Chinese Sleeping on Showroom Furniture in Beijing IKEA

A Chinese woman sleeping on a display bed at an IKEA in Beijing.


From NetEase:

Foreign Media Photograph Chinese People Loitering to Sleep at IKEA

2014 July 6, Beijing, foreign media reporters photographed Chinese people sleeping on the display sofas or beds at IKEA. According to reports, most of IKEA’s consumers in China come from the middle class, and among them, there is no shortage of customers who sleep in the showroom. To cater to Chinese consumer habits, the retailer doesn’t stop such behavior, and even indicates on some furniture an invitation for customers to lie down to experience [the furniture]. Kevin Frayer/Getty Images/CFP
















Comments from NetEase:

根本停不下來 [阿根廷球迷]:

From this we can see that our countrymen truly are very tired.

niubo1124 [加纳球迷]:

It seems Chinese people are all very tired, myself included. Even if I don’t do much during a day, I still feel tired.

顽皮猴0 [网易四川省成都市网友]:

Actually, they are not loitering to sleep, but instead loitering for the air conditioning. There are especially a lot of them during the summer!

斯坦福桥吟游诗人 [比利时球迷]:

Whose fault? If social welfare were just a little bit better, the ordinary common people wouldn’t care to exploit such petty advantage.

说好忘了曾经爱过的人 [德国球迷]:

The people of the capital live in an abyss of suffering, so what can they do?

ff8zgs [网易四川省成都市网友]:

I only saw one word: “tired”.


Still that saying, that Chinese people are pigs, and this cannot be refuted.

怪蜀黍 [西班牙球迷]:

I’m disgusted/annoyed when I see this too.

统一100 [阿根廷球迷]:

The sleeping position in the second photo is nice; it’s just her body/physique is a bit poor.

妈蛋炒饭 [法国球迷]:

Chinese characteristics?

hj660925 [网易新疆乌鲁木齐市网友]:

After collecting one’s wages, income takes takes a chunk, mortgage loan takes a chunk, car loan takes a chunk, education expenses [for a child] take a chunk, utilities takes a chunk, and there is little left! All dreams are shattered, and then slowly you being accumulating dreams, only for them to be shattered yet again, an endless cycle! So of course we are tired/weary at heart!

READ  Young Shanghainese Shocked by Low Wages and Probation Period

Written by Fauna

Fauna is a mysterious young Shanghainese girl who lives in the only place a Shanghainese person would ever want to live: Shanghai. In mid-2008, she started chinaSMACK to combine her hobby of browsing Chinese internet forums with her goal of improving her English. Through her tireless translation of popular Chinese internet news and phenomenon, her English has apparently gotten dramatically better. At least, reading and writing-wise. Unfortunately, she's still not confident enough to have written this bio, about herself, by herself.

  • Harold Janson

    Welcome to like 10 years ago

    • Kai

      LoL, I was surprised that “foreign media” are still finding this novel and actually apparently still reporting on it.

      • Harold Janson

        “foreign media” in China typically consists of “reporter” taking a taxi from starbucks back to their compound and having their translator tell them about what the driver is saying. Boom, instant “story”. As long as it hasn’t been written about for at least a year, they call it “news”. Toss in a “dragon” reference and something critical about the government, perhaps drop in tiananmen or something else to manipulate the reader into the correct “tone” regarding China depending on current political situations and presto.. instant “news”. I have personally met with a good number of reporters, even giving them tips on actual news and actual issues, which if given even a little bit of international attention might serve to correct the problem. How often are those tips used? Never, not even once. If it’s not something to laugh about, or something to put China in a bad light… that story will never be written. If it requires any actual effort it will never be written.

    • G in Xiamen

      I thought that about China when I arrived 10 years ago in 2005. I had lived in Taiwan for 3 years and I thought China might be similar.

      It was like going back in time 25 years.

  • diverdude7

    the one in the black leggings… looks like her head has come off….

