Finding the best furniture for your home can be challenging. You want to choose a store that has pieces that match the rest of your home, is affordable, and has plenty of options. IKEA and Wayfair are two of the biggest brands of home furniture and decor out there, so it’s time to put them to the test in a head-to-head comparison.
IKEA and Wayfair are two of the most iconic home décor and furniture businesses. Everyone knows of these two brands, but which is better? Once you’ve read our detailed comparison guide, you’ll see that Wayfair is clearly the better choice.
Are you ready to give your home a makeover, or are you preparing to decorate and furnish your very first home? Are you debating between IKEA and Wayfair? Well, you’ve landed in exactly the right place! Read on to learn everything you ever wanted to know about these two home furniture stores!
What’s the Difference Between IKEA and Wayfair?
IKEA and Wayfair are both giants in the home furnishing world, but they have one critical difference. Wayfair is an online business, meaning that they don’t have any physical locations. When you want to browse their furniture, buy some décor, or make a return, you must do everything online.
On the other hand, IKEA has physical locations you can visit. This can make it easier to browse through their furnishings or make a return. However, so much of what people do is online these days, so this difference may not be as important to people now as it would’ve been a couple of decades ago.
IKEA is an international furniture giant, though it started from very humble roots. The brand name “IKEA” is actually an acronym for the founder’s name, Ingvar Kamprad Elmtaryd, and the village he grew up near, Agunnaryd.
He set up the IKEA company in 1943 with a small sum of money his father gave him as a gift for doing well in school. This company was originally established in Sweden, and it’s dedication to providing customers with affordable furniture options made the competition eager to push them out of the market.
Ingvar made the switch to self-assembling furniture in 1953 to combat the issue of furniture being damaged when delivered through the mail. From there, the company began expanding.
The first IKEA store in the US opened its doors in New York in 1965. From there, the business skyrocketed. They opened stores in other countries, tried introducing new products (like a TV that was quickly phased out), and continued to work to produce new products that would improve people’s everyday lives.
Wayfair was founded in 2002 by Steve Conine and Niraj Shah. They set up their first headquarters in Boston, MA and originally set up their website under a different name- racksandstands.com. Conine and Shah began by selling media stands and storage furniture, though once their business started succeeding, they expanded to include other furniture, home décor, lighting, and more.
In 2008, they began selling in the United Kingdom and Canada. They changed their name to Wayfair in 2011 and were now selling in several international markets. Previous to this year, Conine and Shah had several niche websites, but these were all merged to their primary site in 2011.
This company is devoted to providing customers with a unique online furniture shopping experience. They only hire people who are ambitious and non-political in order to create a company culture that’s inclusive and productive.
What Types of Products Does IKEA and Wayfair Offer?
IKEA and Wayfair are giants in the furniture retail world. They each sell an enormous and impressive variety of products, from pet furniture to lighting fixtures to patio furniture.
Each of these brands has furniture for every room and use in your house, as well as outdoor furniture as well. They both have plenty of home decor items, such as lighting, rugs, and more!
We’re going to compare some of their most popular product categories so you can see how these two iconic brands hold up against one another. Let’s get started!
IKEA and Wayfair both offer an assortment of mattress types and adjacent products. We’re going to cover the types of mattresses they have available, any special features, firmness levels, and mattress materials.
Let’s take a look at what IKEA has available first.
These are the types of mattresses IKEA has available online.
- Spring mattresses
- Foam and memory foam mattresses
- Crib mattresses
- Kids mattresses
- Mattress toppers
- Mattress covers & pillow protectors
Their website is incredibly user-friendly, and you can filter through their mattress options to find the perfect fit for you. There are four levels of firmness you can choose from (firm, medium-firm, plush, and soft), and you can filter by size, mattress material, price, and special features.
The special features IKEA has for their mattresses include roll packed, washable cover, comfort zones, water proof, cooling, and extendable.
