One downside of working from home is the struggle to be productive.
However, there is a way to boost productivity, and it doesn’t have anything to do with changing your entire outlook on life. The change is simpler than that. Instead, the key to productivity may be the thing you use every day: your desk.
A comfortable working space encourages better productivity. You won’t have to fret about a sore lower back, hunched shoulders, or other discomforts. Your physical comfort can take a toll on your mental ability to work and be efficient.
A key consideration in creating this productive space is a desk that lets you stand and work at the same time. Sitting all day is uncomfortable and can potentially cause spinal issues, muscle aches, and other ailments. Getting a standing desk is a healthier option. These desks not only boost productivity but also increase energy and reduce instances of back pain. However, standing desks also can be quite pricey.
Fortunately, you don’t have to go out and spend on an entirely new standing desk or discard your current one. You can easily switch your existing desk to a standing desk using a desk converter. In this guide, we give you our top picks for the best desk converters 2020 can offer.
What Are Desk Converters?
Standing desk converters, also called desktop risers, are adjustable units that you can place on top of your work desk. When in place, they give you the option of converting your desk into a standing desk with minimal adjustments. They come with a desktop surface and an autonomous keyboard.
Desk converters come in different sizes, budgets, and designs. If you are looking to get one, you would need to consider various factors, including:
- Your existing computing equipment
- Space constraints
Below, in our best desk converters 2020 reviews, we’ve found some of the best options for your based on budget and value. Keeping the buying factors in mind, let’s dive in and find the next best thing to a standing desk that you can invest in today!
Best Value Standing Desk Converters
The FancierStudio Riser 38″ Desk Converter
If you are looking for a wallet-friendly desk converter, the FancierStudio Riser 38″ is worth the investment. It’s a top-quality workstation with an ample workspace. This spacious workspace can accommodate two small-sized monitors or one large one without being overcrowded. It also comes with a separate tray for the keyboard.
The monitor stand is adjustable and can rise as high as 17.7 inches tall. It lands at your doorstep already assembled. For users who dread the thought of joining desk parts, this pre-assembly is a massive plus. The FnacierStudio Riser is a heavy-duty desk converter and can hold up to 30 pounds.
The desk requires no bolting, and the base is broad and sturdy enough to prevent sudden wobbles. It has two hand levers on the sides that you can use to adjust the height level, and they work seamlessly by pulling them from both sides.
You can switch from sitting to standing by moving the handles to one of the eight adjustment levels. The Riser 38′ is affordable and proves you don’t need to splurge to get a high-quality product.
- Supports loads of up to 30 pounds
- Color: Modern Black
- Eight height levels
- 38″ wide working space
- Weighs 60 pounds when shipped
- Product dimensions are 38″ x 29.5″ x 17.7″
- Hand operated height adjustment system
- Minimum height is 5″; maximum height is 17.7″
- Separate keyboard tray
- Arrives fully assembled
- Accommodate tall users
- Quality construction
- Adjustable to eight height levels
- Shakes when raised
- Some users have claimed the locking mechanism isn’t durable
- For certain users, the keyboard tray is too high when they sit down, and too low when they stand. It is also not adjustable.
The FancierStudio Riser 38″ is an excellent product at a fantastic price. If you are looking for a budget desk riser that punches above its weight, then this is the perfect pick. Its keyboard, placed just below the primary workspace, provides your arms with stability and comfort while typing. It’s concave design also ensures you are close to your monitor(s) and keyboard.
If you are seeking the best value, pre-assembled products, or something to accommodate users of varying heights, the FancierStudio is for you. The Riser 38″ is one of the best desk converters in 2020 and offers more workspace than its competition.
The FlexiSpot M2B 35″ Desk Converter
The FlexiSpot M2B 35″ Desk Converter is the second in a series of four standing desk converters. It is a product of the Chinese office manufacturer Locktek. The M2B has come to the fore as a formidable option for those looking to balance the budget with performance. It has a large surface area both for your workspace and keyboard.
The key feature that differentiates the M2B 35″ from other competitors is its vertical lifting mechanism. The main benefit of this mechanism is to save space. With it, you can transition your desk from a sitting to a switching position with ease. It also helps improve the stability of the desk overall.
The M2B comes with twelve height adjustment levels. The lowest point is 5.9″, while it can go as high as 19.7″. This range allows it to accommodate 6-foot-tall users comfortably. Even better are the springs, which operate with minimal noise. You can raise the desk by using the lever on the right-hand side of the desk converter.
- Vertical lift mechanism
- Single handle lever for height adjustment
- Wide desktop surface
- Keyboard tray with a quick-release mechanism
- 12-step height adjuster
- The maximum weight capacity is 35 pounds
- Product dimension is 35 x 31.5 x 5.9″
- Color: Black
- Robust frame constructed using wood and steel
- Spacious work surface enough to hold more than just monitors and keyboards
- Pre-installed cell-phone or tablet slot.