    • lonetrey / Dan

      I did a double take on that one too….

  • MonkeyMouth

    this happens every…..single………damn…….day

  • Ralph Wiggim

    I went to IKEA in Shanghai with the intent to buy furniture for the whole house. Seems almost everything I wanted to look at or sit in was filled with sleeping Chinese. I gave up and went somewhere else to buy enough furniture for a new 2 bedroom apartment. BAD MOVE IKEA as this policy will cost you sales from pissed off customers who don’t want to walk around sleeping smelly piggy people.

    • Edward Kay

      you can omit the piggy people part.

      • Ralph Wiggim

        ummm some of them are piggy people. They look like they crawled out of bed at home, packed a bag, and continued sleeping in the store

    • mr.wiener

      Maybe they look on it as free advertising?
      God gives you lemons~make lemonade.
      China gives you tired Chinese~ use them to demonstate the beds.

      • moop

        I wonder if their halitosis is absorbed in the pillows

        • mr.wiener


        • Rick in China

          That’s why they have that “shit section” at the end of your shopping route – with heavily discounted stuff. I walked thru it once, and the stuff was bad. I saw a fucking white sleep cushion with pee stains on it . PEE STAINS! Someone peed on one of the beds. What the fuuuuuuck…… that’s why that stuff is so discounted, it’s all stank rank and busted.

    • Markoff

      I don’t understand your problem, you ain’t buying same piece as it’s used for presentation and you can see how it is and have no problem to call worker if you wanna try it and someone is occupying it. I am more annoyed by fastfoods filled with non-customers that customers have nowhere to sit, that’s bigger issue than IKEA since they can’t distinguish customers.

      • moop

        can you try out the furniture while some halfwit is sleeping on it?

        • mr.wiener

          You could spoon with them.

          • moop

            true, but if i really wanted to spoon with a smelly and sweaty dude i’d stay at the YMCA!

          • mr.wiener

            …but you can get yourself clean, you can have a good meal, you can do whatever you feel

          • diverdude7

            or fork ’em.

        • Markoff

          who is stopping you from telling them you wanna try it or call worker? actually I went to Ikea on many ocassions to take photos of sleeping people and it’s not really that big issue as they make it, yes, children are playing around, parents are talking in fake rooms but you can’t see many people actually sleeping, so it’s very minor issue

          • moop

            i’ve been to ikea as well, and you have a rather tame recollection. you can barely walk through the aisles, kids are running and screaming around, every 100 ft some asshole stops their cart in the middle of the aisle to check their purse, and everything at least 60% of the furniture is occupied in some way. the cafeteria is half restaurant half public square, i’m surprise there arent ayi’s dancing to shitty music next to the soda fountains. unfortunately uneducated people have a tendency to make everything around them worse

          • Rick in China

            It’s really about the Air Conditioning man. These people could be at home on their own furniture, but that would require them to spend money on electricity to power AC. This is really the biggest problem in the summer for this reason – and especially so in the hotter cities. Ikea has made official statements about this situation in the past – saying that while many of the people just come to lounge around and are NOT customers, that one day, perhaps their financial situations will improve and they will be so accustomed and familiar with the Ikea furniture, that they will become future customers.

            I agree with the above though in that, if I walk in to buy some shit, and it’s all occupied by some non-customers sleeping, I’d not want to _have_ to call a worker over and explain that “I want to sit on and try it…” or wake them up and tell them to get the fuck off so I can see how it feels. That’s an awkward position to put paying customers in. When I bought my sofa, my wife and I literally spent a few seconds in each, narrowing down which we liked best, then bought it.

