7 Viable Alternatives to IKEA for Stylish, Inexpensive Furniture

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Photo of IKEA store in Los Angeles, California.

I like IKEA.  We own plenty of IKEA furniture, especially, from our early years of marriage.  We have 2 IKEA stores in the area.

Some IKEA furniture is much better than others.  Some of it doesn’t last long, while other items, especially built of solid wood, can last for years.

IKEA kitchens are a very popular too.

I don’t think we’ve ever gone to IKEA and walked out with fewer items on our list.  We always end up in the marketplace and buy piles of home decor items in addition to any furniture items that were the main purpose of the trip.

My favorite IKEA feature is the low cost cafeteria.  The food is great.  You can enjoy a feast for under $10 and then commence shopping.  You just know you’ll end up in the endless maze that flows throughout the entire store filling up your cart and inventory card before the outing is done.

My IKEA pet peeve is assembling the furniture.  It’s sometimes complicated and very slow-going.  This is why I prefer buying multiple items that warrant paying for assembly service.

Whether you love or hate IKEA, you should know about several viable IKEA alternatives.  They’re out there with brick and mortar stores as well as online.

Below is our list of alternatives to IKEA.  We restricted out list to 7 which offers stylish, contemporary furniture that won’t break the bank.  After all, IKEA built its brand on stylish and low cost.  For each alternative, we include our pros and cons.

1. CB2

The exterior of a CB2 outlet in Texas.

Pros

  • Offers modern furniture that is specially designed to fit into modern homes. This means that while these pieces will look great in updated and contemporary homes and living rooms, it is not the best place to buy furniture if your home is more traditional and classically laid out.
  • Much of the furniture and the decorations that they sell are multi-functional, in neutral colors, and have a lot of textures.
  • The furniture is made from ecologically-friendly wood and leather, trying to keep everything they offer not only pleasant to touch and to enjoy but also sustainable.
  • The furniture is perfectly designed for smaller spaces, making it ideal for people who are setting up their first homes or apartments and want to have interesting furniture that is still functional.

Cons

  • For shoppers who are looking for bright and interesting colors, this may not be the best store as they do have a number of textures but tend to offer neutral over bright colors.
  • A lot of the furniture that they offer is a little more expensive than what you can buy in IKEA. There are some times that you can get furniture on a great sale; otherwise, it’s common to have to pay a little more.

Visit its online store here.

2. AllModern

Interface of AllModern online store.

Pros

  • All orders $69 and up will ship for free to Canada as well as all of the 50 states. As long as the item is in stock, shipping is very fast and the item will arrive quickly.
  • It’s easy to browse the site by brand, category, or even the sale section, allowing you to go straight to the section of furniture that you are in the market for.
  • Pricing is very competitive with other retailers such as IKEA, especially when considering the free shipping, which can make their items an even better deal.
  • AllModern has set up their website so that it is easy to shop by style. This is important for people who are interested in designing their whole homes around a specific style, such as mid-century or Scandinavian.

Cons

  • This is an online-only retailer, which is frustrating for people who want to go in person to touch the furniture and the items that they are considering buying.
  • Customer service is lacking and users have found that getting a response about their questions or concerns regarding their orders is difficult. The company does not have a very good reputation for being receptive to complaints or questions.
  • Some of the furniture is very difficult to put together, even with the specified tools.
  • While shipping is free, the packing is often shoddy, which can result in damage to the furniture or the other items that were ordered.

Visit its online store here.

3. West Elm

Exterior of a large West Elm branch.

Pros

  • This is a great place to buy a sofa as there are more than 130 designs and many different ways to customize the sofa of your dreams. It’s even easy to buy additional matching fabric so that you can have other furniture in your living room reupholstered to match your new sofa.
  • The sofa you buy can be returned within a week of delivery as long as it was an in-stock option.
  • The online inspiration section of the website is a great way to learn more about your specific style and to think about how you want to design your living room and your home.
  • The online sales that they run on a regular basis drop the prices so much that the items are generally very affordable.
  • The strong, reliable furniture can stand up to kids jumping and playing on it without being damaged, making this a perfect choice for a family with small children.
  • With many different fabric options to choose from, it’s easy to find furniture that will not only fit into your décor but also improve the overall appearance of your home.
  • If you are located near a store, you can go and pick up your order there for free and not have to worry about shipping options.

