Upgrade-Worthy: 5 Cheap Household Items Worth Replacing (When You Can)

My fiancé and I have lived together for several years now, so when tasked with registering for gifts for our upcoming wedding, our strategy was all about the upgrades. We already have a lot of what we need to run our home together, but there are a few basic things around the apartment that we'd love to replace with a nicer model. Upgrade-worthy items are usually the items that you bought young, when you opted for a cheap immediate solution instead of saving and shopping around. Here are our big five:

Toaster Oven

Our $25 toaster oven works just fine, but it's an eyesore on the counter. We decided to register for the Breville Compact Smart Oven after reading rave reviews from happy owners who will never go back to their old toasters again.

Matt's Eclectic Luxury


I never remember how great good towels can be until I'm in a hotel bathroom. I'm still using the $7 towels I bought for my first apartment, but looking forward to the day when I can splurge on a few plush linens.

Pots and Pans

We have a mismatched set of inexpensive pans at home that has certainly seen better days. A full set of Calphalon cookware is the most expensive item on our registry, but if we're lucky enough to receive it, we'll be thrilled to have some nice pans to cook dinner each night.

Garbage Can

A lidded plastic bin works fine, but if you get the chance to move up to a sturdy rubbish bin with features like an automatic sensor or a built-in odor remover, do it. Our pick is a foot-pedal butterfly bin from Simple Human with separate compartments for trash and recycling.


Every time we unpack my fiance's 10-year-old luggage, we pull out pieces of broken plastic along with the clothes. Our cheap old set is falling apart, and we're looking forward to one day having suitcases that don't need duct tape to stay together.

These are the upgrades that fit our life best, but I'm sure everyone's got their own opinion of the basic gear in their home that was worth replacing with a splurgier model. What are your reccomended household upgrade items?

(Image credits: Williams Sonoma; Sean Galland; Emma Christensen; Simple Human; Efired/Shutterstock)