One of the best things about moving is the process of turning a new house into home, sweet home. Beijing has a huge selection of decoration and renovation stores, not to mention sprawling local markets. To get you started, we’ve picked out the best places to buy home essentials like bedding, houseplants, drinking water, appliances, and more. Happy nesting!
Air pollution is arguably the biggest concern for expat families living in Beijing. Rather than getting bogged down with scary figures, here’s what you can do to combat poor air quality: Wear a face mask like the N95, Respro, or Totobobo (available at Jenny Lou’s, World Health Store, and Torana Clean Air Center). When you cycle, select houseplants from NASA’s list of best greenery for improving indoor air quality (see below for more information), and consider investing in a HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Arresting) air purifier for the house.
US-based Alen is one of three main brands of air purifiers bought by expat families in Beijing, the others being Blueair (sold at Torana Clean Air Center) and IQAir. The company has two air purifier models: the Paralda HEPA Air Purifier for RMB 4,980 and the A375UV Multi-Gas HEPA Air Purifier for RMB 5,980. Alen’s products conform to the
European Union’s RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances) directive and carry a lifetime warranty.
The flagship line of Switzerland’s IQAir is its HealthPro series. The company’s best-selling model is the HealthPro 250 (which retails for RMB 14,980), but offers a wide range of models for both residential and commercial use.
Torana Clean Air Center
Torana Clean Air Center is the official distributor for Sweden’s Blueair air purifiers; units range from RMB 1,888 for single-room models to RMB 10,782 for large-scale models. Torana also sells Stadler Form humidifiers, Totobobo cycling masks, and replacement filters.
Appliances and Electronics
With so many electronics and home appliance chains around the city, you won’t miss Western retailers like Best Buy for a second. Given
Beijing’s arid climate, it’s a good idea to invest in a decent quality humidier (加水器). Most apartments aren’t equipped with an oven, so consider getting a larger toaster oven (电烤箱) if you like to bake.
Bainaohui is a one-stop shopping destination (a cluster of buildings) for all things electronic: printers, game consoles, cameras, phones, laptops, accessories – you name it. Prices will be a bit higher than at Zhongguancun E-Mall in Haidian District, but the selection is pretty much the same and the mall is more conveniently located.
Along with Suning and Gome, Dazhong is one of the biggest appliance and electronics retailers in the city. You’ll find TVs, air conditioners, refrigerators, washing machines, mobile phones, digital cameras, computers, speakers, desk lamps, waffle irons, and everything in between.
In addition to home appliances, Gome stocks big-ticket electronics like computers and digital cameras, as well as toys, home textiles, portable barbecues, cleaning supplies, gym equipment, and car accessories. Order directly from Gome’s website or stop by one of their stores.
You’ll find everything you need here, from steam cleaners to toaster ovens and HDMI cables to mobile phones. To buy from Suning, you’ll have to become a member; simply bring your passport and go to the service desk (usually located at the back of the store on the ground floor), then fill out the necessary paperwork.
Your skin rests against the bed sheets every night, so consider investing in higher quality materials for comfort and peace of mind. In Chinese, bed sheets are called chuangdan (床单), pillows are zhentou (枕头), comforters are beizi (被子), duvet covers are beitao (被套), mattresses are chuangdian (床垫), and cushions are dianzi (垫子).
With 400 stores throughout China, US-based bedding retailer Aussino boasts a high-profile brand partnership with actress Vicky Zhao (赵薇). Their product lines include Aussino Kids, Aussino Babies, and Aussino Inspire with bold patterns that are perfect for teens.
Twenty-five percent of the cotton used for Ikea’s textiles is grown through the Better Cotton Initiative, which helps farmers in India and Pakistan maximize profits while conserving resources. It’s not organic, but it’s a step in the right direction. Ikea sells bed linen, quilts, pillows, bedspreads, blankets, and throws. A queen size duvet cover set will run you about RMB 249 to RMB 399.
