IKEA names: Origin and meaning of the popular product names

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Billy, Hemnes and Kallax – we’ve probably all heard these names at least once and instinctively have the matching pieces of furniture in our heads. But where do the different names for the furniture, decorative items and household objects that you can find at IKEA come from? Here you’ll find an overview and ideas if you’re planning a new arrival!

Where do the IKEA furniture names come from and what do they mean?

Many of the IKEA furniture names are known all over the world – no wonder, because they are catchy, timeless, fun and unusual. They are also useful for everyone involved – customers don’t have to search long for product numbers when they are online or in the warehouse and employees also know immediately what they are talking about when someone asks for “Malm” or “Klippan”.

But the names are not just random Swedish words – there is a smart system behind the broad catalogue. The different products are categorised by their names – each group of names has a different origin, but they all have a connection to Scandinavia, of course, because the names should indicate their Nordic origin, but also be easy to use and pronounce internationally. Geographical terms such as place names or bodies of water are particularly popular, but first names, terms from nature and adjectives are also often used.

IKEA Names Billy
Billy is perhaps IKEA’s best-known product name.

Origin of IKEA furniture names: overview and examples

  • Living room & dining room furniture: Swedish place names
    • Sofa Söderhamn: Town in Norrland on the Baltic coast
    • Ekerö armchair: municipality in Uppland near Stockholm
    • Östavall coffee table: town in Västernorrland
    • Ekedalen table: town in Västergötland
  • Bedroom furniture: Norwegian place names
    • Malm bed: Village in Trøndelag, Midt-Norge
    • Bed Songesand: Village on the Lysefjord
    • Wardrobe Rakkestad: Municipality in Østfold (Eastern Norway)
    • Product series Hemnes: Municipality in Nordland
  • Bathroom furniture: Swedish waters
    • Bathroom cabinet Ängsjön: Lake in Värmland
    • Bathroom shelf Muskan: Lake in Stockholms län
    • Tännforsen washbasin cabinet: Sweden’s largest waterfall
  • Garden furniture: Swedish islands
    • Garden chair Tärnö: Island in the Blekinge archipelago
    • Bench Nämmarö: Island in the Stockholm archipelago
  • Office furniture & chairs: Scandinavian men’s names
    • Desk Micke
    • Swivel chair Markus
    • Chair Ingolf
  • Fabrics & curtains: Scandinavian women’s names
    • Curtains Matilda
    • Curtains Moalisa
    • Curtains Hilleborg
  • Carpets: Danish place names
    • Carpet Stoense: Municipality on Langeland
    • Carpet Lohals: Town on Langeland
    • Carpet Vedbäk: Settlement on Zealand
  • Children’s articles: Scandinavian animals and adjectives
    • Blåhaj cuddly toy: Swedish for “blue shark”
    • Rävunge race track set: Swedish for “fox cub”
    • Duktig play kitchen: Swedish for “skilful”
    • Sandpit set Sandig: Swedish for “sandy”
  • Luminous: Terms from music, nature and meteorology
    • Ceiling lamp Nymåne: Swedish for “new moon”
    • Vindkast pendant light: Swedish for “gust”
    • Melodi pendant lamp: Swedish for melody
  • Kitchen utensils: function of the appliance
    • Shaker/measuring cup Standardmått: Swedish for “standard measures”
    • Cake rack Lättbakad: Swedish for “lightly baked”
    • Closure clamps Bevara: Swedish for “preserve”
  • Bedroom textiles: Plants
    • Bed linen set Nattjasmin: Swedish for “night jasmine”
    • Plaid Ulltistel: Swedish for “woollen thistle”
    • Cushion cover Svartpoppel: Swedish for black poplar
  • Household objects: Swedish slang
    • Laundry basket Blaska: Colloquial for “newspaper”
    • Lint roller Bästis: Colloquial for “best friend”

By the way: a small team at IKEA’s Swedish headquarters is responsible for naming the products. They search through maps, calendars and dictionaries for new ideas, but also take inspiration from travelling and car journeys. The names are then checked by the legal department to ensure that they do not infringe any existing trade mark rights or have offensive meanings in other languages.

