Furniture can last several decades, and there's an entire industry devoted to restoring vintage pieces. But this doesn't mean all furniture will hold up that long, especially without being tinkered with, carefully refinished and potentially reupholstered by a professional.
Items like household linens and mattresses should be swapped out at least every handful of years. But seating, tables and storage units often outlast their manufacturer warranties. Of course, wear and tear isn't the only reason you might want to spring for new pieces. Styles evolve, tastes change, and people have kids, get pets and move into homes that may be bigger or smaller than before.
So how long does furniture last, typically? And how often should you buy new furniture? The answers to these questions depend on the type, material, placement and how heavily it was used. Keep reading for detailed insight into furniture lifespans, guidance on replacing various furnishings around the home and thoughtful tips for refreshing your space.
Replacing Living Room Furniture
Knowing when to replace living room furniture isn't always cut and dry. As noted, the lifespan depends on the material, usage and overall quality of the piece. Find a breakdown of how long couches, chairs, coffee tables and side tables usually last and how to determine whether they're on their last leg.
How Long Do Couches Last?
Sofas last from seven to 20 years, though most cap out at roughly 15. The same goes for loveseats, sectionals and sleepers. Couches with solid wood frames (even better if it's kiln-dried) and reinforced joinery hold up the longest. Genuine leather upholstery has a longer lifespan than fabric.
Signs Your Couch Needs to Be Replaced
If your couch makes a creaking noise or feels wobbly when you sit on it, it could mean the frame is failing. Flat or sagging cushions, stained upholstery, tears, holes or a lingering odor are other red flags. Lastly, if your sofa is simply uncomfortable or outdated, it's worth investing in a new one.
Not sure what type of couch to get? Here are 35 Stylish and Functional Living Room Sofa Ideas to get your wheels turning.
How Long Do Fabric Chairs Last?
Fabric-upholstered chairs can last just as long as couches — often seven to 15 years. (You'll generally get a few more years with leather upholstery.) Designs with solid wood frames and dense cushions typically last a bit longer.
Signs Your Fabric Chair Needs to Be Replaced
The same rules of thumb for replacing couches apply to fabric chairs. A rickety frame, uneven legs, a finicky recline function, stains, rips, holes and funky smells you can't get rid of are all signs a chair is past its prime.
When you're ready to get a new one, explore these Living Room Accent Chair Ideas for inspiration.
How Long Do Coffee Tables Last?
Coffee tables can last anywhere from five to 25 years and sometimes longer. Since this piece of furniture doesn't need to support body weight, there's no reason a high-quality design wouldn't survive for one or two decades. However, cheaper models made of MDF (medium-density fiberboard) or particle board will show signs of wear much sooner.
Signs Your Coffee Table Needs to Be Replaced
Aside from children occasionally using them as makeshift play structures, coffee tables don't bear much weight. Most of their deterioration is in the form of cup rings, sun fading or shoddy construction merely wearing down. As the centerpiece of every living room, your coffee table should complement the rest of your furnishings.
And if you're short on space, something with built-in storage might be useful.
Here are 27 Ideas for Decorating a Coffee Table in Your Living Room.
How Long Do Side Tables Last?
Like coffee tables, the lifespan of living room side tables is roughly five to 25 years. Inexpensive options will wear down sooner, and solid wood designs are generally the most durable.
Signs Your Side Table Needs to Be Replaced
Stubborn cup rings, a faded finish and a wobbly frame are tip-offs that your side table needs to be replaced. Like chairs, uneven legs are another telltale sign. You might also just want a different style, a larger surface or something with a drawer.
Check out these 33 Side Table Decor Ideas for tips and inspiration.
Living Room Refresh: Tips and Considerations
When you upgrade living room furniture, prioritize quality and versatility, especially for the main pieces. Sofas and chairs that are expertly crafted with solid wood frames and leather or performance fabric upholstery will last the longest.
