If you’re intending to switch from the traditional workstation to a sit-stand desk, you may be wondering how to make the right choice because there are many options available to choose from. What is the difference between a height-adjustable desk and a standing desk converter? How do I choose a height-adjustable desk over the standing desk converter? There is no clear-cut winner. Just like there are pros and cons to sitting and standing, there are pros and cons to height-adjustable desks and standing desk converters. In this article, we’ll look at the pros and cons of both products. This will help you choose the product that’s suitable for your needs and office situation.
Standing Desk Converters
A standing desk converter is a sit-stand product that rests on top of your current workstation. There are two modes of operation for standing desk converters:
- A gas spring mechanism lifts the keyboard and mouse tray area and the monitor rides on a column.
- The standing desk converter operates like an ironing board and it has multiple hinge points, which use a gas cylinder and spring assist to move the converter up and down.
Some standing desk converters adjust electronically, but many adjust manually using the gas spring mechanism. They adjust quickly and quietly.
Pros of Standing Desk Converter
- Standing desk converters allow you to keep your existing desk. With a standing desk converter, you can keep your traditional desk, adding standing functionality with little assembly, rearranging, or redecorating.
- They are less costly. Standing desk converters offer a lower starting price point than height-adjustable desks. This allows you to make the sit-stand switch affordably.
- Standing desk converters feature a built-in multi-level design. Unlike a normal desk which may require additional monitor stands or mounts, standing desk converters offer separate levels for keyboards and monitors, allowing you to achieve the right posture with minimal equipment.
- Assembly time. Typically, converters are easy to assemble.
Cons of Standing Desk Converters
- Stability and weight capacity. There are many styles of standing desk converters. Some only hold a laptop, while others can hold both a laptop and a keyboard. However, standing desk converters can’t hold much weight, and you may need to remove things from the converter while raising/lowering it, which can be a bother.
- Height range. Standing desk converters feature varying height ranges. However, typical converters may be too tall for petite people to use while seated. Also, typical converters may be too short for tall people to use while standing.
- Surface space. Standing desk converters provide limited workspace. With a work surface width of 36”, the converter solution doesn’t provide an ergonomic keyboard height. Limited work surface on converts means having to leave frequently used items on the existing workstation, 12” to 16” below. Thus, bending becomes a requirement.
- Cable management. Your standing desk converter, computer, and all wiring move together when you switch to a standing position. However, most converters don’t come with any cable management, so the wires can become a big bother if you don’t manage them adequately.
Height-Adjustable Standing Desks
A height-adjustable desk is a desk whose entire surface is height adjustable. Some height-adjustable standing desks adjust manually by a crank, but increasingly more common height-adjustable desks adjust electronically; they move from sitting to standing position with the touch of a button.
Autonomous SmartDesk 2 Premium is a fully height-adjustable standing desk. It has 4 programmable height settings to suit a wide range of sit-stand needs. This height-adjustable standing desk features a smooth, silent dual-motor system, which lifts 300 lbs at the touch of a button. This SmartDesk allows you to raise or lower your work surface to the optimal height thanks to its remarkable height range from 26” to 52”, referring proper height of standing desk. With this standing desk, you’ll experience maximum focus, flexibility, and productivity.
Pros of Height-Adjustable Standing Desks
- Stability and weight capacity. Height-adjustable desks can support more weight than converters. The size and stability of height-adjustable desks allow them to hold a higher weight capacity than converters. If you have a setup with multiple large monitors, then a height-adjustable desk is your best bet.
- Height range. Most height-adjustable desks feature height ranges of 21” up to 52”. This height range allows you to adjust your workstation properly to your desired height, in a sitting or a standing position.
- Surface space. A height-adjustable desk allows you to place everything at the same height, so when you switch to a standing position there’s no awkward reaching for items you use frequently.
- Assembly Time. You can assemble Autonomous standing desks in as little as 15 minutes.
- Travel Speed. Autonomous standing desks move at 2.3” per second. Thus, it takes a few seconds to raise or lower your workstation.
- Cable management. You can purchase your standing desk together with the Autonomous cable tray. Every height-adjustable desk needs a cable tray to keep all the cables uncluttered.
Cons of Height-Adjustable Desks
- Height-adjustable desks are more costly than standing desk converters. Typically, a height-adjustable desk is a bigger investment than a standing desk converter. Thus, you must pay close attention to features and specifications that will suit your needs and office situation.
- You may need to invest in other accessories, including monitor arms. Because most height-adjustable desks are flat, depending on your monitor size and height, you may need to get a monitor arm to adjust your monitor to the proper height in relation to your keyboard and mouse.
The Final Verdict
There’s no clear-cut winner when comparing height-adjustable desks with standing desk converters. The best solution depends entirely on your needs and preferences.
A height-adjustable desk may be the best option for someone who spends most of their time typing on the computer and doesn’t need to reach for frequently used items on the stationary parts of the converter.
However, a height-adjustable desk is the best choice for someone who needs quick and easy access to the office items near them. But striking the right balance between sitting and standing throughout the working day is crucial in experiencing a wide range of benefits linked to height-adjustable desks. Standing desk converters only do half the job.
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