Height Adjustable Desk vs. Standing Desk Converter: Who Comes Out on Top?

29 October 2018

If you’re considering making the switch to a standing desk, you may be wondering how to select the right equipment. What are the differences between a full sit-stand desk and a standing desk converter? How do I decide on one over the other? There may not be a clear-cut winner. Just as there are pros and cons to both sitting and standing, there are pros and cons to desks and converters. Compare this simple list to your workstation needs to find out how to best take advantage of the benefits of standing.

Height Adjustable Desk Pros and Cons

A height adjustable desk is a full desk in varying shapes whose entire surface is height adjustable. Some desks are manually adjusted by a crank, but increasingly more common are electric height adjustable desks that move from sitting to standing with the touch of a button.

Pro: Electric adjustment makes standing easy. With many electric height adjustable desks, you can program preset heights so your desk will automatically adjust itself to your perfect sitting and standing posture every time. Additionally, you can set recurring reminders prompting you to stand at regular intervals.

Pro: Desks are less cluttered and more accessible. A height adjustable desk allows you to have complete use of your work surface when standing – not just the keyboard, monitor and mouse for which the converter is intended – and with a clean, flat surface, height adjustable desks are more aesthetically pleasing.

Pro: Height adjustable desks can support more weight. Because of their size and stability, height adjustable desks have a higher weight capacity than converters. If you require a setup with multiple large monitors, you may feel more secure with a full desk.

Con: Height adjustable desks are more expensive. In most cases, a height adjustable desk will be a bigger investment than a standing desk converter – so make sure to pay close attention to features and specifications that will match your needs.

Con: You may also need to invest in monitor arms. Since many height adjustable desks are flat, depending on your monitor size and height, you may require a monitor arm to set your monitor to the proper height relative to your keyboard and mouse.


Standing Desk Converter Pros and Cons

A standing desk converter is a smaller workstation that is placed on top of an existing, traditional desk. Some converters adjust electronically, but many are adjusted manually, with a gas spring mechanism, quickly and quietly.

Pro: You can keep your existing desk. The main advantage of a standing desk converter is that you can keep your existing desk, adding standing functionality without having to do much assembly, rearranging or redecorating.

Pro: Standing desk converters are generally less expensive. Price can vary among all product types, but in general, you’ll find that standing desk converters offer a lower starting price point than full height adjustable desks – so you can make the sit-stand switch affordably.

Pro: Converters have a built-in multi-level design. Unlike a flat desk that may require additional monitor stands or mounts, standing desk converters offer separate (and adjustable) levels for monitors and keyboards, so you can easily achieve the right posture with minimal equipment.

Con: Standing desk converters are typically manual. Generally, standing desk converters do not offer an electric option, though if you have a bit more budget available you can find some that do.

Con: The surface is smaller. The surface of a standing desk converter will not be as large as a full height adjustable desk. Most converters are designed to hold your monitors on the main surface and your mouse and keyboard below on an adjustable tray. For most desk work, this is all you need – but on those increasingly rare occasions when you need to reach for a pen and paper, it might be just a bit farther away when you’re standing with a converter.

Regardless of which standing solution makes sense for you, you’ll be gaining the health benefits of time spent standing…and that’s a “pro” all around!