The Price Of Upholstered Furniture Has Gone Up Drastically

Modern-day consumers are painfully aware of the current state of inflation. Everything from bags of rice and gasoline to rent and household furnishings has seen drastic price increases in the last few years. According to CNBC News, the cost of living room and dining room furniture is rising by approximately 2.2% every month, roughly 19.9% year over year. Upholstered furniture, in particular, has seen a remarkable increase in prices, driven by design trends, consumer demand, supply shortages, and shipping challenges.

In recent years, demand for leather and leather products has generally declined, according to Modern Farmer. Leather, while flexible and beautiful, simply isn't as practical for furniture as other textiles. Although leather furniture can look timeless, it is harder to care for and more prone to scratching and peeling than woven upholstery fabrics. As younger generations, including millennials and Gen Zs, are setting up their first homes, Furniture Lighting Decor notes that they are leaning away from dated leather sofas towards more textured, straight-edge, and masculine pieces. Struggling with the impacts of inflation and the aftershocks of the COVID-19 pandemic, many people are looking for more low-maintenance and affordable furniture, leading to an uptick in demand for upholstered pieces.

Sit pretty without blowing your budget

House Digest data demonstrates that upholstered furniture costs have been steadily rising since mid-2018, taking a huge leap after January 2021. In fact, the change in the producer price index has increased more than tenfold, from 3% in January 2021 to 32% in July 2022. Market Beat explains that when PPI rates increase for manufacturers, it's a clear sign of inflation to come and a good indicator that consumers can expect to pay more for any given item. With that being said, the cost of upholstered furniture is not expected to decrease anytime soon.

What can you do if you need a new couch ASAP? The high costs of newly manufactured furniture have given rise to a powerful new market: secondhand furniture. As CNN explains, high prices have encouraged more people to seek secondhand furnishings as a cheaper alternative, while at the same time, many others are cashing in on the trend by selling their old household items. The secondhand furniture market is a great place to find a deal, but shopping for used pieces can come with some additional risks (bed bugs, anyone?). If you'd prefer to buy your upholstered furniture new and in-person, financial advisors at Nerd Wallet recommend shopping at the end of summer and end of winter. New items typically hit the stores in spring and fall, so you can expect to catch some great deals in January, February, August, and September.