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Bedroom Furniture Essentials: Necessities Your Bedroom Needs

bedroom
Written By
PARACHUTE TEAM
Photographs By
JESSICA SCHRAMM FOR PARACHUTE HOME
@parachutehome
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Your sleeping quarters are a sanctuary — a place to decompress after a long day and recharge at night. So whether you're moving into a new home or revamping your current digs, the design of your bedroom shouldn't be overlooked. 

Though there's certainly no right or wrong way to decorate a bedroom, you should always strive to make it comfortable and relaxing. It's all about selecting practical, functional furnishings and creating a tasteful ambiance with complementing pieces.

If you're wondering what is needed for a bedroom, you've come to the right place. Ahead, a breakdown of essential and optional bedroom furniture pieces, along with what to look for, where to place each item and insightful styling advice.

Bedroom Furniture List: What Do You Need?

Maybe you want guidance on overhauling your space or are wondering what pieces are included in a bedroom set. Or perhaps you're simply looking for a list of bedroom furniture names. In any case, this guide will walk you through all the must-haves and inessentials to consider.

You know you need a bed frame and, of course, a mattress. But what other bedroom furniture should you look for? Put nightstands on your list, along with, a dresser, a bench, a vanity and an accent chair. Here's what to think about:

Bed Frame

Your bed is like the centerpiece of your bedroom. With this in mind, you won't regret reviewing your options and taking your time to find this essential furniture item.

Generally speaking, large beds are more comfortable. So when shopping for a bed frame, your best bet is to find the largest size you can fit without blocking any walkways. But size is far from the only consideration.

Whether you opt for a natural finish or an upholstered design, solid wood is ideal. The material is long-lasting, sturdy and less likely to transfer motion. Beyond that, there's a range of styles to choose from, including sleigh, platform, canopy, trundle, traditional, mid-century and modern.

Not sure what bed frame style to get? When in doubt, go with a versatile design in a neutral hue that'll hold up for years to come. And if you like to read or watch TV in bed, you'll want to look for something with a headboard.

For more insight into ensuring this bedroom furniture item stands the test of time, see our blogs on Bed Frame Ideas: How to Choose the Best Bed Frame for Your Room.

Mattress

When it comes to bedroom furniture, a mattress is non-negotiable — but that doesn't mean you shouldn't give it any thought. So, which one is best for you?

That depends on how you (and potentially your partner) sleep, as well as your personal preferences. There are various types of mattresses to choose from, including innerspring, foam, latex and pillowtop, not to mention varying degrees of firmness.

Having said that, most people (including side-sleepers, front sleepers and back-pain sufferers) can benefit from sleeping on a medium-firm hybrid model, like the Eco Comfort Mattress from Parachute.

To figure out what style, material and firmness to get, check out our Decision-Making Guide for Buying the Right Mattress.

Nightstands

Nightstands are high up on the list of bedroom furniture items. Bedside tables provide a surface for a glass of water and a bedside light while allowing you to keep a book within reach and stash other essentials. In fact, unless you simply can't fit them, they're considered must-haves.

Once your bed frame is picked out, you can build from there to choose the rest of your furnishings. While your bedside tables don't have to match your bed exactly, they should complement it.

Whether you're partial to timeless tables with straight lines, the understated curves of mid-century designs or modern silhouettes with rounded edges, you can't go wrong with solid wood in a natural finish. Additionally, a model with a drawer will help you keep things tidy and clutter-free.

No room for a proper nightstand? Think outside the box with narrow shelving units or small floating shelves on either side of the bed.

For more advice on selecting the right nightstand, read the Nightstand Decor and Styling Ideas guide

Dresser

A dresser is another one of those bedroom furniture pieces that you most likely can't go without. However, depending on your available space, you might have the option to keep it in your closet instead of putting it on display. Whatever the case may be, you'll always be glad to have bedroom furniture that looks cohesive.

Dressers come in a broad range of sizes and styles, from vertical stacks and six-drawer horizontal designs to armoires and chests. You might also consider a dresser alternative, like a hutch, credenza or media cabinet.

As with bed frames and nightstands, solid wood is ideal. Look for a similar wood grain or add contrast with a painted design. Whichever size, style or finish you choose, it's critical to not overcrowd your space. So make sure there's still plenty of room to walk and open each drawer all the way.

For ideas on color palettes and furniture finishes, take a look at our blog, 31 Bedroom Color Trends and Inspiration.

Bedroom Bench

A bench can be placed at the foot of your bed to elongate the frame, next to a window or along a wall. If you're aiming for a minimalist bedroom style, go with a solid wood bench with clean lines and a pared-down silhouette.

