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Many of us know all too well that furnishing a whole home or apartment, or even just one room, can be quite a pricey proposition. And while we love scoring modern, affordable furniture from popular direct-to-consumer furniture brands such as IKEA and Wayfair, a home exclusively containing only those finds might look too contrived, or—dare we say—mundane.
But thankfully, those furniture giants have paved the way for a variety of other affordable and mid-range brands (including some you probably haven't heard of). They've helped to further shift the traditional furniture-buying paradigm by offering factory-direct, affordable furniture that really does stand the test of time. From devising innovative subscription models to cutting out middlemen in the supply chain, these 14 brands have learned how to offer beautiful, well-made furniture at prices that might surprise you.
Whether you're looking for staples like a simple bed frame, a long-lasting sofa, or just a cute storage ottoman, padding your pad with pieces from these 14 lesser-known companies will make you glad to come home every day.
Below, read on to learn about the best quality furniture brands at affordable prices to upgrade your space.
Burrow is an NYC-based company known for its resistance to outsourcing production and for its innovative packing methods. Every piece is modular and delivered in normal shipping boxes (for free), eschewing the need for exorbitant freight costs. Burrow invokes a clean, midcentury aesthetic, and skips the cheap particleboard frames for sustainably sourced hardwood.
It also seems this company has thought of everything: Its sofas even feature built-in charging strips to power up smart devices, and it has devised an ingenious sleep kit that turns virtually any three-seater sofa into a comfy guest bed in just 10 minutes.
Just as its original name, Cost Plus World Market, suggested, World Market was founded on unique pieces purchased in villages, factories, and bazaars from around the globe. Previously, its pieces were brought back to San Fransisco and sold at cost, plus a 10 percent markup. Now, the brand is perhaps best known for its globally-sourced decorative accessories—but its furniture offerings are equally as impressive and diverse.
Co-founded by DwellStudio founder (and Wayfair's former Chief Creative Officer) Christiane Lemieux, The Inside is known for producing quality furniture that marries function and fashion by offering a direct conduit between designer and consumer.
Each piece of American-made furniture and accessories (think: peel-and-stick wallpaper, hassocks, loungers, and decorative screens) is completely customizable and made to order. Plus, the sheer array of incredible fabrics and patterns—designed by heavyweights such as Scalamandré, Clare V, and Peter Som—is pretty exciting. And because The Inside launches new designer collaborations every two to three months, its offerings never get stale.
Feather has made furniture rentals cool again by embracing today's consumers' ever-changing styles and tastes. Appealing mainly to apartment dwellers of a certain generation (yes, we mean Millennials), it's the perfect brand for those with an eye on sustainability and disdain for "fast furniture."
Feather works with recognized furniture makers—like West Elm, Joybird, and Pottery Barn, for example—to offer two types of monthly furniture rental subscriptions. Add, return, and swap pieces out as often as you'd like, or simply buy the pieces you've fallen in love with; everything you spend counts toward the cost of ownership.
Hailing from Stockholm, Sweden, Hem (that's "home" in Swedish) delivers modern high-quality furniture—with highly sought-after Scandi sensibilities—directly from its factories in the U.S. and Europe. While Hem's furniture can be a bit more pricey, its offerings are of the utmost quality and construction. Its modular sofas feature top-of-the-line wool upholstery, while its Zigzag and Lift shelves come flat-packed for easy assembly.
Hem's collaborations with top designers seem to be its greatest draw, as its frequently-rotating collections feature collaborations with modern designers like Max Lamb, Pauline Deltour, and GamFratesi.
Perhaps no furniture company on this list has embraced the notion of affordable, easy-to-assemble furniture as heartily as the Detroit-based Floyd. (The company even made its debut on Kickstarter with just four metal legs designed to turn any flat surface into a table.) Geared toward urbanites who are sick-to-death of disposable furniture, Floyd has distilled what could potentially be a massive collection of flat-packed pieces into one shelf, one sofa, and one bed (with possible add-ons, of course) plus four table options.
