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Buying Q&A: How Long Should Couches Last?

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The Nest Q&A

How long should we expect our couch to last?

A.

The general prognosis is about 10 to 15 years, says Sotheby’s-trained home shopping expert Jennifer Litwin, author of Best Furniture Buying Tips Ever. But it depends on how you and your family are using those couches.

“If it’s your only couch and you’re laying on it every night, it’s going to wear faster,” says Litwin, who currently has couches in her house going on 10 years -- because she says, “we take really good care of them.” Here are some of Litwin’s suggestions for making your couch last longer:

(1) Keep it out of the sun, as the sun will fade fabric couches, and suck the moisture out of leather ones, which can lead to cracking.

(2) Keep the fabric of an upholstered couch clean and vacuum under the cushions, on the backside, and on the underside, as stains or lost Craisins can add to the wear and tear of the fibers.

(3) Clean the couch legs. If they are metal, wipe them down with sudsy warm water, but avoid those alcohol-based spray cleaners, which can break down the metal or coating. “If they’re wooden legs, oil them to keep them in good condition,” says Litwin, “so they will be less likely to chip or crack.”

-- Amy Spencer

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