5 Best Mid-Century Modern Home Brands to Buy in Thrift Stores

published Mar 28, 2024
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It’s no secret that mid-century modern style has dominated home design recently, and retailers like Article, West Elm, and even Target have re-created some stunning pieces inspired by this retro era. That said, nothing beats scoring an original mid-century style from your local thrift store or an estate sale. 

While mixing vintage pieces into your home lends a unique, personalized edge, it does take time and effort to come across these (sometimes rare) furniture and decor finds. To help with sourcing, I asked two designer experts to weigh in on six of the best mid-century modern brands to seek out for your next thrift trip

Identifying Mid-Century Modern Designs

First, it’s worth familiarizing yourself with the hallmarks of mid-century modern style, including specific pieces like the iconic Eames lounge chair, so you know what to look for while secondhand shopping. “Mid-century modern pieces normally have clean lines and high functionality — not too many frills,” says Bethany Struble, a lead designer at Totum Home. “However, there were bold colors being used during that time and really fun geometric patterns as well.” 

When thrifting mid-century modern pieces, Alex Bass, an interior designer, art curator, and founder of Salon 21, also recommends contacting galleries that work with specific designers to authenticate a piece. While some stores will be able to provide a certificate of authenticity, most of the time an owner or manager likely won’t know whether something is real or a replica. Bass says it’s also worth shopping on websites where the seller is required to disclose authentication information, if you’re in search of an original item.

Best Brands to Buy at Thrift Stores

Herman Miller 

A well-known mid-century modern brand, Herman Miller produced the famous Noguchi table and Marshmallow sofa. The company also owns Eames, which Struble deems as one of the most popular names that everyone looks for when thrifting. “At this point, there are so many copies that it’s hard to find originals, but they’re out there,” she notes. If you have your heart set on an Eames piece, you probably won’t find one at a local Goodwill, but you can potentially score a good deal at a vintage store or online reseller like Sunbeam Vintage.


If you’re a frequent estate sale shopper, Struble says you’ll likely encounter something from Knoll. Herman Miller acquired this modern furniture firm in 2021, which was formerly helmed by designer and architect Florence Knoll Bassett. Keep your eyes peeled for vintage Knoll pieces from the Warren Platner collection, or the iconic Jens Risom strap lounge chairs


For mid-century modern pieces with a Scandinavian-inspired aesthetic, look for dinnerware and decor from Dansk, which dates back to the 1950s. Food52 acquired the brand and its archived designs in 2021, but Struble notes that it’s easy to encounter old-school originals at estate sales, antique malls, or via Etsy (like this ultra-chic candelabra). 

Russel Wright 

“Russel Wright dinnerware and accessories pop up every once in a while at thrift stores,” Struble says. Certain Etsy sellers also carry a variety of the company’s mid-century modern pieces, like this casserole set and these coupe glasses.  


When it comes to mid-century modern kitchen items, Pyrex is always in demand (take it from viral TikTok collector Pyrex Girl). The classic cookware brand is still in production today, so if you do find something that looks vintage, make sure to do a Google search before purchasing.