15 Ikea "Bargains" That Aren't Really Bargains at All

Some products are inexpensive for a reason.

Gothem lamps Worst Ikea Bargains

Ikea is famous for its chic and modern home goods at incredibly reasonable prices. But if something isn't going to hold up, it's not worth spending any money on it. Ikea may try to hide its cheap manufacturing behind so-called "bargain" prices, but we don't want you using dangerous dressers or loveseats that aren't built to last. So, we sifted through reviews and data from a number of different sources to uncover the worst bargains at Ikea that you should stay far, far away from.


Spring Mattresses Worst Ikea Bargains

Sleep Like the Dead, which compiled reviews from 224 consumers via 68 sources, reports that you should avoid Ikea mattresses if you truly cherish a comfortable night's sleep. With owner satisfaction grades from B- to D, Ikea mattresses are not worth the investment.

You're better off searching for your next mattress from Zinus or Lucid.

Decorative Accessories

Gradvis vase Worst Ikea Bargains

Contrary to popular belief, you should avoid purchasing cheap decorative accessories at Ikea and head to the thrift store instead, says Christophe Pourny, author of The Furniture Bible.

"The key to a great shopping experience with Ikea is to focus on basic items or staples in the room, such as sturdy office furniture and chairs," he told Realtor.com. "You can add more of your individual personality with a few flea market finds. That way you're creating a space unique to you."

Malm Dressers

Malm Dresser Worst Ikea Bargains

In 2016, Ikea recalled 29 million Malm dressers in the U.S. They were linked to the deaths of eight children after the unstable dressers fell on them. So, it goes without saying that you should avoid being lured by the cheap price of these dressers (starting at $50).

Go for equally-inexpensive finds at Target or Walmart instead.

Poang "Leather" Chair

POANG Armchair Worst Ikea Bargains

Ikea received criticism and a Shonky Award for selling so-called "leather" versions of the Poang chair in Australia that were actually made with polyester and polyurethane. Despite the cheap price tag for this stylish chair (which starts at $200), you'd be better served investing in a Poang chair that doesn't claim to be made from leather.

Closet Systems

Closet system Worst Ikea Bargains

According to Consumer Reports, closet systems from Ikea are typically riddled with issues, from the instructions to their longevity. One reviewer said: "The directions are wrong, and it's hard to achieve the correct spacing. Screws aren't included. Neither are wall anchors; we had to stop work and buy them. Drawers didn't fit properly. The upright width was listed wrong, and we had to re-drill."

As an alternative, try the Platinum Elfa Reach-In from the Container Store, which many say is the easiest closet system to install, and that it holds up to wear and tear fairly well.


Gothem lamps Worst Ikea Bargains

Similar to the Malm dresser, Ikea has recalled a large number of their ceiling lights, floor lamps, and table lamps for a number of reasons, including injuries involving shattered glass and electric shock. For your own safety—and that of your family—do not purchase your next lamp at Ikea.

Lack Side Table

Lack side tables Worst Ikea Bargains

It's hard to resist furniture that only sets you back a cool $9. But back away from the Lack side table because Go Banking Rates points out that it will only last for a limited amount of time since it's not made from solid wood.

It's better to head to your favorite thrift store to find a side table of true and lasting substance at slightly higher price.

Bath Towels

Bath towels Worst Ikea Bargains

According to a review by Wirecutter, the typical bath towel sold by Ikea is so thin, light actually shines through its fibers. Not only that, but the Fräjen towel is so scratchy and uncomfortable that the $6 you'll pay for it will actually seem like ripoff.

Instead, invest in Bed Bath & Beyond's Dri-Soft Plus bath towel. It's far better reviewed and only a dollar more.

Glasholm Tabletop Glass

Glasholm tabletop glass Worst Ikea Bargains

While the honeycomb pattern in Glasholm tabletop glass ($59) is intended to make the glass shatterproof, the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that this product has the habit of shattering, even without weight added to its surface.

Even the Ikea website warns that it may suddenly crack or break if it is damaged from the side. One reviewer aptly called it "a safety hazard."

Pruta Food Containers

Pruta food containers Worst Ikea Bargains

Some deals seem too good to be true—and that's because they are. Such is the case with Ikea's 17 Pruta food containers for only $6. According to reviewers on Amazon, the lids don't fit well on the containers, and therefore, anything inside of them leaks. Instead, invest in Ikea's Jamka containers. They're a bit more expensive, but much more durable.

Bekant Desk

Bekant desk Worst Ikea Bargains

The Bekant desk from Ikea receives mostly one-star reviews, which isn't a surprise when you see it has a tendency to break after only a few months of use. Even investing $149 into something like this isn't worth it.

Instead, try Ikea's Idasen standing desk. Yes, it's much more expensive, but when you look at it as $100 more for every year it holds up, it's worthwhile.

Sleeper Sofas

Flottebo Sleeper Sofa Worst Ikea Bargains

Although they seem like a steal, often costing a few hundred dollars at most, the sleeper sofas at Ikea get bad reviews from the store's customers for two reasons: First, they are uncomfortable to sleep on, and secondly, they're uncomfortable to sit on. It's a real lose-lose situation.

Head to thrift stores or Target to snag cheap sleeper sofas that you'll actually want to lounge on.

Klippan Loveseat

Klippan Loveseat Worst Ikea Bargains

Similar to the sleeper sofas, most reviews of the Klippan loveseat (which starts at $279) are negative, as they turn out to be incredibly uncomfortable.

You're better off finding budget loveseats at World Market or Wayfair. These retailers offer stylish options at affordable options, and get this—they're actually comfortable.

Hemnes Bed Frame

Hemnes Bed Frame Worst Ikea Bargains

Though the low price of this bed frame may draw you in (it only costs $250 for a double mattress), there's inevitably a reason why the price is so reasonable.

Reviewers on Amazon only give the bed frame an average score of two stars, due to the fact that it breaks after only a few months of use. You're better off going with Ikea's Kvalfjord bed frame, which proves to be more durable.

Legitim Chopping Board

Legitim chopping board Worst Ikea Bargains

This cutting board may retail for $2, but it doesn't stand up to the dishwasher and begins to deteriorate after a small amount of use, according to reviews on Ikea's site.

Invest a bit more money into your well-loved cutting boards by purchasing them from stores like Bed, Bath & Beyond and Target.

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Ashley Moor
Ashley hails from Dayton, Ohio, and has more than six years of experience in print and digital media. Read more
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