IKEA is synonymous with affordable furniture that helps you get a modern and stylish look without breaking the bank. So you may be wondering what types of materials IKEA uses in their furniture to achieve such affordable prices.
You can find IKEA furniture made of various materials, ranging from particle board and wood to metal and plastic.
Types of Particle Board Furniture From IKEA
Much of the IKEA furniture is made from particle board with a smooth, white finish. This densely compressed wood provides a lighter weight piece of furniture than solid wood.
There are two types of particle boards: one is extruded, and the other is platen pressed. These types of particle board are one reason the pieces are so affordable, and we regularly find ourselves browsing for a new and trendy piece without fear of going over budget.
Extruded Particle Board
Particle board is a low-density fibreboard (LDF) and chipboard combination. It's made from woodchips, sawdust, and wood shavings. A resin, typically synthetic, acts as a binding agent. The wood is pressed and then extruded. It's then heated to cure the resin. This process usually produces the thin elements you think of when imagining a typical IKEA furniture piece.
The most common type of particle board is call platen pressed. This process uses raw wood that is milled according to the required size. The wood is blended with a mixture of wax and resin. The mixed wood is placed on mats that are then set in hot presses where the composite is made into a board. Once the resin is cured with heat, you're left with those recognizably smooth panels used often on IKEA furnishings.
Particle board provides affordable furniture pieces but isn't very durable. Particle board furniture can easily split when assembling or transporting.
IKEA isn't just stocked with white particle board furniture, you'll also see dark finishes that feature smooth wood grains. They aren't the textured, thick wood grains you expect though. They're wood veneers: smooth and extremely thin panels of wood that showcase the look of the material without the weight or texture of its natural state.
Types of Solid Wood Furniture From IKEA
Particle board may be one of the most affordable materials used in IKEA's furnishings, but solid wood is also a regularly used material. According to information from the Inter IKEA team in Sweden obtained by Janice Simonsen, IKEA US Sr. PR Specialist,"Some of the most commonly used wood species are pine, birch, beech, acacia, and eucalyptus, but we also use other wood species like rubberwood which is a great way of using the wood from a tree which otherwise would only have been felled and cleared after the liquid sap has been extracted." Inter IKEA also said, "Rubberwood is used for furniture like tables and chairs as well as for accessories like trays and toys."
Tarva Solid Wood
Hemnes Solid Wood
The Hemnes furniture series is made of solid pine and offers a few finishes, such as black-brown, dark gray, white, and light brown stains.
Solid Wood Tabletops
Some of the wood used in IKEA's furniture is reserved for the top of the furniture piece. Trending wood-top islands and other furnishings sport the popular oak species that IKEA often uses.
Types of Metal Furniture From IKEA
With metal trending in home design for quite some time, IKEA has several applications for the popular material. In fact, it's IKEA's second most-used raw material. Metal is used for many of their cabinets, drawer units, shelving units, bed frames, tables, and small decorative items.
Types of Plastic Furniture From IKEA
Mostly seen in their storage and homeware lines, plastic is another affordable material in the IKEA designers' toolbox. IKEA also features an extensive line of affordable plastic chairs.
Moving to More Sustainable and Environment Friendly Options
IKEA has made strides toward more sustainable furniture that's also environmentally friendly.
"Another widely used material is bamboo, which in reality is a fast-growing grass requiring low amounts of fertilizers and with many good material benefits as well as a beautiful wood expression," Inter IKEA said. "We use bamboo for furniture like chairs, tables, and shelves, as well as for accessories like chopping boards and trays."
No Harsh Chemicals
As part of their commitment to sustainable sourcing, the lacquer finishes and glues used in IKEA furniture don't contain formaldehyde. This is good news for both your home and your health.
No PVC Products
IKEA doesn't allow PVC products in their product lines. "We design our products to make smart use of the material, using the wood in ways which both minimises waste and optimises the material to make more products from available material," said Inter IKEA.
Sustainably Sourced Plastic
IKEA recently made a commitment to use only recycled and renewable-based plastics in their furnishings by the year 2030. This promise came alongside their 2020 efforts to remove single-use plastics from their stores.
Understand IKEA's Materials
If you're ever unsure of exactly what material IKEA uses in a specific piece, their website is very informative. Generally, you can count on an affordable piece from a company that's making an effort to use sustainably sourced materials that make their items beautiful and budget-friendly.