26+ Different Types Of Dressers: Materials & Styles (Buying Guide)

A dresser is an important focal point of a room if you choose right. You need all the storage you can get when it comes to bedrooms for organization purposes but that does not mean that you cannot make it a decorative piece.

To this end, there are hundreds of drawer types to choose from and in this post, we narrow them down for you to see your options. 

If you are looking for dressers to fit your bedroom, know that they come in different sizes, shapes, and functions. Here are the types of drawers that you should know of. 

Related: 57+ Different Types Of Tables: Materials, Shapes, and Styles (Buying Guide)

What is a dresser?

Before going any further, we must first know what a dresser is. The technical definition of a dresser is it being a short and wide type of furniture featuring six or more drawers divided into two columns.

It is often interchanged with chest of drawers, although technically, a chest of drawers is those that are tall and narrow furniture sporting multiple drawers too. 

Types of dressers

When it comes to dressers, the type is the first thing to consider. By choosing the type of dresser, you are putting into consideration your need, your preference, the right dresser size as well as size.

Other than that, your choice on the type of dresser is also vital in maintaining the interior design of the room. 

1. Bachelor’s chest

This one is exceptionally a taller chest of drawers featuring one tall free space on one side to hang suits, jackets, and other clothes.

They usually come with built-in hanging rods as well as built-in shelves. Compared to the combo dresser, this one is taller and wider. 

2. Combo dresser

This one is comparable to the standard dresser only in terms of style and look but the lines of drawers for this one could be in the center or on both ends. It has lines of drawers in different sizes. 

The main identifier of this dresser is its wardrobe doors where clothes can be hung. It also has shelves beneath the wardrobe door for bags, shoes, and more clothes. If you want an all-in-one dresser, this one is the perfect dresser type for you. 

3. Double dresser

This one is a wider dresser consisting of two columns of large and spacious drawers. The size and depth of this dresser type is perfect for the master’s bedroom or a shared room.

This one is not appropriate for medium size to compact rooms as its dimensions could be overwhelming. 

4. Dresser and change table

This one is specifically made for baby’s bedrooms. As the term suggests, it looks like the standard dresser but instead of a tabletop, it has a built-in changing table during midnight changing nappies.

The top surface has rails to prevent the babies from falling over. The rows of drawers are for baby essentials. 

5. Gentleman’s chest

The vertical configuration of this dresser makes it a sleek and visually stunning focal point in any room. It is a compact combo dresser; one side is a line of drawers and the other side would be a smaller version of wardrobe door.

You can usually find this in hotels and in more compact rooms. They also come in built-in mirrors so it is perfect for modern and contemporary bedrooms. 

6. Lingerie chest

As the term suggests, this type of dresser is shallow, used in organizing smaller and lighter pieces of clothing like lingerie, other undergarments, handkerchiefs, bathing suits and socks. 

They are also popularly used to keep jewelry, makeup, and skin care products. They still have the traditional rows of drawers on each side and they can be horizontal or vertical in lining depending on the brand and your preference. It is also called the Semainier. 

7. Media chest

As the term implies, it is more of a chest than a dresser. It features an open top shelf that is wide enough to accommodate a cable box and tall enough for good TV viewing height.

The drawers of the media chest are also shallower than most types of dressers but this makes them ample in storing remote controls, consoles, game CDs and more. As such, media chests are usually found in game rooms, living rooms, and bedrooms. 

8. Raised bed and dresser

This one is now a standard feature of loft beds. Either found at the center or on the sides, this one is a practical choice for space-saving purposes.

This type of dresser is usually chosen for kids’ or teens’ bedrooms. It has ample yet shallow drawers that are used for lighter items like toys, writing materials, and more. 

9. Standard horizontal dresser

One must note that the dresser is inspired by the older piece of furniture called the chest. It is typically composed of 2-3-rows of drawers on a long and narrow frame, lined horizontally.

It also usually features 2-4 smaller drawers on top. This is the more common dresser with a tabletop used for display and where a TV could be placed. Older models also feature a built-in mirror for more function.  

10. Standard vertical dresser

Compared to the horizontal chest, this one is more compact and is a perfect choice for smaller bedrooms. They are tall and narrow dressers with shallow drawers.

Although they are space-saving dresser types, they are often paired with a chest and other storage furniture which are equally compact and space-saving. 

11. Highboy

As the term implies, it is a tall chest of drawers or a chest-on-chest stand. It became popular in France in the 1600s.

Unlike the tall boy, this one is all drawers and does not come with a wardrobe door. As far as terminologies are concerned, highboy is also now interchangeable with tall boy. 

12. Lowboy

Like highboy, this one is another antique-style dresser. It is framed on four to six legs and features two to three horizontal drawers. At best, it is considered as the lower part of the highboy. 

13. Bombe dresser

The term bombe is derived from a French word which means bulging out. As such, bombe dressers have a stark outward bulging style. The bulging look runs sideways and the base is curved. The bombe dresser was a popular look in 17th century Europe.  

