How To Choose Bedroom Furniture

Redecorating can be a great deal of fun, but there are a lot of important decisions to be made, especially when putting together a bedroom. A bedroom is one of the most important rooms to decorate, since it is such a personal room and homeowners spend a lot of time there. An uncomfortable bedroom means unrestful sleep and even a general feeling of disharmony. Some people prefer a bedroom with a traditional look, but others desire a more modern feel. One way to instantly set a modern tone in a bedroom is by purchasing a modern bedroom set because it includes all the major furniture pieces required in a bedroom. These large pieces catch the eye quickly and communicate the modern style the homeowner desires. In order to purchase a modern bedroom set, buyers must understand what is typically included in a bedroom set and how to select one that is “modern.”

What Is a Modern Bedroom Set?

Bedroom furniture is often sold as a set, or the pieces can be acquired separately. An overview of what pieces make up a bedroom set and what modern style actually means should provide a good foundation for choosing the appropriate bedroom set when it comes time to buy.

What Is Modern Decor?

Although “modern” style actually goes back to the 1930s, its clean, polished lines still look fresh. Modern decor features a neutral color palette ranging from whites through creams, beiges, greys, and rich browns and black. Designs are simple, unadorned, and bold. Chrome, stainless steel, and dark, lacquered woods add important accents to furniture. Some pieces feature accent lighting. Rooms are united visually by an economy of form and balanced by contrasting colors. The names of styles vary somewhat, so furniture that is labeled modern can vary considerably from one manufacturer to another, with some manufacturers using more or fewer types and subtypes to describe their wares.

Elements of a Bedroom Set

Bedroom sets traditionally include a bed frame, a nightstand, a dresser with a mirror, and a chest of drawers. Some sets include fewer pieces, and some beds are designed with nightstands or several drawers included. Mattresses and box springs are usually sold separately from bed frames but are obviously required for sleeping. The sizes of mattresses, box springs, beds, and headboards are all standardized so that a queen-size mattress fits a queen-size bed frame, although there may be some variation in which sizes different manufacturers offer. Other decorative pieces, such as rugs, window treatments, and light fixtures are also sold separately but must be coordinated with the bedroom set for a unified look.

How to Choose Bedroom Furniture

Although bedroom furniture is often sold as a set, it makes sense to think about the different pieces separately as well. Choosing a set means not only choosing a certain color and style, but also choosing the relative size of each of the pieces and how the different pieces relate to each other. Once the buyer has some idea of what kinds of individual pieces are needed, he or she can go on to pick a set that has all the right pieces.

Buying a Bed

Choosing a bed is the first step in choosing a bedroom set, because the bed is the one piece of furniture that a buyer is least able to compromise on. The bed must be comfortable, and it must be big enough to accommodate all of the sleepers who share it; a couple who sleep with three golden retrievers and an occasional child with a nightmare cannot choose a small bed even if their bedroom is small. If the buyer already has a mattress in mind, the size and style of the bed must accommodate the mattress.

Choose the bed first, and then plan the rest of the bedroom around it. Use the mattress or put lines of tape on the floor to mark how big the bed is and then figure out the size and placement of the other pieces given the size and shape of the bedroom. When planning the room, remember the height of the bed as well as its width and length. Bed frames vary in their height, and mattresses and box springs vary in their thickness. Not all beds are designed to have box springs. Predicting the height of a bed is difficult but important, since a bed must be at a height that is comfortable to get in and out of, and the heights of some of the other furniture pieces in the room, particularly the nightstands, are dependent on the height of the bed. Most bed frames have wooden slats underneath to hold up the mattress and box spring. If these slats are more than about 3 inches apart, it is a sign that the bed frame is of low quality.

Types of Beds

The table below shows several common types of beds together with their descriptions. Some manufacturers may use alternate names to describe these beds, but these names are fairly standard.