As for mattress materials, you have a solid variety with IKEA. You can purchase mattresses made of foam, pocket springs, memory foam, natural materials, springs, and latex.
Price Range: $60-$999
Wayfair also has a wide variety of mattresses available. Here are the different types of mattresses they have available.
- Crib mattresses
- Kids mattresses
- Memory foam mattresses
- Inner Spring mattresses
- Gel foam mattresses
- Air mattresses
- Water beds
- Latex mattresses
That’s a pretty solid variety of mattresses, and who knew water beds were still a think in 2022?
Wayfair’s website is set up very differently from IKEA’s, but it still offers a user-friendly experience. You have the option of sorting through their mattresses based on mattress type, thickness, firmness, size, and price.
Wayfair has a bit more options in terms of firmness than IKEA does. With Wayfair, you have a choice between ultra plush, plush, medium, firm, and extra firm.
They also have some special features listed for their mattresses, including cooling, removable cover, flippable, edge support, low motion transfer, and heavy duty.
You can also choose a mattress based on the materials it was made from. Some of the materials you can choose from include gel foam, memory foam, latex, inner spring, hypoallergenic, organic, and GREENGUARD certified.
If you’re looking for a mattress made from sustainably sourced materials or something hypoallergenic, Wayfair has some wonderful options for you.
Price Range: $79.99-$4,000+
Finding a new sofa can be challenging. You want something that matches the rest of your decor and adds to the aesthetics of your living or family room. IKEA and Wayfair are committed to providing a huge selection of products, so everyone can find the perfect sofa.
We’re going to cover the types of sofas IKEA and Wayfair have, as well as compare the unique qualities that come with each brand.
Whether you’re looking for a simple chaise lounge or a more stylish leather sofa, IKEA has options for you. You can browse leather & faux leather sofas, sectionals, ottomans, fabric sofas, outdoor lounge seating, sleeper sofas & futons, and chaise loungers on their website.
One of the biggest deciding factors for many people when buying a new couch is: will it fit with your existing decor? Does the style, color, and overall look match the vision you have for your living room, family room, or patio?
To help you find the perfect match, IKEA has a ton of filters you can use to browse through their sofas. Let’s go through some of the more essential filters.
Colors: Gray, beige, black, brown, white, green, red, blue, multicolor, turquoise, yellow, lilac, and pink.
Number of Seats: 1 seater through 7 seaters
Shape: Standard, L-shape, U-shape, modular, corner, free shape, and rectangular
Firmness: Extra soft, soft, medium firm, firm
Material: Fabric, leather, coated fabric, wood, plastic rattan, metal, bamboo, plastic, and natural fibers
Features: Washable cover, removable cover, legs, storage, sleeper sofa, extendable, roll packed, upholstered, armrest, and headrest
Price Range: $150-$4,000+
Wayfair also has plenty of options for sofas. They also have a range of styles, features, colors, and materials that you can choose from. We’re going to get into the specifics so you can see exactly what Wayfair has to offer.
Type of Sofa: Sofa, sleeper, loveseat, settee, and sofa chaise
Design: Standard, sofa bed, reclining, convertible, curved, modular, and chesterfield sofa
Colors: Gray, brown, blue, beige, black, white, green, red, yellow, purple, pink, and orange
Material: Leather, faux leather, leather match, various fabrics, and performance fabrics
Features: Power reclining, storage, slip covered, stain resistant, assembled, and down-filled cushions
Price Range: $71.99-$21,000+
You could completely redecorate your home with the home décor options IKEA and Wayfair have available. These furniture retail giants have everything from artwork to potted plants to mirrors and clocks. We’re going to go into detail about some of the home décor options both brands offer, and what you can expect in terms of price range and variety.
IKEA Home Décor
IKEA takes home décor seriously. They have over a dozen categories in their home décor section to ensure they have the perfect items and styles for every customer.
Let’s take a closer look at the home décor products they offer.
