IKEA Skarsta Standing Desk Review

Skarsta standing desk
Manually Adjustable Sit-Stand Desk
$ 368 Basic configuration
$ 368 Deluxe configuration

See below for pricing details.

  • Editor Rating

  • 67%
  • 67%

  • IKEA Skarsta
  • Reviewed by:
  • Published on:
  • Last modified: August 12, 2016
  • Shopping & Buying
    Editor: 60%
  • Shipping & Delivery
    Editor: 10%
  • Assembly
    Editor: 90%
  • Engineering
    Editor: 76%
  • Ergonomics
    Editor: 78%
  • Warranty
    Editor: 0%
  • Customer Service
    Editor: 50%

Review Details

The IKEA Skarsta is a free-standing, manually height-adjustable standing desk.

The IKEA Skarsta is an OK choice among the affordable (under $400) standing desks we are currently evaluating. We like this desk’s stability, its generous work surface, and it’s low price, but we’re concerned about the sturdiness and reliability of its height-adjusting lever. We definitely did not like our experience getting this desk delivered – more on this below.

Apart from the delivery issues, the IKEA Skarsta earns a good score when evaluated by the criteria we apply to all standing desks. Our criteria are biased a bit in favor of this category of standing desks (height-adjustable, free-standing desks) because these desks are generally better looking and more ergonomically correct than desk-top add-ons and other standing options.

Here’s how the IKEA Skarsta measures up to our review criteria.

Shopping & Buying Experience (5% of total score)

The IKEA Skarsta website is informative and professionally designed. It’s pretty easy to find answers to common questions. It avoids marketing hyperbole and gives you a realistic sense of what to expect from its desk.

The site includes a privacy policy and a page with contact information. It uses a secure connection to process orders and otherwise inspires confidence during the ordering process.

We were concerned when we weren’t given the opportunity in the check-out process to provide additional delivery information – this turned out to be a valid concern.

Shopping & Buying Experience score 3/5 (60%)

Shipping & Delivery Experience (10% of total score)

We ordered our IKEA Skarsta May 31, 2016 and received it (from a store about 15 miles away) just over two months later, on August 1, 2016. There is a whole saga around this extraordinarily long delivery time, which I’ll share soon in a blog post. The short version of the story is that IKEA appears to have remarkably poor communication and coordination in place with their third-party delivery service which prevents their mostly friendly and courteous customer service reps from promptly resolving delivery problems.

When it finally did show up, our IKEA Skarsta arrived in two tidily packed cartons. There was a dent in one corner of the carton that held the desktop and a corresponding ding in that corner of the desktop. IKEA offered to either replace the top or issue a partial credit; we opted for the latter, not wanting to risk another lengthy delivery ordeal. By the time this issue arose, I had direct contact information for a senior customer service rep at IKEA, who was super-helpful; however, I’m not at all confident that this issue would have been resolved as quickly if I had had to go through the excruciatingly convoluted IKEA phone support system (the only way to reach them until your case has been escalated multiple times).

IKEA Skarsta ships to U.S. destinations from their individual stores, using (I gathered during my many conversations with IKEA reps) different third-party delivery services in each area. Their delivery service appears to be based in the assumption that they’ll be delivering to a residential address.

If not for the earnest and helpful service rep who finally helped me navigate this process, IKEA would have earned zero, if not negative, points for their shipping and delivery.

Shipping & Delivery Experience score 1/10 (10%)

Ease & Elegance of Assembly (10% of total score)

IKEA has definitely figured out how to facilitate end-user assembly of their products. The IKEA Skarsta took about forty minutes to assemble.

The manufacturer provides exactly the number of each of the parts needed to assemble the desk, and they were all neatly packed, the small parts carefully stored in compartmentalized plastic bags.

The assembly instructions are classic IKEA pictographs, clear and easy to follow. If by chance you misplace them, they are also available online.

Assembly Experience score 9/10 (90%)

Engineering (30% of total score)

The IKEA Skarsta is a nicely designed and fairly well-made piece of furniture.

Style and Design (5% of Engineering score)

Well9to5 isn’t a style publication, so we don’t make esthetic judgments in our evaluations. Rather, this style and design score is based primarily on the range of options (size, color, shape, etc.) presented to you as you choose your standing desk.

In the case of The IKEA Skarsta you get no choices – white top, white frame, that’s it. It’s a fine-looking desk, but if white doesn’t fit your decor, you don’t have any other options.

