Types of Dressers and ChestsBy Bailiegh Basham · October 19, 2022
Dressers are surprisingly diverse, encompassing a variety of types, dimensions, and decor styles. For this reason, not every set of drawers is equally accommodating to your room’s layout and your wardrobe storage needs. We put together this guide to help you understand the full breadth of options so you to find the right type of dresser.
When you think of a dresser, this is the style that immediately comes to mind. Horizontally-oriented, it often has two (sometimes three) rows of drawers. Variations include those with-or-without mirrors. Horizontally-oriented dressers tend to be shorter than some of the other types referenced in this article, being roughly three to four feet tall. While they may take up more floor space than other styles, they can actually help a room feel larger by not obstructing the line of sight.
Though terms like “dresser” and “chest of drawers” are often used interchangeably, there are indeed differences between these two types. Mainly, a chest of drawers is more vertically-oriented than a dresser (taller). While it may also have two drawers per row, the overall width is comparatively reduced. Because of its height, it’s uncommon to see mirrors attached to the top of chests of drawers.
When your closet is packed to the gills or you’re converting a closet-less area into a guest bedroom, the chifferobe (sometimes referred to as a wardrobe armoire) is the ideal style of storage furniture for you. So what makes it distinctively unique compared to other types of dressers? Firstly, their height (and sometimes its depth) will be greater, as is its variety of included compartments. Most often, they will pair drawers with a tall space for hanging clothes, allowing chifferobes to accommodate jackets, dressers, socks, and everything in between. While most armoires and chifferobes are considered large, their use of vertical space (and occasional mirror attachment) can actually help you reduce the amount of floor space you use.
So is there a difference between an armoire and chifferobe dresser? Traditionally, the former would not have drawers while the latter type would have drawers. However, contemporary times have allowed the two styles to blend with one another for greater practicality.
In an ideal world, people would be able to hang their suits within their dressers to prevent creasing and wrinkles. Luckily, this is exactly the intended function of a gentleman’s chest. It provides vertical storage options similar to an armoire but without its grand size. This makes it perfectly suited for smaller wardrobes or guest rooms.
The above-mentioned dresser types all provide large amounts of holding capacities. But what about when you only need a little bit extra (rather than a lot)? In such scenarios, tall, slender lingerie chests may be the ideal type of dresser.
With bountiful small drawers, this style helps you organize less-bulky items. Separate your underwear, socks, ties, and undershirts, and perhaps even have an extra area for unused linens.
Don’t let the name lingerie chests fool you; this type of dresser can work well outside of the bedroom. Perhaps you want to add it to your entranceway to hold winter gloves, hats, and scarves. Alternatively, place it in your living room to hold various odds and ends.
The organization needs of jewelry vary greatly from that of clothes. This style of dresser will offer multiple thin drawers equipped with jewelry-intended compartments, such as bracelet holders, ring bars, or crisscrossing dividers. Additionally, the inside of the drawers should have velvet or a similar material to prevent damaging the metal or dresser’s wood. Some jewelry armoires may also have taller compartments with hooks for hanging necklaces. Another common component of jewelry armoires is a mirror, either presented in the front or hidden in a drawer.
Jewelry armoires come in a full range of sizes. Additionally, some will be hybrids that combine diverse dresser styles for multi-use; for example, you may find jewelry drawers above larger alcoves below.
While many different types of dressers will accommodate nurseries, this particular style is designed to be the ideal height for changing a baby on its top, and even includes guardrails. Some will have the designated topper built into their frame and other dressers will have this feature detachable so it can be removed once it's no longer needed.
Dressers built for nurseries tend to be shorter than other options, enabling them to accommodate your children’s needs even as they age into grade school. They’ll be able to reach all of the drawers without needing a stool or assistance. What’s more, the heavy, solid wood construction means the dresser can’t be knocked over (a risk that comes with flimsier chests).
Dresser with a Hutch
While a dresser provides ample room, some types give you the option to receive more storage capabilities with the addition of a hutch. This style decision grants you extra shelving on which you could display photographs, books, decorative boxes, blankets, etc. What’s more, the added vertical capacity of this type of dresser is particularly accommodating to smaller rooms with limited floor space.
Considerations When Choosing the Right Style of Dresser
What are your specific storage needs
We suggest taking inventory of your existing clothing and bedroom items. Organize them in a way that feels intuitive. Now, consider both the quantity and style of piles and consider that ideally, each group will need its own drawer. Next, consider the storage needs of each pile (hanging from a bar versus folded in a drawer). Use these insights to decide whether you’d benefit from a type of dresser with plenty of smaller compartments versus a style that has larger but fewer drawers. Remember, you can divide your wardrobe amongst multiple types of dressers, a decision that may make browsing wooden bedroom sets for coordinating pieces a smart next move.
The Room Layout and Optimal Positioning
If you’re furnishing a new home which you don’t yet occupy, map out the bedroom’s floor plan and then draw each essential item to scale. Consider that you’ll need both room to walk and to extend the dresser’s drawers. Also, reflect on what parts of the wall your new dresser may cover; while a shorter type may fit snuggly underneath a window, a taller style may fully obstruct the view. Another consideration? Whether you have the space for a separate full-length mirror or if attaching directly to the dresser or armoire makes the most sense.
Other Types of Bedroom Storage Outside of Dressers
Dressers aren’t the only option at your disposal. Other popular storage solutions include:
- Wooden storage beds - This style of bed will have drawers built into its frame. Most commonly, they’re located on the base’s sides but, occasionally, you’ll also find added storage capabilities in the headboard.
- Bedroom sideboards - Much more shallow than other types of dressers, this style of furniture is a strong choice for storing options (like quilts or extra pillows) without blocking the walkway.
- Wood Chest Trunk - A solid trunk never goes out of style or is unuseful. Place it at the foot of your bed, store it in your closet, or even place it by your front door to serve double duty as a chair and storage solution.
Browse Different Styles of Dressers and Drawers with Countryside Amish Furniture
Have you determined which type of dresser will best fit your bedroom? The next step is to browse the hundreds of styles we offer online. Each piece is made-to-order by Amish artisans using your favorite hardwood, stain or paint, and hardware. The end result is a beautiful dresser built to withstand the rigors of daily use to last the test of time.