- Easy to operate with one hand, unlike similar products
- Vertical lift mechanism improves stability and saves space
- Competitive price point
- Quick-release keyboard mechanism for swift tray removal
- Seamless transition between sitting and standing due to gas spring mechanism and the single lever
- One-step assembly
- Weight limit of 35 pounds; problematic for large workstations or laptops
- Rigid keyboard tray; will not tilt upwards or downwards for sitting or standing
- Requires some assembly
While there are obvious downsides such as the rigid keyboard tray, the FlexiSpot M2B 35″ converter is one of the best in the market if you are looking for a stable and spacious workspace. Putting it together is also easy, and you can complete it in ten minutes. All you need do is affix the plastic covers and the keyboard tray to the wood and steel frame.
The M2B 35″ desk converter is the perfect buy for those who have limited space. If you live in a studio or small flat, the M2B ensures you can still have the luxury of a sitting/standing converting desk without shelling out big bucks.
Best Budget Standing Desk Converter
The SHW Desk Riser
Bargains don’t get any better than the SHW desk converter. The SHW Riser is the best desk converter 2020 will see for such an affordable price. If your budget is a significant consideration for your choice of a desk riser, then this would be an excellent buy. The SHW riser doesn’t lack any of the essential features you would expect from a conventional desk converter, but it is about one-third the cost of its competitors.
Its height adjustment levels operate quite smoothly and quietly, allowing you to switch between sitting and standing with minimal fuss. It can carry loads of up to 60 pounds without wobbling, and it commands a decent surface area. It can take two monitors side by side comfortably. It also sports a keyboard tray, and a slot for your phone, tablet or notepad.
- Color: Black
- Phone or tablet holder
- X-shaped structure enables vertical switching between sitting and standing
- Heavy-duty steel and engineered wood frame
- Can adjust to a maximum height position of 16″. The minimum is 4″
- Class 4 Pneumatic cylinders for load management
- Product dimensions are 31.5″ x 22″ x 16″
- Useful in any office setup
- Removable keyboard tray
- Spacious work area
- Ergonomic friendly design
- Durable frame
- Extra deep space for work accessories
- Works on any flat surface
- Narrower workspace compared to the competition
If you are looking to find the much-needed balance between sitting and standing while working, then the SHW Desk Converter is your best bet. It not only won’t blow a hole through your wallet, but it will guarantee you most of the features you would get from the big-budget alternatives. The steel and wood frame can hold up to 60 pounds comfortably.
For those on a strict budget, you need a desk converter that can handle most of what you throw at it at a price you can afford. The SHW will deliver on those counts.
Why Buy a Desk Converter?
There are various benefits to buying a desk converter over a standing desk. Besides the obvious health benefits of converting and standing desks in general – reduced risk of obesity, improved heart health, reduction in back and neck pain – desk converters have some distinctive advantages. Here are the significant benefits that should swing your vote:
- Ease or Lack of Assembly
- Keep Your Current Desk
The SHW Desk Riser is an excellent example of the sort of bargains you can get when you go shopping for a standing desk converter. It is the most cost-effective way to join the “standing while working” trend.
Besides saving money from buying a wallet-friendly option, you also save on the associated costs with disposing of your current work desk. All you need do is place the desk converter on top of your existing desk, and you are ready to go.
Shipping costs are also much lower than the standard rates you would pay to ship a standing desk. They are quite compact (the FancierStudio Riser is only 38″ wide) and can fit in the standard shipping parcels.
Ease or Lack of Assembly
Most people dread assembling furniture. You don’t want to make a mistake and probably void the warranty in the process.
Desk converters are perfect if you fall into this category of people. They are mostly ready to use right out of the box. Some of them do need some little assembling, but that shouldn’t take more than ten minutes at most.
You also don’t need any extra or complicated tools for the assembling process. This ease of assembly is unlike a standing desk, which might take you upwards of forty-five minutes to put together.
Keep Your Current Desk
It’s easy to forget how much you might have come to cherish your current desk, especially if its a wooden desk with family history. Perhaps you specifically built it for a reason, or it has the right amount of storage space you need.
A desk converter nullifies the need to replace your beloved possession with a standing desk. It can also complement the aesthetics and functionality of your current desk – either by adding more storage space or increasing the work surface area.
A desk converter allows you to turn about almost anywhere into a workspace. You only need to find a flat surface, and you are ready to start chewing at your to-do list.
A standing desk doesn’t afford you this sort of flexibility. Plus, who wouldn’t want the ability to work anywhere you feel like in the house? Especially if you have some rambunctious toddlers roaming the house with boundless energy to burn, the ability to work anywhere with a simple converter is a blessing.
