These Home Items Are Actually Worth Splurging On

Shannon Quinn - February 5, 2023

Thinking about splurging on new items for your home? Here at Home Addict, we have already done an article about Household Habits that are Wasting Your Money. Now, we want to talk about the exact opposite. These are the things around your home that are actually worth spending a good amount of money on.

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A Comfortable Mattress

According to the Sleep Foundation, people should replace their mattresses every 6 to 8 years. And there are a lot of people out there who go much longer keeping an old mattress around, mostly because it’s so expensive. But if you’re one of those people who has been holding onto a mattress for a long time, it could be negatively affecting your quality sleep. Bad mattresses can make you tired, cranky, and feel a lot of aches and pains. Personally, I switched out my first “adult” mattress in my early 20’s, when I bought a memory foam mattress from Walmart for $150. That felt amazing to sleep on, but it only lasted a few years. Next, I ended up splurging on a Tempur Pedic that I bought brand new at a thrift store for $500. (They normally cost thousands of dollars.)

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A Knife Set

If you cook all the time, it’s important for you to have a really good set of knives. Here at Home Addict, we already have a great list called 20 Kitchen Knives Available Online For Aspiring Home Chefs. In it, we go over a lot of different options at a variety of price points. I love to cook, so I’ve experimented with a few different types of knives. It’s important to get something that’s possible to sharpen. Ceramic knives start out sharp, but they will chip in the dishwasher. So I recommend finding something made of stainless steel. Japanese knives are famous for being some of the greatest out there, but it’s not entirely necessary, so long as you find something sturdy that will last a few years.

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Vintage Designer Furniture

Nowadays, a lot of people go furniture shopping at Ikea when they’re trying to decorate on a budget. The idea of splurging on furniture seems impossible, especially when you’re in your early 20’s. But the issue with Ikea furniture is that it typically falls apart after a few years. Most people end up throwing their stuff away when they move. A much better alternative is to go to your local thrift store or Facebook Marketplace for vintage designer furniture that will last a lifetime. Sometimes you can get very lucky and find designer pieces that should go for thousands of dollars at bougie antique stores, and you’re able to score them for just $50-$200. For example, I scored an indoor-outdoor wicker rattan couch for free on Facebook. I spent $300 to replace the cushions. But on 1stDibs, these couches sell for $7,000 to $12,000.

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A Comfortable Sofa

Never underestimate the importance of a comfortable sofa. I see so many people making this mistake, especially in their 20’s with their first apartment. They buy something cute or trendy, but it’s actually terrible to sit on. I’ve had so many experiences going to someone’s apartment to sit on their couch to watch a movie. And 30 minutes in, you’re literally in pain from how uncomfortable it is. If you plan on splurging, I recommend shopping for couches from actual furniture stores, like Ashley Furniture. Sorry to keep bashing Ikea, but I have never once in my life sat on an Ikea couch that you could actually stay there for a multi-hour long Netflix binge-watching session.

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Original Artwork

There are certain pieces of artwork that are so common, it’s almost funny to see it pop up again and again. (I’m looking at you, Highland Cow from Target.) Or, they have something cliche like a forest, mountains, beach, or city scape. None of those art pieces actually speak to who you are as a person. To me, it says, “I knew I needed to hang something on my wall, so I just went with something they had at the store.” Instead of doing that, try to figure out what type of art you actually like. Explore some original art prints on Etsy, and in magazines. You can print out posters at Walmart and hand-painted replicas of the pieces you are inspired by. Sometimes you can buy a limited edition print from one of a favorite artist to really personalize your artwork.

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High Quality Bath Towels

Depending on your hygiene habits, you may or may not reuse your bath towels after your dry off from your shower. In my house, we have so many people living here that it’s not practical to leave your towel hanging over the shower for the next day. So we use a towel just once before washing it. But the Cleveland Clinic says you can go a week reusing the same towel. Since we wash our towels a lot, it’s very clear which towels are high quality, and which ones are not. High quality towels from department stores will last for multiple years. But thin, cheap towels from places like Walmart will quickly tear apart. Just wait for a good sale to come around. Or, shop at places like HomeGoods, Ross, and Marshalls that offer designer brand towels for cheap prices.

