Today we will be comparing the IKEA Bekant to our very own VertDesk v3 standing desk. While both are electronically operated desks, they sit at two different ends of the spectrum with regards to quality. With well documented issues on IKEA Bekant’s electronics, we have put together a list of the top seven IKEA Bekant problems. We have also put together a list of the top Bekant alternatives for those looking to find a more dependable option. While we don’t recommend the IKEA Bekant, it is still a product our customers ask how we compare against. Let’s take a closer look at both products and see how they stack up against each other.
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
– OEM Manufacturer
– Where Are Components Made?
– Specs / Features
– Weight Capacity Testing
– Motors / Gears / Glides
– Frame and Feet
– How They Operate
– Return Policy and Warranty
– Bottom Line
The IKEA Bekant’s OEM manufacturer is ROL ERGO AB, a company based in Sweden that has been in business since 1985. They operate globally, with manufacturing facilities in China, Sweden, Lithuania and the USA. It appears that ROL Ergo is responsible for the construction of the frame and the small chip used to control the system. Their motor is produced by German manufacturer Bosch.
The VertDesk v3 is currently manufactured by K&A Mfg. Inc., makers of RA Products and the standing desk brand, NewHeights. Based out of Schofield, WI, they were established in 1985 as an ergonomic accessory company. K&A Mfg. has evolved to include a full line of office furniture. They also provide OEM manufacturing for many large organizations and government agencies in the USA. K&A has been involved in the production of electric standing desks for over 15 years.
The pricing for the IKEA Bekant can vary significantly. With additional shipping charges for online orders, the price to purchase online is much higher than in store.
|IKEA Bekant||VertDesk v3 (free shipping)|
|Frame Only||$349 (+$49-$199 shipping||$470.99|
|30” x 60” (or equivalent)||$449 (+$199-$349 shipping online)||$679.99|
The assembly on the IKEA Bekant and the VertDesk v3 were both straightforward. Each requires about 30-90 minutes depending on your skill level. IKEA included their typical assembly instructions which only showed illustrations of the parts. The VertDesk v3 instructions included a bit more technical information. Both desk frames are heavy and it’s recommended to have a second set of hands to help.
The IKEA Bekant has eliminated the use of traditional wood screws to attach the top to their base. This creates a simplified assembly process, only requiring you to push in a plastic fastener. There is a small plug that pushes into the fastener, expanding the fastener and providing an okay connection. This eliminates the need for a power drill for the assembly process.
The VertDesk v3 uses a fair amount of wood screws to attach the frame to the top. They also utilize wood screws for the connection of the control box and switch. Using a cordless drive with a square bit tip will speed up the assembly process.
Standard Specs & Features For Frame Only (per brand websites)
|Features||IKEA Bekant||VertDesk v3|
|Button Options||Up/down push button only||Up/down push button standard|
|Lift Capacity||154 lbs.||275 lbs.|
|Adjustment Range||22” to 48”||27” to 47.5”|
|Adjustment Speed||1.25” per second||1.55” per second|
|Soft Start – Stop||Yes||Yes|
|Auto-dark LED Display||n/a||Yes|
|Leveling Glides||.5” adjustment||.5” adjustment|
The IKEA Bekant and VertDesk v3 operate with significantly different types of electronic systems. IKEA currently uses a simple small chip/board that attaches to each motor. The VertDesk v3 uses a smart control box system. The smart control box system is the more commonly found system on mid to high-end electric standing desks.
Note: The IKEA Bekant has well documented issues of electronics failures since its launch in 2014. Something that appears to continue to be an issue as our review unit also failed after assembly.
See The Best Electric Standing Desks For 2020
After months of testing 20+ adjustable standing desks, the results are in!
Weight Capacities and Testing
The IKEA Bekant’s dual motor system offers a rather disappointing 154 lbs lifting capacity. We were able to test it at various weight capacities to verify it’s true capacity. With only the weight of the top, the desk moved at 1.25” per second. When we loaded the desk to 154 lbs, the speed dropped slightly to 1.19”. During this test, we noticed something that hadn’t happened on any of the previous desks we have tested up until this point. The IKEA Bekant slowed down significantly with a max load, averaging .33” per second.
The VertDesk v3 was quite opposite, with only one motor, it’s capacity is rated at 275 lbs. With the weight of the desktop, the VertDesk v3 was able to maintain the 1.55” per second speed. When the VertDesk was fully loaded to 275 lbs the speed dropped to 1.35” per second. Finally, we disabled the overload protection and put a 350 lbs load on the desktop. While this is not recommended, the single motor system lifted the weight at 1.27” per second.
