Chest of Drawers vs Dresser: Pros, Cons, and Comparison


    When it comes to furnishing your bedroom, one of the most essential items to consider is your storage solution. While many homeowners debate between a chest of drawers vs dresser, the distinctions between the two may not always be clear. Depending on your needs and preferences, one option may be more suitable than the other. In this article, we will explore the differences between a chest of drawers vs dresser and help you determine which one would be the best fit for your bedroom.

    When it comes to organizing clothes, the terms “dresser” and “chest of drawers” are often used interchangeably, however, they are not the same thing. A chest of drawers typically features a column of stacked, vertically arranged drawers with no attached mirror or other decorative item. On the other hand, a dresser typically has two columns of horizontally arranged drawers, often with a decorative mirror attached to the top.

    One of the primary differences between a dresser and a chest of drawers is the amount of storage space. A dresser usually has more drawers and a larger surface area for placing items like jewelry boxes, decorative objects, or even a television. On the other hand, a chest of drawers is typically more compact and can fit easily into smaller spaces, making it a great choice for rooms where space is limited. Another difference is that dressers are often more expensive than chests of drawers because they offer more features and storage capacity.

    Overall, both chest of drawers and dressers can be great options for storing clothes and other items in your home. The final decision depends on your personal preferences, the amount of space you have available, and your budget.

    Chest of Drawers: Pros and Cons

    When it comes to organizing your clothes and personal belongings, a chest of drawers is a classic choice. With its multiple drawers and compact size, it is no wonder that many homeowners opt for a chest of drawers over other storage solutions. However, like any piece of furniture, there are pros and cons that come with choosing a chest of drawers. In this section, we will take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of a chest of drawers, as well as compare it to its closest competitor, the dresser. So, whether you’re moving into a new place or simply looking to upgrade your bedroom, read on to find out if a chest of drawers is the right storage solution for you.

    Advantages of a Chest of Drawers

    Chest of drawers has several advantages over a dresser. Here are some of them:

    • Space-efficient: A chest of drawers is designed to take up less floor space, making it an ideal choice for small bedrooms or apartments.
    • Multiple drawers: It has multiple drawers that can provide ample space to organize and store different types of clothes, accessories, or other items.
    • Versatile: It can be used as a standalone piece of furniture or placed alongside other furniture pieces to create a cohesive and functional bedroom setup.
    • Easy to maneuver: As chest of drawers are relatively lightweight and come with handles, they are easy to move around and adjust as needed.

    Disadvantages of a Chest of Drawers

    • Lack of functional space for larger or longer items
    • No space for hanging clothes or full-length mirror
    • Hard to reach items in the back of the drawers
    • Can be difficult to assemble or transport
    • May not fit in with certain decor styles

    A chest of drawers may be a great choice for some people, but it’s not without its drawbacks. One issue that many people have with a chest of drawers is that there’s just not enough functional space for larger or longer items. While socks and underwear can fit comfortably in the drawers, things like jeans or sweaters may have to be folded just right to fit or can get bunched up and cause difficulties when trying to close the drawer.

    Another issue with a chest of drawers is the lack of space for hanging clothes or a full-length mirror. Some people may not mind having to hang their clothes elsewhere, but for others, it can be a dealbreaker. The same goes for a full-length mirror – some people may be able to make do without one, but some may find it essential.

    Additionally, it can be difficult to reach items in the back of the drawers or to see what’s in them without pulling them all the way out. This can be frustrating and time-consuming, especially if you’re in a hurry.

    Finally, a chest of drawers can be difficult to assemble or transport, especially if you’re dealing with a larger or heavier piece of furniture. And while there are plenty of styles available, a chest of drawers may not fit in with certain decor styles.

    Dresser: Pros and Cons

    A dresser is a bedroom staple that has been in use for centuries. It is a versatile piece of furniture that can be used to store clothes, linens, and other essentials. Dressers come in different styles, sizes, and materials, making them suitable for any decor or need. However, like any furniture, there are inherent advantages and disadvantages to using a dresser in your bedroom. In this section, we will explore the pros and cons of using a dresser and how it compares to a chest of drawers.

