How to Choose New Bedroom Furniture

Ask Yourself 8 Questions As You Plan Out a Bedroom

Grey and orange bedroom.
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Choosing new bedroom furniture is both exciting and scary. It is exciting, because who does not love new things and a new look? It can be scary because furniture is expensive and the fear of making a mistake can be overwhelming. Luckily, picking the right furniture for your needs is much easier if you ask yourself a few questions before heading to the showroom. Take a look at eight considerations you should review before you make a small investment in new bedroom furniture.

Where Will the Furniture Go?

Are you buying new furniture for your own master bedroom, a child’s room, or a teen’s bedroom? Make sure you look at and select furniture that is suited to the user of the room, both in style and design.

What Is Your Budget?

It is fine to browse—in fact, that is the best way to see what is out there—but it is unwise to make a purchase before determining exactly what you can afford. Furniture is a big expense, so be honest with yourself before pulling out your credit card. If your dreams are large, but your bank account is small, you have several options:

  • Buy piecemeal: Buy just one new piece of furniture now and wait until you can afford to buy the rest.
  • Get it used: Shop for secondhand furniture.
  • Shop economically: Go for lower quality—but also lower-priced—furniture if it is destined for a guest bedroom or a child’s room.

What About Quality?

You do not want junk furniture that will fall apart within a few months. That does not mean you have to have the absolute top-of-the-line, either. Your budget plays a big part in deciding the level of quality you can afford, but so does the intended use of the furniture. It is worth spending more on high-quality furniture for the master bedroom, but consider going down a level or two for a child’s bedroom set that will be replaced within a few years. It is always worth splurging (within your means) for a good-quality mattress, but not always worth it for a nightstand, headboard, or bench for the foot of the bed.

How Big Is the Room?

If you are decorating a tiny bedroom, it does not make sense to buy a massive four-poster bed or mammoth dresser. Likewise, if you are lucky enough to have a sizable room, do not choose undersize (or too few) pieces of furniture. The scale is crucial for a well-decorated room; that means that the size of the furniture needs to be in balance with the size of the space. Whenever you buy new furniture for any room, make sure it can fit in the doorway or make it around a tight corner to get into 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 into the room.

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. For example, if you only put on makeup in the bathroom, it does not make sense to buy a vanity.

But, 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 toes do not get cramped during the night. If a dresser is nice, but it does not have enough drawer space to hold your clothes, then it is not the right one for you.

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.

What Is Your Decorating Style?

If you love all things contemporary, you will not be happy with a rustic, country bedroom set. If you have a decorating style that you love, you will want furniture that complements it. That does not mean you should lock yourself into a rigid mindset; a great deal of bedroom furniture is transitional in style, meaning it is somewhere in between traditional and modern. A transitional sensibility generally works well with most decorating themes.

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, you need to take both people into account when choosing furniture. If you have two siblings, you will need beds for each. For any shared room, both inhabitants need a dresser or chest of drawers to hold their clothing and might each need a nightstand or bedside table with a lamp. You also need to think about each inhabitant's tastes and desires. Compromise may be necessary, but nobody should be unhappy with their bedroom.