The children's furniture we constantly want to improve
MAMMUT furniture series has been around a while. Since the early 2000s, children around the world have played with these colourful stools, chairs and tables. Made in sturdy, harmless plastic, the functional and useful furniture and is appreciated by both children and their parents. Thanks to new technology and knowledge, we’ve been able to consistently update the furniture to make MAMMUT safer, smarter and more durable.
As a colourful and vibrant sight, you can see the children's furniture in the MAMMUT series in homes and outdoor spaces throughout the world.
Since the series has been so popular, it has remained in our range for quite some time, but it doesn’t mean that we’ve stopped developing the furniture.
Sarah Pattison is an engineer and specialist at Children's IKEA. Besides developing new products, she also works with improving existing products, such as the MAMMUT series. For example, today the tables contain less plastic than when they first appeared in our stores in 2002. The construction is good.
"Thanks to new technology, we could scale away some plastic inside the table top without compromising on its stability. This change hasn’t affected its look, but it means we use less material."
High demands on safe plastic
Plastic has many advantages: dirty chairs and tables can be wiped off and a sudden rain shower is nothing to worry about. All MAMMUT parts are made of polypropylene. It’s a safe and harmless plastic that is also used for food packaging and is particularly suitable for children’s products, explains Sarah, who is a plastics specialist.
"When children play, their skin often comes in contact with things and that’s why the plastic we use at Children's IKEA always meets the world's highest set chemical requirements by a good margin."
But a disadvantage with plastic is that it is slowly broken down by the sun's UV rays, which can affect both colour and quality when using the furniture outdoors ‒ which is exactly where we learned that children were taking them.
"Children don’t always do as adults expect them to," says Sarah with a smile. "When we understood that they like to carry the furniture outdoors, we reinforced the plastic with UV protection, which of course also complies with our chemical requirements."
Safety tests every year
It’s not only the colours, the construction and the quality of MAMMUT that has been updated over the years, the furniture also goes through annual safety tests. Even though the furniture series met all requirements in 2002, Sarah and her colleagues cannot put their feet up and assume that it meets the requirements of today or the future. New knowledge about materials and safety constantly surfaces and needs to be adapted to.
So why has MAMMUT survived for so long? That parents appreciate easy-care, stable and safe children's furniture is understandable, but why do new generations of children constantly keep liking them?
"I think it's the cheerful colours and the appeal of shapes that feel like they came out of a comic book", says Sarah, who has several stools of her own from the series at home. "My daughters have used them for countless teatimes and building play forts over the years."