Ikea Hacks – Malm Slats

If you have the Ikea Malm bed, you probably know the slats kind of suck.  From what I can tell from about 10 minutes of googling at 2:30 am a few weeks ago after the slats fell through for the 3rd or 4th time that week, if the bed it’s set perfectly square (rectangle?), the slats will fall out with very little movement.  Being wide awake and unable to sleep, I found Mike is Bored’s version of the Malm fix and sent it over to my hubby who went pretty much right back to sleep after we fixed the bed (lucky duck!).

The next day when I got back from work, the hubby shared with me his method for how he fixed our Malm.  I’m sharing with you because it’s been a week and the bed slats have not fallen through again (knock on wood!) and we haven’t had any problems with the bed.  Also – this fix is perfect for people like us who are going to move again.  We are renters and wanted a solution that we could take apart easily and reassemble easily after we move.  Most other fixes I saw were more permanent.  This one is definitely easy to remove and cheap to reassemble at your new home 🙂

Supplies:

The hubby bought a staple gun (Lowe’s, $30), 3 tri-fold poster boards (Michael’s, $4/each), and the foam pad (Michael’s, $10).  The hubby notes that there was no need for this much foam, but he couldn’t find anything smaller.  We also bought a brand new set of Malm slats (Ikea, $50), this time going for the flat slats instead of the curved ones.  The Ikea employees said these are the sturdier style and I personally think if you are buying a Malm bed, just get them because it’s easier to make some hacker style improvements with the flat ones.  He also used a tape measure, xacto knife, and scissors that we already had at home.

One of the big Malm problems is the fact that the bed slats are split.  Great for moving the bed and the parts but really bad for a solid frame.  Also – we use phone books to support the middle of the midbeam.    We had issues with the old one bending at that point, none after we added the phone books.

Step one was to take a section of the tri-fold board and staple down over the boards.  Instead of taking the approach in our inspiration project, the hubs decided to install the cardboard over the slats themselves with a staple gun.  We’ve noticed that the straps on the slats (say that 10 times fast), aren’t very secure and don’t hold the tension.  Now we have good tension, problem #1 solved.

He made four separate panels with the board on the bed frame.  This is where the big modification he made to the inspiration approach is visible.  To eliminate the gap between the set of slats that allows them to slip, he put a piece of foam between each set of slats.  Here’s a close up:

Now, the foam keeps the slats from having any slip and keeps them snug – without permanently attaching them to each other or to the bed.  We can easily pull the foam out to replace it if it becomes too compressed and we notice slip in the slats or when it’s time to move.  Also since the cardboard is installed to each individual set of slats and in 2 pieces and we can fold at the open joint to move.

So there you have our pretty cheap Ikea hack.  It was worth every penny now that the slats don’t slip out of place and we haven’t been woken up at 2:30am again 🙂   Let us know if you try this or have any other tips for hacking the Malm!

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