Editor's Note: This story originally appeared on Self.
The last year amid the coronavirus pandemic has made our home environment more important than ever. When you’re spending more time in your home, you can’t help but want to change and improve it, and sometimes the extra candles simply won’t do.
We looked at some of the most popular home stores in the U.S., judged by social media and website traffic data, and analyzed a set list of home items. For each item we used the “most popular” filters on each website to get the price data for the items with the highest interest from consumers. The full list of items are shown in the methodology section at the end.
Here’s what it costs to live the lifestyle of the most popular home stores in the country.
- Target was found to offer the most affordable home store goods, totaling $2,438 for our analyzed household essentials.
- It will cost you over $17,700 to live the Pottery Barn lifestyle, over six times the price of Target equivalents.
- Crate & Barrel had the most expensive popular items for the bathroom and hallway ($467 and $1,028 respectively).
- AllModern had the most expensive popular items for the kitchen ($303).
- Although Target was the most affordable overall, IKEA had the least expensive office goods ($121), kitchen essentials ($22), and living room products ($1,044).
Now, let’s look at each store in turn.
Pottery Barn Prices
Living Room: $7,484.50
Brand total: $17,712.46
Out of our analyzed brands, Pottery Barn has the second-highest following on Instagram, so is incredibly popular, but it was found to be the most expensive store to buy your home goods based on our set list of items (full list available in methodology).
They weren’t the most expensive in all of our analyzed categories, however. Pottery Barn was only the most expensive in terms of costs for the bedroom ($6,510), the office ($2,966), and the living room ($7,485).
Crate & Barrel Prices
Living Room: $6,198.90
Brand total: $14,709.23
The second most expensive store was Crate & Barrel, and its prices boomed for the bathroom ($468) and the hallway ($1,028). Compared with Pottery Barn, the hallway items cost 4.5 times more than Pottery Barn’s most popular equivalent items.
In particular, Crate & Barrel’s most popular closet was just under $2,000, around $700 more expensive than the nearest priced item from Pottery Barn. In the hallway, the price is increased due to the brand’s very popular entryway bench ($799), which acts as an expensive, yet stylish, way to store shoes.
Cost Plus World Market Prices
Living Room: $2,849.89
Brand total: $7,550.56
The third most expensive store we analyzed was World Market. From the most popular items, World Market has the third-highest costs in the bedroom ($3,290) behind Pottery Barn and Crate & Barrel.
Their higher cost could come from their approach to find “unique artisan goods and handicrafts” as discussed in their story online. World Market was found to have the second-highest, most popular queen-size bed from our analysis, at $1,300, as its customers have a preference for a large upholstered headboard.
Living Room: $3,530.00
Brand total: $7,328.00
Out of the stores we analyzed, AllModern has the fewest followers on Instagram but is growing rapidly. Its estimated online traffic is about 1 million monthly visitors behind Wayfair, who is actually the owner of AllModern.
AllModern was not the most expensive in any category but did have some high-priced popular items like the third most expensive media center ($800). The brand prides itself on “fast and free shipping” alongside an ethos focused on “finding the latest trends in contemporary decor.” Their higher price seems to reflect their on-trend styles and convenience for deliveries.
Living Room: $1,437.49
Brand total: $4,066.28
AllModern’s parent company, Wayfair, has the largest Facebook presence (7.8 million likes) in our analysis and is the fourth-cheapest home store in our list. Interestingly, Wayfair actually has the highest cost for the kitchen essentials we analyzed at $175, despite its cheaper prices across the board.
Bed Bath & Beyond Prices
Living Room: $2,108.33
Brand total: $3,495.38
Making it into the top three cheapest stores, Bed Bath & Beyond came in at just under $4,000 for the essentials we analyzed. Despite being among the top three most affordable home stores, Bed Bath & Beyond was not the lowest price in any specific category.
The store’s bedroom cost ($732) was the second most affordable behind Target and their bathroom pricing ($111) was the third-cheapest behind IKEA and Target, respectively.
Living Room: $1,043.96
Brand total: $2,585.53
Just behind Target, IKEA has the second-highest estimated website traffic and the second-highest Facebook following behind Wayfair. It’s easily one of the most popular home brands in the country.
In terms of cost, there wasn’t much of a price difference between IKEA and Target. In fact, Target is only cheaper than the Swedish giant by $147. Despite this, IKEA was found to offer the cheapest goods for the office ($121), the kitchen ($22), and the living room ($1,044).
Living Room: $1,618.95
Brand total: $2,438.80
It turns out we should all be designing our home with Target in mind if we are working on a tight budget. The store’s overall cost for our analyzed essentials came to $2,438, several times less than Pottery Barn’s most popular equivalents.
It should be noted that the products from one store will not be identical to another’s, and are likely not made from the same materials. But if you’re looking at saving money, Target is your best bet to get some home essentials for cheaper.
Lauren Bringle, an accredited financial counselor here at Self Financial, had the following tips for buying items for your home on a budget:
- Second-hand first: Facebook marketplace and sites like Craigslist are a gold mine for pre-loved furniture and homeware. Just be sure to get lots of photos from the seller to see the quality of the items before purchasing.
- Last year’s trends: Homeware that was at the peak of the season last year is going to cost less now, especially for post-season holiday decor. Be on the lookout for items on sale or clearance at the end of the season.
- Online deals: If shopping online, look for affiliate discount codes that are often shared through customer referrals and social media influencers. Many brands offer 10%-15% discounts for first-time buyers or for email signup. To avoid the temptation of future purchases from marketing newsletters, you can simply unsubscribe from the email once you’ve got your items.
Pricing information was gathered on May 13, 2021, for a set list of home essentials from eight of the top home stores in the U.S. For each item, we used the “most popular” filters on the websites to get the price data for the items with the highest interest from consumers.
TJ Maxx and Marshalls were originally included in the analysis but had to be removed from the final dataset as they lacked many items other stores had, making it impossible to create a comparison. Popular stores were chosen based on their estimated website traffic and social media metrics to understand how in-demand they were to American consumers.
The following items were analyzed in each brand using the exact wording below to bring up relevant search results. The “most popular” filter was then applied. Some items were not analyzed if they did not appear on every website (e.g., shower caddy, shoe tray, drawer organizer).
- Queen bed sheets (with pillow sheets)
- Queen bed frame
- Curtains (1 pair)
- Pillows (2)
- Wall mirror
- Storage boxes (3)
- Four-drawer chest
- Desk chair
- Three-tier shelf
- Floor lamp
- Bathroom mirror
- Shower curtain
- Soap dish
- Bath rug
- Regular size towel (2)
- Hand towel
- Two-tier shoe rack
- Storage bench (3 cubes)
- Dinner plates (4)
- Mugs (4)
- Bowls (2)
- Cutlery set
- Dish rack
- Wall shelf
- Two-seater couch
- Singular armchair
- Media center
- Indoor plant pot (1)
- Dining table
- Dining chairs (4)
- Coffee table
Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.