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How Long Does IKEA Furniture Take to Assemble: 6 Examples

IKEA furniture is well-known for its relatively affordable prices and a large variety of available options. You can easily equip a home office with one trip to IKEA and you won’t break the bank either. However, one downside to their furniture is that more often than not, you have to assemble them yourself.

Now, this is part of the reason the furniture is more affordable than similar options out there. For a lot of seasoned DIY-ers, this is totally fine as they are used to the added effort it takes to make something. But some people might be put off by the time needed to assemble the furniture. Keep scrolling to find out just how much time you need to put aside.


Almost all IKEA furniture can be easily assembled in 2 hours or less. The average time is 1.5 hours. The time taken for assembly will depend largely on the complexity of the project, individual skill, the way the assembler’s mind works, how many people are helping, and how well the instructions are followed.

Assembly Time Depends on Several Factors

Complexity of The Product

You are unlikely to spend the same amount of time assembling a small side table as a queen-sized bed frame. The table will come with fewer parts and will be overall less complex to construct.

repair, improvement and furniture concept - stressed woman assembling new locker at home

But it’s not just about the size of the piece. A small item with many smaller components will definitely take more time as you will have to put a lot more together than an item with only a handful of pieces.

Individual Skill

When you’re good, you’re good. If you have assembled furniture a number of times before then you are probably going to be able to finish building a piece of furniture a lot quicker than someone who is doing so for the first time.

This is because you have developed all the necessary skills and hacks that allow you to move through the instructions and assembly at a faster pace than a novice would. You can also problem-solve more efficiently.

How a Person’s Mind Works

Another factor that affects how long it may take you to assemble a piece of IKEA furniture is how your mind works.

People who are more systematic and have greater attention to detail will find the task relatively simple as all they have to do is follow the instructions and put part A to part B.

It definitely helps if you can also visualize the larger picture at hand so you know what the end product should look like.

If you are a person who struggles to understand how pieces connect or are a bit less detail-oriented, you might try to rush through the process and end up having to take it apart as you might have skipped a few steps.

How Many People are Helping

You can assemble IKEA furniture alone, although help is almost always recommended.

When there are one or two people working on a piece of furniture, you should be able to complete the task in a reduced amount of time as there is an extra set of eyes ensuring that you are following the correct instructions and an extra set of hands when you need to reach an unusual position.

On the other hand, if there is a handful of people putting together a single chair, for instance, you might see that it is taking you a much longer amount of time than anticipated.

When too many people are involved, the instructions might start to become unclear as one person reads ahead or another is still busy trying to figure out how to use a screwdriver.

How Dedicated You Are to the Instructions

Instructions are there for a reason. The furniture manufacturers do not expect you to just know how to assemble an intricate bed frame, so the instructions are provided to guide you step-by-step.

I know there are people out there who are firm believers in “I don’t need a manual”, and even if they end up completing the project to the same quality, you will probably find that it has taken them double the amount of time than someone who stuck to the instructions.

Although the instructions might seem a little confusing or vague at times, they are there to help you, so take some time before you begin assembling to read through the entire process and make sure you understand it.

Average IKEA Furniture Assembly Times

Average Ikea Furniture Assembly times infographics

1. Double Beds

As I have mentioned, the amount of time it takes to assemble any piece of furniture depends on a number of factors. Nevertheless, the average amount of time to construct a double bed is known to take anywhere from 1.5 hours to 2 hours.

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It will probably take you the most time to figure out which piece belongs where, and in what orientation to put it, but seasoned DIY-ers advise you to take out each piece in the same order as it is packaged in the box and place it on the floor, laying it out in the same design as the overall bedframe is expected to look.

This will make it slightly easier for you to know which pieces fit together and reduce the amount of time spent looking for parts. It is also advised to not do this job alone as having an extra set of hands will definitely make your life a lot easier.

2. Bunk Beds

Like a double bed, IKEA bunk beds can take up to 1.5 hours to assemble depending on the complexity of the design you have chosen. Some have said it can even take as little as half an hour as long as you follow the instructions to a T; having done it a few times before also seems to help out.

The longest part of your assembly process will probably be assembling the two separate beds before joining them together.

If you are by yourself, this will take quite a while as you have to repeat the process. However, getting someone to help you will definitely reduce the time as you can assemble both beds simultaneously, although you will need to get another set of tools for this.

You likely have multiple appropriate screwdrivers in your toolbox, but if you need a duplicate Allen key, then you will need to know the correct size. I have written a guide to help you with this.

Another good tip is to lay the pieces out in groups, so put all the same length slacks together for easier access when you are assembling the beds.

3. Dressers

Dressers tend to take a little more time than other pieces of furniture. Obviously, the larger your dresser is and the more drawers it has, the more time it will take you.

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On average, assembling a dresser can take around 3 hours, 1.5 hours to build the frame of the dresser, and an additional hour or so to assemble to various drawers.

In order to limit the amount of time spent looking for the right pieces, you should lay them out in order according to which step in the instructions they are a part of. It is also recommended to do this in a large space so that you can spread everything out nicely and won’t confuse one group of items with another.

4. Wardrobes

IKEA wardrobes are a great option for people who need an affordable choice for additional storage. However, the time it takes to assemble a wardrobe might be less than appealing to some.

Depending on the complexity of the wardrobe (does it just have 2 doors and a single rod for hanging clothes or is it a combination of hanging space, shelving, and drawers?) you can expect to spend about 5 hours constructing it.

A way to make the process go a little faster would be to once again separate each component of the wardrobe into groups, placing the doors together with their required handles and screws for example.

Reading the instructions from beginning to end a couple of times before you even pick up a piece is also a good idea to avoid confusion during assembly.

5. Dining Table and Chair Sets

When it comes to assembling a dining room table and the multiple chairs that come along with it, many hands will not only make light work, but it will also reduce your assembly time quite a bit.

On average, assembling a dining room chair can take around 30 minutes. Now if you’re doing it yourself, then a standard 6 chairs can take you 3 hours. If you have someone helping you, you can each work on the chairs together simultaneously to half the amount of time spent on them.

As for your table, if it is a simple design then 1 or 2 hours should suffice, but if your tabletop is made up of a variety of pieces by itself, then you’re probably going to have to add an extra hour or so to that time.

As always, lay out the pieces into groups: tabletop and its required hardware in one space and the legs in another. Get someone to help you assemble the legs onto the table to decrease the time as well.

6. Couches

Couches come in a variety of sizes and styles, but the average amount of time it could take you for assembly is up to 2 hours.

Couches tend to be quite heavier than a few pieces of wood to assemble a shelf or dresser, so you will definitely need an extra set of hands or two in order to lift the pieces during the process.

Make sure you have sufficient space to do so, in order to avoid the time it takes to squish around a room and angle the sofa in weird and wonderful ways in order to join pieces together.

Sources

https://www.thestar.com/life/2012/02/24/ikea_releases_assembly_instructions_video_we_put_it_to_the_test.html#:~:text=In%20short%2C%20putting%20Ikea%20furniture,minutes%20to%20complete%20the%20bed.

https://www.housebeautiful.com/lifestyle/a22000997/ikea-malm-bed-directions/

https://www.vivandtimhome.com/ikea-hemnes-dresser/

https://www.nbcnews.com/better/lifestyle/everything-you-need-know-about-buying-installing-ikea-closet-system-ncna1037216

https://www.overstock.com/downloads/pdf/341903152_7c7dee92-fa8a-35e8-823e-aec51239751d.pdf

https://www.homestratosphere.com/ikea-couch/

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