Tuesday, May 21, 2013

In the blue corner....

Helmer vs. Melmer.  The battle of the storage.  Which is better for you?

First, let me start by explaining how I ended up with both.  One magical day, the nail polish switch turned on in my head.  I had a few bottles but not really many.  But something happened one day; maybe I just realized how awesome polish was, I don't know, but I knew I had to have more.  I first starting storing my bottles in an old Caboodles traincase that I got from Walgreen's a few years ago.  It was a really big one, which I think they no longer sell.  It didn't work out for me and so I moved up to some cheap Target dorm furniture.  But the drawers were too big and so I decided to get something which would more suitably fit most polish bottles.  I really (reaaaally) wanted a Helmer.  The problem?  I live no where near an Ikea.  It was out of the question to travel to one for this sole purpose and also out of the question to ship it since shipping was half the cost the piece itself.  The reality of it also was that I really didn't (still don't) need so much storage.  I decided to compromise and go with another popular storage solution: The Melmer.

What is a Melmer?

Put simply, it is a scrap booking and craft storage solution. It's affectionate nickname comes from it's Helmer like resemblance combined with the store of purchase: Michael's.  It's true name is JetMax cubes, or Recollections storage (Recollections is actually a collection of scrap booking storage).  You can find this both at Michael's and probably Hobby Lobby (though I cannot confirm this personally).  If you are in want of it, simply ask a sales associate where the scrap book storage supplies are.  Sometimes a store is out, so you may have to ask specifically for the three drawer set so that someone can help you.

The Melmer is made of a composite wood.  It is fairly sturdy and quite heavy.  I believe it only comes in white but I'm sure you could paint it if your heart desired.  You must assemble it all yourself but I found it fairly easy to do.  One recommendation that I've seen (unfortunately after I built my own) is to use wood glue in addition to the included screws.  I do imagine this would help the life of this little cabinet, especially since polish is so heavy.  Additionally, you can stack Melmers upon Melmers to create ones the same height or taller than a Helmer.  Kind of a cool feature.

Recently, I found myself in a big(ish) city with an Ikea.  I took advantage of this and checked to see if they had Helmer's and if they had the color I wanted.  And they did.  That's how I ended up with both.

What is a Helmer?

It is a storage solution found at Ikea stores and Ikea online.  I have often wondered what Ikea was thinking when they came up with the Helmer.  I mean, what did they expect people to store in those tiny drawers?  They look like filing cabinets but you can't possible file any papers in them upright.  It's baffling to me personally, but hey, they work for polish and so I love them.

The Helmer comes in three colors: white, red and silver.  I would check online for the color before heading out to a store because you may come up empty handed.  You can also have it shipped for an additional $20.  It is made of a sheet metal (I believe it is aluminum but I don't know for sure).  It is quite heavy, I believe it weighed 29 lbs in the box. I think you can paint these, although I would look online at what and how others have done it before embarking on that.  At six drawers vs Melmer's three, it holds a significant amount more polish.

I really wanted to measure out drawer dimensions, but I walked around the house about 4 times and couldn't find the tape measurer.  I hope the photos will still help one decide.

The Melmer has a much wider drawer but the Helmer is longer.

Not a lot longer, but maybe one bottle of polish width wise longer.

But you can see the Melmer looks about two bottles wider across.

Also, the Melmer has taller drawers. It's hard to tell in these photos, but that bottle of Sephora by OPI is in it's box.  The lip of the face of the drawer is well above the box in the Melmer (above), but in the Helmer, the box actually is taller than the face of the drawer (below).

I apologize for the blurriness but you can still see what I'm talking about.  The bottle is taller than the drawer.

BUT...it still fits when you close the drawer.

This is the tallest bottle I have so I can't show you anything that would fit in a Melmer that won't fit in a Helmer.  I'm not really sure anything would fit in one but not the other; who knows?

I can't compare the durability of one verses the other because I just got the Helmer and haven't started using it yet.  It does seem like it will hold up just fine though once in use.  One other benefit to the Helmer? It comes with those casters you keep seeing in my pics.  I'm putting them on tomorrow because I'll need to wheel it around.  Pretty nifty if you ask me.

Price wise, they are similar, with the Melmer running around $40 regular price but easily had at around $20.  So for the same number of drawers, you'll have paid about the same amount of money. It depends on what you like more.  I think I like the looks of the Helmer better, but the Melmer has and will continue to serve me well.

Please ask me any questions if you have any.  I am more than happy to measure these out but I need to find a tape measurer to do so.  I hope this helps someone.

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