And if your seating has to withstand one or two decades of use, you'll be glad to have neutral designs that work with your evolving decor style. For smaller and less expensive pieces, like coffee tables, side tables and media consoles, you might opt for a statement design you can swap out every few years.
If you don't like hanging out or hosting guests in your living room, it's probably due for a refresh. Of course, there are many ways to breathe new life into the space other than replacing the furniture. Consider an area rug, curtains, new art, wallpaper, large mirrors, light fixtures, decorative pillows or throws.
These blogs offer a deeper dive into sprucing up your indoor gathering space:
Replacing Bedroom Furniture
It can be tough to know exactly when to replace furniture in your bedroom. As with living room furnishings, the lifespan of each piece depends on the material and overall quality. Keep reading to learn how long bed frames, nightstands and dressers last, along with insight into replacing mattresses, bedding and pillows.
How Long Do Bed Frames Last?
Bed frames can last anywhere from five to 20 years. As with living room furniture, beds with solid kiln-dried wood frames will generally have the longest lifespan. Metal frames can last 10 to 15 years, but they're more inclined to become wobbly over time.
Signs Your Bed Frame Needs to Be Replaced
One of the main things that ends up wearing down a bed frame is when it bears more than its weight limit, including the sleepers' body weight and the mattress. If the frame is creaking, shaky or visibly broken, it's time to get a new one.
Upholstery that's stained, torn or a material or color you don't like is good enough reason to get a new bed. And for many people, getting a new bed frame is about upgrading to a larger size.
Read our blog for Bed Frame Ideas and tips for choosing a new one.
How Long Do Nightstands Last?
Similar to living room end tables, nightstands can last anywhere from five to 25 years. Cheaper designs made of MDF or particle board will need to be replaced sooner.
Signs Your Nightstand Needs to Be Replaced
Permanent cup rings, unstable legs, chipped paint or a faded finish are signs you need a new nightstand. Mismatched designs can definitely work, but consider getting two of the same for a more symmetrical look. Some people upgrade for the sake of a larger surface, a drawer or built-in shelves.
These Nightstand Decor Ideas and Tips will help get your gears spinning.
How Long Do Dressers Last?
Dressers usually last 10 to 20 years. Cheaper materials, poor ball bearings and an overburdened weight capacity will often make a chest of drawers wear down sooner rather than later.
Signs Your Dresser to Be Replaced
Peeling paint, a wobbly base and finicky drawers or knobs that frequently come loose are signs your dresser needs to be replaced. Further, if it seems like it tips forward slightly when full or simply isn't big enough for all your clothes, you might want to spring for a new one.
A dresser is a must-have for many people. Here are more Bedroom Furniture Essentials to explore.
How Long Do Mattresses Last?
Most mattresses last seven to 10 years. Regularly rotating or flipping a high-quality mattress may help maximize its lifespan. Box springs last about 10 years, but most modern mattresses don't need one.
Signs Your Mattress Needs to Be Replaced
Sagging, uneven support, permanent stains and stubborn odors are signs a mattress needs to be replaced. If you have trouble falling asleep, toss and turn at night, often wake up in pain or with stiff muscles or have worsened indoor allergies while in bed, it's probably time to get a new mattress.
And as with bed frames, sleeping with a partner or moving into a larger space are good reasons to upgrade.
Find out How to Donate, Recycle and Dispose of Old Mattresses in our blog. Then check out our Mattress Size and Dimensions Guide.
How Long Does Bedding Last?
If you use the same bedding every night, it'll last two or three years. But if you swap yours out seasonally or each week on laundry day, you can expect it to hold up about twice as long. Fabrics loomed from long-staple fibers tend to last the longest, and they even get softer over time.
These articles provide detailed insight into the high-quality bedding materials you’ll find at Parachute:
Fabric and Bedding Materials Guide
Sateen: Know Your Bedding Like a Designer
Brushed Cotton: Know Your Bedding Like a Designer
Percale: Know Your Bedding Like a Designer
Linen: Know Your Bedding Like a Designer
Signs Your Bedding Needs to Be Replaced
Bed linens with tears, holes or frayed edges are probably on their last leg. If you get night sweats or overheat while you sleep, you're wise to choose a more breathable fabric. Many sleepers also look for new bedding if their allergies worsen, or simply if they’re feeling blah about their bedroom.