          • Markoff

            prior paying at cashier there is no such thing as non-customers, they are same customers as you are, or you need to show proof of income and proof of intent of buying some thing in shops in your country? must be very strange country…

          • Rick in China

            They are not the same customers. It may be a judgement call to distinguish, but, when people _do not have_ the intent to purchase, and enter a place with the intent of simply using or as you put it, “trying” the services or products with the intent of leaving afterwards, they are a _different type of customer_. The problem is how to distinguish between the two, not that there is no difference. There absolutely is a difference, intent, and it’s just a difficult distinction for anyone to claim to be able to easily make.

            I don’t think that everyone whose on the furniture is a ‘non-customer’, but I do think there is a lot of them. That’s simply a fact, I just can’t take the ownership of being able to distinguish between them.

          • Markoff

            As I asked you, you need to prove intet of buying in your home country? Must be strange country, in EU you would end up wih law suit and huge fine for discriminating customers.

          • Rick in China

            Of course not. Nobody needs to “prove” anything. Nobody needs to prove anything in China, either. But you’re making a ridiculous jump – there is a difference between being “required” to prove intent, and most people being able to determine the *obvious* intent, in regards to many of those people mentioned in this article or those like it. I don’t even know what your point with this whole ‘intent’ thing is any more…. it’s simple: *I* reserve the right to judge people based on their obvious abuse of the stores policy to allow them to freely sprawl out and sleep in their air conditioned showrooms, and the store itself, and wish to express that by labelling those people who behave in such a manor as boorish classless fucktards and the store as losing my business should I encounter such people in regards to something I wish to purchase. Do I have that right in your country? Are you going to fine me?

          • Markoff

            your description is quite accurate and doesn’t contradict with what I said, occupied doesn’t equal people sleeping

            you forgot to mention older people taking their own bottles and refilling with unlimited drinks without paying for drink, I find that as more serious issue than that other customers are trying furniture by sleeping since there is no way to distinguish customers

    • Harold Janson

      perhaps you should buy real things from not-ikea? I mean, it’s basically whitetrashland. Custom-made stuff is more pricey than it was years back, but still, once you’re talking more than a piece or two, it’s still cheaper and far better quality. ikea trash falls apart in like a year, it doesn’t look “trendy”, it doesn’t look nice, it looks cheap because it is cheap and the people who actually buy it are flat out morons.

      • lonetrey / Dan

        Although I don’t buy furniture from IKEA, I’ve been considering it just to try out ideas from this website:

        Learned about it this year and it seems interesting. What’s more is that IKEA actually sued the creator to take it down in order to protect their products, which just makes me want to try it even more.

        • Rick in China

          Ikea did not sue them to protect their products, they did not want the site to use the IKEA brand name/image in the way it was being used, they would have allowed her to continue to use the site as it was with the brand/name/etc but the problem is she set the site up to sell stuff and profit from advertising, and combined with the fact the site deceptively looked ‘officially’ Ikea ish with the whole name/branding use, their reasoning sort of made sense.

          • lonetrey / Dan

            ooh. I see! Thanks for the clarification!

      • Rick in China

        I have an Ikea literally across the street from our main apartment complex, I sometimes go there to pick up hotdogs/buns and foreign candies, and have bought a couple things from there. Recently, I bought a new couch which I think is fantastic — 10k or so RMB leather couch that is really comfortable, and spent some time inspecting the quality before having it delivered. I can say that not all of their stuff is _shit_, although lots is. I also often buy linens there, towels and sheets when we have guests and such. I also bought some of the wooden deck-style flooring for the decks, very easy to install the squares and works very well with my decor.

        I wouldn’t say that it’s “whitetrashland” in China, compared to the quality of stuff I’ve got at the giant furniture markets, some is much better – just not the ‘ultra cheap’ bits.

        • Mateusz82

          Fine… if you want to be picky, it’s “yellowtrashland”. Happy?

          • Stefan

            There are no yellow trash.

          • Mateusz82

            Spoken like someone who has never been to China.

        • Harold Janson

          “10k or so RMB leather couch”, sorry, but you got ripped off. Trash quality for high prices. Good for you. My couch is imported italian leather, pull out double bed, reclining units and fold out foot rests. Total cost, delivered and installed including any and all repairs for 2 years? 7000.

