IKEA vs Wayfair: Comparing Furniture Giants

If you’re in the market for affordable furniture, you’ve probably heard of Wayfair and Ikea. Both companies are known for offering stylish and functional furniture at reasonable prices. While they share some similarities, there are also key differences between the two that may make one a better choice for you than the other.

Ikea is a Swedish company that was founded in 1943. It has since become a global brand, with stores in over 50 countries. Ikea is known for its modern and minimalist designs, as well as its affordable prices. The company offers a wide range of furniture and home accessories, from sofas and beds to kitchenware and lighting. Ikea also has a reputation for being eco-friendly, with a commitment to sustainability and renewable energy.

Wayfair, on the other hand, is a newer company that was founded in 2002. Unlike Ikea, Wayfair is an online-only retailer, which means it doesn’t have any physical stores. Wayfair offers a huge selection of furniture and home goods from thousands of brands, making it a one-stop-shop for all your home decor needs. The company is known for its competitive prices and frequent sales, as well as its user-friendly website and responsive customer service.

Key Insights

  1. Ikea and Wayfair share a market but have distinct models; Ikea has physical stores and self-designed products, while Wayfair operates online-only with a vast range of brands.
  2. Ikea is recognized for its minimalist, modern designs and commitment to sustainability, whereas Wayfair is applauded for its vast selection, competitive prices, and user-friendly platform.
  3. In pricing, both companies offer affordable options but differ in their ranges: Ikea often falls within lower mid-range while Wayfair spans from low-end to high-end.
  4. While Ikea’s furniture requires self-assembly, an added convenience with Wayfair is the option of in-home delivery and setup for certain furniture items at an extra cost.
  5. Despite different approaches to sales, both companies follow democratic design principles prioritizing functionality, beauty, sustainability, and affordability.
Product SelectionOffers a wide range of affordable furniture and home decor items with a focus on modern design.Offers a wide range of furniture and home decor items from various brands and designers.
PriceKnown for its affordable prices, with many items priced below $100.Prices vary depending on the brand and designer, but generally more expensive than IKEA.
QualityOffers good quality products for the price, but some items may not be as durable as higher-end brands.Offers a mix of high-quality and lower-quality products, with some items being comparable to higher-end brands.
DeliveryOffers in-store pickup and home delivery, with delivery fees based on the size and weight of the item.Offers home delivery for most items, with delivery fees based on the size and weight of the item.
Customer ServiceOffers a 365-day return policy and a warranty on most products.Offers a 30-day return policy and a warranty on most products.
SustainabilityHas made efforts to become more sustainable, including using renewable energy sources and offering recycling services.Has made efforts to become more sustainable, including offering eco-friendly furniture options and partnering with organizations to reduce waste.


Let’s take a look at the history of IKEA and Wayfair. IKEA was founded in 1943 by Ingvar Kamprad in Sweden. The company started as a mail-order business for small items like pens and wallets. In 1951, IKEA began selling furniture and opened its first store in Almhult, Sweden. Today, IKEA has over 400 stores in 52 countries.

Wayfair was founded in 2002 by Steve Conine and Niraj Shah in Boston, Massachusetts. The company started as a two-person business selling stereo racks and stands. In 2003, Wayfair expanded its product line to include furniture and home decor. Today, Wayfair is one of the largest online furniture retailers in the United States.

IKEA and Wayfair have different approaches to furniture sales. IKEA is known for its affordable, do-it-yourself furniture. The company designs its own furniture and sells it directly to consumers. Wayfair, on the other hand, is a marketplace for furniture and home decor. The company partners with thousands of suppliers to offer a wide variety of products at different price points.

Ingvar Kamprad, the founder of IKEA, was known for his frugal lifestyle. He drove an old Volvo and flew economy class. Kamprad passed away in 2018 at the age of 91. Steve Conine and Niraj Shah, the co-founders of Wayfair, are still actively involved in the company’s operations.

Business Model

When it comes to business models, both IKEA and Wayfair have unique approaches to the furniture retail industry.

IKEA follows a low-cost, high-volume model that allows them to offer affordable furniture to customers. They design their furniture in-house and manufacture it in large quantities to keep costs low. Additionally, they operate their own stores, which allows them to keep prices low by cutting out the middleman.

Wayfair, on the other hand, is an e-commerce retailer that offers a wide range of furniture at wholesale prices. They do not manufacture their own furniture but rather work with suppliers to offer a vast selection of products. This allows them to offer competitive prices while maintaining a large inventory.

In terms of online presence, Wayfair has a strong e-commerce platform that offers a user-friendly interface and extensive product information. They also have a mobile app that allows customers to shop on-the-go.

IKEA has also been expanding its online presence in recent years, offering online shopping and delivery services. They have also invested in augmented reality technology, allowing customers to preview furniture in their homes before making a purchase.

Both companies have a strong international presence, with IKEA operating in over 50 countries and Wayfair shipping to over 80 countries.

