The One Household Item You Should Never Buy From Walmart, Ex-Employee Says

Shop for this at another retailer instead, experts advise.

Shopping at Walmart is simple and convenient, as these massive stores offer the ability to get essentially everything you need in one trip. In fact, there are few things you can't find on Walmart's shelves. Within the home department, specifically, you'll find an impressively wide selection of household goods and necessities. But shopping experts caution that there's one item you should never add to your cart in Walmart stores or online. Read on to find out what they recommend avoiding no matter how tempting it might be.

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There are several Walmart products on the no-buy list.

walmart salmon
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Even if Walmart is your go-to shopping destination, you might want to skip a few items on your next trip. Sushi is best avoided, as a 2021 survey performed by the food website Mashed found that Walmart was the worst place to buy the Japanese favorite. Another survey might have you avoiding fish from Walmart altogether, as 33 percent of customers believe Walmart sells the worst quality seafood when compared with other grocery stores.

Aside from food products, experts have previously cautioned shoppers against buying low-quality clothing and furniture, jewelry, and kitchen appliances from Walmart. But if you're in the market for a new bedroom staple, your money is also better spent elsewhere.

Leave the linens behind.

walmart home department
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The prices at Walmart are a key component of the retailer's popularity. However, when it comes to bedding, the low price point isn't worth it, according to Rousseau Vestal, former Walmart cashier and founder of Find The Aisle.

"You won't want to get anything less than the greatest bed linens given that you spend anywhere between six and eight hours a night in your bed," Vestal tells Best Life. "Although Walmart's prices are tempting, the price for the quality is not excellent."

Jen Stark, founder of the gardening and home improvement blog Happy DIY Home, agrees that linens and sheets from Walmart aren't a great investment.

"Ideally, a set of sheets should be able to last for over a year or two, even if you use them every night and wash them two or three times a month," she explains. "Walmart's sheets tend to wear out and fray with normal use, and this sends you back to buy another set far sooner than you would like."

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The thread count won't cut it.

stack of sheets
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Thread count might not be the first thing you look for on a label, but it's actually more important than you think. According to HGTV, it refers to "the number of horizontal and vertical threads per square inch." The more threads that sheets have, the softer they are likely to be, and the longer they're likely to last.

Unfortunately, sheets and linens sold at Walmart also lack an ideal thread count, which should range between 300 and 500, according to Stark.

"A lot of Walmart's budget-friendly sheet sets (under $30) are missing the thread count, and this means they're usually below 300," Stark says.

You should skip the mattresses, too.

bare mattress on a bed
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In addition to low-quality linens, Walmart is not the best spot to buy a mattress, Kelly Johnson-Arbor, MD, FACEP, FUHM, FACMT, medical toxicologist and co-medical director of the National Capital Poison Center, explains.

Mattresses, bedding, and upholstered furniture are the most common items that cause home fire deaths, according to a blog post written by Johnson-Arbor. As such, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has fire safety standards to reduce the spread of mattress fires.

"Some foam mattresses (including at least one that I found for sale on Walmart's website) contain fiberglass as a fire retardant to meet [these] federal standards," she tells Best Life.

In addition to irritating your skin, eyes, and lungs, fiberglass can also "cause skin rashes, lung disease (after long-term exposure), and even eye scarring if the fibers enter the eye!" Johnson-Arbor says. You might come in contact with the fiber specifically when handling mattress covers, as certification that mattresses are free from harmful components only applies to mattress foam.

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Try these shopping strategies instead.

woman shopping for bedding
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Still looking for linens? Instead of searching through Walmart products for your desired thread count, Vestal recommends checking out the clearance section at other retailers. There, you may be able to find the quality you need at the lower price that you want.

And if you're committed to purchasing a mattress from Walmart, just make sure to take a second look at the attached label.

"The mattress label, which lists the components of the mattress, may or may not contain the terms 'fiberglass,' 'glass fiber,' or 'glass wool' if fiberglass is present within the mattress or its cover," Johnson-Arbor wrote in her blog post.

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