Half of Americans Think You Should Dump Your Starter Furniture By This Age

published Mar 1, 2023
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From stiff couches to lumpy futons, you probably remember the inexpensive “starter furniture” that you used to decorate your first apartment. But according to a new survey by bedding brand Avocado Green Mattress, many Americans only find owning this kind of mass-made, cheaply produced fast furniture acceptable… up until a certain age.

The survey asked 2,000 Americans about their thoughts on “fast furniture” — furniture that’s mass-produced, inexpensive, and designed to be quickly assembled and replaced.

Over half of the respondents (56 percent) believe that by the age of 28, people should upgrade from fast furniture to longer-lasting, more carefully crafted furniture. However, that doesn’t mean that they necessarily take their own advice. More than half of respondents (52 percent) admitted that they currently own fast furniture, although 80 percent don’t expect it to last long.

In fact, the survey indicates that owning fast furniture past a certain age can result in judgment. Nearly half of the respondents (47 percent) said they would judge someone who had fast furniture in their home as an adult.

But what should you do when it’s time to move on from your starter furniture? More eco-friendly options include selling or donating these pieces, but that’s unfortunately not what many Americans decide to do — 65 percent of respondents said they’re more likely to throw their fast furniture away as opposed to rehoming it. Despite this, 61 percent consider themselves to be environmentally conscious when it comes to home decor and furniture in general, while 66 percent would like to be more sustainably-minded when it comes to their furniture.

Although thrift stores and Facebook Marketplace can be great resources for scoring high-quality, lightly used furniture for better prices, that doesn’t mean that all Americans are confident buying secondhand. The study found that 56 percent of respondents would buy used furniture if they perceived less of a taboo around thrift stores and picking up free furniture. (Perhaps they need to browse some House Tours or check out editors‘ and designers’ favorite secondhand finds to see what they’re missing.)