No one wants to sit in a saggy and stained sofa. Or sleep on an unsupportive mattress. But how do you know for sure that they've truly passed their use-by date? Well it does partly come down to common sense, but if you're not sure whether to part with a long-standing piece, this guide to the average lifespan of common home furnishings will help.
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And if you are due a replacement, we've suggested some key buys from our Ideal Home collection at Very.
1. How often should you replace a sofa?
The common consensus is that an average sofa will remain in prime condition for around seven years, after which a drop-off will begin. A top-quality sofa might even see you through 15 years of family life, but even that will succumb to sagging eventually. Well, don't we all?!
If your couch is looking tired, may we suggest the handsome Harbour in on-trend navy as a replacement? Its classic lines and quality upholstery promise a lengthy lifespan, both visually and physically.
2. How often should you replace scatter cushions?
Depending on how much punishment they receive, your sofa cushions will need to be swapped out after as little as six months. Regular plumping and washing might allow you to string that out to a year or two, but if that cushion has been there for three years, it's advisable to get rid.
Available in pink, taupe and teal, these cushions will deliver some West Coast style to your sofa.
3. How often should you replace curtains?
You'll be happy to hear that there are no official 'rules' with this one. When your curtains start to look tatty and faded, you'll probably want to switch in a new pair, but this will depend on how well you care for them.
One thing you could consider is having two pairs on rotation – one lighter set like the above for summer, and heavier, more insulating drapes for winter. That way, they'll last twice as long!
4. How often should you replace a mattress?
OK, so you might have an idea regarding this one thanks to a certain brand of TV ads. But is the seven years as recommended totally accurate – or a clever marketing ploy? Well, it is sort-of accurate. The National Sleep Foundation recommends changing your mattress every seven to 10 years, whatever the mattress guarantee says and whether it's memory foam, pocket-sprung or gel.
Ready for a replacement? This hybrid pocket-spring mattress with a memory foam top is a Very best-seller. It's available in a choice of firmness ratings (Soft/Medium, Medium/Firm or Firm/Ortho), so you can guarantee it will offer a good night's sleep, whatever your preference.
Not sure which is best for you? Read Best mattress – the top choices for a perfect night’s sleep
Of course, if you are getting rid of any existing furnishings, do so responsibly. Mattresses and sofas, for example, are full of recyclable materials. Visit your local council's website to see if they offer disposal and recycling facilities. Most will charge you a small amount, but a few – like Lewisham Council – will do the job for free.
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Amy Cutmore is an experienced interiors editor and writer, who has worked on titles including Ideal Home, Homes & Gardens, LivingEtc, Real Homes, GardeningEtc, Top Ten Reviews and Country Life. And she's a winner of the PPA's Digital Content Leader of the Year. A homes journalist for two decades, she has a strong background in technology and appliances, and has a small portfolio of rental properties, so can offer advice to renters and rentees, alike.
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