Why Is IKEA So Cheap? Find Out Here

Why Is IKEA So Cheap? Find Out Here

When it comes to furniture, IKEA is known globally to offer affordable prices – There is furniture for every budget and pocket at the IKEA stores. Sometimes, it almost feels like there is magic to how cheap the furniture at IKEA can be. Such low prices often have prompted people to ask why IKEA is so cheap.

Furniture at IKEA is cheap because of the large number of items produced globally, which reduces the costs of sourcing materials for each item. In addition, IKEA is able to reduce shipping costs by packing products unassembled, and it passes on the discounts to consumers.

In this article, we will be talking about the quality of IKEA products. We will also try to explain why the furniture at IKEA is so cheap, some items you should not buy at IKEA, and finally about how IKEA manages to keep its prices low.

Is IKEA Low Quality?

Why Is IKEA So Cheap? Find Out Here

Even though the quality of some of the cheaper products offered by IKEA can be lower than other brands, IKEA products are by no means considered low-quality. When weighing the cost-benefit for IKEA products, one can make an argument that such items have pretty good quality.

However, in absolute terms, if you consider the amount you are paying for some of the products from IKEA, you should not be surprised that the quality might be worse than other brands. 

If you look at the more expensive products offered by IKEA, you are going to discover that they are of very good quality. We strongly believe that the overall quality of IKEA products is good.

Why Is IKEA Furniture Cheap?

Furniture at IKEA can be extremely affordable. Most IKEA products cost only about half of the price of the same furniture as their competitors’, and a major reason why the prices are so low is that it packs everything flat to save on the cost of transportation and storage. 

Prices are also low because the designers usually work around a set price for a product before working on the product. 

Another reason why prices are low is that the customers are building the furniture. Assembling the furniture from IKEA can be very daunting, but this means that IKEA does not have to hire people or pay anyone to assemble the furniture for you. Since you are assembling the furniture yourself, IKEA saves money and reduces production costs.  

What Should You Not Buy At IKEA?

At one point or the other, we all have had bad experiences with IKEA furniture. From my own experience and that of others, compiled here is a list of some of the things you should avoid buying from IKEA because of their poor quality.

  1. MALM dressers (or any of the other dressers)
  2. The Glasholm tabletop
  3. Billy the bookcase (and other particleboard furniture)
  4. Mattresses
  5. Lights 
  6. Glassware (Wine glasses in particular)
  7. Bed linens
  8. Ovens
  9. Phone chargers
  10. Crib mattresses and cribs

A common theme with all of the items listed above is that, even though they look great, their prices are incredibly cheap. Well, the reason they are cheap is that they are made of poor-quality materials. 

The biggest thing you should avoid at IKEA is the MALM dressers. Eight children have died since 1989, and many more have suffered serious injuries caused by the MALM dresser tipping over. In 2016 alone, 29 million MALM dressers were recalled.

How Does IKEA Keep Their Prices Low?

Why Is IKEA So Cheap? Find Out Here

A lot of people are wondering how IKEA manages to keep its prices low in a period when the price of everything seems to be going up. Highlighted below are a couple of the reasons behind the low prices of IKEA products:

  1. On IKEA’s website, it is explained that furniture is constructed by layering wood sheets over a honeycomb core. Constructing their furniture this way saves IKEA a lot of money, and this invariably keeps the prices of furniture low.
  2. IKEA makes everything in large quantities. As a result of IKEA making a lot of products, they can receive discounts on the cost of production and this ensures that prices are lower.
  3. At each IKEA store, there are not a lot of store associates. By hiring fewer people, IKEA saves a lot of money, and they use this money to ensure that prices stay low. Instead of hiring more people, IKEA puts important product information on the price tag of the product.
  4. Another reason why IKEA has managed to keep their prices low is that the customer has to take the furniture home themselves. Even though this is not a very convenient option, it means that you are not going to pay a fee for delivery. It also means that you are not going to pay higher prices for the product to make up for free delivery.


IKEA furniture is cheap and is going to continue to be cheap because of the genius of the people at IKEA and its brilliant business model. IKEA cuts the cost of production anywhere it can, whether it is by producing a lot of furniture to get discounts on production cost, or getting customers to assemble their furniture themselves to take the responsibility off IKEA.

We have written a very detailed guide that contains some of the most commonly asked questions about IKEA, and you can check it out here.

Gui Hadlich

Hi there! I'm Gui. I've had to move 12 times in the last 6 years, and I've learned a thing or two about moving, decorating, and buying and selling furniture. I've started Budget Friendly Furnishing with the intent of helping people furnish their homes in style without having to break the bank!

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