I blessedly live only about 15 minutes away from an IKEA. So naturally, I buy lots of my furniture and decor from there…as do a great number of you all do, I’m sure. IKEA can get a bad rap for being more low quality because it is cheaper, but I actually haven’t had that experience. Most of my IKEA stuff has held up really well and has worked great for our lifestyle. So I fully support you buying your stuff from there! There’s not always a need to spend more money when the less expensive options work great. And other good news is that tons of IKEA stuff is available on Amazon so you don’t necessarily have to live close to one to get the goods. Here are my top 10 best IKEA purchases and my reviews of them (and affiliate links–see my disclosure.)
Psst–These pictures are ones I’ve taken throughout the years so they don’t really ‘go’ together. Just sayin–you might see some Christmas and fall in there.
I have two Ektorp couches…the regular 3 seater and the chaise “sectional” one. First off, the chaise one is quite a big bigger than the 3-seater. The cushions are bigger, it’s longer and deeper. Just so you know, you can get the two couches and then interchange the chaise part from one couch to the other–which is one reason I got it and was disappointed. However it’s still worked out for us. The couches themselves have held up really well, although we do discourage our kids from jumping on them. Tons of people have sat and lay on them and they don’t show ANY wear. The chaise couch is now six years old and the other one is three years old. And they are plenty comfortable. I also love that they are slipcovered because a) the skirt part hides all the crap that ends up under the couch and b) I love being able to wash it when it feels dirty.
White: I first had the white slipcovers which I really did love for a long time. I loved the neutrality they gave to the room and really brightened up the space. I actually didn’t have to wash them all the time either, although I wouldn’t say they were spotless all the time. I probably washed them once a month or so. And it’s nice because you could add bleach and they would come out really white. However I recommend to NEVER dry your slipcovers in the dryer (at least fully, you might tumble them for a minute or two) because of the shrinkage. The base part of my white slipcover on my 3-seater shrunk a lot it was a full-on workout trying to get it back on every time. I think there is some variation in the sizing because you might get one that is a little bigger and you don’t have to fight it so much.
Beige: This last year I decided it was time for a new set and I sprung for the beige slipcovers. Best. Decision. Ever!!! I LOVE having the beige rather than the white. It just hides dirt better and for some reason seems nicer, I’m not sure why. Also since I added living room built-ins the room is very white already so the beige helps the couches not get lost in the room. I do seem to wash them more but that is 100% due to having a toddler who loves to dump sippy cups and wipe gross hands on things, despite my best efforts. Even then they still have held up great. I don’t miss bleaching. And I seriously went for MONTHS without washing the base part of the slipcovers which kept them looking brand new for a long time. Washing the individual cushion slipcovers is easy enough when they get something on them, and I’ve actually dried them all the way and it’s been okay getting them back on. Maybe the white shrinks more??
IKEA Fake Plants
I think one of my favorite accessories at IKEA are the fake plants. I have tons of them and they sit all around the house, brightening up the corners here and there. I of course have real plants too, but I like using fake plants in spaces where I would forget to water them or where the sun isn’t good. They also are great for staging rooms before a photo shoot…you can always add a fake plant here and there to give the room more life! They have a wide variety and I have all kinds in all different containers. Don’t forget to stick a few in your cart next time.
IKEA Pillow Forms and Cases
The IKEA feather pillow forms are such a good deal. They are super affordable and made with real feathers. I have the 26×26 ones as Euro pillows on my bed and also two on my couch. I have countless of the 20×20 ones and a couple 16×26. I even bought a few of the cheap king size bed pillows to use decoratively but for Christmas I gave my husband a ‘real’ nice pillow but we ended up switching them for the IKEA cheap ones because they were more comfortable!
I also have tons of the pillow cases because they come in all kinds of colors and they are so cute and cheap. I know you’ve seen these gray gingham ones everywhere. I wish more places sold just cases. I prefer to switch out my pillow cases rather than store a bunch of extra pillows.
IKEA Cardboard Media Boxes
I love their media boxes and I feel like I buy some every time I’m there. They change out the style quite a bit though so if they have a style you love, get a bunch before they don’t stock them anymore. I love these cute gray ones with the oval label/handles, they are perfect for my style. However I used a ton of the more industrial style ones like these in my craft room. They come in a bunch of different shapes and sizes and are a good price.
