Is Ikea Furniture Worth It?

A trip to Ikea is practically a rite of passage for everyone moving into their first apartment. I can tell you how many friends of mine have an Ikea coffee table because it’s all of them. Ikea furniture is worth it to a cash-strapped college kid, or someone working part-time. It saves money and ensures you have somewhere to sit. But is Ikea furniture worth it as an investment?

I’ve owned Ikea furniture in my day. In fact, the desk I use in my home office is an Ikea purchase from a few years back! They have furniture for every need, from picture frames to couches to beds to coffee tables. If you need a piece of decor or a piece of furniture, Ikea has it.

Of course, that makes it attractive to anyone looking to furnish their home. It’s easy to make one trip and walk out with kitchen, dining, and bedroom furniture. A one stop shop for all your Scandinavian design needs.

Easy though it may be, is Ikea furniture worth your money? Is it the best investment you can make in your home? The case against it is pretty strong.

Is Ikea Furniture Worth it?Ikea furniture is widely known for not being well made. Though the initial investment is small, the it is just not built to last. Your $40 coffee table is not going to see you through the next 40 years. So is Ikea furniture worth it at all?

A lot of their furniture is compressed particle wood between plastic veneer. Those kinds of pieces won’t survive a move and will show wear and tear fairly quickly. Fiberboard is inexpensive, but if you have to replace a piece every few years, you’ll pay more in the long run.

Take my desk for example. It’s doing its job just fine, but it is made of fiberboard. There are small plastic feet in each corner of it, to help stabilize it. When I moved last April, the back left foot broke, and ripped a sizeable part of the fiberboard with it.

I was able to superglue the foot back onto the desk. Since it was in the back, no one ever sees the cosmetic damage. The fact remains though- if I had a sturdier desk, it would have survived the eight block move a lot better. I sincerely doubt my desk will make it to my next home with me.

Let’s agree that a table is a less serious matter, but what about your bed? would you compromise quality for costs? Well, minimalist bed frames are cheaper everywhere, but I’d say it is not the best option to opt for a fireboard bed.

You can find solid wood or metal pieces at Ikea, and those are a better bargain. They’ll last longer and look better. Of course, they generally are more expensive. If you’re in a home for at least a few years, make the investment in the better pieces. Your wallet will thank you.

Ikea furniture is worth it if you need someplace to eat and sleep ASAP. If you’re renting short term, or live in a frat house where things get broken regularly, Ikea furniture will do just fine. It’s a small upfront investment, so if you don’t particularly care about your furniture, it’s the place for you.

If you do care about your furniture, Ikea furniture is not worth it. They generally aren’t the pieces that you want to invest in and have for the long term. You won’t spend a lot upfront, but you’ll find yourself having to replace or repair the furniture too often to make those savings worth it.

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3 Replies to “Is Ikea Furniture Worth It?”

  1. for items where there is little use (or abuse) IKEA is just fine (and lasts) – – like anything, it’s knowing what you are buying and when you need to pay up for quality – – I have a TV storage unit that looks as good as the day I bought it (a number of years back) – – otherwise I tend to agree, good for a rental, dorm, just starting out – – but you can mix and match by buying smart which can save you $$$.

    1. I really disagree with this article on the basis of change. We move (pieces work in one place but not another) and our taste changes. I moved a few times and the very things I that were very expensive no longer worked in my use place. A specific example, a bedroom set I bought at a very expensive price, I no longer wanted because it was too big, I was tired of it and it reminded me of the past. But, when I tried to sell it at a fair price, it would not sell because people do not want to spend much money on used furniture, even if it is of higher quality. I had an IKEA book shelf unit (which held up nicely for the 14 years I had it), and it sold just as well as that expensive furniture. If it is an investment piece that you foresee wanting “for a very long time” I would say spend the money. But be careful about your money because you will change. You may love mission style furniture in your 20’s and discover later that you like modern. My advice, buy some more expensive investment pieces but buy less expensive things too knowing that you will change and you will feel better getting rid of an item that you only spend a few hundred on rather than thousands. Also, you will save money (another thing I disagree on in this article) 3 Ikea beds over 10 years is still less than 1 bed that cost over $2000. And, you get to change up your decor. Bonus!

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