A fixed-height desktop riser is a simple elevated platform that raises your desk gear to standing height. These standing workstations are a fancier version of the DIY practice of putting a cardboard box or a small coffee table on your existing desktop.
Many models in this category give you a single elevated surface for your keyboard and laptop and/or monitor. Others combine elevated keyboard and monitor stands to create a simple standing workstation.
These desktop risers can be super-affordable (some cost less than $100), and they require little assembly. So they are a great option if you want to get standing right away or want to test out the standing workstyle before buying a nicer height-adjustable standing desk.
Many of these fixed-height add-ons collapse or fold up. Some collapse flat, making them easy to tuck out of the way when you take a sitting break. Others fold up small enough to fit in your car, or even your backpack, making them ideal for a mobile workstyle.
While some of these risers are labeled “height adjustable,” they essentially function as fixed-height desks. They require you to remove everything from your desktop to adjust their leg locks or to slide surfaces into different mounting slots, which is much more work than pressing a button to change the position of a true height-adjustable desk.
Desktop Riser Choices
Manufacturers and product designers have come up with a number of variations on this simple concept.
Height-Adjustable Desktop Riser
Height adjusting desktop risers let you fine-tune the height of your standing workstation. These models give you one or two surfaces for your gear. Telescoping legs and slot-and-groove systems are the most common height-adjustment mechanisms, but a few of these risers adjust using segmented legs.
The newest entries in the adjustable-height riser category are a number of wooden models that adjust by moving shelves from one slot to another. Many of these desks began as Kickstarter campaigns.
Fixed-Height Desktop Riser
Some risers come with a surface that is just big enough for a laptop.