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Furniture Life Spans: A Guide for When to Replace Your Furniture

Jul 01, 2022

A closeup view of a worn out piece of furniture to show the life span of a sofa.

There are things in your home (e.g., refrigerated foods, beauty products) that you expect to expire or need replacing at some point. But whoever thinks of a major furniture piece having an expiration date? Not many … although you should. Even though your furniture pieces should be solidly built to last for years, they also shouldn’t be purchased under the notion that they will last forever.

In fact, each furniture piece does have a “life expectancy” of anywhere from five to 20 years, although this will vary from piece to piece based on:

  • The piece itself

  • The materials used to make it

  • The quality of those materials

  • Its daily use (life, kids, etc.)

  • How well it has been taken care of

  • Normal wear and tear

So how often should you shop for new furniture? How will you be able to tell when it’s time to replace a piece? We break down the answers for you below with a snapshot of the average life span of some of a home’s most important furnishings.

Couches, Sofas or Sectionals: 7 - 15 Years

A sofa or sectional is usually the most comfortable spot in the room — until it’s not. It’s time to shop for a new one when it starts creaking, the cushions are sagging or uneven and lumbar support becomes a thing of the past. Stained, peeling or ripped upholstery (because, kids and pets) is another sign for replacement (or at the very least, reupholstering).

Upholstered Chairs and Recliners: 7 - 10 Years

The same rules as above apply for upholstered chairs, easy chairs and recliners as well. But, we’ll add one more: If the reclining mechanisms on your chair (or reclining sofa/loveseat) are no longer functioning properly, it’s time to update to something even more comfortable in which to kick back and relax.

Coffee, Side and End Tables: 5 - 10 Years

These tables do more than bookend your living room seating and help display your favorite decorative accessories. They tend to get lots of use — and ultimately wear and tear — from feet, hot coffee cups and water spills. Replace these tables when they become wobbly, look worn, or no longer fit your space or style.

Wood Chairs: 10 - 15 Years

Dining room chairs, rocking chairs or any other chair made primarily out of wood are inherently sturdy and therefore outlast most other furniture items. However, even the sturdiest chair will likely wear out at some point. Wobbly legs and/or wood that is splitting on the seat are two telltale signs it’s time to replace your chair.

Dining Room Table: 10 - 15 Years

If your dining room table is lopsided or otherwise structurally unsound, these are unmistakable signs that you should start shopping for a new one. These issues certainly don’t make family dinnertime enjoyable, and they raise the risk of fragile dinnerware and glassware falling to the floor and breaking.

While not a sign of breakdown, it also makes sense to replace your dining room table as your needs warrant. You may want a larger or smaller table to more comfortably fit a room or accommodate the number of diners currently residing in your home.

Bed Frame: 15 – 20 Years

This one is kind of a no-brainer: If your bed frame has begun to squeak and creak, it’s time for a new one. Not only is creaking a sign of age, but it’s just plain annoying — especially when you’re trying to sleep — and it’s only going to get worse. Another good time to consider a new frame is when you need to accommodate a growing child’s need for a bigger bed (i.e., from a toddler bed to a twin bed to a queen bed).

If it’s been a while since you bought a new bed frame, no worries — we got you! Check out different types of bed frame styles in our article here.

Mattress: 5 – 10 Years

As one of the most-used furniture pieces in your bedroom — if not your entire home — your mattress is something you’ll want to keep a close eye on. Five to 10 years is the typical life span of a traditional or memory foam mattress, but don’t wait that long if signs of wear begin to show up before then. Sagging, strong odors or a lack of support could mean it’s time for a replacement now.

Sometimes these issues aren’t completely obvious, however. If you’re not sure, here are five simple signs that can help you decide if it’s time to go mattress shopping sooner than later.

Chest of Drawers or Dresser: 10 - 20 Years

Hopefully, your bedroom furniture was built to last until you want to invest in a new style. However, besides the bed you sleep in every night, your drawers or dresser is probably the next most-utilized furniture piece in the room since you push and pull on its drawers every time you get dressed for the day. So when things become less sturdy, hard to open, or unable to close properly, your dresser or drawer storage should be replaced.

Desk: 15 Years

It’s easy to forget that a desk ages; it seems like it’s just … there. But if you work from home and use it most days during the week, natural wear and tear (some visible, some not) is common. So if your desk is sporting unsightly spills or stains, or if it becomes wobbly, it might be best to shop for a new one.

Even if your desk hasn’t run its course completely (15 years is a long time!), it’s never a bad idea to see what’s out in the marketplace today. More ergonomic desks and popular standing desks have been shown to support your spine, shoulders, and arms in a healthier way.

Office Chair: 7 - 10 Years

Assuming you use your office chair at least 40 hours a week, seven to 10 years will typically be its max life span. So how do you know if you should retire before then? It will depend in large part on whether it’s made from solid wood, metal plastic, or fabric. Ideally, your office chair should also be well cushioned and supportive — so take note if these features aren’t doing the job anymore.

Patio Furniture: 10 Years

Your patio furniture is part of the oasis you create for yourself just steps outside your door. So you should be able to sink into it and relax — but if instead you sink because it can no longer support weight or becomes unstable, new patio pieces are in order. A helpful tip: Store or cover your furniture properly when not in use to avoid it getting dingy or bleached from the elements.

Time to Replace? Shop with Acima Leasing

When replacing big-ticket furniture pieces, you’re making an investment in something that you’ll probably have for a long while, as you just learned. It can also be expensive, and the notion of it all can even be a little overwhelming.

With Acima Leasing, it doesn’t have to be. We can actually make it easy and affordable — just find a store near you that offers Acima Leasing. Get access to our quick applications via our mobile app. Then when you use one of our lease-to-own solutions*, you can take home the new furniture you need today, while making smaller manageable lease renewal payments*. If you make the number of payments defined under your lease or exercise an option to purchase it early at a discount, it’s all yours! If you no longer need your furniture, you can simply return it in good condition at any time without further obligation. That's the shopping power to keep living a life with furniture that you’ll enjoy well into the future! Still have questions? Check out more about our lease-to-own solutions*here or on our FAQ page.