If you need extra shelves or cabinets in your home or office, the KALLAX series of IKEA furniture may be what you are looking for. It ranges from elegant to playful. In fact, one of the inserts is perfect for a child’s room or playroom as it has a clock on it.
Some models can also add a desk, to free up space. There are various tops for the inserts, including glass. The inserts can have doors, either solid or glass, or drawers. The shelving units can also have cabinets, as needed.
The furniture series is largely made of particle board. Some units may require a few hacks in order to prevent sagging. That is very easy to do, with a lot of instructions available online. Cumulative reviews for this series tend to be from upper four stars to five stars.
Most of those who put it together noted that it was relatively simple to do. There aren’t a lot of slats that need to be added. There are plenty of accessories for the inserts, including baskets, cabinets and drawers.
The desk additions have been used for a variety of things. IKEA furniture is known for being useful for crafters and those who like to sew.
20 Best IKEA KALLAX Furniture Review
1) KALLAX Shelf Unit, black-brown, 30 3/8x57 7/8 "
By far the majority of reviewers for this product gave it five stars. Those who use it frequently use it as a TV stand, but it is also in use as a room divider and for craft supplies. A couple of reviewers use it for the in-home preschools they run.
The unit is easy to put together and can be fitted with cabinets, drawers or woven grass baskets. Some chose the glass top; others preferred the fiberboard top that comes with it. They all stated that it was simple to put together.
There are two potential problems with putting this piece together. Some claim the screws are too long. Others had problems with damaging the unit during installation due to the hammer.
2) KALLAX Shelf Unit, black-brown, 30 3/8x30 3/8 "
At just under forty dollars, this shelving unit is helpful in a lot of situations. It’s great for crafters and can hold many items. Almost everyone who reviewed it stated that it was easy to put together. A majority of the reviewers gave it five stars.
That said, a few people had problems with it. It is somewhat delicate and the dowels are hard to place without damaging the unit for some folks. A few people said they had trouble with it, but most of them were first time IKEA shoppers.
Most considered it sturdy, especially for a particle and fiber board product. More than one stated they planned to buy additional units.
3) KALLAX Shelf unit, black-brown, 71 5/8x71 5/8 "
This is a huge unit and like previous units, the majority of those who reviewed it love it. The biggest drawback for the negative reviews seems to be difficulty with assembly. This is definitely a unit that requires at least two if not three people to put together.
If you don’t have a rubber mallet, it might be wise to acquire one prior to building the unit. A hammer will damage things, as three or four people reported. The unit is made of particle and fiber board, so it is easier to damage.
Storage and craft supplies seem to be the most frequent use for this unit. Some reviewers have suggested to IKEA that they add more dividers, drawers and/or baskets.
4) KALLAX Shelf unit, black-brown, 57 7/8x57 7/8 "
This unit comes with a warning… it has to be attached to the studs in a wall no matter what it is used for. Unless it is attached, it will be wobbly. Those who chose not to attach it left negative reviews. However, most reviews were four or five stars.
The unit can be used as a room divider, however, don’t skip the attachment. Some of the reviewers used it in their living rooms to store books, games, DVDs and other items. Quite a few added it to their craft rooms for organizing sewing, scrapbooking and other crafts.
This unit is a two person build, and like the others in this series, requires a rubber mallet. Some suggested having an expert put it together.
5) KALLAX Shelf unit, black-brown, 16 1/2x57 7/8 "
This product is very sturdy and there were very few complaints about it. One person did complain that they thought the product came with a back; it does not. While one person could assemble this unit, it would be wise to have another person around. It is very heavy when it is finished.
This is good as a TV stand, extra storage and a number of uses. For those who want a back, plywood can be cut to fit. It is a basic unit although if it is purchased in white there are inserts that will make it into an excellent wine rack. It is also easy to put together.
6) KALLAX Workstation, white, 30 3/8x57 7/8x62 5/8 "
There were only eleven reviews of this item and none of them were negative. The uses this unit were put to range from crafting, a school desk and computer desk. It is perfect for small spaces and easy to put together.
It was recommended that two people put it together; mostly for the lifting and table leveling. That is apparently the most difficult part of this unit, although even that was considered easy in comparison with other IKEA products.
