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Pros and Cons of Fast Furniture

by Nick, Digital Specialist | May 29, 2021

There is a time and place for "fast" furniture- that is, furniture that you can buy at a big box store that usually requires assembly. There are many positives but also some drawbacks you need to be aware of- check out this helpful article for a list!


If you know anything about the fashion industry, you’ve likely heard the term “fast fashion”- this is clothing that is mass-produced, usually at an inexpensive price point, to match up with the latest trends. Many times, it’s designed and produced very quickly to match something worn by a celebrity, or something shown on a runway during Fashion Week.

There is a version of “fast fashion” in the furniture industry, too. Think about the furniture you see at the big-box stores like IKEA, Wal-Mart, or Target- this is a great example of fast furniture. We see a lot of case goods in this style- office furniture, bedroom furniture, as well as entertainment pieces. In order to make the best decision for you, here are some pros and cons to consider when buying fast furniture!

Pros

- It’s fast: it’s called fast furniture for a reason! These are usually mass-produced which makes them very readily available. You can usually go to one of the big box stores, throw it in your cart, and take it home the same day. This is great for the person who prefers instant gratification and doesn’t want to wait for weeks or months to order something.

- Price: Since these are produced in mass quantities with no ability to customize, fast furniture is always less expensive. If you’re working on a tight budget, this would be a great option to consider. This type of furniture is always great for college students and people who are renting their first apartment.

- Transport: in the age of Amazon Prime, customers have gotten used to having things delivered to their door, and fast furniture is no exception. Many times, the box with the parts (unassembled, of course) can be delivered right to your front door. All you have to do is bring it inside and put it together.

- Assembly: if you like to work with your hands and put things together, fast furniture gives you the ability to do so, as it usually requires assembly. Most of the time, you’ll only require a screwdriver or allen wrench, a hammer, and some time and patience. However, if you don’t enjoy doing this, this can also be a con!

Cons

- Quality: this is the single biggest detractor to any kind of fast furniture. Any furniture like this is not going to be the best quality, and will not be designed to last for any length of time. In most cases, these pieces are made with pressboard. Fast furniture may be something to consider if you’re looking for a piece to stick in a corner that you won’t use for anything, but for a piece that gets used regularly, you might want to consider spending some extra money on something that’s a little better quality.

- Assembly: as mentioned above, this furniture almost always requires assembly. If you have two left hands or aren’t able to do this kind of work, this is not a great choice! However, some stores offer assembly services for an additional charge.

- Limited options: Because this furniture is mass-produced in huge quantities, you’ll only have as many options as the manufacturer gives you. In a lot of cases, they’ll only have one color and style for you to choose from. If you’re looking for something specific, you may have to settle for something that isn’t perfect, or keep searching until you find just the right piece.

- Sustainability: Like most things that are mass-produced, fast furniture can have a negative effect on the environment. Since this furniture is designed to be replaced quickly, it can accumulate in landfills since it’s generally difficult to recycle.

There is certainly a time and a place for fast furniture- it can offer a quick and inexpensive solution for someone who is looking for a new piece, but just be aware that it isn’t designed to last forever.