1 of 5 possible Style & Design points

Stability (40% of Engineering score)

The IKEA Skarsta is a very stable desk. We have tested it on both a smooth concrete floor and on carpeting, and it is rock solid on both surfaces.

It’s extremely solid in both the front-to-back axis and side-to-side directions. All of our Hub testers rated it “solid as a rock” on their evaluation forms.

37 of 40 possible Stability points

Sturdiness (40% of Engineering score)

The IKEA Skarsta frame and top are very sturdy. All of the connections between the top and the different frame parts fit together very securely. We’re not sure how durable the plastic pop-in connectors that connect the top to the frame will be over time, but for now they feel solid. Most other standing desk designs use screws or bolts to attach the top to the frame, which seems sturdier to us and also gives you the opportunity to tighten them up if they come loose.

The crank mechanism is the least sturdy part of this desk. A long rod projects from the desk leg, where it connects to the lifting mechanism. The rod is held in position with one plastic guide under the desk surface, and another guide lets you click the handle in place when you’re done adjusting. You slide the rod out from under the desk surface to adjust the height. The rod skitters and jerks as you pull it out and push it back in, leading us to wonder how long it will be before it sticks or we inadvertently bend it.

The Skarsta can hold up to 130 pounds.

32 of 40 possible Sturdiness points

Details (5% of Engineering score)

The IKEA Skarsta offers no cable management, power management, or other extras.

1 of 5 possible Details points

Materials & Surfaces (5% of Engineering score)

The IKEA Skarsta desktop is made of particleboard, paper, and fiberboard and surfaced with acrylic paint and plastic trim. Most standing desks use sturdier fiberboard and laminate or other more long-lasting surfaces. The frame is steel with an epoxy/polyester powder coating.

2 of 5 possible Materials & Surfaces points

Construction (5% of Engineering score)

The IKEA Skarsta is reasonably well constructed. It moves smoothly up and down and, apart from the inelegant height-adjusting handle, seems well-constructed.

3 of 5 possible Construction points

Maintenance (0% of Engineering score)

IKEA suggests wiping clean using a damp cloth and a mild cleaner and then wiping dry with a clean cloth.

Engineering score 22.8/30 (76%)

Ergonomics (35% of total score)

Ergonomics is the science of balancing comfort and productivity in the workplace. The IKEA Skarsta gets points for letting you adjust the height without removing your gear and for providing a solid, comfortable work surface. Because it takes a bit of effort to adjust its height with the hand crank, it doesn’t score quite as high as a similarly equipped electrically height-adjustable desk.

Comfort (40% of Ergonomics score)

Comfort is perhaps the most subjective of the criteria we evaluated. Comfort at a standing desk is determined to a large extent by how adjustable its height is and how flexibly it lets you organize your work gear.

The IKEA Skarsta adjusts from as low as 27 1/2″ to as high as 47 1/4″. This takes you from a conventional sitting-desk height up to a range that can accommodate even fairly tall users (about 6′ 3″).

The height-adjustment crank can be mounted on either the left or right side of the desk. This is a one-time decision that you make as you assemble the desk; once assembled that’s where the handle will remain.

The Skarsta desktop provides plenty of room for your monitor, keyboard, wrist rest, and mouse, as well as papers and knick knacks.

The edges and corners of the desktop surfaces are not as smooth as most desks we’ve seen in this category. They are by no means sharp edges, but they aren’t quite as easy on your forearms and wrists as other desktops we’ve evaluated.

Because it didn’t arrive until very late in our evaluation cycle I wasn’t able to get many Hub evaluators to check out the Skarsta. The few who did briefly try it found it quite comfortable, and I found it pretty comfortable to use over multi-hour stretches.

35 of 40 possible Comfort points

Productivity (45% of Ergonomics score)

To be productive at a standing desk, you need room for your computer, paper, and other materials that you need to do your job. The IKEA Skarsta’s 48″ x 29 1/2″ top was plenty big enough for us.

In the active office, we also judge a desk by how easy it is to change back and forth from sitting to standing positions. You adjust the height of the IKEA Skarsta with a manual crank. It takes about 110 rotations to adjust the height from its lowest position to its highest, or vice versa. The hand crank moves fairly smoothly but can wiggle a bit as you use it. The sleeve at the end of the handle doesn’t move freely as you adjust the height, making it less easy and comfortable to adjust than other hand-cranks we’ve used.

