Sunday, November 01, 2015

Ikea TARVA Single Bed Frame Impressions: Like a FJELLSE?

A while back, I was in the market for a new bed. What I wanted was the cheapest thing that money could buy from Ikea in a twin size and made of solid wood. The answer was the FJELLSE. There was another option though: the TARVA. They looked really similar and the only difference that I could see without further research was the design of the headboards. Digging a bit deeper revealed something interesting...
Disclaimer: I had not had any firsthand experience with any TARVA bed frame products when I wrote this piece. Details were quoted from the Ikea United States website or Canada website in the first few days of November 2015. Details on this page are NOT guaranteed for accuracy.
Ikea FJELLSE Single Bed Frame being assembled
The TARVA Bed Frame (Single Bed or Twin Size)
I found the TARVA bed frame under the "Single beds" section of the American website. It was priced at US$ 129.99 (CA$ 99.99) -- according to the product pages, they had the slatted bed base included in the price. Under the product dimensions section, there was a listed length of 197 cm, width of 105 cm, and headboard height of 95 cm. Package weight was noted to be 17.50 kg or 38 lb 9 oz for just the bed frame, not including the slatted bed base. Only one item was found under the "Product description" for the "Bed frame" and it was solid pine. The product image appeared to be of a single solid wood bed with a fairly low profile aside from the headboard.

First Impressions from the Product Page
From pictures alone, it looked just like an Ikea FJELLSE single bed. The difference appeared to be a headboard that had evenly spaced horizontal boards instead of vertical boards bunched in the middle. Dimensions found on both product pages also suggested that the beds were very similar in size with the exception of the headboard height -- 95 cm for the TARVA and 80 cm for the FJELLSE. A weight difference for the packages (bed frame only) of about 5.60 kg (11.90 kg versus 17.50 kg) was also found with the TARVA being heavier.

Was that it? Did that explain the CA$ 39.01 (CA$ 59.99 versus CA$ 99.00, both with bed base) or US$ 60.00 (US$ 69.99 versus US$ 129.99, both with bed base) difference?


I checked out the assembly instructions posted on the product page for the TARVA -- I bought and put together a FJELLSE a month prior so knew the drill. The difference in design appeared to be somewhat minor but I thought it was much larger from experience.

With the FJELLSE I assembled, all I really had to do was screw the headboard and four sides of the bed together. The two rails for the slatted bed base were already attached to the sides out of the box and there was no brace. In contrast, the TARVA, from reviewing the online instructions, involved putting the frame together similar to the FJELLSE, then attaching the side rails to the sides, and attaching another brace between the sides. It doesn't seem like much but before I put together my FJELLSE, I had to take apart my old Ikea bed that had detachable rails and a center brace. Those things took me over an hour to take apart due to the number of screws and the size of the parts.

Do the separately attached rails and brace on the TARVA make a difference? I don't know. The old bed I replaced with the FJELLSE had those things and I hated it. Aside from the strong pine smell in the first week or two, I haven't had much to say about the FJELLSE. Maybe it'll fall apart more quickly? Guess I'll have to wait and see.
Completed Ikea FJELLSE Single Bed Frame
Final Thoughts
So, Ikea FJELLSE versus TARVA single beds. Just a difference in headboard designs for an extra CA$ 39.01 or US$ 60.00? As far as I could tell, the biggest difference was the construction. There were some fairly large differences between the two beds found in the assembly instructions. Gotta save that I prefer the FJELLSE but I may be shown wrong in the next few years.

More Ikea Product Reviews
Ikea MALM Bed Frame Impressions: The Single Bed
Ikea HEMNES Bed Frame Impressions: Single Bed Version

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