The Barker Cabinets Vs. IKEA Comparison

The cabinet choice is always a challenge when renovating a kitchen space. Furniture is expensive these days, so it’s only essential that you make the right choice.

A kitchen cabinet does not only elevate the beauty of a kitchen. It enhances your property’s value and serves as storage for food, cooking equipment, and more.

Excitingly, Barker cabinets and IKEA have been the popular names on the lips of most users. And from experience, it’s evident that most people aren’t much into providing reviews for a piece of furniture and you can’t blame them. One cannot truly know a piece of furniture’s durability and quality until after a couple of years.

This post shows the comparison between Barker and IKEA cabinets. Read on!

IKEA Cabinets Vs. Barker – What You Must Know

A quick search online will reveal to you that Barker uses frameless cabinet construction, considered similar to IKEA’s. So, but brands are similar in that aspect. However, they still share some notable differences. Let’s dig deeper.

The Barker Cabinets

Barker has been around since 1978, and that justifies the hype around them. And for a company to have stayed this long, it shows they’re doing things right. Most companies they started with may have folded up.

Barker has a reputation for producing world-class furniture. The company uses hardwood that can withstand the test of time.

Their cabinets are custom-made and ready-to-assemble. They have also received an accolade for their ease of assembling. Anyone can install Barker cabinets without much technical knowledge. What you require is the right tools and direction.

Barker also claims to use only made-in U.S. components and materials, indicating the high standard throughout production. Their source of material also gives the company some credibility.

Their custom-sized cabinets are a favorite of many. Once you place an order, they’ll have the cabinets produced according to specification and shipped to your location.

However, a simple Google search using the term “Barker cabinets” produces search results that confirm the company’s cabinets are top quality. Many are attesting to Barker cabinets as one of the best for the money.

Another eye-catching point is the ease of installation. You’ll also find encouraging comments on how super easy most Barker cabinets’ installation process is.

The IKEA Cabinets

IKEA is a furniture retail company that has been in operation since 1943. The company had been operating in the furniture-making industry long before Barker stepped into the fold.

So, IKEA boasts more experience under its belt. But that doesn’t translate to better quality products, though their kitchen cabinets are top-notch.

IKEA produces and sells ready-to-assemble kitchen cabinets like Barker. They offer kitchen cabinets in a range of colors, styles, and designs. And like Barker, IKEA boasts cabinets for any kitchen style, be it rustic, traditional, or modern.

IKEA’s many years in operation is not so easy to ignore. They also claim to produce smart and touch cabinets, which is evident from the many positive comments that they have had online over the years.

Now, let’s compare both brands to give you a glimpse of how they differ from each other.

The Barker Cabinet VS IKEA Comparison

So, what differentiates IKEA cabinets from Barker’s?

#1: Size option: 

Size is one differentiating factor between IKEA and Barker cabinets. IKEA cabinets boast a limited size option. In other words, they’re only available in 3-inch width increments.

Barker is the opposite. They offer kitchen cabinets in a wide range of sizes, giving users more opportunities to find their match. Barker offers cabinets as small as a quarter of inch increments.

#2: Hinges type: 

You can identify or separate most IKEA cabinets from a Barker cabinet via the type of hinges used. Both brands have a reputation for using a specific kind of hinges over the years. IKEA uses the Blum clip top hinges, while Barker uses Blumotion Clip top hinges.

The Blumotion Clip top hinges boast a shallow drilling depth (11.5mm), making it a wise choice for kitchen cabinets with thin door depths. These hinges also feature top-quality motion. In other words, they’re soft.

So, you’ll come across the Blum Clip top hinges from IKEA, which compares to Barker’s Blumotion Clip top hinges. The Blumotion hinges boast an integrated soft close.

For the records, the Blum and Blumotion Clip top hinges are almost identical. But while Barker hinges have integrated soft close, IKEA doesn’t. You have to clip a door dampener to the hinges to make it soft close.

#3: Wood type: 

The wood choice is another factor that differentiates IKEA and Barker kitchen cabinets. For the records, IKEA cabinet boxes are composed of MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard). IKEA is the largest MDF user in the world.

Barker cabinet boxes boast cabinet-grade plywood. But the exciting part is that MDF and Plywood used by IKEA and Barker, respectively, are made in the United States of America. And both are formaldehyde-free.

So, what’s the difference between MDF used by IKEA and Plywood used by IKEA? It’s simple. The plywood happens to be more water-resistant than the MDF. Additionally, many users also believe that plywood is more appealing than MDF.

So, if you’re in a position to choose between IKEA and Barker cabinets, consider the material used, mainly the wood.

Do you want a cabinet constructed using plywood or MDF? You can also go through the characteristics of both wood types to make an informed decision.

MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard) characteristics:

  • MDF boasts a consistent light brown color
  • MDF does accept screws and nails with ease
  • MDF is denser, smoother, and harder than plywood.
  • MDF can easily split or crack when put under extreme stress
  • It doesn’t have the wood grain appearance that plywood has.
  • The fact that MDF is stiff, stronger, and heavier makes it a bit complicated to use.

A Pro Tip: Why is MDF considered a health hazard? The reason is that the adhesive used to bond the wood fibers that form MDF contains formaldehyde. And in high concentrations, formaldehyde can cause some severe health problems.

However, the amount of formaldehyde MDF contains isn’t high enough to cause any health problems. Thus, it’s safe. There’s no need to panic if you’re using a kitchen cabinet constructed of MDF.

#4: Drawer type: 

IKEA has a reputation for using the Tandem plus drawer, while Barker uses the dovetailed box drawer, which boasts Blumotion slides. Interestingly, both drawers’ mechanism is identical. But you can tell which is dovetailed and which is Tandem when you open both.

Again, the choice of the drawer is a matter of preference. While some prefer IKEA’s Tandem plus drawer, others may choose Barker’s dovetailed drawers. Besides, both cabinets’ drawers boast a soft close.

#5: Warranty: 

IKEA and Barker offer warranties. But most people might prefer IKEA for its more extended warranty. It shows how much trust the company has in its products.

While IKEA offers 25 years warranties, Barker’s warranty is only 5 years.


Barker cabinets Vs. IKEA comparison is what this post focuses on. But let’s get one thing straight. Both brands have done pretty well in their respective capacity.

They both produce quality furniture that offers value for money. And while most people may prefer Barker cabinets for the plywood and other features, others may prefer IKEA’s MDF.

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About the author

I have always been a shopaholic. A lot of times my questions went unanswered when it came to retail questions, so I started Talk Radio News. - Caitlyn Johnson

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