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NEW YORK — By age 28, you should no longer have cheap furniture in your home, according to a majority of Americans in a new poll. The survey of 2,000 people asked about “fast furniture” — furniture that is inexpensive, mass-produced, and designed to be quickly assembled and replaced.

Results show that over half of respondents (52%) currently own fast furniture, but 56 percent believe it’s only acceptable to have fast furniture in your 20s. Respondents say that when you’re heading towards “the big 3-0” as the age when people should move away from fast furniture. Nearly half (47%) admit they’ve even judged someone who had fast furniture in their home as an adult.

Commissioned by Avocado Green Mattress and conducted by OnePoll, the survey also finds many respondents naturally plan to move away from fast furniture. Fifty-eight percent have purchased fast furniture as “starter” furniture, and 80 percent of those who have purchased fast furniture admit they didn’t expect it to last long. On average, respondents think fast furniture has a two-year lifespan.

When it’s time to upgrade, 65 percent say they’re more likely to throw fast furniture away, rather than donating or selling it. That’s even higher among those who currently own fast furniture — 83 percent admit they’re more likely to throw their fast furniture away.

“Unfortunately, the medium density fiberboard and particle board commonly used in fast furniture often contain known carcinogens,” says Jessica Hann, Senior Vice President of Brand Marketing and Sustainability at Avocado Green Mattress, in a statement. “Shoppers interested in safer, more sustainable options can look for furniture that’s approved by the Sustainable Furnishings Council.”

fast furniture

Most shoppers still won’t buy used furniture

The survey looked beyond fast furniture, specifically, and also asked respondents about how sustainability plays into their decor choices. Sixty-one percent consider themselves to be environmentally aware when it comes to their furniture and decor choices — and 79 percent of those who own fast furniture said the same. However, 38 percent of respondents also admit that fast furniture is less sustainable than “quality” furniture.

For some respondents who own fast furniture and still believe themselves to be environmentally aware, this contradiction may come from a stigma around shopping for used items. Two-thirds of those surveyed (66%) would like to be more sustainable when it comes to the furniture in their home, but 58 percent say there’s a negative stigma around buying used furniture or picking up free furniture. Some 56 percent of respondents would be more willing to buy used furniture if there was less of a taboo around thrift stores and picking up free furniture.

“Considering durability is one of the top three factors people consider when purchasing furniture, it’s no surprise that buying long-lasting, sustainable furniture is seen as a hallmark of adulthood,” says Hann. “No particleboard. No fiberboard. No toxic finishes or stains. Our furniture simply harnesses 100 percent solid, durable wood. We even have a Zero Waste Furniture line that harnesses upcycled wood scraps from our L.A. woodshop. Sustainability never looked so good.”

Survey methodology:

This random double-opt-in survey of 2,000 general population Americans was commissioned by Avocado Green Mattress between Feb. 1 and Feb. 6, 2022. It was conducted by market research company OnePoll, whose team members are members of the Market Research Society and have corporate membership to the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) and the European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research (ESOMAR).

About Chris Melore

Chris Melore has been a writer, researcher, editor, and producer in the New York-area since 2006. He won a local Emmy award for his work in sports television in 2011.

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