What To Look For In A Standing Desk Converter?

What To Look For In A Standing Desk Converter?

If you are contemplating whether to buy a standing desk or not, a desk converter can be a good middle-ground. It has most of the pros of using an electric desk. still, it allows you to keep the old office desk intact. But, what about the criteria of an ideal desk converter? What should you look for?

When looking for a standing desk converter, how much space the desk will take away, its height range, and weight capacity are some of the prime considerations you have to make. Apart from that, build quality, leg structure, and price point can help you find the most suitable piece for your home office.

It’s very to find every desired feature inside one desk converter. And, even if you do, the price will not be too budget-friendly. But you can only snatch the best deal if you know which points and important and which are not. If you were trying to know the same thing, you are at the right place. Read on to clear out your doubts.

10 Things You Should Look For In A Standing Desk Converter

Let’s make one thing clear. Each person/worker has a slightly different preference when it comes to using ergonomic furniture (be it a standing desk or a desk riser). However, we have done our best to enlist the most important factors that will dictate your entire experience with a desk converter.  So, without further ado, let’s get started.

1. How Much Space Will It Take?

The number one consideration is how much space you can sacrifice. The part where you keep the desk riser on will be of no use to you anymore. So, the usable desk area will be reduced significantly. For example, the Varidesk Pro Plus 36 has a width of 36 inches. While the Pro Plus 30 and Pro Plus 48 have a width of 30 and 48 inches respectively.

Before you commit to any particular model, make sure you measure the space available on your desk surface. If the desk is spacious (60 inches), you can easily go for any desk converter you like regardless of the model. However, if the desk area is smaller, you have to pay close attention to the desk’s dimensions.

What To Look For In A Standing Desk Converter?

2. What’s The Height Range?

Usually, a regular sitting desk has a height of around 28”. If you are taller, your ideal desk height will be 30” or higher. However, that’s too low when you are standing. A desk riser can increase this height for you. The average adjustability range is 5 to 20 inches. Add these extra 20 inches to the height of your old desk. you get 50+ inches of height in your standing desk. that’s more than necessary if your height is below 5’4”.

So, the taller you are, the narrower your options get. Make sure your eye level matches the monitor screen even as you stand in front of the desk riser.

3. How Much Weight Can It Carry?

Almost every other feature in a standing desk is available within a desk converter as well. But the major difference is in the weight-lifting capacity. While a standing desk can lift as much as 355 pounds easily. A desk converter can only lift 35 to 42 pounds.

Some premium models offer as much as 80 lbs. But that’s not common. Plus, you have to spend too much money on that. Instead, try to look for the maximum weight capacity within your budget. Even a difference of 5 pounds (between 30 pounds and 35 pounds) can be a big deal. When it comes to weight capacity, the more you get, the better. A desk converter will feel more stable carrying the same stuff than another one with a lower weight capacity.

4. Is There An Attached Keyboard Tray?

Desk risers mostly accommodate a large monitor screen. That’s a common scenario in many offices. But what if you need to type something instead of just watching? It would be super uncomfortable if the keyboard is still on the old desk while the monitor is so high on the riser. It reduces your typing skill and makes your eyes move frequently (not a good feeling at all).

The ideal place for a keyboard would be below the desk riser’s surface and above the old desk. Keeping that in mind, many manufacturers attach a keyboard tray just below the desk converter. However, there’s another special thing. It’s called a tilted keyboard tray. It allows the keyboard to be angled instead of being completely parallel to the desk.

This small characteristic brings great relief to your shoulders when you type. It’s easier for your eyes to track as well. Even though a tilted keyboard tray is not very common yet, try to consider this feature if you type a lot.

5. Do You Find The Installation Easy?

Imagine you ordered a desk converter because it looked too cool online. And, within a few days, you receive the parcel. But there are multiple boxes instead of one. That means the desk is not pre-assembled. You have just received all the necessary parts. Now it’s your job to build the desk by joining frames. It feels like playing Legos.

But we know for a fact that not everyone is equally skilled when it comes to assembling parts. especially if it includes drilling, that’s a big NO. Your miscalculation or using the wrong type of screws can ruin your whole experience with the desk converter.

So, please check the installation steps before buying a desk converter. The clearer and shorter the steps, the better. Don’t hesitate to pay a little extra for this convenience.

What To Look For In A Standing Desk Converter?

6. What Type Of Structure Does It Have?

Not all desk converters are built the same way. There are way too many types available right now in the market. But we will walk you through three of the major desk converter type. Let’s see if you like any of them.


Varidesk introduced the first Z-lift desk converter to the market. Varidesk Pro Plus 36 has been their top seller due to its unique zig-zag structure. The benefit of a z-lift desk converter is that, it’s super lightweight to carry.

