Furnishing Your New Home: A Bedroom Furniture Checklist

Whether you're moving into a new place or just want to update the look of your home, shopping for bedroom furniture means you get to create your ideal space. There are multiple components to a bedroom set in addition to the bed frame and mattress, including the dresser, a nightstand or two, and accessories that tie the room together. Before you start shopping, learn how to buy bedroom furniture. Measure the room you’re purchasing furniture for so you know how much space you have to work with.

Choosing a New Bed: Get the Most Comfort

The bedroom bed is the most important part of the room and should get the most consideration when you’re shopping for bedroom furniture. Three components make up the bed: the frame, the mattress, and a headboard and footboard combination. Some frames have built-in headboards and footboards, but you may need to purchase them separately. If you’re outfitting a small bedroom, you’ll want to consider a dual-purpose solution that saves space, such as a trundle bed that has an extra mattress underneath or a frame with built-in drawers for added storage in rooms that don’t have space for a dresser.


Mattresses also come in a wide variety of options, with levels that range from soft to extra firm. The most common types include innerspring, pillow top, airbed, and memory foam. You can also opt for a waterbed mattress.

Type of MattressFeatures
InnerspringInnersprings are the most common type of mattress, with coils inside that provide support. These types may also be hybrids: a combination of springs and gel or foam for added support and cushioning.
Pillow topsPillow tops have a fluffy layer of padding on top to provide more comfort. They're a good choice if you like softer bedding. You cannot flip these; you have to rotate them. 
AirbedsAirbeds are unique in that an air chamber within them provides support and makes it possible to adjust the firmness, which is good if you have back, neck, or other muscular issues. Some let you adjust both sides individually.
Memory foamMemory foam is designed to contour to your body, providing cushioning and support. The interior has high-density polyurethane foam and usually doesn't contain springs.
WaterbedA waterbed has a flexible mattress with an internal chamber that holds water. They come in two forms: soft or hard-sided. Soft-sided units have a foam exterior with upholstery and padding, while hard-sided types have a wood frame. 

Once you’ve determined the type of mattress that works best for you, consider the size. Most mattresses come in full, queen, and king sizes, though some may be smaller or larger. 

Dressers and Armoires: Wardrobe Solutions

Another essential piece of quality bedroom furniture is the dresser or armoire. Once you know how much room the bed occupies, you can pick out a wardrobe solution that fits in the space. Use a floor planning tool or graph paper to map out the room and its existing furniture.

In a small bedroom, consider putting your dresser in a closet underneath the clothing racks. Opt for an upright dresser that has a vertical orientation, rather than a wide dresser that has a larger footprint. 

If you have a TV in your bedroom and like to place it on top of your dresser, plan for this space. Alternatively, consider mounting your set to the wall. Wall mounts may come with an arm that swings out so you can put your TV in the ideal position.

Nightstands and Other Storage Options

To keep your room as clutter-free as possible, consider one or more pieces of bedroom storage furniture, as space allows. Nightstands typically flank the sides of a bed, providing a surface for reading lamps, remote controls, and other necessities. They have drawers, shelves, or a combination of both for added storage.

An ottoman or chest makes a good addition to the end of the bed and can also serve as an extended footrest for beds without a footboard. Use these pieces as seating while you’re getting dressed or as storage for extra pillows and blankets. 

Accessories and Decor

The decor helps define the style of a room, whether you’re looking for the bold lines of modern styles or prefer a softer traditional look. When browsing through bedroom furniture options and coordinating accessories, keep the theme in mind. Country and classic themes use soft, neutral colors, such as white, beige, and light blue, while modern and contemporary looks incorporate darker colors with defined patterns. Rustic bedroom furniture decor has a lot of wood elements and may use wicker, rattan, or distressed wood.

When choosing accessories to complete the look of a room, consider lamps, throw pillows, and curtains. You can match them to your current bedroom furniture and use them to add a splash of color to an otherwise neutral palette. An area rug can pull all the elements together and soften the look of the room, particularly if you have hardwood or tile flooring.

When shopping bedroom furniture collections, determine whether you want to purchase a single piece or an entire set. Jot down the list of bedroom furniture you’re looking for and what elements you prefer, and give your bedroom a stylish makeover.