    Advantages of a Dresser

    Dressers have advantages that make them an excellent choice for storing clothes and accessories. Here are some of the benefits of using a dresser:

    • Ample Storage: Dressers come with spacious drawers that offer enough storage for different clothing items. They provide a designated space for specific accessories, such as socks and underwear.
    • Versatile: Dressers are versatile and can be used in different areas of the home, such as the living room, bedroom, and even the entryway. They can also serve as an accent piece or a focal point of the room.
    • Functional: Dressers come equipped with a range of features such as adjustable shelves, compartments, and built-in mirrors, providing convenience and functionality.
    • Matches Different Styles: Dressers come in numerous designs and styles that can suit various decors. They come in traditional and modern designs with different finishes and materials.

    Disadvantages of a Dresser

    A dresser may not be suitable for everyone’s storage needs, as it comes with some disadvantages. Here are some of them:

    • Limited maneuverability: Unlike chest of drawers, dressers are not easily movable due to their size and weight, making rearrangement of furniture difficult.
    • Needs space: Due to its larger size, a dresser may not fit comfortably in a small bedroom, leaving little room for other furniture or fixtures.
    • Higher price: Compared to a chest of drawers, a dresser can be more expensive due to its size, features, and materials used.
    • Less drawer space: Although dressers provide ample storage, the number of drawers might be limited compared to a chest of drawers, leading to a lack of space for specific items.
    • Heavy and cumbersome to assemble: Dressers are often heavy and difficult to assemble, requiring additional assistance or tools.

    Comparison: Chest of Drawers vs Dresser

    After discussing the pros and cons of a chest of drawers and a dresser, it’s time to compare the two storage options side by side. Both pieces of furniture have their own advantages and disadvantages, making it important to weigh them against each other before deciding which one is most suitable for your needs. This comparison will delve into various aspects such as design, style, size, storage capacity, material, durability, price, and affordability. By the end of this section, you’ll have a clear understanding of what sets a chest of drawers apart from a dresser and which option would work best for your living space.

    Design and Style

    The design and style of a chest of drawers and a dresser are important factors to consider when choosing which one to buy. A chest of drawers typically has a more understated, utilitarian design than a dresser. It is often made of wood or other natural materials and has a simple, clean look. On the other hand, a dresser comes in a wider range of designs, from traditional to modern, and can be made from different materials such as wood, metal, or plastic.

    When deciding between a chest of drawers and a dresser, consider the design and style of your existing furniture and how the new piece will fit in. A chest of drawers may fit better in a minimalist, Scandinavian-inspired space, while a dresser might work better in a traditional bedroom with more decorative elements.

    In summary, here are some key points to consider:

    • Chest of drawers: understated, utilitarian design made of wood or natural materials
    • Dresser: wider range of designs, from traditional to modern, can be made from different materials

    Size and Storage Capacity

    The size and storage capacity of a chest of drawers and a dresser vary, and it is essential to consider these factors before making a purchase. Chests of drawers tend to be taller and narrower than dressers, making them a great choice for small spaces. They take up less floor space while still offering ample storage options.

    Dressers, on the other hand, are wider and can provide more storage space for larger items, such as bulky sweaters or blankets. They may have more drawers than a chest of drawers, which makes it easier to organize clothing and accessories by different categories.

    Here’s a breakdown of the average size and storage capacity of these two types of furniture:

    • Average height of chest of drawers: 40-60 inches
    • Average width of chest of drawers: 30-40 inches
    • Average number of drawers: 3-7
    • Average height of dresser: 30-40 inches
    • Average width of dresser: 50-60 inches
    • Average number of drawers: 6-10

    Note that these are just averages, and the size and storage capacity of each piece may vary depending on the model and brand.

