Thursday, July 18, 2013

Ikea HEAT Trivet Review

There is a science to the way a store is laid out. The primary goal, unfortunately, is not to help you find items quickly and efficiently, it is to make you spend more money -- that's what I heard at least. Ikea has played that game extremely well with their bins full of cheap, $10 or less items that fit in one hand. They know the other one's busy...

This strategic product placement and store design has forced me to purchase at least one set of FIXA tools, random carrying bags, clothes hooks, and a few packages of HEAT trivets. HEAT trivets should be a familiar staple at Ikea to any regular shopper. We got our first set probably a decade ago from near the check-out area. I got our most recent set about 5 years ago and I still see them around. It's hard to avoid splurging on such a small, light, and cheap item.

Being users of plastic table cloths and laminate counters, trivets are essential items in our household. Before we got trivets, I don't think we cared where we put our hot pots and dishes. Oh ya, we had table mats, left stuff on the stove, and used the ancient counter that couldn't have been in any worse shape -- long time ago before a big renovation.

Somewhere along the line, I'm going to guess that someone who cared decided to invent trivets to prevent damage to surfaces from extremely hot cooking pots. This is apparently but one of the uses of trivets. The Ikea HEAT trivet is made of cork (website), so chances are that it's for protecting surfaces and not to support a pot over a cooking fire.
Ikea HEAT Trivet Under Speaker
Ikea HEAT Trivet (3 pack) - US$ 2.99

If you have to assemble it, something might be wrong. Each one of our packs just came wrapped in plastic.
As long as I don't try to stand them up vertically, they tend to stay where they are.

Expandability / Customizability
Buy more and create a neat little stack? We have three packages and they make a nice cylinder when lined up.
Ikea HEAT Trivet Stack
Everyday Use
These cork disks have been in our household for years. I'm putting the estimate at a decade, but it's probably been longer than that. There is a small space set aside on the kitchen table to stack about five or six of these because of how regularly we use them. They are usually used for dishes or bowls holding freshly cooked items. When the need arises, the trivets are stacked in twos or threes to support pots and trays from out of ovens or off the stove -- we usually let them cool a bit first, and I haven't seen major signs of damage like scorch marks yet. As far as I know, they've been working fine and should be protecting our table and counter tops to some degree. Being cork, the HEAT trivets shouldn't be very conductive of heat. It's been a while since I actually checked how well they work in terms of heat transfer though.

We are still using the original pack of three trivets we got about a decade ago. Surprisingly, they have actually survived somewhat regular washing by hand in the sink over the years. Just to be clear, I mean once a month or every few months by "regular", not daily or right after every meal. I don't see the need for regular washing -- it's usually if we spill something on them. Chips of cork have come off on corners, but none of them are missing large chunks. I don't think we've ever thrown out more than one or two out of the nine that we have owned. Not sure if quality has kept up in recent years though.

I also use a set of two trivets to isolate my hi-fi speakers on my computer desk. This was an idea I got when I got the speakers years ago. All I really know is that the trivets make it easier to slide the speakers across my desk. Whether they do anything to improve the acoustic output is up in the air.

Great product and they're pretty cheap at only US$ 2.99 or CAD$ 4.99.

IKEA FIXA 17-piece Tool Kit Review
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IKEA RIBBA Frame (42cm x 52cm) Review
IKEA Branching Out: Grills, Drills, Bags, Air Purifiers