Would You Rent a Mattress?
In the past, we've advised against buying your furniture via rent-to-own companies. The practice often involves paying a huge markup. However, some companies are hoping to change minds about renting furniture — even mattresses!
Renting Is Cool Again
Earlier this year, IKEA began testing furniture rentals and buying other pieces back, as an eco-friendly alternative to traditional ownership. Additionally, a startup called Feather is offering modern furniture rentals at a range of prices.
That said, IKEA hasn't expanded its rental services beyond the testing market yet, and Feather is currently only available in New York and San Francisco. If you're interested in either of these, you might have to wait a while.
Doesn't It Cost More to Rent Furniture?
Feather offers flexible time frames, with the minimum rental being three months. Prices change based on how long you intend to keep the pieces, as well as your location — so it's best to rent longer if you can. When your rental period with Feather is up, you have a few options. You can keep your furniture longer and pay 10% less, swap it for free, buy it at a discounted price, or pay a small fee to return it.
If you opt to buy your furniture, you'll end up paying the difference. However, the added cost is only a fraction over the retail price named on Feather's site. That's a far cry from the 100% markup you'll pay with some rent-to-own competitors.
Prices vary, but it's not uncommon to see a suite of bedroom furniture from Rent-A-Center cost twice as much as retail when all is said and done. Additionally, sites like CORT require a minimum rental amount per month, which can be a costly inconvenience.
No matter what, if you're interested in renting furniture, it's best to carefully research your options before signing a contract.