15 Ikea Products to Buy—and 15 to Skip

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DEALS AND DUDS

Ikea has a well-deserved reputation for outfitting homes 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 discover 15 tried-and-true Ikea hits, as well as 15 products that consumer product experts and reviewers simply don't consider good buys.

Related: 13 Types of People Who Shouldn't Shop at Ikea

Related: Target vs. Ikea Furnishing Throwdown

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BUY: POÄNG CHAIR

Price: $79 and up
The Poäng chair 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. Buyers who've reviewed the chair online find it surprisingly comfortable.

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SKIP: SPRING MATTRESSES

Price: $779 to $899
Topping out at just under $900 for a king size, there's no denying that Ikea's spring mattresses are budget-friendly. But the mattress review site Sleep Like the Dead advises caution based on more than 200 consumer reviews. Ikea's spring mattresses rank lower than average in consumer satisfaction, and owners complain about excessive sagging.

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BUY: STOCKHOLM RUG

Price: $169 to $299
Wool rugs aren't cheap, but the Stockholm rug 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. Review site The Sweethome says it's softer than other budget picks, and the black and white stripe (starting at $199) is quickly becoming a design classic.

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SKIP: PAX WARDROBE SERIES

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

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BUY: RIBBA PICTURE FRAMES

Price: $2 and up
The home-design site Apartment Therapy recommends Ikea's Ribba frames for simple, modern style on the cheap. A large variety of sizes make a custom-looking gallery wall possible without the sticker shock of custom framing. The Ribba frames come in white, black, and gray.

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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 has settled with those families for $50 million and now includes wall anchors with Malm dressers, but it still maybe wise to steer clear of this top-heavy design.

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BUY: MARKUS OFFICE CHAIR

Price: $179 to $199
Several experts, including testers at The Wirecutter, say the Ikea Markus office chair is surprisingly sturdy, especially compared with other office furniture in its price range. Other pluses include a 10-year warranty, mesh fabric that allows increased airflow, and a tall back with an integrated headrest.

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SKIP: MYSKGRÄS COMFORTER

Price: $8 to $10
The Myskgräs comforter is almost impossibly cheap, starting at $8 for a twin. Ikea does note that it has less filling and is meant for hot sleepers or warm weather. Still, buyers reviewing the comforter on Amazon say there are just too many downsides: It shifts around too much inside a duvet cover; the polypropylene fabric is scratchy; and durability is questionable at best.

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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. Parenting blog The Wise Baby raves about how well it's held up over three years and two children. (If you're worried a cheap crib can't be safe, don't be: All models sold in the U.S. have to meet the same guidelines.)

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SKIP: GÄSPA SHEETS

Price: $13
These sateen sheets notched only average marks in The Sweethome's comparative tests. A number of owners also complain on Amazon that they're way too scratchy -- exactly the opposite of what buyers want from sateen, which is supposed to feel silky and luxurious.

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BUY: KALAS CHILDREN'S DISHES

Price: $2.50 for a six-pack
Dozens of reviewers give the Kalas line of kids' dishes a thumbs-up, saying these 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.

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SKIP: KLIPPAN LOVESEAT

Price: $249
Despite its perennial popularity, the Klippan loveseat is just not all that comfortable, some Aussie reviewers say. Although they appreciate the clean lines and ability to accommodate three adults, the awkward backrest and hard foam make the Klippan better for kids or spaces where it won't see heavy, prolonged use.

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BUY: DVALA DUVET COVER

Price: $20 and up
Get the crisp, clean look of white hotel linens for less with the Dvala duvet cover, which costs a modest $25 for a full/queen size and two pillowcases. The Dvala beats out other cheap duvet covers in tests by The Sweethome, where it earns praise for staying cool and relatively wrinkle-free.