The unit is made of particle and fiber board with a metal attachment to the shelving unit and a metal leg. The unit has to be vertical because the outer boards are too wide for the clamp. If it is desired to be horizontal, it would be wise to measure it first and buy an appropriate sized clamp.
7) KALLAX Shelf Insert, light gray
For only twelve dollars, this unit is a great add-on to other KALLAX units. Many of the larger shelving units are backless, which makes hiding electrical cords and cables rather difficult. This unit is shallower than the shelves and can hide them easily.
Most people found the construction of the unit easy, although some said it didn’t feel particularly sturdy. However, as it is mostly a display case, it should work well. One person reported using it to hold his records and some entertainment equipment.
This product would be great not only for that but for children’s rooms. I can hold toys or completed LEGO projects. Adults could use it to display pictures or other memorabilia.
8) KALLAX Insert with 2 drawers, high gloss white, 13x13 "
Older versions of this product were very substantial with deeper drawers; this version not so much. However, most people who purchased the unit loved it. Bear in mind that this is made of fiber board, not wood.
That said, it is a good unit for storing small, lightweight objects. This is perfect for storing sewing items such as needles, thread and scissors. It is also useful for paper products, booklets and other small items.
Putting the unit together had a range of opinions. Most found it easy to do, but you may want to have an electric screwdriver on hand. The unit is supposed to be screwed into the KALLAX shelves, and it can be difficult if many of them are being used.
9) KALLAX Insert with door, black-brown, 13x13 "
Comments on building this insert were very interesting. Most found it easy to build but not quite as easy to install. Like the drawers, it needs to be screwed into the unit and there are no guide holes for that purpose. It is also recommended that an electric drill be on hand.
The biggest complaint was with aligning the door so that it closes properly. This has to be done very carefully as it could hang on the unit it’s being put into. It is being used for several things mentioned by the reviewers, most commonly in a bedroom or as part of an entertainment center. Like the drawers, it is made of fiberboard.
10) KALLAX Shelf unit, white, 33 7/8x57 7/8 "
There was only one complaint about quality on this unit, and that may have been consumer error. However, it is a two person build. It would be wise to read the reviews of this product. One reviewer posted helpful information about how to put it together, which wasn’t found elsewhere.
The unit can be used either vertically or horizontally. Like all of these units it does not come with a back, but there are solutions to that problem. Adding inserts, using plywood for backing or attaching it to a wall will help.
The unit has been used for many things, but the top horizontal use is for an entertainment center.
11) KALLAX Shelf unit with 4 inserts, black-brown, 30 3/8x57 7/8 "
This unit has been used for several things, including in a sewing room, as a TV stand and in a kitchen. Like other KALLAX units, it has an open back. That makes it easier to plug in things to electrical outlets.
The unit is made of particle and fiber board with acrylic paint and some plastic. It can be used either horizontally or vertically, depending on the need.
The only complaint was that the unit is smaller than previous versions. This is not so much cost reduction as it is trying to be more environmentally friendly. The unit is largely made from recycled materials and can be recycled at need.
12) KALLAX Insert for bottles, white, 13x13 "
While this was intended to be more of a wine rack, it has a lot of uses. It is easy to fit together and it fits in the cubes perfectly, according to all reviews. A few of them have used it for wine, but some of the reviewers had different uses.
One reviewer is a train buff, and used it to store some of his trains and other supplies. Another found use for it in the sewing room, to hold scraps and other materials. It was suggested that if IKEA wanted to add drawers to fit it, it would be great for small toys such as LEGOS. It does only come in white, but that can be a nice offset to darker colored furniture.
13) KALLAX Shelving unit with 6 inserts, white
There were only eight reviews of this product and they were all either four or five stars. One reviewer docked a star because the unit is no longer available in oak. She had to get either black or white. That said, all reviewers found it easy to put the unit together.
Another reviewer pointed out how to fix scratch marks on the black units. It is very simple… just take a black magic marker and color it in. Because it is particle and fiber board, it can scratch.
It is possible for the screws to go through the boards. This may mean a need to find and use shorter screws. It would be a good idea to measure first.
14) KALLAX Workstation, black-brown, 57 7/8x57 7/8x62 5/8
The only one star review of this unit was updated to a four star review. Her issue was missing parts from an online order, and IKEA rectified it. It did take some time, but she loves it now that it is all together.
