Rent furniture from John Lewis? Yes, you really can. Here’s the lowdown

John Lewis is testing a furniture rental service with three, six or 12 month periods – plus there’s an option to buy

John Lewis Belgrave sofa
(Image credit: John Lewis)

Do you have to buy the furniture you want for your home? John Lewis reckons the answer is not necessarily. The store has teamed up with product rental marketplace Fat Llama to offer a furniture rental service so you can rent furniture for your home rather than buying everything.

Sofas, dining tables, desks and chairs will be part of the mix that’s on offer with a rental period of three, six or 12 months to choose from. Fall for the furniture and decide you’d like to keep it? You can buy at any time with the payments you’ve made being deducted from the purchase price. This means if you are looking at big ticket items like the best sofas, you can try before you buy.

So, how much does it cost to rent rather than buy? Opt for the Belgrave Mustard Sofa from John Lewis (shown above), for example, and you’ll pay £108 per month if you go for the six month rental period, and £80 a month if you opt for 12 months. The purchase price before the rental payments you’ve made are deducted is £1899.

How about a desk to improve your WFH comfort? Well, the rather lovely John Lewis & Partners + Swoon Franklin Desk (shown below) is £17 per month over six months, £13 per month over 12 months, and costs £450 to buy before rental payments are deducted. 

John Lewis Franklin desk

(Image credit: John Lewis)

Renting is a speedy process. Once you’ve decided what you want, Fat Llama will deliver it within two working days, and the company will help set the furniture up if necessary. Delivery costs £9.99. At the end of your rental period, if you’re not buying the furniture, it’s collected free of charge. Items that are returned will be cleaned and refurbished if necessary before they’re rented out again. Cleaning and any refurbishment is included in what you’ve already paid in rent, as is insurance.

Fancy the idea of getting some stylish pieces for where you live now without the hassle of having to move them when you relocate to your next home? Or dabbling in a trend without commitment? For the moment, the rental service is only on offer in Greater London. John Lewis says that it could be quickly expanded across the UK, though, dependent on demand. All the furniture on offer can be found at Fat Llama.

Will renting rather than buying be a hit? Johnathan Marsh, Partner & Director of Home at John Lewis, says, ‘Attitudes towards renting items and the sharing economy have dramatically shifted in recent years, and we know that renting, reselling items and recycling them is a growing priority for our customers.’

Frequent homemovers among the Real Homes team love the idea, but the rental costs do add up, so our advice is to do your sums to see if it works for you.

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Sarah Warwick
Freelance Editor

Sarah is a freelance journalist and editor writing for websites, national newspapers, and magazines. She’s spent most of her journalistic career specialising in homes – long enough to see fridges become smart, decorating fashions embrace both minimalism and maximalism, and interiors that blur the indoor/outdoor link become a must-have. She loves testing the latest home appliances, revealing the trends in furnishings and fittings for every room, and investigating the benefits, costs and practicalities of home improvement. It's no big surprise that she likes to put what she writes about into practice, and is a serial house revamper. For, Sarah reviews coffee machines and vacuum cleaners, taking them through their paces at home to give us an honest, real life review and comparison of every model.