Disassembly, too, isn't an afterthought, as the company maintains its pieces can be broken down in less time than it takes to boil water in a teakettle. Shipping is either offered free or comprises 10 percent of the total purchase price.
Furniture by Kvell, a lifestyle brand from Toronto, Canada (and a Yiddish word signifying pride), is no longer limited to sales via its own website. Its mid-century-style pieces can now be procured via Amazon, BHG, and Real Simple, where price-shopping might benefit you even more. Many of its offerings (particularly its ottomans and loungers) come flat-packed, are quick to assemble, and offer hidden storage once they're built—a boon to small-apartment dwellers the world over.
Akron Street is a Brooklyn, New York-based company founded on the principle that furniture is the one single element that imbues a sense of home in any dwelling. The company hand-crafts all of its pieces—from beds to clothing racks, side tables, and desks—from solid hardwoods like oak and walnut, which are far cries from flimsy particleboard and MDF wood.
Akron Street's commitment to quality is evident in its high-end furniture details like hefty steel frames, dovetail joinery, and wedged mortise-and-tenon legs that ensure joints never loosen. While Akron Street's pricing is comparable to that of Crate & Barrel and Pottery Barn, it's arguably a better bet because its pieces always ship free within the U.S.
Another direct-to-consumer brand cutting out the middleman is the LA-based Capsule. Its mission is to support emerging design talent via intermittent capsule collections, and its offerings are specifically targeted to first-time nesters who appreciate quality workmanship and, above all else, good design (think: built-in USB ports in its sofas and loveseats). Its pieces are sophisticated, fashion-forward, and could easily pass as custom-made furniture. There's even a Small Space Collection for apartment dwellers and tiny home lovers alike.
Danish design brand Hay is yet another furniture maker that collaborates with designers from all over the world to offer affordable, contemporary furniture that lasts. The company often creates new products as a result of its thirst to explore innovative manufacturing methods.
A line of Hay's outdoor furniture was created from one supplier's development of a new robot that inexpensively welds metal. Collaborations with Ikea, MoMA Design Store, and Sonos became popular, and the brand is now also sold via Design Within Reach. Shipping is also affordable, at 10 percent of your order's price.
The Vancouver, Canada-based furniture company Article is able to stay affordable because it's a strictly online business: There's no showroom or sales team to inflate overhead costs. Scared of buying that mid-century-style velvet sofa without testing it out first? Don't be. Article offers a generous 30-day return policy, one free exchange, and top-notch customer service. Combine all that with its Ikea-caliber prices, and you'll have one of the best furniture deals on the web.
Sixpenny wants to sell you your next heirloom piece. This furniture brand—named for a two-inch carpentry nail, and for the fact that it donates six percent of its net proceeds to community-building causes—makes it nearly impossible to walk away unsatisfied.
Furniture frames (as well as tables, consoles, and cabinets) are each composed of kiln-dried hardwood. Its cushions are stuffed with real down feathers, making it a standout in the now-crowded "furniture by mail" space. Free unlimited fabric and leather swatches, free shipping, and prices comparable to Pottery Barn's make Sixpenny a no-brainer.
As its name suggests, this Minneapolis-based brand Yardbird offers outdoor and patio furniture only. Made of teak wood, rust-proof aluminum, and recycled plastic waste intercepted from oceans in Manila, Yardbird's pieces are sustainable—and stylish to boot. The company is definitely disrupting the traditional outdoor furniture market by offering affordable yet top-of-the-line, direct-to-consumer pieces for half the price of similar pieces offered by high-end brands. Understandably, Yardbird caters to young suburbanites (with backyards) who are just moving into their first homes, and offers free shipping on all orders.
The online furniture retailer Apt2B is able to keep its prices low because its pieces are manufactured in Downtown LA, and it's not bogged down by costly showrooms and storefronts. Its strategic collabs with up-and-coming designers ensure its predominantly apartment-sized furniture stays fresh and on-trend season after season, and its commitment to quality ensures pieces stand the test of time. Add free shipping and delivery, free unlimited swatches, and a 100-day return policy, and we're sold.