How to Choose New Bedroom Furniture

Ask Yourself 8 Questions As You Plan Out a Bedroom

Scandinavian farmhouse bedroom interior, wall mockup
Artjafara / Getty Images

Sprucing up your room with new items and making a dramatic change can be invigorating. The fear factor creeps in when you start thinking about the price tag and the cost of making a mistake. Luckily, picking the right furniture for your needs is much easier if you ask yourself a few questions before heading to the showroom or hitting "buy now" in your online shopping cart. Take a look at eight considerations you should review before you make an investment in new bedroom furniture.

Who Is the Room For?

Are you buying new furniture for your own primary bedroom, a child’s room, or a teen’s bedroom? Consider the personality of the room's primary occupant. Reflect the room's occupant in the theme, color, scheme, and furniture choices. These are the key components for establishing a decorating style.

About This Term: Primary Bedroom

Many real estate associations, including the National Association of Home Builders, have classified the term "Master Bedroom" as discriminatory. "Primary Bedroom" is the name now widely used among the real estate community and better reflects the purpose of the room.

Read more about our Diversity and Inclusion Pledge to make The Spruce a site where all feel welcome.

Have You Determined a Decorating Style?

When it comes to decorating style, contemporary and traditional are two of the main categories of design. Each has various offshoots.

If you are a fan of all things contemporary, prepare yourself for revamping your bedroom furniture at least every decade. Contemporary is an ever-changing trend that shifts with the style of the times. Also called modern, this style may morph over time but has some common elements that remain constant. It's usually clutter-free, modular, and sleek.

The traditional style is a more classic look. This look can include elements from French provincial floral wallpaper to a four-poster bed with curvaceous posts, finials, and some ornamentation.

If you do not want to pigeonhole yourself into just one category, you can design with a transitional mindset, choosing styles that are somewhere in between traditional and modern.

What Is Your Budget?

Since furniture is a big expense, browse around the showrooms or online to figure out what you can afford. If your dreams are large, but your bank account is not, you have several options:

  • Buy piecemeal: Buy just one new piece of furniture now and wait until you can afford to buy the rest. Start with the most important, in this case, the bed.
  • Get it used: Shop for secondhand furniture.
  • Think economically: Go for lower quality (and thus lower-priced) furniture if it is destined for a guest bedroom or a child’s room. For example, stores like Ikea and Target tend to use particleboard instead of solid woods for their more inexpensive furniture. For a child's room that may need redecorating once a baby or toddler reaches school-age, particleboard or compressed wood is perfectly reasonable for nursery furniture.

What About Quality?

It is worth spending more on high-quality furniture for the primary bedroom. The bedroom is where you will be the majority of your time and there is great value in splurging for a good-quality mattress. Treat your body to proper support and get the restful sleep that you need. If you need to save somewhere, get frugal about the nightstand, headboard, or bench for the foot of the bed.

How Big Is the Room?

The ratio of room-to-furniture is crucial for a well-decorated room. The size of the furniture needs to be in balance with the size of the space.

Also, when you are in the showroom, you might look at a piece of furniture and envision it in your room but neglect to think if it can make it into the house. Check clearance dimensions for the doorway or any tight corners leading to the room. You do not want to custom-order a non-refundable piece of furniture and then figure out on the delivery day that the item cannot get inside.

What Do You Need?

You might be replacing all of your old bedroom furniture, starting from scratch in your first apartment, or just buying a few new pieces. Either way, have a plan and know from the start what you actually need.

If you share your bed with a partner, you both might want a nightstand. Or, if you or your partner is exceptionally tall, then choose a bed without a footboard so that toes do not get cramped during the night. If you like a dresser but find that it does not have enough drawer space to hold all the clothes you plan to store in it, then do not ignore the obvious. Walk away.

Take your lifestyle into account, as well. Perhaps your idea of the perfect Sunday morning is the whole family piled into your bed. Or, do your kids sleep in your bed every night? How about family pets? Consider a bed size that is roomy enough for you and all those who are regularly in it.

Do You Want a Matched Set?

While it is certainly safe to buy a complete, matched set of bedroom furniture, it is not required, and in some cases, it may not even be the best choice. In a traditional or formal room, a matched set looks great, but in more casual styles, too much matchy-matchy can be stifling or boring. Instead, choose a variety of pieces that complement but do not perfectly match each other.

Is the Room Shared?

If two people share the room, whether it is two siblings or a married couple, think about how items in the room can be shared. Can siblings share a bunk bed? What about a desk or toy box? Look at the dimensions of the room and list all room configuration possibilities.