What to Buy at Ikea
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20 Ikea Products to Buy — and 20 to Skip

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What to Buy at Ikea
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Ikea Deals and Duds

Ikea has a well-deserved reputation for outfitting homes (and filling bellies) on the cheap, with a dash of Nordic style. But even Scandinavian engineering and modern design can't make every product a winner — sometimes, you just get what you pay for. Keep reading to find out which Ikea products are tried-and-true hits, and which ones experts and buyers say you should leave on the shelves.

Related:Vintage Ikea Furniture Pieces That Resell for Serious Money

POÄNG Chair
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Buy: Poäng Chair

Price: Starting at $79 
The Poäng is a longtime staple of Ikea's furniture lineup, with good reason: It boasts a minimalist design, durable bent-birch frame, sub-$100 price tag, and several color and pattern choices. This is not necessarily a chair you can curl up in, but owners say it's sturdy and surprisingly comfortable.

HOLMSBU Spring Mattress
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Skip: Spring Mattresses

Price: Starting at $120
Topping out at less than $1,000 for a king size, there's no denying that Ikea's spring mattresses are budget-friendly. But our research into the best Ikea mattresses advises caution. In expert reviews on sites like Sleep Like the Dead and feedback from hundreds of consumers, Ikea's spring mattresses rank lower than average in consumer satisfaction, and owners complain about excessive sagging.

STOCKHOLM Rug
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Buy: Stockholm Rug

Price: Starting at $169 
Wool rugs aren't cheap, but the Stockholm comes close. This flat-woven centerpiece of Ikea's rug lineup starts at $169 for a 5-foot-7 by 7-foot-10 size. Fortunately, the quality is better than the price might suggest. Product-testing site Wirecutter raves that it's softer than other budget picks, and the popular black-and-white-stripe version of the rug is quickly becoming a design classic.

PAX Wardrobe
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Skip: Pax Wardrobes

Price: Starting at $155
Pax wardrobes are tempting for anyone with limited closet space, and they're an inexpensive way to add storage. But Good Housekeeping testers note a number of cons, including tricky assembly, an inconsistent finish, and misaligned pieces. The particleboard frames are also unlikely to survive a move.

Buy: Gulliver Crib
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Buy: Gulliver Crib

Price: $99
For Apartment Therapy readers, this crib's simple lines make it a no-brainer in any modern nursery. Reviewers on Ikea's website also give it near-perfect marks, praising the ease of assembly and sturdiness. (If you're worried that a cheap crib won't be safe, don't be: All models sold in the United States have to meet the same guidelines.)

MALM Dressers
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Skip: Malm Dressers

Price: $179
Malm dressers are roomy and inexpensive, but Ikea recalled 29 million of them in June 2016 after they fell and killed at least three children. Ikea settled with those families and now includes wall anchors with Malm dressers, but it still may be wise to steer clear of this top-heavy design, especially if you don't want to drill holes in your wall to keep the dresser stable.

Buy: Kalas Children's Dishes
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Buy: Kalas Children's Dishes

Price: $2.49 
Amazon reviewers give the Kalas line of kids' dishes a thumbs-up, saying the colorful polypropylene pieces are perfect for small hands and child-size portions. They're fine to toss in the microwave and dishwasher, and they're super-cheap to replace, too.

MYSKGRÄS Comforter
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Skip: Myskgräs Comforter

Price: $10
The Myskgräs comforter is almost impossibly cheap; the twin size is just $8. Ikea acknowledges that it has less filling than a typical comforter — it's meant for hot sleepers or warm weather. Still, Amazon reviewers say there are just too many downsides: It shifts around too much inside a duvet cover; the polypropylene fabric is scratchy; and the durability is questionable at best. One review on the Ikea site says the comforter is "thin as a sheet."

