27 Things You Should Never Buy at Ikea
If the price seems too good to be true, you might want to think twice.
Without Ikea, most 20-somethings wouldn’t have any furniture in their snug studio apartments. As every guy and gal on a budget knows, the Swedish superstore is well-known for selling everyday essentials at affordable prices—but while other bargain shops sell everything you could ever want or need, Ikea focuses on ready-to-assemble furniture and Swedish meatballs.
But although Ikea is the go-to store for coffee tables and bookshelves, not all of their products are quite so in-demand. On the contrary, if you scroll through the store’s endless offerings, you’ll actually find that some sections of their site are littered with reviews complaining of poor quality, uncomfortable fabrics, and even fatal injuries. Herein, we’ve compiled a list of all the products that you should steer clear of when shopping at Ikea.
The last thing you want to do is sacrifice comfort and the quality of your sleep just to save a few bucks. Of course, there are ways to save money on mattresses, but buying one at Ikea is not one of them. If you’re still not convinced, then let some of these Ikea mattress review highlights change your mind: “It was the least comfortable thing I’ve ever felt.”; “The foam has deformed to the point that our bodies sink and we wake up with back pain.”; “I wake up in pain!” Please, just do yourself a favor and buy a mattress anywhere else.
From a price perspective, Ikea’s sheets are some of the best around—some of the store’s cheapest offerings go for just $4! But if what you’re looking for is comfort, though, then it’s worth it to spend a few extra dollars on better quality sheets. Online reviews for Ikea’s sheets complain of a scratchiness that feels like sandpaper, and one user even wrote that “they are what I would imagine sheets in a prison to feel like.” Yikes.
It should go without saying that the quality of the seafood found at a furniture store isn’t going to be the greatest. Just take it from one reviewer who (for some reason) bought a bag of frozen shrimp at Ikea and subsequently wrote: “This is the nastiest bag of shrimp I have ever bought. Tiny little shrimp that when peeled are the size of a Japanese beetle. They were covered with a weird pink sandy substance that I have never seen in a frozen or raw shrimp.”
For the amateur chef who only cooks the occasional homemade meal, Ikea’s cheap knives get the job done. If you’re in the kitchen preparing food on the daily, though, you should invest in a set of study, sharpened knives and steer clear of any kitchenware or cutlery sold at a ready-to-assemble furniture store.
If you don’t particularly care about what condition your glassware is in, then go ahead and stock up on cups at Ikea. (For just $0.99 per cup, they’re cheaper than plastic options at other stores.)
However, be wary of buying glassware at the store if you’re frequently hosting fancy dinner parties or want your cups to remain spotless. Though they’re sturdy enough, many reviewers warn that Ikea’s glassware is prone to getting foggy “really quick.”
Home Decor Accessories
The whole purpose of shopping for furniture at Ikea is so you have enough money leftover to splurge on unique accessories that add a personal touch to your pad. Look at it this way: Any home decor item you buy at the store is also going to be in millions of other people’s homes. That takes a bit of the fun out of the whole idea.
The Malm Dressers
Back in November 2017, the line of dressers was recalled—for a second time, no less—after a two-year-old child died under the weight of one. And that’s not even the worst news: The two-year-old who died in 2017 was the eighth child to die at the hands of the Malm.
It’s worth reiterating that any and all sleep-related products are worth the splurge. Getting a poor night’s sleep can affect your mental and physical health—and quite frankly, your wellbeing is much more important than saving money.
Wooden Bed Frames
Not only are the wooden bed frames from Ikea hard to assemble, but customers are also constantly taking to the internet to complain about how poorly made they are. On the Hemnes bed frame’s page, for instance, one customer noted that their “frame separated and fell apart within [one] week,” while another wrote that their frame “collapsed on us in the middle of the night.” Yikes.
The Lack Table
What’s not to love about Ikea’s Lack table? It’s cute, it matches everything, and best of all, it’s only $10! There’s just one small problem. When one Reddit user left their table outside, it came apart and revealed what it’s really made out of: cardboard. If your ideal side table is a pizza box with legs, then go ahead and buy the Lack table; if not, you might want to keep shopping around.
Cheap Food Containers
If you’re thinking about buying cheap Tupperware at Ikea as a substitute for more expensive name-brand alternatives, think again. Though Ikea’s containers are budget-friendly, they’re also about as sturdy as you’d imagine a set of 17 containers for $6 to be. These bargain buys are great for holidays like Thanksgiving when you want to give away leftovers, but otherwise, they’re a colossal waste of money.
The Glasholm Tabletop
In concept, the Glasholm tabletop is great: It’s a glass tabletop sold on its own, which means that you can buy whatever trestles and storage units you want to create the table of your dreams. However, search through the Consumer Product Safety Commission database, and you’ll find hordes of customers complaining about how their tabletops have cracked and even “spontaneously exploded.” The product is so infamous for its problems that the Ikea website even warns that “a damaged edge or scratched surface can cause the glass to suddenly crack or break.”
As many customers will tell you, it can be incredibly difficult to get any of the dimming kits from Ikea to work—and when they finally are set up, they tend to spontaneously disconnect from the app. Though it’s a good concept, the execution leaves a lot to be desired.
