Ikea, Höffner and Roller are not the only companies offering cheap furniture that can be screwed together. But who has the best quality? The ZDF made the test. One product even had to be taken out of circulation afterwards.
The Germans are crazy about Ikea. Hardly any household can do without the products of the Swedish furniture chain. No question, Ikea is cult. But are the Swedes right to have a good reputation? After all, other furniture stores also supply furniture that you can screw together yourself – and at similar prices.
In a major quality test, the ZDF television channel has pitted the products of Ikea, Höffner and Roller against each other. To reveal typical signs of wear and tear, the testers had the furniture dismantled and reassembled three times by moving professionals. In addition, the installed quality was inspected by a carpenter and subjected to a safety test in the laboratory.
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The move endurance test shows what many customers know from their own experience: After a few times of dismantling and reassembling, some things don’t fit back and front anymore. Example: cheap beds: The scooter bed is crooked after the third assembly because the edges are no longer flush. With Höffner the screws fail and the veneer comes off. The Ikea bed performs best, even after the third assembly it still stands perfectly.
The best known Ikea product is the Billy shelf. Furniture Höffner and Roller have very similar shelves in their program. Does Billy beat his clones in the test? The weak point of the disassembly and assembly is clearly the cheap back wall. With the Höffner shelf the back wall does not survive the disassembly. No wonder, it’s only two millimeters thick. Even the Billy rear panel crumbles when disassembled.
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But the scooter model reveals much bigger problems. For example, the shelves are simply laid loosely so that they can be pulled out with little effort. A safety risk, especially in households with children. In addition, according to the instructions, a scooter shelf can support a maximum of five kilos, making it unsuitable for books. For comparison: both Billy and Höffner can hold at least 16 kilos per board. One reason for this is that Roller has used the cheapest chipboard – the Billy chipboard is the highest quality in the test.
On the other hand, the screws of the Roller shelf do not hold if a heavy object on the shelf falls over. In the Dekra test laboratory’s safety test, the shelf board collapses during the drop test. Roller has already reacted to the devastating test: “Immediately after we heard the results, we reacted by removing this item from the range”, says Roller’s managing director Marcus Droste to ZDF. The bottom line is that Billy beats similarly cheap competitors in the test.
Ikea and Co. not only sell furniture, but also all kinds of other knick-knacks. That’s why ZDF is also testing some of the accessories from the furniture stores’ ranges. Towels, for example: the testers buy cotton towels for less than five euros. This time Ikea is the loser: Höffner fuzzes, Ikea scratches and fuzzes, Roller wins the towel test. After all, none of the models are contaminated with harmful substances. However, one expert is concerned about the popular scented candles from furniture stores. All three products tested contain allergens such as “limes”, which can trigger allergies in adults and children.