ELDIG Cooktop
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Buy: Eldig Cooktop

Price: $349
They're often overlooked, but appliances are among Ikea's offerings. According to Reviewed.com, the four-burner gas Eldig cooktop is identical to a Whirlpool version that sells for $419 at Home Depot. That makes this 30-inch, stainless steel model a great budget buy. It's also backed by a five-year warranty, compared with a one-year warranty on the Whirlpool.

KLIPPAN Loveseat
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Skip: Klippan Loveseat

Price: $249
Despite its perennial popularity, the Klippan loveseat is just not all that comfortable — at least not for a session of binge-watching your favorite show, testers say. Although they appreciate the clean lines and support for your backside, the awkward backrest and hard foam make the Klippan best for kids or spaces where it won't see heavy, prolonged use.

FRAKTA Shopping Bag
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Buy: Frakta Bag

Price: $1.49
Could one of the best buys at Ikea be its iconic blue shopping bag? According to many shoppers, the answer is a resounding yes. They say the reusable polypropylene tote is roomy enough for very bulky items like pillows and blankets, strong enough for heavy groceries, and a cinch to wipe down. It even had a designer imitator that cost over $2,000.

HEMNES Bed Frame
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Skip: Hemnes Bed

Price: $249
The Hemnes line is certainly priced right, with classic styling that draws buyers in. While reviewers praise the dressers, the bed frame gets much poorer marks. It just isn't built to last, owners say, with flimsy material that can't handle the weight of a mattress and a couple of adults night after night.

VARIERA Pot-Lid Organizer
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Buy: Variera Pot Lid Organizer

Price: $7
The genius of this cheap stainless steel pot-lid holder is that it's adjustable from just over 3 inches long to almost 20 inches based on the depth of a cabinet or drawer. Happy owners say it holds lids of all sizes securely without causing unsightly scratches, and many report finding other uses for it, organizing cutting boards, crafts, and even mail.

BEKANT Sit-Stand Desk
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Skip: Bekant Sit-Stand Desk

Price: Starting at $409 
Bekant sit-stand desks are relatively inexpensive, but reviewers say the low price is the biggest thing they have going for them. Unhappy owners say the surface starts to wobble and jiggle at medium heights. The weight capacity is only 154 pounds — not terribly impressive compared with other sit-stand desks.

BEKVÄM Spice Rack
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Buy: Bekväm Spice Rack

Price: $5
Sure, you can use it for its intended purpose, but the wooden Bekväm spice rack has ricocheted around the web with dozens of other uses. Good Housekeeping has a nice roundup, showing the spice rack as a bookshelf, a jewelry hanger, and a toiletry holder in the bathroom, among other things.

LACK Coffee Table
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Skip: Lack Coffee Table

Price: Starting at $30 
Ikea's Lack tables are popular for their simple design and low price, but even happy owners caution that they're not built to last. While a Lack may suffice as a sparsely used side table, it probably isn't the best choice for a heavily used coffee table. BuzzFeed shows why — it's not exactly wood on the inside.

RÅSKOG Utility Cart
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Buy: Råskog Utility Cart

Price: $30
Owners have high praise for the rolling, three-tiered Råskog cart. They say the powder-coated steel is surprisingly strong for the price, and the cart is versatile enough to use practically anywhere — a small bathroom, a playroom, a craft room, or anywhere else that needs some additional organization.

LEGITIM Chopping Board
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Skip: Legitim Chopping Board

Price: $2
Although the Legitim chopping board is temptingly cheap, opting for one of Ikea's higher-priced cutting boards may pay off, experts say. The thin polyethylene is bendable and susceptible to marks and gouges from a sharp knife, Wirecutter testers found.

ANTILOP Highchair
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Buy: Antilop Highchair

Price: $23
Babies are expensive, so the price tag alone makes parents swoon over the Antilop highchair. But that's not all there is to like. Assembly is simple, the tray snaps on and off easily, and a lack of padded nooks and crannies makes the chair easy to wipe clean. It outperforms highchairs 10 times its price, according to Wirecutter.