There appear to be two main users of this unit. One described how it is used for a home office. It has multiple computer components on and in it, and the user loves it. The other use is for sewing/crafts. Besides holding two sewing machines and a laminate machine there is plenty of room for cutting fabrics. Everyone reported that it was very easy to put together.
15) KALLAX Insert with door, blackboard surface, 13x13 "
This is a playful insert suitable for many uses. The blackboard may be useful in a child’s bedroom or for a preschool setting. It can also be useful for crafters who have to keep track of things while making a craft. Even without using the blackboard, it is nice looking.
There was only one review, and it was favorable. The reviewer stated that three more will be purchased. It was easy to put together and fit into the shelving unit with no problem. It is made mostly out of fiberboard, which may appear to some to be cheap. However, it is a great deal sturdier than cardboard and much more environmentally friendly.
16) KALLAX Shelf unit with 2 inserts, black-brown
This unit got all five star reviews. It is a space saver with plenty of storage. It would make an ideal TV stand and could also be used in a bedroom or an office. It was reported to be both sturdy and easy to put together.
While some IKEA furniture, especially those with drawers, have some negative reviews, those who wrote about this unit said that the drawers work well and don’t have any problems. They can be used to store clothing, toys or other items.
Due to the space saving size, this is ideal for apartments and/or dorm rooms. It provides space for text books, equipment and other college aged needs.
17) KALLAX Shelf unit with 10 inserts, black-brown, 71 5/8x71 5/8 "
This is a very large unit with a great deal of storage. There are no reports of difficulties putting it together, or of the quality of the product. In fact, one customer purchased a second unit and is planning on getting a third.
There may be a few things to keep in mind if you are new to IKEA products. One is to consider having a rubber mallet on hand and perhaps a power drill. Larger units can take more work to put together. This is also most likely at least a two person build. It will take two people to get it upright after putting it together. It may also be wise to consider anchoring it to a wall.
18) KALLAX Shelf unit with doors, black-brown, 30 3/8x57 7/8 "
This unit can be used both horizontally and vertically. It fits in well with other KALLAX units and with LINNMAN tables to make a nice desk/shelf system. It has been used for TV stands, and in one case it was to replace a heavier piece of furniture.
It is easy to put together, but being a larger unit it may require two people for at least part of the building process. It can be used as a dresser, a closet organizer or for those who do crafts. One reviewer uses it to make cosplay costumes.
The reviewers report that this unit is very sturdy, which makes it useful for many reasons. While it can be damaged relatively easily, it would mostly be scratches. The darker units can be repaired with magic marker.
19) KALLAX Shelf unit with 4 inserts, black-brown, 57 7/8x57 7/8 "
There was only one review of this unit, and the reviewer loves it. It is apparently being used as a dresser, although the cubes are much preferred over dresser drawers. It would definitely make it easier to store bulky clothing, bed clothes and so forth.
It is easy to put together and fairly sturdy unit. More inserts could be purchased separately to add more functionality. It can also be used for books, crafting materials and any other need. It may be ideal for a child’s bedroom, especially if the child has project that might look nice on display. This is definitely a two person build, as it will take help in getting it upright.
20) KALLAX Shelf unit, black, white, 30 3/8x57 7/8 "
This unit had mixed reviews. Most of them were great, but a few people did have some problems. The unit has been used for a lot of different purposes, and some are very imaginative. As an example, a couple of reviewers are using this unit horizontally as a buffet for their dining rooms.
Another reviewer is a homeschooling family. They needed a desk unit, so purchased a desk to go along with it. It is great for holding textbooks, binders and other study materials. Crafters love it as well. Yarn, cloth and other materials can be stored easily in the unit.
This is a two person build and it is important to have a rubber mallet. Most of the negative reviews came from people using the wrong type of hammer on it. Experienced IKEA builders already know to have one on hand.
Choosing The Best IKEA KALLAX Furniture
KALLAX furniture does require some knowledge of how to build IKEA furniture. Most of it does need two people in order to build it, and the taller pieces should be wall mounted. This is not just for the stability of the unit. It is a safety precaution, especially when young children are around.
The materials used are recycled and/or recyclable. Wood is sustainably harvested, the plastic is recycled and the metal can be recycled. Most of the furniture is sturdy enough to withstand moving; either to a new home or from one room to another. If there are any questions or concerns, IKEA is willing to work with customers to get them resolved.