304 North Cardinal
St. Dorchester Center, MA 02124

Work Hours
Monday to Friday: 7AM - 7PM
Weekend: 10AM - 5PM

How Long Should A Couch Last?

There are no hard and fast rules as to exactly how long a couch will last but there are some useful guidelines that can help you estimate a couch’s lifespan.

One thing we can tell you is that the average lifespan of a modern sofa seems to be 7-15 years depending on the type of sofa and quality of the product. 

Let’s take a look at how you can see if your sofa is reaching the end of its useful life. 

Warning Signs That Your Couch Is On Its Last Legs

It doesn’t matter which type of sofa that you have these are all warning signs that you might want to buy a new sofa from one of our favorite online couch stores:

  1. It no longer fits the space that you have. Most of us buy our first sofa at university or college and then we drag it to our first apartment. But, by the time we move into our first house? It’s too small for the space available. This can happen the other way around too, you decide to move into a tiny home and the old family sofa is now three times bigger than the room. 
  2. You can hear the warning sounds of imminent failure. If the joints around the frame start creaking, groaning, screaming, etc. then you might want to think about getting rid of your couch. After all, there’s nothing fun about sitting down and the sofa collapsing underneath you, at best, it’s embarrassing, at worst, it could be lethal.
  3. There’s no more support from the cushions. Now, you can, to some extent, address this without replacing a sofa. Add some foam padding to sagging cushions and you can give them a new lease of life but there will come a time when your cushions are so flat that sitting on the sofa is like sitting on the floor of a jail cell. Then? It’s time to bring in a new couch. 
  4. It stinks or it makes you itch. Now, you should be cleaning your sofa on a regular basis (Don’t know how? Then, use our guide to cleaning your sofa.) But eventually, no amount of cleaning’s going to help and the sofa will just start to smell unpleasant. Worse, if you itch every time you sit on your couch – it probably has bedbugs and that means that it needs to go, right now, before the whole house is infested. 
  5. You just don’t like it anymore. Let’s be fair, a sofa doesn’t have to be on its absolute last legs to be no use to you anymore. It might just be that your tastes have changed or that you’re now in a relationship where your partner would prefer something different. That’s OK, one of the big joys of life is that you can change your mind about things. 
  6. The upholstery is destroyed. You are not required to replace a sofa at this stage, though you might want to. You can always opt for reupholstering if everything else about the sofa or couch is sound and in full working order. However, in our experience unless kids or pets have been giving a sofa a really hard time – the upholstery tends to wear out at about the same rate as the frame and cushions do. We’d also note that unless you do it yourself, reupholstering a sofa can be very expensive. 

What To Do About An Expiring Sofa?

Expiring Sofa

There are really only two things you can do with a dying sofa – reupholster it or replace it. 

If the piece is an antique or the structure is really sound then reupholster is a good option. 

It might be expensive but you’re essentially getting a new sofa for the price of reupholstery. 

If you opt for this with an antique piece make sure the reupholstering agent knows how to work with antiques – a piece can be badly damaged by accident, otherwise. 

Reupholstery is also a good option if you know how to do it yourself or have lots of crafts/DIY skills that you can apply. 

But if your sofa is on its last legs, isn’t an antique and you’re not great at DIY, you might just want to buy a new one. 

Final Thoughts On The Longevity Of Couches

The more you clean and care for your couch, the longer it’s going to last, it’s that simple.

However, no sofa lasts forever and if it’s in regular use then seven to fifteen years is about right before you either reupholster or replace.