ALGOT Closet Storage
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Skip: Algot Closet Storage

Price: Starting at $28 
A tidier closet is an admirable goal, but Ikea's Algot closet organizers may not be the way to achieve it. Consumer Reports testers were unimpressed with the Ikea system, saying the directions were lacking, drawers didn't fit well, baskets didn't glide on their tracks, and crucial parts were missing.

MARJUN Blackout Curtains
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Buy: Marjun Blackout Curtains

Price: $50 
Reasonably priced Marjun curtains are a good deal compared with many other blackout panels. The 98-inch length can be hemmed, and Wirecutter testers confirm that the particularly tight polyester weave blocks out plenty of light.

GLASHOLM Tabletop
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Skip: Glasholm Tabletop

Price: $59
This glass surface can be combined with a number of different legs, trestles, and drawer units to create a custom desk or table. But multiple buyers have reported to the Consumer Product Safety Commission that the glass tabletop "exploded" and caused injury. Ikea's own product page warns, "A damaged edge or scratched surface can cause the glass to suddenly crack or break." The reports of this happening are scarce but alarming enough that consumers may want to opt for a different tabletop.

SOLBO Table Lamp
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Buy: Solbo Table Lamp

Price: $17
This adorable LED table lamp casts a soft, warm light that's not overly bright. In reviews, owners deem it perfect for a kid's room. The polypropylene material doesn't get hot, they say, and the lamp is billed as safety-tested and tamper-proof. It includes a light bulb estimated to last 25,000 hours.

Skip: Friheten Sleeper Sectional
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Skip: Friheten Sleeper Sectional

Price: $600
In Ikea's hit-and-miss world of upholstered furniture, this one is definitely a miss, owners say. The durability and comfort are both in question, with complaints about sunken cushions and a lumpy, stiff sleeping surface. "Lord help you if you're over 30 and have to sleep on it for an extended period of time," one reviewer warns.

Buy: Frosta Stool
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Buy: Frosta Stool

Price: $15
The genius of the simple, sleek Frosta stool is that it can be just about anything you need it to be. Ikea devotees have turned it into firewood storage, a swing, even a cat tree. Not feeling creative? Owners say the stool serves its intended purpose well. It's sturdy and easy to assemble.

Fixa Cordless Screwdriver
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Skip: Fixa Cordless Screwdriver

Price: $20
Ikea probably doesn't spring to mind when you think of where to buy power tools. The Fixa screwdriver is easy on the wallet, but several buyers complain that it just doesn't have the power to handle anything beyond the lightest of household projects. Entry-level models at Home Depot and Lowe's aren't much pricier and get better reviews.

Buy: Kallax Shelves
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Buy: Kallax Shelves

Price: Starting at $39 
This shelving unit is one of Ikea's most beloved products for good reason. The Kallax series has clean lines and infinite possibilities — Apartment Therapy shows how buyers have turned it into a room divider, shoe organizer, and more. Owners say the shelves are quite sturdy and they appreciate the number of compatible bins and inserts that can customize the cubbies.

Skip: Brimnes Bed
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Skip: Brimnes Bed

Price: $569
With an abundance of built-in storage, the Brimnes seems like a great choice for any space-challenged bedroom or studio apartment. But assembly is complicated, owners say, including a headboard that has to be bolted to the wall. There are also plenty of complaints about the stability of the bed frame and drawers that stick.

Buy: Äpplarö Patio Furniture
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Buy: Äpplarö Patio Furniture

Price: Starting at $25 
Anyone who's shopped for patio furniture lately can tell you that outdoor living can get pretty expensive. Ikea's Äpplarö line comes in a ton of well-priced configurations. It's made out of solid acacia wood, and although it's not as impervious to the elements as teak, Wirecutter says it's still plenty sturdy and should last if you're willing to spend a little time annually on maintenance.