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SKIP: SOLSTA SLEEPER SOFA

Price: $179
One year of the Solsta sofa was enough for an editor at The Billfold, and other reviewers are similarly unenthusiastic. This little sleeper sofa looks cute enough, but it gets horrendous reviews for comfort, with owners complaining about the unforgiving foam and hard wood inside.

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BUY: ELDIG COOKTOP

Price: $349
They're often overlooked, but appliances are among Ikea's offerings. Experts with Reviewed.com say the four-burner gas Eldig cooktop is identical to a Whirlpool version that currently sells for about $380. 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.

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SKIP: HEMNES BED FRAME

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, they say, with flimsy material that can't handle the weight of a mattress and a couple of adults night after night.

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BUY: FRAKTA SHOPPING BAG

Price: $1
Could one of the best buys at Ikea be its iconic blue shopping bag? According to reviewers, 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 also seems to have a designer imitator that costs $2,144 more.

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SKIP: BEKANT SIT-STAND DESK

Price: $449 and up
Bekant sit-stand desks are relatively inexpensive, but reviewers say price is the biggest thing they have going for them. Experts with Reviews.com say the desk starts to wobble and jiggle at medium heights, and they note that it isn't customizable. The weight capacity is only 154 pounds -- not terribly impressive compared with other sit-stand desks.

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BUY: SPÖKA NIGHTLIGHT

Price: $15
This adorable little LED night light changes colors and has a rechargeable battery that lasts seven to eight hours. Owners deem it perfect for a kid's room. The silicone rubber cover makes it easy and safe for little hands, and testers with Your Best Digs say it's bright but not overly bright.

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SKIP: ALÄNG FLOOR LAMP

Price: $40
Price-wise, the Aläng lamp is one of Ikea's midrange floor lamps, but owners say the value just isn't there. Although they appreciate the neutral, go-anywhere design, many reviewers say the oval shade is too small and fragile, and the stand simply isn't stable enough.

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BUY: VARIERA POT-LID ORGANIZER

Price: $6
The genius of this cheap stainless-steel pot-lid organizer is that it's adjustable from just over 3 inches long to almost 20 inches based on the depth of a cabinet or drawer. Reviewers say it holds lids of all sizes securely without causing unsightly scratches.

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SKIP: LACK COFFEE TABLE

Price: $25
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.

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BUY: BEKVÄM SPICE RACK

Price: $4
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 provides a nice roundup, showing the spice rack as a bookshelf, a jewelry hanger, and a toiletry holder in the bathroom, among other things.

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SKIP: LEGITIM CHOPPING BOARD

Price: $1.50
Although the Legitim chopping board is temptingly cheap, opting for one of Ikea's higher-priced chopping boards may pay off, experts say. The thin polyethylene is bendable with your hands and susceptible to marks and gouges from a sharp knife, The Sweethome found.

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BUY: RÅSKOG UTILITY CART

Price: $25
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 be used practically anywhere -- a small bathroom, a playroom, a craft room, or anywhere else that needs some additional organization.

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SKIP: FRÄJEN TOWELS

Price: $6
The good news about Fräjen towels from testers with The Sweethome: They don't shed a lot in the wash. They're also really cheap for full-size bath towels. The bad news is that they were judged much thinner and rougher than other budget-friendly towels.

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BUY: ANTILOP HIGHCHAIR

Price: $20
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.

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SKIP: PRUTA FOOD CONTAINERS

Price: $5 for set of 17
These inexpensive polypropylene containers may seem like a no-brainer substitute for pricey Tupperware. But there may be a reason they're so cheap. Many reviewers say the plastic is flimsy and prone to cracks, while others say the lids fit poorly. Many report that the containers don't hold up well in the microwave, freezer, or dishwasher despite being billed safe for all three.

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BUY: MARJUN BLACKOUT CURTAINS

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

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SKIP: ALGOT CLOSET STORAGE

Price: Varies by configuration
A tidier closet is an admirable goal, but Ikea's Algot closet organizers may not be the way to achieve it. Testers at Consumer Reports 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.