First Home Essentials: Flat Must Buys Every New Renter Needs!

Congratulations, you’ve got your first flat in London! I’ve moved into a lot of new apartments and houses in London. I can now say I’ve got the first home essentials more or less figured out. Here’s everything you need to buy for your first apartment in London. This article has the most budget-friendly first flat essentials every new renter needs (and leaves out the junk that’s unnecessary!).

This article contains 75+ first home essentials for new renters in London. It’ll help you figure out what essentials you need to buy for your first flat in London (and what things are unnecessary!).

first home essentials

Affiliate disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a commission if you purchase through my link, at no extra cost to you. Please read my full disclosure here.

Note: As always, I’ve included links for both U.S. and UK Amazon, in case you’re ordering before you arrive in London or using this list for your first apartment elsewhere! In some cases, I couldn’t find a good U.S. option I’d feel comfortable recommending, but I did my best!

I’ve also, generally gone with what I think is the best value for money option for each of the recommended items. Basically, moving is expensive, so these are the things I’d recommend if you’re trying to spend as little as possible. I know they’re not always the most exciting design-wise, but let me know if you’d like me to do a separate list of the cutest (but still decently cost-effective!) items.

Bedroom First Rental Essentials

You definitely need:

Mattress topper

A mattress topper is my top first flat essential every new renter needs. Mattresses in London rentals are NOTORIOUSLY horrible and landlords basically never replace them.

I got one from Argos years ago which makes my bed SO MUCH more comfortable. I’ve found a similar one on Amazon here:

Duvet

You need a decent duvet obviously. Particularly if your windows don’t have double glazing, it might get super cold in your house in the winter.

Here’s a super similar one to mine on from Amazon:

Pillows

Pillows are pretty self-explanatory. These ones are a good value. Some places do come with pillows and duvets, but I personally would rather not use someone else’s bedding as I think it’s kinda gross.

These are the ones I’d personally go with from Amazon (I got my pillows from Argos and, honestly, they’re not great):

Sheets

If I’m being honest, my sheets are from Tesco and I bought them when I first moved here—they’ve lasted me FOREVER. I’d recommend just getting a cheap set of cotton sheets to start out with.

Here are similar ones from Amazon:

Hamper

This wicker hamper is super similar to what I have. It’s cute and can hold a couple weeks’ worth of laundry (for those of us who like to procrastinate):

Plastic organiser for extra storage

Storage is notoriously short in flats and houses in London, so it’s useful to have some extra. I have this plastic organiser which I keep in my wardrobe for extra organisation.

Here’s two like the one that I have:

Under-bed storage bins

If you’ve got space under your bed for storage, you NEED under-bed storage bins. I keep basically EVERYTHING under my bed.

Here’s some similar to what I have from Amazon:

Command hooks

Command hooks are one of my favourite inventions in the entire world for renters. They’re super useful for storage, and won’t leave any deposit-ruining marks on the wall.

I have these ones:

And these ones for my shower:

You might need:

Full-length Mirror

My last flat didn’t have a full-length mirror, so I bought one similar to the ones below and affixed it to the back of my bathroom door with command strips. The best news is, there were no marks on the wall when I moved out!

Clothes Horse

Some of my flats have come with a clothes drying rack / airer, others haven’t. These ones are solid, space-saving choices.

Hangers

Again, there may be hangers in your wardrobe when you arrive in a new flat, but there probably won’t be enough. In particular, I like velvet hangers as they keep your clothes on without damaging them.

I like these ones from Amazon:

First Home Essentials for Your Kitchen

Some kitchens in London rentals are pretty well-stocked, while others are completely empty. That being said, there are a few things that you should buy no matter what.

You definitely need:

Brita jug

The water in London honestly doesn’t taste great, so I’ve been using a Brita filter jug for ages.

You can buy it on Amazon here:

We use the Amazon brand replacement cartridges which you can buy here:

Pots and pans

Okay, so there may already be some in your flat or house, but they’re probably all scratched up and gross.

Here’s a good starter set from Amazon:

Spices

Okay, so you’ll need at least a few spices to get you started before you do a proper shop.

I’d recommend getting:

Salt

🛒 Buy on Amazon Fresh UK

🛒 Buy from Whole Foods

Pepper

🛒 Buy on Amazon Fresh UK

🛒 Buy from Whole Foods

Garlic powder

🛒 Buy on Amazon Fresh UK

🛒 Buy from Whole Foods

All purpose seasoning

🛒 Buy on Amazon Fresh UK

🛒 Buy from Whole Foods

You can buy them on Amazon Fresh UK (or Whole Foods in the U.S.) using the links above.

Sponges

🛒 Buy on Amazon Fresh UK

🛒 Buy from Whole Foods

Washing up liquid

🛒 Buy on Amazon Fresh UK

🛒 Buy from Whole Foods

Steel wool

🛒 Buy on Amazon Fresh UK

🛒 Buy from Amazon U.S.

Bin bags

🛒 Buy on Amazon Fresh UK

🛒 Buy from Whole Foods

Laundry pods

Here are the ones I use, which you can buy on Amazon Fresh:

🛒 Buy on Amazon Fresh UK

Here’s what my parents use in the states:

🛒 Buy from Whole Foods

Tea towels

I like these ones from Amazon which are similar to the ones we have. I recommend these ones because they’re actually absorbent. I’ve got some from Sainsbury’s that look nice, but don’t actually dry your hands or dishes well.

You might need:

Drying rack for dishes

I’d recommend one of these from Amazon:

Crockery

The plates and bowls and mugs we have are similar to these from Amazon basics.

The U.S. set doesn’t have mugs, but you can buy some similar ones here:

Cutlery

You can find a decent set on Amazon here: