How To Get or Find An IKEA Date Stamp

Please read our terms of service entirely before reading this article.

IKEA Date Stamp Information, Styles & PIctures 2020

In this article you will learn about the Ikea date stamp:

  • Identify different styles of Ikea date stamps
  • See pictures of each kind of date stamp
  • Locations where they are found
  • What information they need to have on them
  • The meaning of the information
  • How to find the date stamp if think you can’t find yours.

For more information on the exact Ikea dresser recall requirements, read our detailed article here.

Many people have trouble finding the date stamp on their dresser and so they assume it’s missing. The date stamp is very rarely going to be missing so let’s first make sure your item really doesn’t have a date stamp because it is more likely that you and their “expert” customer service representative didn’t look hard enough.

To do that, you’ll need to know what you’re looking for, where to look for it, what information must be legible on it and how to find it when you think it’s not there.

*Note: Some of the image examples below contain those manufactured in countries not included in the recall.

The only manufacturing countries of IKEA chests of drawers and dressers included in this recall are:

Poland, Brazil, Czech Republic, Denmark, Indonesia, Italy, Portugal, Slovakia, Sweden, Thailand, Lithuania, and Germany.

Date Stamp Identification:

There are 4 IKEA Date Stamp Styles Found On Chests and Dressers:

There are four styles of the date stamp on IKEA chests of drawers and dressers that might be on your item. Each style may have one or more shapes, finishes and/or locations.

Multiple stamps may be found on the same dresser. When this happens they are usually identical copies of the same stamp however a different style of the stamp will occasionally be present as well. It is usually from the same production year and may differ in the week number, but as you can see in the examples of multiple date stamps below of 3 different stickers placed on the same item, really anything is possible.

Top image: Ingolf date stamp made in Thailand 2015 week 21 square corners blue separately stamped date code Bottom: Ingolf Made in Bulgaria 2016 week 26 round corners, date code printed with the main sticker
  1. White Sticker Label Date Stamp and Image Examples

  • This is the most common style of date stamp used on IKEA furniture.
  • It can have square OR round corners.
  • Will have a matte, shiny, or glossy finish.
  • The size can vary between 0.4 to 1 inch in length and  1.2 to 2.5 inches long.
  • The ink will be black, or a shade of grey
  • The manufacturing date code may also be printed similarly or imprinted separately via a numeric stamping tool in black, gray, red green or blue ink.

IKEA Date Stamp Sticker Labels Image Examples:

  1. Clear Sticker Date Stamp & Image Example

  • This is identical to the white sticker label date stamps as described and pictured above except instead of being a white sticker, it is a transparent sticker.
  • This type of sticker will be printed using either black or white ink making this kind especially tricky to find. It can blend in very well with the color of the dresser depending if it was black ink on a dark dresser or white ink on a light dresser.
  • May also have round or square corners
  • Glossy/shiny finish only

Clear Sticker Date Stamp Image Example:

Hopen, 2008 week 50, Made in Italy, Manufacturer Code 18351/60164
White Ink Clear Sticker Shiny

Tip: To check for this date stamp style you will need to look very closely with a flashlight and run your fingers along all surfaces to try to run into it. Wearing gloves will enhance your ability to detect the faint protrusion of a sticker on a surface.

  1. Engraved/Etched Date Stamp & Image Examples

  • Engraved/etched stamps are the most permanent method of stamping by IKEA.
  • The size of this stamp can range from 0.5 to 5 inches in length and 2 to 14 inches long.
  • They can be in any color: white, black, yellow, green, blue, purple, red, orange, or pink.

Engraved IKEA Date Stamp Image Examples:

Tip for success: For this particular date stamp style, again look over every inch with a flashlight and at different angles and lighting variations – these blend in remarkably well when ink is light on a light surface or dark on a dark surface.

  1. Ink Date Stamp & Example Images

  • This may not be an acceptable date stamp to process recalled furniture items however they do clearly display all of the necessary information required for date stamps.
  • Typically large vintage “receipt” style font.
  • Printed on the very bottom or back panel
  • Typically found on an unpainted or plain surface not visible externally. It will also not be found inside of the drawers themselves however it may be found on the underside of the drawer bottom panel.