This stylish Japanese chain sells duvet blankets, towels, pillows, and duvet covers in neutral brown, beige, navy, gray, taupe, and white. Bedding materials include washed cotton (水洗棉), Xinjiang cotton
(新疆棉), a cotton linen mix (混纺柔软棉), and cotton jersey (柔软拉毛). A 210cm x 210cm duvet cover (slightly smaller than queen size) at Muji costs RMB 325 to RMB 550 depending on the material.
Muxiyuan Fabric Market
The area south of Muxiyuan Qiao in Fengtai District abounds with fabric markets; one of the biggest is Jingdu Qingfangcheng (京都轻纺城). Muxiyuan’s labyrinthine stalls sell a huge array of fabrics (including silk, cashmere, lace, and cotton), but it might take you a while to find the nice stuff. You can also get clothing or bedding made on the spot. To get a queen size duvet cover made, you’ll need about 6.5 to 7m of fabric. Don’t forget to haggle.
Because of the city’s flatness, few places are better-suited to cycling than Beijing. Weaving between the reckless bengbengche (motorcycle taxis) and honking city buses is a bit intimidating at first, but you’ll soon find yourself zipping along happily on your bike. Save your voice and buy yourself a bike bell; the strident ringing is surprisingly effective for clearing crowds. And stay safe: wear a helmet!
BikesBeijing is an English language website dedicated to bicycles and scooters. The site includes a small online shop, a forum, and a
classifieds section where members can post “for sale” and wanted ads. BikesBeijing delivers all its wares within five days, and customers can choose to pay at the door or via bank transfer. Alternatively, you can pick up your order at their Wangjing office. Currently, the website offers Dahon, Giant, and Oyama bicycles for RMB 999 to RMB 4,449, as well as electric and gas scooters for RMB 2,299 to RMB 8,999.
Giant is a Taiwanese bicycle manufacturer with more than 10,000 stores in 50 countries. High-performance road bicycles and mountain bicycles make up the bulk of its selection (ranging from RMB 4,198 to above RMB 10,000), but some shops also carry “lifestyle” bicycles starting from RMB 1,598.
This French sports chain carries affordable gear for a wide variety of sports: cycling, hiking, swimming, basketball, mountaineering, rock climbing, judo, and more. Decathlon carries leisure, mountain, and folding bicycles ranging from RMB 599 to RMB 3,499. To preview the store’s wares, visit its website at www.decathlon.com.cn.
Whether your taste runs to Western-style pieces from Ikea or Chinese antiques, Beijing’s got a furniture market for you. A word of caution when it comes to antiques: China abounds with fakes, so consult a reputable dealer like Lily Quan of Lily’s Antiques if it’s the real deal you’re after.
This warehouse-style chain sells affordable modern furniture from a variety of domestic brands, including trundle beds and bunk beds for kids. The showroom is somewhat haphazardly divided by brand, so set aside plenty of time for shopping.
Gaobeidian Furniture Street
Just east of Sihui, Gaobeidian Furniture Street is rife with warehouses that contain Qing and Ming reproductions. Formerly known as the antiques village of Beijing, Gaobeidian is now a more commercialized area. If you can’t find what you’re looking for in the huge selection of bed frames, chairs, benches, tables, drums, and more, the vendors can custom build furniture for you.
QM Furniture (also known as Qumei) offers modern Danish-designed furniture at Chinese prices. Recently, the company introduced a line of contemporary Chinese furniture for the living room, dining room, bedroom, and home office.
Founded in 1999, Lily’s Antiques has built a reputation as the furniture dealer with the best service in town. In addition to high-quality Chinese antique reproductions, Lily’s Antiques carries Pakistani rugs, Indian trunks, Italian sofas, Brazilian coffee tables, and more. The centerpiece of the store is a 6,000sqm showroom in Gaobeidian Furniture Street. There’s also “Lily’s Museum,” a showcase of real antique furniture for serious buyers, and “Lily’s Cafe,” a place for shoppers to take a well-deserved break. Furniture generally ranges from RMB 1,000 to RMB 5,000 and includes a one-year guarantee.
This “antiques” market definitely leans to the touristy side, with Qing-style furniture, life-sized terracotta warriors, vintage photographs, porcelain ware, wall scrolls, curios, and more. The vast majority of the items on offer are fakes, so haggle accordingly. The best bargains can be found early on weekend mornings, between 6am and 8.30am.
