To be clear, all IKEA items are technically non-toxic. Non-toxic means not expected to cause health problems in healthy folks.
However if you are looking to go further and only want furniture that doesn’t offgas any formaldehyde or other VOCs this post will be for you.
This article will be particularly useful for those with chemical sensitivities who have a very low tolerance for offgassing.
IKEA and Toxics
IKEA actually has great standards when it comes to toxicants. They have lead the way when it comes to flame retardants, PFAS and other major chemicals of concern.
Of course a large amount of IKEA furniture is made with particleboard which does offgas formaldehyde from the raw edges. So while this isn’t technically at a toxic level, this won’t make the list of 0-VOC items.
1. Metal Items
Metal and the powder coating paint that IKEA uses don’t offgas any VOCs and aren’t expected to leach any chemicals of concern.
ENHET Bathroom vanity is made of all metal with a ceramic sink.
IDÅSEN High cabinet with drawer and doors (dark green), this series looks like school lockers and is all metal.
ADDE Chair (white) is all metal.
FJÄLLBO TV unit (black), is metal and solid wood.
FYRESDAL Daybed is also all metal. It does come with 2 foam mattresses. The foam is not 0-VOC but it is low-VOC.
SAGSTUA Bed frame, (black) is all metal with plywood slats.
2. Plywood Items
Plywood has extremely low offgassing and if often totally off gassed by the time it gets to the customer
NOLMYRA Chair is very simple with a plywood base and mesh fabric. Polyester is also extremely low in offgassing.
FRÖSET Chair (white stained oak veneer), this chair is all plywood.
3. Solid Wood Items
Some of IKEA’s indoor furniture is 100% solid wood.
Plywood does have very low offgassing and is often offgassed by the time it reaches the customer. As for fibreboard parts those can be sealed with shellac of AFM Safeseal.
INGO Table, solid pine.
JOKKMOKK Table and 4 chairs, (antique stain), solid pine.
TARVA Bed frame is solid pine and the slats are a plywood.
PERSBOL Armchair has solid wood, some plywood and a cushion.
LISABO Chair (ash) is made of solid wood and plywood.
TARVA Nightstand, TARVA Dresser, pine, is mostly solid wood with fiberboard (HDF) on the backing and draw bottoms. If you like you can seal the fiberboard with shellac and/or AFM Safeseal to block most of the formaldehyde.
BJÖRKSNÄS Nightstand (birch), is mostly solid wood except for the bottom of the drawer which is fiberboard and can be sealed as per above.
ÄPPLARÖ Armchair, outdoor, (brown stained) is made of solid acacia wood and a water based stains. IKEA stains tend to be extremely low VOC.
4. Wicker/Rattan Items
The natural rattan options from IKEA are a very benign option, the clear acrylic lacquer doesn’t have any noticeable offgassing.
AGEN Armchair (rattan/bamboo) is all rattan and wood, there should not be any offgassing here.
ULRIKSBERG Armchair (rattan/anthracite) is all rattan and metal, there should not be any offgassing here.
GAMLEHULT Ottoman with storage, (rattan/anthracite) only rattan and metal there should not be any offgassing here.
ALSEDA Stool (banana fiber), banana leaves and steel, there should not be any offgassing here.
HOLMSTA Armchair (handmade beige), made of handwoven rattan, bamboo and wood. The paper rope does usually have some offgassing.
BUSKBO Armchair (rattan), the rattan IKEA items with a clear lacquer do not seem to have any offgassing. You will have slight offgassing from cushions.
TOLKNING Ottoman (with storage, handmade rattan) is made of rattan, clear acrylic lacquer with a little bit of plywood on the bottom.
5. Plastic Items
Solid polypropylene and polyethylene are both very safe plastics and can usually be used by the chemically sensitive. The harder the plastic the less offgassing.
RISHOLMEN Wing chair, in/outdoor, (brown) is made of plastic rattan (polyethylene and polypropylene) and should not have any offgassing.
LIDÅS Chair (white/Sefast white), these mid century modern chairs by IKEA are made with a solid polypropylene seat and come in many colors and styles.
SKARPÖ Armchair, outdoor, (white), is made of solid polypropylene which does not offgas.
And most of IKEA’s outdoor chairs are safe as they are either plastic, wicker, metal or solid wood. I won’t list all the outdoor options.
6. Particleboard Completely Encased in Plastic Items
While particleboard is pressed with a formaldehyde binder, when it’s encased on all sides by plastic or metal this does essentially block the offgassing.
GRÅSALA / ADDE Table and 4 chairs, gray gray/black, table top is particleboard encased in Melamine.
BODARP matte gray-green kitchen cabinet series, is made of particleboard. The front facing pieces are all totally encased in PET plastic.