Ink Date Stamp Image Examples:

*To Be Posted – check again later.

Date stamps must contain the following information in a 3 column format:

Information is displayed in a 3 column layout. The first column holds details such as the manufacturing country, manufacturers 5 digit code number, and the name of the series or model name of a particular product line. The 2nd or middle column holds a version of the Ikea logo. The third and final column is where the 4 or 6 digit date code is placed perpendicular to the first two columns, often facing outwards to be read by turning the stamp 90 degrees to the right but can sometimes be seen facing inwards to be read by turning the stamp 90 degrees to the left.

Decoded IKEA Date Stamp: |Series/Model: “Kirkenes” | Code (YYWW): “0547” –> Produced in 2005, Week 47 | Made in Romania | Manufacturers Code: “14036” | White Sticker, Square Corners, Date Code Imprinted Manually

1st Column Of An IKEA Date Stamp:

  1. Manufacturing country  written “Made in Country”
  2. “© Inter IKEA Systems B.V. 1999” directly below “Made in Country” with identical format and font size aligned to the left.
  3. MODEL NAME Ex) “MALM” or “HEMNES” written in all capitalized formatting either bold or regular font that is at least twice as large as the previous text. It may also be aligned left or indented with space above and below.
  4. Below the model name is the manufacturer’s 5 digit code aligned to the right, in slightly smaller size font than the model name but larger than the initial written “Made in Country” text.

2nd Column Of An IKEA Date Stamp:

  1. Directly to the right of  is the black and white version Ikea logo / registered name trademark in one of these two forms:
    1. “IKEA” in all capitalized letters black bold letters surrounded by four black triangular corners with the hypotenuse in a concaved circular shape so that “IKEA” appears to be the center of a horizontal elongated oval shape. The top right edge next to the top right triangle is a superscript bold “®” to identify as a registered trademark. Centered directly below this in plain formatting is written “Design and Quality” or “Design and Quality A.B.” and centered similarly on a new line below that “Made in Sweden.” This logo style will appear vertically and can be read alongside other text without changing readers perspective.
    2. “IKEA” again written in all capitalized letters bold format with nothing else other than the superscript registered trademark symbol at the end. On occasion, the registered trademark symbol “®” is omitted from the logo but it is very uncommon for the logo to occur without it. This logo is turned to the left 90 degrees facing outwards from the center of the sticker.

3rd Column Of An IKEA Date Stamp:

  1. Date code with the full or partial year followed by the week of production: YYYYWW or YYWW. Accepted years for the recall are between January 2002 (200201 or 0201) and July 2016 (201622 or 1622). Because there are only 52 weeks in a year the last two numbers for the week will be between 01 to 52. The location of the date code may vary but it is most commonly displayed on the far right edge of the sticker turned to the left 90 degrees facing outwards from the center of the date stamp in similar font size and format as the initial text displayed on the sticker.

The font of the text of IKEA is Verdana for models manufactured before 2011 and Futura for models manufactured from 2011 to present.

IKEA’s true font is actually a modified version of these fonts but it’s hardly different and not available for public use.

Again please refer to our article on Ikea recall requirements for further information regarding the acceptable dates and refund amount variations for dates outside of the recall range.

Extraneous Information Included on The Date Stamp:

You may see additional information on the stamp that is not required or necessary to have on the date stamp. You may see “PQR” or “Design and Quality Made in Sweden.” You may also see “CARB P1” or “CARB <P2>” in some variation which just indicates how the material was treated and processed during production.

There may also be extra numbers following the date code or the manufacturing code or in other places on the date stamp. These numbers are added by the manufacturer for sorting and other internal purposes that generally have no meaning and/or are completely unrelated to Ikea.

Possible Date Stamp Locations On IKEA Dressers/Chests of Drawers

The first place you should look for the date stamp is directly under the top surface inside of the dresser. You may have to remove a drawer or two in order to see it. That’s where it can be found a majority of the time but if it’s not there then you might have to do some acrobatics to be certain it doesn’t have a date stamp.

