Newcomers' Guide‎ > ‎Shopping‎ > ‎

Household Goods

In this section:
  • New Furniture
  • Discount Furniture
  • Used Furniture
  • Rental Furniture
  • Mattresses and Futons
  • Housewares
  • Hardware
  • Electronics
  • Small Furniture and Home Furnishings


Furniture can be a big expense when you move to Boston. Most furniture shops are too expensive for the student budget. However, there are ways to buy furniture cheap.

If you want new furniture at lowest possible cost, then the best options are the Department Stores such as Target or Hardware Stores that sell unassembled furniture. The choices are usually limited and quality is not the best but once you have checked out prices at regular furniture stores you might consider these offers a good deal. For desks and bookshelves you also can try Office Supply stores such as Staples and Office Depot (they often offer free delivery). Other discount options would be “college or dorm furniture” stores and stores that sell unfinished furniture.

Another option is to buy used furniture. There are several stores that specialize in used furniture. Many departing students also put up their house goods for sale. You can keep an eye out for these on bulletin boards.

A third option is to rent or lease the furniture. The advantage of leasing is that you pay a monthly fee that may be more suitable to your budget than a lump sum amount at the beginning. However, you do not own the furniture.

If you are not satisfied with these options, then there are always specialized furniture stores. These shops usually sell high-end furniture and the quality is very good.

New Furniture

Furniture stores seem to group up. You will find many of them between Central Square and Harvard Square along Massachusetts Avenue. Another "Furniture Mile" is along Route 9 in Natick/Framingham. Many furniture stores now offer the convenience of online shopping so you don’t have to visit the actual stores, which are not always easily accessible by public transport. Furniture stores typically charge a fee to deliver your items and to set them up, if necessary.

City Living Stores / Economy Hardware
438 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge (Central Square)
Phone: 617-864-3300

Jennifer Convertibles
1 Porter Square, Cambridge
Phone: 617-661-0200

Eddie's Furniture
95 Elm St, Somerville (Porter Square)
Phone: 617-666-1457

Circle Furniture
199 Alewife Brook Parkway, Cambridge (Alewife Station)
Phone: 617-876-3988

281 Concord Ave, Cambridge (Bus 75)
Phone: 617-354-0844

World Furniture Outlet
1698 Commonwealth Ave, Brighton (Sutherland Street Station, Green Line B)
Phone: 617-416-1644

Bernie & Phyl's Furniture and Clearance Center
901 Broadway, Saugus
Phone: 781-233-7999

Bernie & Phyl’s has 5 showrooms in Massachusetts. Some showrooms also have a Clearance Center.

Jordan's Furniture
1 Underprice Way, Natick
Phone: 508-424-0088

Jordan’s Furniture has four major stores in the New England area. The nearest one is in Natick (Route 9) near the Natick Mall. Another close by store is in Avon, MA. This one offers a clearance center, where you may be able to find cheaper furniture. Find out more at their website.

Macy's Furniture Gallery
1 Worcester Rd, Framingham (Shoppers World mall)
Phone: 508-650-6025

A few Macy's stores have a Furniture Gallery; see their website for locations.

Discount Furniture

There are some furniture shops along North Harvard Ave in Allston that sell unassembled (you may need a screwdriver or hammer to put it together) or unfinished (you need to apply varnish or paint it yourself) furniture.

1 Ikea Way, Stoughton
Phone: 781-344-IKEA (4532)

Basics Carpet & Furniture
1033 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge (opening June 2010)
151 Harvard Avenue, Allston (Harvard Avenue Station, Green Line B)
1119 Commonwealth Ave, Boston (Packards Corner Station, Green Line B)

College Furniture & Rug
137 Harvard Ave, Allston (Harvard Avenue Station, Green Line B)
Phone: 617-254-5949

Woodcraft Furniture
51 Harvard Ave, Allston (Harvard Avenue Station, Green Line B)
Phone: 617-789-3933

Bob’s Discount Furniture
1450 Worcester Street, Natick

This store sells its own brand of furniture. For this reason, the prices may be lower than at other furniture stores for similar products. The nearest store is in Natick/Framingham (Route 9). For other store locations visit their website.

