Should I Buy a Cheap or Expensive Bed? Do You like IKEA?

Updated on September 17, 2010
J.G. asks from Chicago, IL
17 answers

I have a 2 year old daughter and a 2 month old daughter who will eventually be sharing a room. I need to move my older daughter out of the crib so that the baby can sleep in the nursery, but I can't decide if I should spend $1100 on a "real" hardwood bunkbed set from Room4Kids that can be separated into 2 twin beds or spend $400 on something similar from IKEA and hope that it lasts a long time.

Do you think that I should by something more expensive and "hardy" right now or get something inexpensive and just replace it when the children are teenagers or pre-teens?

I've never purchased anything from IKEA before, so I'm not sure of the quality of their furniture, and I'm wondering how there can be such a difference in price. Ideally, I would love to find something that will last at least 10 years and survive at least 1 move. If anyone has any experience with the furniture from IKEA or the IKEA Hemnes bed specifically, I would love to hear what you think about them.


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answers from San Francisco on

Why does it have to be new.You should consider going to garage sales or looking on Craigslist. There's a good chance you'll find a great bed frame at a great deal, but buy a new mattress!



answers from Eugene on

We bought the expensive real wood bunk bed used it for two years and have now split it. My older daughter wishes she had just a head board so she could sit on the end of her bed. The little plays around and has hit her head several times on the foot board. If I was to do it again I would by a real wood head board only. It would also make it easier to make the beds.

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answers from Columbus on

I would go with the cheaper bed - and you may laugh at my reasoning?? hehe. I know our precious little angels would never destroy anything at all on purpose, but they are children and things do happen. I would much rather see a cheaper bed destroyed at this young age and save for a nice one when they know a little better. I have an antique set that was my mothers, then mine, and will eventually be my daughters. But, for now (she is 3 yrs old) I have given her a cheap set and when she matures I will hand down our family heirloom.

Good luck!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

A lot of their furniture is really nice, others not as great, just go and check out the sturdiness of everything. My friend has an IKEA bed and they love it, and I have an IKEA tv stand and it has held up great for 5 years now, and through 4 moves.

I don't plan on getting my kids "nice" furniture until they are in their teens! They would just bang it up and draw all over it now.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Bakersfield on

Hi Mama- I suggest finding your nearest IKEA and making a day trip if possible. I would not spend the money on an expensive, yet temporary bed (even if it is for a number of years) unless you have the extra cash and can afford new beds later. Why? Kids are hard on furniture, even the great ones. It just happens. They just need a decent place to sleep with a nice mattress.
I do know Ikea makes good beds, but you need to sit on them, feel which ones are solid, etc. Then choose the one you like best. Save the cash for something in the future, like teenager beds when they are in separate rooms, or a nice piece of furniture when they go off to college or get their first apartment....or a guest bed for when your kids move out some day. If you want hardy, go to a second hand or gently used furniture store and search out a good deal on an old set of bunk beds.
I was fortunate enough that my grandfather made my sister and I bunk beds (they were actually my mom and her sisters when they were younger). They were supposed to be mine for when I have kids, but there was a needy family in my parents church that needed beds for their kids. Years later, they are still using them. I think a decent bed is in order, but I think you can find that at Ikea. If not, I strongly suggest second hand stores before purchasing new stuff.
Good luck!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I would go the IKEA route while the kids are young and are likely to draw and put stickers on their beds. I've had IKEA beds, sofas, dining sets, tv stands, coffee tables, and book shelves for nearly 10 years, and none of it has broken despite moving through 4 apartments and now, into our home. Not too shabby for "transitional" furniture.

We bought an expensive crib from Babies r Us for our first son, but with our 2nd we bought an IKEA set, and it seems to be a much greater value for our $. For what we spent on 1 expensive crib for our older son, we were able to furnish our 2nd son's entire bedroom with IKEA items.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

We have the Reversible Bed from Ikea (converts from a loft bed, to a bunk set, to a low bed with a tent canopy.) We love it. We've only had it for 2 years, so I can't speak to it's long term durability, but although it's not "high end" looking finished wood, etc., it does seem well constructed. We had not trouble assembling it, and it feels very sturdy, no wonkiness (is that a word? - LOL), and it was only $200, plus $100 for the mattress we purchased.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Nashville on

Well, you have to factor in stickers, crayon scribbles, sticky stuff from gooey fingers, nicks, scratches, finger paint, glitter glue........and anything else that usually shows up on kids furniture throughout childhood. =0) Might be best to go with something a little less expensive to get you thru to when your kiddos are a tad older. Then, you can get them something really nice that will last for years. Just my two cents. =0)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Colorado Springs on

