Standing Desk Converter Types: Complete Guide

Hundreds of various sit-stand conversion devices are now available. They are available in a variety of designs. There are no two converters that are identical.

We discovered that they virtually all fell into one of five categories: Fixed Dual Platforms, Post & Tray, Floating, Electric, and Single Platform & Laptop. Within each group, there are inherent benefits and downsides. I’ll go through the primary distinctions between these various designs further down.

1. Fixed Dual Platforms Converters

The fixed dual-platform category has the greatest number of converters. These items include a display platform as well as a keyboard tray. The keyboard tray will be placed a few inches below the display platform and will remain there even when the height is adjusted.

They will include springs or gas lifts to help with height adjustment. The only difference between these goods is their underlying design. All of the models I’ve examined fall into one of four categories: z-shaped, double-z-shaped, x-shaped, and double-x-shaped.

Z Shape

A z-shaped base has a single arm that lays flat when the converter is lowered and rises vertically when you reach standing height. This results in an arcing movement pattern that pushes you away from your desk when you’re seated and pulls you closer to it when you’re standing.

This design allows the keyboard tray to be at the same or lower level than your desk. This is the only fixed dual-platform converter I’ve seen that doesn’t raise your keyboard when you sit.

Double Z shape

One of the most common bases is the double z shaped base, which is utilized by the well-known Varidesk Pro Plus. Two arms go from the base to the underside of the monitor platform on this base.

This design works in the opposite direction as the single z form. When you lift the unit, the platforms will advance toward you, and when you lower it, the platforms will collapse back onto the desk. When opposed to a single z, a double z enables for substantially larger work surfaces to be effectively supported.

X shape

An x-shaped base is best compared to a standard ironing board. The base’s bottom narrows to push the platforms higher and expands to lower the platforms. On an x-shaped base, the movement pattern is straight up and down.

One distinction between x-shaped bases and other items is that they adapt slowly and need more effort when reaching higher elevations.

Double X shape

Two X-shaped metal arms go from the base to the underside of the work surface on a double X-shaped base. The presence of an X on either side of the platform indicates that it is properly supported. A straight up and down movement pattern is produced by the x-shaped base. The presence of two Xs as opposed to one increases the consistency of the adjustment speed.

The convenience of use and absence of assembly are the primary selling advantages for this type of converter. They generally only feature rudimentary functions, such as height adjustability.

Because they are not unduly sophisticated with several settings and moving parts, they are straightforward to operate. Almost majority of these converters are ready to use right out of the box, making them an appealing alternative for folks who do not wish to assemble them.

The most significant disadvantage of the fixed dual platform design is its lack of ergonomics. Without the addition of a monitor arm, none of these models are dual ergonomic. When you sit, almost all of them boost your keyboard height, and many of them have high display platforms. Few of these converters have an adjustment range large enough to accommodate persons taller than 6’0″, and many of these devices are limited to a specific number of heights.

2. Post & Tray Converters

Some of the most expensive standing desk adapters are found in the post & tray category. The post will either have a freestanding metal base or will be clamped or grommeted to your desk. The keyboard tray will then be mounted to the column.

Some variants have extremely large keyboard trays that may also serve as task space. Other models provide a distinct tier of area for tasking. The majority of models will feature Vesa mounting systems, however there are a few devices that provide an extra platform for using a monitor on a stand.

The ergonomics and adaptability of the post and tray items are their most significant advantages. All of the devices in this category offer dual ergonomics and a wide range of adjustability.

The majority of them feature limitless position locks, and a number of them have keyboards that extend far below your desk. They all have various adjustments, and many are simple enough to make with a single hand.

The main disadvantages of items in this category are their high price and their size. The big column with many monitors commands attention in your office. Certain of these types also require desk mounting, which may be difficult for some persons. The majority of the items in this category are priced between $500 and $800, which is significantly pricier than the dual fixed platform converters, which are typically priced around $300.

3. Floating Converters

Floating standing desk converters work similarly to monitor arms. They just have a keyboard tray attachment along with your monitor. Some models will also allow you to add a task space to the converter.

Most items are clamp fastened to the back of your desk, however grommet mount alternatives are also available. The tension of the converter may be adjusted dependent on the weight of your monitors.

The floating sit-stand converters’ main selling point is its desktop adaptability and wide range of adjustment. Having complete arm articulation allows you to construct an infinite variety of working positions.

When not in use, you may swing the unit away from your desk, freeing up your typical work space. Because you can simply flip your screen in any direction, you can easily share it with other people in the room. These goods are also ergonomic for short and tall persons due to their wide adjustment range.

The disadvantages of this design are its lack of stability and task space. Having your monitors and keyboard tray dangling that far from the place where it is fastened to your desk implies it will be unstable.

All of the goods in this category have an excessive amount of overall bounce. All of them are among the least stable standing desk adapters evaluated. The lack of task space is also an issue, as most individuals like to keep their most often used items right close to them rather than down on their desk.

4. Electric Standing Desk Converters

Electric standing desk converters are powered by a motor and operated by a button press. Within this category, the design options will be the most varied.

We’ve tested electric converters using post-and-tray designs, twin fixed platforms, and even single z-shaped platforms. While the designs are often extremely diverse, they do have many similarities in terms of advantages and disadvantages.

The most significant benefit of using an electric converter is that it takes no physical effort. Simply push a button, and the motor does the rest. This is ideal for persons who have an injury, a medical condition, or limited strength.

Some electric converters also have larger weight ratings than the 30 pound range seen on most sit stand converters, which is appealing to folks who wish to fill their desk with more goods.

The main disadvantage of electric converters is that you don’t gain anything while introducing a lot of danger. By including electronics, you’ve transformed something from basic yet useful to sophisticated with a considerably greater failure rate. Almost all electric desktop converters are made with low-cost Chinese components. This just raises the chances of the electronics failing.

5. Single Platform & Laptop Converters

Single platform units will often have a single x-shaped base and may occasionally have a custom-designed base that does not fall into any of the basic categories. These items generally feature a rectangle-shaped platform with just height adjustment.

The cheap price point and adaptability of these goods will be their key selling points. Some people do not want to invest $300 or more on a standing desk converter that they will only use sometimes.

A single platform converter that folds down and can be transported is beneficial for much more than simply your usual monitor and keyboard setup. These items are ideal for tiny places, and many of them fold down to be small enough to carry with you or keep under your desk or in a closet.

The most significant disadvantages of a single platform and laptop goods are their lack of ergonomics and poor build quality. Because their minimum height is so high, almost all of them are impractical to utilize while sitting.

When you wish to sit, you will need to remove the majority of them off your desk. They also lack dual ergonomics because to their one platform and narrow height adjustment ranges. These goods will often have lesser build quality and shorter warranties, resulting in a shorter life lifespan.

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