No matter how comfortable your office chair is, sitting in it all day just isn’t healthy. But then standing for eight hours every day isn’t for everybody, either.
Desktop risers, or standing desk converters, are a convenient compromise. They allow you the best of both worlds.
These simple adjuncts to conventional desks permit you the option to stand or sit while you work. You set them on your current desk and that’s it.
Most desktop risers feature a desktop surface with a separate keyboard tray. They are available in a range of sizes and designs.
Finding the Right Desktop Riser for Your Home Office
Finding the right desktop riser comes down to your height, computing equipment, office space, and budget. That’s a lot to consider.
Here are four of the best adjustable desktop risers to help you think on your feet.
The Best of the Best
The Flexispot Stand Up Desk Converter is a spacious, top-selling riser with two decks. One is for your computer monitor, the other for the keyboard. Flexispot manufactures this unit in five adjustable heights: 28 inches, 30 inches, 32 inches, 35 inches, and 42 inches.
The riser is available in two colors: black and mahogany. We favor the 35-inch model, which is suitable for a dual display setup.
The top deck measures 35 inches wide and 23.2 inches deep. The keyboard tray is 34.1 inches wide and 12.7 inches deep.
The riser functions on an ironing-board-style frame with a scissor joint. You can raise the height of your worktop from 5.5 inches to 19.7 inches. Flexispot says the worktop will carry a total load of 33lbs.
What we like most about the unit are its small, fixed base and its height adjustment system. The mechanism does not involve gliders on the table. Rather, the legs fold within the base that sits on the table.
This means the workstation rises and folds straight-up vertically, within its girth. There’s no need to make spatial accommodations, which other risers might require.
The X shape design of the system works so well it makes us question most other designs. It offers a significant improvement in stability, space-saving – and more importantly, value for money.
“The operation is smooth,” says one reviewer on Amazon. “I only have a monitor on mine, but I’ve never had to remove the monitor or any miscellaneous items when adjusting the height.”
Our verdict? While the FlexiSpot standing desk converter certainly isn’t cheap, it’s relatively affordable compared to full adjustable desk units.
If you don’t mind paying a premium for quality, then this product is well worth your attention.
A Strong Runner-Up
If you’re looking for a more affordable option, consider the Simbr Standing Desk Converter. We liked this product right out of the box.
This dual deck riser requires practically no assembly. You can use it right out of the box – just don’t forget to attach the keyboard tray.
Simbr designed the riser for use as a small setup. The worktop offers a 30.2-inch x 17.8-inch upper deck with a beveled edge for a clean look. The upper deck allows room for two small computer monitors or two laptops.
The detachable lower keyboard tray measures 30 inches x 12 inches. The tray elevates in sync with the desktop and features a shock-proof strip to protect your furniture from scratches.
This desktop riser works on a gas spring hovering system you can adjust by squeezing a single handle.
The adjustable range is between 4.9 inches to 16.9 inches. We found the system easy to use, but some reviewers have said otherwise.
Thanks to a strong base, this Simbr desktop riser can hold up to 28 pounds. The keyboard tray will meanwhile carry up to five pounds of office equipment.
“I will probably be in the standing position for at least 80 percent of the time,” says one satisfied customer on Amazon. “If you are on the fence about this desk, I would definitely recommend it.”
A Great Budget Option
The Vivo Height-Adjustable Desk Riser V000K is another affordable option that doesn’t give anything away in terms of functionality.
Like the Simbr, this desktop riser is almost ready to use right out of the box. You won’t need to call a handyman to assemble it for you. Simply attach the keyboard tray and add it to your desk!
The Vivo desktop converter features a 31.5-inch x 15.7-inch desktop surface that will support up to 33 pounds of equipment. That’s just a little more workspace than that offered by the Simbr standing desk converter.
The removable keyboard tray’s dimensions are similar to those of the unit’s upper deck. You’ll have ample room for your keyboard, mouse, tablet, and perhaps even another laptop.
The vertical adjustment on this riser works on pneumatic controls. You’ll be able to raise and lower it across a range that spans 4.7 inches to 19.7 inches.
Adjusting the height is simple and easy. All you need to do is squeeze a lever located under the upper deck.
“This is a well-designed product that does what it needs to,” says one satisfied customer on Amazon. “Good value, easy assembly, and functions exactly as described.”
The DESK-V000K comes with a three-year manufacturer’s warranty. It’s available in three colors: black, white, and wood-brown. You’ll have fun matching your riser with your existing desk for a uniform look!
The Fitueyes Height-Adjustable Standing Desk is the most inexpensive option in our review. It’s also the only single-top desktop converter on our list.
Even so, this desktop riser offers a less expensive space-saving solution without sacrificing too much of your workspace.
The unit features a gas-string height-locking mechanism. The system allows you to adjust the riser from as low as 2.6 inches to as high as 16.1 inches.
The 30-inch x 20-inch desktop will accommodate two mid-sized monitors – or two laptops – along with a mouse and keyboard.
Depending on the equipment you use, you may even have room to fit other items on the desktop.
This Fitueyes desktop riser comes fully assembled. All you have to do is take it out of the box and place it on your desk. You can start working as soon as you’ve arranged your laptops, monitors, keyboard, and mouse on the workstation.
The legs on the riser are made of steel. The desktop surface is cut from laminated particleboard. To improve the unit’s stability, Fitueyes has equipped the desk with rubber padding.
The padding prevents movement even as it protects the surface of your current desk from scratches.
Despite its sturdy structure, however, this desktop riser can only support 22 pounds of equipment.
Some reviewers have attributed the limitation to the unit’s complicated gas-spring design, which some claim also tends to malfunction.
“Once I got the table out of the box and pressed the handle it shot up to full size,” laments one customer review. “Then that was it – it would not move.”
All in all, however, this is product offers decent value for your money. So, if space and budget are constraints for you, we say this Fitueyes desktop riser is worth a look.
A Cost-Effective Compromise
If budget is your concern, a desktop riser can be a cost-effective way to start standing while you work. Not only are desktop risers less expensive than full-standing desks, but you also forego disposing of your current desk.
You’ll see additional cost savings when it comes to shipping, too. Because of their compact size, carriers ship them like standard parcels right to your door.
That said, if you use multiple heavy monitors, a manually-operated desktop riser may not be the best solution. All the items above are either coil spring or gas-operated. The weight of your equipment has a direct consequence on ease of height adjustment in such cases.
Of course, a new alternative to consider is an electric standing desk converter.
But that’s a whole other set of product reviews for another day.