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Do You Really Have to Attach IKEA Furniture to the Wall

Are you secretly hoping to avoid attaching your furniture to the wall? Maybe you live in a rental, and thus you don’t want to make any holes in your walls. Or you might be one of those people who like to rearrange their furniture every few months.

We will cover if and when it is necessary to anchor your IKEA furniture to the walls. We’ll also go through some of the alternatives and things you should consider before avoiding this task.

Not all IKEA’s furniture needs to be attached to the walls, only items in danger of tipping over: open and closed storage units, tall items, and sets of drawers. They function without being anchored, but this is a highly recommended safety precaution. Not securing IKEA furniture voids warranties.

Not All Furniture Needs to Be Attached

Naturally, not all IKEA furniture needs to be attached. Apart from the obvious items, such as wall shelves, only tall and bulky furniture needs to be attached to the wall.

Beautiful vintage sofa next to wall. 3d rendering

Good examples are wardrobes, chest of drawers, and bookcases. These pieces require you to secure them to the wall for safety reasons.

Items like chairs, sofas, or tables are designed to stand on their own and you are free to move them around. Thus, you obviously don’t need to attach them to the wall.

Furniture Required to Be Attached

IKEA specifically lists certain furniture pieces that you have to attach to the wall. Basically, any furniture that belongs to the storage category should be safely anchored.

It can be open-faced storage, such as display shelving units and bookcases. But it is also closed storage like cabinets. Other criteria for having to secure the pieces are when the item is tall or has drawers.

The list, therefore, includes all kinds of shelving units, bookcases, cabinets, wardrobes, dressers, or other drawer sets.

Also, the majority of IKEA headboards are designed to be mounted to the wall.

You don’t have to sit wondering if you should attach your item to the wall. If you should, this step should be included in the assembly instructions.

Reason IKEA Wants You to Attach It

The reason behind this is the stability of the furniture. Tall pieces can become unstable while standing. And the shifting center of gravity often makes drawers prone to tipping forward while in use.

This can be very dangerous. Furniture that tips over could cause serious injuries and material damage, not even mentioning the destruction of the item itself.

IKEA notes that according to statistics, unstable furniture presents a severe danger for children, who often fall against it or try to climb onto it. Therefore, it is especially important for IKEA to take precautions to stop any potential accidents.

Not only are IKEA concerned for the well-being of their customers, but these accidents could also quickly result in many lawsuits against the store.

Deciding to Attach or Not

Whether to mount the new furniture to a wall or not is ultimately your choice. Presuming you are willing to take responsibility for potential accidents, of course.

Frustrated Woman Putting Together Self Assembly Furniture

However, if you would rather not attach the items, here are some considerations before making your final decision.

  • How tall is the furniture? If the piece is taller, it’ll be better off secured. Shorter dressers with lower centers of gravity are probably going to be fine without being attached, presuming you consider our other points and apply the stabilizing tips we will provide you in the next section.
  • Does the piece have drawers or shelves? Drawers have a shifting center of gravity, making them more unstable. Shelved pieces, on the other hand, tend to be slightly more balanced.
  • Do you have children or pets? Children are at a high risk of getting injured by climbing on unattached or unstable furniture. And so are pets.
  • Any frequent earthquakes? If you live in an area with frequent earthquakes, you should not forgo the anchoring of your furniture. This omission could lead to severe accidents and property damages.
  • What will you be storing on/in the furniture? Any fragile and valuable items, such as fish tanks or Grandmother’s vase, deserve a properly secured storage unit. Non-breakables should survive a fall, but could they damage something or someone in the process?
  • Does the furniture seem unstable? If you notice the furniture is leaning, wobbling, or it seems to be unstable in any way, don’t tempt your luck! (You may also want to look over those “spare” nuts and screws again!)
  • Where is the item placed? Is the item near or above someone’s bed? Or is it in a place where you are likely to bump into it? Or in the kids’ room? In any of these cases, it’s better to be safe than sorry!
  • Who will be using it? Consider what purpose the item will serve and who will potentially use it. Is it just going to be you or also your children and friends? You may know to be careful, but others won’t.

Stabilizing Furniture Without Attaching it to Wall

Regardless of whether you have to or decide to attach your furniture to the wall or not, you should follow a few rules. Otherwise, the furniture won’t be as stable and safe as it should be. It could also wear out more quickly.

furniture dresser drawer chair wall

Here are key steps you should do every time to stabilize your furniture:

  • Ensure you install it on totally level ground – The first step for having a piece of stable furniture is making sure that it is standing on level ground and that the item itself is level. The best way to check this is to use a spirit level (amazon link).
  • Assemble it perfectly – Do you want to avoid warping and wobbling of the item? Then build it precisely according to the provided instructions. Check you used the right pieces in the right places and that you properly tightened the screws. Take care to ensure that you didn’t leave out any steps or pieces.
  • Distribute the weight the right way – If you want to prevent the furniture from tipping over, the heavy things should always be packed at the back and/or bottom. Avoid putting them on top of the furniture. This applies especially when it comes to drawers and tall items.
  • Choose a place for the item wisely – Sometimes, we don’t entirely think through the placement of our new furniture. It then ends up in places where it can accidentally get pushed and easily knocked. You should avoid placing it in the way of heavy traffic flow. Also, don’t put it where you could hit it by opening or closing the door and other furniture.

Does IKEA Tell You How to Attach It?

IKEA takes this safety aspect of furniture installation pretty seriously. From the start, they try to ensure that nobody overlooks this information.

On their website, each item that needs anchoring to the wall has a little warning right below the “add to bag” at the bottom of the page.

IKEA’s website also provides you with a pdf file of the assembly picture manual. The file includes the exact instructions for attaching the furniture to the wall.

Are Attachment Materials Included in Kit?

Generally, you can count on IKEA to include the restraints needed for securing the furniture to the wall as a part of the product assembly kit.

If you are missing the restraint kit or need a new one, reach out to IKEA service. In most cases, they are able to send you a new one for free.

Your wall might be made from a material that IKEA didn’t provide screws for. In that scenario, they recommend you to contact the local masonry. Or you can always contact their customer support.

This is a helpful video they made to showcase the difference between attaching the furniture to different types of walls.

Secure Furniture to Walls Without Holes

Many people are not allowed or simply prefer not to make holes in their walls. But that doesn’t mean they can’t attach their furniture to the wall.

What are the no screws options of anchoring furniture, and how effective are they?

Glue furniture to the wall – Glue is not as effective as screws long-term because it wears. However, it can work pretty well as long as you use a quality adhesive like Gorilla Ultimate Waterproof Wood Glue (amazon link). The downside of glue is that removing it is time-consuming and could potentially damage the wall.

Tape it to the wall – Using industrial strength tape, such as VELCRO (amazon link), is a step up from glue. You will need to do some math to use the right amount of tape. Don’t forget to add in the weight of the items you want to store in your furniture, not just the weight of the furniture itself. VELCRO is very effective in securing things to the wall. It is also relatively easy to remove.

Epoxy to the floor – If you don’t want to mess up your wall, how about anchoring the furniture to the floor? This method is effective in securing the piece. However, there is a good chance you will never be able to move it again. And if you do, you may end up with damaged floors and furniture.

Use straps – The problem with anti-tip strap kits is that their installation is often not completely hole-free. Although the QDOS kit (amazon link) uses adhesive instead of screws, it still has a hook that goes into a wall, creating a hole roughly the same size as a picture frame does. That being said, this is by far the most suitable alternative to screws. Its superiority is due to its efficiency and the minimal damage it causes.


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