Plus, it’s a lifesaver for people who have got no time for complex installation. You can use it right out of the box. The legs are in a zig-zag shape and expandable. You can manually adjust the desk’s height by controlling the legs.


Do you prefer stability over anything? Then, traditional X-lift desks would meet your needs perfectly. It’s as wide as a z-lift desk converter and takes up much space on the desk. The good part is that it hardly ever wobbles. As long as you keep the load below its limit, you are good to go.

Post & Base

Another traditional desk converter style is called post and base. It’s for tight workspaces where wide desk converters won’t fit.  Since the adjustable part of the product is situated at the center of the post, it spares a lot of space on the desk.

7. Is It VESA Compatible?

Let’s understand what VESA means. It’s a short term for Video Electronics Standards Association. VESA has introduced a standard for mounting hole patterns for electric devices. It includes your monitors as well. When a desk converter is VESA compatible, you can easily mount the monitor on your desk without going through any difficult measurements. As long as the label says “VESA” compatible, it will fit.

You might not need to pay so much attention to these labels if you don’t plan to mount the monitor on your desk. But we know that the majority of remote workers prefer such type of setting in their offices.

8. Is It Too Heavy?

Portability is a big factor when it comes to desk converters. Of course, it depends on the type of job you have. If you are an artist, who keeps moving from one place to another for inspiration, your desk riser has to be lightweight. Otherwise, handling it becomes a big hassle.

An average desk converter might weigh around 35 to 60 lbs. We have seen some brands manufacture converters with 28.9 lbs of weight. But that’s still not very common or easily available. A heavy desk converter is not always bad though. It can be a sign of high build quality.

Build quality is again highly connected to the price range. The more you pay, the better materials you can expect. Still, here are a few tips.

When you are looking at fixed-height desk risers, try to pick one with a laminated desktop. Most people prefer plastic as it comes cheaper. But if you compare, you are not saving too much money. But the durability of laminated (resin-coated) desktops is more impressive than regular plastic ones.

What To Look For In A Standing Desk Converter?

9. Where Were The Frames Made?

It’s no shocker that the majority of electric desk manufacturers receive components from the same manufacturing facility located outside the country. It includes the frame, motor, and other electric elements. For example, Varidesk partners with Kaidi a supplier from China for most of their desk’s electric parts.

That’s why just blindly believing what a brand tells you is foolish. You must inquire who is the main supplier of the company. And, see whether the supplier company has a good reputation for providing quality products or not. Because they are creating the actual product. The desk brand is only assembling the parts.

There’s one concern though. People usually think a desk converter would not last long if it is actually made in China. That belief is totally wrong. even some major and industry-leading brands depend on Chinese and Taiwanese companies to build major parts of their desks. Try to be a little open-minded and judge the supplying company (not the country!).

10. Is It Affordable?

Even though we have kept prices for the last, it’s often the first thing any of us do while comparing products. It always feels better to save a few bucks. We will say the same thing as you look for an ideal desk converter for your office. 

The range is unbelievable. You can go as low as $45 up to $1000. You can even buy a full-fledged standing desk at the price of some premium quality converters. 

But just to make it a bit easier for you, here are three types of desk converters according to your budget. If your budget is below $200, you must stick with a basic desk converter. It doesn’t come with much ergonomics to impress you. As for the fixed-height desk converters, you don’t have to pay more than $50.

The thing is, we can’t call them desk converters since the height is fixed. It’s like a mini desk on top of a bigger desk. It helps you work while standing if you don’t mind the limited flexibility. 

Price RangeEstimated AmountAvailable Desk Converters
LowBelow $200·        Fixed height desk converter
·        Manually adjusted desk riser
Medium$200 to $400Pneumatic standing desk converter
High$400+·        Pneumatic desk riser with better adjustability
·        Electronic standing desk converter

As you keep increasing the budget, more and more features will be added. You can bag a high-quality pneumatic sit-stand desk converter for $300 to $400. It comes with numerous height adjustment abilities. 

And, if you go above that price range, you will find some amazing electronic options. Just push the button, and the desk knows what to do. It’s even more convenient than the gas/spring mechanism. So, don’t be too carried away by the lower prices. Check whether the desk riser has all the other characteristics we just mentioned.

If yes, then you have got yourself a good deal. And, in case, the product doesn’t fulfill the standards, keep looking till you find the one.

Before You Go!

Standing desk converters are slowly becoming a staple in every other home office. It’s way more flexible to use than a typical standing desk. Plus, the cost is very low. Even with that low price tag, you have to be careful. If you are worrying whether your money will go to waste after buying a desk converter, please follow our article on this topic. Hope you will get a new insight.

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