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There are 2 types of people when it comes to buying new furniture. There are those that want to be on trend and are willing to update things at the first sign of wear. This allows them to stay modern in their design. The other type are those who want to invest in quality pieces just once. This boils down to personal preferences but if you fall into the 2nd category be sure youíre looking for the signs of when your furniture needs to be replaced. It can be hard to admit when itís time to let something go, particularly if you paid a lot of money. Sometimes we donít see the signs that our furniture is either dated or looking tired. Regardless of which category you fall into itís important to know what to look for and how to tell if your furniture should be replaced.


Even if you spent a small fortune on your sofa and chairs they have a lifespan. Typically around 10 years is what youíll get from your upholstered pieces. It will be less for some and more for others but thatís a good guideline. The timeline will differ with use as well. If you have a young family and you spend a lot of time using this furniture itíll show signs of wear sooner rather than later.

If youíre rarely at home and are often alone in your space your pieces will have a much longer life. Here are the things to look for with your upholstered furniture. If youíre not sure what the current styles are, read this post.

1/ The Fabric Is Ripped, Stained or Damaged

Would you leave your house with a big coffee or red wine stain on the front of your jacket? Probably not but if you have the same stains on your sofa you may just look at it as wear and tear. We sometimes feel like we can cover it with a blanket and itís good for a while. This is the most obvious sign that your furniture either needs to be repaired or replaced. Sometimes a great sofa still has years left in it and reupholstery may be the answer for you. If this is just one of many issues with your upholstered furniture then it might be time to say goodbye.

Fabric can also hold odours. Pets are the worst offenders but spills from food and drinks will also start to smell if they werenít cleaned immediately. If you donít clean your fabric regularly there may be smell coming from your upholstered furniture. Thatís definitely a sign itís time to replace your furniture.

2/ The Wood Frame is Cracked or Broken

You canít see this but youíll know when you sit in your chair if the frame is broken. Sometimes you can hear the wood shifting and cracking. Other times it will be broken and the seat will sag where that crack is.

This is a big problem but unfortunately itís most often not worth repairing. In order to fix a broken frame youíll need an upholsterer or furniture repair person to rip the fabric off to look at the frame. This has to be done carefully and even then, you may not be able to reuse the upholstery. Once the frame is exposed youíll know what you're dealing with. If the frame is made of mdf or particleboard itís not worth repairing. This is likely just the beginning of frame issues. A solid wood frame can sometimes be repaired but consider the cost. Once youíve paid for this repair you can often replace the piece with something brand new.

3/ The Furniture Doesnít Fit In Your Space

This can be a result of having moved and the old furniture doesnít fit into the new space. It might not physically fit or it might not fit into the style of the new space. If it doesnít physically fit you can try moving it to another part of the home but youíll never hide the fact that itís too big or small for the space. It might be better to sell your old furniture and buy something for your new space that fits.

Another factor is that perhaps youíve renovated since buying that furniture. Perhaps your style changed and the house no longer suits the previously owned pieces. You can try adding pillows and throws to give it a new look but it might be time to say goodbye.

4/ Sagging Cushions

Weíve all seen that chair that has a permanent dip in the centre. Itís likely somebodyís beloved chair that they sit in every day. This happens because the cushion is losing its resilience. The foam may not have been great quality but even high density foam will crush over time. When it doesnít bounce back to its original shape the foam is at the end of its life. Now itís time to either replace the cushions or the entire piece.

The good news is that if itís only affecting the seat cushions and not the back cushions you can replace them. Your local upholsterer can make new cushions for you. If the entire sofa or chair is sagging itíll be less expensive to replace it than to repair it.


Wood furniture includes tables, buffets, sideboards and desks. Anything that is made primarily of wood. The lifespan of wood furniture is similar to upholstered furniture at around 7-10 years being typical. This is for the most well-used pieces in your home like coffee table, end tables, kitchen table and desks. For pieces that are used less often like a dining table you may be able to double that lifespan if you take good care of it. Here are the signs that your wood furniture needs to be replaced.

1/ Damage to the Surface

This can look like heat stains, water rings, burns and scratches. If your furniture is solid wood you can call in a furniture repair person and have the surface refinished. This will give a brand new life to the piece. If itís a veneer thatís damaged thereís no way to repair that so itís time to replace it.

2/ Unstable or Creaky Frame

Even brand new pieces can be wobbly if they werenít well constructed but itís annoying and will be hard to live with. Yes you can stabilize it by adding something under the leg thatís creating the stability issue but that should be considered a short-term solution.

If your wooden dining chairs sound like theyíre taking a deep breath when you sit down, itís time to start considering new chairs. These types of creaky sounds indicate the frame is starting to break down. You might not see any chips or cracks quite yet but creaks are a sign that itís coming soon.

3/ Outdated Style

Yes, even wood furniture can become outdated. If the style of your furniture hasnít kept pace with the style of your home or the rest of your furniture, itís time to replace it. Sometimes we donít see things objectively because itís been there for so long. Take a look at your room as a whole and ask yourself if it all works together. If your wood furniture has traditional decorative features but your upholstered furniture is new and more contemporary maybe you should consider refreshing the wood furniture.

Not sure what to do with your old furniture? You can sell anything that is still in great condition. Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist are great options but if you donít want strangers in your home, consider a consignment shop.

If the furniture is still usable but not worth a lot, check your local shelter for women and children. Often there are families moving into their own space who need something to get started. They would be overjoyed to have your older furniture.

If you need help deciding on what new furniture would be best for your space, reach out to me. We can set up a call and Iíll discuss how I can help you.


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