Every now and then I make an update to our home (or something in it) and don’t intend to dedicate an entire blog post to it. Then, over time, I rack up questions or comments about said change, and a full post becomes warranted. Such is the case with the feet I added to our IKEA Kallax shelves years ago. This is an easy and stylish update to one of IKEA’s most famous items, but you might not be entirely sure how to pull it off (or how well it will last!) So today, I’m breaking down exactly how to put feet, legs, or wheels on an IKEA Kallax shelf, and answering a bunch of questions I’ve received over the years too!

Why Put Feet on an IKEA Kallax?

The IKEA Kallax line of shelves are brilliant in their basic-ness. Their generous cubby size make them a storage powerhouse; and the simple design allows them to work seamlessly with a wide variety of home decor styles.

That said, their simplicity also makes them a prime candidate for a good “hack;” and adding feet is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to customize the cube storage for your space.

Height Adjustment

First and foremost, adding feet to the shelves will give them a little more height. This is especially helpful for any units that are 2 cubbies high (2×2, 3×2, or 4×2). Adding just a few inches of height can make the 30″-tall units more comfortable as tables, consoles, media stands, sideboards, work tables/desks, dressers (with drawer inserts, door inserts, etc) etc.

Kallax shelves in playroom lifted up on furniture feet

Air Flow

If you need to place a unit in a certain place in a room, but it’s over an in-floor vent, you might be concerned about air flow and safety. Adding feet to the unit will allow you to keep that furniture placement but float it above the vent for better circulation.


Depending on the height of the feet, you can gain an additional 4-6″ of extra storage space, which can be helpful for long, flat things like books, puzzles, shoes, etc.

Kallax shelves in playroom lifted up on furniture feet

Additionally, putting wheels underneath Kallax shelves can allow the unit to be mobile, which is helpful in multi-use or craft spaces.


Finally, adding feet to IKEA Kallax shelves can give the basic storage cubbies a whole new look. Instead of boring cubbies sitting right on the floor, feet help the unit look more like actual furniture, making a stronger style statement.

White IKEA Kallax shelf with black triangular feet

Choosing the Right Feet for the IKEA Kallax

Back when I first added feet to our IKEA Kallax shelves, there were very few options. Now, there are lots (and lots) of different styles to choose from at all different price points from retailers such as Amazon and Pretty Pegs.

Whether you’re looking for something sleek and simple or ornate and dramatic, there is one feature the feet must include: screw-in base plates.

Capita mounting hardware on bottom of IKEA Kallax shelves

The bottoms of IKEA Kallax units are perfectly smooth and flat; there are no pre-installed holes for you to screw feet into. As such, any feet you want to secure to the unit must have their own (flat) base plate that can be screwed into the bottom of the shelves.

Screwing Capita feet into bottom of IKEA Kallax shelves

I have long used IKEA’s own Capita feet because they are cheap, sleek, and easy-to-install. But below are some other stylish legs to consider that have the same mounting mechanism.

4″ Capita Feet

6″ Capita Feet

Tapered Furniture Feet

Square Furniture Feet

Round Furniture Feet

Short Metal Furniture Feet

External Furniture Feet

Adjustable Furniture Feet

A Note About Triangular Feet

A type of furniture feet you might consider are triangular feet (like shown below). These feet are especially sleek and stylish, and they can also give a little more stability to your Kallax.

Black triangular furniture foot

However, keep in mind that the Kallax shelving unit is not perfectly flat on all sides. Depending on how you orient your Kallax, you might end up with an uneven bottom surface, where the sides of your Kallax intersect with the bottom (see below).

Greg screwing black triangular feet to the bottom of IKEA Kallax

While attaching the feet to the outside corners will not be problematic with this height difference, you may end up with a tiny gap of space between the bottom of the unit and the flat foot. The separation is hardly noticeable from a distance but is something to be aware of.

White IKEA Kallax shelf with black triangular feet

Her are some super stylish and affordable triangular-shaped furniture feet that would look great under an IKEA Kallax!

Webbed Triangular Feet

Striped Triangular Feet

Tall Triangular Feet

Hairpin Triangular Feet

Adjustable Triangular Feet

Metal Triangular Feet

Modern Triangular Feet

Swirl Triangular Feet

IKEA’s (New) Kallax Bases

Quite recently, IKEA released their own base for the Kallax unit. They come in both 29″ wide (for 2 cubby wide orientation) and 57″ wide (for 4 cubby wide orientation) and black and white color schemes. While I have not personally used these bases; as you might expect, the unique hardware attachment creates a much more seamless and sturdy installation.

TIP! Even if you don’t live near an IKEA store, they now deliver. If you’re looking for a sleek and sturdy feet option for your Kallax, the IKEA bases are definitely worth considering!

