Dollar for Dollar: Furnishing Your Apartment at Ikea vs. Target vs. Pottery Barn

When it comes to furnishing your first apartment, there is always a budget to consider.  What you can get with your money is vastly different from store to store. A while back, My First Apartment compiled an excellent list that compared the cost of buying your furniture essentials at several different stores.   As a self-professed bargain hunter and decorista, this list stuck me as an important tool for all first time apartment owners, so let’s compare again. Below you will find a list of items from Ikea, Target and Pottery Barn, with links back to some great examples from each store, that will furnish a typical 1BR apartment.

Grab your budget and your shopping list and let’s get shopping!


Pottery Barn Sofa

via Pottery Barn


Pottery Barn: $899 (price varies depending on fabric type and size of sofa)

Target: $349.99

Ikea: $349


Pottery Barn: $599

Target: $160

Ikea: $269

Side Table

Pottery Barn: $299


Ikea: $12.99 (price varies depending on color)

Coffee Table

Pottery Barn: $399

Target: $119.99 (price varies depending on color)

Ikea: $39.99

Floor Lamp

Pottery Barn: $180

Target: $69.99

Ikea: $49.99


Target Dining Table

via Target


Pottery Barn: $599

Target: $149.99

Ikea: $99.99


Pottery Barn: $149 each

Target: $143.99 for set of 2

Ikea: $49 each

Bedroom & Office

Ikea Bedroom

via Ikea

Bed (Queen Frame)

Pottery Barn: $799

Target: $499.99

Ikea: $399

Mattress (Queen)

Pottery Barn: $1,125

Target: $229.99

Ikea: $159


Pottery Barn: $1,399

Target: $229.99

Ikea: $199

Night Stand

Pottery Barn :$599

Target: $99.99

Ikea: $39.99


Pottery Barn: $699

Target: $149.99

Ikea: $99

Table Lamp

Pottery Barn: $149

Target: $32.99

Ikea: $18

If you add up our selections, Ikea comes in at about $1,800 ($900 for Living/Dining and $900 for Bedroom/Office), Target is a tad higher, about $2.250 ($1,000 for Living/Dining and $1,250 for Bedroom/Office), and Pottery Barn is much higher at $8,000 ($3,300 Living/Dining and $4,700 Bedroom/Office).  Now, keep in mind these are just examples of what you might get in these stores if your Great-Aunt Doris hands you her credit card and sponsors your shopping spree. For the rest of us, My First Apartment has many posts that show you how you can furnish your first place with much lower budgets, or even when you literally have no budget at all.

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Author My First Apartment

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Audra is a recent college graduate and an aspiring writer based in her home state of Georgia. She’s a lover of the sweetest Southern tea, warm weather, and decorating with lots of color, DIY projects, and shabby chic pieces. Her apartment living journey is still young, so she’s busy navigating the ups and downs and learning along the way. For more from Audra, follow her on Pinterest or check out her website

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Comments (4)

  1. Avatar Sasha

    The statement “you get what you pay for” is true for every store. If you buy the lowest price item, you get the same in quality. Every store is going to have low price items and high price items that coordinate with the quality. I love Ikea!

  2. Avatar Maqueba

    When I decided to move to the USA, furniture prices at Pottery Barn were too expensive at the time, and IKEA and Target had a lesser quality than what I was used to. I found a decent company who helped me to design, deliver, and set up my furniture and made my move smooth. You can check them out at

    • Avatar Char is awesome!! They made my life so easy! I ordered a few bedroom furniture pieces a few weeks before my move to NYC. I scheduled the delivery for the first day in NYC so I didn’t need to stress over finding a mattress and bed or staying in a hotel.

  3. Avatar Cheyenne

    The Pottery Barn will last for years, vs IKEA, which will fall apart with a year or two