If a wireless charger for $13 and a wireless charger with three ports for $60 sounds too good to be true, that’s because it is. Sure, these products at these price points do technically exist at Ikea, but based on their reviews, they aren’t exactly functional.
Some customers complain that the chargers don’t work with the types of phones they have; others lament that the chargers fell apart before they could even try it. Either way, you’re better off splurging on a more trusted wireless charger, like the Samsung Fast Charge (which, as of the publication of this article, is on sale for just $20).
When you hop out of the shower and put on your bathrobe, you want to be enveloped in a soft, absorbable, and comfortable fabric—but that’s a far cry from what you’ll get if you buy your robe at Ikea. Online, Ikea’s Rockan bathrobe page is bombarded with subpar reviews claiming that the robe is “like a thin terry cloth towel” that “feels light.”
Unfortunately, people don’t have the best things to say about Ikea’s artificial grass floor decking. According to one disgruntled buyer, “the turf [tiles] have too much height and fiber so when you try to get them to click together, materials get in the way and it never completely clicks.” Other online users agree with this sentiment, noting that the grassy tiles can become slippery and even cause injuries thanks to their poor design.
You’re probably not using your luggage all that often, but that doesn’t mean that you should just opt for the cheapest carry-on possible and call it a day. Rather, when you do go on vacation, your bags will be holding some of your most precious belongings, and therefore you want to invest in luggage that’s reliable and robust—in other words, the exact opposite of what Ikea makes. Take their $55 Förenkla carry-on, for instance. While the bag has a 3.9 rating for appearance, it ranks at just a 3.3 for product quality, and users online complain that the product is “very cheaply made.” Pass!
If you’re in a pinch, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with buying a stepping stool at Ikea. The store’s cheapest two-tier stool is just $20, and after 58 reviews it still has a 4.8-star rating online. However, if you aren’t in dire need of a stool and care more about saving money than immediate gratification, then consider looking elsewhere. At Target, you’ll find a similar stool for just $15, and the Home Depot sells one with a 225 lb. load capacity for $18.
The Betrodd Oven
When Consumer Reports tested some of Ikea’s appliances, they ranked the cheapest Betrodd model with a double oven and ceramic cooktop in 14th place—out of 14—on their list of electronic smoothtop double-oven ranges. “If you love to bake, know that this range turned out unevenly browned cookies when baked on two racks simultaneously, and the same for cakes,” they wrote.
The Lagan Microwave
Though Consumer Reports did have some nice things to say about the Lagan microwave—apparently, it’s “very good at defrosting a pound of frozen ground beef”—their final review put the Ikea appliance in 70th place out of 84 amongst over-the-range microwaves. “Heating evenness isn’t impressive,” they noted, “and it’s among the worst at venting and relatively noisy to boot.” Not exactly a vote of confidence from the appliance experts.
The quality of Ikea’s wardrobes can be summarized by one unhappy customer’s review of the TRYSIL wardrobe: “[The item] was very challenging to assemble. The back was flimsy and didn’t really fit in the guides. After only a few days it popped out and I couldn’t get it back in. About a week after assembling it, the rod fell down as the support for the rod broke… I feel that $200 is pretty steep for something that didn’t even last a year.”
Algot Storage Systems
When Consumer Reports compared five different closet systems, they found that not only was Ikea’s not the cheapest, but it was also one of the worst. “The directions are wrong, and it’s hard to achieve the correct spacing,” they wrote about the Algot storage system. Thanks to several problems that came up during the building process, the editors at Consumer Reports took a staggering 160 minutes to finish putting the system together, versus anywhere from 35 to 70 minutes for the other four.
Plastic Cutting Boards
If your Ikea plastic cutting board somehow doesn’t get destroyed simply because it can’t handle the blade of a knife, then you can bet that the dishwasher will finish the job. Though Ikea specifically states that the product is dishwasher-safe, countless reviews online complain about how the plastic product warps if it’s put through a hot water cycle.
The Socker Greenhouse
Though Ikea’s Socker greenhouse is aesthetically pleasing, it lacks true functionality. Even five-star reviews of the product note that the plant protector “doesn’t seal” and is “probably not excellent as an actual greenhouse.”
Buying a cheap ceiling lamp at Ikea is something of a gamble. Back in 2016, the store had to recall 840,000 Hyby and Lock ceiling lamp units in America because, according to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission, the clips holding the lampshades up “can break and allow the glass shades to fall, posing a laceration hazard.”
The whole point of silverware is to be able to cut through everything from spaghetti to steak. However, this isn’t quite the case with Ikea’s flatware offerings, seeing as, well, the quality is what you expect for a $5 set.
The Fräjen Bath Towel
When Wirecutter put dozens of towels to the test, they found Ikea’s Fräjen bath towel to be so uncomfortable and unappealing that they didn’t even bother to include it in their final tally. And now that you know everything not to buy, check out these 20 Products That Make Cleaning So Much Easier.
To discover more amazing secrets about living your best life, click here to follow us on Instagram!