Product Range

When it comes to product range, both IKEA and Wayfair offer a vast selection of furniture and home furnishing products.

IKEA is known for its affordable and stylish furniture options, including sofas, tables, chairs, and bedroom furniture. They also have a range of outdoor furniture and patio furniture options.

Wayfair, on the other hand, has a more extensive product selection, including furniture and home decor products from various brands. They offer a wide range of products in different styles, colors, and materials, making it easy to find something that fits your taste and budget.

When it comes to mattresses, IKEA offers a range of affordable options, including foam, latex, and spring mattresses. Wayfair also offers a wide selection of mattresses, including memory foam, innerspring, and hybrid options.

Design and Aesthetics

When it comes to design and aesthetics, both IKEA and Wayfair offer a wide range of options to suit different tastes and preferences.

IKEA is known for its modern and minimalist designs that are both functional and stylish. Their furniture and home decor items are often characterized by clean lines, simple shapes, and neutral colors. This makes them a popular choice for those who prefer a contemporary and uncluttered look in their home.

On the other hand, Wayfair offers a more diverse range of home decor items that cater to different design styles. They have a vast selection of products that range from traditional to modern, and everything in between. This means that you can find something to suit your taste, whether you prefer a classic or a more contemporary look.

Both IKEA and Wayfair follow the principles of democratic design, which means that their products are designed to be functional, beautiful, sustainable, and affordable. This ensures that you get value for your money while also contributing to a better environment.

In terms of quality, both IKEA and Wayfair offer products that are well-made and durable. However, some customers have reported issues with the quality of IKEA furniture, especially when it comes to assembly. Wayfair, on the other hand, has a reputation for providing high-quality products that are easy to assemble.

Overall, whether you prefer modern and minimalist designs or a more eclectic aesthetic, both IKEA and Wayfair have something to offer. It all comes down to your personal taste and budget.

Pricing and Affordability

When it comes to purchasing furniture, pricing is a significant factor to consider. Both IKEA and Wayfair are known for offering affordable furniture options, but they differ in their price range and value-oriented approach.

IKEA’s pricing is known to be very affordable, with most of their products falling within the low to mid-range price points. They offer a wide variety of value-oriented furniture options that cater to customers on a budget. Additionally, IKEA often has sales and promotions that make their already affordable furniture even more accessible.

Wayfair, on the other hand, offers a wider range of pricing options. While they do have some affordable furniture options, they also offer higher-end products that can be more expensive. However, Wayfair is known to have frequent sales and discounts, which can make their higher-priced furniture more accessible to customers.

Overall, both IKEA and Wayfair offer affordable furniture options, but IKEA is more value-oriented and has a lower price range. If you are on a tight budget, IKEA may be the better option for you. However, if you are willing to spend more for higher-end furniture, Wayfair has a wider range of pricing options to choose from.

Shipping and Assembly

When it comes to shipping and assembly, both IKEA and Wayfair offer some similar and different options.

IKEA is known for its flat packing and self-assembly furniture, which allows for easy transportation and lower shipping costs. However, this also means that you will have to assemble the furniture yourself, which can be time-consuming and challenging for some people.

Wayfair, on the other hand, offers in-home delivery and setup for some of its furniture, which can be a convenient option for those who do not want to assemble it themselves. However, this service may come at an additional cost, and not all items are eligible for in-home delivery.

Both IKEA and Wayfair offer free shipping on some items, but the requirements and restrictions may vary. For example, IKEA offers free shipping on orders over a certain amount, while Wayfair may offer free shipping on select items or during certain promotions.

Overall, if you are looking for affordable and easy-to-transport furniture, IKEA may be a good option for you. However, if you prefer the convenience of in-home delivery and setup, Wayfair may be a better choice.

Customer Experience

When it comes to shopping for furniture, the customer experience is an essential aspect that can make or break the purchasing decision. Both IKEA and Wayfair offer an easy-to-use online shopping experience that allows you to browse a wide range of products from the comfort of your own home.

In terms of customer service, both companies have a reputation for providing excellent support. IKEA has a well-established reputation for providing in-store support, while Wayfair offers a comprehensive online help center that includes live chat, email, and phone support.

Customer satisfaction is a crucial metric that determines how well a company is meeting the needs of its customers. According to customer reviews, both IKEA and Wayfair have a solid reputation for providing quality products and excellent customer service.

When it comes to ease of ordering, Wayfair has an edge over IKEA. Wayfair offers a streamlined checkout process that allows you to place an order quickly and easily. IKEA, on the other hand, requires you to create an account before you can place an order, which can be a bit of a hassle.

Overall, both IKEA and Wayfair offer a customer experience that is tailored to the needs of their customers. Whether you’re looking for a specific product or just browsing for inspiration, both companies have a wide range of products that are sure to meet your needs.

Store Experience

When it comes to store experience, IKEA and Wayfair have different approaches. IKEA has physical showrooms where you can browse through their home furnishings and get a feel for the products. Their showrooms are designed to give you an idea of how the furniture would look in a real-life setting. On the other hand, Wayfair is an online company and doesn’t have physical stores.

