Wish your current desk was a standing desk but you don’t want to (or can’t) replace it? While adjustable desks are great, you don’t need to buy one to get the benefits. There are plenty of desk converters out there, and we’ve looked at the best ones.
What’s a desk converter? While some companies call their products “risers” and some “converters”, the basic premise is the same. They sit atop your desk and when you wish to stand you lift up the work surface, typically on a scissor-lift style mechanism, to standing height.
Each of these desk converters does something useful to enhance your current working space. Whether that’s by expanding the room for your keyboard or simply by providing a little extra space for your arms to rest, there’s a desk riser for you. Typically, desk converters are a great way of giving you extra flexibility on your desk without feeling obligated to buy a whole new piece of furniture. Because, after all, new office desks aren’t cheap and who wants the hassle of buying a whole new sturdy table? Even better yet, if you’re trying to get your boss to sign off on an office purchase, it’s much easier to pitch a $100 desk riser than a $500+ standing desk.
Here’s our pick of the best desk converters currently out there.
Best Premium Adjustable Pick: FlexiSpot Stand Up Desk Converter ($250)
The FlexiSpot Stand Up Desk Converter isn’t cheap by any means but it is exceptionally good for flexibility. The 35″ standing desk riser is designed with standing in mind, but it also has a deep keyboard tray too. It’s so deep you could even place a laptop in there, nice and snug below your monitor set up. If you need to have a lot of paperwork spread out, as well as your monitors, full sized keyboard, mouse and mouse pad, all right in front of you—this is the solution for you.
A quick release removable keyboard tray further improves things, adding some flexibility to the experience. As with other desk converters, a gas spring mechanism means you can easily manipulate things without needing to be strong yourself. It only takes a few minutes to set up too. If you’re looking for a full-size adjustable standing desk, we’d encourage you to check out our review of one of Flexispot’s standing desk models—it’s a great desk and worth every penny.
Best Budget Model: VIVO Black Height Adjustable Standing 32″ Desk Sit Stand Converter ($100)
As substantial as its name, the VIVO Black Height Adjustable Standing 32″ Desk Sit Stand Converter does everything pretty well. It adds an adjustable workstation to your desk so that through an easy to use height locking mechanism, you can adjust the height between 1″ and 15″. A built-in gas spring means it lifts up easily enough without you needing to brute force it too.
It’s solidly built and holds up to 22lb so it’s good to go with a dual monitor set up if you want it to. There’s plenty of room here for a full sized keyboard, monitor, laptop and a few other bits and pieces too. Finally, it’s pre-assembled too so minimal hassle for you straight out of the box.
Best For Expanded Workspace: Slendor Standing Desk Converter ($126)
Many of the desk converters here are good for turning your conventional desk into a standing desk, but the Slendor Standing Desk Converter has the edge with that particular scenario. That’s because it’s so straightforward. It effectively adds some height to your desk without any need for separate components or lifts. It’s all simply a flat surface, only higher.
Where things get even more useful is with your choice of height range. There are more than 200 height adjustable positions so there’s a level for everyone. The maximum height is 17″ with the different positions meaning it’s good for people between 5′ and 6’3″. It’s another desk riser that’s easy to install too, so expect to be ready to go within a few minutes.
Best For Laptops: FlexiSpot Laptop Desk Riser ($100)
Designed with laptops in mind, the FlexiSpot Laptop Desk Riser has the perfect footprint for laptop use. It holds up to 17lb with the 26″ work surface spacious enough for any laptop, mouse, and a few other bits and pieces.
There are 5 different height adjustment settings which accommodate most users, as well as offers some functionality for those experimenting with a standing desk setup. It might not be as feature rich as some more expensive solutions, but it’s great if you simply want to get your working height just right. It has an easy set of levers to adjust height too, plus you can easily move it around thanks to a built-in handle.
Best For Portability: Executive Office Solutions Adjustable Laptop Desk/Stand ($40)
Sometimes, you need to step away from your work desk and head to a different kind of desk — like one at a coffee shop or library. The Executive Office Solutions Adjustable Laptop Desk/Stand means you can still take a crucial part of your setup with you, wherever you go. It’s a lightweight and highly portable desk tray that rotates 360 degrees and locks in place at various angles, so you can easily get the right perspective while you work.
It isn’t particularly stylish, admittedly, but it does the job well. Non-slip feet mean it adapts to any situation you throw at it, and it’s far better than risking back or neck ache because you got your posture all wrong. It’s cheap too, so could potentially be a good way of trying out a new angle in the office.