You don’t want to break the bank buying bedroom furniture. But you don’t want to break the bed because you bought cheap. You don’t have to sacrifice quality for affordability, or affordability for quality. But you do have to keep your eyes open and your expectations realistic. There are plenty of furniture manufacturers that will be more than happy to part a furniture fool from his money.
Why Bedroom Furniture Craftsmanship Is So Important
Why does bedroom furniture so often seem to give out before the rest of the room’s furniture? Because it’s usually used more frequently and more heavily than any other furniture in the house.
Guaranteed frequent use.
For many people, bedroom furniture will get used more consistently than any other room’s furniture. Even if you spend all day at work and never turn on your TV, you’ll still begin and end the day in bed.
No one is a gentle creature in the middle of the night or first thing in the morning.
Toss and turn in bed? Better hope your bed joints can take it.
Who remembers to use a coaster for a glass of water in the middle of the night? If your nightstand’s finish is just sprayed on rather than a genuine varnish, you can expect that water glass to leave some pretty nasty scars.
Your nightstand will get a good rattle when you hit the “snooze” button. If the pieces are just loosely bolted together, there’ll be some damage within a few years.
Your bureau drawers will be yanked open and slammed shut. If the drawers are sliding on metal rather than plastic runners, you might just yank the drawer and pull it right out.
Of course, you could treat the furniture delicately. If that’s even possible to do when you’re tired, it would be a great way to bring a lot of stress into the room.
Considering that you may spend a third of your life in the bedroom, why not make it nice?
Judging Quality Discount Bedroom Furniture
You can find both good and bad furniture at just about any furniture store. Furniture stores tend to be a bit like car dealerships that way. But some stores can be worse than others.
In particular, be wary of any of the new bedroom furniture lines being sold by discount department stores. Kmart and Target, in particular, have moved into the furniture business with mixed results. According to a recent New York Times article, when a professional furniture craftsman checked out the “designer” pieces at Target, he found a lot of reason to believe the furniture wouldn’t last. The biggest cause for alarm: parts that were bolted together without also being glued.
When parts are only bolted together, they will inevitably start wiggling just a bit. As time goes on, the wiggling will pull the bolts loose. Then one day when you slam the “snooze” button, the nightstand will go crashing down beneath it.
Materials are of course as important as workmanship–at least when it comes to price. Everyone knows that hardwood costs more than particle board. But not everyone can spot particle board right away. What does “oaken” mean? Just because something looks like oak, doesn’t mean it’s oak.
If every inch of surface is covered in some kind of veneer, check the materials label on the furniture’s tag. Every piece of furniture you buy should have some kind of label like this. If you’re buying online, the website’s description of the piece should say what the materials are. If not, take your business elsewhere.
Want a shortcut for finding well-made discount bedroom furniture? Try looking for furniture from a respected design company. An Ethan Allen table sold in one store should be roughly as good as an Ethan Allen table sold in another. Of course, these brands are expensive. You can cut down on cost by comparison shopping online just as you would for electronics or cars. You can even buy the furniture online and have it delivered to your house, the same as from an offline furniture store.
Wherever you buy your bedroom furniture, just make sure it’s quality. After all, you’ll be spending a third of your life in it.