Sunday, April 09, 2017

Ikea MALM Bed Frame Impressions: The Single Bed

If it were proper and sanitary to sleep on a mattress laid directly on the floor, that would be my bed. Come to think of it, I spent many a night as a teenager sleeping on a carpet directly on the floor. Aside from feeling like I was freezing to death, it was a pretty comfortable experience. I don't put my money where my mouth is, however, so I do in fact have a bed today. The criterion that I used to select my most recent bed was essentially the cheapest thing that I could find -- well, that and untreated solid wood. Why does any of this matter? Because I took a look at more expensive single bed options from Ikea and am writing about it.
A desk fan shot with an infrared camera
Disclaimer: I had not had any firsthand experience with any MALM bed products when I wrote this piece. Details were quoted from the Ikea United States website or Canada website in mid April 2017. Details on this page are NOT guaranteed for accuracy.

Ikea MALM Bed Frame First Impressions
This was, specifically, the Ikea MALM "Bed frame, high, white, Luröy" (490.099.52) product page on the website that I took a look at --- under the "Single beds" category. Other color options may have been available for this MALM bed but they were not selectable under the white version's product page. The version with the Luröy "Slatted bed base" was CA$ 194.00. Terms that got my attention under the "Product description" for "Bed frame, high" were "Particleboard" and "Fiberboard."

According to the product photos on the Ikea product page, I saw a bed with big rectangular panels at the head and feet along with narrower rectangular boards on the sides. While the panels at the head and feet appeared to block access off to under the bed, it looked like the side boards had some floor clearance. This was an important consideration for me as I often routed cords under the bed, stowed miscellaneous items underneath, and liked open access on all sides for cleaning. Having access cut off at the ends would be a minor issue as the sides were open. However, full access would have been better --- and completely changed the way the MALM bed looked.
Small flashlight in infrared
I went over the "Assembly instruction" document to get a closer and different view of the Ikea MALM bed. This wasn't the first-time that I had done so with an Ikea bed, so I didn't find any major surprises. There were quite a few parts listed on the inventory page, but the assembly didn't seem too difficult to me. The most interesting thing I noticed was that the taller headboard appeared to be made of two parts. Just going by product photos alone, I thought it was a single piece. It being two pieces made sense for packaging purposes. If I understood the instructions properly, the headboard assembly required wrenching in a fairly confined space --- I hate using wrenches if I have to constantly mount and dismount the tool. The MALM bed also appeared to use the metal rail system to support the slatted bed base. I had an old Ikea bed that used that and it was a pain to put on and take off --- this probably wouldn't happen that often.

The Ikea MALM bed frame looked nice as a whole in my opinion. It looked attractive, just not my cup of tea as I prefer untreated solid wood. And at a price of CA$ 194.00, it was significantly more than the Ikea TARVA and FJELLSE bed frames also available under the "Single beds" category. At the time of writing, the FJELLSE with Luröy bed base was CA$ 69.99 and the TARVA with Luröy bed base was CA$ 99.00 on the website. These two were about half the price or less for a single bed.

Final Thoughts
An Ikea bed frame in the MALM theme. I thought the MALM bed was attractive and that it would be functional. Its price was a bit steep given the alternatives available at Ikea under single beds. However, if the MALM is the bed that completes and/or fits a room then so be it.

Ikea HEMNES Bed Frame Impressions: Single Bed Version

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