Radiance is a classy Shunyi-based retailer that sells Chinese furniture, porcelain ware, gifts, lamps, and linen. Their selection of classical Chinese furniture includes both reproductions and real pieces made from elm, camphor, willow, fir, pine, and more. Find screens, boxes, trunks, cabinets, tables, chairs, and curios.
Houseplants are a cheap and easy way to cleanse indoor air of toxins like ammonia, carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, and benzene. According
to NASA, the top ten plants are areca palm (槟榔树), peace lily (和平百合), Boston fern (波士顿蕨), dwarf date palm (矮海枣), dracanea (龙血树), rubber plant (橡胶树), philodendron (蔓绿绒), bamboo palm (雪佛里椰子), ficus alii (亚里垂榕), and lady palm (筋头竹). Look for them at any of Beijing’s huge flower markets, such as the Liangma Flower Market, Laitai Flower Market, or Huaxiang Flower Market. Haggle for a lower price if you’re buying in bulk and pick up black soil, fertilizer, gardening tools, and seed packets while you’re at it. Some, like the Liangma Flower Market, deliver straight to your door and offer home decoration items as well.
Is your house looking a bit “blah”? Repainting the walls is an easy way to transform the look and feel of a room. If you don’t feel like re-doing the whole apartment, paint some eye-catching color accents instead. Look for zero-VOC (零VOC) or low-VOC (低VOC) paints, which contain fewer or no volatile organic compounds harmful to the environment and human health.
This home renovation chain has a huge selection of paint, tiles, doors, windows, wallpaper, wood flooring, carpeting, light fixtures, and more.
French-owned Leroy Merlin has a huge warehouse store that carries decoration, building, renovation, and gardening supplies. Its selection of imported low-VOC paints includes brands like Dulux (Netherlands), Tikkurila (Sweden), and PPG (US).
In addition to painting supplies, Orient Home carries both foreign and domestic brands of furniture, bedding, gardening equipment, kitchen appliances, household cleaners, lamps, and more. It sells the low-VOC Master’s Mark paint line from PPG, which retails for RMB 550 for a 5.42L can.
Sihui Jiancai Cheng
This massive renovation market is filled with shops selling doors, tiles, paints, stone slabs, kitchen counters, electric wires, and everything you need for remodelling.
Clean drinking water is another going concern in Beijing; tap water is fit to brush your teeth and wash dishes with, but not much else. Most people buy large bottled jugs of water from Nestle, Wahaha, or Yanjing (available at your local convenience store), but many families also resort to water filters installed on kitchen taps. Some apartment compounds offer the option of having a separate drinkable water tap for a monthly fee. Since Beijing’s water tends to be on the hard side, you might also consider getting a water filter for your showerhead.
Aquasana is a home water filtration company from the US. They make drinking water filters, shower filters, and whole house filtration systems. The company’s countertop water filter costs RMB 1,550, the undercounted version costs RMB 2,320, and a shower filter costs RMB 1,100. You’ll also periodically need to buy replacement cartridges, which cost RMB 550-580 depending on the water filtration system.
World Health Store
This health store chain offers one-stop shopping for green products like soap nuts, organic food, and natural health cleaners. You’ll also find Blueair indoor air filters; Respro, Sportsta, and Techno pollution masks; gym equipment; protein mixes and vitamins; and Aquasana drinking water and shower filters.
