Whatever the style of your home, you can always find something you love at Ikea. The Swedish chain has something for everybody. That includes college students who need inexpensive furniture for their first apartments, as well as people with houses and mortgages (and children in tow).
Regardless of your age, your style, or your budget, there are a few things that you should always buy Ikea. These items offer great values and low price tags — plus a more refined design sensibility than what you can find at other popular chains.
Below, check out the items that you should always purchase at Ikea, leading up to one that we’d never leave the store without.
If you’re looking for a bargain, you can’t go wrong in Ikea’s curtain section. Most of Ikea’s curtains cost a lot less than what you’ll find at other stores. Plus, they’re usually easy to wash and dry at home, which you can’t always say for other brands’ curtains. You can find plenty of options for white, grey, and beige curtains. But you can also find some bold colors and patterns if neutrals aren’t your style. Many even cost under $25 for a pair of panels — not a deal you can easily find elsewhere.
14. Side tables
While Ikea’s dining tables and desks don’t always cost less than alternatives at Target, HomeGoods, and other chains, Ikea’s side tables often cost little but have a major design impact. Apartment Therapy recommends the Lack side table, which costs just $9.99. You can use it next to your couch, beside your bed, or anywhere else you need a short but stylish table that won’t break the bank.
13. Cord kits
Need a quick — and cheap — way to add some overhead lighting to your home without calling an electrician? Just stop by Ikea for a few of its Sekond cord kits. These cloth-wrapped cords cost just $10, but they add a chic touch to your space thanks to the cloth covering. You can buy ceiling hooks to hang them up or run them along the pipes if you live in an industrial loft. Because they’re cheap, they also make a perfect candidate for some easy party decorations, particularly if you make or buy festive shades, lanterns, or decorations.
12. Shelving units
Another type of furniture that we’d always recommend buying from Ikea? Shelving units. Whether you need somewhere to store all your books or a place to put your dishes, Ikea has a unit that’s perfect for you. We’re partial to the Kallax line, which has a way of making everything look polished and neat. Another super-popular option? The iconic Billy bookcase.
11. Office organization
If a new bookcase isn’t enough to get you organized, you’re in luck. Ikea also stocks plenty of organizers to clean up your clutter. You can buy files for papers and magazines, storage boxes to keep your desktop essentials organized, and a basket to keep all the TV remotes in one place. Whatever you need, Ikea probably has it. And it’ll be a lot cheaper than stocking up at Target.
10. Kitchen storage
Similarly, Ikea offers plenty of affordable options for keeping your kitchen organized. The Scandinavian chain’s pantry section is packed with shelving to organize your food storage. However, Ikea also makes numerous food storage containers that will help you keep your pantry and your refrigerator organized. You can buy plastic or glass containers that you can use everywhere in the kitchen, whether you’re putting away leftovers, organizing all your baking ingredients, or looking for a better way to store your dry goods.
9. Wool rugs
You wouldn’t think that you’d be able to buy something handmade at Ikea. After all, everything in the store is mass-produced to keep prices down. However, the Swedish chain actually does offer handmade rugs, and they’re beautiful. These flatwoven rugs are typically made from 100% wool. And while they’re pricier than some machine-made rugs in the same section, they’ll often wear better, last longer, and feel more luxurious than a less expensive rug.
Whether you need pillows for your bed or for your couch, you’ll definitely want to stock up at Ikea. Sure, the very cheapest options aren’t likely to hold up well. (What can you really expect from a $2 pillow, though?) But if you’re willing to spend just a bit more, you can get pillows that use premium materials without the high-end price tag.
Walk around the bedding section to get a feel for the different options. Whether you want something firm or soft, warm or cool, suited to side sleepers or somebody who lies on their back, Ikea has multiple options that won’t break the bank.
If you need some budget-friendly pillows or an affordable duvet, Ikea should be the first place you look. As with pillows, you’ll probably want to steer clear of the very cheapest options for comforters. However, if you spend more than the bare minimum, you can get your hands on some premium materials, like down and feathers. The prices are much better than what you’d find at most other stores. Plus, Ikea duvets are easy to wash and dry at home.
But while we’re on the topic of bedding, we wouldn’t recommend buying sheets at Ikea. You’re better off buying more expensive sheets — look for 100% cotton or linen — if you want comfortable and long-lasting bedding.
6. Table linens
Need to perk up a drab kitchen? You may want to stop in and look at Ikea’s table linens, which offer chic designs at incredibly low prices. You can get place mats, table runners, and table cloths for a lot less than what they’d cost elsewhere. The chair pads that Ikea sells for your kitchen chairs are also much cheaper than the usual options. You can even head to the Scandinavian chain for chic cloth napkins — or festive paper ones that are perfect for parties.
5. Candles and tealights
If you (literally) burn through lots of candles and tealights, you probably don’t want to spend an arm and a leg for fancy scented candles. In that case, you’ll definitely want to check out Ikea’s selection. Apartment Therapy particularly recommends the Glimma unscented tealights, which cost just $3.49 for a pack of 100. They’re perfect for setting the scene for a dinner party, or just for adding a cozy glow to your home on a normal weeknight.
4. Houseplants (real or fake)
Houseplants lift your mood and purify the air in your home. And when you see Ikea’s low prices on everything from fiddle leaf fig trees to pothos vines, you’ll immediately understand why so many shoppers emerge from the superstore with something green.
But Ikea also has options for people whose thumbs are more black than green. In addition to stocking up on plants that are almost impossible to kill, you can also buy plenty of fake (but convincing) foliage.
3. Frakta shopping bags
We almost never leave Ikea without picking up one or two of the store’s Frakta shopping bags. These $0.99 bags come in handy not only when you’re lugging all your purchases to your car, but in countless other situations, too. You can use them to cart around laundry, groceries, books, gardening supplies, etc. They’re also a major help if you’re moving or helping friends move.
2. Ribba picture frames
Our penultimate pick for the item you should always buy at Ikea? The chain’s Ribba line of picture frames. These beautifully minimalist frames come in numerous sizes and colors. They also come equipped with beautiful mats. Plus, you can either stand them up, or mount them vertically or horizontally. Framing your favorite photographs and prints is easy when you can get your hands on such cheap but chic frames. And you can probably afford to have all your frames match if you buy them at Ikea.
1. Clothes hangers
If you ask interior designers about the one thing you should always buy at Ikea, you’re likely to hear hangers mentioned again and again. They sound like the last thing to worry about, particularly if you’re outfitting a brand-new apartment or house. However, equipping your closet or clothing rack with hangers that all look the same will make a world of difference in how you feel about the state of your wardrobe. Many people love the durable plastic Bagis hangers, which cost just $0.39 for a pack of four. However, we’re partial to the most luxe, wooden Bumerang hangers, which cost $4.99 for a pack of eight, but give you a much more chic and streamlined silhouette than anything you’d find at Target or Walmart.