29″ IKEA Kallax Base

57″ IKEA Kallax Base

Supplies Needed

To attach feet to an IKEA Kallax shelf, you will need:

  • IKEA Kallax Shelving Units – any size, color
  • Furniture Feet with mounting baseplate (see above)
  • Drill with (thin) Drill Bit
  • 3/4″(ish) Screws – usually included with your furniture feet
  • Electric Screwdriver
  • Tape Measure
  • Level – sometimes feet will come with an adjustable mechanism to help level it on uneven floors

How to Put Feet on an IKEA Kallax

The following instructions cam be used to attach (almost) any feet to an IKEA Kallax unit:

Step 1 – Identify Placement of Legs

Start by determining where you want your legs to be on the base of your Kallax. Unless you are using triangle-shaped feet (which should be positioned right at the corner of the unit, as shown below), I suggest insetting the feet at least 1″ on all sides.

Black triangular foot on bottom of IKEA Kallax

If you encounter a seam on the base of your unit (where the side and bottom panels meet), you will likely want to place the feet interior to that seam.

Step 2 – Pre-Drill Pilot Holes (Optional)

We’ve have some hardware that screws right into the Kallax surface without any trouble. If this is the case, you do not need to bother pre-drilling.

However, if your screws are not pointed/sharp enough, pre-drilling with a (very) thin drill bit can help your screws go in a little cleaner.

Pre-drilling holes in bottom of Kallax shelves to add wheels

Step 3 – Attach Feet

Using an electric screwdriver, secure the mounting plate to the shelf with the included screws. Repeat on all four corners.

Capita mounting hardware on bottom of IKEA Kallax shelves

TIP! IKEA Kallax units are not made of solid wood but rather MDF/particle board. As such, the screws can spin indefinitely. Insert the screws in slowly so as not to completely shred the interior of the Kallax unit.

If the mounting plate and actual furniture foot are separate pieces, next screw the foot onto the mounted plate.

IKEA Capita legs on the bottom of IKEA Kallax shelves

Step 4 – Level Unit

Some adjustable feet come with “washers,” which can be used to fine-tune the overall height or make the unit level on uneven floors. If needed, place a level on top of the Kallax and add/adjust the washer(s) so that the unit is level to your liking.

Screwing Capita feet into bottom of IKEA Kallax shelves

Step 4 – Put Kallax Back Upright

With all the legs securely attached, flip your unit upright and place it squarely on the feet. If possible, get a partner to help you so that you don’t have to put any pressure on the legs as you tilt it back upright.

Kallax shelves lifted up on furniture feet

FAQ About Putting Legs on IKEA Kallax Shelves

Do You Secure the Kallax to the Wall for Safety?

The feet can make the Kallax shelves a tad more unsteady than if they were sitting flat on the floor (simply because they are higher and don’t have as solid of a base). You may want to consider using the mounting hardware (that comes with the Kallax) to secure the shelves to the wall (especially in kid spaces).

Kallax shelves in playroom lifted up on furniture feet

Will the Shelves (Eventually) Sag?

This is the question I get more than any other. Since the shelves now have open air underneath them (rather than solid floor), will they eventually sag? It very much depends on what you place in the cubbies themselves.

On the (many) shelves, we’ve added feet to, we have not had any huge issue with sagging. While there might be a slight dip over time, we’ve added additional legs (in the center) to any shelves that have a lot of weight in the cubbies.

Kallax shelves in playroom lifted up on furniture feet

Will the Legs Stay Put in the Fiberboard Underframe?

As I’ve mentioned a few times already, IKEA Kallax shelves are not made of solid wood. You will be screwing directly into particle board. This means, that yes, technically, you can probably rip the feet right out (damaging the base of the unit).

While the feet will not be as securely in place as they would be in solid wood, we’ve had zero issue with feet falling off or tearing out.

That said, when we move, we do remove all the feet before the units are loaded into moving trucks, as we’re 100% certain they’d get pulled out if we didn’t.

White IKEA Kallax shelf with black triangular feet

Have You Put Feet On a Large Kallax Unit?

No. We have only put feet on small Kallax units (two cubbies high). If you choose to put feet on the taller units (4×4, 5×5, etc), I would definitely consider adding legs in the middle (to accommodate the added weight) and securing the unit to the wall for safety reasons.

Kallax shelves in playroom lifted up on furniture feet

Without a doubt, this IKEA hack is one of the easiest, cheapest, and most-impactful updates you can make! Installation really is a breeze, and the style upgrade will likely surprise you. If you’ve been wanting to put feet on your IKEA Kallax units, I hope everything I’ve shared here gives you the confidence to go for it!

See You Soon!