6 Signs It's Time to Get New a Couch

Weathered broken in leather couch sofa

Lauren Edmonds / Stocksy

There’s no understating how important a couch is to your everyday life. It’s the foundation of your living room design palette, the gathering spot for your friends and family to enjoy quality time, and a comfortable place to rest after a long day. They don’t last forever though, unfortunately. 

A quality sofa should stay in good condition for many years—on average, between seven to 15 years—but how do you know when time is up? Whether your couch no longer fits your style or space, or simply has seen better days, there are plenty of warning signs to pay attention to.

“By investing in a well-made, timeless piece that feels personal to you, your space can naturally evolve with you for many years,” Nidhi Kapur, founder & CEO of Maiden Home, shares with The Spruce.

With the help of a few experts, we’ve broken down six signs it’s time to ditch your current couch and indulge in an upgrade—hopefully, one that you’ll love for years (and years) to come. 

Your Couch No Longer Functions For Your Needs

If the good old days of solo nights winding down on the couch are long gone—and maybe you’ve exchanged them for bouncing a baby on your knee and hosting overnight guests—you’ll need your couch to function in different ways.

“A seating arrangement that was once suitable for your own oasis is now a game of strategy, how to fit everyone comfortably for family movie night,” Miona Mijic, senior designer of Valyou Furniture says. Consider upgrading to a sectional or modular sofa to accommodate the versatile needs of your expanded household. Think of modular seating like playing LEGOs—you can build whichever shape works best for you.

It’s Simply Not Comfortable

The primary purpose of a couch is to provide a comfortable spot to sit back, kick your feet up, and enjoy family movie night. If you find yourself with an achy back after a couch session, it’s time to go furniture shopping.

Andrea Rathborne, Article's creative director of product design, suggests asking yourself this question: “Does your couch make you want to stay for hours—or days—or are there lumps in the seat cushions, a broken frame or legs, and an uneven seat?” 

No one likes lumpy, bumpy couch cushions—that’s obvious—but consider if the overall frame works for you too. If the arms are too wide, the seat too deep (or not deep enough), or the back too upright, that’ll all factor into an uncomfy couch experience. 

You Hear Cracking Noises

“Cracking or popping sounds are a sign that the wood frame of your sofa or the springs or webbing in the seat deck are compromised,” Jenon Bailie, merchandising and design director at Room & Board, shares. Not only can that impact your ability to sit back and relax—poky springs and uneven surfaces don’t go hand-in-hand with comfort—but it can potentially be unsafe. Time to upgrade.

Living room with Room & Board furniture

Room & Board

After Moving, Your Old Couch Doesn’t Fit Your New Space

“Moving to a new home is the perfect opportunity to assess the furniture that surrounds you,” Kapur says. Chances are, your new space will include different design challenges and layout proportions from your current space—a long and skinny living room, perhaps, or hard-to-work-around entryways. Your old couch simply might not fit or be conducive to your new home. 


As a rule of thumb, allow at least three feet around the sides and back of your sofa for walking, and 12 to 18 inches between your sofa and coffee table. That'll make for the best flow and spare you from knocking your knees on sharp corners. 

The Upholstery Is Beyond Repair

Couches see it all—sun damage, wayward glasses of red wine, pet accidents, you name it. While a little bit of wear and tear is to be expected, sometimes, a couch simply can’t recover, especially if rips and holes have exposed foam, stuffing, or feathers.

“A good professional cleaning can work wonders for a sofa, but if the fabric is torn or faded, there isn’t much that can be done,” Bailie says. “It’s best to start fresh in that scenario.”

As you’re shopping for a new couch, it’s important to choose a fabric that will hold up over time, sticky peanut butter finger stains and cat scratches included. “Selecting a fabric that is spill-resistant, stain-resistant, and anti-scratch will save you both headaches and dollars over time,” Mijic says.

You Panic Purchased—And You Hate It

You’re not alone: most of us have made at least one big purchase that we regret. In that case, consider reselling your couch using a neighborhood app, or researching a local charity to donate it to.

“It’s okay to start fresh and get what you really want for the long term,” Bailie says. “Maybe your regrettable choice will be someone else’s perfect sofa.”