Bedroom Furniture – A Home Furnishings Buyer’s Guide

Touring a major furniture plant a few years ago, I was surprised to see both high-end and value-priced bedroom furniture manufactured in the same plant with similar materials. It taught me that value-priced furniture does not always mean, “cheap construction.” While many of us like brand names, good quality and a nice look can still be obtained without the brand name price tag.

When buying bedroom furniture, there are several things you can do prior to your purchase to test for quality. In particular, with the bed, when looking for sturdiness, pull on the headboard or footboard. Is there a lot of movement? If so, examine why. A wobbly bed can spell trouble in a year or two. If the bed doesn’t budge when pulled, that’s a plus.

It is also important that your bed come ready to properly support the size mattress that it is intended to hold. Most mattress manufacturers require that any bed queen size or larger have a center support rail with a foot at the center to help prevent the mattress from sagging in the middle. Make sure your queen size or larger bed has this, as well as at least two other wood slats (near the head and foot of the bed) to provide proper support. Once installed, these slats should be properly attached to the bed frame to further aid in the overall sturdiness of the bed.

There is a common misconception that solid wood is always the more sturdy option when it comes to bedroom furniture construction. Though solid wood many times is an excellent choice, it can also be more susceptible to expansion and contraction, as well as cracking, more so than say, plywood construction.

It is the beauty and the story of solid wood that usually peaks our interest. The idea that a lumberjack chopped down a tree and forged a bed for your lounging pleasure is certainly romantic. But when it comes to sturdiness, a plywood construction with wood veneer to make it more beautiful is often just as resilient and less likely to suffer the woes of expansion and cracking. If you are trying to save money, this type of construction is very reliable, while usually less expensive than solid wood.

Some would ask, “What about MDF? Am I in trouble if my bed has MDF in it?”

To reflect back to my trip to the furniture manufacturer several years ago, even the high-end furniture I saw being produced had medium-density fiberboard (MDF) in certain sections of the furniture where support of the bed was not critical. Any MDF in your bed should be in decorative, non-supportive areas, and because it is not pretty, should be hidden or covered with wood veneer.

When examining other pieces of bedroom furniture such as dressers, nightstands, and other storage furniture, much of the construction issues previously stated ought to also be taken into consideration. When examining storage drawers, look for a jointing technique called dovetail joints on drawer fronts and backs. Do the drawers feel flimsy when they slide in and out? If so, this is a red flag. Always attempt to remove the drawer to examine the construction, or if it does not remove easily, ask your furniture store salesperson to assist you.

Also look for well-attached metal or wood hardware on drawer fronts. Again, don’t be afraid to pull and test the pieces with which you want to examine. If the salesperson doesn’t want you to touch and feel the bedroom furniture, that is another red flag. Turn and leave, no matter how inexpensive the furniture is, and go buy from someone willing to help demonstrate the bedroom furniture’s sturdiness.

Learn Everything About Baby Furniture Features

Expecting mothers have a lot on their mind and one of their most pressing thoughts is…what type of baby furniture should I get for the nursery? The first challenge with nursery design is deciding what you need and figuring out where to get it. That’s easy to resolve, just ask your friends “with kids” what you need and make a list.

The next challenge is figuring out how to sort through the enormous selection of baby furniture available to choose the right nursery set for your home. To make this step easier, first figure out what style you want such as: traditional, eco-friendly, modern or boutique. Then do some brand research to find a manufacturer that makes that style of nursery furniture at prices that suit your budget. This will help to decrease your options, making your selection process much easier.

Next, find a company that sells that brand of baby furniture. Now comes the hard part, figuring out what’s best for baby and for your home d├ęcor. To do this, you’ll want to read up on each piece of furniture to see if it offers the features you want, including safety features, sturdy construction, non-toxic finishes plus attractive design. Since this is your first time reading about furniture made just for baby, such as cribs, changing tables, gliders etc… you’re bound to come across many terms that are a bit confusing such as: dovetail drawers, casters, mattress spring system and more.