A large overview of product names can be found on the website The IKEA Dictionary by Lars Petrus, who (quite independently of IKEA itself) has set himself the task of collecting all names and their origins.

Where does the name IKEA come from?

IKEA is an acronym – the word is made up of the first letters of several words. Similar to the German brand Haribo (Hans Riegel from Bonn), IKEA stands for the founder of the company and his home: Ingvar Kamprad from the Elmtaryd farm in the village of Agunnaryd.

The best IKEA first names for babies and their meanings

If you’re expecting a baby and you’re not sure about the name yet, you can take a look at the IKEA range. Of course, it doesn’t have to be Kallax or Pinntorp, but as mentioned above, you can also find many “normal” first names. Scandinavian and especially Swedish first names are also becoming increasingly popular outside of Northern Europe – why not take inspiration from IKEA? Apparently IKEA feels the same way, and so there is still a name catalogue with all the first names used on the Norwegian homepage.

IKEA Names First names for babies
Looking for Scandinavian names? Then a look at the IKEA catalogue can help!


Perhaps the best-known IKEA name is a popular first name for boys worldwide. Billy is a short form of the English name William and means “the resolute”. At IKEA, this is the name of the well-known shelving collection – named after its developer, IKEA employee Billy Likjedhal.


Aina is a Finnish girl’s name and means “the unique one”. It is best known from the Finnish national epic Kalevala. At Ikea, there are cushions and fabrics by the metre bearing the melodious name.


At IKEA, Nilserik is a standing support or stool that ensures an ergonomic workplace. Two classic Scandinavian male names are combined here – Nils means “victory of the people”, Erik “the autocrat”.


Lill means “little one” in Swedish (from lille – small). Alternatively, Lill can also be derived as a short form of Lillian, which gives it the meaning “the lily”. IKEA has curtains called Lill.


Tobias has been a popular name for years, even in English-speaking areas. The name means “God is gracious”, therefore also “the gracious one”. IKEA has a transparent dining chair called Tobias.


Like Nils-Erik, Ida-Linnea is a combination of two popular Scandinavian names. Ida means “the working one” or “the maiden”, Linnea means “the tender one” or “the gentle one” – Linnea is also the Latin and Swedish name of the small flower twinflower, Carl von Linné’s favourite flower. IKEA has cushion covers with this double name.

IKEA Names First names babies Linnea
Ida-Linnea is a beautiful Scandinavian double name that includes the delicate twinflowers.


The Old Norse name Ingvar means “warlike god” – it is one of the best-known Viking names. At IKEA, the name is spelt with a Y and refers to a simple chair.


Merete is a Scandinavian first name derived from Margarethe and means “the pearl”. IKEA has curtains called Merete.


A simple and typically Scandinavian chair from IKEA bears the name Stefan. This name is also widely used in German-speaking countries and means “the victor” or “the crowned one”.


Another Scandinavian double name for girls is Ebba-Tilda, spelt as one word at IKEA and assigned to a pillowcase. Ebba means “the strong” or “the fearful”, Tilda means “the powerful” and “the fighter”. So this name is really bursting with strength – but of course the names are also a good choice on their own.

Funny IKEA names

Some funny examples show that IKEA sometimes doesn’t take itself too seriously and, especially in the past, not everything was always discovered in the name check. One of the best known is the Gutvik bunk bed – no wonder it is no longer available. The vase Kagge (Swedish for “little barrel”), the apple pie Äppelkaka (“Kaka” is the Swedish meaning of “cake”) or the Easter collection Kackling (from the word “kackla”, which means cackling) also evoke somewhat different associations in Germany.

IKEA Names funny names
Brummig and Blåhaj are examples of typical IKEA names.

Other funny and still existing product names include the trays Groggy and Klack, the Trolldom baby textile collection, the Bittergurka cachepot, the Knorrig stuffed pig and the Brummig children’s cushion. And don’t forget the Lustigt series – the name says it all with fun throwing games (lustigt means funny in Swedish)!


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