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Throw Rugs

For some reason, I’ve noticed a lot of younger people try to avoid splurging on a nice throw rug. Or they buy a rug that is way too small for their living space, and it looks ridiculous. When a rug is too small, it’s very obvious that they didn’t bother to measure, or they couldn’t afford the correct size. Once you own a nice throw rug, you could potentially have that piece for the rest of your life. Having a good rug protects your hardwood floors. It also helps keep your bare feet warm in the winter time. But unlike wall-to-wall carpeting, you can move it to clean underneath when you need to. And you can roll it up and take it with you to the next house, so long as it’s high enough quality.

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Comfortable Bar Stools

Just because a bar stool looks cute doesn’t mean it’s comfortable to sit on. Never buy bar stools online without testing them out first. There is nothing worse than trying to climb up into a bar stool, and you can feel yourself slowing falling off of it. Or, it’s so hard it hurts your butt within just 5 minutes of sitting down. One of the best selections of bar stools I have ever seen was while shopping in an At Home store. You have a ton of styles to choose from, and you have the opportunity to sit in all of them to try them out for comfort. Ideally, you want bar stools that will work for entertaining guests, working from home, and eating your daily meals at the kitchen island.

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Comfortable Desk Chairs

Now that more people are working from home often, having a comfortable desk chair is so important. You don’t want to end up with a bad back or tight shoulders at the end of the work day. They sell expensive ergonomic chairs that will help support your spine all day long, and people who end up splurging on them will tell you that it’s worth it. Sometimes you can get away with a cheaper version. A couple years ago, I tried to “upgrade” by splurging on a gaming chair from Staples that went on sale from $400 down to $200. Yikes. It was not comfortable at all, and I ended up giving it away. So the price tag and reputation isn’t always accurate. It’s best to test out the chair in person, and see what works for you.

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A Sturdy Desk

Just like having a good desk chair, it’s worth splurging on a sturdy desk to work on. Cheap desks from places like Walmart will begin to fall apart after a couple years. And many of them are awkward to sit at, and don’t really give you enough room. When shopping for a desk, don’t be afraid to think outside of the box. Many people can find good quality retail display furniture at Goodwill . So if you know there is a desk that is good quality and real wood, you can get out cheaper than spending a couple grand.

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Window Treatments

Curtains are practical to have, because they can help control the amount of sunlight coming into your rooms. And it can be necessary for privacy. But for some reason, a lot of people avoid splurging on window treatments. They just use the cheapest plastic shades that came with their apartment, and never bother to buy curtains. Believe it or not, adding curtains can make your space look significantly more stylish and expensive…Even if they’re just cheap curtains from Walmart or Target. This is especially true for floor-length curtains, regardless of the size of your windows. Just make sure you measure first, before buying anything.

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Having good lighting in your home is so incredibly crucial, and absolutely worth splurging on. I’ve been in some apartments that don’t have any overhead lights installed in the ceiling of the room. So you have to rely on freestanding lamps at night time. Nowadays, a lot of us are reading on devices that light up. But if you’re reading books in dim light, this can cause eye fatigue. Lighting also changes your mood drastically. Bright lights help to wake you up and feel cheerful, while dim lights make you feel tired and melancholy. So investing in good light bulbs and lamps is important. There is also something to be said about splurging on a good hanging light fixture, if you own a home. One day, when you’re ready to sell the house, those light fixtures are part of what brings value to your space.

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Lamp Shades

In the last post, we mentioned the importance of buying good lighting for your home. Something that’s also important is the type of lamp shade you buy. This sounds like common sense to most, but there are some people out there who just put bare bulbs in their lamps and never bother to buy a shade, unless it came with it. Lamp shades help to diffuse the light, and it can also help you redirect the light to where you need it to shine. The only issue with lamp shades is that they can quickly look ugly or outdated if you’re not careful. Try to go for something that looks classic, and will last for a long time.

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Coffee Table

A lot of interior designers will tell you that a coffee table is worth splurging on. It makes sense, because it is a major focal point of your living room. Coffee tables serve as a place to put your drinks, TV remote, magazines, and even games. And if you play your cards right, you can get a coffee table that will last a lifetime. Ikea sells their Lack side table for just $15, and it’s not exactly high quality. It just reminds me of the running joke on the David Dobrik YouTube channel where his friend Alex Ernst constantly breaks these tables. They’re not meant to last. I’m not saying you need to spend a thousand dollars for a coffee table. But at least a couple hundred dollars would be worth the splurge.

