Sunday, June 16, 2024

The Best Places to Buy High-Quality Furniture on a Budget, According to Designers & Shopping Experts

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I love to shop. As a commerce writer, I shop for a living, so I’d better enjoy it! The best part of professional online shopping is that at the end of the day, I don’t have to actually pay for anything (true, I don’t get to own anything either. It’s more like professional window shopping). The point is, shopping is fun, but it’s the paying-for-it part that can be painful. That is, until you master the art of buying furniture on a budget. Then, buying stuff becomes a breeze, and even bigger expenditures like purchasing all the furnishings for a room or a house become satisfying (almost addicting) once you take inventory of how much you’ve actually saved.


Best Affordable Furniture Sites at a Glance

Best Overall: Wayfair
Best Shipping Options: Walmart
Best for Same-Day Delivery: Amazon
Best Return Policy: Kohl’s
Best Delivery Options: BJ’s Wholesale
Best In-House Brands: Target
Best Style Variety: Cost Plus World Market
Best Traditional: The Home Depot
Best Modern: Dot & Bo
Best Designer Dupes: Joss & Main
Best Discounts: Overstock
Best Flash Sales: One Kings Lane
Best for Small Spaces: Nathan James
Best Handmade: Etsy

If furnishing or redecorating a space on the cheap is on your to-do list, the trick is three-fold: learn how to identify quality budget furniture, how to score the best deals and where the best places to buy furniture on a budget actually are.

What to Look for When Buying Budget Furniture

Spotting low-priced furniture that’s actually worth it requires a keen eye and a knowledge of materials, first and foremost.

“When it comes to buying budget furniture, the goal is to find pieces that scream ‘great deal’ rather than ‘cheap mistake,’” says Heather Goerzen, Design Director at Havenly, to SheKnows. “As an interior designer with a penchant for both style and practicality, I can tell you it’s all about being a savvy shopper.”

“When shopping for furniture on a budget, take the time to find out what the piece is made of,” adds interior designer Megan Healy of Megan Healy Design. Healy emphasizes the importance of learning to spot craftsmanship details, too.


Here’s a cheat sheet, according to our pros:

Solid wood: “This will last much longer than wood veneer or laminate.”

Joinery over glue: “Quality furniture uses dowels, screws or brackets rather than just glue. Peek underneath or inside to see how it’s put together. If all you see is glue, it’s probably not built to last.”

Quality finishes: “In wooden furniture, a smooth, even finish indicates better quality. If the paint or stain looks blotchy or chips easily, it might not stand up to daily wear and tear.”

Sturdy upholstery fabrics: “When it comes to upholstery, opt for durable, tightly woven fabrics. Natural fibers like cotton and linen are great, but blends with synthetic fibers can also offer durability. Avoid anything that feels thin or looks poorly stitched.”

Sturdy rug fibers, preferably natural: “Rugs made of wool, for instance, are more durable and will feel better underfoot, compared to viscose, polyester, or rayon, which can be thin and have a tell-tale sheen.”

Weight: “Heft can be a good indicator of quality. A well-built piece will generally feel solid and weighty. If you can lift a dresser with one hand, it’s probably not going to withstand the test of time (or a rambunctious toddler).”

Another key indicator of budget furniture quality? Reviews. “In our digital age, there’s no excuse for not checking reviews. See what other buyers are saying about the piece. Pay attention to comments about durability and comfort after a few months of use,” says Goerzoen.

And learn which budget finds to prioritize. Healy advises to “invest in the big pieces, [like a] sofa or dining table, and go for less expensive lounge chairs, coffee and end tables, and accessories.”

How to Get the Best Prices on Furniture

Now for the good part: saving money! If you really want to find the best prices on furniture, wait for holidays and big savings events. “Retailers often drop prices across the board, including on high quality items. Major retailers and local places alike will offer sales. Black Friday is also a good time to find furniture deals and get more bang for your buck,” says Kristin McGrath, shopping expert at RetailMeNot, to SheKnows.

