A standing desk converter is a great way to start working while standing, without having to invest a lot of money or changing your existing desk. The market is full of standing desk converters so here’s all you need to consider before buying one.
Currently, there are various types of standing desk converters to choose from. These are the most important 6 categories, each with its advantages and disadvantages.
Desktop Risers: This is a simple box or shelf that sits on your current desk and lets you raise the height of your computer. This type of converter is inexpensive, but it will only allow you to use the desk at a single level, without the ability to transition from a sitting to a standing position (link to how much you can stand).
Post & Base: This type of converter usually has a shelf for your keyboard and a monitor arm for your desktop screen. They generally use gas lift mechanisms to make quiet adjustments. They do to take up much space on your desk, but they tend to be pretty expensive.
Electric: The electric desk converter is similar to the Post & Base one, the only difference being that the raising mechanism is electric. The height adjustment is made with just a push of the button. They tend to be more expensive than the Post & Base models.
Hover: The Hover desk converter is basically a large monitor arm that has a working surface attached, for your mouse and keyboard. As the name suggests, this type of converter hovers over your desk and offers you the best ergonomic adjustability. Thanks to its mobility, the Hover is great for screen sharing.
Z-Lift: This is probably the most popular desk converter type. It has great stability and makes switching for a sitting to a standing position very easy. All you have to do is squeeze the two brake release paddles, adjust the height, and let go. The Z-Lift converter is also one of the cheapest solutions available.
X-Lift: The X-Lift converter is popular as well and very similar to the X-Lift, the only difference is that they move straight up and down instead of arching. This desk converter type offers the best possible stability and is also cheaper than the Z-Lift. The only downsides are the pinching risk and the fact that they usually don’t come with a keyboard tray that can be tilted.
Every one of the converter types, except the Desk Risers, has an adjustable height. The maximum height it can achieve is very important, as some converters might not be adequate for tall people. You will also want to buy a product that has an adjustable keyboard tray, as you may have to raise or lower it to achieve the best ergonomic position for you.
The stability of a standing desk converter is very important, as you don’t want your monitor or other things falling off or shaking while you are typing. Moreover, if the converter is wobbly, you may have to use more force when typing or using your mouse, which can lead to pain in your wrist and hand.
Another crucial aspect is the ergonomics of the desk converter. You will want to buy a model that allows you to properly adjust both the keyboard shelf and the monitor, to prevent any neck or back strain or pain. If you will buy one that is uncomfortable to use, you will end up just discarding it, thus losing a few hundred dollars.
The standing desk converter size is the next feature you want to pay attention to. Some converters have a larger work surface than others. The best choice will come down to personal preference, just make sure that you will have enough room for everything.
The total weight capacity of a converter is often overlooked by many. While all converter can easily handle a monitor, a keyboard and a mouse, if you plan on using multiple computer screens you will have to check the specifications first and make sure that it can handle all the extra weight.
Some desk converters come ready to go, while others might need some assembly work. In case you purchase a standing desk converter that needs assembly make sure that you have all the necessary tools available. If you’re afraid you don’t have the skill or patience to assemble one, just buy a standing desk converter that comes ready to use, out of the box.
Some standing desk converters come with additional features. Some of them have a special spot to place your smartphone, others are more suited for your laptop or are adapted for corner desks. Before you make a purchase, check if the convert has any additional features that might help you throughout your workday.
The last important factor you need to pay attention to is the warranty and return policy. You’ll want to go for the highest available warranty period, for your peace of mind. Buying from a manufacturer with good return policy will allow you to return the standing desk converter if, for example, you find out your body can’t handle working while standing, or if you simply just don’t like it.
While color is not as important as the other factors, it is best to always go for a standing desk converter that can easily blend in with the rest of your office. A converter that easily stands out might not be so appealing to the eye. Most manufacturers will have color or wood grain options, so it shouldn’t be too difficult to match your existing desk or other office furniture.
This is all you need to know in order to buy the perfect standing desk converter for you. While opting directly for a sit-stand desk is better, the desk converters are a great way to save money, especially if you find out that your body, especially knees, can’t handle standing for too long.