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I admit shopping at IKEA intimidates me! It’s a massive store, and I feel like I have to buy one of everything because it’s all freaking adorable and cheap. Plus, the IKEA return policy is so generous it gives indecisive people like me the ability to make returns for almost a year—just make sure you hold onto your receipt!

While the policy is great for in-store purchases, online returns can be a bit of a nightmare. Let’s get into all the details.

But before we do, make sure you’ve downloaded the KCL app for money-saving tips, deals and coupons and check out our guide to saving at IKEA.


1. The IKEA return policy gives you 365 days to return unopened products.

IKEA’s return policy goes beyond your average 30-, 60-, or 90-day policies. They give you an entire year to change your mind! Just be sure to bring your receipt, and know that the 365-day return policy only applies to new, unopened items.


2. You have 180 days to return opened items.

As long as you have your receipt, you have about six months to return opened items to IKEA. You can even make returns without the original packaging.

Just make sure your product isn’t dirty, stained or damaged.


3. IKEA will not accept returns without receipt.

Ikea gift card and return receipt

The IKEA return policy says you must have your receipt for all returns. And I’ve tried and failed. In fall of 2021, I tried to return an unopened canvas without a receipt and I was refused. I wasn’t even offered a merchandise card. And because the credit card I’d paid with had since expired, they were unable to look up my purchase. I ended up bringing the canvas home and selling it on Facebook marketplace.


4. Exchange your IKEA mattress within 90 days.

IKEA actually has a wide selection of mattresses – from cheap and mildly uncomfortable to expensive and luxe. If you buy a mattress and hate it, you have 90 days to exchange it for another.


5. You cannot return these items.

IKEA’s liberal return policy applies to most items in the store. However, there are a few things you won’t be able to return ever:

  • Plants.
  • Cut fabric.
  • Custom countertops.
  • Products marked ‘as-is’.


6. You can return assembled IKEA furniture, but there’s a catch.

You are allowed to return assembled IKEA furniture, but it’s no easy feat. You’re either going to need to figure out a way to lug that furniture back into the store yourself, or pay extra for IKEA’s pickup return service.

As of February 2022, this service isn’t even currently available. But when it is, you can end up paying fees in excess of $100.


7. Enter through the returns and exchanges entrance or get scolded.

Man loading Ikea package into his vehicle outside Ikea.

IKEA stores have a separate entrance for returns and exchanges. If you use the wrong one, a store employee will let you know about it!

It’s also in your best interest to use this entrance. Otherwise, you have to snake your way through IKEA’s massive, maze-like sales floor before you get to the register.


8. Expect a line at IKEA when you return an item.

People waiting in line at the Ikea Returns & Exchanges counter

Since IKEA stores are few and far between, shoppers from everywhere flock to them daily. You’ll want to block out some time to make your return, as you’ll probably be standing in line for a while.


9. Show your driver’s license for IKEA returns and end up in their database.

Ikea return counter

In this day and age of hackers, and breaches, it’s important you know that every IKEA return and exchange made in store requires you to show your ID, even if you have the receipt. The information from your driver’s license or other photo ID goes into their (hopefully secure) company database that’s used only to authorize returns.

TIP: Most stores have a database that contains shoppers’ info. At least IKEA lets you know what they do with it.


10. Ordering at IKEA.com is painful. Don’t do it.

Ikea webpage on a computer

I ordered a 2×2 foot rug on Ikea.com back on Aug. 26, 2020. My confirmation email said my estimated delivery date was Sept. 15, 2020. Two days after that delivery date, on Sept. 17, I hadn’t heard from IKEA and still no rug. It was time to find out where it was.

I got no response via email. I called their customer service line (888) 888-4532 eight times in two days only to be hung up on every time!

That did NOT go well.

Lesson learned; if you want something from IKEA right now, you have to shop in store!


11. Go in store for help with your damaged online order.

Ikea manual and parts for furniture

Because IKEA’s customer service via online and phone center is nearly non-existent, your only hope for resolving damaged or missing items is to go into your local IKEA and speak with a team member at the Returns and Exchanges counter. They can help you get replacement parts, your money back, or an exchange.


12. Returns via mail require paperwork.

Even if you ordered online, you’re going to need to return large items to an IKEA store.

However, if you ordered a smaller item and simply changed your mind, print out your order confirmation and this return packing slip. Include them in the box when you mail your return to the IKEA processing center.


13. IKEA does not pay for return shipping on online orders.

You will be responsible for all return shipping costs. Yet another reason to just take your return in-store!


14. IKEA refunds take 7-10 days for online orders.

And that’s only after the processing center has received your return. All in all, the process can take weeks.

By comparison, if you return in-store your refund will be issued immediately.


15. Promotions will be deducted from your refund.

Let’s say you got a free throw pillow with the purchase of your couch. You later decided to return the couch, but keep the pillow. The value of the pillow would be deducted from your refund when you returned the couch, making it smaller.

All in all, IKEA’s return policy is great when you’re making returns in-store, but a bit of a nightmare if you want to return online orders via mail. Which side of the spectrum did your experience fall into? Leave your story in the comments!

How to Not Get Lost in IKEA's Return Policy