Another technique is showrooming: visiting physical stores to test out furniture, then searching across online stores for the same piece or something similar at the lowest price. “If the furniture piece is in a showroom, don’t be shy about sitting on it, leaning on it, testing it to see if it’s wobbly, opening and closing the drawers, etc. You’ll often be able to feel if something is flimsy,” says McGrath.

Here are 14 of the best places to buy online furniture. If you’re not sure where to start, start here.

Our mission at SheKnows is to empower and inspire women, and we only feature products we think you’ll love as much as we do. Wayfair & Walmart are SheKnows sponsors, however, all products in this article were independently selected by our editors. Please note that if you purchase something by clicking on a link within this story, we may receive a small commission of the sale.

Wayfair

Carmencita 65″ Square Arm Loveseat

Think you can’t buy a sofa with a solid wood frame and linen-blend upholstery like Carmencita Loveseat for less than $400? At Wayfair, you can. The online retailer has plenty more pinch-me deals where that came from because they partner with independent manufacturers and buy in bulk to keep overhead down. That way they can pass the savings on to you.

Type of Furniture: Pretty much every piece you can think of, from furniture to accessories. The most common styles are modern and midcentury modern.
Shipping:
One-Day Shipping
Two-Day Shipping
Express Shipping
Expedited Shipping
Ground Shipping
Return policy: Within 30 days of delivery (longer for holiday season purchases)
Delivery Options:
Curbside (you unload)
Curbside (delivery person unloads)
Basic Outside Front Door Drop-Off
Inside Home Entrance Drop-Off
Backyard Delivery
Room of Choice Delivery
All-Inclusive Delivery: Delivery, Packaging Removal & Assembly
Price point:
Sofas start at $150, coffee tables start at $65

Pros:
Vast inventory
Quickly revolving inventory
Budget prices on high quality items
Many reviews
Many shipping and delivery options
Cons:
Furniture quality can vary because of so many different manufacturers

Amazon

GDFStudio Outdoor Eight Seater Wooden Dining Table

Since Amazon is a marketplace, it hosts many third-party sellers who set their prices competitively. Amazon often has the lowest prices (and so many sales!) on furniture, like this eight-seater dining table made of solid acacia wood with an iron base by a family-owned company. Ordinarily it would be less than $400, and it’s only $216 thanks to a limited-time sale at the time of this publication.

Type of Furniture: Pretty much every piece you can think of. Styles run the gamut to.
Shipping Policy:
With Prime membership: Free same-day or one-day delivery on many items
Without Prime membership: Free shipping on orders of $35 or more
Return Policy: Within 30 days of receipt of shipment (with some exceptions)
Delivery Options:
Amazon Day Delivery lets you pick the day of the week your package is delivered
Price point: Dining tables start at $19

Pros:
Huge inventory
Many different sellers with competing prices
Fast delivery
Many reviews
Cons:
Sales usually don’t last long
Quality varies

Kohl’s

Sonoma Goods For Life Zero Anti-Gravity Patio Lounge Chair

Your friendly neighborhood department story has a revolving inventory of quality furnishings at budget prices. We like this patio lounge chair, a fade-resistant patio chair with a rust-resistant frame that comes in a slew of colors.

Type of Furniture: Both outdoor and indoor in contemporary designs.
Shipping policy:
Standard Ground
One Day
Two Day
Return policy: Up to 180 days from purchase with some exceptions
Delivery Options:
White Glove Delivery Service includes delivery to a room of your choice
Price point: Starting at about $25

Pros:
Great prices on quality furniture
Great for furnishing outdoor spaces
Generous return policy
Cons:
Limited inventory
Quick turnaround on products

Walmart

Madesa Modern Entertainment Center

Would you expect anything less than a vast array of furniture for the very best prices from a place like Walmart? This store indeed has it all, and you can add to that list seating, surfaces and storage, like this media cabinet with solid wood legs that’s less than $100 and a slew of furniture by popular budget brand Hayneedle.