Learn more about How Often to Replace Sheets, and find out How to Donate, Recycle and Reuse Old Bedding in our blog.
How Long Do Bed Pillows Last?
Bed pillows generally last about two years. As with mattresses, difficulty sleeping and waking up with pain or stiffness are signs you need to replace your pillow. Allergies are a big red flag with pillios too, since dust mites can take up residence in old pillows and make your symptoms worse.
See our blog for tips on How to Choose the Right Pillow.
Bedroom Refresh: Tips and Considerations
Your best bet is to choose high-quality bedroom furniture with a versatile aesthetic. That way, your investment will last longer, and your base pieces will continue to work with evolving decor trends and your changing preferences.
Aside from furniture, you can refresh your sleeping quarters with new bedding, decorative Euro pillows, throw blankets, a few plants, a simple bench at the foot of the bed or an accent wall with a bold paint color or patterned wallpaper. Rearranging the layout of your bedroom can also give it a new feel.
These articles offer specific tips and ideas for revamping your bedroom:
Replacing Furniture Around the Home
To refresh your home, consider replacing the furniture in your dining room, home office and potentially your child's bedroom.
How Long Do Dining Tables Last?
Dining tables can last quite a while — sometimes two or three decades. However, inexpensive models might need to be replaced as often as every five years. Uneven legs, permanent discoloration and burns or cup rings may signal the end of a table's lifespan. If yours doesn't comfortably seat all family members or frequent guests, a larger table might be in order.
Go above and beyond at your next dinner party with these Table Linen Styling Tips.
How Long Do Dining Chairs Last?
Dining chairs can last 10 to 15 years. They tend to wear down quicker when the weight capacity is exceeded. If the legs are uneven, the upholstery is beyond repair or the chairs are just uncomfortable, consider getting a new set.
See our New Home Checklist for a roundup of essentials to buy or replace when moving in.
How Long Do Desks Last?
Most desks last a maximum of 15 years. Uneven legs that make the whole thing tip back and forth are just plain annoying and could pose a risk for your computer falling off. If you need a larger surface, extra storage, an adjustable height or smart features like a built-in USB port or a cord-management system, it might be worth investing in a new desk.
Is your workstation part of a multi-use space? Check out these 29 Home Office/Guest Bedroom Ideas.
How Long Do Office Chairs Last?
An office chair will last 10 years, give or take, depending on the design and how often it's used. If you need better lumbar support, armrests, a taller back, an adjustable height, a wheeled base, a spinning design or something that complements the rest of the space, a new desk chair might be a wise choice.
Our blog has tips for Creating Your Ideal Space to Work From Home.
How Long Do Cribs Last?
A high-quality crib should hold up until your child is ready to transition out of it. Some are designed to grow with your child, meaning they convert into a toddler bed. While the same crib can be used for your next child in many cases, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission says not to use cribs older than a decade.
When Should Your Baby Make the Transition From Crib to Toddler Bed? Read our article for insight.
How Long Do Dog Beds Last?
Dog beds don't last as long as other types of furniture — or even household linens, for that matter. Even if it's machine-washable, replacing yours about once a year will help prevent pet dander buildup and that distinct canine smell.
Should Dogs Be Allowed on Furniture? Find out why we think it's best for pups to have their own beds.
High Quality Furniture and Free Styling Consultations From Parachute
If a house refresh is on the horizon, Parachute is a great place to start your search for high-quality furniture, home goods and decor. When you browse the collections, you'll find thoughtfully crafted bed frames, nightstands, nursery furniture, bedding, inserts, rugs, curtains, throws and decorative pillows — to name just a few.
Need personalized tips and recommendations? You can also set up a complimentary meeting with an expert stylist. Schedule your free virtual consultation today!
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