What to Consider When Buying a Dresser

If you’re in the process of designing your bedroom, you’ll surely want to pick out the perfect dresser for your space. We’ve written quite a bit about different dressers for the bedroom, so today I’d like to share our best advice for purchasing the perfect dresser for your home.

What are Dressers?

Dressers are functional pieces of furniture that hold our clothing when not in use. They typically have multiple drawers that can be pulled in and out as needed by knobs or bar pulls. Most importantly, they protect our clothes against dust that settles when we’re not at home.

How much does a decent dresser cost?

A decent dresser’s cost can vary widely based on the material, craftsmanship, and brand. Generally, you can find a quality wooden dresser in the range of $150 to $800, depending on the aforementioned factors and whether it’s assembled or ready-to-assemble. Luxury or designer dressers can exceed this range, while budget-friendly options made from composite materials might be found for under $100.

How long should you keep a dresser?

The lifespan of a dresser depends on the quality of its construction, material, and how well it is maintained. A well-made wooden dresser can last many decades, even generations if properly cared for, while a less expensive dresser made of particle board or other composite materials might only last around 5 to 15 years.

Regular inspection and maintenance, such as tightening loose screws and treating scratches, can prolong the life of a dresser, allowing you to keep it as long as it continues to meet your needs and stays in style!

Do people still put dressers in bedrooms?

Yes, dressers remain a common and functional piece of furniture in bedrooms. They provide essential storage space for clothing, accessories, and other personal items, helping to keep the room organized. The top surface of a dresser is often used for displaying decorative items, mirrors, and extra lighting.

Measure Your Space First

Measuring your space before choosing a dresser is crucial. This ensures that the dresser fits properly in the designated area without overcrowding the room or obstructing pathways. Accurate measurements help in selecting a piece that complements the room’s size and layout, aiding in both the functionality and aesthetics of the space. The last thing you want is to find your dream dresser only to realize that it does not fit in your bedroom!

Types of Dressers

Let’s start with the main types of dressers available. Dressers can come with as few as 3 drawers and as many as 10 or more!

Horizontal Dressers

These are the most common types of bedroom dressers you will find for sale. They are typically waist-high and offer 6 drawers (3 on each side) stacked side by side. Sometimes, they are also called Wide Dressers because they are wider than they are tall. This type of furniture requires ample space to prevent the bedroom from feeling too crowded or cluttered.


Tall Dressers

On the opposite end, tall dressers are another common choice for bedroom dressers. As the name implies, tall dressers are taller than they are wider. They are sometimes called “chests.” Tall dressers usually offer at least 4 drawers of storage stacked vertically. They are great for smaller spaces as they make use of free vertical space!

Double Dressers

These are large, often consisting of two columns of drawers side by side. Double dressers provide substantial storage space and are suited for larger rooms.

Dresser and Mirror Combo

This type of dresser includes a mirror attached to the dresser, often used for grooming purposes. The mirror can add depth and light to a room.

Lingerie Chests

Narrow and tall, this type of lingerie dresser is specifically designed for storing undergarments and accessories. It’s a space-efficient choice that adds elegance to the room.

Dresser Materials

Dressers are constructed using various materials, each offering unique characteristics in terms of appearance, durability, and cost. Here are some of the common dresser materials:


Often considered the most durable and aesthetically pleasing, solid wood dressers are made from hardwoods like oak, cherry, walnut, or maple. They provide a timeless look and are known for their long-lasting quality.

Dressers are very often made of wood, whether natural or synthetic. The higher quality of the wood, the more expensive the dresser will be.

Particle Board

This is a more budget-friendly option made from wood chips, sawmill shavings, or sawdust bonded together with a resin. While not as robust as solid wood, it’s lightweight and comes in various finishes.

MDF (Medium-Density Fiberboard)

MDF is an engineered wood product made by breaking down hardwood or softwood residuals into fibers and combining them with wax and resin. It offers a smooth surface for painting and is more durable than particle board but less so than solid wood.


Made by gluing together thin layers of wood veneers, plywood is strong and resists warping. It’s often used in conjunction with solid wood to reduce cost while maintaining quality.


Metal dressers offer a sleek and modern look. Often constructed from steel or aluminum, they are durable and can be found in various finishes and styles.


Glass is often used in combination with other materials like wood or metal to add a touch of elegance. It can be used for drawer fronts or tabletops.

Rattan or Wicker

These natural materials provide a casual or rustic appearance. They are lightweight and often used in casual or coastal-themed settings.


Laminate surfaces are made by bonding a thin layer of decorative material over a core of particleboard or MDF. They come in a wide variety of colors and patterns, offering the look of more expensive materials at a lower cost.


This is a thin layer of hardwood bonded to a core of lesser-quality wood. Veneers allow for the appearance of rare or expensive woods without the high cost.


Known for its sustainability and strength, bamboo offers a unique look and is becoming more popular in contemporary designs.

Acrylic and Plastic

Lightweight and available in many colors, these materials are often used for children’s dressers or in modern, trendy designs.

Dresser Hardware

Dresser hardware is just as varied as the surface material. The choice of dresser hardware can dramatically alter the look and feel of the piece, turning a simple dresser into a statement piece or allowing it to blend seamlessly with the room’s decor.

What’s great about dressers is that even if you do not like the handles or pulls on your dresser drawers, you can often just unscrew them and purchase other hardware you like better! This is a quick way to update your dresser without spending a lot of money to buy a new one.

Here are some popular dresser hardware options:


  • Round Knobs: Classic and versatile, they fit various styles.
  • Oval Knobs: Slightly elongated, they provide a more ergonomic grip.
  • Square Knobs: These offer a contemporary and geometric appearance.
  • Novelty Knobs: Uniquely shaped knobs, such as animal shapes or thematic designs, add a playful touch.

Pulls and Handles

  • Bar Pulls: Long and linear, they offer a sleek, modern look.
  • Cup Pulls: These are shaped like a cup and provide an easy grip, often used in traditional or country-style dressers.
  • Ring Pulls: Circular and often decorative, they add a vintage flair.
  • Bail Pulls: These have a swinging handle attached to two mounting points and are often found in antique-style furniture.
  • Recessed Pulls: Integrated into the drawer’s face, they offer a minimalist and clean appearance.


  • Polished: Shiny and reflective, such as polished chrome or brass.
  • Satin or Brushed: These finishes offer a softer, matte appearance.
  • Antique: Aged or distressed finishes that add a rustic or vintage character.
  • Oil-Rubbed: Darkened finish that gives a worn-in, classic look.

Dresser Styles

Dressers come in a variety of styles to suit your existing decor theme or aesthetic. From modern styles to vintage, and everything in between, you are sure to find a dresser that suits your personal decorative style and taste.

If you have a particular theme in mind for your home, we might have an article with some recommendations for a dresser based on your decorative style. Here are a few of our top posts about design-specific furniture:

I hope this post helped you narrow down your bedroom furniture search. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below! How do you store your clothes in your bedroom?


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