All About Dressers & Chests

A light gray wood bedroom dresser with nine drawer and ring-style pull hardware, a gray side chair and a faux fur rug in mottled gray and brown

Shopping for new dressers and chests involves considering several factors to ensure you make a well-informed decision. The furniture experts at Garnder White have your back with all the information that you need when shopping for this type of furniture. Here are some important things to keep in mind:

Last Updated: September 5, 2023

What’s the Difference Between a Dresser and a Chest?


A medium brown wooden dresser with six drawers with ring pull handles and an attached mirror in a light blue room

Bedroom dressers are often shorter, averaging around 30″ tall, with six to ten drawers. Their purpose is to store your clothing and offer you a look at yourself while you dress for the day. Dressers have multiple drawers of varying sizes, providing space to organize and store clothes, accessories, linens, and other items. Most dressers are squat, wide furniture pieces in order to accommodate a mirror.

Chests (A.K.A. Chest of Drawers)

A light gray chest of drawers with five drawers with geometric shapes on it in a bedroom with teal walls

A bedroom chest sometimes called a chest of drawers, consists of multiple horizontal drawers stacked on top of each other within a single frame. The design of a chest of drawers provides efficient vertical storage, making it a popular choice for bedrooms. They average about 40″ tall but can range from shorter to very tall. They’re designed for storing clothing, linens, and other personal items.

Choosing the Right Dresser or Chest

Size, Space, and Storage Capacity

Measure the available space in the room where you plan to place the dresser or chest. Consider the dimensions of the furniture to ensure it fits comfortably without overwhelming the room.

Determine how much storage space you require. Think about the types of items you’ll be storing, such as clothing, accessories, or other personal items. Look for a dresser or chest with the appropriate number of drawers and compartments.

Style and Design

Cream colored three drawer chest with gray metal ring pulls in a white-walled room with black wood flooring

Choose a style that matches your existing décor and personal taste. Whether you prefer traditional, modern, rustic, or eclectic, make sure the dresser or chest complements the overall aesthetics of the room.

Fortunately for you, there are nearly endless options when it comes to materials, colors, hardware, and size.

Color, Finish, and Hardware

A black colored wooden chest with four drawers and silver metal know drawer pulls against a brick wall and a tile floor

Consider the color and finish of the furniture. Choose a finish that complements the room’s color scheme and enhances the overall ambiance. On the other hand, mismatched furniture is becoming more popular in current interior design.

The hardware on the furniture is important too! Be sure to use what worked best for you whether it’s knob pulls, loops, or pull bars. In this case, the good news is that you can often replace standard hardware with a different style that you prefer!


Light brown all-wood bedroom set with a chest, dresser, nightstand and bed with a taupe accent chair and a blue gray rug

Think about any additional features you might need, such as a mirror attached to the dresser, hidden compartments, or built-in charging ports. Sometimes these furniture pieces also feature electrical plugs which allow you to free up plug space in your bedroom!


Determine your budget beforehand. Dressers and chests come in a wide price range, so knowing how much you’re willing to spend will help you narrow down your options. The good news here is that most furniture retailers offer some type of financing allowing you to pay for your purchase over time. In fact, Gardner White has some of the most competitive finance terms currently available.

Durability and Warranty

Durable furniture is built to last, meaning it will withstand the wear and tear of everyday use for a longer period of time. This saves you from the hassle and cost of having to replace furniture frequently. While durable furniture might initially have a higher upfront cost, it often proves to be more cost-effective in the long run. You won’t need to replace or repair it as frequently, which can save you money over time.

Be sure to check if the furniture comes with a warranty. A good warranty can provide peace of mind in case of manufacturing defects or other issues. Also, some furniture retailers offer additional warranties at the time of purchase which you should consider as well. read more about the importance of good furniture quality in this article from Amazing Architecture.

Taking these factors into account will help you choose dressers and chests that not only look great but also meet your functional and practical needs.

Need More Help?

You can contact one of Gardner White’s experts at (248) 481-2208, chat with one online, or visit one of our local Michigan stores.

Dave has been in the furniture industry in one capacity or another for the last decade. When not writing about furniture he enjoys cooking for his family, guitar playing, oil painting, the Detroit Tigers, and the comedic antics of English Bulldogs.