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Ikea Trotten, Skarsta & Rodulf – What’s the difference?

Answer: Skarsta has been rebranded as Trotten to make up a new office system. Rodulf is a Skarsta with a motor.

Ikea like to keep things fresh, or at least make it appear that way! Some ranges, like Bekant are gradually expanded over many years, and included a huge variety of desk frames, accessories and configurations. Other products, like the Skarsta are stand alone: the Skarsta is and only ever was a manual crank sit/stand desk.

The Skarsta became incredibly popular, partly because of its price point, it’s good reviews and who doesn’t love one less wire in their lives? It’s expanding central beam allowed the same base to serve multiple size table tops, from a logistics point of view, it was also bound to be a winner.

Ikea then evidently saw the market for budget sit/stand was strong, and built a version with an electric motor. They called it Rodulf. Interestingly they pitched its size in between the small and large Skarsta, at 140cm, probably because they couldn’t keep the extendable cross beam with the motor and keep the price point. Another reason maybe is they did not want it to compete directly with the more expensive Bekant, or even more expensive Idåsen sit/stand desk. They also kept it budget; no configuration options, you can’t even change the colour of the top from grey (unless you buy a solid wood top from us!).

Now there are two products, that look very similar, to my eye identical, but with different names and so not part of the same range. Due to the natural evolution of the product, probably led by consumer demand instead of product planning, they have a degree of complexity emerging in their home office offerings. What’s more, so many Skarsta desks have been sold with a certain aesthetic which isn’t immediately matched with other office furniture systems. I.e. Bekant is all about rounded corners, Idåsen has a very specific industrial/skandi vibe, the Skarsta/Rodulf is much slimmer and more angular. Whilst many products could easily be paired with these desks, there wasn’t a ‘paint by numbers’ approach to kitting out an office space.

How do you solve a problem like this?

The Trotten system. Trotten transforms the lone wolf Skarsta into a fullly fledged office furniture range. Including ergonomic desks and chairs, as well as office-centric items like dividers and whiteboards, and home office essentials like storage units and monitor stands.

All these items come with a specific look. Angular, metallic, functional, slim, conservative… budget. Ikea have nailed this brief since the beginning of time, and now they are just putting it all together in a range aimed at start ups and growth focussed small businesses. A hybrid system to facilitate working at home or the office – or both.

My guess is the Rodulf will be renamed in time, or maybe they will just let people find it on their own. Ikea already label the Rodulf as a ‘Top Seller’, so perhaps it doesn’t need any help.

You might struggle to find reviews on the Trotten, don’t worry, just look out for reviews on the Skarsta. Bear in mind in 2020 the Skarsta changed to use plastic inserts and machine screws to hold the top and the frame together, so older reviews pulling the desk frame down on the grey plastic pins can be ignored (they were terrible!).

So Trotten is the new Skarsta. The King is dead… long live the King.

Upgrade your Skarsta, Trotten or Rodulf desk top

Which every way you look at it, the Skarsta look is minimal and budget. But it is good quality, for the money. You might want to consider pairing a Trotten system/Rodulf desk frame and a solid oak, walnut or pine desk top. We make tops at any size, made out of solid wood at varying thicknesses. Solid wood tops allow you to use monitor mounts and camera clamps without crumpling the MDF or cardboard inside the Ikea tops. You buy all desks frame only, so there is no waste.

Solid wood desk tops for the Trotten, Rodulf & Skarsta

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