Switching to a standing desk is considered by many to beat an office desk for prolonged periods, and it can increase your productivity, energy and possibly even your longevity. But switching to a standing desk doesn’t mean you automatically have to throw out your current desk. And you certainly don’t need to crowd your workstation with a separate desk just for standing.
A handful of DIY standing desk conversions work exceptionally well. And for those of you who prefer not to pick up a hacksaw and hammer, there is no shortage of commercial standing desk conversions available for purchase. If you’re looking for the best standing desk converter, the following are our top picks.
Most standing desk conversion kits are semi-permanent solutions that solely seek to raise your existing workspace.
Place it on top of your desk; add the monitor or laptop, keyboard and mouse; and adjust it to the proper height.
StandStand is something entirely different. From its inception, it was intended to be a truly portable standing desk converter. It is meant to be assembled or disassembled in a few seconds and effortlessly packed away in a backpack.
It’s lightweight, very strong, smooth and effortless, and one of the most affordable conversions available.
- The StandStand is incredibly affordable, starting at just $69 (roughly £45 in the UK, AU$95 in Australia) for the baltic birch model and $99 (£65, AU$135) for bamboo.
- While it does exhibit some “rotational play,” it is very sturdy. According to the Kickstarter campaign page, StandStand was able to withstand over 900 pounds (408.23 kilograms) without breaking.
- It’s very lightweight and packable, making it one of the only truly portable standing desk solutions around.
- StandStand comes in four different sizes between 9 and 16 inches (22.86 and 40.64 centimeters).
- With StandStand, there is no additional workspace at standing height, only enough room for the laptop.
- There is only one working surface, which means either your keyboard is going to be too high or your monitor will be too low.
If you were to take StandStand and turn it into a more permanent solution, you would end up with Readydesk, a wooden workspace elevator that comes with two height-adjustable shelves.
Readydesk is wide enough to hold two 27-inch (68.58-centimeter) monitors, adjusts to suit most people between five feet three inches and six feet three inches (1.5 and 1.8 meters) tall, and even has some built-in cable management.
You can also purchase an additional shelf or a laptop rise if you want additional workspace or need to tilt and raise your laptop a few inches.
- The Readydesk is easily assembled (without tools) and highly adjustable.
- Cross-braces keep the riser from shaking.
- At $169.99 (roughly £110 in the UK, AU$230 in Australia), Readydesk is still one of the more affordable options.
- Readydesk is a semi-permanent standing desk conversion, meaning you likely won’t be switching your desk back and forth between sitting and standing for short periods of time or even on a daily basis.
- Adjusting the height of your keyboard and mouse or monitors means removing an entire shelf, making it slightly more tricky and time-consuming than other adjustable solutions.
Varidesk Pro Plus is one of the most compelling desk conversion kits available today, with excellent quality and stability for an overall smooth experience and no wobbling. It is a two-tiered system that adjusts your monitors and keyboard and mouse together, in one swift motion.
Varidesk Pro Plus comes pre-assembled and ready to use out of the box. Sit it on your existing desk, place your monitor(s) or laptop on the top shelf, keyboard and mouse on the lower shelf and raise the desk to one of the preset height settings.
Varidesk Pro Plus comes in three different models: 30, 38 and 48. The 30 is meant for a single monitor setup, while the 38 supports up to two monitors. The 48 is meant for people up to 6-feet, 1-inch (185 centimeters) tall and allows for two monitors and accessories on the top shelf and a keyboard, mouse and tablet on the lower shelf.
- The benefits are that it adjusts more easily than other standing conversions, as the entire workspace (the top and bottom tiers) move in tandem. The 30 and 38 have 11 different height adjustments, and the 48 has nine height settings for lowering or lifting your workstation.
- The Varidesk Pro Plus sacrifices very little work area at standing or sitting heights.
- Varidesk Pro Plus is very sturdy and, depending on the model, can hold between 35 and 45 pounds (15.9 to 20.4 kilograms).
- Starting at $325 (£215, AU$445) and going up to $500 (£330, AU$690), Varidesk Pro Plus is one of the more expensive standing desk conversions around.
The Ergotron WorkFit-T and the Varidesk Pro Plus are direct competitors. The WorkFit-T has a similar design with comparable features and variations. The major difference between the WorkFit-T and Varidesk Pro Plus is that the WorkFit-T moves vertically, whereas the Varidesk shifts outward (toward users) when raised. If space is tight, the minimalist WorkFit-T may be a better fit.
- The Ergotron WorkFit-T adjusts vertically with the press of two buttons, and it has 15 inches (38.1 centimeters) of vertical adjustment.
- It ships pre-assembled and ready to use out of the box.
- Unlike the Varidesk Pro Plus, the height adjustment is entirely vertical with no lateral movement.
- The Ergotron WorkFit-T holds up to 35 pounds (15.9 kilograms) and offers a fair amount of workspace at standing or sitting height. The updated model, WorkFit-TL, can hold up to 40 pounds (18.1 kilograms) and adds a few inches in all dimensions, offering slightly more workspace than the T model.
- The WorkFit-T retails for $398.99 (£260, AU$545) and the WorkFit-TL can be purchased for $445.99 (£295, AU$610) from ErgoDirect, making it even more expensive than the similar Varidesk Pro Plus.
WorkEZ is the middle ground between Varidesk Pro Plus and StandStand. It’s a small and lightweight conversion that can be easily installed or removed, but it’s also highly adjustable and has a keyboard tray.
WorkEZ comes in three pieces: the laptop or monitor stand, a separate keyboard tray and a detachable mouse pad. The laptop and monitor stand can be adjusted to virtually any angle and up to 18 inches (45.7 centimeters) above the desk height. The laptop stand, keyboard tray and mouse pad are all independently adjustable, making it one of the most customizable conversions available.
- At $99.99 (£65, AU$135), the WorkEZ Standing Desk is adequately priced between the StandStand and Varidesk Pro Plus.
- It is easily added or removed from a traditional desk surface, making it ideal for both sitting and standing.
- With individual adjustments for the laptop or monitor, keyboard and trackpad angle and height, it’s easily the most customizable, with plenty of adjustable conversions offered.
- The downside is that the WorkEZ is not the most stable stand up conversion option.
- Like the StandStand, there is no additional workspace at standing height.
- WorkEZ only fits one monitor or a laptop, and it can only hold up to approximately 13 pounds (5.9 kilograms). If you have an additional monitor or a heavy duty monitor that exceeds that weight limit, you will need something like LIFT.