Saturday, August 13, 2016

Review: Ikea BEKVÄM Stepladder, 3 steps

Gotta collect them all? I think I now have all the BEKVÄM items: step stool, spice rack, kitchen cart, and stepladder. Didn't mean to, it just sort of happened. The step stool wasn't tall enough for me to be able to reach the ceiling comfortably and I hated using my fiberglass stepladder. Seemed like a good idea to get a more compact but functional ladder at a reasonably low price.
Ikea BEKVAM Stepladder Package
x1 - Ikea BEKVAM Stepladder, 3 steps: US$ 39.99 (CA$ 39.99)

Paid: ~CA$ 39.99

Ikea BEKVÄM Stepladder vs Step Stool
In 50s: Ikea BEKVÄM Stepladder Assembled

The stepladder came in a cardboard box with one face exposed, wrapped only in clear plastic. Cutting it open and peeling away the wrapping revealed a number of parts and a large bag of hardware. I got it shipped so this package actually came in a cardboard shell with a sheet of bubble wrap.

There weren't that many parts in the Ikea BEKVAM step ladder's box. The most difficult part for me was getting the front legs of the ladder to line up properly with the steps because the legs were at an angle. If you take a look at the video linked above, it took some fidgeting to get the front section with the steps done. Long story short, I screwed the steps in and then had to unscrew them to get things working properly. The rest of the instructions were pretty straight forward as the top, rear frame, and side supports went in. Getting the Allen key to fit into some tight corners to screw things in was the only other thing that gave me any trouble.
Ikea BEKVAM Stepladder: Being assembled
Design / Construction
A step ladder with three steps on one side and a support frame on the other. It could be folded and came with a bracket to hang the ladder up on, but I didn't have anywhere to install it nor did I want to put holes in a wall. The ladder looked like solid wood to me, and on the Ikea Canada website, "Solid beech" was listed under the "Product description."

How was it?
Wish the Ikea BEKVÄM stepladder was available before I bought my fiberglass stepladder. I mainly bought the BEKVAM because I had to be able to reach the ceiling for a project. The BEKVAM step stool I already had was not tall enough for me to do so comfortably -- there wasn't a huge difference in height between the stool and ladder but it made a huge difference for me. And because it wasn't possible to collapse or fold the stool, moving that around the house looked like it would be a problem. At about CA$ 40, the BEKVAM stepladder was a reasonably priced option. It also appeared to be useful for reaching some of my taller shelves. I did have a 5-foot fiberglass stepladder but it was huge, heavy, and I hadn't used it in years so it got stuck in a closet behind a bunch of stuff.
Ikea BEKVAM: Step Stool vs Stepladder
The BEKVAM step ladder got quite a bit of use for my ceiling related project and it was more than satisfactory in my view. Moving it between rooms and even up and down a flight of stairs was relatively easy. I didn't think it was too heavy or bulky. According to the Ikea Canada website, the package weight was 4.75 kg so the ladder should have been around that. Walking up and down the steps of the ladder itself felt comfortable to me.

I also appreciated the fact that the ladder ended at just three steps while still allowing me to reach the ceiling. Having an open top step felt more comfortable to me than being in the middle of my taller stepladder that confined my feet in three directions -- left and right rails, steps in front of me. Maybe it was the idea of having more escape routes while being closer to the floor. The top step was more than adequate in size for me to work off, but I'm only 5'4" so that may be an important detail.

I was a bit apprehensive about putting together my own ladder, but my legs still work and nothing's broken as I'm writing this. Success? The Ikea BEKVÄM Stepladder was functional, relatively compact, not too difficult to assemble, and fairly well priced.

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