          Their sheets are also a total rip off and horrible quality. For under 100 you can get top quality bamboo fiber fitted sheets. Towels and other things, again, Ikea is crap for all of it. Looks nice on the surface, but it’s designed to last for about 5 minutes and on closer inspection with actual knowledge of construction techniques, it’s just endless flaws. Go to a yard, buy lumber and either buy/rent some power tools or hire a worker for a few days to build what you want, exactly what you want. With the upside of it being actual qualty, built to spec for the exact purpose, no compromises.

          We recently did some minor work here, the wife suggested Ikea. Ikea cost, out the door, not including installation for subpar materials: 6000+. My cost, out the door, including some power tools not worth renting: 800. Fine, plus a day of labor (which was fun), tack on my corporate rate of 1000 an hour. Who cares, I got power tools out of the deal a fun day shopping, a fun day building (saws, planers, welding… fun), and it’s all overengineered and solid. Built to last, and could be resold in an instant for more than I put into it.

          • Connor


            My leather couch cost 6k USD and has actually appreciated to be worth a little more by now.

            Not from Ikea though and custom made.

  • FlyingTiger

    At least the girl in the second to last photo took her shoes off. Thats a good start, am I right?

    • mr.wiener

      Very considerate.

  • Eileithyia

    So Chinese only think about how tired that they are? So they don’t think this is no manner?

    • mr.wiener

      “Manners” in China are largely a matter of interpretation. ie: if you can get away with it, go for it.

  • Freddi BuBu

    Quite accomodating by Ikea I must say – anyway, are they permitted to sleep overnight….? lol

    • Stefan


    • Damn I Miss Rih Rih CHRI$$$😭

      Imma stalk you ass hoe

    • Markoff

      no, they close and empty store around 10PM, although I had idea hiding somewhere and staying overnight, would be cool experience if they keep it AC in night :)

  • Stefan

    Yay! IKEA! My favourite shop! Sweden! :)

    • Markoff

      not much sweden in their canteen

      • mr.wiener

        What, no Sweden’ sour pork?
        Don’t get up, I’ll punch myself in the face.

        • Boris

          With a face like that, better make it a double.

      • Stefan

        Except from the Chinese food at IKEA the rest is actually common food we eat in Sweden. Modern Sweden isn’t all about meatballs you know. :)

  • lonetrey / Dan


    (No downvotes please, this is the one and only legitimate time I can try to claim sofa in Chinasmack comments!)

    • lonetrey / Dan

      and BED.

      … and CHAIRS.

      … … and TABLE.

      • Germandude

        Offer @lonetrey:disqus the little finger, and he grabs the whole hand… tz tz tz

    • Mighty曹

      IKEA sofa.

    • MonkeyMouth

      you didnt even get it. Janson got it. ugggh……

    • mr.wiener

      well played sir.

  • Mighty曹

    Typical inconsiderate public parasites.

    • let him who is without sin cast the first stone

      • diverdude7

        ok, I’ll do it.

        • Mighty曹

          Too late. I did it.

      • Mighty曹

        Why else did you think I cast the first stone?

    • Joey

      How else are you gonna try out the sofa or bed? If I’m gonna buy something that I’m gonna be using for 30% of my day, you bet your ass I’m gonna try it out.

      • Mighty曹

        I wonder how you would shop for a toilet. :D

        • Joey

          Toilet? You mean the street?

          • Mighty曹

            Oh you’re in China!

  • Intolerant people, intolerant people everywhere

    • Markoff

      You mean people complaining about customers trying furniture in real life scenario?

  • wuju

    Go back to your countryside min gong

  • DC

    if Ikea doesn’t have a problem with it…not sure why some of us seem to be worrying about it.

