The Best Times to Buy Furniture, According to Home Experts

published Jan 17, 2020
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Buying furniture can be a tricky process. On one hand, furniture is an investment, which means you’re probably prepared to spend a bit of cash on pieces you love. On the other hand, it’s always helpful for your wallet to find the best deals possible. Looking for that sweet spot, one has to wonder if outfitting your house without breaking the bank is all about timing.

Is there a “best time” to buy furniture? Design experts say yes—there are smarter times to buy specific categories of the things you’ll need to outfit your home. If you’re shopping for a bargain, here’s an expert-backed cheat sheet. 

Credit: Sylvie Li

The Best Time to Buy Living Room Furniture and Dining Room Furniture

In general, according to Santa Monica-based interior designer Sarah Barnard, furniture dips in price during the winter months. Since many design clients or furniture buyers want to complete home projects during the spring and summer in advance of holiday entertaining schedules, warmer months are typically busier for furniture manufacturers—which means there’s little incentive to offer discounts. 

“Historically, January through April is when homeowner spending and retail sales decrease,” says Barnard. “I suspect it’s due to a needed recovery from holiday expenditures and a mindful pause as we approach our income tax deadlines.”

To make up for the potential sales loss in the beginning of the year, Barnard says many retailers are motivated to capture the attention of potential customers—which means more sales on furniture like living room sets and dining room tables and chairs.

Mark Robinson, managing director at Alexander Joseph, a UK-based lamp designer, says the months just before summer are sometimes another sweet spot for furniture items. “Whilst January sales may be the obvious option to buy furniture and get it for a great price, it isn’t necessarily the best month to make your purchase,” he says. “New styles tend to be released in summer so get in just before to get the items that are being sold off cheaper.”

But Barnard adds one caveat: “Keep in mind that custom, handmade, and artisan goods aren’t generally utilizing the same margins and markups as retailers and shouldn’t be expected to slash prices in any season,” she says.

Credit: Sylvie Li

The Best Time to Buy a Mattress

Your best bet for saving money on a mattress is probably buying during a holiday sale. According to Mattress Advisor, online and brick-and-mortar retailers typically slash prices between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday, along with other national holidays like President’s Day, Memorial Day, and Labor Day.

Justin Barnard, interior designer, architect and founder of the Portland, Seattle and LA home staging company Spade and Archer Design Agency, says he always buys mattresses the week between Christmas and New Years or on Super Bowl Sunday. “Very few people shop during these times, and you can find great markdowns on returned items,” he says.

Credit: Viv Yapp

The Best Time to Buy Office Furniture 

There are two times of year when you might find better deals on office furniture, according to Stephanie Purcell, interior designer and owner of Redesigned Classics. “Around the start of the school year is a good time to buy office furniture as these items are also often discounted with back-to-school sales,” she says. “Tax time is also a great time to buy office furniture, as retailers often target new companies that are starting out or updating in the new tax year.”

The Best Time to Buy Outdoor Furniture

You may realize it’s time to buy outdoor furniture right when the weather gets warmer, but Riordan says the end of summer is typically a better time to purchase a patio set. “Once June hits, stores start to reduce the prices of these items until they are gone around the end of September,” he says. “If you time it right, just as summer starts to wane in the long days of August, you can score some great deals on outdoor furniture and accessories.”

The Best Time to Buy Home Accessories and Decor

Accessories, Riordan says, are a completely different story—when to buy has everything to do with which colors are in season. “If you are looking for specifically gold, red, forest green, black, or brown accessories, the time to shop is in the fall and winter, especially just before and after the holidays,” he says. “If you are looking for pinks, light blues, crisp whites, yellows, and bright greens, the best time to shop is early spring and summer.”