Now you need to thoroughly check all surfaces inside, outside, and flip it upsidedown to check underneath as well; some disassembly may be required. Inspect every inch of your dresser, it could literally be anywhere on any model made anywhere any year for all dressers or chests of drawers. Including but not limited to these specific locations:

  1. The inner and outer back panel
  2. Remove all the drawers and check all sides of the frame
  3. Turn it upsidedown to check underneath the top
  4. Under and behind the wood slates
  5. All sides of each drawer including the bottom.
  6. Near, above or below the metal drawer slides.
  7. Turn the whole thing upsidedown and look at the very bottom.

How To Get Or Replace A Missing Ikea Date Stamp:

You can theoretically get a date stamp from another Ikea product of the same series and place it on any other product within that series and no one would know if that date stamp was the original one or not, even if it was one that came off of a product of the same series made in a different country, year, or color.

Why would someone be able to use any date stamp to replace another one from the same series made in a different country, in a different color and made at a different time?

All Ikea bedroom and living room furniture within the same series are given the same date stamp at the time of production, regardless of differences in furniture type, color, manufacturing country or manufacturers code.

-> So if you have any two pieces of furniture of a series (that have the same model name) then their date stamps are interchangeable and could be swapped out for one another.

If you have another type of Ikea furniture in the same series (products in a line with the same model name such as Malm or Hemnes), then in theory that date stamp could be used for any other furniture product.

This is because information identifying specific features of the product is not included on the date stamp. All furniture products of the same model such as it’s color or even whether it is a shelf, dresser, or bedframe is not specified or uniquely marked in any way. They all bear the same date stamp across the board.

Products of a series that were manufactured at different times, even if they were made years apart, can also use or swap date stamps because there is no identifiable difference* other than the date stamp to tell when the item was made.

For example, if you have any product from the Hemnes series like a nightstand, 3 drawer dresser, 6 drawer chest, 8 drawer dresser, 5 drawer dresser, 3 drawer mirrored chest, bedframe, shelf, entertainment center, TV stand, coffee table, display cabinet, bookcase, desk, mirror, wardrobe, daybed, dressing table, console table, cabinet, side table, bench, or bathroom furniture, then the date stamp from any one of those items could be used on any other ones of those items from any year. There is no way to distinguish between one made in 2004 and one made in 2016 because they are exactly the same as one another.* This is also true of one made in France versus one made in Thailand – there is no way for someone to know the difference between the two outside of the date stamp.

So, in theory, you could take the date stamp off of one model in a series and place it on the another and there is no way* that someone would be able to visually determine which was which unless they were given that information.

How To Get Or Replace A Missing Ikea Date Stamp:

Method 1:  Get It?

You can theoretically get a date stamp from another Ikea product of the same series and place it on any other product within that series and no one would know if that date stamp was the original one or not, even if it was one that came off of a product of the same series made in a different country, year, or color.

Why would someone be able to use any date stamp to replace another one from the same series made in a different country, in a different color and made at a different time?

All Ikea furniture within the same model series is given the same date stamp at the time of their production.

This is true regardless of differences in furniture type, color, manufacturing country or manufacturers code.

→ So if you have any two pieces of furniture of a series (that have the same model name) then their date stamps are interchangeable and could be swapped out for one another.

This is because information identifying specific features of the product is not included on the date stamp. All furniture products of the same model such as it’s color or even whether it is a shelf, dresser, or bed frame is not specified or uniquely marked in any way. They all bear the same date stamp across the board.

Products of a series that were manufactured at different times, even if they were made years apart, can also use or swap date stamps because there is no identifiable difference* other than the date stamp to tell when the item was made.

For example, if you have any product from the Hemnes series like a nightstand, 3 drawer dresser, 6 drawer chest, 8 drawer dresser, 5 drawer dresser, 3 drawer mirrored chest, bedframe, shelf, entertainment center, TV stand, coffee table, display cabinet, bookcase, desk, mirror, wardrobe, daybed, dressing table, console table, cabinet, side table, bench, or bathroom furniture, then the date stamp from any one of those items could be used on any other ones of those items from any year. There is no way to distinguish between one made in 2004 and one made in 2016 because they are exactly the same as one another.* This is also true of one made in France versus one made in Thailand – there is no way for someone to know the difference between the two outside of the date stamp.