The IKEA Hemnes dressers are very common because you get this huge dresser that is solid wood for a cheap price. Sure, you might have to spend 8+ backbreaking hours of manual labor putting them together, but it’s worth it. I mean seriously…I build everything anyway. So assembling it doesn’t bother me. Someone COULD make serious bank professionally putting together IKEA furniture for a living…I’m just saying. That being said, it’s nice when you’re the person putting it together because you can easily tighten screws here and there when it starts breaking down.
Things I LOVE about the Hemnes dressers: A) HUGE drawers, tons of space. B) Solid wood and available now in white wash (sooooo much better than the icky off-white shiny plastic finish they used to have) C) Drawers that glide like butt-uh D) All drawers are lined with cute paper and E) IKEA sells drawer organizers that fit perfectly into these drawers. These benefits mean that it’s easy to personalize by re-painting–like I did with my boy’s room dresser–and switching out the hardware, like I did when I used to have them as nightstands. I probably wouldn’t buy any other kind of dresser, unless it was solid wood. I’m not into laminate furniture unless absolutely necessary.
IKEA Shelf Brackets
This might seem random, but IKEA sells a bunch of different shelf brackets at GREAT prices. You can get them super-duper cheap, basic ‘L’ shape bracket, or spend a little more for a decorative wrought-iron bracket like these ones in my dining room. I bought some for my garage shelving as well, these “D” shaped ones because I can put my clamps through them. I love that you can put them for either narrow or wide shelves. Seriously, price match around…you won’t find a better deal for brackets.
Another cheap item, especially for very large sizes, are the frames. They have many different colors and options and they are always trying to stay on trend. Pretty much every since frame in my house is from IKEA because I prefer very simple frames.
The curtains at IKEA really can’t be beat. They are a fabulous price and come in SUPER long lengths. I bought some new white ones for my dining room in the longest length because it’s a 9 foot ceiling and I still have to hem them. They do a shrink a bit after washing so wash first and then hem. I always get white linen ones because I love the fabric. The rods are also a good deal because they can be really really long and you can buy as many support brackets as you need. That’s all I have in my house are IKEA curtains and rods because I really don’t think curtains nor rods need to be fancy. I don’t want to take away from the real view–the world outside.
The chairs I chose for our dining room include two from IKEA–their rattan chairs. These were also a brilliant purchase that I have never regretted. They are really actually very comfortable and I find myself sitting in it for much longer than expected after dinner. Like I can’t NOT sit in them when I eat…every other chair seems wildly uncomfortable in comparison. I also have a throw pillow to support the back as well as look attractive. They have held up really well and the color hides and little spills or splashes that might have occurred over the years.
-IKEA Hardware: I occasionally pick up one of their orange and white boxes of screws and hardware. It’s cheap and comes in all sizes. It’s just easy!
-IKEA Kitchen Stuff: I have bought glasses, plates, bowls, frying pans, silverware, apple cutters, etc. It’s a good price and it’s there to help you remember “oh yeah, I really need a new one of those!”
-Picture Ledges: I love their picture ledges because it makes displaying pictures super easy. However I don’t use them for that anymore, I use them for picture books in our loft. No matter what they are used for, it makes it easy to display whatever. I’m thinking it would be cute to have one in the kitchen for cookbooks or even take a few of the short ones, hang them at at angle, and make a car/marble track. Man that would keep my toddler busy for hours…I might need more now.
So there you have it, my top 10 best IKEA purchases!
Products I probably wouldn’t buy again:
-Duvets and duvet covers: Their duvets and the covers are a little weak sauce. The duvets are okay if you get the nicer ones but the cheapest ones are super thin. The covers though, don’t have any sort of tie to keep the duvet in place and are only closed up by ties, not a zipper. They wrinkle like crazy and rarely look nice on my kids’ beds.
-Shelves: You can make your own shelves much cheaper by getting them at home improvement stores! Although some of their brackets fit their shelves perfectly. Do a little measuring first.
-Bathroom Rugs: Their bathroom rugs are slippery…the non-stick backing doesn’t last in the dryer so they just don’t stay put.
-Cheap towels: Their 99 cent hand towels, while a bargain, look terrible after one washing. You can buy them as rags I guess.