Home Essentials

As Hsuan and I work on furnishing our new home, I have done countless hours of research on various kitchenware, furniture, electronics, bedding, etc. This laborious process is a night-and-day change from those freshman dorm shopping days when Bed Bath and Beyond was pretty much the one-stop shop—along with CVS for those daily essentials. Even after college, moving into the partially furnished apartment in China, one IKEA trip was all it took.

And now just a few years later, I’m scouring the Internet for the “perfect” mattress, air purifier, vacuum, TV, pots and pans, and more for our needs and budget. Quite early in my search, I realized I would have to separate my wish list items into “realistic” and “wedding registry.” I discovered so many brands and products that I dream of owning but could never justify purchasing myself, including All-Clad cookware ($1,000+), a Naturepedic organic mattress ($3,000), a Medley sofa with natural latex ($4,000), a German-made Sebo vacuum ($500+), a Molekule air purifier ($800) or IQAir ($900), Brooklinen sheet bundle ($200+)—man, it adds up.

So while we are still looking for slightly more reasonably priced couches, TVs, rugs, etc., I figured it’s time to start sharing what we have already purchased. Hope this is useful! (Obligatory disclaimer: My choices may not fit you and your needs. Further research is recommended, especially on certain health claims.)

MATTRESS
Company: Flexus Comfort https://www.flexuscomfort.com/
Product: QUADRA-Flex® Pocket Coil Latex Mattress
Features: Queen; medium firmness; 100% Natural Talalay Latex
Price: $976.50 with summer promotion (originally $1,085)
Why I Chose It: Under $1,000; not too firm (Talalay latex is less firm than Dunlop); the latex is all natural and biodegradable, making it better for our health and the environment; comes directly from the manufacturer, cutting retail markup costs and avoiding suspiciously excessive social media marketing.
Research: Testing a latex mattress at a Naturepedic store; Reddit’s r/mattress; themattressunderground.com

Austin Air HealthMate Plus Junior® Air Purifier

AIR PURIFIER
Company: Austin Air https://austinair.com/
Product:
HealthMate Plus Junior® Air Purifier (A250 HM250)
Features:
Removes various gases, chemicals, VOC’s and formaldehyde
Price:
$418.50 via Clean Air Haven (originally $465)
Why I Chose It:
While Dyson’s three-in-one heater, fan, and air purifier looks cool and is a great idea, I wanted function over form and didn’t feel the heater and fan were necessary. Above all, I wanted a non-ionizer air purifier (ionizers may produce ozone gas) that removed chemicals and VOC’s, which are harmful gases that may be present in new furniture. “Junior” is cheaper and enough for our small bedroom; portable for moving into living room when needed.
Research:
Reddit; review sites; article rankings

VACUUM
Company: Miele https://www.mieleusa.com/
Product: Compact C1 Pure Suction Vacuum in White
Features: Canister vacuum; includes a combination rug and floor tool ideal for both hard floors and low to no pile carpet
Price: $339.19 with 20% Bed Bath and Beyond coupon (originally $399.99)
Why I Chose It: Compact and nice design; good for hardwood floors; designed by Miele, a German brand known for quality (the BBB version is made in China); most affordable of Miele vacuums; wanted to avoid Dyson.
Research: Reddit, Google

As for sheets, although I was close to purchasing the “Internet’s favorite sheets” from Brooklinen, I ended up finding some “organic” sheets from a brand even Google couldn’t find from a Burlington outlet. It claims to be STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX®, but I can’t find it anywhere online except for on Burlington’s website. I suppose in my rush to find something while out with my mom, I just didn’t care that much and maybe when these sheets wear out, I will consider reputable, actually certified organic brands.

“The Dutchess” by Great Jones

As for pots and pans…honestly all the trips to Marshall’s, TJ Maxx, Home Goods, etc. have been mostly fruitless, having bought a sub-par Calphalon stainless steel pan that likely won’t even work with our induction stovetops. I keep going back to Great Jones ($395 for the set), and I may just ended up getting at least one or two of their products.

If all this hasn’t already given you a headache, congrats. Let the search continue…