Thursday, April 14, 2016

Ikea KVIKNE Wardrobe Impressions: DOMBÅS alternative?

I was involved with it but I did not use it, officer. That would be my response if one were to ask me about my involvement with Ikea DOMBAS wardrobes. I helped put one together but I didn't use it for myself. That thing was so big with so many parts, so heavy, and a pain for me to put together. The person I built it for managed to cram it full of clothes though. So, I saw the Ikea KVIKNE wardrobe on the website and thought I'd look at how the two matched up since they looked comparable -- price and size-wise.
Really well-used Ikea DOMBAS Wardrobe
Disclaimer: I had not had any firsthand experience with any KVIKNE products when I wrote this piece. Details were quoted from the Ikea United States website or Canada website in mid April 2016. Details on this page are NOT guaranteed for accuracy.

First Impressions: The Ikea KVIKNE Wardrobe with 2 sliding doors
The Ikea KVIKNE wardrobe weighed in at CA$ 149.00 (US$ 159.00) and had stated product dimensions of 120 cm x 57 cm x 190 cm (width x depth x height). One interesting note I found under "Good to know" was "Two clothes rails and 2 adjustable shelves included." The terms "Fiberboard," "Particleboard," and "Polypropylene" stood out for me under "Product description."

One product photo. There was only one product photo on the product page showing the KVIKNE wardrobe with its doors closed. Luckily, the assembly instructions were available as well. Opening them up revealed something interesting: it looked like the KVIKNE wardrobe was essentially two identical wardrobes with a shared middle wall. I saw what appeared to be holes near the lower portion of the wardrobe's interior for changing the heights of the adjustable shelves.

How did the DOMBAS stack up? When I checked the Ikea Canada website more recently, the dimensions were noted to be 140 cm x 51 cm x 181 cm (width x depth x height) and it was priced at CA$ 139.00 (US$ 129.00). While the shelf did look like two wardrobes sharing a wall, the two sides did not appear to be symmetrical: one side had a hanger, the other side was all shelves.

Right off the bat, it should be obvious that the dimensions of the KVIKNE and DOMBAS are a bit off. The DOMBAS appeared to be 20 cm wider while the KVIKNE seemed 9 cm taller. However, the KVIKNE likely provided more clothes rail length due to the design differences -- rails across both sides versus just one. There was likely more shelf space in the DOMBAS due to the design and the extra width.

The other big difference was in the design of the doors. Looking at the DOMBAS, I saw a wall of solid white. With the KVIKNE, there was a patterned wall of white and grey. From the product photos, the "grey" appeared to be translucent plastic windows, probably the "Polypropylene" listed under the "Product description." I had experience with something similar on an Ikea ANEBODA wardrobe I had for a long while -- it was okay but not that pretty. Also, the DOMBAS doors were the regular swinging kind while the KNVIKNE was the sliding type.

I want to say that the difference between swinging and sliding doors isn't that big, but I know better from experience. Over time, items accumulated around my ANEBODA and it got to the point that I didn't have enough space to swing the doors open all the way. Sliding doors could be useful in a compact or cramped area. However, sliding doors would not allow an entire wardrobe to be completely opened -- only about a half at a time because the door needs to go somewhere?

Something popped into my mind about the doors and durability: I have had experience with sliding doors, not Ikea furniture or big backyard doors, that came off the rails. Nothing catastrophic happened but the wheel broke or slid off the rail and required constant fixing. I haven't had issues with Ikea sliding doors before but it's one thing that could potentially go wrong with them.

Final Thoughts
So, not as comparable as I thought. While the dimensions and exteriors were somewhat comparable between the KVIKNE and DOMBAS wardrobes, they weren't the exact same. The designs of the interiors also appeared to be substantially different. The KVIKNE seemed to have more rail space while the DOMBAS looked like it had more shelf space. One had sliding doors and the other had swinging doors as well. They were about CA$ 10 (US$ 30) apart with the KVIKNE ahead.

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