More Than Meatballs

The 25 Best Things to Buy from IKEA


January 20, 2019 Buying Guides By Photo by Ikea

Most people probably don’t want to think about how many hours they’re spent trying (and failing) to navigate the fluorescent maze that calls itself “IKEA.” The Swedish superstore is filled to the brim with amazingly affordable home decor, storage solutions and meatballs. To make the shopping experience less overwhelming for the everyday shopper, we combed through the retailer’s entire online inventory to curate some of its best products.

BILLY Bookcase

One of IKEA’s most popular pieces, the BILLY bookcase can be used for so much more than books — think shoe storage, tchotchke display, temporary TV stand. To boot, it promises one of the easiest assemblies in the entire catalog.

IKEA 365+ Carafe

This carafe owes its brilliance to the cork stopper. Use it to store leftover coffee or homemade juice, and tack a piece of paper to the top with the date on it. Hosting a party? Use thumbtacks and labels to identify the contents.

TRADLOS Honey Dipper & Tea Measure

If you’re in need of a hostess gift or a small token of appreciation, this $3 set makes a super classy present — especially wrapped up with some loose-leaf tea.

KLIPSK Bed Tray

Like breakfast in bed? Make it less messy with this simple tray — there’s a lip around the edge to catch any crumbs and spills, as well as a groove to prop up a book or tablet. The legs also fold up for easy storage.

KRISPIG cake carrier

We chose this cake carrier because of its clever, versatile design: one side of the base tray is smooth, ideal for cakes or pies, while the other has ridges, so you can arrange cupcakes, muffins, etc. It’s also quite tall, so don’t worry about adding another layer to that birthday cake.

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RENS Sheepskin

Add instant style to any space with one of these sheepskin rugs. Drape one over a chair for a furry effect, or place one on either side of your bed during colder months.

TEKLA Dish Towel

Do you avoid laundry as much as the rest of us? Grab a few of these towels next time you visit your local IKEA. They’re amazingly inexpensive and they work great as napkins, too.

NORDLI Bed Frame with Storage

If you live in a small apartment, it’s hard to choose between comfort and storage, which is why this bed is a gamechanger. Whether you’re storing clothes, shoes, books or blankets, you’ll be pleased with how much the NORDLI holds.

NYSKOLJD Dish Drying Mat

This is perfect whether your dish rack is constantly overflowing, or if you need somewhere to air dry those bulky pots and pans.

ALLEHANDA Mixing Bowl

Everyone who loves to bake needs one of these bowls. The lid has an opening for a whisk, so your batter won’t splatter everywhere and a spout streamlines pouring. If you need to chill dough overnight or transport a fruit salad, just pop the lid back on.

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RANARP Pendant Lamp

The classic, slightly old-fashioned design of this lamp makes it look a lot more expensive than forty bucks.

KANELSTANG Plant Stand

Rattan furniture is on-trend and this plant stand is a bargain. Your call on whether the plant you put on top is real or artificial.

STRANDMON Wing Chair

Over 200 5-star ratings on IKEA’s website sealed this chair’s spot on our list. Harkening back to IKEA’s original 1950s design, it comes in eight great colors and patterns, from understated gray to a vibrant palm print. The removable seat cover is machine-washable, meaning this chair will look brand new for years to come.

LOVBACKEN Side Table

Everyone and their mother will think this distinctive table is a one-in-a-million mid-century modern piece, not an easy-to-assemble find from IKEA. The black and brown combo ensures this table will work with any kind of furniture.

MULIG Clothes Rack

No closet, no problem. This sleek, simple clothing rack comes together quickly and looks great in bedrooms of all sizes.

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TROLLBERGET Desk Chair

Not ready to commit to a standing desk? This sleek stool promises to help you “sit actively,” strengthen your spine and give you a healthy posture. Plus it comes with a 10-year warranty.

BRIMNES Wardrobe

This narrow wardrobe is perfect for small spaces beacuse it’s tall, not wide, and holds a lot. Use it in lieu of a coat closet or store everything that won’t fit in your bureau.

PLASTIS Dish Brush

Your hands will never smell spongey again thanks to this handy dish brush. The handle has a built-in suction cup, so you can prop it up by your sink when you’re done scrubbing dishes.

SYLT LINGON Lingonberry Preserves

It’s (almost) impossible to leave IKEA without picking up a jar of this stuff. It feels way more exotic than strawberry jam, even if you eat yours on toast instead of with traditional Swedish meatballs.

BLAVAND Doormat

Whether or not you live with a furry friend, this paw print-patterned doormat will keep mud and dirt outside.

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BERNHARD Bar Stool

Reviewers praise the comfort and durability of these sleek bar stools. They’re clean, easy to assemble and, thanks to their minimalist design, look great in just about any setting.

SORTERA Recycling Bin

Stack two of these to separate paper and plastic — or use them to sort laundry, dog food or toys.

APPLARO Outdoor Loveseat

Make the most of your outdoor space with this loveseat, crafted from sustainably sourced acacia wood.

FICUS LYRATA Potted Plant

A fiddle-leaf fig plant for less than $20? That’s right. IKEA’s plant section is underrated and overlooked, but their greenery is as good as on par with the best of them.

LURVIG Pet Bed

Pamper your pet with a comfy new bed — the minimalistic design won’t take away from your decor. Plus, the cushion has a removable cover for easy cleanup.

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