IKEA is known for their cost-effective & design-friendly furniture which, depending on the item and line, can suit a variety of situations from dorm rooms to forever homes. The IKEA Malm Bed is part of the Malm line of furniture, most well known for the highly modifiable Malm dressers.
We owned the Malm better for a little over a year and thought it was a temporary solution for us, we’ll address all of the goods and bads that may come from owning this bed for the long haul.
IKEA generally isn’t known for their high-quality materials, and the Malm Bed is no exception. In fact, the bed is made almost completely of particle board covered in wood veneer, which is about as low grade as you can get with furniture materials. Though the veneer is real wood, it’s still veneer, and will be prone to chipping. Additionally, since the underlying material is particle board, though we’re not quite sure what you’d be doing to cause this to happen, there is a possibility entire chunks of the bed (perhaps at the headboard, for example…) could break off. Nevertheless, in the year we slept in the Malm while we did experience very light and unnoticeable chipping, there was nothing too severe to complain about.
The construction again is a relative low point. The Malm bed is held together entirely with screwed and wheel locks, as is common with IKEA and lower quality furniture. While we wouldn’t expect the bed to simply collapse beneath you, the wheel locks will definitely loosen with time and need a tightening, and it’s very probable over a long period that the bed will simply “loosen up” permanently and you might find it a little more wobbly or noisy.
Lastly, addressing a couple of chief complaints:
Many reviewers of the Malm bed complain about frequent shin injuries, citing that the bed’s sharp corners and edges and lower profile make it an ever-looming threat to your shins. We did find this is true, and suffered our own casualties during the time we had it. This is one of those things you’ll simply have to accept if you’re going to own this bed.
The other complaints we see frequently which we believe are related are about the bed slats falling through the frame, or the bed being noisy/creaky. While we didn’t experience this, it could be that newer models are more prone to these issues. We think they likely both stem from the fact that the bed slats simply lay over the metal frame along the edges of the bed, and are not tightly secured. To cure this, we’d recommend using screws (metal, not wood) to secure the bed slats tightly against the frame they lay on. This should solve for both of these issues, as loose bed slats are often the sole origin of a creaky bed.
This is where we think the Malm really shines and where our Malm Bed review will take a turn.
The Malm boasts a fairly classic Scandinavian, minimalistic low profile design with clean lines. The wood veneer is actually quite nice looking, and we especially love the bed in the White Stained Oak Veneer.
The simplicity of the design coupled with an almost mirror-like flow from the footboard to the headboard create a very peaceful feeling which we think works great for a bed. Additionally, given that there’s nothing overstated about the design, the bed works well in a large variety of decor settings, as illustrated by the images on IKEA’s website.
Overall, we think the Malm Bed does make a great solution for a budget or a temporary bed. With regular maintenance, we’d expect to see it hold up well for at least 3 years and start losing stability around year 5 to 7. If you’re willing to take the extra effort to screw the bed slats down, we think you’ll avoid noise issues, and other than the occasional shin bruise you’ll be quite happy.
We like it a lot at $179 for the queen, though at the same price for the full and $259 for the king we think there are some better options out there.
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