What to Buy at IKEA

My love for IKEA runs pretty deep. It’s probably because I have a thing for stuff that doesn’t cost a lot of money and they pretty much win in the home decor department when it comes to affordability. IKEA has a huge inventory so there’s something for everyone in their huge store. That being said, I have to go into IKEA with a certain mindset otherwise I get crazy overwhelmed and will either buy a bunch of stuff I don’t need or I’ll just leave with nothing. Since our nearest IKEA is 90 miles – a trip to IKEA is typically a whole day affair. Since it’s a time investment, I make the most of my visit by prepping for my trip ahead of time. My IKEA shopping strategy is to research first, make a list, then shop. First, I browse their site for anything that might catch my eye. Then I search any particularly interesting products by name on Pinterest or Google to see how others are using that item in their homes. Then if I’m inspired, that item makes it to the list. I typically keep a list of maybes as well so when I’m in the store I can check them out to see if they’ll work for me or not. As I’m prepping for a trip to IKEA, I thought it would be fun to share with you, my favorite “What to Buy at IKEA” items. These are my top 10 staples and why I think they are worthy! What to Buy at IKEA - a complete list of IKEA staples that everyone should know about

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What to buy at IKEA

1. Dinnerware – I love the dishes at IKEA because they are crazy cheap but they last! I’ve had the same white dishes from IKEA for eight years now. I especially love these porcelain bowls. They are perfect for cereal, soup, or ice cream. Oh, and they are only $2.50 so there’s that! Love them.

2. Dish towels – I think just about everyone who walks into IKEA leaves with a set of these dish towels. They are $4 for a set of four. I like that they are large, they get softer with every wash, and they are modern looking.

3. Basket Trio – This FRYKEN trio of baskets is $10 for the set. I always find myself searching for perfect little baskets for all the things from bathroom storage to playroom storage. I love these for the small toys my kids have like Shopkins and ponies. Since the tops are flat they stack nicely as well.

4. Curtains – The RITVA curtains are my go to curtains for all spaces. I love basic white curtain panels because they work with just about any space and they are simple to customize by adding some decorative trim. The RITVA curtains are extra long at 96″ which is hard to find at such a reasonable price ($25 for two panels).

5. Pillow Inserts – These have to be the most affordable feather pillow inserts available. A 20×20″ pillow is just $6 while a Euro sham sized insert is $10. They aren’t the fluffiest ones I have but they do the job and at that price, I can totally afford to have a gazillion throw pillows without feeling guilty.

6. Straws – Maybe a little random but this is a “must-buy” for me when I’m at IKEA. I love their colorful drinking straws. We all love straws in this house so I always stock up at IKEA.

7. EKTORP Sofa – I still puffy heart love my slipcovered EKTORP sofa. The covers come in a rainbow of colors but I prefer the white so I can bleach it. I’m in need of a love seat or potentially another full-size sofa for my living room and of course, I’m going to get another EKTORP. I love that I can pull the cover on and toss it in the wash whenever my littlest drips popsicle juice all over it (just happened). It’s the perfect sofa for young families that don’t want to invest a ton of money on a couch.

8. LATT Kids Table – We had one of these when P was little and it was perfect. I got it at a yard sale for like $3. It didn’t make it through our last move and now that Mills is getting bigger it’s time to get another one. I love all of the kids’ tables at IKEA but this one is basic and begs to be customized and for the price, it’s a fun project.

9. Outdoor Planters – My last visit to IKEA I was in awe of all the gorgeous outdoor inventory. I love all of the outdoor planters. These colorful sockers are so cheap, I bought a handful and they are lining my fence. I also love this plant stand. The price is almost unbelievable for the size and the modern look.

10. Woven Baskets – I already mentioned the basket trio, I really just love all of the basket options at IKEA. This woven basket with handles is on trend and very affordable. In fact, I just bought a very similar basket for over double the price (yikes). These baskets are great for organizing toys and blankets.

That’s a wrap on my “What to Buy at IKEA” list. Now tell me, what are your “must buy” items from IKEA?

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17 Comments

  1. These are great suggestions! We are working on updating our powder room and I’ve already told my husband, we need to run to IKEA to pick up some faux greenery and baskets! Their staples are such a great value.

  2. Ektorp anything! I have the loveseat in beige. (Go figure since I raised my kids with white Ektorp). I’m due for the white again. I bleached the heck out of those old slips. Two boys and a dog can do mucho damage.
    You’re right about the dish towels. Since I have mostly blue/white accessories, they’d make some fine pillows or nifty cafes!

  3. Yes, Yes, and Yes!! I heart all of these! Thanks for getting this together. I love seeing what everyones favorite Ikea recommendations are because yes it can be overwhelming and to have someone break down the musts is great. Thanks!

  4. My list is pretty much the same as yours – I love IKEA! I also find that I tend to grab at least one of the faux greenery plants every time I’m there. I also recently (ok at Christmas time) noticed that they had faux eucalyptus stems there. I’m a big fan of eucalyptus and IKEA’s version is probably the most realistic looking fake I’ve ever seen! Now I have a whole bundle of them to decorate with around my house.

    >> Christene
    Keys to Inspiration

    1. Christene, I’ve heard that before about he eucalyptus stems. I looked for them last time I was there and couldn’t find them 🙁 Hopefully next time!

  5. Since I am trying to bring hygge to my home and cabin, the Ikea white candles are a must..They are huge and the most expensive is 9.99 and lasted me all winter…These are not for scent, they are for the ambience that comes from lots of candles…Also even though I am lucky enough to have an Ikea in my town, sometimes I just can;t he there so I ship, $10 for everything shipped to my home…Sometimes a great deal if I am not in a hurry or just need more candles….:)

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  8. Thanks for the suggestions! I am going to the opening of an Ikea in Milwaukee, WI and I wanted to know what staples I should look for.

  9. my IKEA is 2 hours away, by my dsd’s house. When I go see him I have to go to ikea. They had a real soccer ball that was deflated for less than $5. My dog LOVES them! I can under inflate it so she can carry it without popping it. I’ve bought at least 5, one very holiday. The past year I can’t find them at all. They have rubber ones in the kids dept, those aren’t the ones. If anyone has seen them, let me know. My other must have is their ziplocking food baggies. Great price, big amount & so many odd sizes. I pick up every time also, the 3 piece kitchen utensil set for $.99. Can’t beat it. Lastly, their feather pillows, I can’t sleep without.
    Thank you Chelsea for your tips. My son is going this weekend so I’m making my list now, and wanted some ideas.

    1. So smart about the soccer balls, I’ve never thought to look but I will next trip. I also love their feather pillows and I’m going to look for the ziplock bags too! Great finds, Pam!

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