Getting a standing desk converter over a standing desk unit does have some great benefits. However, it does have its disadvantages. Here are some of the drawbacks of standing desk converters:
- Desktop Space While Standing
- Limit of Value for Money
- Operation with Heavy Items
Desktop Space While Standing
When you switch from a sitting to a standing position, you may discover that some of your frequently used items are out of reach. In some instances, the process of trying to reach for one of the things can cause stuff to tip over or snap some wires left hanging inadvertently.
Desk converters take up space on the desktop overall. While converters do have some storage space, it is usually quite limited when compared to a standing desk or your current desk.
Standing desk converters are usually not the prettiest piece of work equipment around. It’s challenging to design a visually pleasing piece with something so functional.
Most manufacturers focus on how practical the device can be and aim to use every inch of its frame effectively. In recent times, manufacturers have tried to overcompensate with the choice of wood and colors, but that isn’t still enough.
The need to make a desk converter that is pleasing to the eye also ends up affecting the prices, meaning shoppers might as well buy a standing desk.
Limit of Value for Money
It’s a no-brainer that standing desk converters are a cost-effective option to a standing desk at the moment. However, manufacturers are beginning to design and produce more affordable standing desks.
Brands like SHW currently produce both affordable converters and standing desks. With these options, consumers may find there is a limit on the value of a converter. Plus, with a standing desk, you most likely would keep the item for ten years or more, making the long-term value better than a converter.
Operation with Heavy Items
If your industry or line of work means you always have heavy workstations on-top of your desk, a desk converter might not be the right solution.
Most standing desk converters require manual operation. A manually operated mechanism means that your potential desk converter is either gas-strut or coil spring operated.
With risers, the load on top of the desk directly impacts how easy it is to lower and raise it.
Ready to Convert Your Desk?
Are you ready to convert your desk to a standing desk? Have you narrowed down a list of desk converter options, but you aren’t sure which model or manufacturer is your final choice? Use this checklist of factors to consider when shopping for the best desk converters in 2020.
- Level of Adjustability: The height adjustment system is critical, especially if you are a tall customer. Your final standing desk converter should not only switch smoothly from sitting to standing. It also should have enough levels to accommodate your height and different sizes/types of your work chair.
- Ergonomics: Ergonomics is one, if not the most, crucial consideration when picking a standing desk converter. It is also the primary reason why you considered a desk converter in the first place. You need to ensure that the specifications of the work surface area and keyboard tray work for your height or work posture. If you get this wrong, you are sure to get accelerated neck and back pain. All manufacturers claim they have designed their models with ergonomics in mind, but confirming if it’s true never harmed anyone.
- User Reviews: The user reviews are a great place to get first-hand insights on what it’s like to use the desk converter you plan on buying. You should spend some time carefully reviewing the comments. Ensure you visit both the positive and negative reviews sections to get a balanced view of your chosen model. You can also visit product review sites such as Consumer Reports to see what consumers think of your choice.
- Quality: Quality is one aspect that will jump at you once you spend some time reviewing consumer comments and reviews. You can also get a sense of the quality of the product by looking at the materials used and how it looks. First impressions can be deceptive, so you should probably speak to someone who understands the materials much better than you. You also want to worry about the quality of construction, but you would get that from consumer reviews. Low-quality products would have a high incidence of complaints on it packing up with regular usage.
- Design: Design is contextual to a certain extent. It not only depends on your eye for beauty but also on the manufacturer. Most desk converter manufacturers follow a design philosophy of function over form. This philosophy means that they prioritize the practicality of the desk converter over design. In recent times, this compromise has changed. However, the majority of the desk converters are drab and unassuming. Your best shot at using design as a criterion for choice would be the range of colors or the type of wood used to create the work surface area and keyboard tray.
- Customer Service: While most want to avoid having to speak to customer service, this is an essential factor to consider when making your final choice. Customer service comes into play when you need help with issues such as repairs, returns, or assembly. Ensure that they are responsive and don’t have a reputation for hanging customers out to dry when there are issues with their product. The customer reviews section should also be able to give you a clue about the competence and quality of their customer support team.
Picking a desk converter can seem like a complicated chore. However, the above pointers can act as a yardstick for ensuring you purchase the appropriate converter that suits your requirements. You might also need to consider your budget.
If you still aren’t sure about switching over to using standing desk converters, the health benefits should tip the scale for you. Converting your desk to a standing desk means you stand a better chance of avoiding back and neck pain as you grow older. You are also in a more improved mood, which generally improves your performance at work.
So what are you waiting for – use our best desk converter 2020 reviews and buy a converter now!