18 products that are worth buying at IKEA — and 10 more you should skip

  • IKEA is one of the biggest global retailers of home goods, with more than 300 stores in 38 countries.
  • We consulted several blogs and online reviews to find the best and worst products to buy at IKEA.
  • Here are 18 products to buy at IKEA and 10 to consider skipping.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

As one of the biggest home-goods retailers in the world, IKEA has established itself a beloved brand for stylish and affordable furniture and essentials.

The Swedish retailer has experienced impressive growth in recent years as it continues to expand into new regions and territories. Today it boasts more than 300 stores in 38 countries and remains a go-to destination for people to furnish a home, while also munching on some of its famous meatballs.

But it can be tough to identify the best bargains at IKEA, given its vast product assortment. With that in mind, and with the help of a variety of expert reviews and blogs, here are 18 products to buy at IKEA and 10 products you should skip.

Buy: Raskog Utility Cart


This cart is one of the most ubiquitous IKEA items across American homes, thanks to coming in a vast array of colours and its ability to be used in countless ways. “Use it as a bar cart, use it as storage in your bathroom, use it to hold plants – you name it,” House Beautiful’s Brittney Morgan wrote.

Buy: Variera pot-lid organiser


Keeping your kitchenware tidy and organised is no easy feat, but Saundra Latham of the product-review blog Cheapism said this pot-lid organiser was “genius” thanks to its ability to adjust from 3 inches long to 20 inches depending on the size of your cabinet.

“Happy owners say it holds lids of all sizes securely without causing unsightly scratches, and many report finding other uses for it, organising cutting boards, crafts, and even mail,” she wrote.

Buy: Kallax shelves


Another IKEA fan favourite is the Kallax shelf, which is perfect for stacking and organising, and finding inventive ways to divide a room and strategically gussy up a small space.

“This shelving unit is one of IKEA’s most beloved products for good reason. The Kallax series has clean lines and infinite possibilities,” Cheapism’s Latham wrote. “Owners say the shelves are quite sturdy and they appreciate the number of compatible bins and inserts that can customise the cubbies.”

Buy: Marjun blackout curtains


Wirecutter selected the IKEA Marjun blackout curtains as its budget pick for best inexpensive room-darkening curtains, writing, “They look nice, blocked more light in our tests than most, and they’re less expensive than many we’ve tested.”

Skip: IKEA Malm dresser


The Malm dresser is notoriously dangerous and has been recalled several times over the years after multiple reports of young children being crushed to death when the drawers tipped on top of them. Definitely steer clear of this one.

Buy: Pruta food container


Honestly, one can never have too many plastic food containers on hand, given how easy they are to lose track of. Gear Patrol recommends IKEA’s, which includes 17 containers in seven sizes for just $US16.

Skip: Lack coffee table


Though you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who hasn’t gone through the “IKEA coffee-table phase of life,” most reviewers recommend steering clear of the Lack, which is said to be slightly wobbly and also prone to quickly falling apart.

Buy: IKEA 365 Plus carafe


According to Gear Patrol, IKEA carafes set themselves apart from the rest thanks to their versatility and handy cork stopper, which allow them to be portable and store leftovers.

“Use it to store leftover coffee or homemade juice, and tack a piece of paper to the top with the date on it,” Will Price of Gear Patrol wrote. “Hosting a party? Use thumbtacks and labels to identify the contents.”

Buy: Terje folding chair


The Terje folding chair is not only $US20 but comes in tons of colours and is easily stowed away when not in use as at a desk, dining-room table, barbecue, or any general gathering of friends and family. Plus, Clever included the chair in its roundup of the best 50 IKEA items available online.

Skip: IKEA spring mattresses


IKEA’s mattresses might be affordable, but Cheapism says to look elsewhere. “IKEA’s spring mattresses rank lower than average in consumer satisfaction, and owners complain about excessive sagging,” Cheapism’s Latham wrote.

Skip: Pax wardrobes


While you’re at it, Cheapism also recommends not buying the Pax wardrobe, which it says may look aesthetically pleasing but has “tricky assembly, an inconsistent finish, and misaligned pieces” and is “unlikely to survive a move.”

Buy: Gulliver crib


Apartment Therapy lauded the Gulliver crib for its affordability and its ubiquity on Instagram, where images of the crib were suddenly popping up all over American nurseries.