Cons

  • Unless you are able to buy during a sale or with a discount, this store does tend to be pricier than other online options.
  • The website is not always updated on time, which results in products going on backorder and shoppers not realizing it because they were not notified.
  • Delivery can often take months if the item is backordered.
  • The quality of some of the furniture is very questionable and it is easy to leave indents in the foam of chairs and sofas.
  • The only way to get information about the status of an order is to reach out to the company or check your online account as they do not send detailed updates about the shipping.

Visit its online store here.

4. Urban Outfitters

An Urban Outfitters branch in London, England.

Pros

  • The apartment section of Urban Outfitters has a lot of reasonably priced items to choose from.
  • Perfect for people who are interested in a more bohemian look, this store has great options for a carefree vibe.
  • There’s free shipping and also free returns when you spend $50 or more.
  • It’s easy to customize your own furniture by choosing the style, fabric, and color. Urban Outfitters will then custom-make your furniture for you and ship it to you.
  • The furniture is, for the most part, fairly light, which means that it can easily be moved around the home by just one person.
  • It’s easy to move the furniture through doorways due to its smaller size.

Cons

  • The furniture isn’t very high quality and tends to sag.
  • Because of the sagging, their furniture is not very comfortable to sit on for a long period of time nor does it last for very long.
  • Many of the different options can be found at other locations for a much better price.

Visit its online store here.

5. Structube

Structube store in Toronto, Canada.

Pros

  • Their furniture is very modern and stylish, perfect for contemporary homes.
  • Most of the things that they sell are very affordable and a lot less expensive than other stores.
  • In addition to furniture, they sell lighting and art, making them a direct competitor to IKEA.
  • Canadians can shop at a dedicated site so they are not charged too much money when it comes to shipping their items.

Cons

  • Shipping takes a very long time and it is not well updated so it can be hard to know when your items are going to arrive.
  • If an item is reduced after you order, they will not automatically lower the price for you and it can be a hassle to get the better deal.
  • There are no refunds on any of the items that they offer on sale.

Visit its online store here.

6. Blu Dot

A Blu Dot store in Chicago.

Pros

  • They currently make a line for Target, which makes some of their pieces even more affordable.
  • Offering modern pieces of furniture, they try really hard to keep their prices low and in line with other stores.
  • It’s easy to sign up through their website for a free catalog to browse at home.
  • The online outlet section features great prices on some of their products.
  • Interior designers, architects, and other design experts can all get trade discounts on their items and they also offer contracts for projects, which will lower the cost of all of their items.
  • It’s easy to get free fabric and color swatches.

Cons

  • If the item you order is not in stock, it can take a very long time for it to be delivered.
  • There isn’t any free shipping offered. Shipping is 5% of the total of your order and any shipments to Canada have to pay an additional fee of $45.
  • The delivery staff will not unpack the order and will even leave the pallet in front of the home if someone is there to take responsibility for it. This means that you have to be prepared to move the furniture in to your home with friends or family members, especially if the weather is bad.
  • You can pay for inside delivery as well as assembly but that costs an additional $129.
  • There is a redelivery fee of $129 if you miss your time with the carrier.

Visit its online store here.

7. Muji

A Muji branch located at Bangkok, Thailand.

Pros

  • They offers many different items for sale from furniture to electronics and clothing.
  • While not necessarily minimalist in style, Muji products are streamlined, simplistic, and very versatile so they can fit into most homes.
  • Their clothing is very high quality and has a reputation for being quite comfortable.
  • The online size chart is easy to use and a great way to get the perfect size clothing for your children or yourself.

Cons

  • The physical stores are only on the east and west coast as well as in Canada, making it very difficult to get to visit one in person to feel and touch the item that you want to buy.
  • They do not offer free shipping. Shipping starts at $5.95 and increases from there.
  • They do not offer gift cards.
  • The only way to contact Muji through a toll-free number is if you have problems or questions about making a return. The number is only accessible once you have placed an order.

Visit its online store here.

 





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