IKEA offers some of the cheapest home accessories, ready-to-assemble furniture, and kitchen appliances. IKEA quality is quite good for the price. But compared to other companies, is IKEA cheap?
IKEA is cheap compared to its competitors selling armchairs, tables, and other pieces of furniture. The price is about half of what many competitors offer.
The quality is more than you could expect from products offered at low prices. However, you have to know the right products to buy.
Why is IKEA cheap? IKEA furniture is cheap due to IKEA’s unique ‘flat packing.’ This method lowers costs because customers buy their furniture in pieces and assemble the product themselves.
Read on to learn more about IKEA, the recommended products to buy, and some significant tips when shopping.
Is IKEA Cheap?
IKEA is cheap compared to other stores selling furniture, armchairs, tables, and other home products. The store gives about half the price of what competitors offer. The quality is good considering the low prices. But you have to know the right products to buy.
How cheap is IKEA? As mentioned above, you can buy products at half the price of what IKEA’s competitors offer. Moreover, you can buy a couch for less than $500 at very excellent quality.
Short History About IKEA
IKEA stands for Ingvar Kamprad Elmtaryd Agunnaryd. This acronym stands for the Swedish founder’s initials and the farm he grew up in – Elmtaryd, Agunnaryd. Kamprad established the company in 1943. By 2008, IKEA had become one of the world’s largest furniture retailers. 
IKEA started from small beginnings in Sweden but grew into a multinational conglomerate in the late 1940s.
Around 433 stores exist in 52 countries as of 2019. Products’ expansion, such as home furnishings, furniture, and food, has also added to its popularity. There are around 12,000 products on its website and billions of visitors yearly.
Why Is IKEA Cheap?
Why is IKEA so cheap? The furniture is cheap due to IKEA’s unique ‘flat packing.’ This method cuts costs because customers buy their furniture in pieces and assemble the product themselves.
If you’re starting on your own or buying for your college dorm, you can skimp by purchasing selected items from IKEA. Although some of the products are inexpensive but short-lasting, some products could last up to 7 years with proper care.
Aside from the ‘flat packing’ method, IKEA also has other reasons why they can afford to offer cheaper products:
1. IKEA Observes a Sustainability Strategy
This sustainability strategy utilizes wood coming from IKEA’s 125,000 acres and 450,000 acres of forest in the U.S. and Europe. IKEA launched this project in 2012 to ensure that all woods used to meet the Forest Stewardship Council’s standards.
2. Use of Optiledge System
The Optiledge System, coupled with paper pallets, produces a recyclable product made from 100% virgin densely-impact copolymer polypropylene. The system works as an alternative unit load to the use of a pallet. This method contributed to recyclable materials, reducing the cost of packaging.
3. Use of Renewable Energy
IKEA has used solar panels in around 30 IKEA stores in the U.S. starting 2012. The company owns two wind farms in Cameron Country and in Finland that harness its renewable energy program.
This program reduced the cost of electricity and helped promote environmental-friendly production. The lesser electricity consumed, the cheaper the product cost.
4. Discounts Offered Through a Loyalty Card
If you are a member of the IKEA Family loyalty card, you can get discounts on certain products. You can use this card worldwide at any IKEA store. There are freebies granted to members as well.
5. Cheaper Materials
IKEA uses cheaper materials that is why they could also sell the products at lower prices. Hence, after more expensive materials, IKEA may not be the best option for you.
Pros and Cons of Purchasing at IKEA
- Easy to transport
- Easy to assemble
- Use of recyclable materials
- Easy to store furniture/products
- No harmful lacquer or PVC content
- All home furniture available in one store
- Items’ prices could fit any budget.
- Diverse home products offered at varying prices
- Minimal formaldehyde, chromium, lead, PCP, PCB, and cadmium content
- Introduction of air-inflatable furniture to reduce the use of raw materials
- Some cheap furniture may not last long
- Affordable products but lesser quality
How Long Does IKEA Furniture Last?
On average, IKEA furniture typically lasts from 6 to 7 years. The furniture’s life will also depend on how well you take care of it. If you use the product properly, it could last longer than 7 years.
Note that the more expensive items usually last longer than the cheaper ones.
However, there are various long-lasting items at IKEA that are inexpensive too. You have to be a smart shopper to pick the best items.
What Should You Buy at IKEA?
1. Closet Organizers
You can organize an entire closet for a few hundred dollars. The IKEA guide will help you personalize your closet.
2. Curtains and Pillows
There are superb curtain and pillow designs you could choose from. You may want to match the colors with your room’s overall design and ambiance. Most buyers recommend the Ritva, Matilda, and Lenda curtains. 
3. Kitchen Utensils
Some kitchen utensils are inexpensive but durable. However, do not buy everything for your kitchen. The reason is that there are some unreliable kitchen accessories and appliances.
4. Wine Glasses
The store offers inexpensive and excellent wine and martini glasses that you can use or adorn your dining table. Ensure that you choose something you cannot find in other stores. Otherwise, you could find more durable ones from other sellers with a little additional cost.
5. Artificial Plants
The plants look real, and IKEA offers them at low prices. You could adorn some corners of your house with the much-needed green to prep it up. Artificial plants could also provide a respite for tired eyes.
IKEA’s Billy bookcases are awesome additions to your home. You could assemble the bookcase in your kid’s room or in the living room to add a homely and smart ambiance to drab areas in your house.
7. Art Decors
You would be surprised to find unique art decors at IKEA that could brighten up your room. You have to be patient to explore, though, as you may have difficulty finding them.