Buy: Oumbarlig 7-Piece Cookware Set


House Beautiful recommends it’s “time to run – don’t walk – to the store” for this bargain cookware set that for $US60 includes two pots, a sauce pan, a frying pan, and lids.

Skip: Myskgras comforter


While affordable, the Myskgras comforter is universally disliked by reviewers and bloggers, who say the “fabric is scratchy, the comforter shifts around too much inside of its duvet cover, and the fabric proves to be far from durable,” according to Ashley Moor of Best Life.

Skip: Hemnes bedframe


The Hemnes bedframe may be another example of the price being a bit too good to be true. Jenny Brown of Shareably says “the flimsy material can’t handle much weight or movement.”

“While the low price might draw you into this bed, it’s not of particularly good quality, and it will likely fall apart after just a few months,” Brown wrote.

Skip: Glasholm tabletop


The Glashold tabletop has been reported several times to the Consumer Product Safety Commission after the product suddenly shattered and caused injuries. As Cheapism points out, even the IKEA product page says “a damaged edge or scratched surface can cause the glass to suddenly crack or break.” Probably best to skip.

Buy: Poang armchair


BestLife called the Poang a “longtime stable” at IKEA because of its $US99 price point and its ability to add ” effortless style to any room in your home.”

Buy: Stockholm rug


Wirecutter ranked the Stockholm rug as “the best cheap wool rug” on the market, calling it “the softest, nicest-looking large wool rug we’ve found for less than $US300.”

Buy: Ren’s sheepskin rug


Reviewers say the Ren sheepskin rug, at just $US30, is a steal for adding a bit of flair and whimsy to any space. “The Scandinavian retailer delivers with the Rens sheepskin, which can add instant coziness to a room as a rug, throw, or simple accent piece,”Cheapism’s Latham wrote. “Owners say it’s as soft as it looks and a fantastic value for the price.”

Buy: Flottebo sleeper sofa


BestLife loves the Flottebo daybed, which it says is “perfect for the mid-century modern fan” and beats out its competitors with its $US600 price tag.

Buy: Marcus office chair


IKEA’s office chair is among the most and best budget-friendly options on the market, according to Gear Patrol. “For sub-$US200 at IKEA, you get a comfortable chair that will adjust to your seating preferences so you can sit pretty for hours on end,” Gear Patrol’s Price wrote.

Buy: Strandmon wing chair


While you’re at at, Gear Patrol also recommends the Strandmon wing chair, which is particularly appealing because of its machine-washable seat cover and its more than 200 five-star ratings on the IKEA website.

“Harkening back to IKEA’s original 1950s design, it comes in eight great colours and patterns, from understated grey to a vibrant palm print,” Gear Patrol’s Price wrote.

Buy: Stockholm TV Unit


Gear Patrol’s Price also recommends the Stockholm TV unit, which is sleek, stylish, and a great way to conceal “other bits and bobs so they’re out of sight and out of mind,” he wrote.

Skip: Klippan loveseat


While Brown of Shareably said the Klippan’s appeal was largely that “it’s modern, it’s lightweight, and affordable,” ultimately its downfall for her was that it simply wasn’t comfortable.

“It’s awkward to sit on and just plain uncomfortable,” Brown wrote. “There are better options out there.”

Skip: Bekant sit-stand desks


Brown of Shareably says this candidate for your home office isn’t sturdy. “You may spend too much time tweaking your desk to make the adjustability worth it,” she wrote.

Buy: Frakta bag


These beloved bags cost just $US1.49 and can stand in for everything from a grocery bag to a laundry hamper. Reviewers and customers are largely in agreement that it’s worth the purchase.

Skip: Fixa cordless screwdriver


At just $US20, the Fixa cordless screwdriver may seem like a steal, but reviewers are quick to dissaude. According to Latham of Cheapism, “several buyers complain that it just doesn’t have the power to handle anything beyond the lightest of household projects,” adding you’re better off going to Home Depot or Lowe’s.

Buy: Franklin bar stools


If you’re looking to outfit your kitchen or bar with seating on the cheap, BestLife recommends the Franklin bar stools. “At just $US30 per chair, you can add some streamlined, stylish seating to your kitchen or bar, without breaking the bank,” BestLife’s Ashley Moor wrote. “Plus, they come with a footrest and who doesn’t love that?”

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