Affordable products are what our business is all about. But that doesn’t mean that the quality or safety of products is less important to us. IKEA products must always be safe, both from a health perspective and in terms of the environment.
We always strive to comply with the most stringent safety and quality laws and standards in the countries in which we do business. We are so committed to achieving this goal that sometimes we take it upon ourselves to impose our own regulations that are even stricter than is required by local legislation. Whenever we develop a new IKEA product, we make sure that we are able to deliver on the promise we make to our customers about the safety of the product.
Developing safe products
At IKEA, performing risk assessments to ensure product safety is a key part of the product development process. Our designers, product developers and engineers assess the safety, quality and environmental impact of new products at every stage of product development.
When we test our products, the assessment process considers both the intended use of the product and scenarios for unintended use. This helps us to identify and minimise potential safety risks.
Each product is subjected to extensive testing and is only green-lit for sale once we are certain it is safe. And even after the product's sales start, we continue to assess and test it on a regular basis so that we can make improvements as needed.
Two test labs. One common goal.
IKEA has two test labs: one in Älmhult, Sweden and one in Shanghai, China. We use our labs to test products against a wide range of standards in various areas, including chemicals, fire safety, surfaces, corrosion, lighting and electronics, function and durability, plus washability and assembly.
The results of the tests carried out in the IKEA of Sweden test lab are key to our product development process. By involving the test lab at an early stage in the development process, we can ensure that the most suitable material is used for each product and that the product we ultimately manufacture is strong and safe. This process also provides us with information that can be used in the development of other products.
Make your home safer
IKEA window blinds are cordless. When we became aware of the risks posed by cords, we removed them from the products in our range. This greatly reduces the risk of injury. And this is just one example of how we are eliminating unnecessary hazards by continually testing and developing our products.
Did you know that our testing lab in Sweden conducts an average of 15–16 thousand individual tests each year to support our product development process?
At IKEA, the safety of customers always our first priority. This is especially true when it comes to the most important people in the world – our children! And because children don’t always think about their safety when playing, we do it for them. We believe that the best starting point for developing safe products is to find out as much as possible about how the products will actually be used.
“We know that babies explore the world around them by putting things in their mouths to taste and chew them. To mimic these actions, all IKEA cuddly toys are exposed to saliva enzymes during testing. This allows us to make sure that chewing these cuddly toys will not release any harmful chemicals from the textiles.”
For a cosy start in life
The KLÄMMIG collection, which includes soft towels, bedlinen, blankets and a babycare mat, is designed to help parents give their children the best, most enjoyable start in life. And just like the rest of our range of children products, all of the items in the collection have been subjected to rigorous testing during the development process.
it’s a fact that when children play they are actually learning about life: playing stimulates development, making us creative, stronger and more active. IKEA developed the circus-inspired GUNGGUNG children’s swing in 2014. The goal was to encourage more active play and fun at home. But a few weeks after the sales launch, the swing had to be recalled. What happened? It became apparent that the original testing process did not take into account the impact and increased strain caused by jumping on the swing. After extensive further testing, GUNGGUNG is now available in our stores again and perfect for all sorts of fun
All of the colour with none of the worry
At IKEA we love to produce colourful products for children, but we never use colours that are known or that are even suspected to be carcinogenic or to cause allergies. The colours in our MÅLA series contain no toxic substances. So there’s no need to worry if your child decides to snack on one of the colourful MÅLA products!
Chemicals? Only if we really need them.
Chemicals are an important part of the manufacturing process for IKEA products. They can help to ensure that the surfaces of materials have the desired appearance and create beautiful colours in painting or printing processes. Adhesives give our products stability. Paint and other coatings make products resistant to scratches, rust and liquids. . In other words: chemicals are necessary. But we are very strict about which chemicals we use.
This is our goal: We are committed to ensuring that our products do not contain chemicals that could be harmful to people or the environment. We are proud to be proactively removing harmful substances from our range, often long before we are required to do so by law. And by categorising chemicals in groups, we can completely remove entire harmful groups of chemicals from our range instead of simply replacing one harmful substance with another.
Did you know that by not using harmful chemicals in our products we can increase the product lifetime, because it is now safer to recycle or reuse the products?
One less thing to worry about.
Bisphenol A (BPA) is a commonly used chemical known for its adverse effects on health. That’s why IKEA decided in 2006 to remove BPA from all plastic children’s toys. In 2012, we went even further by removing BPA from all products that come into contact with food, including food packaging, kitchen utensils and bottles.
Developing safe materials
Whenever IKEA considers using a new material, it is tested for safety, quality and durability before being approved for use in IKEA products.
Perfluoroalkoxy alkanes (PFA), which are often used in textiles due to their dirt- and water-repellent properties, are harmful to humans and the environment. IKEA has therefore decided to gradually phase out the entire group of fully fluorinated chemicals in textiles and replace them with safe, non-harmful alternatives.