When you rent furniture from a furniture rental company, it's important to understand that the pieces are not brand new.
The question you should be asking your furniture rental company is not, "How new is the furniture?" but rather, "How well do you clean your furniture?"
The cleaning process is what really matters and what makes the difference between a good furniture rental experience and a catastrophe.
What happens if rental furniture isn't properly cleaned?
To be frank, rental furniture has been sat on, slept on, eaten on, and just plain lived on. That doesn't mean you shouldn't rent furniture; it just means you should make sure your furniture rental company is properly cleaning and disinfecting their furniture. If they're not, you could be dealing with bed bugs, odors, bacteria, pet dander, and stains.
As far as we're concerned, if you're paying for rental furniture, those are the last types of things you should be dealing with.
The proper way to clean and maintain rental furniture
Inspect each piece of furniture
When a customer returns their rental furniture, the rental company will inspect it for stains, scratches, rips, and any other damages before returning it to inventory or delivering it to another customer.
One of the most important but often neglected aspects of inspecting furniture is checking for bed bugs. Unfortunately, many companies are not proactive about checking for and preventing bed bugs. They assume that unless a bed bug infestation has been reported, they don't need to check for them. If you ever talk to a furniture rental company that operates under that policy, you should run the other way.
Steam, vacuum, dust and polish furniture
All furniture needs to be cleaned, but rental furniture should be cleaned especially thoroughly. In order for all furniture pieces to be cleaned well, cleaners should assume that it's been through the worst. Things like wine stains or dog hair are obvious, but there is also dirt below the surface that can't be easily seen and that will cause odors.
Ask your furniture rental company what they do about fabric stains, dirt, and odors. The more proactive and thorough their cleaning process is, the more effective they will be in preventing dirt and odor from building up on furniture items as they're passed from one renter to the next.
Keep a record of the furniture's lifecycle
Rental furniture has a limited lifespan, and it's much shorter than the lifespan of furniture that belongs to a regular homeowner. Why? Because moving furniture from a warehouse to a moving truck, to an apartment, and finally back to a warehouse every few months results in a lot of wear and tear.
Even though renters should not expect rental furniture to be in perfect condition, there is a level of quality that is realistic. Every rental furniture company has a different standard, though. Since it's impossible to establish a concrete standard such as a certain number of scratches on a table or the percentage of fade on a couch, it probably won't help you much to ask a rental furniture company what their standard of furniture quality is.
A better way to determine how well a company will maintain their rental furniture is to evaluate the furniture rental company itself. How much emphasis do they put on customer satisfaction? If they're more concerned with efficiency than customer experience, they may not work as hard to make sure you're pleased with the cleanliness and quality of your rental furniture.
Store furniture in a safe environment
The best environment for storing furniture is in a dry place that's protected from direct sunlight. If rental furniture is stored in a humid place, the furniture will begin to absorb moisture and smell musty. If it's exposed to too much sunlight, it will fade.
Additionally, in a big warehouse where there's foot traffic and heavy machinery, furniture can get dirty and dusty if it's not covered with plastic or some other type of furniture cover. Don't be afraid to ask a furniture rental company where they store their furniture to get an idea of what type of condition it will be in when you get it.
Our final furniture tip
At the end of the day, the important thing is that you talk to your furniture rental company and get a full understanding of how they do business and what their quality standards are before signing any contracts. That's the best way to ensure that you're satisfied with the furniture you rent!