IKEA’s showrooms are designed to be interactive and engaging. You can touch and feel the furniture, open drawers, and cabinets, and even sit on the sofas. Their showrooms are also designed to be inspiring. You can see how different pieces of furniture can be combined to create a cohesive look for your home.

Wayfair, being an online company, has a different approach. They have a vast selection of products on their website, and you can browse through them at your leisure. They have high-quality images and detailed descriptions of their products, so you can get a good idea of what you’re buying. They also have customer reviews, which can be helpful in making a decision.

If you prefer the traditional shopping experience, then IKEA’s showrooms are the way to go. You can see and touch the products before you buy them. However, if you don’t have an IKEA showroom near you, then Wayfair’s online shopping experience is just as good. You can browse through their vast selection of products and get a good idea of what you’re buying.

Policies and Warranties

When it comes to purchasing furniture, it’s important to understand the policies and warranties of the retailer. Both IKEA and Wayfair have their own set of policies and warranties that you should be aware of before making a purchase.

Return Policy

IKEA has a 365-day return policy for most items, allowing you to return your purchase for any reason within a year of purchase. Wayfair, on the other hand, has a 7-14 day return policy depending on the item. It’s important to note that both retailers have specific requirements for returning an item, such as keeping the original packaging and providing proof of purchase.


IKEA offers a 10-year limited warranty on most of their furniture, while Wayfair offers a 1-year warranty on most items. It’s important to read the warranty carefully to understand what is covered and what is not. Both retailers have restrictions on their warranties, such as not covering damage caused by misuse or normal wear and tear.

Protection Plans

Both IKEA and Wayfair offer protection plans for an additional fee. These plans can provide coverage for accidental damage, stains, and other issues that may occur with your furniture. It’s important to read the details of the protection plan carefully to understand what is covered and what is not.


It’s important to note that both IKEA and Wayfair have restrictions on their policies and warranties. For example, IKEA’s warranty does not cover damage caused by normal wear and tear, while Wayfair’s return policy does not cover items that have been used or assembled. It’s important to read the policies and warranties carefully to understand any restrictions or limitations.

No Warranty

It’s important to note that some items may not come with a warranty. For example, IKEA’s AS-IS section offers items at a discounted price, but these items are sold as-is with no warranty. Wayfair also offers items without a warranty, such as clearance items or items sold by third-party sellers. It’s important to read the details of the item carefully to understand if it comes with a warranty or not.

Overall, understanding the policies and warranties of IKEA and Wayfair can help you make an informed decision when purchasing furniture. Take the time to read the details carefully and ask any questions you may have before making a purchase.

Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility

IKEA, pioneering sustainable practices since the 1990s, continues to lead in corporate responsibility. Simultaneously, Wayfair is progressively shifting towards a more sustainable future.

Both companies have committed to using sustainable materials in their products. IKEA has set a goal to only use renewable and recycled materials in its products by 2030, and has already made significant progress towards this goal. Wayfair has also made a commitment to sourcing sustainable materials, and has launched a number of products made from recycled materials.

In addition to sustainable materials, both companies are also focused on reducing their environmental impact. IKEA has invested heavily in renewable energy, and has committed to producing more energy than it consumes by 2020. Wayfair has also made moves towards renewable energy, and has set a goal to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 20% by 2025.

When it comes to corporate responsibility, both companies have made commitments to their communities and their employees. IKEA has a strong focus on social responsibility, and has implemented a number of programs to support its employees and the communities where it operates. Wayfair has also made a commitment to its employees and communities, and has launched a number of initiatives to support social responsibility.

Frequently Asked Questions

What sets Wayfair apart from Overstock?

Wayfair and Overstock are both online retailers that sell furniture, home decor, and other household items. However, Wayfair has a larger selection of products and offers a more personalized shopping experience. Wayfair also has a better reputation for customer service and quality products compared to Overstock.

What are some alternatives to Wayfair?

If you’re looking for alternatives to Wayfair, there are several other online retailers that offer similar products and prices. Some popular options include Amazon, IKEA, and Ashley Furniture. Each of these retailers has its own unique selection and features, so it’s worth comparing them to Wayfair to find the best fit for your needs.

Why are Wayfair’s prices lower compared to other furniture retailers?

Wayfair’s prices are lower compared to other furniture retailers because they operate primarily online, which allows them to save on overhead costs like rent and utilities. Wayfair also buys products in bulk directly from manufacturers, which allows them to negotiate lower prices and pass those savings on to customers. Additionally, Wayfair frequently offers sales and discounts on their products, which can further reduce prices.


Hello! I'm Nikita, the creator of Abodenation, a blog dedicated to home improvement, troubleshooting, advice, and decor. With years of hands-on experience and a keen eye for detail, I love sharing my passion for creating functional, beautiful, and comfortable living spaces with others. Join me on my journey to transform houses into homes, one project at a time.

Articles: 198