The Pros and Cons of Furnished Apartments

You’re looking for a new apartment and deciding between unfurnished and pre-furnished apartments. You might wonder what having a fully furnished apartment means. how much do they cost and what do most furnished apartments include? Before making any decisions here’s what you should know about move-in-ready apartments so you can pick the perfect apartment for you!

What’s a furnished apartment?

Furnished apartment rentals come ready with the basic and necessary furniture and equipment you might need to make a house a home. However, there are a couple of different types of apartments to know about.

  • Turnkey housing: Turnkey housing is ready to move in, typically with all the furniture you would need. It requires minimal, if any, updates.
  • Fully furnished: Fully furnished housing usually provides all of the furniture and appliances you’d need to make a home livable.
  • Furnished: Furnished apartments provide basic pieces of furniture and some additional items that are either decorative or practical.
  • Semi-furnished: These types of apartments provide the most simple pieces of furniture and/or appliances. You’ll very likely need to supply more of your own furniture and appliances to make it a liveable space.

Because different categories don’t have exactly clear lines when it comes to which is which, it’s best to ask the landlord exactly what comes with the furnished rental before signing the lease.

What can I expect in fully furnished apartments?

While there are many furnished apartment options and each will vary, these are the basics of what should come with any furnished apartment.

Believe it or not, there are now more than a few companies focused on helping landlords outfit their spaces with well designed furniture and decor like Fulhaus, a popular AI-powered real estate furnishing solution. Their founder and CEO, Andria Santos, is incredibly focused on design, and landlords using Fulhaus to furnish their properties can expect an extremely tasteful array of furnishings at their fingertips. She says, “This bodes well for the generally interior design challenged landlords and managers who are usually tasked with furnishing many units all at once. When the owner or manager doesn’t live where their units are they need to have them furnished remotely – who can they trust to do that? That’s basically what we would do- let’s get people up and running no matter where they are. They can trust us to get it fully outfitted and fully ready to rent.”

living room

1. Living room

Whether you rent a studio, one-bedroom or two-bedroom apartment, there will be a space designated for the living room or dining areas. In the living room, you can expect to find some or all of the following living room furnishings.

Fully furnished living room

The living room should come with a couch, coffee table, dining room table, floor or table lamps, end tables, some basic décor and maybe a few paintings. You may also find bookcases, entertainment centers or a desk.

Depending on how generous the landlord is or how much you’re paying, there might be a few extra touches like blankets, house plants or things that would make the space warmer and cozier, too.

Furnished living room

A furnished living room will come with the basics like a couch, coffee table, end tables and possibly some lamps.

Semi-furnished living room

A semi-furnished living room will come with a couple of chairs and possibly a small table.


2. Bathroom

No matter where you rent, there will be a shower, sink and toilet. Here’s what you’ll find in each.

Fully furnished bathroom

The bathroom will almost always include a curtain for the shower, toothbrush holders, tissue covers, bath mats and a trash can.

Furnished bathroom

A furnished bathroom includes a shower curtain, a trash can and sometimes, bath mats.

Semi-furnished bathroom

A semi-furnished apartment usually only includes a shower curtain.


3. Kitchen

We all gotta eat, right? Most apartments provide the bare minimum in a kitchen, but you may get extra perks depending on what you pick. Here’s what you can expect:

Fully furnished kitchen

Fully furnished kitchens come with a fridge, stove, microwave, toaster and dishwasher. However, they also often have other appliances, such as coffee makers, blenders and sometimes, even a bread maker.

The kitchen might also come with dishes, pots and pans, kitchen utensils, towels, measuring cups and peelers. A fully furnished kitchen apartment is a great option if you don’t own your own basic kitchen appliances.

Furnished kitchen

These kitchen apartments will come with a fridge, stove and microwave but they don’t always include a dishwasher. You might also find some appliances listed above but it’s not always guaranteed.

Semi-furnished kitchen

Semi-furnished kitchens mostly just come with a fridge, stove and sometimes a microwave.


4. Bedroom

At the end of the day, you need a place to kick back and get some sleep. So, what can you expect in a furnished bedroom when it comes to furniture? Check it out.

Fully furnished bedroom

The bedroom of fully furnished apartments usually comes with a bed, nightstands, lamps, an alarm clock and a dresser. In the apartment bedroom, you might also get things like extra sheets, pillows and some décor on the walls.

Furnished bedroom

In a furnished bedroom, you’ll have a bed, nightstand and dresser. Some of the time they’ll come with lamps and extra sheets.