Skip: Blames Highchair
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Skip: Blames Highchair

Price: $60
The Blames has a delightfully old-school look (and a delightfully low price) that will no doubt tempt design-forward parents. But product review site Baby Gizmo warns that the removable tray sticks, making cleanup a pain, and the three-point harness may not be enough to stop a toddler Houdini. Our advice: Stick to the easier-to-use — and cheaper — Antilop.

Buy: Trofast Storage
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Buy: Trofast Storage

Price: Starting at $40 
The sturdy Trofast storage system is almost legendary among parents who need a convenient place to organize toys. Like most of Ikea's best buys, it's endlessly customizable. The sliding plastic bins, available in three sizes, are particularly good at corralling Legos and other small toys.

Skip: Flottig Lunch Box
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Skip: Flottig Lunch Box

Price: $6
A $6 Bento-style lunch box sounds wonderful, but Ikea's just doesn't cut it for daily use, reviewers say. Many owners complain that it can be hard to open and close, and the components just don't fit together all that well. Others say the latches pop open way too easily, allowing for leaks, and the box broke in drop tests by Wirecutter.

Buy: 365+ Glasses
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Buy: 365+ Glasses

Price: $7
Glassware doesn't need to break the bank, and at just over a buck a glass, these simple 15-ounce tumblers are a particularly good value. They inspire raves from owners who say they're sturdy, but if you need expert proof, they survived drop tests better than much pricier glasses in Wirecutter testing.

Skip: Hornen Shower Curtain Rod
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Skip: Hornen Shower Curtain Rod

Price: $13
A shower curtain rod that can't hold up a shower curtain? Unfortunately, it seems that you may get what you pay for with the Hornen. Although some owners say it looks nice, many complain that it doesn't have enough tension. "The rod doesn't stay up for longer than a day or two no matter what you do," one buyer fumes in a review. "Useless product."

Buy: Billy Bookcase
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Buy: Billy Bookcase

Price: Starting at $39 
One of Ikea's top-selling items of all time, the Billy bookcase even inspired its own financial index, used by Bloomberg to gauge purchasing power in different countries. Owners appreciate that it's easy to assemble, roomy, and, most of all, inexpensive compared with other bookshelves. It also comes in a ton of different sizes, including varieties with glass panels and doors.

Skip: Gigantisk Trash Can
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Skip: Gigantisk Trash Can

Price: $30
Plenty of owners love the look of this generously sized square trash can, but there are too many functional annoyances. Several reviewers say full bags of trash get stuck inside the bin, and others complain that the awkward 16-gallon size is too big for standard 13-gallon kitchen trash bags. Still others report that bags rip and the lid latch is flimsy.

Buy: Rens Sheepskin
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Buy: Rens Sheepskin

Price: $30
What better place to get supplies for a trendy hygge design than Ikea? The Scandinavian retailer delivers with the Rens sheepskin, which can add instant coziness to a room as a rug, throw, or simple accent piece. Owners say it's as soft as it looks and a fantastic value for the price.

Skip: Samla Box
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Skip: Samla Box

Price: $20
Clear plastic storage bins are wonderfully handy for anyone who needs a place to stash things. The main problem with the roomy 34-gallon Samla, owners say, is that the lid doesn't latch. Instead, it simply sits on top of the box, making it a poor choice for buyers who want to keep their belongings more secure in a damp basement or pest-infested garage.

Buy: Strandmon Armchair
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Buy: Strandmon Armchair

Price: $279
The Strandmon has all the makings of an instant classic, including a timeless wingback look and a low price tag. It comes in several colors and patterns, and owners say it's easy to assemble and surprisingly comfortable. They also love the style.

Skip: Trensum Mirror
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Skip: Trensum Mirror

Price: $5
How can you go wrong with a simple stainless steel stand mirror for 5 bucks? It feels as cheap as its price, owners say. They complain that assembly (yep, you have to put it together) is difficult because of poorly engineered screws, leading to a lot more frustration than something so small is worth.