    “This is a spontaneous phenomenon,” Josefin Thorell, a spokesman for the Swedish furniture retailer, told the Wall Street Journal.
    “Some customers who enter the Chinese stores sleep in the bed. Ikea in
    China does nothing to prevent nor anything to attract sleepers. But we
    don’t see it as a problem, we’re happy people feel at home in our

    “Certainly, it entails a little extra work for the staff,
    purely practically,” Thorell added. “But on the other hand, if
    customers try out our furniture and like it, we can sell an extra
    mattress or two.”

  • vonskippy

    They need to give the IKEA staff those HUGE black permanent markers and then they could walk around and write 失敗者 on the sleepers forehead.

    • Mateusz82

      Has the venerable practice of drawing penises (or penii, if you prefer) on the foreheads of sleeping folk gone out of style?

  • MonkeyMouth

    Ikea- go for the meatballs, then have a kip. buy a jar of jam on the way out….

  • narsfweasels

    Oh, I know exactly what to do about this… :D

  • Sputnik

    You, sir, are a fast walker.

  • moop

    why not just put some sunflower seeds in bowls on all the tables and let these wretches move in?

  • Kian Mehrabi

    Regardless of how other customers might feel, this habit is made completely OK in my book, considering that it is condoned by IKEA themselves.

    Regarding general tiredness, after 4 years here living what should be a very comfortable life, I have become very suspicious of, and developed a tendency to attribute my daily weariness to low food and environment quality. Though I cannot rule out ‘getting older’.

  • this situation makes us uncomfortable because we view sleeping as a very private experience. Sharing this intimate act with the public, especially within the gaze of the public, makes us nervous. We are appalled that these people don’t experience the same level of anxiety as they ought to. Who are we to dictate what the Chinese ought to or ought not to feel?

  • Markoff

    to be honest Chinese people are sleeping in any public space, not only in IKEA, just walk around any Chinese city, go to any KFC/McD, any park etc.

    and after all isn’t this the best test for furniture before buying? they somehow forgot to mention that IKEA serves also as airconditioned shelter from those 35C temperatures these days

  • Pingback: It's Summer In China, And Shoppers Are Loving IKEA's Invitation To Take A Nap | Business Insider()

  • Lei Feng’s Hat

    China – the walking dead – is truly the land of the sleep-deprived.

    It all starts young, when ‘Super Mothers’ begin their child on a military-regime-style study program. In addition to the general 4 hours of homework each night (compliments of ‘school’)…there is the violin tutor, the piano tutor, the English tutor, the Math tutor, the dancing coach, the swimming coach, the basketball coach…etc.

    Sounds like a busy day. How are we going to fit all these fun-filled activities into a mere 24 hours? Easy. Just cut back on sleep. Problem solved.

    However, a few years later and all these mothers are wondering why their ‘chosen ones’ have only grown to be 4’2″, have arms and legs like 面爱面 noodles, and have grey hair sprouting out of their head by the time they are 19…

    …and sleep in furniture stores.

    • Kai

      Heh, I think you’re mixing North American Asian model minority stereotypes with mainland Chinese. Very few mainland Chinese have the means for all those tutors and coaches even if there is a stereotype that mainland Chinese parent are also pretty all-in on education and academics.

      • Teacher in China

        It’s certainly that way in small but rich town Dongbei – the kids barely have any time to themselves, even in the summer.

        • Lei Feng’s Hat

          Yeah, Beijing is essentially a giant vacuum cleaner, and its sole purpose is to suck all the money out of every parents’ wallet. At every turn there is some scheme aimed at somehow improving the children.

          And it’s not all ‘expensive tutors’. Endless after school courses and lessons in everything from Chinese chess to Disco Dancing…

          It all leads to sleep deprivation, which I believe is very unhealthy for a growing child.

      • Rick in China

        There’s a good documentary released on the subject, called “China Gate” by Wang Yang

      • bang2tang

        sounds like Tiger Mom…

    • bang2tang

      I would be happy if my parent rich enough to afford violin & piano tutor, lol.