- Plant pots & stands
- Vases & bowls
- Decorative accessories
- Candle holders & candles
- Plants & flowers
- Wall décor
- Notice boards, memo boards, and bulletin boards
- Storage boxes & baskets
- Home fragrance & diffusers
That’s a huge selection of home décor items! Some of these home décor categories even have subcategories. The IKEA website really does its best to help you sort through and narrow down all the options to find the perfect home décor items for you.
Price Range: Varies by product
Wayfair Home Décor
Wayfair also has a ton of home décor products available. Their website is designed to make your shopping experience as smooth as possible, and you can tell how much careful thought and planning was put into categorizing and displaying their home décor options.
Here are the categories of home décor products on Wayfair.
- Wall décor
- Window treatments
- Candles & candle holders
- Monogrammed items
- Decorative pillows & blankets
- Seasonal décor
- Picture frames & albums
- Home accessories
- Flowers & plants
- Holiday décor
Wayfair has many of the same home décor items as IKEA, but with one vital difference. Wayfair offers customers the ability to monogram pillows, blankets, toy boxes, holiday decorations, and more! This is an appealing option for many homeowners who want to make their space feel even cozier and uniquely theirs. This gives Wayfair an enormous advantage over IKEA in the home décor department!
Price Range: Varies by product
Whether you’re looking for decorative lighting or something to light up your backyard for late night barbecues, IKEA has a product for you! Their lighting category is just as massive as their other categories, and the enormous variety might be overwhelming. But don’t worry because we’re going to break it down for you.
Here are the various types of lighting IKEA has available.
- Lamps & light fixtures
- Decorative lighting
- Smart lighting
- Integrated lighting
- Bathroom lighting
- Outdoor lighting
- LED lightbulbs
Within these categories, the designs for their lighting fixtures range from simple, minimalist lighting fixtures to eccentric options with unique shapes. Some of their lighting products have special features as well, and we’re going to give you a quick rundown on these.
LED Lightbulb Features: Dimmable, works with IKEA Home Smart, adjustable white tones, adjustable color, adjustable beam angle
Smart Lighting Features: Dimmable, works with IKEA Home Smart, motion sensor, adjustable white tones, adjustable color, built-in LED light source
Integrated Lighting Features: Dimmable, works with IKEA Home Smart, motion sensor, built-in LED light source, battery operated, adjustable color, USB powered
Some of their lighting options, like outdoor lighting, also come with a range of color options. Whatever vision you have in mind for the lighting inside or outside of your home, IKEA has an option to help!
Price Range: $1.99-$201.99
Wayfair knows the value of providing a variety of products for their clients, so their lighting category is just as massive as IKEA’s. Their variety is one of the many reasons this company has been so successful, and they strive to provide solutions for every homeowner’s personal style and needs.
Here’s a list of the different lighting options you can browse on Wayfair.
- Ceiling lights
- Table & Floor lights
- Ceiling fans
- Wall lights
- Outdoor lighting
- Novelty lights
- Lightbulbs & Hardware
- LED lighting
Within these categories are some subcategories. For example, you can shop for lighting by room (kitchen, bathroom, living room, etc.), or you can shop for indoor or outdoor ceiling fans.
Whatever lighting needs you to have, Wayfair is equipped to help! Some of their lighting products also come along with special features, so let’s take a look at those now.
Ceiling Fan Features: 3 speeds or more, reversible motor, DC motor, reversible blades, dimmable, adjustable height, heated ceiling fans
Outdoor Lighting Features: Dust to dawn, smart enabled, motion sensor, dimmable, dark sky compliant, integrated LED
Wayfair has a huge range of styles available for their lighting fixtures. You can find modern, technological looking fixtures as well as old-fashioned post lights & lanterns. Regardless of your personal style, you’ll be able to find something that suits your needs with Wayfair.
Price Range: $12.99-$6,999+
Comparison Questions (IKEA vs Wayfair)
Is IKEA or Wayfair More Affordable?
