Can You Really Rent Furniture Online? Yes, and It’s the Solution to Your Apartment-Furnishing Woes

furniture rental companies
Courtesy of Fernish
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Renting is one of the best modern-day inventions for the indecisive, free-spirited, experimental and exploratory human who wants to try before they buy with everything in their lives. In any given category, there’s now more available to us than ever before. Think about it – if you were to start the process of buying a car right now — where would you even start? Hybrids? Sedans? Electric SUVs? It’s overwhelming, but the ability to own something for a little, try it on for size and then return if you hate it is truly a solution for the practical commitment-phobe everywhere. You can rent homes, cars, DVDs (throwback), library books (mega throwback), clothes, baby products, scuba gear, and now furniture. Yup, the latest trendy, a-la-carte service to hit the notoriously vacillating Millennial/Gen Z generation is furniture rental companies — from whom you can finally get that bright purple couch of your dreams without your parents calling it “impractical.”

What Does Furniture Rental Mean?

Furniture rental services have emerged in recent years in response to DTC furniture companies popping up online to sell young city-dwellers couches and arm chairs off of sleek sales pages. IMO the objective is to replace those awkward trips to in-person department stores where you’ve got to decide how comfortable your butt is on a couch in front of strangers. You skip the schlep and plastic-wrapped version of your theoretical living room, and instead you get to chill and have your new picks delivered to you. I have to admit, I’m definitely on board. The rental companies take this concept one step further, by not only giving Millennials the digital access to convenient IG-worthy living rooms, but also giving them the option to opt out of the bright patterns and textured coffee tables once their tastes change. It’s pretty genius, and they’re getting attention as a result.

The variety of furniture these companies offer is impressive. You can deck out any room in your home with a new desk, desk chair, pull-out couch, linen cabinet or coffee table. The perks of a rental service are pretty straightforward — you get to try things on for size and use them for months (or years) without actually buying them. It’s cheaper upfront, and most companies will come grab the piece once you’re done with it, saving you the pain of lugging it yourself. It’s also a more environmental choice that purchasing fast furniture that’ll wear out in a few years and need to be thrown out. However, it is worth noting that you won’t be able to use the pieces like you would your own furniture — i.e if you spill red wine all over it, chip the leg or tear open a cushion you might be penalized.

That being said, If you’ve been hunting for a statement piece to brighten up a room or want to try out a new style without the commitment of a full-blown purchase — this service is for you. If you’re finally getting around to formally decorating your home office setup but know you’ll eventually be heading back into the office in person — you should give this a try. If you’re obsessed with decorating and your partner has drawn a line in the sand with a budget for furniture exchanges — this service could save your relationship. It’s worth a shot, and I’ve gathered my favorite options below and highlighted each one’s unique selling point so you can make an informed decision.

Cort furniture rental, furniture rental companies Courtesy of Cort

1. Cort

BEST OVERALL

Unlike many furniture rental companies, Cort ships to 48/50 states, whereas some of the other options only deliver to a few major US cities like New York and Los Angeles. Cort is also one of the most experienced furniture rental companies out there, as they’ve been delivering to individuals at home and companies in-office for over 45 years. Cort offers flexible rental agreements and the ability to cancel, change out and switch up your furniture whenever you’d like to. All of the furniture also comes fully-assembled, and because the company has been around for a while and is part of the Berkshire Hathaway Company — they’ve got connections to major brands that would otherwise be too expensive to own. The Beaumont dining table below, for example, would be thousands of dollars to purchase but is only $22.50/month to rent for six months total.

beaumont dining table, furniture rental companies Courtesy of Cort

  

Feather furniture rental, furniture rental companies Courtesy of Feather

2. Feather

BEST IN-HOUSE LINE

While many furniture rental companies stock their inventory with other brands Feather has their own line of furniture that’s uniquely designed for their customers, so you know you’re getting something only their community has access to. They’ve got popular brands like West Elm and Leesa as well — so you get the best of both worlds in terms of selection.

Their membership costs $19/month and offers steep discounts on all their furniture rentals, whereas non-members are charged fees and steeper prices for renting, and also have to commit to at least 3-month leases whereas members can rent for as long as they’d like. Feather’s inventory spans from tables to couches, chairs, rugs and even artwork — and everything gets assembled and delivered to your apartment within seven days of your order date.