So, in theory, you could take the date stamp off of one model in a series and place it on the another and there is no way* that someone would be able to visually determine which was which unless they were given that information.

Since ultimately you’d be committing fraud, Method 1 is a no-go.

Method 2: Make it?

In theory, it would be relatively simple and easy for anyone to recreate a sticker at home and print it out onto sticker paper or mailing labels from the dollar store. This is because there is no special barcode, serial number or other feature that would be difficult for someone to reproduce.

That being said, it would be considered a crime because by duplicating the date stamp in an attempt to not get detected thus presenting the developed stamp to be original, that would be a form of fraud and maybe even theft!

I actually witnessed first hand a couple standing at the register next to me attempt to fool their customer service representatives when I brought in my 6th and final recalled dresser. They were being interrogated by the customer service staff who questioned the legitimacy of their date stamp. I caught a glimpse of the sticker and it appeared to be printed on a mailing label which they actually might have accepted had they cut the edges down to resemble the typical size of other Ikea date stamps. Long story short they called the cops on them who were pulling up as I was pulling out of the parking lot.

Let this story be a warning to anyone thinking of creating their own sticker. Crime never pays so don’t get greedy and just take the $50 dollars they give you without the stamp.  Be smart people and resist the temptation because otherwise, you will be facing the consequences.

That being said, Method 2 is also a no go.

Replacing or altering the date stamp in any way is not recommended or allowed. People suspected or caught tampering with the date stamp will be disqualified from participating in this recall.

In addition, any individuals attempting to deceive Ikea may also be prosecuted for fraud. Please refer to the Ikea website for clarification. Statements made herein are merely hypothetical and not to be recreated by anyone for any reason. Refer to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service For clarification.

Method 3: Find Proof Of Purchase?

If you can locate your receipt, had bought your item online, used your Ikea membership card or can dig up your old bank or credit card purchase then you might be able to get a full refund without your sticker after all!

Bring in what you can find or have them look up your Ikea membership account and you should be golden. Depending on the customer service representative and the quality of the information you are able to come up with you may still only receive the $50 no date stamp option. It’s worth the shot though and as with everything else in life the worst thing they can do is tell you “no.”**

This means Method 3 is the only way you can get a full cash refund with no sticker.

**IMPORTANT NOTE: All retail customer service representatives from all retail stores actually receive a commission for denying people a refund. Meaning they actually have an incentive to tell you “no” because they get paid more for telling you “no.” It’s messed up but it’s reality. I hope everyone who has ever or will ever be denied a refund feels better knowing this because it really is them not you, so just go back later and you’ll get a refund.

(Fun fact about Ikea employee schedules if you have a bad experience with their customer service department: Ikea employees are only allowed to work two evening shifts within an 8 week period because evening hours they consider to be “undesirable” or burdensome shifts for most people so it is unlikely for you to see the same employee working from one evening to the next.)

*How can you tell when your Ikea dresser was made without a date stamp?

There are only a few instances where there can be an identifiable difference between models made at different times of a particular series. These differences arise from subtle changes to a product of a series in its dimensions, hardware, assembly style, or color options. That being said the likelihood of even a veteran Ikea employee identifying the difference is very low.

But in case you were wondering what changes have been made over the years here are some of the notable ones: Older dressers had the interior finish in a tan color and later switched to grey and is also true of the drawer slides. Older Malm dressers were shorter and wider prior to 2006 and were made with real wood opposed to particleboard; they were also assembled with the back panel set flush with the wood surface and had cut-out corners. Only certain colors of products of a series were produced during certain years and therefore their date stamps are limited to a specific date range.

Coming soon: Please refer to our Unofficial Ikea Dresser Recall Production Date Range and Approximate Retail Price 2020 where we have reorganized data gleaned from Ikea catalogs distributed in the United States (other countries to follow) into a compilation that is unique and meaningful in fashion.

Thanks for reading and good luck!

Comment below if you have any questions or need help and I will get back to you as soon as possible. You may also contact me at admin@brokehero.com however your questions may help others later on so asking them publically will serve to help others with similar questions.