This Is When You Should Stop Shopping at IKEA, According to Science


Alyssa Rosenheck Photography, Design by Amanda Barnes Interiors

IKEA helped us hone our design sensibilities when our wallets didn't exactly match our lofty aspirations, and for that, we will be forever grateful. But like the ramen noodle diet and derivative wall art that once hung in your dorm room, some things are better left in your 20s. That's the idea uncovered in a recent study from Earnest, which found that there is, in fact, an IKEA breakup age: 34. The online loan provider analyzed anonymous data from tens of thousands of users, and found that IKEA shopping significantly drops off after age 34 after peaking at age 24, reports Refinery29.

"We may as well call the 10-year period spanning the mid-20s and mid-30s the 'IKEA decade,'" reads the report. "People in their 30s are more likely to shop stores that specialize in housewares and home accessories like Bed Bath & Beyond and Williams-Sonoma—perhaps because their IKEA furniture is still serving them well." The researchers speculate that people are transitioning from renting to buying around this age, leading to more practical, long-term purchases that reflect their personalized tastes. 

Of course, there will always be tasteful ways to blend in stylish IKEA pieces at every age—just look at what interior designers manage to do with just $100 at the Swedish retailer. The secret is in sticking to a high/low mix and blending the expensive with the budget-friendly in every room. We're more about putting your own creative twist on IKEA classics rather than putting an age limit on certain retailers, but it's always best to keep everything in moderation.

Do you agree that the "IKEA era" ends around age 34? Share your thoughts with us below.