IKEA Knotten Standing Desk Review
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The IKEA Knotten is great at what it is: A piece of furniture designed for storage in a foyer. The issue is when IKEA calls it a standing desk. It comes in one size and can’t handle either monitor arm or keyboard tray installation, so it’s in an ergonomic barren space. The desktop surface is very small. It is still an IKEA product, so installation is going to be a chore.
A place to store keys and charge devices near the front door.
|MSRP / List Price||$159|
Varies by Zip Code, or pick up for free if you live near an IKEA store.
10-year limited warranty
|Number of Monitors Supported||
|Typical Assembly Time||
|NEAT™ Certified by Mayo Clinic||
|Where to buy||
Buy on Amazon
|Ease of Assembly|
|Quality and Aesthetics|
|Positives||The Knotten has plenty of storage in a variety of spots. The birch pieces themselves are strong and light. It's cheap, compared to real standing desks.|
|Negatives||This isn't a standing desk and IKEA really shouldn't market it as one. It's exceptionally unlikely anyone could get the Knotten set up in an ergonomically correct position. It is available in only one size and one color. The desktop surface is very small and made smaller by the fact that there's an ill-fitting drawer taking up much of it. The assembly is typical IKEA.|
Lest we come across as unfair for picking on the Knotten, let it be known: IKEA calls this product a standing desk, says it is “perfect for your tablet or laptop,” and touts the “extra positive health effects from standing up while working.”
They do not intend this product to be used for working all day, every day, but to sell something that’s not adjustable and comes in exactly one size couldn’t be further from a design fit for the ergodynamics of a sit-stand workstation.
You Must Be Exactly This Tall To Ride The Desk
By offering a fixed-height desk with only one option for height (41.375”), IKEA has essentially made a desk that fits people who are exactly one height (about 5-foot-7, though everyone’s anthropometry is different).
Even if IKEA didn’t intend this desk for working all day, every day, it still feels risky to buy a standing desk that you literally can’t work at for very long without causing aches and pains (unless you’re the one height this desk fits).
The design of this desk does not allow for a monitor arm to be installed since there is no suitable area to clamp to and no grommet holes. It would also be impossible to install any keyboard tray we’ve seen (even a clamp-on tray like the SteadyType Exo is too wide for the Knotten’s 20.5” front edge).
Even if you’re the one specific height that the Knotten is made for, it’s exceptionally unlikely that you’ll be able to get your laptop screen and keyboard at the correct heights at the same time. This thing was clearly not designed with any sort of standing ergonomics (much less ergodynamics, for that matter) in mind.
Despite its small relative size to other standing desks, the Knotten stands out when it comes to storage. It has two shelves, two slide-out drawers, one cubby and one vertical storage area designed for charging devices. It also has two hooks on the right side that the product page helpfully suggests are great for hanging car keys. Because, you know, people hang car keys on their standing desk all the time, right? It’s almost like this was a piece of furniture designed for the entry foyer or mudroom that IKEA decided to just slap the words “standing desk” on as if it’ll sell more units with that moniker.
Other than pure desktop surface area, this is much more storage than you’ll find on essentially all standing desks (with the possible exception of iMovR’s impending Admiral’s Desk, which we are waiting to review). Of course, this isn’t really a standing desk, so it kind of makes sense.
The storage area near the back of the desktop for charging devices like a phone is a great idea, but it isn’t developed well and it isn’t right for this desk due to its small size. The lid does not appear to line up with the rest of the desktop when closed so you’re left with a small, uneven surface.
At 16.875” x 20.5”, this desktop is already very small to fit a laptop and mouse, so losing some of that precious space to the storage area lid makes it even less functional.
Assembly and Quality
As is IKEA tradition, the Knotten is difficult to assemble. It has holes that aren’t quite in the right spot, but are close enough to make you crazy trying to get them to fit, and instructions that may or may not be for the correct piece of furniture. There is an entire community of memes built on assembling IKEA furniture, so by this point you know what you’re getting yourself into.
IKEA lists the Knotten’s weight capacity at 22 lbs, so you definitely wouldn’t be able to use a PC and monitor (not that there’s space for them).
The Knotten is made from ambiguous solid birch and birch plywood. It’s ambiguous because there’s no grade or origin listed which, as we discussed in our primer on Baltic birch, is a red flag about quality.
This is no more a standing desk than a dresser is a standing desk. Or a table. Or literally any piece of furniture with a flat surface upon which someone could set a laptop and work in a pinch.
It’s clear the IKEA Knotten was designed as a piece of furniture that sits next to the front door and holds things you might use on your way in and out of the home. In that respect, it is very good beyond the quality and assembly issues. But when IKEA calls it a standing desk and touts its positive health effects from standing up while working, that’s a bit too hyperbolic for serious standing deskers like us.
Given how all our new staff members need to learn about standing desks by building them, this meme is our particular favorite: