IKEA delivery could save you a trip, but you need to understand a few things about the IKEA shipping system before you buy, especially during the pandemic.

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Part of the joy-or joyful misery-of shopping at IKEA is prowling the aisles of the enormous warehouse, seeking that item code that means you've found your BILLY bookcase, pushing a laden-down cart and trying not to hit anyone, and triple-checking that you did, in fact, pick up all three boxes (and in the same color, no less) required to assemble your new shelving unit. It doesn't have to be this way, though, because IKEA does deliver-and shipping IKEA purchases is less complicated than you may expect.

I'll be the first to sign up to spend my day wandering around IKEA, snacking on Swedish meatballs and admiring every BESTÅ combo I pass. I've spent weekends doing just that, in fact, but when I found myself in a new apartment, in a new city, with no car, I realized that my preferred IKEA shopping experience just couldn't happen. I turned to IKEA delivery, and I was ecstatic with the results.

On IKEA's website, most items have an option to buy online. (Some seasonal or special edition items won't be available for delivery.) When you go to check out, you can choose delivery or Click & Collect, where you order online and then pick up the items at the store. If you choose delivery, the site will ask for your zip code and use that to calculate shipping costs.

IKEA delivery and shipping - IKEA truck
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How Much Does IKEA Delivery Cost?

IKEA, sadly, doesn't offer the free shipping you find at a lot of other stores. There are two IKEA delivery options: Small or Large Item delivery. Small Item delivery-only available if your order includes picture frames, hangers, small textiles, or other small, shippable items-starts at just $5, but increases if you're shipping weighty items. The items will be boxed up and shipped to your door through a standard carrier, such as FedEx, like most other online purchases.

Large Item delivery starts at $49. Delivering furniture and other large items requires a little more coordination, but even your new multi-piece media center can be brought straight to your door. IKEA works with third-party delivery services to handle the actual delivery. Because of the pandemic, they are only providing to-your-door contactless deliveries for most products, with the exception of queen and king-sized beds, kitchen appliances, PAX wardrobes, and sofa frames, which can be delivered to a room of your choice. (Yes, even if you live in a fourth-floor walk-up, like me.) You can work with the service to coordinate a delivery window on a particular day, during which someone will need to be home to receive the items.

IKEA delivery - ikea delivery information
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IKEA Delivery Time and Assembly Options

Like many other companies, IKEA is experiencing shipping delays because of the pandemic, so be patient, as delivery times are running longer than usual. There's no word yet on when IKEA delivery will return to its previous format.

Typically, IKEA also partners with TaskRabbit for assembly services, if you're interested in having someone else put together your MALM dresser, you can have an assembly specialist come to your home after your IKEA delivery arrives to put everything together; prices for this service start at $39-and rise depending on how big the project is.

Perusing the enormous showroom and picking up furniture from an IKEA store might seem like a rite of passage for any furniture shopper on a budget, but it's not always possible for people without cars, people far from an IKEA store, or people unable to lift the heavy boxes. To that end, IKEA delivery is a smart (and convenient) solution to getting the quality and affordability of IKEA furniture home without a huge hassle.