On the other hand, upholstered storage benches and lidded ottomans offer more than just a place to sit. You can use them to stash extra bedding, decorative pillows, seasonal clothes and anything else you want to keep out of the way.

For more bedroom bench inspiration, read on in the Best Bedroom Bench Decor Ideas guide. 

Vanity

If you have a decent amount of cosmetics on hand, need somewhere to keep your jewelry or just want to free up critical space in the bathroom, consider getting a vanity. You'll have a designated spot for doing your makeup and storing all your beauty products, which can make your space all-around more functional and enjoyable. 

Most designs feature a small desk, a mirror and some sort of seat, such as a stool or a small chair. While a vanity isn't an essential bedroom furniture item, it can do wonders in terms of decluttering and enhancing the aesthetic.

Want more multifunctional bedroom furniture ideas? See our article, 19 Bedroom Organizing Tips That'll Elevate Your Room Aesthetic.

Accent Chair

Accent chairs are typically reserved for living rooms and family rooms. But if you have the available space in your bedroom, this item might be just the thing to tie the rest of your furniture together.

An accent chair isn't just for looks, though. It provides a place to sit other than your bed, as well as a spot to lay out your clothes and set decorative pillows and throws while making the bed.

As with other types of accent furniture, the key is to make a statement without clashing with the rest of your decor. From rocking chairs and wingbacks to armless slippers, chaise lounges, chesterfield and swivel chairs, you've got lots of options.

Where should you place an accent chair, bench, ottoman or vanity? Check out these ​​Easy Tips for Rearranging the Layout of Your Bedroom.

Bed Linens and Other Bedroom Essentials

A bed frame, a mattress, nightstands and a dresser are a great start, but you've still got some choices to make after picking out your bedroom furniture. You'll also want to think about bedding, a rug, window coverings and lighting. Here's what to consider.

Bedding

When it comes to getting your most restful night's sleep, high-quality bed linens are a must. This includes sheets, pillows, pillowcases, a duvet and a duvet cover, plus maybe a throw blanket and some decorative pillows for good measure.

Sheets

Sheets help preserve the life of your mattress while keeping you comfortable as you catch your Zs. When choosing bed sheets, look for breathable fabrics woven from natural fibers, such as percale, brushed cotton, sateen or linen. These textiles offer adequate airflow to prevent overheating and sweating while still keeping you comfy-cozy at night.

You can expect luxury cotton and linen bedding to last for several years — in fact, the materials get softer with time. With this in mind, you'll want to opt for versatile hues that'll complement your evolving bedroom decor.

Do you need new sheets, and if so, which ones should you get? Read these guides for insight:

How Often to Replace Sheets, Pillows and Other Bed Linens

Fabric and Bedding Materials Guide

How to Pick Bed Sheets Based on How You Sleep

Bed Pillows

Offering vital support for your head and neck while you sleep, pillows are absolute bedroom essentials. And believe it or not, bed pillows aren't just for sleeping. They elevate the look of your space by adding dimension and a luxuriously lofty appeal. Consider sleeping on a down or down alternative pillow insert, and if you sleep on your side, consider a side sleeping pillow

What type of bed pillow suits your needs and sleeping style best? Read our guide on How to Choose a Pillow to find out. 

Pillowcases and Shams

Pillowcases help safeguard your bed pillows while offering softness and breathability against your skin. If you're using additional pillows for decorative purposes, you'll want to cover those with shams.

Duvet covers typically come with shams, and sheet sets often include pillowcases. However, you may want to buy extras if you like changing them out multiple times a week.

Brushed cotton and silk are great options for the pillows you sleep with, and percale and linen are excellent picks for shams. But in the end, it's a personal choice.

What's the difference between pillowcases and shams, and what fabric should you get? See our Pillowcase and Sham Guide for insight.

Duvet

You'll also want a duvet (aka comforter) for your bed. Whether you're partial to light and naturally insulating down or ultra-fluffy and hypoallergenic down alternative, a high-quality comforter is paramount to a good night's rest.

Learn more about the different comforter fill materials in our article, Down vs. Down Alternative: A Comparison Guide.

Duvet Cover

A duvet cover (or comforter cover) is the washable fabric enclosure that keeps your duvet clean while making your bed all the more comfortable and breathable. As with sheets and pillowcases, duvet sets come in various textiles, including laid-back linen, buttery brushed cotton, crisp percale, silky-smooth sateen and super-soft cloud cotton.