Have you heard of It used to be knock off wood. She teaches you how to make your own furniture for a fraction of the cost of places like Pottery Barn, etc. She also teaches you as someone who has never built anything before. She has great plans. And, you can see some of the things others have made. She has lots of plans for beds. They look pretty easy and so beautiful. Don't freak out about the idea. I bet you could do it!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Killeen on

I would go the IKEA route! I got this bed for my boys (4yo and 2yo) and it's great! It can be a number of beds. (Canopy, loft, and bunk) I got this one 'cause I wanted bunk beds (we are limited on space) but I was worried about my 2yo falling out of a regular bunk bed. With this bed I never have to worry about it! I also got this and my 4yo loves to be in there! I went to walmart for bedding, but with everything (bed, mattresses, bedding, extras) it came out to about $400. And it's very strong, I can climb up in the top bunk with both boys! I've had it since Feb. and haven't had any problems with it! (we've moved once so far) My only complaint with it is that it takes a while to put it together. (lots of parts and screws) But the way I see it...that just means it will hold up better! lol
My sister got a crib from there when she had her son, he's 2 now and she's still using it! (in toddler bed form) And she's moved 4-5 times now.

Hope this helps! Good luck! :D



answers from Kansas City on

We looked around everywhere trying to find a reasonable bed for our daughter. We have Nebraska furniture Mart here in KC, but I feel the quality of their products have really gone down hill. We bought a headboard for out guest bed and it was a factory manufactured product. They make you sign a paper so you understand that this is a lesser quality product. Well when we got it, part of it wasn't even stained. It doesn't really show because of the bedding we have on it, but it is definitely lower quality. It also smelled like varnish for several weeks. Yuck!

we bought our daughter's twin bed from Crate and Barrel. Not sure if they have bunks or not. But we are so impressed by the quality of the wood . Our 2 year old literally jumps around and kicks the headboard daily and it still looks great! We are hoping that this bed will take her through high school. Please consider if you can, buying an organic mattress as that is what your child will be in contact with up to 14 hours a day. We bought a Savvy Rest mattress. Expensive, but we felt like it was worth it. Do some research on mattresses and buy the best quality one you can afford. A lot of mattresses today have a lot of chemicals sprayed on them to make them flame retardant. There are other options. I know you didn't ask about mattresses but just thought I'd throw my two sense in there. Good luck. I wish someone would open an affordable children's furniture store that uses quality materials and doesn't try to gouge you with the prices :)



answers from Dallas on

I would buy it from Ikea.



answers from New York on

Personally I would go with the bed from IKEA. I don't think it's worth it to spend alot of money on a bed (frame, headboard, etc) for kids. The difference in price is usually because one is made mostly of particle board or inexpensive wood and the other of hard wood, or it's the brand name. I would, however, invest more in a good quality matress.


answers from Dallas on

We buy the best quality we can afford. We go with that decision with everything.

You get what you pay for. There is a reason IKEA is cheaper.

Look at it this way.... Spend $1100 ONE time or get your bargins from lower end stores, end up replacing the cheap furniture, and you still end up spending $1100 or more by the time you replace it.

We bought a high end set for our daughter when she moved to her room around 2 yrs old. She is 15 and that furniture still looks great.


answers from Seattle on

I would go less expensive if I were you...but I re-arrange my kids *my whole house really* rooms all the time! I would not want to feel forced into using this one piece of furniture forever...well at least as long as it would take to feel that I got my monies worth!

They are still so young and weigh practically nothing, I would hope that something costing $400 would last at least a couple years!


answers from Los Angeles on

My baby's bed is from IKEA.
I love it and couldn't believe how sturdy it is. I am an avid IKEA shopper. LOL. All of our curtains, bookshelves, end tables, dresser, and numerous gadets came from there.
I would go for something that will last a few years, but that you don't care if they put stickers on or color on. In our family we buy "forever" furniture when you move to your first place, any furniture before that is cheap or middle of the road prices.



answers from Detroit on

I've never bought a bed from IKEA, so I cannot comment on that. However, when my daughter was young, I invested in a girly pressboard bedroom set from Value City Furniture. It held up for a few years, but then cracked as she got older. So, now, for my son I bought a twin metal bed frame for about $50, bought a decent quality mattress at a furniture store and bought a metal head board from Walmart online for about $40--viola, a nice comfy bed that will hold up. It's sturdy and chic without the hefty price. Walmart online has several different types of cool head boards for a good price.

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