Here are 5 online furniture stores where you can shop with confidence
We reviewed 5 major online furniture retailers to help you safe and secure buying furniture online.
8 min read
We’ve been stuck at home a lot this past year. With all that time cooped up inside, you might be thinking about ways to spruce up your surroundings. New curtains, a dining table, some brighter light fixtures? The options are endless. But continued lockdown restrictions in many places makes access to shops pretty limited. And buying big, expensive furniture from a website can seem daunting—if you don’t like the color of the wood or the feel of the fabric, returns can be a major hassle.
With all that in mind, we’ve done some due diligence on your behalf and assessed the shopping experiences from five major online furniture stores. So if you’re looking to furnish your home without leaving your front door, these are the sites for you.
Ikea wins out on scope and availability
We know, we know—it’s not exactly a secret that Ikea is a go-to for housewares. The quality of its huge product range varies greatly (you get what you pay for) and the online stores offer a functional user experience with room categories like “teen’s room” or “home office”. Sometimes there’s a “special offers” menu option where bargain hunters can get straight down to business.
Countries: Nearly 60 countries worldwide, including the Netherlands, France, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Austria, UK, Romania, and Finland
Languages: Mostly monolingual in the country language, with exceptions like the Netherlands (Dutch and English), Belgium (Dutch and French) and Spain (Spanish, English, Basque, Galician and Catalan)
Noteworthy functions/services: Each item has a “compare” button for easy comparison of specifications and measurements and a “favorites” button (wish list). Both functions show you which products are currently available, and you can add them directly to your shopping cart. There’s also an online planning service, where you can design a storage wall, built-in kitchen and more.
Online payment options: Credit card, PayPal, Klarna, gift vouchers, and various Ikea credit and payment cards
Delivery/pick-up options: Parcel delivery, home delivery and click and collect. Postage (€2.99 – €22) and delivery to your door via truck (€39 – €149) vary depending on country and weight. Click and collect fees range from €2.99 (Netherlands) to €10 (Germany).
Returns/refunds: Returns are possible up to 365 days after purchase; you have to pay for the return postage. Or make a click and meet appointment and drop it off in person (if this is allowed in your country).
N26 Smart—spend and save with confidence
Leroy Merlin specializes in DIY home improvements
France’s number one home improvement and gardening retailer is a DIY hypermarket. It stocks loads of different brands and there’s a major focus on helping customers with their home renovation projects.
The main menu options are products, services, sales items and lastly, inspiration—motivating articles and curated images of furniture arrangements with links to products. Before you start shopping, check out our tips on creating a home renovation budget.
Countries: France, Spain, Italy, Greece, Cyprus, Portugal, Poland, Romania, Ukraine, Brazil, Russia, and South Africa
Languages: Monolingual in the country language
Noteworthy functions/services: Depending on the country, there’s an app, in-person DIY workshops (e.g., how to install a tap, build a shoe rack, repair a toaster), an online magazine, online forum, competitions, a blog, a gallery showcasing people’s completed DIY projects, a 3D project planning tool, and home installation services.
Online payment options: Credit card, FacilyPay, Carte Bleue, gift card, Leroy Merlin Carte Maison, and others depending on the country
Delivery/pick-up options: Click and collect is free; the costs of parcel delivery and home delivery are shown in the shopping cart and vary depending on weight and country.
Returns/refunds: Unused products can be returned for a refund within six months of purchase (excludes personalized items, plants, etc.). Returns are free of charge; request a postage paid label or free pick-up appointment in your customer account.
Wayfair is all bright lights and discounts
Wayfair always seems to be having a sale. Unlike Ikea and Leroy Merlin, this American company does not have physical stores and most items are shipped directly from factory or importer warehouses.
Browse the categories furniture, garden, lights, decorations, kitchen, rugs, textiles, storage, children, mattresses, hardware store, pets, and brands. Hover over an option to view countless subcategories. The sales section is full of discounts, returned goods and closeout deals.
Countries: USA, Canada, Germany, UK, and Ireland
Languages: Monolingual in the country language, except in Canada (English and French).
Noteworthy functions/services: The “room ideas” section boasts photos of artistically assembled rooms to which you can add filters such as a range of styles, colors and collections. Click items shown in the photos to view prices/details or add them directly to your cart and recreate the look at home. The “ideas and inspiration” section hidden in the footer is full of style advice, DIY hacks, and trends.