Dresser materials

As is with other furniture, dresser materials are important if you want to maintain the design theme of the room. Hence, these are the most common dresser materials out there from which you can narrow your choice from when it comes to design and overall finish. 

1. Leather

As a material, it is not used for the dresser entirely because usually, they are still framed using wood or metal. But when it comes to vintage, retro, opulent and luxe bedroom interiors, a full leather dresser surface offers a high-end look.

From pleated, to tufted, to plain, there is just something about leather that is hard not to miss. However, it is harder to maintain than other dresser materials. 

2. Metal

Although they are less common compared to wood, you can still have a multitude of dresser designs and form with metal.

You can choose from all-metal dressers but there are also those considered as hybrid metal dressers incorporating other materials like wood or glass to match eclectic and industrial designs.

The lightweight nature, durability and workability of metal make it a prime dresser material. 

3. Mirrored glass

Like leather, the overall look of mirrored glass seamlessly threads the classic and the modern. Aside from this, a mirror is beneficial in giving the room an illusion of space.

With their edged designs, they are not prime choices for kids’ bedrooms. They are also more prone to cracking and breaking. 

4. Wicker

For an airier, cottage type, more tropical, and laidback look, wicker dressers are some of the best choices for you.

Wicker dressers are made of woven, natural fibers or synthetic materials. They are lightweight, durable, resistant to stains as well as moisture and are often framed using wood. 

5. Wood

This classic material can offer you a wide range of dresser configurations. If the design scheme is traditional, rustic, or sleek modern and contemporary, wood is still a fine choice.

As they say, you cannot go wrong with wood, especially solid wood or hardwood. Upkeep and maintenance can be more challenging but they never go out of style. 

Dresser styles

Another important factor to consider when choosing a dresser would be the style that you are going for. As has been said, dressers are not just chosen for function.

Their aesthetic value in a room is also imperative. As such, here are the dresser styles that you can choose from. 

1. Antique

This type of dresser style is usually made of wood, leather and even marble surfaces. Antique dressers give you the opulent, old-world charm.

They can be heirloom furniture but antique dressers can be found in fancy auctions, in thrift shops, and as collector’s items. All dressers from the 20th century and back are considered antiques. 

2. Contemporary

Like modern styles, contemporary styles rely on clean lines with unique aesthetic details. Contemporary dressers are often colorful, with intricate details and personalized accents, giving them an eclectic and unique look.

If you have a more updated interior design, contemporary dressers are a perfect choice. 

3. Distressed

As the term implies, this dresser style is made to look like a worn-out piece. For dressers, they are usually found in rustic and cottage style rooms.

If you want a cheaper alternative to antique or really have a preference for wood but in a different style, this one is a good choice. 

4. Modern

With its inherent minimalism and flair for clean lines, modern dressers are preferred in contemporary and industrial interiors.

As a space-saving solution featuring ergonomic drawer placements, it is perfect for studio type apartments and lofts. As for appearance, you can choose from wood veneer, lacquer, or painted modern dressers. 

5. Rustic

This one is another dresser style that does not only go well with farmhouse styles but virtually with any interior style. Usually made of wood, they are stained, varnished or painted to maintain that natural look.

They also typically feature metal handles for a more modern take. Like traditional and shabby chic styles, rustic is timeless.  

6. Shabby chic

This type of style is more known as the cottage style known for its cozy, informal, and very homey look incorporating clean monochromes and rustic details in one cohesive style.

To get the semi-distressed look of shabby chic dressers, they are sanded on the edges. They are usually made of wood, veneer, and laminate materials. 

7. Traditional

Promising timelessness, this one can seamlessly be incorporated in different interior styles. You can count on traditional styles to still look updated in years. As such, it is cost-effective but at the same time, it is also easier to remodel compared to specific dresser styles. 

Factors to consider when buying a dresser

Beyond the types, materials, and styles of dressers, there are other important factors to consider before buying one. Notwithstanding the mentioned considerations, here are some pointers to be aware of before shopping for a dresser. 

#1. Size

The size of your dresser should be relative to the size of your room. For this, it is essential that you measure the space where you intend to put it.

Make sure that it still has 2-5 inches of space around for cleaning and moving purposes. 

#2. Purpose

While style is important, the purpose you intend for the dresser to have is more vital. Before buying one, orient yourselves to the items that need to be stored.

If these are light items, you do not need a bulky dresser with deep drawers. If it is for hanging clothes, bags and shoes, a dresser with wardrobe door is a better choice, 

#3. Quality

You might say that this is subjective and hard to predict. The thing is, you have reputable dresser brands and stores to get one from.

Always note that they would not risk their reputation for a few bad dressers. You can always start checking them out for dresser shopping. 

#4. Added features

From ergonomic handles, remote controlled opening, voice recognition setup, lighting and more, you can benefit a lot from installing added features for your dressers.

