The Unexpected Kitchen Staple I Pick Up Every Time I Go to IKEA

published Aug 17, 2023
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image

When I go to IKEA, it’s an all-day affair. I start the day off with a steamy mug of 99 cent (free, if you have an IKEA Family member card!) coffee and a slice of caramel almond cake. I use that sugar rush to sustain my prolonged tour through the showroom, imagining my life in homes of varying square footages while snapping photos of inspiring nooks and vignettes. Then, I head back to the cafeteria to collect my thoughts and sit down for a feast of Swedish meatballs smothered in lingonberry sauce and sides. Finally, I wind through the marketplace before rolling my sleeves up for the warehouse (and as-is section, of course), if I need to go there. 

Credit: Sofia Rivera

If I had it my way, I’d probably go to IKEA once a weekend. Despite the constant bright, white lights and maze-like floor plan, this big, blue, air-conditioned box feels like a second home. The problem is, I don’t often need a BILLY bookshelf or a POÄNG chair. There is one item, though, that I can always use some more of, and IKEA is one of the best spots around to get them: paper napkins. They’re small, inexpensive, and a little luxury that’s always nice to have on hand. 

I own cloth napkins as well — a gorgeous woven set that my friend gave me as a gift — and I use them all the time. They feel special, and I love that they’re a sustainable choice, too. Yet there are moments that call for paper napkins, like when you’re having a party or entertaining more than a couple friends (I haven’t grown my cloth napkin large enough yet), hosting a themed get-together and the napkins are part of the vibe, or your cloth options are all in the wash.

Credit: Sofia Rivera

And when the moment arrives, IKEA has never failed to provide such cute, cheap options. No matter what’s on my list when I make the voyage to the marketplace, I always toss a pack of patterned paper napkins in there. How could I not? Just look at these ones with a cheery, leaf-like print! Or these mysterious blobs, which would make for a very cool tablescape! For a more sophisticated look, these stripey rectangular napkins would set the tone.

Even if all you want is a pack of plain, white napkins, this set of 150 costs just $1.79. I’ve purchased so many patterns over the years (and, not so coincidentally, I keep them in my trusty LIKSIDIG napkin holder) and since the options are often refreshed, I can thankfully always find a reason to make a trip to IKEA.

Buy: IKEA SMAKSINNE Paper Napkin, 30 pack, $2.99