How To Choose A Dresser

Unless your home comes with built-ins and organized storage closets, there's a high likelihood that you'll need to purchase a dresser to store your clothes and other items as well as reduce visual clutter! Let's talk about the specific things you need to know before buying a good-quality dresser.

Table of Contents Hide

What are the best materials for functional dressers?

Dressers are typically made of wood not only because the grain looks gorgeous, but because many types of wood have natural anti-moth properties to protect your clothing! Here are a few of the most popular types of wood for dressers.


Ash, birch, maple or oak - these types of wood make for good dressers because they get stronger as they age! These pieces can last for generations if cared for properly.

White Traditional Solid Wood Dresser
Dark Brown Traditional Solid Wood Dresser
White Classic Solid Wood Dresser
Brown Traditional Solid Wood Double Dresser
Brown Classic Solid Wood Dresser
Dark Brown Traditional Hardwood Dresser


For a wood with a lighter, brighter feel, turn to spruce, cedar, and pine. As an added bonus, woods like cedar have a lightly spicy scent that can perfume your entire room!

Rustic Classic Pine Wood Dresser
Brown Simple Pine Wood Dresser
Light Brown Classic Pine Wood Dresser
Light Brown Modern Pine Wood Dresser
Brown Classic Pine Wood Drawer Chest
Brown Traditional Pine Wood Dresser


Exotic woods may be more expensive, but their beauty alone can be worth the investment. Choose from olive, rosewood, maple and burl! These types of wood can make your dresser a focal point in any room. It will certainly be a conversation starter!


If you are on a tight budget, you always have the choice of manufactured wood, commonly referred to as MDF. Manufactured wood is made in the process of gluing wood fibers, chips and sawdust together to create a wood-like composite. It's not as classy and durable as naural wood, but offers an easy to maintain, inexpensive alternative. Dresserd made of manufactured wood, especially ones with a glossy finish, will look good in contemporary interiors.

Black Modern Manufactured Wood Dresser
Black Modern Manufactured Wood Double Dresser
Black Traditional Manufactured Wood Mirror Dresser
White Modern Manufactured Wood Dresser
Brown Stylish Manufactured Wood Dresser
White Stylish Wooden Mirror Dresser

Alternatively, if you'd rather go for a non-wood substance, a metal locker or an industrial metal shelf with plastic containers can be incredibly functional and look streamlined and sophisticated for a simplistic, ultra-practical choice.

What are the different types and styles of dressers?

While you can certainly find any type of dresser you can imagine online, typically dressers come in two general shapes:

Single-Column, Taller Dressers

These types of dressers have one column of drawers and typically are a bit taller - about chest height on a typical adult, or 44 inches tall.

Brown Classic Manufactured Wood Dresser
Brown Modern Solid Wood Dresser
White Stylish Wooden Drawer Chest
Silver Elegant Manufactured Wood Dresser
White Traditional Manufactured Wood Drawer Chest
White Modern Solid Wood Dresser

Double-Column, Shorter Dressers

These types of dressers have two columns of drawers and are generally waist-height, or approximately 30 inches tall.

Brown Classic Manufactured Wood Double Dresser
Black Modern Manufactured Wood Double Dresser
Yellow Traditional Manufactured Wood Double Dresser
Light Brown Simple Manufactured Wood Double Dresser
Brown Stylish Manufactured Wood Dresser
Blue Classic Manufactured Wood Double Dresser

The average height of a dresser falls between 30 and 36 inches.

How do I know what type and size of dresser I should get?

To determine which type of dresser you should get, you should think carefully about what you plan on doing with the dresser and the space that it will be occupying. Here are some concrete examples:

  • If you're planning on putting the dresser in a nursery or small child's room, opt for a shorter, wider dresser (i.e., double-column, less than 30 inches tall). This will allow the child to use the dresser over time, and when the child is very small, the top of the dresser can double as a changing table.

  • If you're working with a smaller space - a small bedroom, studio apartment, or you're purchasing the dresser to fit inside a closet - select a taller, narrower dresser. You'll still be able to use the top for horizontal storage, and your space will be much more open without a large, wide piece of furniture in the way.

  • If you're working with a larger space, such as a long, blank wall, get a wide, low dresser (with double or triple columns). You'll fill up the space, and it's very easy to set up an engaging tableau above with mirrors, vases, or even a television set.

  • Think, too, about what you'll be putting in the dresser. If you will be using it for clothes storage, select a dresser set with 6-9 drawers in it - that's sufficient for the average wardrobe.

Quick Tips

  • Plan out your budget before you go shopping. A good dresser is an investment, so prepare accordingly - but know that the price range can be quite wide.

  • Decide whether you want a practical material such as durable metal or scratch-resistant hardwood, or something that presents a more aesthetic statement like an exotic wood.

  • Measure your space before shopping for a dresser, and consider the function you'd like for your dresser to have to ensure you buy the right size and shape.