One of the easiest ways to upgrade Ikea furniture is to add some stylish legs. You can turn something as basic as an Ikea Kallax shelf unit into a stunning mid-century sideboard just by adding some gorgeous tapered legs (as you can see below!)
There are so many great, ready made furniture legs available to buy that make the job really easy. But you can also make your own relatively simply if you feel like getting your hands dirty!
Here we aim to give you the knowledge of what different types of legs you can use and how to add them to your Ikea furniture.
This article is part of a collection of Essential Ikea Hacks Knowledge that is designed to help you carry out your Ikea hacks the right way every time.
Let’s dive into the subject of furniture legs!
The Ten Top Types of Legs
I’ve chosen ten types of legs to keep the list succinct. There are so many variations of legs out there that I could really go on forever, but these are my favorite choices and are the most popular and widely available out there.
These come in all sorts of sizes, materials and with different feet and angle of fitting.
Basically, as with all of the types of legs, it comes down to what you want to achieve by adding the legs. If it’s to create a desk or a dining table the you’ll want a certain (fairly long) length of leg. If you are just raising a Malm dresser off the floor then you might want a short leg.
Tapered legs work really well when you’re after a mid-century look. You can achieve different styles by having the legs fitted vertically or at a slight angle. You can also get them with metal feet (or ferules) in a variety of different metals such as brass, copper, etc.
Tapered legs can be bought either new or second hand, just make sure they come with fixing brackets so you can just screw the legs to the base of your Ikea furniture.
These legs are a brilliant way to add a bit of elegance to a project and are probably my favorite.
Hairpin legs are increasing in popularity and are widely available. They are simply made from bent steel bar and come in either two or three bar styles. You can get them in various finishes such as black, white, brass and copper.
You can get the whole range of lengths to suit to use of the furniture you’re hacking.
Like the tapered legs, they are just screwed to the underside of your Ikea furniture and so are a nice easy way to upgrade your legs.
These are short, stumpy legs that are just aimed at giving a little height to a piece of furniture. It makes a big difference to the look of a dresser if it is raised off the floor slightly. A Malm is a great piece of Ikea furniture, but the fact that it just sits on the floor kind of detracts from it’s look so an easy hack is to raise it up on some short legs.
The most common style actually looks like a bun! But you can get them square, triangular, hexagonal, etc.
These normally come with an embedded screw or bolt that you just fix to the underside of your Ikea furniture.
You can even easily make your own by cutting squares of wood and using a dowel screw (basically a double ended screw – and no, this is not THAT kind of site!)
Tubular Steel Frame Legs
I love these industrial style legs that you can get in the shape of virtually any letter of the alphabet it seems! A-frame, X-frame, H-frame, Z-frame, you name it!
They are basically pre-made table legs of tubular (usually square or rectangular section) steel welded together in a certain shape. They are generally available in various finishes.
These are a great way to switch up the legs of Ikea furniture or to add a bit of industrial style to your Ikea hack.
Queen Anne Legs
To achieve a more traditional look you can’t beat a Queen Anne leg!
These gorgeous, curved legs comes in a range of lengths and are relatively inexpensive for the amount of style you get!
You will generally get these in unfinished hardwood so you might want to add a stain and/or varnish finish to them, or paint them to match the Ikea furniture you’re adding them to.
Wrought Iron Fretwork Legs
If you want a bit more of a fancy look, try out these wrought iron effect chrome legs that fit to the corners of your Ikea furniture.
They add a bit of traditional style and are certainly a bit different to everything else!
For a great industrial look you could add some large castors to your Ikea furniture, the kind that lock are best so that your furniture doesn’t go wandering!
For something a bit more elegant you could go for a smaller swivel ball castor which you can find in a variety of metals such as chrome, brass, copper, etc.
The added bonus of the castors is that they obviously make your Ikea furniture more mobile so they are great for multi-purpose furniture, bar carts, kids play tables, etc.
Copper/Steel Pipe Legs
If you fancy a bit of DIY you can easily make legs from either copper pipe or steel pipe. The copper is much easier to work with as it cuts more easily and is cheaper.
With copper you can also bend it to create interesting shapes, but you’d need some special euipment (either a bending spring and some way to heat the pipe or a set of pipe benders).
I love these legs, although they are a bit pricey. They simply clamp on to any surface you wish to use as a table so they are great for temporary tables and desks.
Even if you use them permanently they are a really cool, industrial look.
Find out about them at Tiptoe Legs.
Another great DIY option is to make your legs out of plywood. You can cut plywood to shape very easily and when you’re starting with a blank sheet of plywood the world is your oyster!
I would recommend using at least 18mm (3/4″) plywood, perhaps 25mm (1″) for heavy furniture. Also, if you want it too look pleasing then go for Birch plywood which has the nice stripey edges that everyone likes!
That’s a great list of legs to choose from and any one of them will help you create a amazing piece of furniture from your Ikea hack.
I hope this helps make it easier for you to add legs to Ikea furniture in the future.