If you’re like millions of budget-minded furniture shoppers, you probably have at least one piece of Ikea furniture in your home. The pieces have long been the go-to for students, apartment-dwellers, and anybody without the funds or the ability to buy or transport more traditional furniture, because they were built to be lightweight, flat-packed and affordable. What we’re all learning this week, however, is that if that furniture is one of Ikea’s popular chests or dressers, it wasn’t built for safety— and that means 29 million of them are being recalled. Watch this report from Inside Edition for an overview of the situation, than read on for more details and what to do if you have one of these dressers in your home.
Let’s start by addressing the most important question you have right now: do you have one of these dressers in your home? A full list of potentially unsafe products can be found here on Ikea’s website, but the voluntary recall is mainly focused on the MALM line of dressers, which includes:
- MALM 3-drawer, sold between October 2002 and June 2016
- MALM 4-drawer, sold between June 2002 and June 2016
- MALM 5-drawer, sold between October 2002 and April 2006
- MALM 31 ½-inch 6-drawer, sold between June 2002 and June 2016
- MALM 15 ¾-inch 6-drawer, sold between April 2006 and June 2016
- MALM 63-inch 6-drawer long, sold between November 2002 and June 2016
So why are they being recalled? As stated in Ikea’s press release, they “are unstable if they are not properly anchored to the wall, posing a tip-over and entrapment hazard that can result in death or injuries to children.” Tragically, that’s exactly what happened, as NPR reports:
In 2014, two children, both around 2 years old, died in tip-over accidents involving Ikea’s Malm dressers. The next year, the company launched a program offering free wall-mounting kits to consumers and encouraging them to attach dressers to the wall.
But in February, a third child, a 22-month-old boy in Minnesota, died after a Malm chest fell on top of him.
His family was renting their apartment, the Star Tribune reports, and were not allowed to put holes in their walls, as Ikea’s wall-mounting kits require.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, or CPSC, notes that there have been other tip-over incidents as well, including three earlier deaths involving other models of Ikea furniture, and dozens of accidents that did not result in deaths.
Now, after the third death in two years, Ikea and the CPSC have announced that Malm — and other models of tall dressers — are now being recalled. Consumers can still ask for a free wall anchoring kit, but they can also opt for a refund for their furniture. Ikea is providing full refunds for dressers purchased after 2002, and partial store credit for older furniture.
So what should you do if you have one or more Ikea dressers in your home?
How to Handle the Ikea Furniture Recall
- Determine if you own one of the affected pieces of furniture by checking the list above or here.
- If your dresser is on the list, immediately stop using it and remove it from any child-accessible areas.
- Participate in the recall by returning the dresser(s) to your local Ikea for a full refund. Items purchased before 2002 will be partially refunded. If you cannot bring the dresser to Ikea yourself, call toll free at (866) 856-4532 and Ikea representatives will come to your home and remove it, free of charge.
- If you prefer to keep your dresser, anchor it securely to your wall. You can obtain a free anchoring kit by visiting your local Ikea or ordering one online here. If you need assistance, somebody from Ikea will come anchor it for you; call toll-free at (866) 856-4532 to make an appointment.
- If you have any questions, you can contact Ikea by emailing [email protected] or calling (866) 856-4532 from 9 a.m. to 12 midnight ET.
- Warn your children not to climb on furniture, and keep them away from any top-heavy pieces.
As always, stay safe, and stay smart.
For more information on the recall, check out: