About IKEA Life at Home

Life at home really matters

We believe home is the most important place in the world. So, for seven years, we’ve closely studied life there, by speaking to people around the globe to better understand it – and to help more people thrive there.

About IKEA Life at Home
Understanding life at home

Studying the most important place in the world

As our world continues to change and challenge us, having a place to feel at home has never been more important.

Data isn’t enough to understand what makes a good home, so we try to bring empathy and understanding into all our research. What we find helps us make business decisions that don’t just make sense for how people are living today, but challenge us to help everyone live better tomorrow. 

While everyone wants ­– and deserves – to thrive in their lives at home, we know that too many people struggle because their homes aren’t able to meet their needs. Through our Life at Home work, we’re on a mission to put this right.

Our methods

The combination of qualitative and quantitative methodologies we use, in collaboration with our research partners and people like you around the world, makes the Life at Home Report one of the most comprehensive research projects into life at home in the world today.

It’s not always easy for people to open up about their needs and dreams, so we strive to create safe spaces – online and offline – and use a variety of tools and activities to encourage honest discussion and reflection. 

In 2020, we spoke to 20 families around the world every week for three months and ran a survey of 38,210 people in 37 countries. We also conducted extensive desk research and challenged ourselves by virtually connecting with experts on the home and its future role. 

Read our reports for more information about the research methodologies used for each one.


What makes a home

There are four dimensions to home

In 2016, we found that we can all describe where we live in terms of the space we have available, where our home is located, the things we own and the people we live with. These four dimensions help us explain the functional aspects of home.

The way people feel about these four dimensions also helps us understand what aspects of home are most important. We know that almost half of people say that home is where they have their most significant relationships, and 38% consider the neighbourhood they live in to be part of their home. Maybe you’re one of the 40% of those who say their home has a particular smell?

You can read more about what makes a home in our Life at Home Report 2016.


Home must meet five particular needs

Home is more than a place – it’s a feeling. To achieve our mission and help people to thrive in their lives at home, in 2018, we identified five emotional needs that our homes must offer: Comfort, Security, Belonging, Ownership and Privacy. 

This is what people mean when they talk about the ‘feeling of home’. These needs continue to shape how we think about life at home today. With every report, we’re working to raise awareness and understanding of these emotional needs, and to find and communicate practical ways that anyone can use to create a better life at home. 

You can read more about finding the feeling of home in our Life at Home Report 2018.


The five emotional needs of home


This is being able to disconnect, reflect and choose how we interact with others at home. A little ‘me-time’ with a book or doing some exercise goes a long way.


This isn’t about having a comfy bed or a fluffy throw, it’s about feeling content and at ease in our surroundings. Knowing we can really relax and be ourselves in the place we live means a lot.


Having a sense of control over the space and place where we live is important to us. When we can paint a wall or choose our furniture, a house really starts feeling like a home.


This means feeling part of a group that accepts us, in a place that reflects who we are. We might get this from family or housemates, or even from friends in our community.


More than physical or financial security, this is about feeling safe and grounded when we’re at home. When our homes feel like a sanctuary from the uncertainty of the outside world, we can really thrive there.