A collection of Ikea shopping bags

Ikea MoneySaving tips

Including trade in old Ikea furniture for vouchers & free tea and coffee

If you’ve shopped at Ikea, you’ll know how easily costs can add up when you pop in for a specific item and leave hours later with a car full of cacti and scented candles. So here are our tips to make your Ikea visits more efficient – and cheaper – including its furniture 'buy back' scheme, where to find ex-display or slightly damaged bargains, and how to get free tea and coffee.

For some of these, you’ll need to be an Ikea Family member (have its free loyalty card). If you don’t have one, you can sign up for free online or in a store (find your nearest).

Short-lived offers and promotions

A few times a year, Ikea runs promotions and offers. These usually include two big sale events a year (see when we think the next Ikea sale will be below) and the '£9' real Christmas tree offer. In the past we've also seen Advent calendars with vouchers inside, the 'All the furniture you can eat' promotion where your restaurant spend is taken off your next in-store purchase, and £10 off a £75 spend for students.

There aren't any offers at the moment, but we'll update this section when there are.

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Ongoing Ikea MoneySaving tips

Here are our ongoing tips and tricks for saving money at Ikea.

  1. Trade in old Ikea furniture for vouchers of up to 50% of an item's original value

    Earlier this year, Ikea launched a 'buy back' scheme which allows you to trade in your old Ikea furniture for vouchers to spend both online and in-store. You can trade in cabinets, bookcases, chairs and more, though it's not for everything, for example, you can't take back a bed – see a full list of what's part of the scheme below.

    Depending on the item's condition, you can get up to 50% of its original value back in Ikea vouchers. It's fine if your item has some cosmetic wear, but you'll be offered less (40% back for minor scratches, 30% if several). To get the voucher, you'll need to enter the details of your item online via its free buy back estimator tool and return the items to the store within 30 days of receiving the preliminary offer.

    If you're happy with the offer, take your item into a participating store to be inspected and exchanged for a voucher. If you're thinking of taking back a larger item, bear in mind that you may need to arrange transport. 

    Your item is then resold in its 'Circular Hub' section (previously known as 'Bargain Corner' – see more on this below). This offer is available in most Ikea stores. See full details on how the scheme works in our Ikea launches 'buy back' scheme for old furniture MSE news story.

    The vouchers have no end date and can be spent both online and in stores, but can't be used in the Bistro, Swedish Food Markets or restaurants, and can't be used on Ikea Food products.

    MSE Rhiannon recently traded in an old ceiling lamp that came with her house using this initiative and received £30 back from Ikea.

    • Full info on what furniture is a part of the scheme

      The following items can be returned as part of the 'buy back' scheme: 
      • Bookcases and shelf units
      • Cabinets
      • Chairs and stools (excluding upholstered or leather chairs and stools)
      • Chest of drawers
      • Children's furniture (excluding baby items such as cots and changing tables)
      • Dining tables and desks
      • Display storage
      • Dressers
      • Multimedia furniture (for example, TV benches and storage units)
      • Office drawer cabinets and other small structures with drawers
      • Accessories for Ikea's PAX wardrobes (for example, clothes rails, shelves)
      • Sideboards
      • Small tables

      Ikea won't accept the following items:

      • Non-Ikea products
      • Hacked or modified products
      • Non-assembled Ikea products
      • Products that have been used outside including outdoor furniture
      • Mattresses & bed textiles (such as blankets and mattress toppers)
      • Sofas/armchairs
      • Other soft good (pillows, towels, curtains etc.)
      • Items containing glass
      • Kitchens including worktops, cabinets and fronts
      • PAX wardrobes
      • Other over-sized items
      • Appliances and other electrical items
      • Baby products such as cots, mattresses and changing tables
      • Upholstered or leather products
      • Market hall products
      • Non-furniture items
      • Products purchased more than 7 years ago
  2. Free tea or filter coffee, plus refills

    Family card members can get a free tea or filter coffee on weekdays (normally £1) – better still, you get free refills on all drinks. As with all Family member offers, you simply scan/swipe your card at the checkout. You only need one membership per group (there’s no restriction on group size).

    See our Free tea and coffee deals round-up for other places where you can grab a free hot drink. 

  3. Free in-store events including workshops and massages

    Go to the Ikea ‘Store Events‘ page, select your local Ikea, and it’ll bring up all of its in-store events. When we checked on Mon 4 Apr, events included free 'Easter dEGGorating' at the Reading store (where you get to paint and keep decorative eggs), a 'Nature Weaving' workshop at the Nottingham store, and 'Face Painting' for kids at the Glasgow store. Most of these are free, though some do require you to be an Ikea Family member. 

  4. Ikea replaces missing parts for free and will even deliver them to your door

    If you're in need of spare parts such as screws, cam locks, dowels and more, Ikea will give these to you for free. If you want to collect these in store, simply head to the returns department in your local store.

    Alternatively, you can order online via its spare parts page and arrange for the parts to be delivered to you for free. The page also shows you how to find a spare part number so that you can be sure you're ordering the correct item. 

