The Return Policy At IKEA Explained

IKEA is one of the most popular furniture retailers, with YouGov reporting that the Swedish-based company is the 24th most popular specialty retail store, just below PetSmart. It is also the 331st most popular overall brand below Macy's. Many people love IKEA for the vast catalog and low prices, allowing them to stylishly furnish their homes on a budget.

Not every piece of furniture purchased at IKEA is going to be a perfect fit, though. If you don't love your new dresser, bed, desk, or any other number of items the store offers, you may want to consult their return policy. IKEA has a pretty forgiving return policy, but with such a wide variety of products, each item has a slightly different set of rules and stipulations that can get confusing, if not overwhelming. For instance, unopened items and opened items each have their own unique time frames for returning, as do specific items like mattresses. Keep reading for a comprehensive breakdown of IKEA's return policy.

Make sure you return your items in time

The most important part of any return policy is knowing how long you actually have to decide you don't want the item. Lots of stores have strict 30-day return policies, but IKEA is a little more flexible than that. As HVAC-Buzz notes, the Swedish furniture store is a lot more accommodating than most furniture stores. Generally, it has a 365-day return policy, but it gets a little more complicated.

According to IKEA, all unopened merchandise is covered under the 365-day return policy, except for mattresses. This is great news for smaller items like lamps, frames, kitchenware, etc. But what about furniture? Luckily, IKEA allows you to return opened merchandise within 180 days of purchase, as long as it isn't heavily used. IKEA does not accept returns for plants, as-is purchases, cut fabric, or custom countertops. If you have assembled furniture you want to return, you may be in for a bit of labor. Assembled furniture will need to be brought inside the store for returns, per The Krazy Coupon Lady.

Items have to be brought back to IKEA stores

Whether you purchased your IKEA item in-store or online, you'll have to bring it to a physical store to return it. This includes even heavy, assembled furniture. Smaller items delivered through the mail can be returned through the mail, though. According to IKEA, you should enter the store through the exchanges and return entrance. IKEA will sometimes offer pickup service, but The Krazy Coupon Lady notes that the service comes with a fee of around $100 and is rarely offered anymore.

When you get to the store, make sure you have your item, your receipt or other valid proof of purchase, and your ID. Once you get inside, you'll sign up for the line, which tends to be long since most returns need to be made in person. To avoid long lines and large crowds, look up when your local IKEA is the least busy. Miss Sue Flay recommends going on Saturday evenings after the weekend crowd has filtered out.

Other IKEA return tips

While most items fall under the 180 or 365-day return policy, IKEA mattresses do not. Instead, mattresses can be exchanged, but only within 90 days of purchase, and with a valid proof of purchase and ID, per IKEA. Furthermore, it can't be damaged, dirty, or otherwise heavily used, according to QuerySprout. Unopened IKEA mattresses fall under the 365-day return window, though. Like most items, you must bring mattresses to a physical store to exchange.

If you order an item to your home and it arrives broken, missing an item, or otherwise damaged, give IKEA a call and talk to a customer service agent for further help. You can also bring the item to a store, but a phone call is much easier to start with than lugging heavy furniture around. All damaged items fall within the 365-day window for returns, exchanges, or store credit. The item also has to have been damaged before getting to you, as the store notes it will not accept items that are modified from how it was delivered, so consider taking time-stamped pictures of your damaged merchandise.