Type of Furniture: Traditional and modern pieces, most of which require assembly.
Shipping policy:
Free shipping with no minimum Walmart+ membership
Standard
Three-Day Shipping
Next Day
Return policy: Refund within 90 days of purchase
Delivery Options:
Walmart InHome includes in-home deliveries and returns picked up from your home (unlimited with Walmart+)
Price point: From $15

Pros:
Vast inventory
Generous shipping and delivery options
Cons:
Quality may vary

BJ’s Wholesale

Linon Butterfly 2-Pc. Vanity Set

A complete room redo can be a Herculean task, but it doesn’t have to be an expensive one if you buy your furniture at an unlikely place like BJ’s Wholesale. That’s right: while you’re stocking up on paper towels, you can redecorate your entire bedroom. We found the sweetest (mostly) solid wood vanity set for just $220, for instance.

Type of Furniture: Mainly traditional furniture
Shipping Options:
Standard Ground
Expedited Ground
2nd Day Air
Overnight
Priority Overnight
Same day
Return Policy:
Refunds with 90 days of purchase
Delivery Options:
Curbside delivery available
White glove service available
Price point: Bedroom furniture starting at $45

Pros:
Vast inventory
Many shipping and delivery options
Cons:
If you’re looking for a variety of decor styles, this isn’t for you
Quality may vary

Target

Threshold Safflower Sculptural Dining Chair

Shoppers love Target because they’re familiar with the store’s in-house brands, which is part of the secret to their low prices. For furniture, those brands include Hearth and Hand with Magnolia and Threshold, which includes this brand new chair that looks high-end but costs just $100, probably less than if you thrifted it. And it has mostly five-star reviews.

Type of Furniture: Pretty much every piece you can think of. Threshold furniture is modern, while Hearth and Hand with Magnolia is more modern farmhouse.
Shipping policy:
Same-day (unlimited on orders above $35 with Target 360)
Standard
Two-day
Express
Return policy: Most items within 90 days of purchase
Delivery Options:
To-the-Door Delivery
Inside-the-Door Delivery/Through the Door
Room of Choice 
Price point:
Furniture starts at about $30

Pros:
Reliable in-house brands
Generous return policy
Cons:
Options are limited compared to some budget furniture destinations

Cost Plus World Market

CRAFT Rhea Round Wood and Metal Medallion Coffee Table

World Market has its own distinct vibe and is far from cookie cutter. Their furniture actually represents an eclectic array of global styles, and its pieces are sourced from all over the world. This solid mango wood coffee table from India is a perfect example of a handcrafted artisan piece for a budget sale price.

Type of Furniture: Ethnically diverse and eclectic pieces for every room in the house.
Shipping policy:
Ground
Expedited
Freight
Return policy: Within 60 days of purchase
Delivery Options:
By appointment Monday through Friday
Price point: Furniture starts at about $28

Pros:
Diverse assortment of styles
One-of-a-kind, artisan pieces
On-site coupons
Cons:
Some customers have had issues with customer service

The Home Depot

Warren Walnut Queen Wood Frame with Twin XL Pull Out Trundle Bed

While you’re grabbing paint and plants, get your tween a trundle bed at The Home Depot for sleepovers. This one is solid wood with a USB charger built-in, so your kid will be in seventh heaven. You can count on The Home Depot for high-quality, affordable furniture and frequent sales.

Type of Furniture: Mainly traditional furniture
Shipping Options:
Same-day
Next-day
Return Policy:
Refunds with 180 days of purchase
Delivery Options:
Standard Delivery includes delivery outside the house
Threshold Delivery includes delivery across your first doorway or threshold
Price point: Starting at $12

Pros:
Vast inventory
High-quality furniture
Generous return policy
Cons:
If you’re looking for a variety of decor styles, this isn’t for you

Dot & Bo

Nicole Miller Vincenzo Velvet Channel Tufted Bench with Mirrorred Lacquer Finish Legs

This site has such incredible discounts, your jaw will hit the floor. And their inventory of name brands, like this Nicole Miller channel-tufted velvet bench that is so luxe—and almost 80 percent off.

