How Much Does it Cost to Furnish an Apartment

Whether you’re moving into your very first solo apartment, downsizing to a cozier space, or making a big move without your own furniture in tow, furnishing a brand-new apartment can feel like an overwhelming endeavor. Before you sign a lease on the dotted line and start loading your belongings into boxes, it’s important to get an idea of just how much of that budget you’ll need to make the place feel like home. How much does it actually cost to furnish an apartment? Let’s take a look at some of the key items you’ll need.


Furniture costs vary greatly based on so many different factors, like the size of your apartment, the number of rooms, whether it comes partially furnished or totally empty, your personal style, whether you live in a big city or a small town, and so on. Someone who thrifts everything they need for their studio apartment will have a different price tag than someone who fills their 3-bedroom apartment with designer pieces. As you lay out your budget, however, it can be helpful to stick to the essentials.


  • Mattress ($500 to  $1,200+)
  • Bed frame ($90 to $500+)
  • Dresser ($200 to $500+)
  • Nightstand ($100 to $300+)

Living Room

  • Sofa ($500 to $4,000+)
  • Coffee table ($150 to $400+)
  • TV stand/entertainment center ($100 to $4,000+)

Dining Room

  • Dining room table & chairs ($300 to $10,000+)
  • Hutch or sideboard ($300 to $3,000+)

Home Office

  • Desk ($200 to $1,000+)
  • Chair ($100 to $400+)
  • Bookshelf ($100 to $1,000+)

As you can see, prices vary tremendously even for the same items. For example, a barebones TV stand costs much less than a massive entertainment center with bells and whistles. A simple wrought iron bed frame will cost you less than a stately wood frame with an elaborately designed headboard and storage underneath. Renters with big families might need a large dining room table, while a bachelor might want a small café table.  Consider your specific circumstances and map out a list similar to the one above. Then, you can get a general idea of what grand total you might expect.

Regardless of your situation, it’s typically best to start with the basics and necessities. You don’t need to fill every nook and cranny of your new apartment with furniture! Get the pieces you absolutely need, and then you can slowly curate the pieces you want. As you live in a space, you may discover that you a) don’t need what you thought you did or b) need something entirely different than you thought you did.

Finally, keep in mind that cheap furniture is not always a great deal. You might save money on move-in day, but budget furniture doesn’t typically have the lifespan that high-quality pieces do. That dirt-cheap office desk might have felt like a steal on move-in day, but it won’t when you’re replacing it within a year!


Once you’ve got the big pieces figured out, you’ll need to make a budget for housewares. This includes things like cooking utensils, pots, pans, dishes, pillows, bedding, lamps, towels, bathmats, soap dispensers, cleaning supplies, décor – basically everything you need in a functioning home. Again, the shopping list will vary greatly from person to person, apartment to apartment. However, assuming you buy the cheapest necessities on the market across the board, you can still expect to spend over $1,000 on housewares.


Most apartments come with a refrigerator and oven, but that’s it. If you don’t cook at home, this might be all you need. However, most renters discover they need to budget for appliances.

Some appliances you may consider purchasing for your new apartment, include:

  • Microwave ($25 to $100+)
  • Blender ($25 to $100+)
  • Toaster ($25 to $100+)
  • Coffee maker ($25 to $100+)

Like everything else on your apartment budget list, there are cheap options and there are high-tech, state-of-the-art options available. Your overall appliance cost will depend on what you need and what you prioritize.

Should You Rent or Buy Furniture? You Decide.

Feeling a bit overwhelmed at the costs (both expected and unexpected) of furnishing and stocking an apartment? Buying high-quality furniture outright is extremely expensive, and that might not be a commitment you’re ready to make. Shopping at CORT Furniture Outlet is a great way to secure quality, durable items at a fraction of the cost of buying your furniture. You can stay on budget without sacrificing the quality of the pieces in your home.

Another option is furniture rental. Renting furniture through CORT is a great way to ensure you have everything you want and need without the commitment of buying. You can get expert advice for your specific apartment, and you can even work with a stylist to design your dream rooms. One of the biggest perks? You don’t have to worry about moving everything in or out! Our teams will handle every aspect of your move-in and move-out days.

Now, you’ve got the information you need to embark on this newest adventure! Ready to find an apartment? Narrow down your options with ApartmentSearch’s advanced search filters. We make it easy to find the amenities you’re looking for – like an in-unit washer and dryer —  so you don’t have to waste time endlessly browsing listings.