CIN research into primary bedroom shows strong interest in smaller-scale furniture

While demand may be soft, consumers share thoughts on what’s important to them in the category and what they plan to buy in the coming months

HIGH POINT — For the longest while, some 10 to 12 years ago or more, it seemed that almost every bedroom resource was focused on selling smaller-scale sets aimed at consumers who were either buying their first homes or scaling back to smaller retirement homes. And while many resources still develop product for this segment, it hasn’t appeared to be a major area of focus for most case goods resources of late.

But based on our latest Consumer Insights Now research, there still appears to be a market for this type of smaller-scale product. At least that’s a key message in our second deep-dive installment that looks at purchasing plans for primary bedroom in the first half of 2023.

While the market appears to be relatively small — only 21% of those surveyed plan to buy primary bedroom furniture between now and July — it’s interesting to note who they are and where they live. As with our other survey results thus far, including for sofas and other furniture, younger consumers, including Gen Zers and millennials, make up the lion’s share of the market. Between 27% and 33% of those consumers said they planned to buy bedroom furniture compared to Gen Xers (18%) and baby boomers (8%).

And a significant number of those surveyed also live in smaller dwellings, with 20% living in a townhouse or condo, 25% living in an apartment and 17% living in mobile homes, compared to 20% saying they lived in a single-family home. Thus it appears much of the need could be for smaller-scale furniture, or as the survey implies, fewer pieces.

For example, a majority of those surveyed across age groups plan to buy a bed/headboard and a nightstand. Over half of those surveyed also plan to buy a dresser, but the average across age groups is 54% compared to 65% who said they planned to buy a bed/headboard and 58% planning to buy a nightstand or bedside table. Gen Zers represented the smallest demand for a dresser at 44%, compared to 51% for younger millennials, 57% for older millennials and 58% for Gen Xers and baby boomers.

Some 41% said they planned to buy a bed without storage and another 38% said they planned to buy a bed with storage. Another 21% wasn’t sure.

By comparison, only 35% said they planned on buying a mirror, and 24% said they planned on buying a chest.

In addition, 50% said they planned to purchase a coordinated group, including those under 35, Hispanics and people living in a house or apartment. Thirty-four percent said they planned to mix and match pieces, including non-Hispanics, and interestingly, those living in a condo or townhouse. Another 16% said they weren’t sure.

Thus, the numbers suggest consumers surveyed are in the market for smaller-scale sets or pieces they can tailor to their respective living environment. This means that brick-and-mortar retailers — where 67% of those surveyed plan to shop — have a prime opportunity to provide these consumers exactly what they want. But as many of these retailers know, it first means asking questions of the consumer to be able to help them find just what they need and want for their particular living environment, be it a home with a large primary suite, or a condo or apartment with smaller rooms.

Other interesting survey findings were as follows:

+ Some 22% of those surveyed plan to spend between $1,000 and $1,999 for their next bedroom pieces. Fourteen percent planned to spend between $750 and $999, and 12% planned to spend between $2,000 and $2,999.

+ Only 30% identified beds with lighting as important or very important while the remaining 70% were neutral or said it was not important or not important at all.  Only 22% said that the bed should have some kind of speakers or built-in sound system, while the remainder were either neutral or said it was not important or not important at all. Further information on preferences among age groups can be found in the survey.

+ Forty-eight percent of those surveyed preferred a bed with a wooden headboard, while 33% preferred upholstery and 7% preferred a metal bed. Another 12% said they weren’t sure.

+ Fifty-six percent of those surveyed said they do not plan to buy a new mattress with their new bed, while another 44% said they do plan to buy a mattress.

The survey also shares insights into areas such as preferred wood tones for the master bedroom, again also broken down by age group and region as well as how customers plan to pay and what they consider reasonable wait times for their new furniture.

As always, we hope this information proves useful to you and your business, particularly as we head into the spring buying season. For certain, many of these types of goods may already be on your floors. But hopefully these and other insights offered in our latest Consumer Insights Now research help with buying decision now and in the future as you look to fill the gaps.

Thomas Russell

Home News Now Editor-in-Chief Thomas Russell has covered the furniture industry for 25 years at various daily and weekly consumer and trade publications. He can be reached at and at 336-508-4616.

View all posts by Thomas Russell →

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