How Well Do IKEA Kitchen Cabinets Actually Hold Up? A Very Honest Review 4 Years Later

Hello! Welcome to my honest review of IKEA Kitchen Cabinets, four years after my initial post in 2020. I'm Amanda Holstein, an interior designer based in Mill Valley, California. Five years ago, my husband and...

Hello! Welcome to my honest review of IKEA Kitchen Cabinets, four years after my initial post in 2020. I'm Amanda Holstein, an interior designer based in Mill Valley, California. Five years ago, my husband and I embarked on renovating our first home together. With a limited budget and an estimated 5-7 year stay, we decided to save on cabinetry by choosing IKEA. While the process had its challenges, we were generally satisfied with the outcome and the functionality of our kitchen.

Now, after five years, including a global pandemic, we've truly put our kitchen to the test with extensive use. Here's what we've learned:

The Good News

Nobody can tell they are from IKEA

Nobody can tell they are from IKEA

Our friends, family, and guests have always complimented the appearance of our kitchen, and they are surprised when we reveal that our cabinets are from IKEA. Although a keen eye might detect that the materials are more affordable due to the lighter weight of the doors compared to real wood, overall, they blend in nicely and give our kitchen an elevated look.

We love our layout

We love our layout

The layout we designed using IKEA's 3D Kitchen Planner has proven to be incredibly functional for our daily lives. We are particularly fond of our pantry and trash-pull out, and we wouldn't change or rearrange anything. The three hours spent at IKEA, meticulously deciding on every little detail, have truly paid off.

They've been easy to clean

One pleasant surprise was how easy it is to clean the cabinet doors. They have a smooth finish that wipes clean effortlessly with minimal effort.

The Bad News

Misalignment of doors and drawers Chipping paint

Some doors & drawers have become misaligned

Over time, several doors have slightly shifted out of alignment and feel somewhat flimsy. Our trash pull-out, in particular, experiences frequent use and feels a bit unstable. The upper cabinets, as shown in the above photo, are also noticeably out of alignment.

There is some chipping paint

Due to the misalignment of certain doors, they rub against each other, causing paint to peel in certain areas.

They probably can't withstand kids

In terms of durability, I don't believe these cabinets are sturdy enough for regular use by children. The drawers might not be able to bear the weight of a toddler pulling down on them, and the doors may not survive the constant slamming of teenagers.

Dealing with customer service is challenging

Unfortunately, IKEA's customer service can be quite a hassle to deal with. If a piece breaks or goes missing, I wouldn't recommend wasting your time trying to replace it. We encountered numerous issues and ultimately gave up, resulting in one of our drawers missing a side.

So, are they worth the savings?

Worth the savings For us, the savings were worth it. Opting for IKEA cabinetry saved us a significant amount of money, and we have no regrets in that aspect (our cabinetry and appliance total came to about $6,500). Given our tight renovation budget for our 1800 sq foot house, choosing lower quality cabinets allowed us to allocate our funds to other areas. While we don't expect them to last forever, and we don't have kids adding to their wear and tear, they still look good and serve our needs.

My Final Recommendation

Consider other options If you're planning on using them for the short term, without children, and you're undertaking a budget-conscious renovation or a quick flip, then IKEA cabinets might be worth it. However, with more experience in renovations, I now lean towards recommending options like Granite Expo. They offer slightly pricier but significantly better quality cabinets compared to IKEA, while still being more affordable than custom cabinets. Considering the price difference, this kitchen with IKEA cabinetry cost us $6,500, whereas a similar kitchen from Granite Expo would likely cost around $8,500.

Just for fun, here's a before and after photo to showcase the transformation our kitchen underwent:

Before and After

Thank you for joining me on this IKEA Kitchen Cabinet journey! If you have any further questions or wish to get in touch, you can find me at or on Instagram @amanda_holstein.

*Design and photos by Amanda Holstein