Online payment options: PayPal, debit card, credit card, Klarna (including payment on invoice or in instalments), Apple Pay, Wayfair gift cards, and store credit
Delivery/pick-up options: Postage is free if you spend over a certain amount (Germany €30, USA $35, Canada $50, UK and Ireland £40). Otherwise you’ll pay somewhere between €3.95 and €6.00. Bigger items can be delivered by appointment for a fee. Pick-up is not an option, as there are no stores.
Returns/refunds: Personalized or discounted items can’t be returned. In Germany, a return/refund is possible within 14 days—return postage costs €5 if your purchase was under €40 (returns are free for more expensive items). In the UK, customers have 30 days and have to pay for the return shipping (parcels £4.99 – £14.99, courier for bulky items £20 – £50). Different rules apply for damaged/defective products.
The Westwing shopping club
This stylish German company exists purely online and comes with a free shopping app. Self-described as a “curated, shoppable magazine,” the site is split into WestwingNow for regular shoppers and the members-only Westwing shopping club (registration is free), which features exclusive products and sales.
It has all the usual furniture categories as well as “Shop the look,” which features stunning images of assembled interiors like “maritime lounge,” “sophisticated earthy tones,” or “springtime at home.” Hover or click on each product in the image for more details or add it to your Pinterest board.
Countries: Germany, France, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Austria, Belgium, Czechia, Slovakia, Poland, Russia and Brazil.
Languages: Monolingual in the country language; Swiss website only available in German; Belgian website only in Dutch
Noteworthy functions/services: Alongside the digital room planner and wish list (both require a customer account), you can even request a professional interior design concept for your room(s). You provide a plan/sketch of your room(s) and existing furniture, then talk to an interior design specialist about what you’re looking for. They create a tailored 3D plan (€119 per room) and you can purchase whichever furniture and fittings you want directly from the plan.
Online payment options: Credit card, PayPal, online bank transfer
Delivery/pick-up options: No pick-up option. Postage is free in most countries if you spend more than €30 (otherwise it costs €3.90). Delivery of bulky items is subject to additional costs shown on the product pages. They’ll even organize a cherry picker to maneuver furniture through your windows if it doesn’t fit in your stairwell or elevator.
Returns/refunds: Free returns for 30 days, regardless of whether you’re mailing things back or having bigger items collected. Request a postage paid label or free pick-up appointment in your customer account.
Maisons du monde has plenty of food for thought
Founded in 1996, this French furniture and home décor company has 330 brick-and-mortar stores throughout Europe—a map with a search function lets you find the one closest to you. The online store’s minimalist design feels more high fashion than DIY.
The “inspiration” menu option has 1) interactive e-catalogues that let you click on items to check their availability or to add them to your cart; 2) home styles (e.g., contemporary, exotic, industrial) with links to related articles, photos, and products; 3) this year’s collections (products clustered around particular themes); and 4) gift ideas.
Countries: France, Germany, Belgium, Spain, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Austria, Portugal, Switzerland, UK, and USA
Languages: Monolingual in the country language, except for Belgium (Dutch and French) and Switzerland (German, Italian, French).
Noteworthy functions/services: If you’re in France, a professional decorator will create a plan for your interior space according to your budget, including 3D visuals of the new layout (from €99). In other countries this service is only available to business customers, but regular customers can still ask for product advice via telephone or chat.
Payment options: Debit card, bank transfer, PayPal, gift card, voucher, credit note
Delivery/pick-up options: Free in-store pick-up (if non-essential shops are open). Delivery costs depend on your location and the product category. Price lists are hidden in the FAQs. Postage is free if you spend over the minimum amount (e.g., €100 in Germany, £150 in UK). Similarly, home delivery is free if your order exceeds a certain threshold (e.g., €1,800 Germany, £1,500 UK, €1,000 France).
Returns/refunds: Free returns for 30 days. Store pick-ups must be returned to the store (some exceptions for bulky items).
Secure online furniture shopping with N26
When you buy housewares online using your N26 debit Mastercard, you can rest assured that your card details and money are well protected. N26 is a 100% mobile, fully licensed bank, which means that we provide the same level of security and follow the same regulations as traditional banks. Two-factor authentication protects your account from being accessed by others, while 3D Secure technology encrypts your personal payment information when you shop online. So when you create a customer account with any online retailer, you can save your card details and place orders with complete peace of mind.
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