Upgrade-Worthy: 5 Cheap Household Items Worth Replacing (When You Can)

Upgrade-Worthy: 5 Cheap Household Items Worth Replacing (When You Can)

Taryn Williford
Aug 14, 2017

My husband and I lived together for several years prior to getting married, so when tasked with registering for gifts for our wedding, our strategy was all about the upgrades. We already had a lot of what we needed to run our home together, but there were a few basic things around the apartment that we would have loved to replace with a nicer model. Upgrade-worthy items are usually the items that you bought young, when you opted for a cheap immediate solution instead of saving and shopping around. Here are our big five:

Toaster Oven

Our $25 toaster oven worked just fine, but it was an eyesore on the counter. We decided to register for the Breville Compact Smart Oven after reading rave reviews from happy owners who will never go back to their old toasters again.

(Image credit: Sean Galland)

Matt's Eclectic Luxury


I never remember how great good towels can be until I'm in a hotel bathroom. I'm still using the $7 towels I bought for my first apartment, but looking forward to the day when I can splurge on a few plush linens.

(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

Pots and Pans

We had a mismatched set of inexpensive pans at home that had certainly seen better days. A full set of Calphalon cookware was the most expensive item on our registry.

(Image credit: Simple Human)

Garbage Can

A lidded plastic bin works fine, but if you get the chance to move up to a sturdy rubbish bin with features like an automatic sensor or a built-in odor remover, do it. Our pick is a foot-pedal butterfly bin from Simple Human with separate compartments for trash and recycling. (You might balk at the $160 price tag, but our trusty friends at Kitchn detail out here why it's worth it.)

(Image credit: Efired/Shutterstock)


Every time we unpacked my husband's decades-old luggage, we pulled out pieces of broken plastic along with the clothes. Having suitcases that don't need duct tape to stay together is the sign of true adulthood.

These are the upgrades that fit our life best, but I'm sure everyone's got their own opinion of the basic gear in their home that was worth replacing with a splurgier model. What are your recommended household upgrade items?

Re-edited from a post originally published 7.9.14-AH

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