8 Common Household Items You Shouldn’t Skimp On

Posted on by

household items

Americans cut corners in different areas, from dental visits to cable (hello, Netflix).

This isn’t too concerning when we’re talking about Netflix, but when it comes to certain pieces of furniture, it is.

For one thing, we’re far too comfortable with disposable furniture, which is bad for our environment and eventually, your wallet when you have to replace that couch four times. Secondly, when you skimp on certain pieces of furniture or items you use every day—such as a mattress—it could be detrimental to your health.

That’s why we’ve compiled this short list of a few items that are worth their weight in gold, although you may not have to pay much if you do your research and shop smart. Read on to find out what boxes you’ve checked off!

1. Mattresses

Even if you don’t get a bed frame right away, never skimp on a mattress. We could cite studies about the hours you’ll spend over a lifetime on your bed—but we don’t really have to. Sleep on a poor-quality mattress for just a few days, and see how your back feels. Get a high quality mattress, and you might find yourself waking up in a better mood every day! Plus, you won’t have to replace it as quickly, meaning you’ll save money in the long run. If you’re hunting for a good mattress in Tenleytown, DC, Mattress Warehouse is a good place to start (4437-39 Wisconsin Avenue, Washington DC, DC 20016).

2. Kitchen Knives

Even if you aren’t a master chef, the moment you try to slice a tomato for a sandwich with a cheap knife, you’ll know what we mean. Not only are the blades thinner, which makes them more wiggly, but cheap knives frequently lack “tangs”—the presence of a blade all the way through the handle. Not only is it much harder to cut safely with a cheap knife, but as apply too much pressure on the blade while straining to cut that butternut squash, the blade could detach from the handle.

You don’t have to buy an entire knife set complete with a wooden stand, either. Just get a great-quality chef’s knife and a basic paring knife, and you’ll be set for most kitchen activities. Don’t forget the maintenance part! Even a great quality dull knife isn’t just ineffective—it’s dangerous.

3. Pots and Pans

You might still be using the pots and pans you used in college. Perhaps the bottoms are burnt from camping expeditions or careless macaroni cooking. Perhaps they used to be non stick, but they’re flaking. Although the US Food and Drug Administration has deemed these flakes nonhazardous, we recommend you err on the safe side, and throw those old pans out. New, high quality pans mean fewer cooking mishaps, since they’ll stick less and will heat more evenly than their cheaper cousins.

Find good pots and pans at discount home goods stores; just do your research, and keep an eye out for solid name brands.

4. Area Rugs

Have you ever seen a low-quality area rug? Just walk into any college dorm, take off your shoes, and take a walk over the threadbare rough rugs. Doable in a dorm room, not so much in your brand new apartment home. Not only are area rugs supposed to draw a room together, they’re also supposed to be a good spot to sit and eat Pad Thai while watching shows with friends, amongst other things. Cheap area rugs feel uninviting, and could shed up a storm. Buy a high-quality area rug, and your friends, family members, and even pets will thank you.

5. Sofas/Couches

This one’s tough, particularly if you plan to move a lot. Plus, couches are plentiful on Craigslist—making it tempting to settle for one on the cheap. Sure, you could find a great, high-quality couch on discount sites. But then there’s the risk of bedbugs. Stains. Who knows what else? It’s tough to find a nice one. But trust us, those great-looking couches at the big box stores aren’t usually as comfy as they look, and you want your couch to be a place you can relax after a long day. Go for the gold, and you’ll be happier in the long run, particularly if your couch comes with a warranty.

6. Towels & Bed Sheets

A threadbare, mismatched towel set probably won’t bother you—until your girlfriend’s parents come to visit. Same goes for bed sheets. We don’t really think about how rough our sheets are, and when buying home goods, the sheets and towel aisles are just boring. On the plus side, you’ll have to buy sheets and towels infrequently if they’re high quality.

Save the old towels for odd jobs around the house (or washing your car or bike), and purchase a new set. As for the old bed sheets, you’ll rejoice the moment you slip into a high-thread count set, and it’s worth purchasing a nice set for your guest room.

7. Lighting

Some apartments don’t offer great lighting (note: Tenley View isn’t one of them). In those cases, you might be stuck with stock lights that are placed infuriatingly far away from your couch or kitchen countertops. If you’re in a position where you need to purchase additional lighting for your home, then don’t settle on easily-bent cheap floor lamps with plastic shades. Or lamps with totally inefficient bulbs and placement. Save for something gorgeous that will be functional and transform the ambiance of any room.

8. Office Chairs

Even if you don’t work from home (but especially if you do), an ergonomic office chair is a must. Your back should be well-supported, the chair should be easily adjustable to fit your body, and it’s always a huge plus if it meshes well with your style. Even if you spend just a few hours a day in it, your body will be better off in the long run.


This is just a short list of household items and furniture worth paying good money for—what are yours? Share whatever we missed in the comments!

And if you’re currently apartment hunting in DC, we would love to show you another thing you shouldn’t skimp on—a great apartment in a super walkable neighborhood. Get in touch with us today to learn more about Tenley View apartments.

Filed under: Lifestyle