Don’t worry, you’re about to become a pro at baby furniture terms, so you can find the ideal nursery furniture set for your precious sweetie. Below is a list of common, yet unusual baby furniture features and their definitions.

Cribs

Types of Cribs

* Standard – A crib that’s regular size, typically measuring around Dimensions: 53″ H x 30″ W x 46.5″ L

* Convertible – A crib that can convert to bigger beds such as: Toddler Bed, Daybed, Twin or Full size bed.

* Portable – A crib that is foldable and can easily be set-up wherever needed.

* Mini – A crib that’s smaller than a standard size crib to save space in the nursery.

Crib Terms

* Casters and Locking Casters – Casters is another term for wheels. Many cribs with casters have lock mechanisms that allow you to lock two of the 4 wheels in place to keep the crib stationary.

* Conversion Rails (Rail Kit) – These are rails that allow you to convert your baby’s convertible crib into a bigger bed. If you purchase a convertible crib, I’d recommend getting the conversion rails or rail kit at the same time.

* Convertible – Refers to a crib that can be converted to bigger beds.

* Drape Rod or Canopy Rod – This is a rod that attaches to a crib that supports a fabric canopy or drape that will add beauty to the crib while also keeping light out of your baby’s eyes.

* Eco-friendly – Cribs that are eco-friendly are made of glues, stains and finishes that are 100% non-toxic and are low VOC. This term means that the crib materials are safer for baby and planet earth.

* Safety or Guard Rails – These are rails that you can attach to your child’s convertible crib when you transform it to a toddler bed. These rails are smaller and leave an opening so that baby can get in and out with ease, but they will protect your active child from falling out of bed.

* JPMA certified – JPMA refers to the Juvenile Product Manufacturer’s Association and if a piece of baby furniture is JPMA certified, then it’s been deemed baby-safe by this respected association.

* Metal Mattress Spring System – (otherwise known as Adjustable Mattress Support) This is an adjustable support that’s part of the board under the crib mattress that you can lower as your baby grows. It will lower the mattress to keep your ever-growing toddler safe from falls.

* Recessed Hardware – The term hardware refers to the screws and bolts used to hold the crib together and recessed means that the hardware is inset into the wood, so there’s no protruding hardware that can scratch baby or cause baby’s clothes or crib bedding to get caught.

* Slat Roll – A wooden slat platform that is placed under a mattress to ensure proper support and to provide ample air circulation for the mattress.

* Slats – This refers to a crib’s vertical rails. Slats shouldn’t be any further apart than 2 3/8 inches for baby safety.

* Static Sides/Rails – Static means stationary, not moving, so this refers to rails that don’t move.

* Sustainable Forests – This refers to forests where when trees are chopped down, seedlings are planted in their place to ensure that new trees grow on a constant basis. This is a managed system that ensures that there’s new tree constant life, as well as, safety precautions to ensure the safety of wildlife and the preservation of the natural environment.

* Trundle Drawer – This is a drawer on wheels that you’ll find beneath the crib.

Dressers and Changing Tables

* Cam Lock Construction – This refers to a reinforced hardware that adds extra stability to a piece of furniture.

* Dovetail Construction – This refers to furniture that has been made with dovetail joints that add extreme strength and durability to furniture and add beauty as well.

* Drawer Stop Mechanism – This refers to hardware that’s on a drawer that stops the drawer before it can be pulled off the track and out of position.

* Metal Drawer Glides – These are the guides on the bottom of drawers that make the drawers move in and out with ease.

* Metal Drawer Pulls – This is another term for drawer handles.

* Mouldings – This refers to the decorative pieces that are added to the dresser edges and drawer fronts.

* Rubberwood – This is an eco-friendly hardwood that has little tendency to warp or crack and when used in the making of baby furniture, it will ensure extreme durability.

* Tip Restraint Kit – This is a kit that offers two brackets, one that mounts on the wall in a stud and another that mounts onto the back of the dresser or changing table. These brackets are tethered with a tie to keep the furnishing in place at all times.