1) Mon-Fri 9am-6pm, Sat-Sun 9.30am-6.30pm. 36A Liangma Qiao Lu, Chaoyang District (6432 1125) www.china-ajjj.com 朝阳区亮马桥路36A号; 2) Mon-Fri 9.30am-6.30pm, Sat-Sun 9.30am-7pm. 66 Beixiangbin Lu, Guangshun Beidajie, Chaoyang District (8490 4969) www.china-aijjj.com 朝阳区广顺北大街香宾路66号
(5879 8115) www.alencorpchina.com
Rm 1271, Beijing Bureau of Environmental Protection, Jingchao Building, 5 Nongzhanguan Nanlu, Chaoyang District (400 000 8320 Chinese, 136 5128 5157 English, email@example.com)
1) B1/F, Sanlitun Village, 19 Sanlitun Lu, Chaoyang District (6417 2328) www.aussino.com.cn 朝阳区三里屯路19号三里屯Village地下1层; 2) T119, 1/F, Carrefour, Guangqu Lu, Chaoyang District (5190 9459) www.aussino.com.cn 朝阳区广渠路31号家乐福1楼T119室
Daily 9am-8pm. 10 Chaoyangmenwai Dajie, Chaoyang District (6599 5912) 朝阳区朝阳门外大街10号
Auzhou Kangdu North Gate, Pingcui Xilu, Chaoyang Disrict
(firstname.lastname@example.org) www.bikesbeijing.com 朝阳区朝阳区屏翠西路澳洲康都北门
Dazhong Electronics 大中电器
1) Langjia Yuan, Jianguomenwai Dajie, Chaoyang District (8884 9522) www.dazhongdianqi.com.cn 朝阳区建国门外大街郎家园甲10号; 2) 2 Jiuxian Qiao Lu (next to 798 Art District), Chaoyang District (6431 0883) www.dazhongdianqi.com 朝阳区酒仙桥路2号（798艺术区旁边
1) Mon-Thu 9am-9pm, Fri-Sat 9am-10pm, Sun 9am-9pm. 195 Dongsihuan Lu (southwest corner of Yaowahu Qiao), Chaoyang District (8777 8788) www.decathlon.com.cn 朝阳区东四环北路195号（窑洼湖桥西南角）; 2) Mon-Thu 9am-9pm, Fri-Sat 9am-10pm, Sun 9am-9pm. 66-1 Xiangbin Lu, Laiguangying, Shunyi District (6779 8886) www.decathlon.com.cn 顺义区来广营香香宾路66-1号
Easy Home 居然之家
1) Daily 10am-9pm. 65 Beisihuan Donglu, Chaoyang District (8463 9988) www.juran.com.cn 朝阳区北四环东路65号; 2) Daily 10am-9pm. 106 Dayangfang Lu, Shibali Dian, Chaoyang District (6730 5322) www.juran.com.cn 朝阳区十八里店大羊坊路106号
1) 1 Tianshui Yuan, Chaoyang District (6500 2967) www.giant.com.cn
朝阳区甜水园甲1号; 2) 4 Chongwenmenwai Dajie, Dongcheng District (6511 5490) www.giant.com.cn 东城区崇文门外大街4号
Gaobeidian Furniture Street 高碑店古典家具一条街
Outside Dongsihuan (turn right at the Gaobeidian exit of the
Jingtong Expressway, then go south), Chaoyang District 朝阳区东四环外京通快速路高碑店出口处出来右转往南走
1) Daily 9am-9pm. 17-1 Dongsanhuan Beilu, Chaoyang District (6507 7112) www.gome.com.cn 朝阳区东三环北路17-1号; 2) Daily 9am-9pm. 1 Anding Lu (inside the furniture market at the Olympic Park’s East Gate), Chaoyang District (6492 7734) www.gome.com.cn
Huaxiang Flower Market 花乡花卉市场
South of the Yuquanying Roundabout, Fengtai District (8367 9939) 丰台区玉泉营环岛南侧
Daily 10am-10pm. 1 Taiyanygong Lu, Dongbahe (northwest corner of Siyuan Qiao), Chaoyang District (800 810 5679) 朝阳区东坝河太阳宫路1号（四元桥西北角）
1) 5/F, Household Appliance Area, Youyi Shopping City, 52 Liangmaqiao Lu, Chaoyang District (158 0136 1601, email@example.com) www.iqair-china.com 朝阳区亮马桥路52号燕莎友谊商城5层; 2) 4/F, Europlaza, 99 Yuxiang Lu, Tianzhu, Shunyi District (6457 1922, firstname.lastname@example.org) www.iqair-china.com 顺义区天竺镇裕翔路99号欧陆广场4层 See Directory under Shopping for more locations.