Whether you sleep cold, hot or somewhere in between, these blogs will help you choose the right duvet cover for your needs:

Guide to Duvets and Duvet Covers

Percale: Know Your Bedding Like a Designer

Sateen: Know Your Bedding Like a Designer

Brushed Cotton: Know Your Bedding Like a Designer

Linen: Know Your Bedding Like a Designer

Throw Blanket

As the name suggests, you can toss a throw blanket onto your bed after making it and reach for the cozy cover when you need an extra layer of warmth. Whether you fold yours neatly or drape it loosely over the corner of your bed, a throw will add soft texture and a snuggly appeal.

For more tips on decorating with throws, check out our Guide to Quilts, Blankets and Coverlets.

Decorative Pillows

Decorative pillows aren't just for couches. Even if you use shams, a couple extra stylized cushions will deliver the plushness and texture your layered bed is missing. Small poufs, long lumbars and sizable square Euro pillows are all excellent choices.

For more tips and inspiration, see our guide on How to Layer and Style Your Bed.

Rug

Most interior designers recommend rugs in bedrooms, even when the floors are carpeted. A natural-woven area rug made of jute or sisal will soften and insulate your space while adding texture and lending to an organic vibe. Place this bedroom furniture companion about halfway underneath your bed frame so that it sticks out 1 to 2 feet on the front and sides.

Learn more about the various types and styles of area rugs with our articles, 

Rug Styling Ideas You Should Consider for Your Home.

What is a Jute Rug? Jute Rug Decor Ideas & Tips

Window Coverings

You really can't forgo window treatments in the bedroom. They provide light filtration, privacy and insulation while offering a decorative touch. If you like the look of sheer or lightweight fabric curtains, you might consider hanging them over blackout blinds or shades to ensure outside light doesn't disrupt your sleep.

Bedroom Lighting

Yes, you turn off your lights before dozing off every night, and yet that doesn't mean they're an unimportant feature of your bedroom. An overhead light will help you see what you're doing while getting ready in the morning and organizing your room. Still, the overbearing brightness isn't ideal for all hours of the day.

You'll also want to get one or two bedside lights and potentially a floor lamp. Hardwired sconces are a perfect option for those who wish to minimize exposed wiring, whether you install them on either side of the bed, on the opposite wall or above your vanity.

What else should you add to your list? See our blog: 27 Bedroom Essentials for Creating a Relaxing At-Home Oasis for ideas.

Bedroom Decor and Ambiance

When curating a relaxing bedroom, decorative accents shouldn't be disregarded. The feel of various bedding fabrics against your skin is important, but the way your room looks matters too.

In addition to the furniture and bedroom essentials mentioned above, you should consider a full-length mirror, wall decor, plants and scents.

Full-Length Mirror

Every home needs a full-length mirror, and where better to put it than the place you get dressed? You can install one on the wall or lean it for a more laid-back look. Free-standing mirrors can also look elegant if you have enough floor space to spare.

For thoughtful recommendations and clever hacks, see our guide on How to Decorate With Mirrors Across Your Home.

Wall Decor

Framed art is never a bad idea, though it's far from your only option for bedroom wall decor. Floating shelves, wallpaper, tapestries, built-ins, stencils, murals and climbing plants are supreme choices — to name just a few.

Want more inspo? Check out these 37 Ideas for Decorating a Blank Wall in Your Home.

Plants

Plants have a place in every area of your home, including your bedroom. Strategically placed foliage can add vibrance to an otherwise neutral color scheme while lending a down-to-earth vibe.

Read about The 14 Best Plants for Bedrooms for suggestions on what type of greenery to place in your sleeping chamber.

Bedroom Scents

If you really want to turn your bedroom into a sanctuary, don't sleep on home scents. Candles and diffusers can put a finishing touch on your decor while igniting your sense of smell with a light, calming fragrance. In fact, an oil diffuser is proven to have a positive impact on sleep.

For nice smelling bed sheets, consider applying linen spray onto your freshly washed pillows and bedding. 

For more tips on how to make your home smell good, take a look at our Home Fragrance Guide.

Other Basic Bedroom Items to Consider

There's no one-size-fits-all way to decorate your bedroom. Depending on your unique needs, habits and lifestyle, you might also want to leave room for things like a TV, a dog bed, a hamper, under-the-bed storage, wall hooks or baskets.

In addition to the lights mentioned above, you may want to add some mood lighting to enhance your bedroom ambiance. This could be anything from string lights hung across the window to a warmly lit salt rock lamp or an LED strip light behind the headboard.

Take a peek at these 37 Bedroom Decorating Ideas for more inspiration.