IKEA, the Swedish furniture juggernaut, is known for its relationship testing labyrinth stores, meatballs and modernist flat-packed furniture. It’s with this combination that it’s become the largest furniture brand in the world and a go to for many. But did you know IKEA is a good alternative for comic book storage solutions?
Over the next 1500 words I’ll take you through some of the IKEA products that you can use to store your comic books and graphic novels. I’ve tried to find a variety of solutions based on different sizes and needs, and have included links so you can find out more about each product.
IKEA is the world’s largest furniture retailer in the world, with 389 stores in 48 countries as of writing this. It’s truly an international brand, which means the products I talk about below are accessible worldwide.
How Did I Do My Research?
I will admit that I don’t own all of the storage solutions that I am talking about in this guide. So I had to do rigorous research, which was done with a three-pronged approach:
- I dived through the latest IKEA catalogue, taking plenty of notes, to find suitable storage solutions.
- I’m lucky enough to live 20 minutes drive from an IKEA store so I paid a visit. I brought along some comics with me to road test most of these storage solutions.
- Finally, I went through the IKEA website to find any variations on the storage solutions I might have missed.
IKEA Storage Solutions
Now that you know the why and how it’s time to dig into the actual storage solutions. Keep in mind that many of the items I’ve pointed out have a variety of different cariants. The ones I have pictured might not meet your needs, but it’s worth looking at the IKEA website links I have shared to see the whole range.
It’s also worth noting that none of these IKEA products are specifically tailored for comic book storage. I’ve tried to choose the ones that are most suitable for comics and graphic novels but there might be situations where some minor alterations might need to be done to meet your needs.
I suggest bringing some comic books with you to the store and testing them out first before you make any purchase.
The Kallax is a versatile range of square shelving units which come in a variety of different sizes and colours.
You can use these shelving units to store graphic novels in them like a conventional bookcase or combined with the right storage box or magazine file (see below) to turn them into a drawer. As they are defined by the number of squares the shelving units can be seamlessly placed next to each other and in some cases be stack or turned on their side.
There are a variety of different sizes in the range with more or less compartments depending on your needs or space available. Here are a few different options in the range:
You can discover more about the Kallax range on the IKEA website.
If the uniform sizing of the Kallax is not your thing and you’re looking less uniform compartments then the Valje is for you. As you’ll see above, the Valje has different sized compartments, which gives you more options for how you would like to store your comics and graphic novels.
Valje is not as deep as the Kallax so it is not compatible with storage boxes. But, if you want something similar to a bookshelf then this could be a great option for you.
You can discover more about the Valje shelving units, as well as the wall cabinets, on the IKEA website.
The 32cm Tjena storage box is a great way to store comics. This sturdy paper box and comes with a lid so you can stack other items on it. Cutout handles allow for it to be carried easily and it’s the shape size to fit in a Kallax shelving unit. If the pictured black is not your style, it also comes in white, light blue and green.
Tjena is tall enough to store comic books standing up, whether it’s single issues that have been bagged and boarded or graphic novels. If you’re only storing a small amount of your collection in them you might want to put something solid like a foam block in there so comics stand more secure. Otherwise they may fall down and there is the risk of damage.
Out of the three storage boxes listed Tjena has the advantage of having a space for labelling, which makes accessing the comics you want easier.
As it is made from paper, the Tjena storage box might not be suitable for storage of the heavier graphic novels.
You can discover more about the Tjena storage boxes on the IKEA website.
The Drona storage box is a Kallax compatible box made from solid cardboard and skinned with fabric. Drona comes in a wide variety of colours including black, green, yellow, white and light pink making it a versatile option for fitting into any decor.
Like the Tjena, is tall enough to store comic books standing up. Similar tips should be followed as the ones I have imparted with the Tjena storage box.
As it has no lid the Drona cannot be stacked, so using as a box drawer with the Kallax storage unit is preferable.
You can discover more about the Drona storage boxes on the IKEA website.
Lekman is a semi-transparent storage box with very similar dimensions to Tjena and Lekman.
The main advantage the Lekman has over the other two is that it’s the most stable of the three and would easily cater for heavier graphic novels.
For those concerned that it might ruin surfaces it’s placed on will be happy to know it has felt pads underneath to prevent scratching.
You can discover more about the Lekman storage boxes on the IKEA website.
Whether it’s to store what you’re currently reading or a specific grouping, magazine files are a great way to store small batches of comic books. IKEA has a wide variety of options in different styles and materials. IKEA’s magazine files fit well into a variety of bookshelves and shelving units so they can always be stored nearby.
Out of all the magazine files, the Fjalla is the nicest looking with metal rims, pull out handle and label space. It comes in blue, brown, dark grey, off-white and yellow.
You can discover more about the Fjalla magazine files on the IKEA website.
If you’re looking for something a bit more simple then the Tjena magazine files are the way to go. They have a space for labels, a cutout handle and come in a range of colours.
You can discover more about the Tjena magazine files on the IKEA website.
Made from 100% recycled corrugated cardboard, Fluns come in a pack of four and are the most environmentally friendly of the all the options. It only comes in white (as pictured above), but I guess that means it’s the easiest to decorate.
You can discover more about the Fluns magazine files on the IKEA website.
If you’re looking for a wider magazine file then the Hejsan is a good option. It even says on the IKEA website that it’s perfect for storing comics in!
The only downside is that it only comes in the particular pattern pictured above.
You can discover more about the Hejsan magazine files on the IKEA website.
Finally on our tour of IKEA magazine files is the Knuff. Made from untreated wood, this should fit into many interior aesthetics and can be treated with glazing or oil if want give a bit of zazzle.
You can discover more about the Knuff magazine files on the IKEA website.
Billy is IKEA’s range of versatile bookcases, which come in a variety of sizes to meet your needs. They come in a variety of heights and widths and are adjustable so even the largest of graphic novels will fit in there. Whether you need just one for the corner of the room to filling a whole library, the Billy range has you covered.
Here are some of the options in the range to get an idea of the versatility of the range:
You can discover more about the range of Billy bookcases on the IKEA website.
Gersby is a more affordable alternative to the Billy bookcase and perfect for those just need a standalone bookcase to store comics and graphic novels. It has adjustable shelves, which is always helpful in storing larger graphic novels.
It is only avabable in white, but colour can be added with the combination of magazine files on the shelf.
You can discover more about the Gersby bookcase on the IKEA website.
The Lixhult range of cabinets are a great option if you’re looking to store valuable segments of your collection out of harms reach. These cabinets come in a variety of sizes to meet your needs. They’re customisable too, as you can choose which way the door opens or if you would like the legs attached or not.
They come in a variety of colours including green, red, yellow, white and blue.
You can discover more about the Lixhult range of cabinets on the IKEA website.
Have Your Say!
Trevor Van As
Trevor Van As is the founder of How to Love Comics and has loved comics all his life. When he's not reading or talking about comics he can be found eating frozen yogurt and dancing like no one is watching.