What Should You Not Buy at IKEA?
Most mattresses are usable and dirt cheap, but you can buy better mattresses from other sources at almost the same price.
Some of the kitchenware pieces are good, but you can buy excellent knives from specialized kitchenware companies.
3. Sheets and Towels
The sheets and towels offer beautiful designs that you could match with your bathroom’s color. However, some buyers complain about the rough texture of these items. Hence, if you want extra-softness, you will have to ensure that you have tested the texture before buying.
4. Malm Dressers
Malm dressers without anchors can be dangerous to children. It’s best to purchase other types of dressers if you have small kids in your household. IKEA now provides an anchor for dressers that could easily topple over.
5. Phone Chargers
Phone chargers are cheap at IKEA, but some buyers noted that the chargers they purchased were prone to overheating and melting.
Again, is IKEA cheap? IKEA is well-known for its cheap products, such as the following:
- Furniture, and
- Other household items.
The prices are significantly lower than what competitors offer. The quality is good enough to last for a few months considering the cheap product p. However, you may want to know what right products to buy.
Next, here are some tips when you go shopping at IKEA.
Tips for Shopping at IKEA
1. Prepare Your List Beforehand
Prepare a numbered list of what you want to buy before shopping. IKEA stores are usually huge. It will take you forever to shop if you don’t have a list. You can put a checkmark for each purchased item to proceed smoothly.
You could also use notepads, pencils, and measuring tapes that the store provides at the entrance. The store also provides a catalog, a map, and a shopping bag or cart. You would need these materials to help you out.
Either way, you have to prepare your list first. Write down the product’s shelf number and aisle number to facilitate your shopping.
2. You Can Shop Online
You can shop online if there are no nearby IKEA stores.  The advantage of shopping online is that you can do it in the convenience of your room. Nevertheless, it is best to inspect the furniture personally before buying it.
3. Learn About IKEA’s Four Major Areas
IKEA’s store provides four areas:
- Self-serve warehouse, and
You can find décor accessories in the marketplace, such as dishes, pillows, fabric, curtains, and similar items.
The showroom provides a display of assembled furniture where you can view and choose the product you may want to buy. Take note of the price and where to find the furniture. You can then proceed to the self-serve warehouse.
- Pick up your product choice in the warehouse. Refer to the information you have obtained from the showroom to find your item’s correct aisle;
- You can then proceed to the checkout counter, where you will pay for your purchase and bring it home; and
- You may prefer your purchase delivered to your doorstep, but you may have to pay additional charges for the service.
4. Remember to Take a Snapshot of the Price Tag
The price tag contains important information about the product, such as shelf number, aisle number, color, size, materials, and other useful data. You could also write down the information on your notepad for future reference.
5. IKEA Offers Free Expert Consultation
In cases when you want to furnish an entire room or house, you may want to seek help or advice from experts in the field. The consultant will help you in planning and designing your place within one hour for free.
You can also utilize the planning tools IKEA provides for customers on its website. Use the 3D tools in planning your kitchen, wardrobe, room, bathroom, or office design.
If you want assistance from salespeople, you can find them at blue and yellow information booths around the showroom or the showroom’s center aisle desk.
6. IKEA Serves Food Too
You don’t need to go out to eat when hunger strikes during shopping since you could satiate your hunger pangs during shopping as the store provide a bistro and a main self-serve restaurant typically located by the checkout counter. You may want to taste the delicious food the store offers.
7. Become a Member of the IKEA Family Program for Discounts
If you want to get product discounts, you could sign up for the IKEA Family Program. It’s free to join. IKEA restaurants offer free hot tea or coffee for Loyalty Family cardholders, a 90-day price-protection privilege, and many more perks.
8. IKEA Provides Kid’s Småland for Shopping Parents
You could bring your kids when shopping at IKEA as the store provides a supervised kid’s area where your children from 4 to 10 years old can play. Your child gets an hour of free play time while you shop.
Some IKEA stores offer free combo meals worth $2.99 on a certain day of the week. Verify with your local store about this free offer.
9. Be on the Lookout for Free Events
IKEA regularly holds promotional events all year round. You can request a catalog mailed to you so you can take note of promos and freebies.
The catalog could provide designs and decorating ideas to prop up your home. It will also help you prepare a list to purchase from your local store.
10. Know What to Purchase and Not to Purchase
Be aware of some items that most customers don’t want to purchase from the store. Learn about the items that buyers recommend for purchase from the store as well. You may want to refer to the list mentioned above.
Conclusion – Is IKEA Cheap? Why Is IKEA so Cheap?
IKEA is cheap compared to other stores selling home furniture and the like. You can purchase products about half the price of what other sellers offer.
The product’s quality is good considering the low prices. Nevertheless, you have to know what products to buy and what not to buy.
What is good about IKEA products is that they are environmental-friendly and contain less harmful materials.
The company has a website where you can conveniently shop online in the comforts of your home. You may want to utilize the various customer assistance centers to shop for your items quickly.
Shopping at IKEA’s vast stores is an adventure in itself. Learn all the tips and enjoy your shopping experience.
Again, here are some valuable tips when shopping at Ikea:
- Prepare Your List Beforehand
- You Can Shop Online
- Learn About IKEA’s Four Major Areas
- Remember to Take a Snapshot of the Price Tag
- IKEA Offers Free Expert Consultation
- IKEA Serves Food Too
- Become a Member of the IKEA Family Program for Discounts
- IKEA Provides Kid’s Småland for Shopping Parents
- Be on the Lookout for Free Events
- Know What to Purchase and Not to Purchase