  5. When is the next Ikea sale? Know when to pounce to save up to 50%

    Ikea usually runs a couple of sale events each year – one in summer and the other in winter. The sales used to be mostly in store, with fewer items discounted online, but since the pandemic we've seen more stock available online, too. 

    We tend to see discounts of up to 40% off on thousands of products across furniture, lighting, bathroom, textiles and kitchenware. Here's when we expect Ikea to have its big sales:

    • Summer sale – predicted to start beginning of June 2022

      We predicted the summer sale would start during the first week of June this year, and we were only out by a few days. Here's when it's started in previous years:

      • 2021 – Mon 7 Jun - Sun 18 Jul. Online and in stores.
      • 2020 – Mon 13 Jul - Mon 31 Aug. Online and in stores. 
      • 2019 – Thu 6 Jun - Sun 30 Jun. In stores only. 
      • 2018 – Tue 5 Jun - Sun 1 Jul. In stores only.
    • Winter sale – predicted to start from mid-December 2022

      The winter sale start date is usually pretty consistent, but in 2020 it launched a couple of weeks earlier than we expected. It could do the same again this year, but it's difficult to tell. Here's when it's started in previous years:

      • 2020 – Tue 1 Dec - Sun 17 Jan. Mostly online with limited availability in stores. 
      • 2019 – Thu 19 Dec - Sun 12 Jan. Online and in stores.
      • 2018 – Thu 20 Dec - Sun 13 Jan. In stores only.
  6. Look out for ex-display or mildly damaged bargains in the special 'Circular Hub' area

    Formerly known as 'Bargain Corner', this is where Ikea puts reduced goods and it can often be found by the tills. Items here are usually ex-display or damaged in some way, though this could be as minor as a ripped box. It now also contains furniture that's been traded in as part of its 'buy back' scheme mentioned above.

    Former MSE Dani got lucky and found a light in Circular Hub (Bargain Corner) that she was going to buy at full-price – the only difference was that it had a torn box, so it’s always worth checking before you check out.

    MSE Laura B's flatmate found these curtains in Circular Hub that she'd picked up earlier in the store at full price. They've been repackaged and so are a little out of shape, but she's happy with that as they're 29% cheaper. 

    We asked MoneySavers on Twitter if they'd managed to pick up any bargains...

  7. If you've lost of forgotten your Ikea Family card, you can still get its benefits

    Ikea Family is it's completely free loyalty scheme, which gives members access to discounted prices on selected products, personalised offers and a free hot drink Mon-Fri. You can sign up for free online.

    If you can't find your card or forgot to bring it with you, you can download the Ikea store app (available for free at the App Store or Google Play) and log into your account to access a digital version of your card. Alternatively, you can usually print off a temporary card at in-store kiosks.

  8. £2.50 for small cooked breakfast or £3.50 for large

    You can get a six-piece breakfast for £2.50 (£2 for vegetarian option) or a nine-piece for £3.50 (£3 for vegetarian option) in the Ikea restaurant, available between 10am and 11am daily (times may vary by restaurant). 

    The breakfast menu includes typical 'fry up' options, including eggs, bacon, sausages, beans and hash browns, plus vegetarian alternatives. The Ikea restaurant used to offer a discount for Ikea Family members on the breakfast menu which is unfortunately no longer available, but we think £2-£3.50 for a cooked breakfast is still a decent deal. 

    Image of two Ikea breakfast options on a tray with a tea and coffee
    MSE Laura B's regular vegetarian breakfast (£3) and MSE Oli's regular breakfast (£3.50), plus a free tea and coffee with their Ikea Family member cards

    There are other items on the breakfast menu, including a breakfast roll for £1, a vegetarian breakfast roll for 85p and a kids' breakfast for £1.30.

  9. Keep an eye on your emails for offers in your local Ikea store

    If you're an Ikea Family member, you could be emailed exclusive offers and vouchers for your local store.

    MSE Laura B has previously received an email with £5 off a £40 spend. We've also seen £50 off a £300 spend on outdoor furniture and accessories. 

    Ikea doesn't say how often these offers are available, so it's always worth keeping an eye on your inbox for emails from it, and scrolling all the way to the bottom to check for codes – MSE Laura B almost missed an offer once because the code was right at the end.

    Screenshot of an email with an offer for 30% off kitchen fronts
    An example of a previous Ikea Family offer from 2020
  10. Use Ikea's free virtual reality app to see how furniture would look in your home before you buy

    The free Ikea Place app uses your camera to create a virtual reality version of your room, where you can add Ikea furniture and accessories into your space to see how they’d look before you buy.

    Download the free app from the Apple App Store (your Apple device will need iOS 11 or later software to run the app) or from Google Play for Android devices.

  11. Free product insurance on your journey home and while you assemble your items

    Present and swipe your Ikea Family card at the checkout and you’ll automatically get free product insurance for ‘accidental damage on the way home and during assembly’. This only applies to items bought in store and excludes Circular Hub items, cut fabric and custom made goods. If you need to claim, present your Ikea Family card and receipt in store within 90 days of the date you purchased.

    Ikea says damaged items will be replaced on a like-for-like basis or you’ll be given a store card for the item’s current selling price.

