8 Assembly Required Alternatives to IKEA Furniture
For some people, the worst part of buying IKEA furniture is having to put it all together. (Plenty of services exist to solve that very problem.) For others, though, putting together a new bed or TV stand or table is a pleasant weekend activity. These people may not be part of the assembly hating majority—and they may not have skeptical S.O.s to deal with, have had a passion for Legos as children, or have very methodical minds that revel in following step-by-step instructions—but they’re out there, unpacking their IKEA boxes with glee.
For these DIY-happy folks (and anyone looking to dive into IKEA hacks), there’s a whole world beyond IKEA of affordable furniture that needs a little assembly, whether that’s as complicated as complete construction from some flat boards or just screwing on some legs. A little assembly is an opportunity to practice a little creativity and personalization on items from online furniture stores—and it’s also a chance to cut some costs.
Furniture delivery is much, much cheaper when that furniture comes in boxes and doesn’t require movers, one of many reasons IKEA manages to keep its prices so low. With furniture that comes in boxes, there’s no extended delivery window, movers to tip, and missing work or other activities to wait for delivery, and no figuring out how to maneuver a new couch through a narrow doorway; instead, it’s a matter of picking up boxes at the store (or getting them shipped to the door) and setting everything up without professional help. For some, the money-saving is worth the labor; for others, paying for white-glove delivery or an assembly service is worth the convenience.
For the former, these IKEA alternatives offer furniture at a range of prices that all require varying degrees of assembly. Some can be customized, added to, and adapted to suit new spaces; others ship for a flat fee. Whatever the goal is, one of these online furniture stores has it—just have a screwdriver and a healthy dose of patience ready.
Burrow focuses on various iterations of the trusty sofa, all with customization opportunities for the material, leg type, and arm height: loveseats, chaises, sectionals, armchairs, ottomans, and more. All are modular, so they can be shrunk down and expanded to fit new spaces and survive the deconstruction that comes with moving, especially in urban environments. Making an addition is as easy as ordering another module, and all pieces arrive in manageable boxes. Burrow’s cushions can be flipped to reveal a tufted side or a flat side, for further customization, and the online furniture store also sells complementary pillows and throws in a range of styles.
Cost: From $495 for an armchair; burrow.com.
Campaign offers seating options—chair, loveseat, couch, sectional, etc.—with a little less assembly: The main frame of the furniture is made of steel, for increased durability, though it still arrives in a narrow-stairway-friendly box. Campaign seating can be customized with new colors, legs, and handsewn throw pillows.
Cost: From $695 for an armchair; campaignliving.com.
At Flitch, it’s all about tool-free assembly. The online furniture store sells a modular base unit that can serve as storage, a TV stand, a coffee table, a side table, a nightstand, and more, with cushions and stacking boxes available to further expand it. (Compact entryway bench? Yes, please.) The versatile storage units can be rearranged and expanded as needed, and Flitch also sells stools and plant stands with the same easy-assembly mentality.
Cost: From $178 for a modular Base, from $29 for a plant stand; flitchfurniture.com.
The seating, storage, and tables from Inside Weather arrive with free shipping—and a 365-day home trial—and everything arrives in parcel shipments, broken down into several boxes, depending on the order. Everything is designed to assemble in minutes (and the boxes are manageable), and all pieces can be completely customized with patterns, materials, finishes, and more.
Cost: From $348 for an armchair; insideweather.com.
Both the Lovesac sofa—the Sactional—and plush Sac beanbag chairs arrive at customers’ doors in efficient packaging (boxes for the Sactionals and nylon duffels for the Sacs). The Sactional is modular, with swappable covers and easy add-ons, and everything ships free. (Lovesac even offers a 60-day home trial.)
Cost: From $2,000 for a loveseat Sactional, from $350 for Sacs; lovesac.com.
This line of mid-century modern and industrial furniture from Amazon includes lamps, seating, beds, storage, and more. Some items require assembly, some only need the attachment of legs or handles, and other call for scheduled delivery; read descriptions carefully before ordering.
Cost: Varies by item; amazon.com.
Stone & Beam
As Amazon’s rustic, modern farmhouse–esque online furniture store, Stone & Beam offers chairs, accessories, bedding, kitchen gear, and more. Most product descriptions include detailed assembly projections and if delivery needs to be scheduled; shoppers can pick the assembly level that best works for them, though Amazon does offer expert assembly add-ons for a fee.
Cost: Varies by item; amazon.com.
Wayfair is an online furniture store of items that almost exclusively require assembly. Orders of more than $49 ship free, and professional assembly can be added on for a fee. Styles and types of furniture are endless, so wary furniture shoppers can find anything—as long as they can build it.
Cost: Varies by item; wayfair.com.