Ikea Bekant Storage Unit Review
May 27, 2020
WRITTEN BY: Tim
In this post, I’m sharing my thoughts on the Bekant Storage Unit from Ikea. I purchased this storage unit for my home office to neatly organize all of our networking gear in one spot. What makes the Bekant shelf unique are the mesh panels on its side and back, allowing air to flow throughout the unit. When I was searching for a storage solution that provided adequate ventilation for our gear, I really couldn’t find any other product that functioned like the Bekant shelf, so I decided to give this a try.
Initially, the NAS had been sitting on the office floor for the past 10 months, sucking up dusk and requiring frequent cleaning. This was what prompted me to find a better storage solution for the NAS.
This storage shelf really helped to consolidate all of the devices and also minimize the number of cables underneath my desk. The reason why I didn’t go with a normal open shelf is because the Bekant has a way to route cables within the shelf, keeping everything neat and organized.
The shelf is far from full, but it currently holds:
- Synology DS418play NAS – shared storage drive and backup
- Intel NUC i5 (newer model linked) – controls our smart home
- Linksys 5 Port Ethernet Switch
- UniFi AP Lite – provides WiFi coverage for the 2nd floor of our home
- Google Nest Hub
The side and back panels were what sold me on the Bekant. These panels have a mesh pattern, which allows air to flow throughout the shelves. I was having a really hard time finding a shelf that would allow proper airflow for the NAS and NUC, while still having sides and a back.
Internal Cable Routing
I wanted a way to route cables within the shelf and was open to drilling my own holes, but the Bekant already has gaps for running cables to both shelves. I really like that there’s a hole behind the drawer for cables to exit and that the base of the unit is elevated high enough to fit a power strip underneath. Luckily in my office, the shelf sits next to a power outlet, so there are only 2 ethernet cables that leave the base.
I was surprised at the quality of the metal parts when assembling the shelf. They have a nice matte powder coat finish that seems durable. The mesh siding is a lot thicker than it looks like in Ikea’s product photos.
The shelf material is particleboard with veneer, which is widely used at Ikea. Not the most premium material, but definitely durable enough.
The hardware included for the drawer was a lot nicer than what I expected. Attaching the drawer to the slides was a breeze and slides are soft close, which is always a plus. The slide releases are at the front of the drawer and its large size makes it very easy to access cables behind the drawer.
One downside of the drawer is the single wheel attached at the bottom, which provides support for when the drawer is open. The wheel is visible when looking at the base but because we have dark floors, the black wheel blends in. It would have been nice if the base was weighted, so the drawer wouldn’t require the wheel.
At $219 before tax, I was initially skeptical of why this was priced so high, but given the design, metal components, and drawer hardware the Bekant was well worth the money. I do wish they included a few more hooks at this price though.
There are a few extras that I skipped on that slightly reduced the price. There’s an option for 4 caster wheels instead of the leveling feet. This didn’t make sense for my needs as the shelf doesn’t need to be mobile. Another option is an NFC lock for the drawer. It didn’t seem very secure and I don’t plan on storing anything valuable in the drawer so I passed.
I’d recommend the Bekant to anyone needing a way to store devices that require proper airflow like a NAS or even a small desktop computer. I also could see photographers or videographers using the Bekant as a charging station that has 2 levels of battery chargers with proper cable management.
Overall, I’m very happy with the Bekant Storage Unit. I would have loved for the shelves to be solid wood and the bottom wheel removed. But for the price, the Bekant does everything I need.
If you have any questions about the Bekant, please leave a comment below!
SAVE & PIN FOR LATER
IN: OFFICE · TAGGED: Home Office
Is there a weight limit on this unit?
I don’t think IKEA posts a weight limit for the unit. But the shelf is very sturdy.
Hi, this is so helpful, thank you. Quick question, what’s the diameter of the screws on the leveling feet? I’m thinking of getting the Bekant casters for an existing shelf with the same type of screw on leveling feet. It’s proven impossible to find the measurements online though. Thank you.
Hey Nate! Unfortunately I’m not able to get the measurement of the screws without disassembling my shelf. You’ll want to make sure that the thread of the screw on the caster will match your shelf as well. Diameter could be the same but thread can be different!
Hi great review ! We are almost done assembling the cabinet but we are having real issues getting the drawer to attach to the runner gadget? Any ideas?
Hey there! Sorry for the late reply! I didn’t have any issues with aligning the drawer. You could try loosening the rails and try to adjust them a bit to see if they’ll properly catch.
HI – Do you have to put the legs on? Will the bottom drawer still pull out without the legs? It is a little too tall for my area.
Hey! You don’t have to install the legs. However, the drawer will probably hit the ground when it’s opened. The drawer has a leg with a wheel that acts as a support. It might be possible to add a custom wheel to the drawer.
It’s always useful to read product reviews, but in these lockdown times it has become absolutely imperative. So thanks heaps for this thorough review! I’m wondering: do you think it’s possible to use the unit without assembling and adding the drawer (and its wheel)? I’d prefer an open storage solution without a drawer, and the Bekant fits all my other requirements in terms of material and measures. So I’m wondering if it’s even possible? Thanks in advance for any inputs you can share on this.
I’m glad you found the review helpful! It would be possible to use the unit without adding the drawer. The only thing to consider is the cut out on the bottom shelf for the drawer wheel. Check the photo of the drawer sliders in my review for what the cutout looks like. Hope this helps!
Very helpful, thanks so much! I’ll make sure to factor in that hole in the bottom and probably cover it by placing a cardboard box on that bottom shelf. But this makes me go ahead with my purchase – thanks again!
Great! No worries at all!
Thanks so much for taking the time to do a review of this. I am looking at buying this unit to reorganize my home office a little. I am thinking about putting a printer on top of it. Would you say its sturdy enough for that?
Also I am thinking of mounting a power bar in behind the drawer. How much clearance is there between the back of the drawer and the back of the unit when the drawer is closed?
Glad you found the review helpful! There are a few inches behind the drawer, but I think mounting a power strip will be a little tight. The top of the unit is sturdy enough for a printer!
Thanks so much! You are a life saver!
Thanks very much for this – it’s really difficult finding reviews of this system, and it’s not exactly easy to wander round Ikea during lockdown. I’ve got a question about the drawer at the bottom – it looks like the sort of place you’d expect to see hanging files, but I can’t see any appropriate fixings in the promotional photos. Does it look like there’s any way to hang files? Thanks!
A hanging file folder will fit in the drawer, but you wouldn’t be able to fit a folder label. The drawer seems to be perfect size for 8.5 x 11 sheets of paper, but it doesn’t seem to be designed for hanging file storage. Hope this helps!
I had the same question so I appreciate your review and response on this.
I love this design but the lack of a rack for hanging files is a deal killer for me 🙁 Seems like a missed opportunity that I hope they fix in a future version!
Same here. I bought mine on clearance and just assumed a regular hanging file system would fit. Not so. No metal rails included and weird size. (8 1/2” x 11” doesn’t work). Disappointed. Maybe we can ask them to come up with something to retrofit it with a hanging file system.
Then it would be perfect. I’m using mine for a craft station. The large 12” paper I use fits in the drawer if you raise the bottom shelf an inch or so. Love the metal sides for magnets, hooks or a magazine holder/mail pocket they sell. The Bekant is versatile, just need those hanging files!
Thank you for the review. How wide is the shelf opening?