A Cheap Stand Up Desk For Small Spaces
I used to live in a small space and didn’t have the space for a desk as well as a chair. While walking around at Ikea one day, I noticed they have a very versatile shelving system called IVAR. IVAR comes in two basic sizes, approximately 35x20 inches or 19x12 inches and in a variety of heights.
I decided to try out the smaller one, the 19x12 inch version, for a standing desk and found they are good to storage but also make excellent standing desks. Besides the sizes, you can also choose how many shelves you want. I got 5 shelves similar to what Ikea shows on their page here for about $70. I opted for two X-supports for stability instead of the single X-support they recommend. The shelves are adjustable in about 1/2 inch increments so you can easily set them up to match your height and arm length.
I put my monitor on the top shelf, my keyboard and mouse on a second shelf slightly under the top shelf, my laptop and power strip on the fourth shelf, and I still have two more shelves for storage or additional computer peripherals. I have a Novaform memory foam mat on the floor to help with foot fatigue.
There are a couple drawbacks:
- It is hard to see the keyboard since it is hidden by the shelf supporting the monitor. But that isn’t a big problem if you are a touch typist and only need to look at the keyboard occasionally.
- The small shelf isn’t wide enough for a full size keyboard and a mouse, luckily I have a 10-keyless Deck Keyboard. You can also get by with putting the mouse on the top shelf with the monitor.
- Removing the shelves takes a lot of force and one of the shelves developed a crack during dis-assembly for my last move. I don’t think the IVAR shelves can take a lot of moving around.
- The shelf has typical Ikea quality, it is stable for vertical forces but, despite the X-supports, a little wobbly when pushed forward/backwards.
One assembly ‘gotcha’ is to flip the legs over so the big gap is at the top, basically to do the opposite of what Ikea shows on this page. This way you have more room for your monitor
Overall it is a decent deal for $70 considering regular stand-up desks can cost $200 and up, require much more space, and don’t have as many storage options.
Below is a picture of my IVAR stand-up desk.