Sofa Stains Top the List of Furniture Fails in Our Latest Damage Survey

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It may be time to invest in some plastic couch covers! According to our latest survey on furniture damage, 174.8 million Americans have damaged a piece of furniture in the past, and 61% of accidents occurred in the first two years of ownership. That’s a lot of damage to new furniture.

Here are a few more interesting tidbits from our survey, as well as some things you can do to prevent furniture damage.

Sofas Top the List of Damaged Furniture

Which piece of furniture was the latest to get damaged in your home?

According to our survey, Americans say the furniture most recently damaged was:

  • Sofas, couches and loveseats (40%)
  • Area rugs (12%)
  • Recliners/chairs (8%)
  • Beds/bed frames, and headboards (7%)
  • Kitchen tables or chairs (6%)
  • TV stands/entertainment centers (4%)
  • Dining room tables or chairs (4%)

And unfortunately those damages happened not too long after the furniture came home—and cost a decent amount. Our survey reported that people spent $299 on average repairing or replacing their most recently damaged furniture and that 17% of accidents happened in the first six months after purchase.

Spills & Stains Are To Blame for Furniture Fails

When it comes to furniture damage, it probably comes as little surprise that spills and stains were the leading cause of damage (55%). Meanwhile, rips and tears came in second (25%).

Other common types of damage were:

  • Seam separation/ripping/splitting (8%)
  • Dents/scratches (7%)
  • Chips/cracks (7%)

And speaking of stains, the most common perpetrators were:

  • Juices (25%)
  • Pet stains (21%)
  • Coffee (20%)
  • Sauces/condiments (15%)
  • Red wine (12%)

Adults Cause The Most Damage

The above stat saying that juice caused the most furniture stains may lead you to believe that kids were responsible for most damage. But surprisingly, pets and children were less likely to be responsible for damage than adults.

Forty-five percent of adults blamed their spouses for furniture damage and said children were responsible for only 34%.

Then, when it comes to our furry friends, dogs were twice as likely as cats to cause damage, accounting for 20% and 11% of issues, respectively.

What’s the Plan When Furniture Damage Happens?

Furniture damage does happen. But what do people do once they’re faced with some type of damage?

Forty-three percent of people tried to fix their furniture damage themselves. But a decent amount—38%—kept using their furniture despite the damage.

Meanwhile, 23% report hiding or covering up damage, with 14% replacing items and 4% opting for repairs.

Speaking of covering up damage, 38% of Americans have covered furniture with towels or sheets to protect it and 29% have used slipcovers and plastic covers (there you go!). Only 20% have used treatments to prevent stains.

Not All Hope Is Lost When It Comes to Furniture

It’s not a surprise that all of this damage affects how people decide on furniture for their home. Over a third (36%) of Americans avoided buying high-priced furniture for fear it could be damaged.

But we hope the results of our furniture damage survey don’t dissuade you from buying furniture in the future for fear that it will get damaged. Yes, life happens and it’s unrealistic to think that no furniture damage will ever happen. But there are things you can do to protect furniture pieces and prolong their life.

To get the most out of the furniture pieces you love, we recommend to:

  • Do Regular Cleaning: Dust and dirt buildup can cause scratches and abrasions, or worse. Cleaning is especially important for high-traffic items like area rugs.
  • Use Coasters and Mats: They can prevent rings and stains from moisture and heat.
  • Invest in Protective Covers: For both indoor and outdoor furniture, especially high-use pieces, covers can help. Mattress protectors are also a good idea.
  • Rotate and Rearrange: Rotate cushions periodically to distribute weight and wear.
  • Control Environmental Factors: Regulate temperature and humidity. Close your curtains or blinds to stop fabric or wood from fading in the sun.
  • Consider a Protection Plan: The coverage can include accidental damage, stains and structural issues, and protect your financial investment. According to our survey, just over a fifth (22%) of Americans currently have a protection plan or extended warranty for furniture. Our survey also revealed that 54% were aware that protection plans can cover sofas, only 31% understood they can cover beds, and just 12% knew they can cover area rugs.