IKEA and Wayfair both have a wide variety of products available. You can find everything you need for every room in your home with both of these retailers, and their prices vary vastly depending on what you’re looking for.
However, we took note of their price ranges based on a few categories: mattresses, sofas, home decor, and lighting. Let’s take a look at these price ranges and compare who seems to offer more affordable products.
|IKEA Price Range
|Wayfair Price Range
As you can see, IKEA has consistently lower starting prices across nearly every category. They also have a lower max price across every category. They definitely offer more affordable products! So, the question now is, is that lowered price point worth it?
Which Brand Has The Best Quality Products?
Everyone is familiar with the notion of how challenging it is to assemble IKEA furniture. Some people have said that their furniture isn’t even good quality and that it frequently falls apart or doesn’t work as intended.
Wayfair has a few similar negative reviews, but it’s not nearly as common to find a review stating this about Wayfair as it is IKEA.
If you compare the materials used to make their products, you’ll actually find a lot of similarities. Especially when it comes to their sofas and mattresses, you seem to have the same choice of materials across both platforms.
However, Wayfair often has materials that IKEA doesn’t offer. Their mattresses, for example, have options for materials that are organic and GREENGUARD certified, which IKEA doesn’t offer.
When you look at their wardrobes and tables, which are where most of the complaints are directed toward in terms of lack of durability, you’ll find that they actually offer a range of similar materials.
IKEA materials for tables: Wood, bamboo, stainless steel, metal, fabric, plastic, glass, leather, polyester, rattan, coated fabric
Wayfair materials for tables: Wood, plastic, glass, metal, wicker/rattan, marble, steel
Surprisingly, IKEA offers a greater variety of materials than Wayfair. However, the question is whether the materials offered by IKEA are of high quality. Wayfair, with their limited materials, may be better able to oversee quality control to ensure their products are durable enough to resist everyday wear and tear.
Based on their materials and customer reviews, it’s clear that Wayfair has better quality products.
Does IKEA or Wayfair Offer More Shipping Locations?
Since Wayfair is primarily an online retailer, and online shopping has skyrocketed in recent years largely due to the pandemic, it makes sense to compare where these two retailers can ship to.
They both cover shipping for every state in the US, but what about other countries? And what are their shipping practices like? Let’s dive right in!
IKEA Shipping Locations
IKEA ships to every state in the US, but their shipping process is a little different from other retailers. For starters, they don’t have any free shipping options, which most retailers do, often with a minimum purchase requirement.
Another important thing to note about IKEA’s shipping is that they don’t ship from stores near you. They have to ship items from the closest warehouse. So, if you select an item online and are told it can’t be shipped to you- the reason is probably because they don’t have that item in stock in the warehouse closest to you.
IKEA has locations in 63 countries around the world and may have plans to open locations in more countries as well. If you live in a country with an IKEA store, then you’ll be able to have products shipped to you relatively easily.
However, IKEA also offers international shipping to countries that don’t have an IKEA store. Most customers, excluding international shipping, can expect to receive their package in about 1-3 weeks.
Delivery fees for IKEA shipping can vary pretty widely depending on what you’ve ordered, but generally, it’ll be between $39-$59.
Wayfair Shipping Locations
Wayfair’s biggest markets are the US, Canada, and the United Kingdom, but they do offer international shipping as well. It’s unclear exactly how many countries they ship to, as their website doesn’t indicate any countries that are “off-limits” per se.
Most people should be able to order from Wayfair regardless of the country they reside in. You’ll have to go through their international website, supplyhouse.com, for international purchases.
Since Wayfair has no physical locations, they don’t run into the same shipping issues that IKEA does in terms of finding items in stock in a warehouse vs a physical store. As long as the item is in stock on their website, you should be in the clear to have it shipped to you.
It can take about the same length of time as IKEA for shipping- 1-3 weeks. However, Wayfair does offer free shipping for orders over $49, which can be a huge cost saver depending on your location.
