5 Tips to Furnish Your Airbnb On a Budget

JG - September 20, 2021

Before you go on and furnish your newly minted Airbnb property, here are some things to keep in mind EVEN if you are on a tight budget.

  • Durability/Cleanability: If this item is a frequently used item like a bed mattress, bed frame, or couch, does it make sense for you to buy the cheapest one to save money up front? You want things to be durable enough that you don’t have to replace/repair it often but in the long run the cheaper item up front, may cost you more in the long term. Also, surfaces should be of materials like plastic, metal, leather, acrylic, concrete, tile, glass, etc. so that they can be cleaned easily and they don’t stain easily. So even if you buy high quality couches or bar stools that have fabric on them, that isn’t a good idea because of cleanability. Generally, try to avoid things that have fabrics and/or cheap coatings because they stain easily.
  • Aesthetics: A very important metric to your guests is how similar the listing is when it’s advertised on Airbnb to what it actually is when they check in. Keeping this in mind, you want things to keep their new look even when they’ve been cleaned numerous times for as long as possible. Otherwise, you will have to replace them frequently.
  • Replaceability: Eventually, you will have to replace things. As an Airbnb host, you want to furnish with things that can be easily replaced so that you don’t have to retake photos. So it may be a better choice to pick that bland Ikea coffee table compared to some antique valuable you found at a garage sale.

The aesthetics of a room is for the pictures on Airbnb, not for the space.

Ideally, you want to compose a room with accents, colors, and décor such that it looks absolutely amazing from just a couple of angles. So what that means is you don’t have to go around adorning every inch of every room. You just need a specific location in each room to look great. I would look at Ikea showrooms for inspiration but maybe only budget for decorating two walls and the things against those walls as opposed to the whole room. Again, you just need enough to look really good on the Airbnb listing pictures. If you want to improve the rest of the room, you can do it later after you’ve made some money.

You don’t have to have a lot of furniture.

The absolute essentials to buy that are higher quality are furniture that occupy the living room and the bedroom. High quality does not have to mean expensive though. The other stuff like lamps, kitchenware, etc. can be bought on the cheaper end. 

Buy quality medium firm to firm mattresses with mattress covers. You don’t need super expensive mattresses like Tempurpedic ones but it must be comfortable and clean.


Also, you want to maximize the amount of people that your property sleeps. This will appeal to a wider range of guests and groups. Roll away beds are preferred over something like a sofa bed because if a sofa bed breaks, you lose a sofa and a bed. But roll away beds can be replaced and fixed easier without losing a sofa.

The bedding, bedspreads, and sheets are also something you shouldn’t slouch on. This is because the sleeping experience is such a contributor to a good rating on Airbnb.

Another idea is to buy furniture from places that will allow you to pay later or pay in installments. That way you can furnish without technically exceeding your budget but will get your listing up faster while making up for those purchases in booking profit.

50 inch TVs are very inexpensive nowadays and as long as it has Disney+ or Netflix, that should be all that’s needed for your guests.

Make sure your guests have the essentials they need to cook and store food.

Guests that book with Airbnb are looking to save money as opposed to booking with a hotel and with that mindset, it isn’t a stretch to understand that they might want to cook sometimes to save money. This means having a range, a full sized refrigerator and a microwave. These things don’t have to be brand new BUT they do have to be functional and clean inside AND out.

Buy things from Ross (and Marshalls, Goodwill, TJMaxx, etc.)

A lot of the smaller items  like kitchenware, dinnerware, toasters, etc. can be bought at these cheaper outlet stores. Similarly, décor and accents to the home can be bought there as well and can be super cheap since they don’t get interacted with much. Nightstands and dining tables can also be on the cheaper side. Basically, cosmetic things or things that the guests don’t prioritize can be bought on the inexpensive side. This will definitely save you some money.

Do you live near a college campus? Check the dumpsters when semesters end.

Dumpster diving is a great way to get free items like tables. Obviously, you want to clean and/or repaint things but this is a legit way to save money. The things you don’t want to take are things like mattresses, chairs, etc.


If you’re on a budget and are prioritizing furniture and things to buy for your Airbnb, the main three things are:

  1. Buy just enough and decorate just enough to have amazing pictures for your Airbnb listing. You can improve later.
  2. Do not be cheap on the things that matter like bed frames, bedspreads, mattresses and couches. They don’t have to be overly luxurious, ornate,  or expensive but they must be high quality.
  3. Finally, keep in mind the replaceability and cleanability of all your items. Try to buy things that are easily cleanable (i.e. not fabric or velvet or stainable wood) and easily replaceable so that listing pictures don’t have to be changed and you can minimize your time dealing with broken things.

I hope this has helped. Again, these are just some thoughts and are in no way financial or investment advice.

Disclaimer: BNB Toolbox does not provide tax, business, legal, investment, or accounting advice. This material has been prepared for educational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, business, legal, investment, or accounting advice. You should consult your own tax, business, legal, investment, and accounting advisors before engaging in any transaction. Using this website means you've read and agreed to our Terms of Service.