Dec 01, 2023
Ikea trotten desk review: Affordable standing desk for active working
Buy now £180, Ikea.com As you would expect from the overlords of flat pack, some assembly is required to set up your trotten. But it really is child’s play and there are 24 pages of idiot-proof
Buy now £180, Ikea.com
As you would expect from the overlords of flat pack, some assembly is required to set up your trotten. But it really is child’s play and there are 24 pages of idiot-proof instructions that take you through the whole process of constructing the base, installing and concealing the cranking mechanism within it – and then fixing the desktop. In fact, it took about 40-minutes to be standing in front of a working table after opening the box.
The desktop is melamine-covered wood with some neat plastic edging, which gives it that customary, clean Ikea look, while the base is steel.
You can order the table with four different colour combinations; mixing and matching desktop and base with different finishes (beige, white and anthracite), so you shouldn’t have much trouble finding a combination that matches your home decor.
The trotten made our 2022 standing desk round-up because we were mightily impressed with the quality and price of the table, since then we have tracked the reviews on the Ikea website, where the majority of testimonials are positive.
Read more: This sit-stand desk has taken my WFH set up to new heights
The trotten comes with two desktop dimensions, 120cm x 70cm and 160cm x 80cm, with prices at £180 and £199 respectively. We really liked the depths of these tables as we think it’s vital that you have enough space between a monitor and keyboard to work ergonomically.
There’s plenty of room for all the usual working accessories and the obligatory cup of coffee can be placed well away from any laptops and keyboards to avoid unwanted desktop disasters.
There’s no cable management options with the table, though, so if you work with a lot of peripherals you might want to think about sourcing a third-party system so things don’t get too messy around and underneath the desktop itself.
However, you won’t have to worry about any wires leading from the desk itself as this is an advantage of a manual – it doesn’t have to be tied to a socket so you have more freedom where you position the table in your workspace. The only thing you need to be mindful of if you work in a narrow space is the crank handle, which needs to be pulled out from underneath the desk, so you need to make sure you can accommodate the extra space needed for winding.
Read more: The Flexispot E8 standing desk helped us adopt healthy habits while working from home
The trotten does support much less weight than many other tables, though (50kg) – the Humanscale float can support 75kg, for example - so if you have a set up that involves a lot of hardware, you might need a more supportive desktop.
There have been some doubts online about the trotten’s stability when it is fully raised, but we didn’t have any issues with our working set up and we didn’t waste a drop of coffee on a wobbly desk.
Now, to the big question: how disruptive is the manual raising and lowering to workflow?
We like the way that Ikea has tried to sell the desk on its website, saying that cranking the handle will give your arms a good workout, while you also reap the health rewards of active working. It’s a nice try because the mechanism is efficient and smooth, but not quick. In fact, we would say it probably takes three times as long to raise the table compared to one that’s electrically operated.
Read more: The Yo-Yo desk 90 will transform any workspace into a sit-stand dream
Personally, we don’t see this as that much of a drawback. When we decide to work standing up, or a pre-set alarm goes off on an active working app, we’re never in a massive hurry and it presents an opportunity to take a moment away from workflow to refocus.
However, it probably won’t work for anyone who really wants to minimise those kinds of interruptions, or who has decided they want to work standing up every time they take a call, for example.
We originally gave the Ikea trotten sit-stand desk a 9/10 rating and, after spending more time working at it, we are totally satisfied that’s the number it still deserves because its cranking system is smooth and we weren’t impatient with its raising speed. We consider this to be a small price to pay for this budget-friendly introduction to active working.
For this price, you’ve also got peace of mind that you’re minimising what can go wrong with the table and you won’t be stuck with a desktop that you can only sit (or stand) at.Best: Height range: Max load: Desktop dimensions: Guarantee: Buy now Read more: This sit-stand desk has taken my WFH set up to new heightsRead more: The Flexispot E8 standing desk helped us adopt healthy habits while working from homeRead more: The Yo-Yo desk 90 will transform any workspace into a sit-stand dream£180