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What is the difference between a riser desk and a standing desk ?

Sometimes it's confusing navigating some of the new terminology involved with ergonomic office furniture. In this post, we explain the difference between a Riser desk and a standing desk.

Riser desk with clamp fitting
Riser desk with clamp fitting

A Riser desk is designed for a situation where you are trying to enable a fixed height desk for the possibility of standing as well as sitting. It involves fixing or placing a riser mechanism on top of an existing desk and they will normally have a gas lift that enables the user to shift from standing to sitting.

The main advantage is obvious. You can use existing desks as standing desks without the cost and hassle of completely replacing desks. This was a really popular solution when standing at desks was a new thing but over time the cost difference has got less as electric standing desks have got cheaper and most offices elect to replace fixed height desks as opposed to retro-fitting them in this way.

Some of the disadvantages of riser desks include that they required a large desk footprint to be able to provide the stability at height. It meant that the base of the riser took up a large proportion of the desk space and provided very little space for other items.

In addition, riser desks were not ideal to fit monitor arms to - in that they require a stable surface to stop them rocking. Many riser desks were elevated platforms with an 18 mm top to attach the monitor arm to and they lacked the stability required.

Finally, an electric motor proved a way easier way to get your desk from sitting to standing position that a gas lift with a lever that released the lift. Once again the cost of electric motor desks have come down and potential buyers have shown a clear preference for the ease and convenience of an electric sit stand mechanism.

We still sell riser desks but we would sell 20 sit stand desks for every riser desk. We feel we have solved the stability issue by have a clamp mechanism that secures the riser to the back of the desk but we recommend that a riser is used with a laptop rather than a desktop computer for reasons of weight and available desk space.


What is the difference in cost between a Riser desk and an electric stand sit desk ?

This depends on the brand and model of riser desk. However the Varidesk riser sells for around $600 and you can now buy an electric stand sit desk for $550 from our web site.

Why does a Riser desk take up so much desk space ?

Are desk risers worth it ?

Do the gas lifts on a desk riser last as long as an electric motor ?


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