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A Coffee Maker

Surely you’ve heard this advice a million times before, but having your own coffee maker will help you save a lot of money over time. I’ve owned a few different brands of coffee makers over the years. While I love Keurigs, the pods are wasteful and expensive. The machines are also difficult to clean, and break after just a few years. But they’re very cute and easy to use. There are also traditional Mr. Coffee type machines, French Presses, and so much more. Lately, though, I have settled on using a pour-over ceramic coffee dripper. You can find them for just $10 to $20 each, and the brand doesn’t really matter. One of the best parts about it is that you can put it in the dishwasher like a regular mug. So it’s both the cheapest and most sanitary way to make your coffee at home.

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Clothing Washer and Dryer

If you live in an apartment, you don’t really have the choice to buy your own washer or dryer. But if you’re a homeowner, these appliances are definitely worth splurging on… Especially if you have kids. Owning your own machines will also help you save money compared to going to the laundromat. The decision also depends on the amount of clothes you need to wash. Some people can manage with only doing a single load of laundry in a week. However, the larger portion of the population probably feels like they do a load of laundry per day.

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You know you’re an adult when you have a backup pair of sheets. It’s just a fact of life. So if you happen to have some cheap sheets you got somewhere like Walmart, consider splurging on a really high-quality set. It’s fine to keep your sheets as a backup for when you’re doing the laundry. Department stores like Macy’s normally have very high price tags on their sheets. But once they go on sale, you would be surprised at how affordable they actually are. So how do you buy “good” sheets? Check the fiber content, and the thread count. Buying 100% cotton is the way to go.

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According to the Sleep Foundation, you should change your pillows every 1 to 2 years. This is because over time, pillows can grow bacteria and hold allergens that might make you sick. Yes, it’s possible to wash pillows so that they last longer. But it’s tricky. If you leave any moisture in it whatsoever, it ends up getting moldy. And sometimes, the pillows will lose their original shape, and they will no longer be as comfortable as they once were. It’s just better to buy new ones every couple years. Sometimes it’s worth splurging on a more expensive memory foam pillow, especially if you snore, or have any sort of neck issue.

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A Vacuum Cleaner

I can’t stress enough how important it is to have a good vacuum cleaner. For years, my family was using older vacuum cleaners that required you to change the bag. And in my early 20’s, I got those cheap stick vacuum cleaners at Walmart for $20. But after hearing people rave about Dyson cordless vacuums for years, I finally decided it was worth splurging during a Black Friday Sale. I’m not exaggerating when I say it was a life-changing purchase. We had no idea just how much dust and dirt was hiding in our carpets. Getting this new vacuum actually made the air smell cleaner in our home. These Dyson vacuums go for $400 or more. But I got lucky and found a great sale for just $200. It’s a lot of money, but it’s worth it.

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Coffee Table Books

One of my favorite things to collect are coffee table books. They are a great way to buy something that represents what’s important to you. It serves a dual purpose as both home decor and entertainment. The whole idea is that you leave it out on your coffee table, and guests can flip through the book to have something to look at. Coffee table books are typically filled with pictures, rather than a lot of words. So it’s easy to just casually look at it without committing a ton of time to reading. This might also be a great gift to give someone for their birthday.

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A “Nice” Set of Dishes

When most people start out on their own, they will buy a set of dishes from somewhere like Ikea, or take hand-me-down sets from friends and family. This is totally fine, especially when you’re on a budget. However, as you begin to host parties, you should always have at least one “nice” set of dishes. They should all match, and you need to have enough to serve people at a party. Department stores like Macy’s sell dinnerware sets, if you’re looking to buy something brand new. But I have found some amazing dishes at a thrift store in a retirement community. If you find something used, that’s totally fine too, since antique china is usually very high quality.

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Extra Seating For Guests

A really common problem I find at people’s apartments is that they simply don’t have enough places for their guests to sit when they come over. This is why it would be worth it to buy at least one extra chair in the living room. Also consider buying folding chairs to tuck away in your closet, just in case you end up having a big party. If you’re still in your 20’s, I highly recommend starting out with the Ikea Pello armchair, which retails for just $80. I’ve had mine for years. It’s very comfortable, and it tends to look stylish in all kinds of homes. But of course, if you’re older and in a better financial situation, it might be worth splurging on a nice armchair instead.

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A Dining Table

Whether you have a formal dining room or just eat in the kitchen, it’s crucial for you to have some kind of table. This sounds like common sense to a lot of people. But my ex-boyfriend is from India, and he literally didn’t have a table to eat on. In India, it’s normal for people to eat off the floor. And I’ve also been to friend’s apartments where they eat off of the kitchen island, but they don’t have an actual table to sit at. Buying an actual dining table is worth splurging on. You want a place for your family to be able to eat, do homework, and play board games. Having a table just makes a huge difference in your life. If you’re on a budget, consider checking out Facebook Marketplace for a vintage dining set.

