I’m a big fan of standing desks, but I’m an even bigger fan of being able to do both at the press of a button. Sitting all the time is bad for you, standing all the time is almost as bad for you, so the trick is to balance both sitting and standing. That’s kind of a pain in the ass if all you have is a fixed-height desk, since you have to commit to one or the other.
IKEA finally got the Bekant motorized sit/stand desk back in stock, and I scooped one up during a sale. Regular price is $489.99 USD, but the IKEA Family discount had it marked down by almost $80, and it was too good an opportunity to pass up. I also took lots of photos while building mine so I could share them in the review.
The desk came in 3 boxes: one box for the table surface, and two boxes for the underframe. Hilariously, it’s the smallest box that weighs the most, and it’s the one that contains the motorized legs.
These legs are built like a tank. They’re pretty heavy and don’t feel flimsy at all. The crossbraces are secured to the legs with 8 thick bolts. The Allen wrench included is pretty substantial and beefy.
There wasn’t any wobble or wiggle after assembling this part of the underframe, which surprised me because the lack of a lower crossbrace initially seemed sketchy to me.
The leg bottoms are attached with equally thick bolts. The feet are threaded and allow you to level the desk by screwing/unscrewing each foot to suit. I suspect you could probably replace them with locking casters, but I haven’t checked to see if there are any locking casters that use the same diameter and threading as the feet.
The desk surface is particleboard sandwiched between a wood veneer and a layer of what seems to be smooth cardboard, trimmed with some sort of plastic or vinyl bumper. The attachment brackets for the underframe are secured to the desk surface by comically large plastic rivets.
I was initially skeptical because…well, plastic rivets? I was half expecting the desk surface to fall off the second the whole thing was flipped over to stand on its feet.
Once I pounded in the first couple, it was quickly apparent that these things hold with a surprising degree of tenacity. I still found myself shaking my head and muttering “Plastic rivets? Really?” during the rest of this assembly step, but I guess if it works, it works.
The underframe attaches to the riveted-in brackets with more of those beefy bolts. It’s all surprisingly stiff and rigid, with no wobble or play whatsoever. I also yanked up one of the legs to see if the plastic rivets would lose the will to live, but they held fast. Impressive.
Once the underframe is assembled, the next thing to do is wire it all up for power. There’s a power brick, a cross-connection cable, and a control box with a removable locking key. The key slides into holes on either side of the box and clicks into place with authority, and the desk will not raise or lower without the key installed.
The cross-connector cable connects one leg motor to the other. The remaining 2 sockets are for the control box and the power brick.
The crossbraces connecting the legs form a convenient wiring tunnel that the power brick fits into nicely.
Once wired up, all that spaghetti is hidden in a silver-gray mesh cable management net that secures to the underside of the table by means of elastic loops connected to more of those plastic rivets. The cable management net has 2 long, springy metal rails running through the long edges for structural support, and fits pretty snugly.
The control box can be mounted anywhere along the edges of the desk surface. You just mark and set a couple holes and then use wood screws to secure it.
I flipped it over and couldn’t resist the opportunity to see how my stuff fit on the larger surface. My old Fredrik desk didn’t have this much room on it.
Of course, me being me, I couldn’t leave well enough alone and proceeded to modify it by drilling out a 2″ hole for a cable grommet and mounting stuff to the bottom of the desktop.
I mounted a 12-outlet surge protector with industrial strength Velcro tape on the underside. The advantage of doing this is that the power cords for your monitor and PC only need to be long enough to reach the bottom of the desk rather than having to be long enough to reach a power strip on the floor. Plus, it just looks cleaner and there’s just one cord coming out of the desk to the wall.
I also mounted a 10-port active USB3 hub to the underside of the desk, which serves the same purposes for USB cables. I can plug peripherals into the desk and only worry about one USB cable going into the PC tower.
I’ve had the desk for a couple of weeks now. I love the thing to pieces–it is so nice being able to just switch from sitting to standing and back without having to break down the table and relocate the work surface to a different level.
IKEA claims the maximum weight capacity of the desk is something like 140lb/70kg. In practice, I find that the motors work a little too hard for my taste when I get within spitting range of that threshold. The workstation configuration pictured up there tops out at about 136lb/62kg, so I relocated the 70lb/32kg tower to the floor to take some of the load off the motors.
By eyeball, the motors raise and lower the desktop at a rate of approximately 0.5″/13mm per second, which is neither too slow nor too fast. The lowest position is about 22″/56cm from the floor, and the tallest position is 48″/122cm from the floor.
There’s plenty of work room on the desktop. The surface is about 63″/160cm wide and 31.5″/80cm deep.
At a MSRP of $489.99 USD, this is one of the most affordable motorized sit/stand desks on the market. If you’re looking for a sit/stand desk, don’t feel like shelling out four figures, and don’t intend to put a lot of heavy stuff on it, this desk is a pretty good buy.