What You Should Know Before Buying Your Kitchen Appliances From IKEA
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What You Should Know Before Buying Your Kitchen Appliances From IKEA

Jan 18, 2024

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IKEA is the place to go for big box furniture at much lower prices than just about anywhere else. This is no doubt part of the reason why this retailer is so well-loved, but IKEA is also popular because many believe that it excels in quality. However, do the quality and savings apply to every single IKEA product? While not what it's known for, this company has added to their famously-affordable kitchen remodel products by including appliances. If you naturally associate this Swedish retailer with good products at even better prices, you might assume that these appliances follow this same model. However, before you jump right in and buy a fridge, microwave, dishwasher, oven range, or wine fridge from IKEA, it's crucial to know if these pieces are actually worth the money.

When purchasing big ticket items that are meant to last for years, it's important to research your best options. What do product testers think? Are they recommended by Consumer Reports, a nonprofit organization that rates products based on their quality and consumer's opinions? How do past buyers rate their purchases? How do the features and prices compare against industry leaders? To help you discover all this, we've created a handy guide below. Here are some things to know before buying your kitchen appliances from IKEA.

French-door refrigerators, which consist of two upper fridge doors and one lower pull-out freezer drawer (with the possibility of middle pull-out specialty drawers), are all the rage these days. They offer more storage flexibility and are big energy savers. IKEA offers two French-door refrigerator models, the Överskådlig and the Stjärnstatus, but only the Överskådlig has been reviewed by Consumer Reports. On this website, the Överskådlig scores well in thermostat control and is above average with regard to temperature uniformity and (lack of) noise level. However, its relatively high price and standard efficiency leaves it rated as average overall. With many models scoring better, including ones from major brands like LG and GE, this IKEA model isn't recommended. Further, reviewers on IKEA's website disliked the Överskådlig because of issues like not enough storage space and the water filter being difficult to find for sale in the United States.

When it comes to the Stjärnstatus, complaints from customers on IKEA's website centered around this appliance not working properly or breaking easily. In addition, in the most popular rankings of the best refrigerators in 2023, there's nary an IKEA model in sight. Because of these reasons, unless you have your heart set on buying a fridge from IKEA, there are more efficient and affordable fridges you could buy to fit your needs.

IKEA's Lagan and Medelnivå range hood microwaves both get good ratings from Consumer Reports. In fact, the Lagan ranked third overall behind two Whirlpool models. Even better, it costs nearly $100 to over $200 less. With about the same useable space as its competitors, the Lagan is a great deal. Furthermore, the Medelnivå is ranked fifth overall, no doubt in part to its slightly higher price point. Both are excellent options and made it onto the Consumer Reports' list of the best microwaves of 2023. And while IKEA's other models weren't tested, they all are rated very similarly to the Lagan and Medelnivå by IKEA customers, with four or more stars on each reviewed product.

On IKEA's website, the Lagan model has an almost perfect rating from consumers, with many saying that it's sold for a great price. The Medelnivå has a slightly lower rating but many still said that it works well. While other popular reviewers didn't reward IKEA's models with a mention, this may be because they whittled down their options by choosing popular brands and the models with the most desired features. By these qualifications, IKEA models are not likely to even be among those tested, since there are only 54 IKEA locations in the United States. However, if you're one of the millions of people who live near an IKEA store, you could purchase your next over-the-range microwave from this retailer to save some money.

Of IKEA's current dishwasher models, only the Lagan and Essentiell are currently ranked by Consumer Reports. The Lagan's rating has remained steadfastly not recommended with a barely passable score, its best numbers coming from drying efficiency and energy use. This model was given a poor score for noise reduction, though actual user reviews typically find it to be quieter than expected. However, there are complaints about this model leaking, which is quite a big con. Further, some reviews on IKEA's website also mentioned that this model feels cheap and can break or rust easily, so it may not be worth the money.

Of the Consumer Reports top ten, the Essentiell ranks fifth, and it's one of the least expensive models of the bunch. Most of the top picks across test sites like Consumer Reports are from Bosch, the most popular European brand in the United States. However, because the cost of these machines can run two or three times as much as the IKEA Essentiell, this Consumer Reports-recommended dishwasher might be worth a trip to your nearest Swedish department store. On the retailer's website, it has received over four out of five stars by customers, with some commenting that it's quiet and cleans dishes well.

Whether you're looking for a smooth top electric range, a gas range, or a new induction range, IKEA has options for you. They offer their standard bearer, the Lagan, in both gas and electric models. This option has a low price point and is well-rated by buyers, with many saying that it's a simple appliance that comes at a great price. However, Consumer Reports notably gave Lagan's glass cooktop option a poor rating, as it doesn't bake or broil well and doesn't come with a self-cleaning feature. On the other hand, IKEA's induction range, the Tvärsäker, is recommended by Consumer Reports with an above average score in all categories and a rating of almost five stars on IKEA's website. Customers enjoyed that it works well and heats dishes evenly. The Tvärsäker is a good buy since it's among the lower prices of the highest-ranked induction ranges.

This retailer's gas range Grundlägga is also recommended by Consumer Reports, in addition to being highly rated by customers. On IKEA's website, many praised this appliance for looking and working great. However, since there are so many gas options available with better ratings and similar costs, it might be a better idea to go with one of the more popular brands like Frigidaire or GE. One of the overarching complaints about all of IKEA's products is the difficulty with customer service, giving the edge to companies whose entire business is appliances and their maintenance.

Able to be used as either a freestanding or an under-counter wine fridge, IKEA's Numrerad wine cooler is incredibly versatile, made from stainless steel, and has a 52-bottle capacity. That's greater than the capacity of any of the eight models reviewed by Consumer Reports. However, with that extra capacity comes a higher cost, as IKEA's model is priced higher than the others by more than $100 in every case. Further, despite IKEA calling the Numrerad a top seller, it has limited reviews. At the same time, it is praised by customers for looking great and working well, so this wine fridge may be a hidden gem. However, keep in mind that an IKEA customer complained that you have to firmly push the door closed to have it latch fully.

Most testing sites suggest purchasing a wine cooler from Wine Enthusiast, while Consumer Reports says that Kalamera is a good brand. Granted, wine coolers aren't as common as other kitchen appliances, so we didn't expect to find a wide variety of popular options. Further, the Samsung 51-Bottle Capacity Wine Cooler is known as the best dual zone overall and comes closest to IKEA's capacity. At the same time, this Samsung model is much more expensive than IKEA's model, so if you want that kind of high capacity without the steep cost, IKEA's model may be the best option after all.