Type of Furniture: Chic, upscale and designer pieces for the whole house.
Shipping policy:
Standard
Economy
LTL Freight
Return policy: Up to 30 days after delivery
Delivery Options:
No assembly available
Price point:
Starts at about $26

Pros:
High-end pieces
Discounts are deep
Cons:
No reviews

Joss & Main

Drossett Coffee Table

If you’re looking for reasonably priced modern furniture and lots of great sales, head over to Joss & Main. Quality varies, and so do prices, but you can find some amazing scores and even designer dupes, like this low-priced glass table with a solid wood base that’s a Noguchi doppelganger.

Type of Furniture: Mostly modern furniture for every room in the house.
Shipping policy:
Free 2-day delivery
Return policy:
Refund or store credit within 30 days of delivery
Delivery Options:
Assembly and installation available
Price point: Living room furniture starts at $68

Pros:
Vast array of merchandise
Frequent sales
Free delivery options
Cons:
Furniture quality can vary because of so many different manufacturers
Prices vary
Some customers have had issues with slow delivery

Overstock

SAFAVIEH Round Brown Cordovan Ottoman with Storage Tray

Where can you get a genuine leather, name-brand ottoman with a serving tray for less then $165? At Overstock (which was recently acquired and relaunched by Bed Bath & Beyond). Because they have an entire inventory of furniture with massive discounts up to 70 percent, like this Safavieh piece in question.

Type of Furniture: Mostly modern furniture from many manufacturers
Shipping policy:
Standard Shipping
Expedited Shipping
Oversized items
Return policy: Refund within 30 days of receipt
Delivery Options:
Outside home
Inside home
Room of choice
Room of choice with package removal
Assembly not available
Price point: Starting at about $25

Pros:
Vast inventory
Deep discounts
Many delivery options
Cons:
Quality may vary
Not a lot of reviews

One Kings Lane

Callie Fringed Ottoman, Black Cranes

A great way to score deals — however fleeting — is to visit flash sale sites frequently to score their limited-time deals before inventory is sold out (or time is up). One Kings Lane is a pioneer of flash sales, and they’re still going strong with tons of deals on coveted items daily, like this eye-catching ottoman at 35 percent off. It’s just so exciting when literally everything is on sale!

Type of Furniture:
Modern, Midcentury modern, and traditional
Shipping Options:
Standard Ground
Expedited Ground
2nd Day Air
Overnight
Priority Overnight
Same day
Return Policy:
Refunds with 90 days of purchase
Delivery Options:
Curbside delivery available
White glove service available
Price point: Bedroom furniture starting at $45

Pros:
Vast inventory
Many shipping and delivery options
Cons:
If you’re looking for a variety of decor styles, this isn’t for you
Quality may vary

Nathan James

Wood Mid-Century Arched Storage Cabinet

Nathan James is a small business that specializes in affordable, quality furniture for apartments and starter homes. This compact midcentury cabinet for just $270 on sale is a perfect example. All pieces are designed for easy at-home assembly, too.

Type of Furniture: Modern and midcentury modern pieces for the whole house.
Shipping policy:
If you’re on the West Coast: 3-5 business days
If you’re on the East Coast: 8-11 business days.
Return policy: Refund up to 100 days after delivery
Delivery Options:
No assembly available but customer service is available to help by phone, email, text or WhatsApp
Price point:
Starts at about $26

Pros:
Stylish, quality furniture
Great customer service
Free returns
Cons:
No reviews

Etsy

Bunny Ear Chair

For all your quirky, one-of-a-kind and lovingly made furniture needs, you can support the global artisans over on Etsy’s popular marketplace. You’ll never cease to be amazed at the originality in the pieces you’ll find, like these bunny ear toddler chairs handmade of solid wood. Many pieces are very budget-friendly, but you have to dig around.

Type of Furniture: Handmade artisan furniture
Shipping & return policy:
Varies depending on seller
Delivery Options:
Varies depending on seller
Price point:
Varies depending on seller

Pros:
One-of-a-kind, creative pieces
High quality
You’re supporting independent artisans
Cons:
Inconsistency in terms of shipping and return policies as well as quality and price because everything is dependent on the seller

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