35 of 45 possible Productivity points

Portability (5% of Ergonomics score)

Modern offices flexible and many folks want or need to change locations throughout the work day. The IKEA Skarsta is pretty difficult to move once you’ve got it set up.

1 of 5 possible Portability points

Noise (5% of Ergonomics score)

This criterion is normally concerned with how well the noise of electrical motors and other moving components in height adjustable desks is managed. The IKEA Skarsta’s mechanical moving parts make a fair amount of sound as you adjust the height, and there’s a pretty loud click as you lock the handle into its under-desk clip.

3 of 5 possible Noise points

Safety (5% of Ergonomics score)

The IKEA Skarsta poses few, if any, safety hazards. We didn’t have any problems as we evaluated the IKEA Skarsta.

4 of 5 possible Safety points

Ergonomics score 28.35/35 (81%)

Warranty (5% of total score)

A good way to gauge a manufacturer’s confidence in the durability of their products is by the length of the warranty they offer.

There is no information on a warranty the Skarsta at the IKEA site and as near as I can gather from my online research, they don’t offer one. I’ve got a query in to them to clarify this, but for now, we have assigned points based on their 90-day return policy.

We award warranty points for standing desks based on this scale:

  • less than 1 year = 0 points
  • 1-2 yrs = 1 points
  • 3-4 yrs = 2 points
  • 5-7 yrs = 3 points
  • 8-10 yrs = 4 points
  • 10+ yrs = 4.5-5 points

Warranty score 0/5 (0%)

Customer Service (5% of total score)

We had numerous interactions with the IKEA customer service department. Most of their reps (I spoke with about a dozen different folks over the two months of troubleshooting my delivery issue) were friendly and genuinely appeared to be trying to be helpful, but they were thwarted in their efforts to help me by the company’s convoluted and opaque relationship with their delivery service.

Customer Service score 2.5/5 (50%)

Overall Rating: 67%

We compute the overall rating by adding up the number of total points earned and dividing by the total possible points (which, to simplify the math, is always 100 for any one product category) and then rounding to the nearest whole digit. The rating is expressed as a percentage, but don’t automatically assign a corresponding letter grade based on that percent. The IKEA Skarsta’s raw score of 67 is pretty low, considering that it’s actually not that bad of a piece of furniture. If you are on a budget and don’t mind taking a chance on a rickety hand crank to change your desk height, and if you don’t mind driving to your local IKEA to pick it up, then the Skarsta may work great for you. We will never give even the highest-rated product in a category a 100%, mainly because we’ll always leave room in each criterion in our rating system for the possibility of superior products emerging in the future.

Price Details

Basic [no upgrades available]
Base Price $269
Desktop Particleboard, white 31 1/2″ X 63″ $0
Legs T-legs $0
Controller hand crank $0
Cable Management n/a $0
Power Management n/a $0
Shipping ground $99
TOTAL Basic $368
buy IKEA Skarsta standing desk

The IKEA Skarsta is a simple, very basic, manually height adjustable desk. Its hand-crank slides out of the way under the desktop when not in use.


  • turn handle to adjust height of the desk between 27 1/2" and 47 1/4"
  • to accommodate both left- and right-handers, crank handle can be mounted on the left or right side
  • crank handle slides in under the table top when not in use
  • adjustable feet allow you to level the table on uneven floors



Desk height adjustment:

Lowest desk height:
27.5 inches

Tallest desk height:
47.25 inches

Desk height range:

Desk height measured from:

Height-Adjustment Notes:
takes 110 rotations of the hand crank to go from bottom to top of adjustment range

Lifting Capacity:
110 pounds


Shipping & Delivery

Default assumption is shipping from/to the continental U.S. Shipping to Alaska and Hawaii or to Canada and other countries will cost more.

Shipping Options

  • Ground to continental U.S.

Delivery & Assembly Options

  • Inside delivery
IKEA uses proprietary third-party services to ship directly from their stores.


Assembly & Set-Up

Estimated assembly time less than one hour

Assembly Manual



Warranty notes:
Hard to find warranty info on website. I have a query into IKEA and will update here as soon as I hear from them.

Return Policy



Updates and Corrections

All basic product information (features, pricing, specifications, etc.) on this page is from the desk information page on the manufacturer’s website or in its product documentation, or from correspondence with the manufacturer or an authorized representative. We do our best to keep the information on this page up to date. If you see any errors or omissions, please let us know and we’ll correct the information as soon as possible.

Page last updated: August 4, 2016

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