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IKEA Skarsta/Trotten Reviews

Ikea Trotten, Skarsta & Rodulf – What is the difference?

When the IKEA Skarsta came on the scene a few years ago, freelancers and other professionals working from home leapt for joy. We had read the research suggesting standing up whilst working was important, but most sit/stand desks were coming in at £500 and over. This offered a hand wind mechanism at just £179 (as of July 2020 the full system now starts at £195). It was a game changer, that received widely positive reviews, as below, or at the bottom if you prefer video reviews:

Overall, I personally have found the Skarsta desk is a great option, and it’s value is absolutely undeniable. I have 3 main areas to comment on: it’s desk top, stability, and the hand winder.

2020 Update: The ‘New’ Skarsta

The Ikea Skarsta was updated around April/May 2020. The main update change is the way the desktop fits to the frame. Rather than the holes being drilled straight into the top as before, Ikea have added some plastic inserts to thread a machine screw into, the same inserts as are used in the Ikea Idåsen.

This is a good move if you are sticking with the standard top, as it allows you to dismantle the desk time and time again, with out the holes becoming slack. It also perhaps indicates Ikea will make a change to how the Skarsta table top is constructed, opting for the cheaper and lighter hexagonal cardboard structure as found in the Idåsen. Even more reason to go with a solid oak, pine or walnut alternative. We make solid wood desk tops compatible with both the old and the new Skarsta, just select your model when adding to cart.

IKEA Skarsta Desk top

I didn’t get on with the desk top long term. The Skarsta, unlike the other desks, only comes with the white top. Whilst you could describe it as minimal, I think most would go with cheap. It chipped easily when I moved house. It scratched. It didn’t fit in with the home office I was trying to create.

That’s why I started the process making excellent alternative desk tops for the IKEA Skarsta (and other desks too). The 120x70cm desk top and monitor stand work particularly well together. They are made out of one length of solid english oak, making it economically and environmentally sound.

We find that 70cm depth on the 120cm wide top is a little annoying, especially for use with external monitors etc. So we fixed that problem too. We offer an upgrade to the 80cm depth (which the 160cm Skarsta comes with), alternatively you can undersize or oversize your top to almost any size with our custom size desk top product.

Ikea Skarsta desktops are made using chipboard not solid wood.

How to fit a pre 2020 Skarsta compatible desktop

Sit Stand Desk Stability

My experience is based on what you would assume is the around average height (6 foot), probably the sweet spot for this product. Likely, in part, due to that I have found the stability of the desk to be good, in that I have never once thought about it. Never once have I notice desk shake, not once have I been distracted from work due to worrying about the stability of the Skarsta.

I would say the feet of the desk are considerable in width and length, it is clearly a more light weight product than the larger desks (the Bekant goes up to 1600mm x 800mm) and so I think in general the desk’s stability is probably due to it’s proportions being on the smaller side.

Skarsta Hand Crank/Winder

This is both a blessing and the curse for this desk. It’s good to be wire free. It even comes with a slight environmental bonus. However, the number of revolutions from sitting to standing is annoying. I find myself sometimes just staying seated/standing for longer as I can’t break off to adjust it.

The hand winder also means I needed to draw a mark on the leg as there is no preset, though despite there being a motor, there is no preset function on the Bekant either, unless you are happy to employ some after market hacks, you will need to look to the more expensive sit stand desks.

If the hand winder is a real issue for you, and I understand it might be, the only option for me would be to go with the Idåsen. The motor they use is an industry recognised brand, you normally have to shell out a lot more to get anywhere close in terms of quality. Take a look at our review round up for the Idåsen here.

IKEA Skarsta video reviews

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Solid wood desk tops to fit existing desk frames