Monday, August 03, 2015

Ikea SKARSTA Desk Impressions: Like a BEKANT or GALANT?

About this time last year, the BEKANT desk appeared to be on its way in and the GALANT on its way out. Things didn't happen exactly as I thought they would. It appears a year later now, this is what I think and not official word, that the BEKANT has mostly replaced the GALANT, but the GALANT remains as a lower cost alternative. I could still see the GALANT available in two rectangular options with either A-legs or T-legs on the American and Canadian Ikea websites as of early August 2015. And something new caught my eye today...

Underside of an Ikea BEKANT

The SKARSTA Desk sit/stand
I first discovered two SKARSTA desks under the "Desks & Computer desks" section on the Canadian Ikea website in very early August 2015. However, clicking on their links sent me back to the section's main page. So, I went to visit the American site: the SKARSTAs were listed and had working links. When I checked, they were not available for sale online (U.S. site) yet. The stock check function for the Brooklyn, NY and East Palo Alto, CA stores showed them as "Not in stock" -- I only bothered checking two, west and east coasts felt sufficient.

Disclaimer: I had not had any firsthand experience with any SKARSTA products when I wrote this piece. Details were quoted from the Ikea United States website or Canada website in the first few days of August 2015. Details on this page are NOT guaranteed for accuracy.

First Impressions from Photos
Just by looking at the few product images available, the SKARSTA appeared to be a BEKANT or GALANT desk with T-legs on the surface. A major difference was that the leg columns were angular or more square in shape compared to the rounded BEKANT or GALANT desks. The two rectangular SKARSTA desks I looked at also seemed to have desktops with sharp corners, similar to GALANT desks -- BEKANT desks of similar shape and size appeared to have rounded corners.
Mutant Hybrid GALANT Desk with A-Legs and a T-Leg
What really stood out was what looked like a hand-crank under the SKARSTA. I had seen some desks available on Amazon before with these when researching the BEKANT sit/stand desks. Those were also sit/stand desks. It wasn't that hard to put two and two together when I saw that the SKARSTA desks were listed as "Desk sit/stand, white."

What is the SKARSTA?
Going from the product descriptions, the SKARSTA was, as previously mentioned, a "Desk sit/stand." They were only available in white when I checked the webpage. The materials listed under the product descriptions were numerous and appeared to be pretty standard for Ikea furniture not made of solid wood. My impression was that it was a mix of particleboard and steel et al.

Under "Key features" was a note that the desk height could be adjusted "between 27 1/2" and 47 1/4" by just cranking the handle..." Another interesting detail was under "Product dimensions" with "Max. load: 110 lb."

The two sizes available were 63" x 31.5" for US$ 269.00 (CA$ 279.00) and 47.25" x 27.5" for US$ 229.00 (CA$ 259.00).

What about the Height Adjustable BEKANTs?
Unless I missed something, the cheapest sit/stand BEKANT with a height adjustment mechanism I could find at the time was the 63" x 31.5" version in all white for US$ 469.00 (CA$ 579.00). Its height was supposedly adjustable between 22" and 48" as listed under "Key features" -- this desk was rated for "Max. load: 154 lb".

And for comparison's sake, the cheapest BEKANT was the 47.25" x 31.5" version in all white for US$ 139.00 (CA$ 169.00). Height was supposedly adjustable between 25.625" and 33.5".

So, the 63" x 31.5" BEKANT was US$ 200 more than the 63" x 31.5" SKARSTA. It looked like the SKARSTA had a narrower height range of 27.5" to 47.25" compared to the BEKANT's 22" to 48" range. The BEKANT also seemed to have a higher weight capacity of 154 lb versus the SKARSTA's 110 lb maximum. Oh, and the BEKANT used an electric height adjustment mechanism, not hand-powered.

An extra $200 appeared to buy a motor, a moderately larger height range, and a lot more weight capacity.

Final Thoughts
With the release of the SKARSTA, it appears that Ikea has a cheaper stand/sit desk alternative to the BEKANT -- kind of like the GALANT for regular sit-only desks?

I would prefer the SKARSTA just to avoid the hassle of dealing with a motor and having to plug the desk in. The crank could break too, but then the price would allow me to purchase two SKARSTAS in place of one similarly sized BEKANT. Pretty interesting development. I'll stick to the two GALANTs I have for the next while though -- still haven't picked up a BEKANT yet.

IKEA BEKANT Desks Impressions: Electric Height Adjustment?
IKEA THYGE Desk Impressions
More Ikea Product Reviews


  1. I had the same idea about the Bekant's price and the motor, it is cool that touch of a button moves the table up and down , and even if it breaks there is a 10yr warranty but what the hell ..$200 etc for the motor setup, this doesnt mean I want just jump to Skarsta, I want to see skarsta in action before i decide,...Oh boy the wait for it.... I have been waiting for skartsta table for a pretty long time now, they have already advertised in on the site but its nowhere available in US..THAT SUCKS,, but the good news is I heard from a little bird that its going to be available by end of this month though.

  2. Dont buy the bekant desk. I bought one and after 2 months of use it would keep jerking when you press up. Since it had 10 years warranty I had it replace with a new one and after a month of use the same issue happened so I returned it. Im now looking to buy the skarsta

  3. I'm on my third Bekant motorized and IKEA, to their credit has refunded my money in gift card form. On my way Saturday to check out the SKARSTA.

  4. Just got the Skarsta last weekend, built it yesterday in an hour. I'm 6'3" and this is one of the best investments Ive made. I got the 63 x 31-1/2. Sweet desk for the price compared to other sit/stand set ups. Set up was a breeze. Just wish it would have came in a different color besides white. This desk is a must have.

  5. I also bought the Skarsta (I'm in Toronto) just before Christmas and love it. A great desk and easy to turn the crank to elevate the desk. I'm only 5"4 so the max height is more than fine for me, and I have my Mac display, laptop, keyboard, phone and some papers on it…way less than the 110lb max. So far, so good! I also happen to love the white colour. I'm telling everyone I know to buy this desk since it's way cheaper than most sit/stand desks on the market and totally functional.

  6. I just assembled my Skarsta 63 inch. I can't say how much I love it because one of the plastic pieces is broken. I'll pick up another one tomorrow. It was easy to assemble. They will probably come out with a color other than white after my return period expires.

    1. I am thinking of buying the 63 inch, but need to know the distance between the legs. I am hoping that it will fit over my washer and dryer. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks...

    2. Kelly, I just bought the 63" Skarsta, and can tell you that there's only 48¼" between the legs. Unless you've got super skinny units, it's not going to work.

  7. Could anyone tell me if the SKARSTA adjustable legs are compatible with the GALANT table top? I currently have a GALANT and I'm wondering if I can simply put the SKARSTA legs under it.