Semi-furnished bedroom

A bed and dresser will most likely go in a semi-furnished apartment. However, in some cases, there isn’t a mattress or box springs — so you’ll need to bring those on your own.

Pros of renting a furnished apartment

Like anything, renting a furnished apartment has pros and cons. These are some things you should take the time to consider before renting one.

  • You can save money on furniture: One of the most obvious pros to renting furnished places is you don’t have to spend the money on furniture of your own
  • They’re good for short-term rentals: If you’re someone who doesn’t like to stay in one place for a long time, furnished apartments might be just for you. They make it easy when you just want to get up and go, as you don’t have to move any big furniture or find places to store your belongings.
  • Easy to move: Not having to spend money on movers is another pro to renting a furnished apartment. Not having to move big items with you makes moving to and from locations a breeze.
  • Save time: If you’re someone who doesn’t have a lot of time to go shopping for furniture, then having a pre-furnished apartment is great for you. It takes all the fuss out of decorating and saves you time.
  • Reduce your carbon footprint: Another pro of a furnished apartment is that it’s much more environmentally friendly. When renters move homes full of items from place to place, there is usually a lot of waste that gets generated as a result. Esmeralda Carvajal, one of the founders of a local junk removal company in Los Angeles, Valley Haul Away, thinks it’s a big issue. “About 80% of the jobs that we get in the junk removal business are because people are moving homes or apartments. Very few people leave a place they lived fully empty so there is usually a pile or two of items for us to dispose of.”

How furnished does it come?

Even among furnished apartments, there are  differences. Some units are outfitted with just the necessities ( a bed, dresser, kitchen table, sofas, etc.), while others seem dressed to the nines. The latter might have curtains, lamps and even some decor in addition to the basic big-ticket items.

When you view an apartment, ask the landlord which items will be included with the place  when you move in. You can also ask before you view.The sooner you know, the better. That way, you’ll  know what other furniture and appliances you’ll need to get before your move.

Additional costs and considerations

When it comes to furnished apartments, the landlord  invested in filling the unit with stuff. That upfront cost doesn’t disappear—you, the renter, will likely pay for it with  a higher rent price.

This is where you can do some cost-benefit analysis. Compare the monthly rent of the furnished unit   with an apartment of equal size in the same neighborhood without furniture. Then, consider about how much you’d have to pay to purchase any  furniture you still need.

Add furnishing costs to the rent and see whether that number is higher or lower than the price of the furnished place. If you don’t have a lot of furniture already, then the furnished apartment is probably cheaper and you may consider going that route.

Reasons to choose furnished

Is a furnished unit  better for you than the unfurnished place? Check out this pros-and-cons list that outlines situations in which you may or may not consider a fully furnished space.



  • You may not have space for big furniture you already own (meaning you’ll either have to store it or get rid of it).
  • Rent is higher (which isn’t good if you own furniture already).

Furnished apartments don’t always skimp on design

Also consider this insight from CEO Alex Back: “One big pro of renting a furnished apartment used to be one of the cons. In days past, furnished rentals used to be synonymous with a look and feel that could only be described as dated and institutional. Nowadays, however, landlords and property managers are investing in high quality furniture that also embodies great design.

They’re seeing a demand for higher end furnishings in both short term and long term rentals and have finally realized the value they’re adding by outfitting units with them. At, we’re helping landlords and property managers find great couch retailers in their area and online, taking out a lot of the guesswork, but some may still need a bit more hand holding.”

More on short-term leases

A short-term lease is a rental agreement that lasts fewer months than the standard 12. In most cases, people choose short-term leases if they are temporarily living in an area. For example,  a person might have to live in another state for a few months for their job, but will move back home once their project is over.

Some students  are also good candidates for short-term leases because they only stay in their college town nine months out of the year. Paying for an extra three months they won’t use is a waste of money.

In both cases, many landlords choose to furnish short-term apartments. The nomadic student or business person probably doesn’t want to  move lots of furniture only to have to move it again a few months later.

Situational renting

All in all, whether you choose to rent a furnished or unfurnished apartment comes down to your lifestyle, budget and needs. If you own your furniture or would like  to, then stick to an unfurnished place. However, if you move frequently or if a batch of new furniture isn’t in your budget at the moment, a furnished place will take the hassle out of your itinerant lifestyle.

Have you ever lived in a furnished apartment? Did you like it and why?

Photo by Sasha • Stories on Unsplash


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