Uh-oh! Americans log some impressive stats for furniture damage

SAN FRANCISCO— Everyone hates that sinking feeling when you spill a glass of wine on the sofa, and it turns out this is a common “whoopsie.” More than 174 million Americans have damaged a piece of furniture in the past, with the likelihood of an accident occurring within the first two years of furniture ownership reaching 61%, according to a recent survey by Allstate Protection Plans.

The survey found that most damaged items are sofas and loveseats at 40%, followed by rugs (12%), recliners/chairs (8%), beds/bed frames/headboards (7%), kitchen tables or chairs (6%) and TV stands/entertainment centers and dining room furniture (4% each).

In fact, the idea of damage is so top-of-mind that it has prevented more than one-third (36%) of those surveyed from buying a high-priced piece of furniture. Slightly more than half (54%) were aware that protection plans can cover damage to sofas, but just one-third understood that such programs also cover beds and just 12% knew area rugs were protected.

Careless spills and stains account for more than half (55%) of the damage, although furniture owners are also accountable for rips and tears (25%), split or separated seams (8%) and dents and scratches along with chips and cracks (4% each). Delving into the cause of stains, at 25%, juice is No. 1, but pets aren’t far behind, accounting for 21%. Other stains marring the furniture include coffee (20%), sauces and condiments (15%) and red wine (12%).

Although kids and pets often get a bad rap, it’s actually spouses that adults blame 45% of the time for damage more than others in the household. Children were cited for damage in 34% of instances, while dogs at 20% topped cats (11%).

Among the preventative measures taken, 38% said they covered their furniture with sheets or towels, while 29% used slipcovers. Other methods of protection included treating furniture to prevent stains (20%) and buying a protection plan or extended warranty (22%).

Allstate’s survey, fielded in October 2023, polled 1,001 U.S. adults.

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