  12. Remember to bring your own bags

    Ikea bags are bigger than your average and pretty sturdy, but at 50p-75p each, the cost can soon add up. So, if you’ve already loads under your kitchen sink, remember to re-use them.

  13. Free tool to help avoid queuing during busy times at your local Ikea

    Ikea can often be busy and right now where it is limiting numbers of people in store, you could need to queue outside during busy times.

    Using Google’s free 'Popular Times' feature (by simply Googling your local store, for example, 'Ikea Manchester'), you can find out when your local store is likely to be at its busiest, helping you plan your trip better to avoid the queues. There are two ways to use Google's tool:

    • The most accurate way is to check shortly before you go if now's a good time to visit the store. For many Ikea stores, Google will show 'Live' visit data (shown by a pink bar on the graph) which is updated in real time so you'll have a reasonably accurate picture of how busy or quiet the store will be.

    • You can plan ahead by looking at different days of the week, and in the past this has been a great feature, but because it's using historical data and habits may have changed in over the last year or so, use it to see when your local store is typically quieter, but take it as a general guide and not a guarantee.
    • Where to find the 'Popular Times' tool

      • First do a Google search for your local store, for example, Ikea Lakeside or Ikea Manchester.
      • On a mobile, you'll find a box with Google's Ikea listing at the top of the page – scroll down a little bit to see the 'Popular times' graph.
      • On a laptop or computer, you'll find this on the right-hand side.
    The graphs above are an example of when we checked Ikea in Manchester on Tue 14 July 2020. On the left, you can see the 'Live' real time data. The graph on the right shows when the store is typically busy on a Saturday, based on average visits over the past several months.
  14. Go prepared with measurements written down

    Always carry a note of your measurements when you head to an Ikea store, for example, any spaces you want to fill and any furniture you’re replacing. This should hopefully prevent extra (often costly) trips back to the store if something doesn’t fit. Plus, Ikea’s paper measuring tapes in store are only one metre, so if you’re buying something large, bring your own tape measure.

  15. Ikea furniture hacks

    If you search ‘Ikea hacks’ online, you’ll find endless ideas on how to transform your Ikea furniture and use it in creative ways. Former MSE Lucia painted her £13 Ikea step stool grey and found plenty of different uses for it, including a side table, extra dining chairs and a plant stand.

  16. Get extra offers and discounts

    If you've a free Ikea Family card, you can get regular offers and exclusive discounts on selected products. For example, MSE Laura spotted 15% off outdoor furniture, a mattress which was priced at £280 for Family members (normally £350) and a 4for3 offer on roller blinds.

  17. Keep an eye on our weekly email for short-lived Ikea deals

    We’ve featured some cracking Ikea deals over the years, including its popular prize draw where everyone wins something and its '£9' real Christmas tree (you buy a £29 tree and get a £20 voucher to spend). If you don’t already receive the weekly MSE email, you can sign up here.

  18. Save time (and money) using a shortcut to your flatpack

    We’ve a top tip from MSE Dan, who used to work in Ikea...

    If you know what you want to get, check its flatpack warehouse aisle and location number online before you go, and then go in the back entrance.

    To find an item’s location, go to the Ikea website and set the store locator to your local. Then, go to the page of the product and click on the store name. A side panel will open, showing the aisle and location of the product.

    MSE Dan recommends going into the store via the back entrance, but Ikea’s official line is that stores should be entered via the main entrance. We can’t confirm you’ll be able to get in via the back, but walking around Ikea’s full showroom and marketplace takes a decent chunk of time and it often means you end up buying goods that weren’t on your list – so, it could be worth a go.

    We've not had these confirmed, but savvy MSE users have told us that in the Warrington store "you can miss out a good chunk of the showroom by going left through the door at the top of the main stairs" and you can get straight to the flatpack aisles in Wembley if you "immediately turn left" after after heading down the marketplace stairs.

    Recently we've spotted shortcuts highlighted on display boards around the store (indicated by yellow dots), making it easier for you to get to where you need to quickest. However, we’d love to hear if you’ve found any shortcuts of your own – let us know in the comments below, or on Twitter. In the meantime, you could always ask store staff for tips – they’ll usually be dotted around the store, especially near the entrance.

  19. Ikea's product recalls online

    The Ikea website lists all of its product recalls in one place. If you’ve bought any of the items, you can return it for a full refund – usually, you don't even need to dig out a receipt.

  20. Re-use Ikea's brown paper

    After you go through Ikea checkouts, there’s usually brown paper for wrapping up fragile items. If you ever need to use it, make the most of it and help save the environment by giving it a second lease of life, for example, use it for packaging parcels or wrapping presents.

  21. Free crèche in stores to keep your little ones entertained

    Parents and guardians can book their children into an Ikea crèche (Småland) for up to one hour, or 45 minutes during busy periods, while they shop at Ikea. The crèche will be located at the front of the store and it’ll be supervised by staff trained in childcare. Activities include toys, books, arts and crafts.

    These haven't reopened yet since the pandemic, but Ikea has confirmed that they should be opening later this year. 

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