Thursday, October 08, 2015

Review: IKEA BEKVAM Step Stool

Someone wanted a sturdier, taller, and more stable step stool in a more natural material. The Ikea BEKVAM step stool seemed like an obvious choice. One thing was a bit concerning: putting together my own, sort of, ladder and using said ladder?
Ikea BEKVAM Step Stool Package
x1 - Ikea BEKVÄM Step Stool, beech: US$ 14.99 (CA$ 19.99)

In 30 seconds: Ikea BEKVAM Step Stool Assembled
Overview of Ikea BEKVAM Step Stool

This seemed a bit heavy and large to carry home from the store on public transit, so I ordered it online along with another item. Both arrived wrapped in a protective layer of cardboard. The BEKVAM step stool, though, arrived in a cardboard box that was wrapped in plastic but open on one face -- no cardboard on that face.

I found it very easy to unbox since tearing the plastic essentially finished the job. There didn't seem to be too many parts and the instructions didn't have too many steps. A total of maybe 30 minutes were required to put the thing together. The assembly was pretty straightforward for me and I found it a pleasure to put together due to the small number of parts involved -- the relatively light weight and small size of everything involved helped as well. If I remember correctly, I started by attaching the supports to one side and then screwed that into the other side before finishing off.
Ikea BEKVAM Step Stool being assembled
The step stool felt stable to me when I stood on it, but I didn't try anything wild to see what it took to tip it over.

Expandability / Customizability
Get something else from the BEKVAM line or made with solid wood?
Finished Ikea BEKVAM Step Stool
How was it?
How much did I trust myself? Apparently enough to believe that I could put together my own relatively short step stool that would supposedly support my entire body weight and then step on it -- mines came with a sticker that said it could support 100 kg. Did I mention it was only a CA$ 20 step stool?

No injuries. Yet. However, at around 50 cm, according to the product dimensions, this wasn't that tall of a step stool. I've been on some 5' and 6' stepladders and they've had be pretty worried after the first two steps despite no accidents to date.

My main concern is how the unprotected wood holds up over time. It should only ever be used indoors so no excessive moisture, heat, or water. There are also plans to maybe use the BEKVAM step stool as a small shelf so safety may not be an issue longer term.

Anyway, the BEKVAM step stool was an attractive looking item and the one that I got looked well finished. No major rough patches, splinters, or cracks were noticed -- no intensive inspection was completed though. I found the ladder to be on the large side when in storage, but it probably would have been less stable or shorter if it were to have a smaller footprint.

The BEKVAM step stool that I purchased was fairly easy for me to assemble, the finished product was attractive, and it worked without any issues so far. Not bad for CA$ 20.

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