5 Tips When Hunting for Used Furniture

used furniture

When you’re on a budget, used furniture can be a lifesaver! Whether you find a smokin’ deal at your local thrift store or snag a freebie when curb shopping, used furniture is a super cheap way to furnish your home.

I’ve had my fair share of used furniture in my day. In fact, some of my favorite pieces are pieces that I either found for free or picked up at Goodwill.

There’s a bit of an art to accumulating used furniture, though. It’s a little more complicated than grab and go. After all, you want to acquire pieces that are both affordable (or free!), but are also clean and sturdy.

So, how do you know if it’s a good find or if it’s a dud? Here are some tips for picking up used furniture…

1. Try before you buy.

This may seem obvious, but it’s very important to try out each piece of used furniture you’re considering. Sit on chairs, test drawers, and wiggle tables. Kick the tires, so to speak. A piece of used furniture may be super cheap or free, but if it isn’t comfortable and in good shape, it will most likely end up just being in your way.

2. Be extra careful with fabric and upholstery.

Bed bugs are a real risk when you’re picking up used furniture, and you don’t want that plague on your house! Check surfaces of upholstery and seams for signs of bed bugs carefully before bringing a piece of used furniture into your home. And remember – bed bugs don’t just infest mattresses. They can also hide in other upholstered furniture like chairs and couches, or even in the cracks of wood furniture.

3. Look past minor flaws.

Used furniture is bound to have some flaws, whether it’s a minor scratch, a stain, or ripped upholstery. It can be hard at first, but some minor flaws can be fixed, as long as the piece has lots of potential. For instance, scratched wood furniture can be refinished or repainted and fabric covered furniture can be reupholstered or cleaned.

4. But don’t bite off more than you can chew. 

While it can be good to overlook some of the minor flaws in used furniture, it’s also important to keep your own limits in mind. Reupholstering and refinishing furniture can be a big job! Only pick up furniture that you’re sure you have enough time and skill to repair or refinish.

5. Make sure it fits.

When you’re shopping for used furniture, it’s a good idea to write down measurements in your home and keep them in your wallet. You never know when you’re going to run across a great find, and knowing if a piece will fit before you bring it home will come in pretty handy; trust me on this. It’s also a good idea to carry a small tape measure with you at all times for the same reason.


What were some of your favorite used furniture finds?