After operating both of the desks at max capacity, we decided to pull each of the motors apart. It was odd that the IKEA Bekant had two Bosch motors, but had issues lowering at only 154 lbs. As we continue to dive deeper into our reviews, this is the first time we have opened up a motor to inspect the inner workings. The torque rating on each better illustrates the technical differences.
|IKEA Bekant||VertDesk v3|
|Torque Rating||1.65 Nm = 1.216978 ft-lb||5 Nm = 3.687811 ft-lb|
The first thing you will notice when comparing the motors is their overall size. Both the Bosch and Ketterer motors were well put together. We recently reviewed the StandDesk Simple product and it included a Chinese motor which was very crude. There is a significant difference in the quality coming from Europe with both the Bekant and VertDesk v3.
Next, is the overall size comparison. Even when combined, two of the IKEA Bekant motors are smaller than the VertDesk’s single motor.
Opening up the motors brought to light just how small the most important components actually were. The Bosch gear system that works with the worm drive coming from the motors was peanut sized compared to the Ketterer motor. The VertDesk’s gear is made from Acetal Delrin, the same durable material used on the glides. Acetal Delrin is known around the globe for being one of the best materials to produce precision parts with low friction and excellent stability. The Bekant appeared to be made from a lower quality plastic. I have a request out to Bosch to get more details and will update as soon as I learn the material type. The VertDesk v3 is also utilizing a dual bearing system for added efficiency with their gear.
Both desks are driven by quality gear systems. The VertDesk v3 gears are made by the same company that produces their motors. Ketterer is well known for producing highly dependable gear systems for standing desk products. The two stage gears produced for the IKEA are a lower end option; however, they are still much better than the Chinese competitors gears. VertDesk v3 utilizes a higher end version of the Ketterer single stage gear system. You can see the difference between each, with the IKEA version a bit more crude looking than the VertDesk v3.
How Do They Operate
The IKEA Bekant’s use of a simple chip/board system limits the entire desks functionality. It includes a collision avoidance system, but does not include overload protection. They also only offer a standard up and down switch, as there were no programmable options available on IKEA.com.
The VertDesk v3 comes operates off its smart control box system. This allows it to offer collision avoidance, overload protection, container stop and programmable height settings. The VertDesk v3 does not offer a one touch memory system with its programmable switch. You must press and hold the preset button until the desk has reached the programmed height.
Note: One touch memory is a nice function; however, it is safety concern with these powerful desks. While each desk includes a collision avoidance system, we are reluctant to rely on this because of the dangers that exist. The VertDesk v3 has disabled this function.
The IKEA Bekant is currently available in white and black frame colors. The VertDesk v3 is available in silver and black.
The IKEA Bekant is fairly bare bones when it comes to upgrades. Without a programmable switch, additional wire management or power options easily found on IKEA.com. It isn’t clear if they have options that they would recommend going with their Bekant line.
The VertDesk v3 comes with an array of upgrades and accessories options. Most frequently added are the programmable switch, casters and power/wire management combination.
|IKEA Bekant||VertDesk v3|
|Wire Management Kit||Horizontal included||$68|
Stability of Each Desk
Over the many years of use, we can see the value of a stable standing desk. Because of my experience I can tell you it’s one of the most important aspects of a standing desk. Without it, you will be left with a wobbly desk that is hard to concentrate at, reducing your productivity. Once a standing desk is raised to a tall height, any flaw in the design of a standing desk will quickly be exposed. Our testing shows where these flaws will create stability issues, letting you decide the impact on your own working situation.
Front to Back: During the rocking test, I found that the VertDesk v3 was more stable than the IKEA Bekant. Because of the design of IKEA’s frame with the round columns, there really wasn’t a direction that was more stable. It started to show stability issues at the absolute bottom position, although they wouldn’t impact your work, it was foreshadowing a bigger issue. The Bekants rocking motion became annoying by 33” to 34, and beyond 39” it was bad. The VertDesk v3 on the other hand was stable through almost all heights. Not exhibiting any rocking motion until you reached 46” tall. While it wasn’t dramatic, there was a slight rocking motion as the overlap in the columns was reduced.
Left to Right: The VertDesk v3 also had much better results in the wobble testing, when compared to the IKEA Bekant. Similar to the rocking test, the IKEA Bekant had wobble motion at the lowest position, something that was a first for our testing lab. The wobble issues mirror that of the rocking motion, with it becoming annoying by 33” to 34”. By the time you reach 39” tall, it was bad and would significantly impact your work. The VertDesk v3 on the other hand definitely excels in the wobble tests. Through all heights the VertDesk v3 showed almost zero wobble movement.
