Bedroom Furniture Buying Guide
Whether you want individual pieces or an entire set, shopping for bedroom furniture can be fun! It can also be challenging to determine what your needs are and what the space in your bedroom will allow. Here is the info to help you set up your ideal retreat.
Types of Bedroom Furniture
Bedrooms can be as bare-bones as a mattress and a lamp, or as fully furnished as a pampering hotel suite. Whatever makes you feel most rested and restored is what you should put in your bedroom. Does it make you happy to have clutter contained? You might want a trunk to stow extra bedding. A vanity might ease the morning rush. A bench gives you a spot to comfortably put on shoes. Consider the following types of bedroom furniture to see what is right for your space. Please note: Information about armoires and wardrobes, bedroom sets, dressers, and nightstands and night tables is covered in separate buying guides.
A bench is a handy perch as well as a decorative asset in a bedroom, where it is usually softly upholstered and may even have shapely arms to give it flair.
Intended for clothing and bedding storage, a trunk or cedar chest is particularly useful in a bedroom, where you might want to tuck away heavy sweaters or a duvet for half the year. Depending on its dimensions, a trunk can play dual roles as a night table or bench.
A chest is general-purpose. You can use it for specific storage needs -- such as holding children's toys or the myriad accent pillows you pull off your bed each night -- but you may also want a chest to perform as an extra surface, such as to hold a television.
Jewelry storage is an inevitable need in the bedroom. Often it's in the form of a small box that sits on the dresser or night table. But many women need the additional room a jewelry armoire provides. These miniature armoires are typically freestanding pieces on tall legs.
This is the general category for any piece of furniture that suits the style of your bedroom and meets your storage needs, such as bookcases and underbed drawers.
This piece of furniture can be helpful with managing morning routines. When the bathroom is too crowded, you can shift your grooming to a vanity in the bedroom. Often you'll see antique or vintage vanities, but they are coming back into fashion and manufacturers are improving on the older models for today's lifestyle.
There is great variety in the kinds of cedar chests, benches, and jewelry armoires you will find when shopping for bedroom furniture. Compare features such as these to sort out which specific piece will work best for you.
Some benches have extra storage under the seat, but typically they have simple upholstered or wooden flat seats long enough for two people to sit side-by-side, and they may or may not have arms and a back.
Trunks are made of wood or particleboard and have metal hardware, such as hinges, clasps, and locks. They may also have handles made of metal or leather. Cedar chests are made from or lined with cedar wood, which naturally repels pests such as moths that can destroy sweaters and blankets.
Chests can be small or large, depending on your needs, and come in many styles and materials. They always have a hinged lid, which may be padded and upholstered.
Jewelry armoires may have mirrors inside the doors or a mirror that pops up from the top. Some may even have a lighted interior. Designed specially to hold jewelry, they have hooks for necklaces, padded rows for rings, and drawers for bracelets and brooches. They also may offer additional storage for accessories, such as scarves.
Bedroom storage includes bookcases, storage ottomans, underbed drawers, and baskets, which can be as large as blanket chests or shallow enough to slide under the bed.
Typically a small desk with a stool or chair, a vanity may have a pop-up mirror and several compartments for storing beauty items. Some deluxe versions are equipped with makeup lights, built-in outlets, and charging stations.
As you shop, keep these things in mind.
A bed can be too high or too low to comfortably perch while wrestling on a pair of tights or knee-high boots. That's when a bench can be helpful. Look for one that is the perfect height for sitting easily, with a seat deep enough that you won't slip off. If you want additional comfort, a padded or upholstered seat is nice.
Size is the most important aspect of these storage items. Fold up and measure your winter duvet to determine how large a trunk you'll need. Or stack your sweaters and measure the pile. If you buy a trunk or chest that's too small, you'll get frustrated trying to make everything fit.
Make sure the lid of the chest has a safety catch so it won't slam down on your fingers. This is especially important in a child's room. If you are using the chest to hold entertainment equipment, make sure the top is sturdy and deep (and, if you live in a home with children, secure the television to the wall to keep it from tipping.)
Evaluate your bedroom to determine if you have room for a jewelry armoire. If the armoire will be on display, you'll want to pick one that is in keeping with the style of your other bedroom furniture. Next, take inventory of your jewelry to be sure you are buying an armoire with enough of the compartments you need, such as drawers for bracelets or hooks for necklaces.
The process of purchasing bedroom storage pieces starts with assessing your needs. Are novels piling up beside the bed? Look for a bookcase. Is your closet crammed with out-of-season clothes? Try shallow baskets and drawers that let you pack things away under your bed. Make sure whatever you purchase is suited to your specific items. If you read mostly paperbacks, pick a bookcase with multiple closely spaced shelves rather than one that accommodates coffee-table-size tomes.
Consider the details of your morning routine when you purchase a vanity: How many components will you be using at your vanity table? A blow dryer plus rollers or a hair straightener will need multiple electrical outlets and a suitable power supply. Does your bedroom have overhead lighting? You'll need a mirror and task lights for makeup application. Would a sealed top be best in case of leaking hair products or perfumes?