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How to Buy a Dresser + Types of Dressers, Explained

No bedroom is complete without a nice dresser to keep your clothes neatly folded and out of sight. This piece of furniture is meant to be not only practical but also an attractive design element that makes a statement. So, as you start shopping for a dresser, here are the details to consider before you buy.

Dresser vs. Chest of Drawers

First, make sure you know what defines a dresser and how this piece of furniture differs from a chest of drawers. While both are meant to hold clothes, they have slightly different features that set them apart. In particular, a chest of drawers is tall and somewhat narrow, with about five or six drawers within the frame.

On the other hand, a dresser is low and wide, so it takes up more space than a chest of drawers. In addition, the drawers tend to be deeper, and there can be anywhere from three long drawers to six or more short drawers within a dresser frame.

Plus, since the dresser is low to the ground, you can attach a mirror to the top, which is perfect for when you want to get dressed in front of it. In fact, that’s why it’s called a dresser!

Choose the Right Size

Most dressers may be wide and low, but they’re not all the same size. As you shop for a new dresser, think about how much space you have in your room and how many clothes you need to fit in this piece of furniture. 
Small dressers often have three to six drawers and can fit perfectly into a smaller space. Large dressers may have up to ten drawers and are good for when you’re looking for a classy, practical way to fill up a large room.
Don’t just think about the overall size of the dresser, though. You should also consider how many drawers you need. If you’re big on organization and want each type of clothing to have its own separate space, look at 6 drawer dressers as you shop. But if you only need a few large drawers to put your clothes in, 3 drawer dressers may suit you best.

Consider Color and Style

Now that you’ve thought about the practical details, such as size, turn your attention to the fun part — the design of the dresser.

No matter what the theme and overall color scheme of your home are, you should be able to find a dresser that matches them. After all, dressers come in all shades, from white, beige or gray to cherry wood or black.

Once you find a dresser in the color you want, look for unique details that make it the perfect option for your room.

Dresser hardware can range from modern metal handles to hand-carved wooden knobs, so choose based on the style of your home. 
 Also think about whether you want other details, like distressed wood, decorative moldings and tapered legs. These may be small details, but they really make a difference on the dresser’s overall look and feel!

Types of Dressers

Did you know there's a dresser type for every style and need? From vintage to modern, large to small, the options are endless. Choose a color, shape and size that speaks to your room capacity and personal style curations.

Dressers Styles

Dresser styles range from mid-century to modern to traditional and everything in between. Styles that lean older (mid-century, traditional, vintage) will often come with tapered legs, fretwork-carved fronts and/or distressed wood. Dressers that lean newer (modern, coastal, minimalist) will look and feel simpler and often come in brighter, more monochrome palettes.

Different Types of Dressers

One of the most common types of dressers is the bedroom chest, which is composed of two columns of drawers and is often large enough to hold clothes for two people. Then, there's the bachelor's chest, which is smaller, often composed of two drawers only and designed for one person. A third type of dresser is the lingerie chest, which is a narrow, small design in which smaller articles such as jewelry, socks and underwear can be stored neatly in designated compartments

What Is a Tall Dresser Called?

A tall dresser is also called a gentleman's chest. The "stretched" version of a standard chest, the gentleman's chest is often made up of four or five slim drawers stacked on top of each other, making the design small space-friendly. While narrower than chests, this design is still wide enough to store everyday clothes like shirts and pants.

What Is a Dresser With a Mirror Called?

A dresser with mirror is called . . . a dresser with mirror! There really is no "technical" name for this design, which is made up of a chest of drawers with a large square or rectangle mirror adjoined to the back of its top. Dressers with mirrors are often confused for vanities, but they're actually not the same things: while both have mirrors, the former is a desk, and the latter is a chest of drawers.

 If you’re ready to buy a dresser that perfectly fits your bedroom, feel free to browse our selection of dressers today. Whether you are looking for large or small, 3 drawers or 6 drawers, we have what you need at Living Spaces!

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Editorial Disclaimer: Articles featuring tips and advice are intended for educational purposes and only as general recommendations. Always practice personal discretion when using and caring for furniture, decor and related items.