If you have extra money to spend or if you want to invest on your dressers so that they become more unique or more lasting, go for added features. 

#5. Cost

Notwithstanding the cost of added features, the upfront cost for dressers would probably be the most important factor in case. The average cost of quality dressers is pegged at $100 and up.

Depending on how many drawers are needed, if it is customized, if it is made of solid wood and what not, you have to prepare at least a few hundred bucks to land on a good dresser for your bedroom. 

Where to buy a dresser?

Being staple pieces in bedrooms, dressers are available in all major stores as well as online. It is still recommended that dressers be bought in physical stores because of nuances in size, material, and style.

Listed below are the stores (both physical and online stores) where you could buy a wide range of dresser styles at different price points. 

  • IKEA
  • Wayfair
  • Target
  • Home Depot
  • Walmart
  • Overstock
  • Amazon
  • Bed, Bath and Beyond
  • Goods Home Furnishing
  • Lowes 
  • Thos Moser
  • Kohls
  • Crate and Barrel
  • Macy’s 
  • Southshore
  • eBay

FAQs

What are the tall skinny dressers called?

They are called the tallboys or vertical dressers. Their main characteristics would be their uniquely tall height and narrow form. They are composed of lines of drawers with uniform size and depth. They are perfect in storing different items of different categories. 

How tall is a tall boy? 

The average height of a tall boy is 9ft. Note that the average height of dressers is at 4-5-ft. The logic behind the tall boy is having two stacked dressers, hence, the height.

A standard of old world opulence and modern charm, tall boys are perfect for high ceiling rooms employing sleek and clean lines. 

What’s the difference between a bureau and a dresser?

While they could look similar, the main difference between a bureau and dresser is where they are placed in the home. Dressers are bedroom furniture while bureaus are typically seen in home offices and study rooms.

Although both are used for storage purposes, bureaus also feature a wider, more utilitarian tabletop that could make up for a desk. 

Is there a difference between a dresser and a chest of drawers?

None. As has been said, they are now used interchangeably because of the acknowledgement that the chest of drawers is the prototype of the dressers that we know today.

In the mid-17th century, chest of drawers referred to a chest of furniture with lines of drawers at the base. By the late 17th century, the chest of drawers became just drawers. In the early 19th century, the term chest of drawers was changed into dressers. 

What is the average cost of a dresser?

Depending on the size, style, and added features, the average cost of a drawer starts from $120 and up. In home contracting where dressers can be added as a part of the finishing phase, $240 and up is allotted at its average cost. 

Can you use a sideboard as a dresser?

Yes. If you have credenzas in the dining hall or kitchen, that is how a dresser with a sideboard can look like. Incorporating shelving for a dresser makes it more functional but you just have to be wary of the space so that overall, it would not look too overwhelming. 

Are there alternatives to dressers? 

If you have concerns when it comes to space, types of items to be stored and more that would contest your decision to go for dressers, know that there are dresser alternatives to choose from. The following could be considered in place for dressers: 

  • Armoires
  • Bed with built-in drawers
  • Coat trees
  • Cubicle organizer
  • Garment racks
  • Hanging closets/shelving/racks
  • Lockers
  • Stackable cabinets
  • Step cabinets
  • Trunks and chests
  • Overbed storage

When is the best time to buy dressers? 

As with other furniture, the best time to buy dressers would be the end of summer or the end of winter. This has nothing to do with the weather, though.

Consumer reports reveal that the best sale deals for dressers are during the months of January, February, August and September. All old stocks are at 45-70% discounts because they are preparing for restocking. 

What is the standard dresser size?

Given that standard dressers feature 6-10 drawers, their standard size would be at 26-44-inches in height, 36-60-inches in width and 16-20-inches in depth. Customized standard dressers may vary inconspicuously but they still adhere to these said dimensions. 

What is the standard dresser drawer size? 

The safest answer is it depends because some dressers feature smaller accent drawers for lightweight items. Nonetheless, it is said that the standard dresser drawer size should be at least 36-inches wide. 

What is the size of small dressers? 

The smallest dresser size should not be less than 42-inches. This is in consideration of the standard drawer size of 36-inches in width. If your space could not accommodate a 42-inch dresser, it might be best to look for other space-saving options. 

How much clearance should a dresser have?

By clearance we mean the walking space around it. From the doorway and relative to other bedroom furniture, a 3-ft clearance for the dresser must be observed.

Around the dresser, there should be at least 6 inches to 1ft of clearance for convenience. In front, a 2ft clearance should be present to give you enough space in fully opening the drawers (and the wardrobe door if applicable). 

Conclusion

As has been established, the home, especially the bedroom, could benefit a lot from having the right type of dresser. Depending on the size of your space as well as your preferred material and style, you can choose from a wide range of dresser types.

Being stable pieces in a bedroom, you would not have a hard time shopping for one because they are available in major stores as well as online.

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