This tool tells the hardest (& easiest) IKEA furniture to assemble

Wondering whether it’s hard to assemble? With this tool you know for sure.

On one hand, there is the “IKEA Effect” the inner smirk of having successfully assembled a piece of furniture. On the other, the hair-pulling, relationship-destroying frustration of assembling IKEA. Which end of the spectrum are you on?

IKEA assumes everyone has the same aptitude to decipher wordless instruction manuals, but we know it’s not the case. Neither are all IKEA products created equal. Equally easy to assemble, that is. Household Quotes has launched a new interactive tool to reveal how hard (or easy) it is to assemble an IKEA item.

For example, the EKET cabinet. It looks like a cube and appears simple enough. But don’t be deceived by its boxy looks. It scores just 2.9 for Ease Of Assembly. (1 being difficult, 5 easy) Below the EKET, the tool displays similar items that are easier to assemble, such as the BRIMNES which scores 4.4.

The IKEA website showed up reviews like the ones below, which seemed to back up the calculations of the tool.

“Although we have always found IKEA flat pack furniture easy to assemble, this unit (EKET) was not. The reason is that of the sides is a millimetre too long so it doesn’t quite fit, and the unit looks slightly wonky.”

“Difficult to assemble and chip really easily. Look lovely online but not a fan of the assembly method at all.”

To create the tool, HouseholdQuotes first scraped the products’ webpages from the IKEA UK website. The team split all the items into categories and ranked them by their “Ease of Assembly” rating. The rating is an average based on reviews by IKEA customers in which those who bought the product rate it on a scale of 1 – 5. In case of a tie, the product with a larger number of ratings was ranked higher. Where ties occurred with the same ease of assembly rating, the item with the most reviews was ranked higher.

Ready to find your IKEA product’s difficulty score?

Give the tool a whirl. Select a category or key in the name of an IKEA product, eg. HEMNES dresser.

What’s the hardest IKEA furniture to assemble?

From their findings, the SONGESAND bed ranks as the hardest piece to assemble with a mere rating of 2.1. The LIXHULT cabinet is not much better at 2.3. Surprisingly, the popular DOCKSTA dining table checks in at 2.8, most likely due to the style of the table and how impossible it is to get rid of the wobble.

Hardest IKEA furniture to assemble (rating in brackets)

  1. SONGESAND bed frame (2.1)
  2. KORNSJÖ Side table, black, 50×35 cm (4.3)
  3. NORDLI Chest of 3 drawers, 80×76 cm (3.1)
  4. PAX Wardrobe, white/Hasvik white (2.3)
  5. FANBYN Chair, in/outdoor (3.2)
  6. DOCKSTA Table, white/white, 103 cm (2.8)
  7. BEKANT Corner desk left sit/stand, 160×110 cm (3.3)
  8. POÄNG Armchair (3.8)
  9. EKET Cabinet, 35x25x35 cm (2.7)
  10. LIXHULT Cabinet combination, grey, 120x35x57 cm (2.3)
  11. TRULSTORP Coffee table, 115×70 cm (3.5)
  12. KIVIK Corner sofa, 4-seat (3)
  13. NYHAMN 3-seat sofa-bed (2.5)
  14. BESTÅ TV bench with drawers (3.6)

Easiest IKEA furniture to assemble (rating in brackets)

So ditch the SONGESAND bed for the SOGSTUA which earned an ease of assemble rating of 5. Sofa wise, the LANDSKRONA is an easy one, both on the eyes and installation. An item I expected to see on the Easy List was the LISABO dining table. And indeed it was. The LISABO tables features an innovative wedge dowel that promised to cut down assembly time by up to 80%.

  1. SAGSTUA Bed frame (5)
  2. VIKHAMMER Bedside table, white, 40×39 cm (5)
  3. NORDLI Chest of 8 drawers, 120×99 cm (5)
  4. PAX Wardrobe (5)
  5. NISSE Folding chair, black (4.9)
  6. LISABO Table, 140×78 cm (5)
  7. LAGKAPTEN / ADILS Desk, 120×60 cm (5)
  8. PELLO Armchair, Holmby natural (5)
  9. BILLY Bookcase, white, 40x40x202 cm (5)
  10. BESTÅ Box, 25x31x15 cm (5)
  11. KVISTBRO Storage table, 44 cm (5)
  12. NYHAMN Pocket sprung mattress, firm, 140×200 cm (5)
  13. LANDSKRONA 3-seat sofa (5)
  14. BRUSALI TV bench, white, 120x36x62 cm (5)

The one that threw a curveball was the PAX wardrobe — listed on both Easy and Hard lists at 5 and 2.3 respectively. Further digging revealed the PAX Wardrobe with sliding doors in HASVIK white made the Hardest List. The sliding doors earned this review: “Construction a nightmare”

How does the most difficult to assemble IKEA Living Room look like?

Pretty fabulous actually. The blood, sweat and tears may be worth it when you have a space that looks this good:

hardest to assemble IKEA Living Room furniture as rated by an interactive tool
Photo: HouseholdQuotes

The easiest to assemble living room isn’t shabby either. With this, you’ll be on the LANDSKRONA sofa, feet up on the KIVIK footstool, Netflix and chilling while the former is still struggling with the BESTÅ TV bench.

Will the ease of assembly rating affect your choice?

Perhaps not. You may have a specific vision of how your space should look like and may grit your teeth to get it done. Or you can pay for assembly services, which is always a good option when you don’t have the time or patience for this sort of thing.

8 steps to make IKEA Furniture easier to assemble

My go-to method for IKEA assembly success. It takes a bit of prep but reduces the frustration and room for error. Your skill level will also make the task go faster and smoother.

  1. Always read the manual once through before starting.
  2. Gather all the tools you need before assembly. (Tools required are listed at the beginning of the instructions. They are usually very basic like a hammer, Phillips screwdriver. Optional tools like a hex key, much easier to use than IKEA’s tiny Allen key, a cordless screwdriver will speed things up).
  3. Open up all the boxes or bags of screws and bolts and separate into different piles for each type of hardware.
  4. Use the flat pack cardboard to line the work area to avoid scratching your floor or your new IKEA furniture.
  5. Lay the pieces down exactly as you see in the manual.
  6. Start assembly, following each step carefully.
  7. As indicated in the manual, take note of different hardware for different sections (eg. a flat head screw vs a round head screw. It’s a small difference but will screw up your assembly if you don’t use the right one at the specified spot.)
  8. Pay attention at every step. Don’t rush and enjoy the building process.

Anyhow it’s a fun tool to play with and pat yourself on the back, knowing you’ve assembled and conquered the hardest of them all.

Hardest to assemble IKEA furniture
Photo: HouseholdQuotes
easiest to assemble IKEA furniture
Photo: HouseholdQuotes