When you compare the shipping locations and fees for both retailers, it seems you’re getting a better deal with Wayfair. They offer free shipping and they have a better shipping process than IKEA.
Does IKEA or Wayfair Have A Better Return Policy?
Returns and exchanges happen a lot when buying new accessories and furnishing for the home. Something may not fit in the space as well as you’d imaged, or might be out of line with the aesthetics of your home. Therefore, buying from a retailer with an excellent return policy is essential.
IKEA has a 365-day return policy. As long as you have proof of purchase, and the item hasn’t been damaged or stained, then you can return it through one of their stores or online. They also offer limited warranties on certain products.
Wayfair’s return policy is less impressive. They only offer a 30-day return policy for a full refund or equal store credit, and the item must be in its original packaging. Most of Wayfair’s items don’t come with any type of warranty, although protection plans are available for certain products.
In terms of returns and warranties for products, IKEA definitely has the upper hand.
Does IKEA or Wayfair Have Better Customer Service?
Surprisingly, IKEA and Wayfair have the exact same rating for their customer service on TrustPilot. Both retailers have a low rating of 1.5/5 stars. Most negative reviews cover the same type of complaints for both companies.
Some of the most commonly reported complaints include,
- Lost items
- Difficulty receiving a refund
- Item received didn’t resemble the item pictured online
- Customer service rep was rude/unhelpful
- Quality of the items received was poor
There are plenty of glowing reviews for each company as well, but the overwhelming number of negative reviews show that both companies still have a lot to learn about customer service and how to properly ship and track items.
Does IKEA or Wayfair Offer Assembly Services?
IKEA’s products are designed to be assembled by the customer. That’s one of the biggest aspects of their business model, and what sets them apart from many other furniture retailers.
However, they do offer assembly services for in-store and online purchases. IKEA is partnered with TaskRabbit, so it won’t be an IKEA employee who assembles your furniture. Instead, they will help match you with someone from the app who will come to your home and assemble the furniture for you.
Wayfair also offers assembly services through a third party. They’re partnered with Handy, so you’ll go through a similar process for assembly with them as you would with IKEA. Wayfair will help match you with someone on Handy who can come and assemble the furniture for you.
Customers appear to have had varying experiences with people sent from TaskRabbit and Handy. Some have written glowing reviews about how helpful the person assembling their furniture was, while others have said that it took too long or the person never showed. Since you’re going through a third party for assembly, you’re never sure of the experience you’re going to have.
Which Brand Has A Wider Variety of Products?
IKEA and Wayfair both have an insanely large amount of products available. They each offer different styles, colors, special features, and sizes of products as well. However, one of these furniture giants definitely has a wider variety of products- and that retailer is Wayfair.
Wayfair has an astonishing 14 million products available, while IKEA has roughly 9,500 at any given time. That’s truly an insane number of products, and truly makes Wayfair the place that has something for everyone.
The Verdict – Which Is Better?
So, we’ve discussed the history of IKEA and Wayfair and the products each retailer offers. We compared their shipping practices, customer service, return policies, materials, and price ranges. IKEA was clearly the better retailer for some categories, while Wayfair came out on top in others. So, which is better?
Wayfair is definitely a better option than IKEA. They offer a far wider variety of products and, while some of their products are much more expensive than IKEA’s, they still offer affordable options. They also use unique materials that are more eco-friendly, and IKEA doesn’t have that option.
If you’re looking for an online furniture retailer that has a wide selection of products, a wide price range, and ships nearly everywhere, then you should shop with Wayfair!
Jamie is the Founder of My Home Dwelling. He is a homeowner and enjoys sharing his homeowner tips with others. He has real estate experience working as a new home construction Realtor. Jamie has worked on numerous residential construction sites helping with interior and exterior renovations. He loves refinishing furniture, DIY home projects, and sharing his knowledge online.