Type of Bed

Description and Notes

Platform beds A flat, raised surface supports a mattress without a box spring. Often these beds feature draws underneath. Usually there are no head or footboards, though a separate headboard can be mounted on the wall behind.
Sleigh beds Sleigh beds have high, curved headboards and footboards and resemble a sleigh.
Poster beds Poster beds originally used tall posts to support heavy curtains for warmth at night. Now, the posts are simply decorative and can be either tall, reaching to the ceiling, or short.
Slat beds and panel beds Slat and panel beds both feature flat head and footboards, often built of distinct wooden panels or open filigrees of metal or wicker.
Day beds Day beds are designed to function as couches but are large enough to sleep a person comfortably as well. These work well for guest rooms or children’s rooms.
Trundle beds Trundle beds pull out from under other beds as needed. Some raise up to full height, sometimes doubling the width of the original bed, while others remain low. Trundle beds are also useful for guest bedrooms or the rooms of children who have sleepovers. Neither bed in a trundle set has a box spring.
Bunk beds These are the familiar stacked beds often used in dormitories and children’s rooms. A good bunk bed is sturdy enough to handle school-aged children.

Of these types of beds, platform beds and slat beds are those that most often come in the modern style. Poster beds and sleigh beds are more elaborate and have a Victorian feel.

Buying a Nightstand

A separate nightstand is not always necessary, since some bed frames include a nightstand or shelf space within the headboard, but most of the time nightstands are separate furniture pieces. Sleepers need a convenient place to put items used in bed, such as reading glasses or a glass of water. An alarm clock, a lamp, or a personal decorative item can also fit conveniently next to the bed. Some nightstands include drawers and double as miniature dressers. When choosing a separate nightstand, the important consideration is height, since someone in bed must be able to reach the stand surface comfortably. Find out how tall the bed will be, and then choose a nightstand that is just a few inches taller.

Buying a Dresser or Chest of Drawers

Dressers and chests of drawers serve the same function and overlap somewhat in design. Usually, dressers are fairly wide with a double row of drawers and stand about waist high. Chests of drawers are taller and have only a single row of drawers. Armoires serve a similar function but are much larger, often combining a row of drawers with vertical space for hanging clothing. Depending on the size of the room and the number of people who use it, a bedroom could have any combination of dressers, chests, and armoires, or only one such piece. The key to buying any of these pieces is again space and size. Mark out the size of the bed in the room and work out where the dressers and chests of various sizes might fit without making the room feel cramped. Remember to consider how far drawers will extend when open. Use this planning exercise both to visualize how different kinds of pieces will look given different possible layouts and also to calculate maximum sizes. If it is not possible to get enough storage space within the size limitations, then compensate by getting a bed that features drawers within the bed frame.


Buying bedroom furniture can be a little stressful because the bedroom is such an important room. Bedrooms should be restful and personal, and the furniture in them must be practical as well. Bedroom sets include all the furniture needed for decorating a bedroom and offer the advantage that all the pieces match. Modern bedroom sets include furniture that conforms to sleek and minimalist modern design. Since many items come in a set, picking an entire set at once can be a little daunting. A good approach is to consider each piece individually, deciding what kind of bed, what size dresser, and so on, are needed, and then look for a bedroom set that includes the required pieces. However the pieces are chosen, good bedroom furniture should seem comfortable, practical, and beautiful to the occupant. After all, it is the occupant’s opinion that really matters.

About gminj

Welcome to the home of the unique and sophisticated where our commitment to customer service and quality furnishings since 1976 has made GMI Designs a leader in contemporary design. We have the newest looks and the best selections in contemporary furniture, accessories, area rugs and window treatments. Our showroom features over 30 room settings each showcasing the high style and quality of the best names in living room, dining room, and bedroom furniture. We carry over 150 manufacturers that offer choices in fabric, leather, mica, wood, and metal. Our professional interior designers are always available to help you whether you are looking to furnish your entire home or you are looking for that one of a kind accessory. Visit our showroom and see that our unique furniture and accessories will set you apart from all the others.
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