Feather does have strict credit score requirements to rent, and they explicitly state that they’ll charge you for any damage to the furniture. They also only deliver to Richmond, San Francisco, Orange County, Long Island City, Los Angeles, Downtown Jersey City and New York. If you live in one of these cities and want fancier furniture than you can probably afford at great prices — they’re your pick. One of my favorite pieces I saw perusing the site was this Hewitt Chair that retails for $1,000, available for $41 a month!

Hewitt chair, furniture rental companies Courtesy of Feather

  

Brook furniture rental, furniture rental companies Courtesy of Brook Furniture Rental

3. Brook Furniture Rental

BEST CUSTOMER SERVICE

A major perk of furniture rental as opposed to purchase is you save $$$ — and Brook helps you do that even more. Unlike Feather, they ship to many cities and states around the country, 31 cities in 18 states to be exact, and offer budget-conscious furniture pieces from independent brands for low monthly prices. You can rent individual items, rent a whole room’s worth of furniture and even opt for a “Fast Path” where you can furnish an entire home with just a few clicks. They give you the option to swap out any piece you don’t like within the first week and you can easily waive the 12% monthly fee for damage if you show proof of home or renter’s insurance. Brook is also known for their customer service — they boast on their site that calls and emails are always returned within a few hours and their white-glove delivery service is top-notch convenience. This is what you’re paying for with furniture rental, right?

It is important to note, however, that Brook does have a monthly minimum requirement of $150, which adds to the cost depending on how much you’re planning to rent. They offer discounts based on how long your leasing periods are — with as much as a 30% discount available on 12-month leases. They do rent to more cities than most of the services on this list which is why I still decided to include them. This Heron Writing Desk is also perfect for a home office, and is less than $50/month so you can finally graduate from the dining room table and spread out a little.

Heron writing desk, furniture rental companies Courtesy of Brook Furniture Rental

  

Fernish furniture rental, furniture rental companies Courtesy of Fernish

4. Fernish

BEST DESIGNS

If you’ve got an eye for interior design and don’t just “need a couch that you can actually afford” you should check out Fernish. They’ve got a team of in-house designers that release new furniture lines every couple of years, and clearly draw inspiration from mid-century modern classics and the simplistic elegance of Scandinavian aesthetic. They’ve got things for a home office, living room and bedroom — and their monthly rental minimum of $99 goes towards ownership. It’s kind of like leasing a car but instead of trading it in at the end you’ve made a bunch of payments towards owning it. Except it’s not a vehicle that’s going to break down and potentially risk your life, it’s a cute-ass end table you get tons of compliments on.

Like we said, you’ve at least got to spend $99 a month, but their stuff is so well-designed you’ll probably want to spend more. You can keep stuff for as long as you want, from 2-12 months, and they deliver, arrange and and assemble all furniture for you. You’ve also got 3 days to exchange any piece you don’t like, which isn’t the longest window but it’s something. At the end of your lease term you can also extend the agreement, swap your piece for something else for free, or pay the difference in value and keep it forever! Like, perhaps, this Cheney Dresser in Acorn for instance?

Fernish furniture rental company, furniture rental companies Courtesy of Fernish

  

5. Oliver Space

BEST ROOM PACKAGES

If you throw up your hands with interior design and want someone else to handle the decorating for you — Oliver Space has you covered. Unfortunately, they only service LA and San Francisco, but if you live in California’s two great metropolises keep reading. This site allows you to build whole rooms easily using their design quiz and expert team you can chat with for ideas. Oliver Space offers you the choice to rent your furniture month to month or have each of your payments count towards ownership. They have three different pricing plans — a short term plan for three months minimum with slightly higher monthly payments, a long-term plan that divides up payments for ownership over 24 months, and a 1-year upfront plan where you commit to a 12-months rental and get a 10% discount. All of them come with the option of buying at the end, as well as design advice and free deliver, assembly and pickup.

They’ve got a few different pre-designed rooms to choose from — like the Weekend Snooze collection for $168/month — complete with a mattress, box spring, bed frame, rug, armchair and side table. They’ve also got my personal favorite, the Cocktails & Charcuterie living room layout for $230/month with a golden arch lamp, bright blue sofa, pink chair, coffee table, rug, throw pillows and media stand. I’ve included a picture for this one below. You can also rent individual furniture items and consult with their design team on what goes best where in your space.

Olive Space furniture, furniture rental companies Courtesy of Oliver Space