Not Skilled With a Hex Key? 7 IKEA-Like Brands That’ll Save Your Sanity
Easy to assemble and affordable.
Updated Sep 28, 2018 5:01 PM
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If you’ve ever felt personally victimized by IKEA’s wordless assembly manuals, which star a little man whose smug grin stares at you tauntingly from a drawing of a coffee table you’ll never be able to build, we understand. For as affordable and accessible as the Swedish retailer is, putting together your new Scandi pieces can sometimes be a frustrating experience. On the other hand, furniture that ships fully assembled is frequently either expensive or hard to physically get into your home—not the best option when you’re looking to move.
At the risk of sounding like an infomercial, there’s got to be a better way. And there is. The widespread convenience of IKEA has created a new generation of mid-range furniture companies that are more consumer-friendly than ever in order to stay competitive with the flatpack giant. This means that not only is reasonably priced, well-designed furniture easy to find, but there are several companies tackling the at-home construction problem.
Between sofas that can be put together in under 15 minutes and tables that don’t require a single tool, here are a few of our favorite easy-to-assemble furniture companies changing the game.
Launched in late 2018, Inside Weather is the newest company getting in on the flatpack furniture craze. However, unlike most brands whose strength is in their carefully curated, limited product selection, this San Francisco–based company is all about the luxury of choice. Every single item can be entirely personalized, right down to the fabric and legs. This means there are over three million unique combinations, making it the ideal choice for the millennial decorator looking for bespoke on a budget.
Every piece is built on demand to limit production waste, and this minimal approach is also reflected in the products’ aesthetic. While the colorways are entirely customizable, the silhouettes are simple, reflecting the sleek Scandinavian style that’s so pervasive right now.
Calling all small-space dwellers: Kvell has your ideal chair. The Nordik line, which includes both a chair and an ottoman, ships completely flat and can be put together in minutes. Even better, the pieces come with built-in storage so they work overtime in a tiny apartment. The rest of the line includes a similarly minimalist chair, which is easy to assemble and won’t clutter your floor plan. Plus, at a budget-friendly price point—the most expensive piece is the Nordik chair, which rings in at $300—you won’t be breaking the bank with your purchase.
Campaign ticks all the boxes: Easy to assemble—without tools, it takes 15 minutes or less—and it ships flat and for free within seven days. It also looks super chic. Those who move frequently will appreciate how quick and painless it is to take the furniture apart and put it back together. Campaign also offers removable covers, so you can change the look of your pieces entirely without having to spring for a new sofa.
While the company has plans to branch out into more types of furniture, the fact that it currently offers only living room furniture—a sectional, a sofa, a loveseat, a chair, and an ottoman—means that it has been able to create an uber-specialized system of production. Every item is durable and thoughtfully designed, cool and contemporary, and timeless and sophisticated.
Detroit-based Floyd is similar to Campaign in terms of upscale design and ease of assembly. it’s also fast to build, doesn’t need tools, and it offers a wider range of furniture. Floyd designed a bed, a sofa, and a set of tables that include a desk and a side table (the latter of which can purportedly be built in five minutes), each of which includes the brand’s signature modern metal hardware. Another bonus? Floyd officially rolled out same-day delivery in cities across the country so you won’t have to wait long for the new additions to your household.
A caveat: Not every product is ready to assemble at home, unfortunately, but the Bundle Desk and Linnea Bookshelf both use traditional Japanese joinery techniques so you can put together your pieces on your own. Perfect for minimalists, both items are long-lasting and carefully crafted.
What makes Opendesk stand out is its unique business model: More than just a place to buy cool furniture, it’s also an online platform for connecting customers with independent craftspeople around the world. Once you pick your item, you have the option to sift through various quotes from different makers and pick the one that works best for you. The customized experience definitely makes Opendesk stand out from other furniture companies.
Priced slightly lower than other easy-to-assemble furniture brands, Burrow pieces are simple in both design and construction. Snap hinges together to build your sofa or ottoman; a process that’s supposed to take roughly 20 minutes, but according to one reviewer, it took only 10 minutes to build the sofa.
Cool features, like a hidden USB charging port, adaptable seat modules, and spill-proof fabric, make Burrow’s pieces great for millennials on the move. There’s also a 30-day free return policy on the off chance you’re not 100 percent in love with your piece, but judging from customer reviews and the immense popularity of this company, we’re inclined to think you will be.
Inspired by the founders’ personal experience searching for rental apartment furniture that didn’t actually look like rental apartment furniture, Akron Street’s durable hardwood furniture is expertly crafted and well suited for a multitude of personal styles.
With everything from tables to chairs to clothing racks to even a bed, there are more products to choose from than other mid-range furniture companies with similarly easy-to-assemble items. You do need tools to assemble the aforementioned items, but the good news is that they can all be put together in under 15 minutes.
See more of our favorite furniture brands to shop now: World Market Is the Most Underrated Place to Buy Furniture The New Furniture Line You Need for a 2018 Home Refresh Michaels’ New Furniture Line Is Everything We Never Knew We Needed