      • Lei Feng’s Hat

        Really? Then you would be the first young person I have ever met that would be…actually happy…to go through that daily 2 hour grind of piano/violin lessons.

        • bang2tang

          why not? I prefer this to sport

  • chandlerpatrick

    My wife dragged me to ikea this one time… After about 3 hours of walking around like a zombie, I was ready to have her carry on, and leave me to a bed… I saw all these people sleeping on couches and beds, and I wanted to do the same… But alas, I’m not Chinese, so I went outside, and waited in the car.

    • Boris

      If you did sleep in the store, I’m pretty sure you’d have the locals snap pictures of you on their phone and then upload it to weixin.

      • bang2tang

        weixin? hahah

        • Boris

          It happens. I was having coffee with the wife. The coffee shop was full with only two spare chairs left on the table me and the wife were on. Two students asked if they could sit down and use the chairs. No problem for me or the wife. One of them takes a picture of me, without asking me and sneaky like, and puts it onto Weixin.

  • moop

    i never sleep in public places, not because i’m not tired, but more worried that i will awake with a massive erection in public

    • Kai

      That may mean you’re not getting enough from the missus. ;) MAY, I said MAY. You may just have an untamable libido.

      • moop

        neither, i just have really perverted dreams ;) just the other day i was dreaming that i was furiously masturbating while arguing on cS…hey, wait a minute

        • Kai

          Yeah…better get that checked out!

      • moop

        when you sandwich “MAY, I said MAY” in the middle i cant tell if you are referring to the first statement or the latter statement. when i imagine you referring to the latter, i think of foghorn leghorn

        • Kai

          Hah, it was in reference to the first statement. I didn’t want her or you to take me seriously.

    • Wololoo

      The Chinese wake up with erections too, but luckily no one can notice it.

  • Hugz

    Few if any have Ikea shopping bags and they are almost as minger (short for of longing) as the wannabes that tuck labels under pillows then pose for photos in “their” house.

  • Been going on for years in Beijing Ikea. The original store at north 3rd ring road before the monster one was made was full of this. All that has changed is the number of people doing it. IKEA is a terrible example of needless consumerism as it is and the Beijing one is the worst – so frigging packed. I can’t imagine how many apartments in that city that all look the same on the inside.

  • don mario

    look at these slobs!

  • G in Xiamen

    Keeping it classy Chimatrons. Christ I go to the bank to do my banking, and almost all the seat are occupied by people there to enjoy the AC. Fuck off back to your one-bedroom hovel which may or may not have a fan.

    • Mighty曹

      I thought I was looking at a midget giving the man a penis massage.

  • Wololoo

    When I was in China. I also felt tired everyday. Apart from that I lost over 6kg within one year (and I was already really slim).

    So I blame it on the food not providing enough energy.

  • BillBo

    Well better this then passing out drunk on the sidewalk like in Tokyo or Seoul. I didn’t see that behavior in China. But I do find this strange too. Wouldn’t you feel awkward sleeping in public like that? I can see why it happens to 70 year old men waiting an hour for their wives but it looks like these people said “Hey, I think I”ll go have a nap at IKEA!”

  • B*tches, Leave

    Ikea sells furniture? here I thought it was a public park …

  • Surfeit

    at least they took their shoes off!

  • Ferdin Sput

    It’s just uncivilized race, plain and simple. No excuses. Shame that a 5000 year civilization comes down to this!!

  • fedupcustomer

    I had to wait for a Chinese “customer” to get off of a massage chair so that I could try to purchase at Costco in Australia. He put headphone and went to sleep on the chair. After I waited for 40 mins, a store manager finally very kindly asked if he could take turns with other customers. Guess what, he was so upset that he was woken up and screamed at the manager then went back to sleep! Both the manager and I gave up and walked away…….