3 Expert Tips To Choose A Dresser

After the bed, the dresser is the most important piece of furniture in your bedroom. From providing storage to becoming the focal point for the decor, the dresser does it all. Here are three tips to help you choose the right dresser for your home.

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What is the best type of dresser?

Want a sprawling dresser that catches the eye? => Horizontal

Also known as the standard type, this is the most widespread design and the default image that comes to the mind when you think about a dresser.

Basically, these dressers extend horizontally, keeping the height low. This leaves space for mounting a mirror at the top (or at the wall left bare above it), making it ideal for dressing. Furthermore, this gives you a pretty wide table space for additional storage as well, which is great for your cosmetics and grooming products.

The only drawback is that horizontal dressers require extensive floor space. They hug almost an entire wall by themselves, not to mention the clearance needed for the drawers to open as well.

Unless you plan the whole layout around the dresser, it can be a bit difficult to accommodate it without making your bedroom look cramped.

White Solid Manufactured Wood Standard Double Dresser
Champagne Solid Wood Standard Dresser With Mirror
Acorn Solid Manufactured Wood Standard Double Dresser
Grand Walnut Manufactured Wood Standard Double Dresser
Natural Manufactured Wood Standard Dresser
Antique Brown Solid Manufactured Wood Standard Double Dresser

Low on floor space in your bedroom? => Vertical

When a standard dresser cannot fit in your bedroom, you should consider choosing a vertical type of dresser.

Vertical dresser, as the name suggests, is a dresser that stretches vertically, with a single (or at most a double) stack of drawers reaching up. This narrow width allows this dresser to fit into enclosed spaces, such as a corner of your bedroom.

Keep in mind though that the reduction in its length, along with the increase in height removes the table space available, along with any possibility of mounting a mirror. As such, vertical dressers are only suitable if you already have a wall-mounted mirror, preferably beside where you wish to keep the dresser.

Antique Silver Solid Manufactured Wood Chest
Haven Light Oak Manufactured Wood Chest
Stained Gray Solid Manufactured Wood Chest
Walnut Solid Manufactured Wood Chest
Gray Wire Brush Solid Manufactured Wood Chest
White Solid Manufactured Wood Chest

Require a wardrobe space in your dresser as well? => Combo

Usually, dressers consist of only drawers. Sometimes though, you require a small wardrobe to store things like electronics or photo albums that cannot easily fit into a drawer. While you can always get a separate wardrobe to store those items, it can be a better idea to opt for a combo dresser.

A combo dresser, or a gentleman's chest as it is sometimes called, is a dresser with both doors and various drawers. Not only does this save space in your bedroom that would otherwise be occupied by another storage cabinet, but it also makes for a more efficient decor.

Brown Solid Manufactured Wood Gentleman's Chest With Mirror
Oak Solid Wood Gentleman's Chest
White Solid Manufactured Wood Gentleman's Chest
Gray Solid Wood Combo Dresser
Antique Gray Solid Manufactured Wood Combo Dresser
White Solid Manufactured Wood Combo Dresser

Which material should my dresser be made of?

Need something durable? => Hardwood

Clothes may be light, but your entire collection does not exactly weigh nothing. Additionally, if you want to mount a mirror on the dresser (instead of the wall), you need something sturdy.

Hardwoods like teak and mahogany are best for this purpose, as they are heavy and grow stronger as they age. They are easy to carve, which means that you can get some attractive designs on hardwood dressers, along with a rich grain that complements any decor style.

The biggest advantage of choosing hardwood is the durability; with proper cleaning and maintenance (basically, periodic oiling), hardwood dressers can last for generations.

Cherry Wood Double Dresser With Mirror
Basalt Gray Mahogany Solid Wood Chest
Acacia Teak Solid Wood Standard Dresser
Tung Oil Teak Solid Wood Dresser
Dark Walnut Mango Solid Wood Chest
Mahogany Solid Wood Double Dresser With Mirror

Looking to paint your dresser? => Softwood

If the natural look of wood is not something you are aiming for in your decor style, then consider softwood as the material for your dresser.

Bright and lightweight, this kind of wood is excellent if you wish to paint over or apply a finish. Some softwoods such as cedar are also naturally insect resistant, which can be a great boon in ensuring its longevity.

In addition, softwoods like pine and spruce tend to be much cheaper as well compared to most hardwoods.

Antique White Pine Solid Wood Double Dresser
Oak Fir Solid Wood Dresser
Caramel Pine Solid Wood Chest
Warm Tobacco Pine Solid Wood Media Chest
Gray Cedar Solid Wood Chest
Walnut Pine Solid Wood Chest

Want the best of both worlds? => MDF

MDF or Medium Density Fiber boards are made by combining softwood and hardwood fibers with wax and resin. This results in a thin but very strong material with no noticeable grain and a very smooth finish.

This makes these panels easy to customize (drilling, painting, etc.) while being quite durable. And the best point? They are far more inexpensive than solid wood.

Go for these if you want style and quality on a budget.

Antique White Wood MDF Double Dresser
Solid White Wood MDF Double Dresser
Distressed Gray Manufactured Wood MDF Double Dresser
Twilight Blue Wood MDF Double Dresser
Light Brown Wood MDF Double Dresser
Manufactured Wood MDF Double Dresser With Mirror

How to get the size of the dresser right?

How much storage do I need?

Before you can decide on the size of the dresser you need, you first need to determine the amount of storage you require.

What other storage options do you have in your bedroom? For example, if you already have a small cabinet or two, or even a console table with drawers, you can go easy on the dresser.

On the other hand, if your dresser is going to be the mainstay for storage in your bedroom, you need the largest model that you can fit.

Oak White Solid Manufactured Wood Double Dresser
Brown Wicker Rattan Double Dresser
White Solid Manufactured Wood Drawer Chest
Cinnamon Solid Wood Combo Dresser
Silver Solid Manufactured Wood Dresser
Brown Solid Manufactured Wood Dresser

How to measure space for a dresser?

Once you know which size of a dresser you are aiming for, you need to make sure that you can actually fit it into your bedroom.

  • Start with the wall. If you are looking to mount a mirror on top of your dresser, measure from the floor to your eye level first. Subtract the height of the mirror itself, and you have the maximum height that your dresser can possess.

  • Next is the width. Measure the length of the wall where you wish to put your dresser, leaving aside the space already occupied by other cabinets. Remove a foot or so (to leave some gap between your furniture), and you have the maximum length you can go for.

  • Finally, measure the space you need for clearance. Remember, the drawers need to open, and leave enough space for you to stand before it as well. So take the depth of the dresser (which should give you an idea of its drawer's length), double it, and add a few feet for allowing free movement when the dresser is in use.

    If this measurement overlaps with existing furniture (like your king size bed), then you need to reconsider the size of the dresser, or choose a different spot.

Brown Wood Metal Double Dresser With Mirror
Glossy White Solid Manufactured Wood Double Dresser
White Solid Manufactured Wood Double Dresser
Cerused Mink Wood Metal Double Dresser With Mirror
Walnut Wood Metal Double Dresser
Black Lacquer Wood Double Dresser With Mirror

Lily is a modern designer with great appreciation for sleek architecture, a love for art in its many forms, and a passion for sharing her experience with people. If you’re looking for advice on how to modernize your old-fashioned place or make your new restaurant a visual blast, she’s definitely the one to ask.