New research reveals the best place to buy flat pack furniture - and it's not IKEA

This flatpack retailer has received the smallest number of negative comments

A new study has revealed that Next is the UK’s best homes brand for flat-pack furniture in terms of reliability and ease to put together.

Related: 8 best sofas 2021 - sitting pretty on the most stylish seating

Flatpack furniture is an unfortunate reality off shopping for homeware. It is convenient to buy and get home, but putting it together is often another story. 

Research by GTSE found that based on the number of negative social media comments Next is one of the most reliable brands for easy to put together flat-pack furniture. The research used data over the last year to look at the number of negative social media posts aimed at 16 of the UK’s biggest high street and online retailers.

wooden flooring with potted plants and mirror

(Image credit: Next)

Next received just 16 complaints from customers on social media in the last 12 months. Budget hero homeware brand Wilko came in second place. While it racked up almost four times as many negatives comments about its flat-pack furniture, it still only received a meagre 73 comments in the whole year. 

Dunelm one of our other favourites scored a similarly low complaints score, occurring just 91 complaints within the last year. For the latest homeware buys take a look at what is new in at Dunelm.  

Wickes and Habitat came in fourth and fifth position. Rounding out the eight number one flat-pack retailers was Argos, Oak Furnitureland and eBay. 

room with cat potted plant grey sofa set

(Image credit: Next)

If you are wondering where the flat-pack giant IKEA had landed on the list, the survey revealed that they had built up 28,494 negative complaints in the last year. However, it is important to put that number into perspective, over 224 million people shopped at IKEA last year.

‘With flat-pack furniture, the main issues often include the absence of straightforward instructions or the furniture taking too long to build,’ says  Tom Armenante, Ecommerce Director at GTSE. ‘Alternatively, customers may have suffered bad customer service, or a sluggish online shopping experience, which prompted them to express their grief via social media.

room with white chair flower vase

(Image credit: Next)

‘For those looking to buy self-assembly furniture, before making the purchase, we’d always recommend reading the reviews to see what other customers have to say,' he advises.

Related: Your consumer rights when buying a sofa - what to do if you've bought a faulty sofa

'Not only that, but it’s important that you have the right equipment in your home to help you build your furniture - some retailers will often state what’s needed, so it’s best to doublecheck.'

Rebecca Knight
Deputy Editor, Digital

Rebecca Knight has been the Deputy Editor on the Ideal Home Website since 2022. She graduated with a Masters degree in magazine journalism from City, University of London in 2018, before starting her journalism career as a staff writer on women's weekly magazines. She fell into the world of homes and interiors after joining the Ideal Home website team in 2019 as a Digital Writer. In 2020 she moved into position of Homes News Editor working across Homes & Gardens, LivingEtc, Real Homes, Gardeningetc and Ideal Home covering everything from the latest viral cleaning hack to the next big interior trend.