IKEA MALM Dresser - UPDATE - RECALL

IKEA has recalled its MALM dresser after multiple child deaths due to the instability of this furniture item.  Link to the company's website below for instructions on how to receive a full refund of your MALM dresser:

 

http://www.ikea.com/us/en/about_ikea/newsitem/062816-pr-chest-and-dressers

 

Below is the original blog post from July 27, 2015 about the hurdles encountered when securing the MALM dresser given the restraint kit provided by IKEA.

Beneath the mass of stickers on this dresser, you will find my 4 year-old son's IKEA Malm dresser.  Yes, the same one that has been in the news lately.  The Malm tips over very easily if it is not secured to the wall.  It came with restraints which is great right?  Not exactly.  Let me walk you through the steps we had to take to secure this dresser to the wall.

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My son helped us assemble and secure this dresser to the wall the day we bought it.  He was 2 years-old at the time and is now about to turn 5.  After we assembled it, we quickly realized the anchor locations provided were spaced approximately 20" apart. Unfortunately for us (and everyone else in the US), homes typically have stud wall spacing at 16" apart.  Since anchors should always be fastened to studs, the anchor locations provided simply would not work.  

We did use the anchors provided.  However, in order to securely fasten this piece of furniture to the wall, we took the following steps:

  1. Decided where we wanted the dresser
  2. Found the closest stud(s) behind the desired location
  3. Cut a strip of 3/4" wood approximately 4" wide 
  4. Aligned the wood strip to be at the height of the anchors
  5. Secured the wood to wall studs 
  6. Secured the anchors to the wood (with longer screws than what were provided with the dresser)

The result is the dresser is secured to the wood and the wood is secured to the studs in the wall.  We have found it to be a very secure connection.

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Wood shown attached to studs in the wall

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1 of 2 interior anchors attached to the wood & dresser

(behind the top drawer which is pulled all the way out)

 

Securing furniture is not always simple or straight forward.  If it doesn't seem right, ask questions!  Please be wary of any restraints you receive with furniture.  It is impossible for the furniture company to know the situation in your house.  What they provide may not work for you.  The instructions above may not work for you.  It just depends.  Hopefully this gives you an imaginative perspective and helps you think through the next time you need to secure furniture. 

As always, if you need our assistance, we are here to help!  

Please secure it!

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