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Bedside Tables

For some reason, bedside tables are one of the last things bachelors bother to buy for themselves. When I meet someone with matching bedside tables, I feel like it’s a sign that they are a true adult who has their priorities straight. You really need a bedside table for lamps, storage, and a place to put your phone at night. Glasses wearers will also attest to the necessity of a bedside table. And some people like to place a glass of water next to their bed, in case they get thirsty in the middle of the night. It can also be a great place for your TV remote, a book, an iPad, and the list goes on. Check out places like At Home and Home Goods. They sell really cute coffee tables for just $30 to $50 apiece, which would make the total $60 to $100 for a matching set.

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Quality Pots and Pans

If you’re going to cook at home, it’s absolutely necessary to buy yourself a set of pots and pans. But a lot of people make the mistake of buying those coated nonstick pans, which get scratched up over time. Or, they buy the cheapest set they can find at Walmart, and it starts to fall apart after a few years. Lucky for you, Home Goods sells a lot of designer cookware for a fraction of the retail price. So I highly recommend going there to buy what you need. And if you’re actually ready to splurge, we recommend buying at least one piece by Le Creuset the next time they have a sale. They very literally last a lifetime. I inherited a vintage Le Creuset cast iron pan from the 1950’s, and I still use it almost every day.

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A Sturdy Bed

Beds might look high-quality, even if they’re cheap. But in reality, bed frames made with cheap materials almost always fall apart. I bought a $250 tufted bed with a padded headboard on Amazon. It is beautiful, and it looks like it should be more expensive than it actually is. But in reality, it began to shift and sag after just a year. Always read the reviews, if you can. For my bed, people reported the same issue. Thankfully, my dad is very handy. So he was able to rebuild parts of my bed to make it more sturdy. I recommend finding a bed that is made out of real wood. If it’s a vintage bed, that’s great. Because it already lasted for decades before, it’s probably going to continue to last for decades more.

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Organizational Boxes and Baskets

Do you dream of organizing your house like Marie Kondo? Then you should probably get your hands on some organizational boxes and baskets. Sure, if you feel like splurging, you can go somewhere like The Container Store and find everything you need. But almost every store has these products now. Check out Target, Walmart, Home Goods, and even Dollar Tree for plastic containers and baskets. No one sees them anyway, so it would just be a waste of money to splurge on something more expensive. But if it’s exposed, I will spend a little more to make sure it’s a basket that actually looks cute. Each individual basket might be cheap on its own. But it’s the total cost of organizing your entire house that is going to add up over time.

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Glass Food Storage Containers

If you cook, you’re almost always guaranteed to have leftovers. Plastic food containers are easily available at Dollar Tree, and some people will even recycle their old containers from getting takeout. This is fine if you’re in a tight financial situation. But over time, these containers get warped. What’s even worse is that the plastic is actually seeping chemicals into your food, like BPA. Glass food containers are actually more affordable than you might think. It only costs around $30 for an entire set, and they can easily be found in places like Ikea, Target, Amazon, and Walmart. It might seem like splurging if you’re used to recycling plastic. But once you switch over to glass, there is no going back.

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An Air Purifier

After living through the Covid-19 Pandemic, I shouldn’t have to tell you the benefits of having an air purifier in your home. Hopefully you already have one. But if not, you should consider splurging on one, because they help clean the air in your home. This helps to cut down on the amount of dust in the air, which helps for people who suffer from allergies. If you have pets, this is also very important, because it will help to clean the hair and dander particles out of the air. Not to mention the stinky animal smells that you have most likely gotten used to at this point. The jury is still out over whether air purifiers will actually help prevent viruses or not. But some people seem to believe that if you have one, you will get sick less often.

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Quality Laundry Detergent

Having an item like laundry detergent may seem like a silly thing to have on a list like this. But I wanted to put this here, because it makes a huge difference in my life. Concentrated laundry detergents are worth the splurge. These have less water and filler ingredients put in them. So you’re using less product and actually get better results. Tide Pods are an example of concentrated detergent, but they also sell bottles where you can squeeze just a small amount of soap into every load. I personally find that higher quality detergents make my clothes smell better, and they last longer, too.