A Budget Guide to Bedroom Furniture


Start with the bed

The most important bedroom furniture, of course, the bed; more specifically, the mattress. Of all the places to save and all the ways to cut costs in furnishing a bedroom, this is not one. By this I mean to include the box springs, too, if they are part of the unit. Always get the best mattress you can afford. If you calculate the number of nights you (or someone) will be sleeping on it, the cost of a good mattress is really only pennies a night. There are lots of places to research and buy mattresses, both on- and off-line, so it's worth your time to look around. Be sure to check out the mattresses shown in the "Arthritis" section of The Wright Stuff, even if you don't have arthritis.

A word here about dealing with a small room- sometimes a traditional bed set-up just doesn't work. If that's the case with you, a
daybed may be just what you're looking for.

If you're doing a child's room and bunkbeds are in your plans, here's a helpful article on buying bunkbed mattresses.

Toss it or store it

Once you have arranged for a comfortable, healthy mattress, it's time to think about storage needs, even before you look at all the beautiful, coordinated bedroom furniture suites. Because, really, a furniture suite with a dresser that isn't big enough and a bedside table that doesn't have enough room for bedside stuff usually means that closets are crammed too full and extra things end up in boxes in the corner of the room. Not a great look. So let's get the storage issue out of the way now.

You've probably seen or heard about the television shows where people come in and force you to sort through all the items in a room, get rid of everything not vitally important in some way, and organize what remains. The rooms always look incredible afterward, clean and neat and nothing like the before pictures. The thing is, you can do that yourself, without the pressure of a television crew and camera, and without all your friends and neighbors knowing just how much stuff you really have. So go through the room, clear the clutter, and then we'll talk storage.

No More Closet Clutter

Ready? Okay, let's start with the closet. It's amazing how much will actually fit into a well-arranged closet. StacksandStacks has some organizing systems worth a look. They also carry shelf organizers, storage units to hang or stand or slide under the bed, and all the closet extras. Some of the offerings are a tad expensive, but you can find some great storage items at budget-friendly prices, too.

A time-honored solution to storage problems is the cedar chest, also known as a hope chest or blanket chest. I'm a big fan of this traditional furniture piece, as this page shows.

Storage isn't just about putting things away neatly. It's also about being able to find and retrieve things when you want them. Clear storage boxes are great because you can see what's inside so you don't have to open lots of containers to find what you're looking for. If you have non-clear containers that you want to use, take the time to make a contents list for each container. An index card taped to the outside works well and doesn't cost much- or just use paper cut to size. The idea is to see what's inside the container without having to pull it out and open it up.

And More!

You've de-cluttered and stored and you have a good bed, so now what? Consider how the room will be used. Depending on your budget, the size of the room, and what besides sleeping) the room will be used for, there are lots of furniture choices. Will there be a television in the room? Do you want a comfortable reading space with good light and room for books? Are toys and a well-arranged play area important? How about a meditation corner? An entertainment armoire is a good furniture choice for a television because you can close it off when the TV is not in use, and the rest of the unit can be used for storage. Toys stored in baskets (plastic, wicker, whatever) on shelves at a child-accessible height are easy to take down to play with and to put away. The shelves can range from custom built-ins to pre-made bookcases as long as the height and depth of the shelves is reasonable. For myself, give me a good light and a few pillows and I'll call it a reading area, but you may prefer some more traditional furniture, like a chair. Pull up a footstool (or a storage ottoman for multi-usage), add the lighting and a handy spot to place a beverage and there's your reading area. A meditation area- or time out corner- can be created behind a folding screen.

The idea is to plan for all the activities of the room and purchase your bedroom furniture accordingly.

Back to the top

Don't miss these other pages on bedroom furniture:
Air Mattresses | Almost Free Furniture |Daybeds | Cedar Chests
For the Nursery Mattresses for Bunkbeds | Nursery Furniture
Platform Beds | Quilt Racks