IKEA BILLY Bookcase (11 Things You Should Know Before & After Buying)

IKEA specializes in selling a range of easy-to-assemble furniture for the home. One of the most notable IKEA products is the BILLY bookcase, available in a range of colors, sizes, and styles.

Customers may be wondering why the BILLY bookcase is so popular at IKEA. I’ve done the research, and here are 11 things you should know before and after buying the BILLY bookcase at IKEA!


The IKEA BILLY bookcase is one of the retailer’s most popular items. Customers can buy the BILLY bookcase in white, birch veneer, and black-brown for $19-$298, depending on the size and inclusion of cabinets. BILLY/OXBERG bookcases are also available in dark blue. The BILLY bookcase is mainly made with particleboard, foil, polypropylene, and filter board.

Keep reading to find out why the IKEA BILLY bookcase is so expensive and a breakdown of prices and sizes!

Why is the IKEA BILLY Bookcase So Popular?

On average, there is 1 BILLY bookcase globally for every 100 people, proving it to be one of the most popular products.

The design of the IKEA BILLY bookcase is meant to be simple, practical, and timeless, so it is one of the most well-loved products.

Additionally, the BILLY bookcase from IKEA is also one of the most customizable products, and it can fit several room types, which are more reasons customers love this product!

Due to its popularity, the IKEA BILLY bookcase has often been copied by competitors, including JYSK.

When was the IKEA BILLY Bookcase Invented?

The IKEA BILLY bookcase was invented in 1979 by Swedish designer Gillis Lundgren who initially sketched the idea onto the back of the napkin.

Lundgren designed the IKEA BILLY bookcase to make it timeless and easily adaptable to any home.

Since then, there have been a whopping 60 million units of the IKEA BILLY bookcase sold!

Where is the IKEA BILLY Bookcase Made?

The IKEA BILLY bookcase is made in Kattilstorp, Sweden. Currently, Gyllensvaans Möbler is the company that manufactures the BILLY bookcase for IKEA.

On average, 130,000 BILLY bookcases are made for IKEA per week at this Swedish factory.

What Size is the IKEA BILLY Bookcase?

The BILLY bookcase sold at IKEA is available in a range of sizes, specifications, and colors, which helps make it so popular.

When first released, the IKEA BILLY bookcase measured 90cm wide but was later reduced to 80cm in 1988 after complaints the bookcase could not support the books’ weight or fit onto IKEA transport pallets.

Other BILLY bookcases available at IKEA include common widths of 28cm, 30cm, 40cm, or 80cm, and can be as tall as 237cm.

For more customization, IKEA now combines the style of BILLY bookcases with OXBERG (includes glass cabinet doors) or MORLIDEN (has covered cabinet doors) ranges.

Also, for more complex rooms, the BILLY is also available in corner shapes, which are wider than the standard sizes for the bookcase.

What Color is the IKEA BILLY Bookcase?

What IKEA Products Can Be Used with the BILLY Bookcase?

The IKEA BILLY bookcase is available in four colors: white, birch veneer, veneer, and black-brown.

However, some BILLY/OXBERG editions offer a dark blue variety.

Typically, the standard color of the IKEA BILLY bookcase is white, with alternative color options costing an additional fee.

For example, the most popular IKEA BILLY bookcase in white is $49, but in birch veneer, it is $79.

What Material is the IKEA BILLY Bookcase?

The BILLY bookcase from IKEA is made from particle board, recycled wood, and sawmill waste.

This means that IKEA utilizes waste products such as wood chips and sawdust to help make their products sustainable.

IKEA applies varnish, veneer, or foil to products like their BILLY bookcase to protect from damage. It also means your IKEA BILLY bookcase is recyclable if damaged.

As for other components, the BILLY bookcase shelves are made from plastic-coated or veneered particleboard, while the shelf supports are made from metal.

How Much is the IKEA BILLY Bookcase?

The IKEA BILLY bookcase varies in price depending on the size, material, and color options selected.

There are also additions, such as cabinet doors IKEA sells for your BILLY bookcase, increasing the price.

Typically, the cheapest BILLY bookcase available at IKEA is $19 and measures at 40cm wide by 28cm deep and 106cm tall.

On the other end of the spectrum, the most expensive BILLY bookcase sold at IKEA is the BILLY/ OXBERG style, which is $298 in white.

Customers can also pay an additional $60 for a dark blue edition and $100 for birch veneer/glass or black-brown glass.

How Can I Customize the IKEA BILLY Bookcase?

The BILLY bookcase from IKEA is available to be customized in a number of ways.

As well as adding other products such as OXBERG and MORLIDEN, there are products sold specially for the BILLY bookcase.

There are extra shelves available for various BILLY bookcase sizes at IKEA, measuring at:

  • 14 X 10 inches at $10
  • 30 X 10 for $15

IKEA also sells height extension units for the BILLY bookcase, which adds additional storage above the bookcase.

Additionally, the BILLY bookcase can also be joined together to create larger units that perfectly customize your furniture and work with your available space.

Is the IKEA BILLY Bookcase Good?

The IKEA BILLY bookcase has been rated an overall 4.6 out of 5 stars on the IKEA website.

Customers state that the IKEA BILLY bookcase is rated 4.7 out of 5 stars for value for money and 4.5 out of 5 stars for product quality.

The majority of the BILLY bookcases and associated products have over 4-star ratings on the IKEA website.

So for a long-lasting, affordable, and durable bookcase, the BILLY is a hands-down crowd favorite!

If you want to know more about shopping at IKEA, you can also see our related posts on IKEA KALLAX shelves, IKEA lack table, and IKEA bookcases.


Since 1979, the BILLY bookcase at IKEA has been one of the Swedish retailer’s best-selling and most-loved products.

You can purchase the BILLY bookcase either directly from IKEA stores or on the IKEA website.

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Marques Thomas

Marques Thomas graduated with a MBA in 2011. Since then, Marques has worked in the retail and consumer service industry as a manager, advisor, and marketer. Marques is also the head writer and founder of QuerySprout.com.

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