5 Pieces of Bedroom Furniture You Should Buy Used to Save Money

published Jul 1, 2020
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If you’re on a tight budget, buying new bedroom furniture is probably not on the top of your to-do list. Along with making apartment decorating easier on your wallet, being “thrifty” almost never goes out of style. A shiny manufactured lamp from a retail store is always nice, but does it beat a vintage light fixture from your local consignment shop?

Not only are pieces from Facebook Marketplace, OfferUp, and local thrift shops affordable, but they also bring character into your home, telling a richer story than new pieces offer. Here, home stagers and a design enthusiast share the best bedroom furniture to buy used to save money.


Lamps are the most sought after piece to buy used. Wanda Colón, instructor and co-founder of the Academy of Home Staging & Design, says that older lamps are fun to buy in lieu of cheap floor lamps that all look the same. “Old lighting, like Art Deco lighting, is so beautiful and can be put in almost any setting as a conversation piece,” she says. If your home has an eclectic style, from bohemian to country, make the most basic bedroom item steal the show and become a vibrant focal point in your space.


Nightstands are a second-hand must. According to design enthusiast Seana Freeman, the “holy grail of vintage and second-hand shopping” is finding the most special piece that requires the least amount of work. Even if you’re unsure of a color or small scratch, Freeman says you have to be open to painting or polishing most end tables. “Regardless, they’re still going to be cheaper than a lot of new nightstands at that same quantity,” she says. If you’re looking for a more funky look, buy a vintage trunk, delicate step stool, or tray table to use as an out-of-the-box bedside table, she says.

Decorative accents

Freeman says you can easily accent 10 to 20 percent of your home with second-hand finds, as a vintage shape or style elevates the design scheme of the room. Fort Lauderdale home stager Bridget King finds that aside from small vases and mirrors, there’s value in purchasing large artwork used. “When you have an 18-foot ceiling, you can’t put a 36 by 36 piece of artwork from HomeGoods on that large-scale wall, so you can find some really nice, unusual, larger pieces of artwork that you wouldn’t find in national retail,” King says. On the smaller end, she says some of the best decorations at thrift stores are books. They’re cheap, easy to take home, and purposeful pieces to spruce up any hanging shelf.


If you’re resourceful when it comes to creative projects, headboards are the most versatile bedroom pieces to craft with. When she worked for TLC’s “Home Made Simple,” Colón says she thrifted a mantel from a consignment shop, painted it white, distressed it, and crafted a coral painting on top of it. Get this: the entire headboard only cost her $50. If you’re not ready to take that creative leap, she says you can find shutters or an old mantel and simply cover them in fabric or paint. If you find a whole bed frame or headboard, Freeman says even if there are some scratches, you can distress it or cover it up. “Those touches just add to that heartbeat, that soulfulness in the room,” she says.


You should always steer away from used mattresses and anything with soft fabric like bedding. The one exception to the rule? Rugs. Large area rugs tend to run on the expensive side, so these items are definitely worth buying second-hand. “I would certainly check the condition of the rug, and I would lean towards the more higher-end routes,” King says. Instead of buying a natural fiber rug, she says wool or polypropylene carpets are more luxe and practical to buy used. It’s important to very thoroughly inspect the rug to make sure there aren’t any pet stains or odors.