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Hemnes bed frame--review and some assembly tips
on February 14, 2016
First, a word about Ikea. They sell reasonable quality stuff at a good price. Amazon sells Ikea products at a much higher price than Ikea does, even considering Ikea's high picking and shipping fees. Ikea customer service is intentionally terrible. I won't get into the reasons for that, but you should not count on them for much. You get a price break in part because Ikea furniture requires considerable assembly. The assembly instructions are totally non-verbal, that is, they are all pictures, zero written instructions. Don't buy Ikea stuff unless you are comfortable with that. You will get attractive modern furniture, often with Swedish/Euro styling.
I assembled the Hemnes bed with my friend Victor, who is a physicist with exceptional visual-spatial skills. Even so, Victor made a couple of mistakes during assembly. Luckily I caught his errors. I recommend assembling the bed with a partner who double checks your work.
Take your time during assembly. Sort all of your parts into piles--one reviewer recommended putting the parts into separate bins. Read through and visualize the assembly instructions before you begin. Follow each assembly step individually and carefully with meticulous attention to detail. This will minimize structural failures later on. It seems that many negative reviews for this product are the result of not following the assembly instructions carefully. Be sure to tighten all screws completely (WITH THE EXCEPTION OF THE INSTRUCTIONS NOTED BELOW). Ikea screws penetrate just deeply enough to secure the attached item--any looseness will result in mechanical failure later.
Here are the exceptions to the screw tightening rule. The screws attaching the bed corners and cross braces should be loosely secured at first. Tighten just enough to hold the parts in place. Just before you insert the metal brace you must square up the bed. Do this by measuring the diagonal corners. Measure from the rear right corner to the front left corner, and from the rear left corner to the front right corner. The measurements should be equal. If not, move the footboard from side to side to adjust--that's why the aforementioned screws must be a little loose. Tighten all screws when the diagonal measurements are equal. Then insert the metal center brace. You will have a nice squared up bed.
Regarding the metal cross braces: these use self tapping screws. They require a little effort and perseverance. Be patient!
I recommend Ikea slat systems instead of box springs for this bed. Box springs raised my 13" mattress too high on the bed. The Ikea system should set the mattress at just the right height. Important: you need slats or a box spring for this bed. You cannot put a mattress directly on the frame.
Victor and I spent about 1.5 hours assembling the bed, and I now have a comfortable attractive and solid piece of furniture. Time will tell whether the bed will maintain structural integrity--this was a concern with other reviewers. At the risk of repeating myself, I believe that careful thoughtful assembly will maximize your chances of obtaining a solid long lasting bed frame.