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Ikea Skarsta standing desk review: cheaper, reliable Bekant alternative

First published on February 25, 2016

In my search for a standing desk, I found the Ikea Bekant sit/stand desk in the showroom. It looks great, has a large desk surface, and has a motorized up/down mechanism.

Thus, you can move it to the exact height you want whether you’re sitting or standing by simply pressing on a button.

I almost bought the desk until I found multiple reviews complaining about motor failures in the raising / lowering mechanism. While Ikea would presumably replace parts in the event of a problem, I didn’t want to have to disassemble the desk and bring it back to the store.

After much searching, I found and purchased the Skarsta desk, which is essentially the Bekant but with a hand crank to raise or lower the desk. No power or motor required. The Skarsta costs $300 instead of $600 for the Bekant. Ikea does not currently feature the Skarsta in the showroom (presumably in order to push people towards the more expensive Bekant that is a much more impressive demo), and it only comes in white.

The Skarsta is simple and effective. I recommend it if you are looking for an affordable and decent standing desk. The hand crank is quite noisy and takes about 1 minute to adjust the height between sitting and standing, and the desk will wobble a bit while it’s being adjusted. You can be very precise about choosing the final height. I read some concerns about its 110 pound load capacity, although I think that most people don’t place even close to that much weight on their desk. In general I have no real issues with the desk and am quite pleased with it.

I recommend getting a cable tray to attach underneath the desk to keep cables organized, especially for when you are moving the desk between a sitting and standing position. Ikea has a tray called the Signum, which fits well underneath the Skarsta.

Arguably, standing is no better than sitting if you’re remaining in the same position for many hours at a time. So, no matter what desk you have, take breaks away from the desk! You might also wish to buy a tall chair and a floor mat to make your workspace more comfortable.

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One Response to “Ikea Skarsta standing desk review: cheaper, reliable Bekant alternative”


  1. Andrew says:

    Quick Question, how did you get the skarsta in Canada? Currently I do not see it available in Canada in any way.

    Reply from Peter: I got it in store (in Coquitlam) but at the time I did see it on the website as well. I got another one for my business in August as well. Perhaps it is temporarily out of stock or discontinued? I’d suggest contacting Ikea directly. I’d be curious to know the answer too.

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