My First Apartment Furniture Purchases: Prices and Product Reviews

Buying your first furniture can be really fun, but it can also stressful when you have dozens of different options and don’t know which ones to choose. It’s especially hard if you’re ordering online and don’t have the chance to see the product in person before making your decision.

In an effort to alleviate some of that stress for you, I’ve gone through all of my first apartment furniture purchases and reviewed them. My total bill? Just over $1,100, $1,118 to be exact!

End Tables – $16

I got the IKEA Lack Series side table. I got two of these because they’re so cheap and versatile. The black version of this has been like $8 for ages now, and the other ones are about $10.

  • Price: 5/5 Great price.
  • Assembly: 5/5 Really easy. No tools required at all.
  • Transport: 5/5 It’s super light and fits in a car.
  • Quality: 4/5 It’s a table. It does it’s job. It’s nothing to write home about, but what do you want for $8?

Coffee Table – $20

I got the IKEA Lack Series coffee table (the small one). I paid about $25.

  • Price: 5/5 Great price.
  • Assembly: 5/5 Really easy.
  • Transport: 5/5 It’s very light and fits in a car.
  • Quality: 5/5 It’s everything you could ask for, considering it’s a $25 IKEA table. I’m very happy with it.

Couch – $299

I got the IKEA Knislinge Series Sofa. I paid $299.

  • Price: 4/5 I suppose that for a couch it’s a really good price, but couches in general are always going to be expensive if you don’t want a used one.
  • Assembly: 2.5/5 Full disclosure, I put this thing together myself, and this is definitely a two-person job, so I’m not sure if I can give an accurate assembly rating. If I had had a second person to help, I probably would have given it a 4/5. But hey, I got it together eventually.
  • Transport: 2/5 The only reason why this doesn’t get a 1 on ease of transport is because I did eventually get it home. There’s no way this unassembled product could fit in the average car. Maybe if you have a truck or a minivan, you could fit it inside, but seriously, this thing is big and heavy. I actually had to tie it to the roof of my Ford Focus with string and travel home at 15MPH in what was the most terrifying driving experience in my life. (Due to some human error and very strange, unforeseen circumstances, I couldn’t use IKEA’s delivery service, and it was either abandon the couch I’d already paid for in the parking lot or find a way to get it home).
  • Quality: 5/5 Overall, it’s a really nice and comfy couch, especially considering the price. It’s nice and sturdy, and has nice enough cushioning that I’ve never hurt myself plopping down forcefully. I haven’t had to do so, but I imagine that spending the night on this couch wouldn’t be bad.

Dresser – $130

I got the IKEA Malm Series 4-drawer chest. I paid about $130.

  • Price: 3/5 The price for this was okay, I guess, but I’d originally planned on getting a much less expensive dresser, until I saw it in person and realized that the cheaper one had really strange proportions that I wasn’t happy with.
  • Assembly: 4/5 Easy. It took some time, but not too much.
  • Transport: 4/5 It’s kind of heavy, but not overly so, and it fits in a car.
  • Quality: 5/5 It’s a dresser. The drawers are a good depth and length. It does the job.

Nightstand – $30

I got the IKEA Kullen Series 2-drawer chest. I paid $30.

  • Price: 5/5 It’s a fine price.
  • Assembly: 5/5 Really easy.
  • Transport: 5/5 It’s very light and fits in a car.
  • Quality: 4/5 It’s a great little nightstand, with “little” being the operative word. It’s really nice, but boy is it short. Like assembling the couch, this is an issue that I could have avoided with some better planning, but it’s wayyy too short for my bed, especially since I opted for a taller mattress.

Kitchen Table and Chairs – $99

I got the Mainstay 5 Piece Dining Set. I paid $99.

  • Price: 5/5 This is a great price for a sturdy table with four comfy chairs. Most other options I saw were at least double this price.
  • Assembly: 3.5/5 It was pretty easy to assemble, but it was no IKEA table. But really, the reason why it doesn’t get a higher rating is because it took me a little while to get it together–maybe an hour or so. There was nothing inherently difficult about it, though.
  • Transport: 4/5 I had this delivered, but I probably could have fit it in my car with the back seat down. It was really heavy, though, so I’m glad I didn’t have to carry it anywhere.
  • Quality: 5/5 I’m quite happy with the table. The chairs are comfy and the assembly is sturdy. It’s not too big, but it’s large enough that I can use it as a desk when I’m not eating.

Bed Frame – $200

Zinus Upholstered Bedframe, for $200.

  • Price: 5/5 I’m really happy with the bed for this price.
  • Assembly: 4/5 Putting this together was really easy, but only once I realized that the bolts to put it together don’t come in their own package. They’re actually already screwed into place, and you just have to loosen them a little to assemble the pieces. This would have been super convenient if the instructions had indicated in some way that this was the case. As it was, I almost ended up calling the company to complain before I finally figured it out.
  • Transport: 4/5 This was kind of heavy, but one of the reasons why I picked this bed frame was because when it’s disassembled, all or the parts fit inside a zipped compartment in the headboard, so the box it comes in is surprisingly small. I definitely could have fit this in my car (with the back seats down).
  • Quality: 5/5 I’m really happy with this bed frame. It didn’t require buying a box spring or anything–it comes with support slats. I’ve had it for a few months now, and it doesn’t squeak at all. Also, I think it’s really pretty (although I’ve been told by my mother that it’s hideous. To each her own, I suppose).

Shelves/Storage – $70

I got this 8-Cube Organizer from Walmart for $70 (but you can get the same thing from IKEA for more or less the same price, which I recommend doing if you have that option. Walmart delivery is NOT worth the hassle.)

  • Price: 5/5 The price was fine.
  • Assembly: 3.5/5 Go with the IKEA version for easier assembly. I figured it out, but after putting together a bunch of IKEA furniture, I found the instructions and assembly for this piece rather frustrating.
  • Transport: 2.5/5 This thing was insanely heavy. I could move it with help, but wow was it heavy. Also, it was really long. I had it delivered, so I don’t know for sure, but I’m not sure if it would have fit in my car if I had had to drive it home, even with my seats down–it was weirdly long.
  • Quality: 5/5 It’s fine. No complaints.

Mattress – $249

I got the Spa Sensations 12″ Memory Foam Comfort, ordered from Walmart. I think I paid just under $250 for a full.

  • Price: 5/5 Great price for a mattress.
  • Assembly: N/A You take it out of the box (it’s been vacuum sealed to take up as little space as possible), and then it re-inflates.
  • Transport: 5/5 I picked this up from the store, and it came in a box small enough that it fit in my trunk. You might need a second person to help you carry it if you’re travelling large distances with it, but it was definitely manageable.
  • Quality: 5*/5 *This is the rating my SO gave the mattress. My rating would be lower, but that’s because I’m weird. It turns out that this is like the softest, squishiest mattress ever, which everyone but me thinks is great. Seriously, this is the comfiest mattress my SO has ever encountered, and if that’s your thing, this is a great mattress for you. But if you’re like me and want something firm to sleep on, skip this one.

If you want to know what else I have in my apartment, check out my previous post, Everything I Own: A Complete Room-by-Room Furnishing Checklist.

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Taylor LaSon is a recent Hamilton College graduate who is currently living in Memphis while seeking her Master’s Degree in Speech Language Pathology. She and her cat prefer a quiet, introverted lifestyle full of Netflix binges and arts and crafts, but when she does go out, she enjoys rock climbing and making silly faces at small children.

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