Know When it’s Time to Get Rid of Your Old Furniture

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Sometimes, your furniture gets so damaged that there’s no denying it’s time to replace it. Your wooden dining table has so many scratches that you can barely tell what color it once was. Your couch has so many rips and tears that you can see more of the cushion than you can the fabric.

But usually, the process is much more gradual than that. Your couch could slowly be losing its support, turning into a hard brick of a seating area. Mattresses are even more inscrutable — they can build up dirt and allergens while also losing their support and cushion over many years, but they can look fine. You may not know there’s a problem until you start grappling with fatigue or allergies.

Here’s a good primer on when to know that it’s time to get rid of your old furniture versus when you can just give it a deep cleaning:

Torn Fabric or Cracked Leather

Unfortunately, there’s no good way to repair a tear right in the middle of a cushion or a mattress, nor can you repair cracked leather. You can sew the cushion or add a patch, but the repair will be obvious. The piece will never look like it did when it was new. If you don’t mind adding a throw over the repair, you can get more time with the piece. However, the only way to get a couch, chair, mattress or other pieces of furniture that looks like new again is to have it reupholstered or to replace it.

Poor Support

You should be able to sink into a couch in comfort, but if you sink too far, that’s a good sign that you need to replace your furniture. You should not sink below the seat line on a couch or chair. Nor should you sink into your mattress or feel too little spring pushing back on you. These are signs that the springs have failed or that other supports are broken or failed. You can have these things repaired, but they require taking the whole piece apart, and the process can be quite expensive. It’s easier — and cheaper — to replace the piece instead.

Poor Sleep

Your mattress may look fine, and it may even still seem comfortable. But you just aren’t getting the same night’s sleep as you used to, and you can’t figure out why. You’ve ruled out your diet, stress, and other lifestyle issues, and your sleep still isn’t improving. The likely culprit is your mattress. If your mattress is nearing the end of its lifespan, it is almost definitely the problem. It’s time to update your mattress and get something that has the necessary firmness.


Just like problems with your sleep, you may suffer allergies without being able to pinpoint why. You’ve surveyed your environment, and nothing is different. You’ve cleaned everything sparkling, and you are still sneezing up a storm. You may have never even had allergies before, and now you do. Chances are good that your furniture is harboring allergens like dust mites, dander, or even mildew. You can start with a good, deep cleaning to see if it solves the problem. But when you are at the point that you are experiencing severe allergy symptoms, it’s likely that the furniture has become saturated to the point of being unable to be cleaned. You will likely have to replace the furniture instead.


Unfortunately, some dirt and debris just can’t be cleaned out. You can hire a professional to get that red wine stain out of your white couch, but there’s no guarantee that you’ll get results. Start by hiring a professional to clean your furniture. If the stain persists, and it’s in a spot that mars the overall beauty of the piece, you’ll just have to consider replacing it. Otherwise, you’ll have to live with a throw on that spot for the rest of the piece’s life.

Don’t live with old, dirty, and unsupportive furniture. If you are getting ready to renovate, now is the perfect time to consider upgrading your furniture, as well. Even if you just get new furniture, your house will feel like a whole new place. You’ll have a more comfortable and a more beautiful space to call your own.

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