tedious task to figure out what monitor arm is best for you and your standing desk. A converter with one built in takes the guesswork out of your decision and gives you the functionality you need without adding accessories.
9. Many Include A Keyboard Tray
Standing desk converters either have a single platform, dual platform or dual platform with monitor mount. Both dual platform options come with a built-in keyboard tray. A keyboard tray helps to ensure that your hands, wrists and forearms are in the proper ergonomic typing position. If you use a single platform standing desk and place your monitor and keyboard on the same platform, then one of them will be at the incorrect position. This could mean that you are reaching up to your keyboard. Adding a keyboard tray helps to create a larger gap between your keyboard and monitor.
A keyboard tray serves a similar purpose as a monitor arm. They both give you separation from one another to make sure you are in a proper ergonomic position. Keyboard trays can be an expensive addition. They can range from around $100-$300. Having one built into the converter means that you don’t have to go buy one separately.
10. Can Improve Focus And Productivity
Being able to switch to standing whenever you want can really help you stay focused. Everyone has had that feeling where you are tired at your desk. Maybe you were up late the night before or maybe you are stressed about a big project. Whatever it is, you feel yourself getting drowsy and losing focus. Times like this are often great for a standing desk converter. Just pop it up to standing height. Standing up and completely changing your posture can often help to snap you out of a little drowsy spell and get back on task. I find that my standing desk is a great tool in the afternoon. After lunch is a good time to stand because that is often a time when people feel the most tired. Standing through that part of day can often bypass that lull altogether.
Standing desk converters are not a good solution for everyone but they have been a fantastic product for the office furniture industry. They give almost anyone the ability to stand while they work. Some people may not want to give up their desk for a full standing desk. Others may not be ready to start standing everyday while they work and just want to test it out. Whatever your reason is, there is almost certainly a standing desk converter that can meet your requirements.