    Material and Durability

    The construction material of a chest of drawers or a dresser affects its strength, durability, and texture. Chests and dressers may be made of different materials such as wood, plywood, MDF, metal, or plastic, with variances in quality and durability. Some of the most common materials used are:

    • Wood: Solid wood, plywood, or manufactured wood such as MDF (medium-density fiberboard) provide high durability and a classic look, but can be heavier and more expensive.
    • Metal: Metal frames or accents, like in industrial-style dressers, offer a sleek and modern look, but can be prone to scratches and dents.
    • Plastic: Plastic is a lightweight and low-cost material that’s easy to clean, but tends to be less sturdy and may not last as long as other materials.

    The durability of a chest of drawers or a dresser also depends on its construction quality, such as the thickness and strength of the drawer glides, the joinery, and the finishes. Choosing a well-made and robust piece of furniture can ensure that it lasts for years to come.

    Price and Affordability

    When comparing chest of drawers vs. dresser in terms of price, chest of drawers are generally more affordable. As they are smaller and simpler compared to dressers, their cost is lower. Chests of drawers can be purchased starting from around $50, while a dresser can cost more than $500. However, the price of furniture is heavily influenced by the materials used to make it, as well as its design, size, and features. Dressers made of solid wood or high-quality materials are usually more expensive than ones that are made from particleboard or MDF. Ultimately, choosing the right piece of furniture should depend on your budget and needs.

    If you’re working with a tight budget, a chest of drawers may be the more practical option. However, if you’re looking for a unique piece of furniture that can add character to your space, a dresser may be worth investing in.

    Maintenance and Care

    Taking good care of your dresser or chest of drawers will ensure that they stay in great condition for a long time. Here are some tips for maintenance and care:

    • Keep the furniture clean by dusting it regularly with a soft cloth. Avoid using abrasive cleaners or harsh chemicals that can damage the finish.
    • If you need to clean the surface, use warm water and a mild soap. Wipe it dry immediately with a soft cloth.
    • Make sure to handle drawers gently and avoid slamming them shut. This can damage the drawers and the furniture frame.
    • Check that the drawers are properly aligned and slide smoothly. Adjust or repair any loose or sticky drawers to prevent them from getting stuck or jammed.
    • If there are any scratches or dents on the surface, use a touch-up kit or wax crayon that matches the furniture color. These kits are available at furniture stores or online.
    • If you are moving the furniture, make sure to protect it from scratches and bumps. Wrap it in blankets or bubble wrap and use straps to secure it in place during transport.

    By following these simple tips, you can keep your dresser or chest of drawers looking great and functioning well for years to come.


    What do Americans call a chest of drawers?

    Americans call a chest of drawers a “dresser.”

    Why is it called a chest of drawers?

    A chest of drawers is called so because it is simply a chest-like piece of furniture that is fitted with drawers. The term “chest” usually refers to a container or box with a lid that opens on the top, while “drawers” refer to the sliding compartments that store items inside. Thus, a chest of drawers is a more efficient storage solution that combines both the functionalities of a chest and a drawer.

    What goes in dresser vs chest?

    Dressers are typically used for storing clothes like socks, shirts, and pants. They usually have multiple drawers stacked vertically. Chests, on the other hand, are used for storing items like blankets, linens, and towels. They typically have a single compartment and can have drawers or doors.

    What to put in dresser vs chest of drawers?

    When it comes to using a dresser versus a chest of drawers, it ultimately comes down to personal preference and storage needs. Dressers typically have longer drawers and are better suited for storing bulkier clothing items such as sweaters or folded jeans. Chests of drawers tend to have smaller, shallower drawers that are ideal for storing smaller clothing items like socks, underwear, and accessories. However, there is no hard and fast rule about which items should go where, so feel free to mix and match storage as needed.

    Last Words

    In conclusion, choosing between a chest of drawers and a dresser depends on several factors such as space, style, storage needs, durability, and budget. A chest of drawers is an efficient option for small spaces and provides multiple drawers for versatile use, while a dresser offers ample storage, functional features, and varying styles that can suit any decor. When deciding between the two, consider the design and size, material quality, and affordability. Maintaining your furniture with proper care, handling, and repair can prolong its lifespan and keep it looking great. Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference and individual needs to determine whether a chest of drawers vs dresser is the best choice for you.