27 September 2013

IKEA Vrijdag: Vilmar Stoel/Chair Update

I recently received an e-mail from a reader with a question about an IKEA Vrijdag review I did last December for the Vilmar Stoel/Chair. Of course I'm happy to give more information, and then I realized that it would be a great way to give an update about this piece of furniture.

Vilmar Stoel/Chair 

 So without further ado, here is the question I received from Sherry K. about the Vilmar:

I was reading your December 2012 post about the Ikea Vilmar chairs and I am wondering how your chairs have held up since then? I purchased four of them on the weekend and am a bit worried at how the legs seem to splay when someone sits in them. I am worried this will only get worse with time and am wondering if I should return them.
A Google search for "Vilmar chair reviews" led me to your blog. I appreciate any help you can give.
Thank you,
Sherry K.

This is something I also noticed when putting the chairs together: After putting the chairs together, as soon as an adult sat down the legs splayed out, just as they are doing for Sherry now. But by the time I wrote the review in December, the problem had already diminished to the point of being hardly noticeable, which is why I think I forgot to include that information in my initial review. I actually had to go and sit and watch what happened to see if this was still occurring. It seems like after regular use the chairs "settle" so that the legs are no longer under as much stress as when you first sit on them after putting them together. I am comfortable continuing to use them, and I don't worry about the immediate durability of the legs. 

I would gauge the lifespan of these chairs to be about 5 years - this is purely a guess on my part based on the materials and the "feel" I get from using the chairs over the last year. Like many of the less expensive items at IKEA, I think these chairs are meant to be used as a "starter" kitchen, or one that may be moved around frequently, and are of lesser quality than some of the store's other costlier options.

As with any heavily-used piece of furniture (especially on wood, laminate, or tile flooring), I would recommend using some sort of floor protector pad like the Fixa - though please note from my Fixa review that that the pads are slightly too big for the Vilmar's feet (use a pair of scissors or look for a smaller pad).

The Life in Dutch rating for the Vilmar Stoel/Chair remains at 3 Swedish meatballs on our 5 meatball scale. I feel that the initial rating has held up and is still an accurate depiction of the construction process and quality. Many thanks to Sherry K. for her question and agreeing to let me use her e-mail for this update - I hope this update is helpful for others as well.

Do you have a specific question about one of the reviewed IKEA products and how it's held up since the review? Please let me know in the comments or via e-mail at lifeindutch AT gmail DOT com.

Life in Dutch Updated Rating for Vilmar Stoel/Chair:


  1. I am so glad I read this as I will be getting some Ikea furniture after I move and will be looking for various reviews etc. I have had Ikea thnings before and they have lasted remarkably well (about 10 years) but I got rid of it all and will be starting again!

    1. Great Article. Thank you for sharing! Really an awesome post for every one.

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  2. Some of there things do really well, others not so much. And the reviews are helpful because the floor models out in the stores are the "best of the best" so sometimes it's hard to gauge the quality based on what you see in the stores. But it will be really fun to decorate and start fresh!

  3. Tina Langlois14 July, 2014 15:33

    I am really wanting to buy these chairs. I am still debating. I have 2 kids. 7 & almost 2. Wondering if they would hold up with daily use of kids at the kitchen table?

  4. Hi and thanks for your comment! These chairs are deceptively sturdy, especially when you look at how skinny the legs are. My son was almost 3 when we bought them, and nearly 2 years later, they're still in excellent condition in spite of his hopping/jumping on and off. We even have his friends over frequently and the chairs are holding up. That being said, as well as they withstand kid-use I think these are short-term chairs. I don't know that they'll withstand more than another 3-4 years use, but I'll just have to wait and see.

    For your almost 2 year old, I would recommend a booster seat on the chair or continuing to use a high chair because the chairs are a smooth surface that could be slick under the feet and may just be too far from the table top. I'd also recommend putting the little pads on the feet of the chairs because they will scratch the floor, especially with kids pushing them all over the room. And you can always check them out in the store and see how they feel. Good luck with your decision!

  5. Asis Gochhayat Bapi16 September, 2014 07:20

    Some of there things do really well, others not so much. And you can always check them out in the store and see how they feel.


  6. Asis Gochhayat Bapi18 September, 2014 06:59

    I am so glad I read this as I will be getting some Ikea furniture after I move and will be looking for various reviews etc.as well as they withstand kid-use I think these are short-term chairs. I don't know that they'll withstand more than another 3-4 years use, but I'll just have to wait and see.

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  7. Hi, could you offer some advice on putting them together, please? I have tried and the legs are uneven. Thanks

  8. Hi and thanks for stopping by. My best recommendation when putting together any kind of IKEA product is this: When screwing in a piece that requires screws at opposite ends, don't screw one in all the way followed by the other. Instead, screw the first about half way, then screw the other about half way, then screw each a little further in (going back and forth to each screw) until they're both all the way in. That usually helps reduce some of the unevenness between the two sides. The Vilmar's will probably still be a bit wobbly/uneven in the beginning, but they tend to settle after a bit of regular use. Ours were uneven and wobbly for a month or so but we no longer have any problems. Hope that helps!

  9. has anyone found any good padding solutions for the Vilmar chairs?

  10. They are uneven due to the threaded inserts not pressed into the wood all the way. Look and you will see one sticking up out of the wood. no fix, I returned mine. The skinny legs also vibrate-scrape horribly. Vilmar is a bad time.

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