Note: It’s very important with all adjustable standing desks to fully tighten all hardware. If there is hardware that is not completely tight the movement experienced when extended to standing height will be exaggerated. We attach our upper supports and feet to the column (legs) with strong welds. These are permanent and provide the most secure connection. The majority of other products use screws to connect these parts.
Major Reasons For Differences In Stability
Just telling you that the desks have major differences in stability isn’t good enough. There are distinct reasons for these stability issues. We pulled apart both columns to show you why there is such a big difference. The lack of a traditional cross support, round column design, glide system and cheap connection of base to top on the Bekant all create glaring weaknesses with their desks stability.
Lack of Traditional Cross Support
We have talked at great length on our blog about stability issues of standing desks that do not use of a traditional cross support. Without this constant support lower in the frame, there is no way to prevent swaying the higher the desk moves. The U shaped design of the IKEA Bekant has inherent wobble issues and the higher that it travels the more pronounced the wobble motion will become. While a cross support can help with stability, it isn’t the end all be all solution. If your desks frame has other design issues, the cross support will not completely solve it’s wobble issues.
Round column design, the stability killer. We used round columns on our original VertDesk v1 and v2. Because of this we couldn’t eliminate the stability issues that were present in all directions. The IKEA Bekant isn’t any different, because of their round columns the desk will move in all directions. You can actually get it to move in a complete circle, which means no matter how you like to work, it will impact you. The VertDesk v3 uses a rectangular column design. With this design there are only two directions that can impact the stability of the desk. As we’ve illustrated above, the VertDesk v3 has very little weakness in the stability category.
Cheap Fasteners Connect Top to Base
IKEA’s top to base connection is a big miss in my opinion. The use of cheap plastic fasteners connecting the heavy base to the lightweight top has created a multitude of problems. The biggest is that the fasteners do not allow for a tight connection. Instead, there is play between the base and top. You can actually slide the top around on the base. Should you decide to add anything heavy on the top, my concern would be that the fasteners cannot hold in place. With a desk that goes to 48”, instability here could create a problem for users that utilize the desk close to max capacity.
Position Of Glide System
The last problem with the stability of the IKEA Bekant is their glide system. Rol Ergo has created a design that will eliminate the typical rubbing found on traditional columns that use top and bottom glide systems. By Rol Ergo tucking each glide at the top of the inverted columns, they will never slide against paint that is exposed on inner columns during height transitions. While this will make for a better looking column in later stages of your ownership, it creates wobble and rocking problems. Because the glides are both positioned on the upper half of the column, there is nothing at the bottom portion to counteract the natural gap within the columns. This creates stability issues at the absolute bottom position.
The VertDesk v3 uses a more traditional set-up, with glides used at the top and bottom of the columns. Because of the use of custom fit glides, the VertDesk v3 eliminates most of the play found between columns.
The IKEA Bekant has without question the best return policy in the industry. So long as you live nearby a store, there are zero fees associated with a return. In fact, you can even return the desk for up to an entire year. If you purchased your desk online, IKEA will require you to ship the desk back to the nearest IKEA location. For this you also have up to a full year to return the Bekant.
The VertDesk v3 has a 30 day money back guarantee. If you decide to return the desk you will be responsible for the return shipping costs back to our location in Wisconsin. There are no restocking fees, unless you purchase more than one desk. If two or more desks are purchased, our normal restocking fees would apply.
Selecting the best standing desk for you needs will likely have specific requirements. Depending on your height, you will need to make sure that you purchase a desk that fits you ergonomically. Because standing desks extend into tall heights, stability should be on the top of your list of concerns as well.
The IKEA Bekant is available with a range from 22” to 48”, going about 5” lower than the VertDesk v3. It’s 10 year warranty is amongst the best in the industry as well. IKEA’s well documented electrics failures will likely mean you will need to use that warranty. Stability issues at all heights could potentially be a deal killer for you.
While the VertDesk v3 doesn’t have quite the same range of motion as Bekant, it was superior in stability at all heights. Better electronics and more consistent weight capacity will likely create a better user experience. With a five year warranty on electronics, the VertDesk v3 is above industry standards but quite a bit shorter than the IKEA Bekant. Recent cycle testing of the VertDesk v3 does provide some sense of relief with the different in warranty. With over 21,000 full cycles up and down, the VertDesk v3 should last well beyond its five year warranty.
Additional Standing Desk Resources
- The 4 Best Electric Standing Desks Under $800
- Autonomous SmartDesk 2 vs. VertDesk v3: Which is the best?
- Uplift 900 Desk vs. VertDesk v3: Which is better?
- The Uplift 900 vs. The Jarvis Standing Desk
- 9 Most Common Problems with Motorized Standing Desks
- 4 Reasons Standing Only Desks Are Bad For Your Health