When To Replace Everything in Your Home

New is sometimes necessary.

<p>MirageC/Getty Images</p>

MirageC/Getty Images

There are many items we use daily in our homes that we don't consider disposable, but in reality, they are. Whether it's kitchen utensils, bathroom essentials, or electronic devices—nothing lasts forever. However, even if something appears to be functioning well, it may be healthier or safer to replace it. Here's when you should consider replacing common items throughout your home.

Related: Here's What You Should Never Declutter, According to the Pros


Replacing towels can be tricky, but in general, most towels last for approximately two years. Keep in mind that nothing terrible will happen if you don’t replace your towels every two years; they just won’t be as absorbent and may start to look worn out.

However, there are exceptions to this rule. Towels in your guest bathroom room or the ones you take to the beach can probably last a few years longer. Conversely, towels used to dry your hands multiple times a day may only last for one year. Repurpose old bath towels for home cleaning or donate them to a local animal shelter.

Smoke Detectors

According to Kat Christie, licensed contractor, DIY expert, and founder of She Fixed That LLC, smoke detectors should be replaced at least every ten years. “Check the manufacturer's recommendation, always. When you install a new one write the date of installation on it. The plastic on the units is designed to yellow over time, so, if you see that a detector is yellowing—replace it.”

If your home was recently renovated, you may also want to get rid of your old smoke detectors. “Dust, cobwebs, and other air pollutants can contaminate the internal sensors. So if you've done any construction in your home and the units were not covered during that process—replace them.”

Lastly, if you can’t remember when you purchased your smoke detector, that’s also a sign you need a new one. “It’s not a lot of money invested to save your life,” says Christie.


While we use our pillows for at least eight hours every night (hopefully), we probably don’t replace them as often as we should. According to a bedding expert from Cozy Earth, you should replace your pillows every one to two years. “Pillows can contain allergens like dust mites and pet dander. It can also lead to allergic reactions, breakouts, and neck pain. Replacing them regularly helps ensure your pillows are clean, free of allergens, and supportive.”

Other signs you need to replace your pillows: waking up with a stiff neck or an uptick in allergies. 


There are very few things more disgusting than an old mattress. So when should you replace yours? Jack Dell’Accio, founder of Essentia Organic Mattress tells me it varies. “It really isn’t about how long you keep your mattress, but rather how long the mattress keeps supporting your body,” he explains. “This is why, simply put, the most important thing you should consider with a new mattress is its density. The denser the foam of a mattress, the more durable or supportive the mattress will be and remain.”

If you’re not sure your mattress needs to be replaced or your back is just acting up, he suggests evaluating every layer to make sure it's as dense as it once was. But, for the most part, mattresses last between seven to ten years, although a latex mattress can last up to fifteen years.

Small Appliances

While nothing really lasts as long as it used to, using a small appliance that’s malfunctioning can be a major fire hazard. However, if your blender from college is still churning out margaritas, there’s no good reason to replace it. On the other hand, if an appliance shorts or smokes, that means it's time to get something new.


Cast iron and metal cookware can last for many years. However, non-stick pans have a limited lifespan. If a non-stick pan is scratched, peeling, or discolored, it should be thrown out. If it still looks like it's in good condition but food sticks to it, that’s also a sign it’s time to replace it.


Oral hygiene is important to your overall health. So you don’t want to use a toothbrush that’s germy or no longer capable of cleaning your teeth. According to the American Dental Association, you should replace your toothbrush every three to four months. However, if you’re a hard brusher or the bristles are looking worn, you should replace it sooner.


The good news is that bedding doesn’t have an expiration date in terms of safety or comfort. However, once bedding starts to look worn, it’s probably time to shop for something new. If it has rips and tears or if the elastic is worn out on the fitted sheet, it’s likely not as comfortable as it could be, meaning it could impact your sleep. So, new bedding is more important than you might think.

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