Laitai Flower Market 莱台花卉市场
Mon-Thu 9am-6pm, Fri-Sun 9am-6.30pm. 9 Maizidian Xilu, Chaoyang District (6463 6145) 朝阳区麦子店西路9号
Leroy Merlin 乐华梅兰
Daily 9am-6pm. 1 Linfeng Lu, Fengtai District (6573 8393)
Liangma Flower Market 亮马花卉市场
Daily 8.30am-6.30pm. South bank of Liangma River, 758 Dongsanhuan Beilu, Chaoyang District (6504 2446) 朝阳区东三环北路758号, 燕莎商城南, 亮马河南岸
Lily’s Antiques 华伦古典家具
Daily 8.30am-6pm. 69 Gaobeidian Furniture Street, Chaoyang District (8579 2458) www.lilysantiques.com 朝阳区高碑店家俱一条街69号
1) Mon-Fri 10am-10pm, Sat-Sun 9.30am-10pm. 3/F, Joy City Xidan, 131 Xidan Beidajie, Xicheng District (5971 6248) www.muji.com.cn
西城区西单北大街131号 大悦城3层; 2) Daily 10am-10pm. 3/F, China Central Place, 79 Jianguo Lu, Chaoyang District (5969 5948) www.muji.com.cn 朝阳区建国路79号华贸购物中心3层
Muxiyuan Fabric Market 木樨园纺织品市场
Dahongmen Lu (south of Muxiyuan long-distance bus station), south of Muxiyuan Qiao on South Third Ring Road, Fengtai District 丰台区南三环木樨园桥往南大红门路木樨园长途汽车站南侧
Orient Home 东方家园
1) Daily 9am-9pm. 28 Chaoyang Lu, Chaoyang District (6547 6880) www.ohome.cn 朝阳区朝阳路28号; 2) Daily 9am-9pm. 55 Laiguangying Xilu, Chaoyang District (8495 0800)
Panjiayuan Market 潘家园旧货市场
Mon-Fri 8.30am-6pm, Sat-Sun 4.30am-6pm. West of Panjiayuan Qiao, Chaoyang District (6775 2405) 朝阳区潘家园桥西边
QM Furniture 曲美现代家具
Daily 9am-8pm. 29 Xiaoyun Lu, Chaoyang District (6464 6301) www.qumei.com 朝阳区霄云路29号
Tue-Sun 9am-6pm. 9 Kaifa Jie, Xi Baixinzhuang, Shunyi
District (8049 6400, email@example.com)
Sihui Jiancai Cheng 四惠建材城
Daily 8am-5.30pm. Southeast corner of Sihui Qiao, Chaoyang District (6774 5216) 朝阳区四惠桥东南角
1) Daily 9am-9pm. 12 Chaoyangmenwai Dajie, Chaoyang District (8561 8068) www.suning.com 朝阳区朝阳门外大街12号; 2) Daily 9am-9pm. 5 Balizhuang Dongli, Chaoyang District (6557 9996) www.suning.com 朝阳区八里庄东里5号
Torana Clean Air Center
Daily 10.30am-6.30pm. Unit 308, Pinnacle Plaza, Shunyi District (8046 1091, firstname.lastname@example.org) www.toranacleanair.com
顺义区天竺镇花梨坎村南荣祥广场308室; 2) Daily 10am-
8.30pm. Unit L1-110, 1/F, Europlaza Mall, Shunyi District (8459 0785, email@example.com) www.toranacleanair.com 顺义区天竺镇裕翔路99号欧陆广场L1-110
World Health Store 维衡生
1) Daily 10am-8.30pm (May-Oct), Mon-Fri 10am-8pm, Sat-Sun 10am-7.30pm (Nov-Apr). Rm 2152, North Tower, SOHO Shangdu, 8 Dongda Qiao Lu, Chaoyang District (5900 2209) www.worldhealthstore.com.cn 朝阳区东大桥路8号尚都北塔首层2152; 2) Sun-Thu 10am-8pm, Fri-Sat 10.30am-8.30pm. Rm 9A, B1/F, Euro Plaza, 99 Yuxiang Lu, Tianzhu, Shunyi District (8046 2524)