Used Furniture

Used furniture, depending on the quality, condition and brand (if any), can be more affordable than new furniture. There are several ways you can find used furniture:
  • Yard sales or garage sales are very common in the USA and sometimes you can find good bargains there. You need to be an "early bird" to find the best things. How will you find out about a yard sale? Look out for signs posted in your neighborhood or advertisements on bulletin boards. Usually the sales are advertised a few days before the event.
  • Bulletin Boards at MIT, other universities, libraries, dorms, etc. are a good source for advertising "moving sale". Some groups also have online bulletin boards: European Club and FamilyNet for instance, where you can access the "Buy, Sell, Reuse, Services offered/wanted" Forum.
  • The "Want Advertiser", a bi-weekly magazine, is also widely available at stores like CVS. It also advertises many types of used goods for sale.

There are also several places you can find used furniture. Please note that it is always better to check the furniture in person before buying, because you can never know what condition it will be in.

MIT Furniture Exchange
Building: WW15, Brookline St, Cambridge 
Phone: 617-253-4293 

The MIT Furniture Exchange (the "FX") sells used furniture and household accessories at low prices. Proceeds go to finance MIT scholarships. It will also buy back furniture in good condition, for up to 1/3rd of the price paid. You will need your MIT ID (or Harvard/BU ID) to make any purchases. The FX is open only for a few hours per week. Visit their website for more information. 

Salvation Army
328 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge (Central Square)
Phone: 617-354-9159 

You can also find appliances and housewares here.

CORT Clearance Center
564 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge (Central Square)
Phone: 617-354-1742

155 North Beacon St, Brighton (Bus 64)
Phone: 617-254-5455

CORT is primarily a furniture rental company. However, they also sell furniture that they have previously rented.

Rental Furniture

CORT Furniture Rental
564 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge (Central Square)
Phone: 617-354-3358

155 North Beacon St, Brighton (Bus 64)
Phone: 617-254-5455

Mattresses and Futons

600 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge (Central Square)
Phone: 857-253-0047

727 Memorial Drive, Cambridge (next to Trader Joe’s)
Phone: 617-758-0023

Dream on Futon
299 Prospect St, Cambridge (Inman Square - Bus 69)
Phone: 617-864-6000

15 Western Ave, Cambridge (Central Square)
Phone: 617-547-6000


Crate and Barrel
1045 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge (Harvard Square)
Phone: 617-547-3994

100 Huntington Ave, Boston (Prudential Station, Green Line E)
Phone: 617-262-3080

Bed Bath & Beyond 
401 Park Drive, Boston (Fenway Station, Green Line E or Bus CT2)
Phone: 617-536-1090
119 Middlesex Ave, Somerville (Bus CT2 and then 92)
Phone: 617-629-4423

671 Centre St, Jamaica Plain (Green Street Station, Orange Line)
Phone: 617-524-6800


438 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge (Central Square)
Phone: 617-864-3300

ACE Hardware 
29 White St, Cambridge (Porter Square)
Phone: 617-868-7711

Home Depot 
75 Mystic Ave, Somerville (Bus CT2 to Sullivan Square Station) 
615 Arsenal St, Watertown (Bus 70, 70A)

Home Depot is a unique store. If you had to build your home from scratch, this would be the place to go. It has everything from light bulbs to lumber! The store also carries unassembled furniture and carpets, most of which are at reasonable prices. 


Best Buy
100 CambridgeSide Place, Cambridge (CambridgeSide Galleria Mall)
Phone: 617-577-8866

730 Memorial Drive, Cambridge (next to Trader Joe's)
Phone: 617-234-6400

Small Furniture and Home Furnishings

The Door Store
940 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge (between Central and Harvard Squares)
Phone: 617-547-8937

Pier 1 Imports
1 Porter Square, Cambridge
Phone: 617-491-7626

Bed Bath And Beyond
401 Park Drive, Boston (Fenway Station, Green Line E or Bus CT2)
Phone: 617-536-1090
119 Middlesex Ave, Somerville (Bus CT2 and then 92)
Phone: 617-629-4423

Last Updated: October, 2011