Dressers are useful and practical furniture items, and they can help you achieve a nice look in your bedroom. There are several types of dresses available on the current market, and they have different materials, sizes, shapes, and styles.
Depending on the type of dresser you choose, they can serve as a simple function furniture piece or they can make a statement as the centerpiece or focal point in your home. We’ve picked out 25 of the most popular types of dressers for you, and you can use this guide to make your final decision.
Picking out a type of dresser can help you complete your space while adding a functional piece of furniture that works well for storage. Dresser in place by kidmissile / CC BY-NC 2.0
An antique type of dresser is usually wooden, but it can have other materials like leather insets or marble. Antique dressers are very popular in Europe, and they can date back several centuries. They’re not only useful furniture items, but they’re also collectors’ items, investments, and family heirlooms. However, not all antique types of dressers are hundreds of years old, and the styles from the 20th century, like art deco, also fall into the antique category.
2. Bachelor’s Chest
A bachelor’s chest is any type of small chest or dresser with three or four drawers on it. They usually have a more squat shape to them, and they can be small enough to get used as a nightstand. Originally, this type of dresser functioned as a multi-use piece of furniture that fulfilled a range of needs for any bachelor living in a small apartment.
Each of this type of dresser came with a slanted top surface or a slide-out or pull-out feature that allowed the dresser to pull double-duty as a writing surface. Modern styles rarely get used for writing, but they are commonly utilized to store small clothing items and personal items or for decor purposes.
The term bombe is French, and it is a word that means bulging out. So, this type of dresser has a very stark outward bulging style to them. The bulge in this dresser runs sideways and the base has a curve to it. This dresser was an extremely popular look in Europe in the 17th century.
4. Combo Dresser
If you’re having a hard time deciding between a horizontal or vertical dresser, you could consider getting this type of dresser as it offers the best of both styles. The dresser comes with a wide and low section of drawers that attach to a slim and tall section of drawers. This forms an L shape. These dressers can give you an excellent storage solution, and the surface areas are on varying levels to suit different needs.
Just like modern design styles, contemporary styles use clean lines and very unique aesthetic details. This dresser is usually very colorful, and they come with personalized accents and intricate details that give them a unique and eclectic look. If you have a more modern interior design style, these dressers are a great choice.
Just like the name suggests, this type of dresser is purposely made to look like a worn-out piece. You’ll typically find this dresser in cottage-style or rustic rooms. If you want to get a cheaper alternative to an antique style and have a preference for wood in a different design, this is a solid choice.
The distressed type of dresser is very popular in certain decor styles because it makes the wood look much older and more worn than it really is. SOLD by CastawayVintage / CC BY 2.0
7. Double Dresser
A double dresser is a wider dresser that consists of two columns of spacious and larger drawers. The depth and size of this type of dresser is perfect for a shared room or the master bedroom. This isn’t a good pick for medium-sized or compact rooms because it could easily overwhelm the space.
8. Dresser and Change Table
A dresser with a changing table is a standard type of dresser with a changing table on the top. This is very convenient if you don’t want to put unnecessary furniture in your nursery or if you have a smaller space. This furniture piece combines two items into one. This dresser’s height is typically around the average hip height so that when you change your baby, the adult won’t have to bend over awkwardly.
These dressers also come with lower rails all around the upper edge of the dresser that act like a barrier to stop any babies from rolling off of your table. They’re typically around the same size as a standard baby changing mat so that your mat will fit nicely on the table. This dresser type can work to make a new parent’s life slightly easier, and you can store baby diapers, clothes, creams, and wipes in the drawers to ensure they’re always within easy reach when you need them.
9. Gentleman’s Chest
A gentleman’s chest is the same type of dresser as a bachelor’s chest with one main difference. There is a cupboard attached to the side where you could hang and store trousers or suit jackets. These are useful types of dressers with hanging space and drawers in a single piece. They’re not as common as other dressers today, but they add a touch of elegance to your room.
Just as the name implies, this type of dresser is a tall chest of drawers or a chest-on-chest stand. It was extremely popular in the 1600s in France. Unlike the tall boy style, this one is all drawers without any wardrobe drawers. As far as most people know, a tall boy and a highboy are now interchangeable.
A leather dresser will use wood in the construction but have a leather upholstery on the outer surface. Leather furniture will help bring texture to your space, and this will lend a softer look compared to other types of materials. Leather furniture can fit with a broad style range, and it can look masculine and sturdy or elegant and chic.
Leather furniture pieces usually have additional details like studs, buttons, or gems on it. One great benefit of this material for your dresser is that it’s easy to clean. If you’re on a budget, you can choose faux leather over real leather. As it ages, your leather will get fuller and softer, and you can easily pair it with leather chairs.
12. Lingerie Chest
This type of dresser is also called a semainier. It’s a very tall and slender dresser and it traditionally came outfitted with seven shallow and small drawers that were intended to be used for the seven days of the week. The idea was that you’d sort out your lingerie a week in advance and lay out your sets in the drawers with one set per drawer.
These dresser types aren’t very common anymore, but you can still find them in antique stores and for more rustic looks. Semainier by Liliane Polak / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Like a highboy, this is a beautiful antique-style dresser. It gets framed using four to six legs and you’ll get two or three horizontal drawers. At best, you’ll consider it the lower portion of a highboy type of dresser.
14. Media Dresser
This is more of a chest instead of a type of dresser. It has an open top shelf that is easily wide enough to accommodate a cable box, and the design is tall enough to set a TV on and have it at a good viewing height. The drawers on this type of dresser are shallower than most, but this makes them great for storing consoles, remote controls, games, and more. You’ll typically find this option in living rooms, game rooms, and bedrooms.
Anyone who has an industrial-style interior will appreciate a metal dresser. They’re less common than wooden dressers, but metal has a range of style and design types to choose from. The benefit of having metal furniture is that it’s very long-lasting and hard-wearing, and depending on the metal type you pick out, it is usually sturdy and strong while being lightweight. Metal dressers are available in a host of colors, and the metal gets sprayed with paint when you use it as a furniture piece.
16. Mirrored Glass
Mirrored glass types of dressers are very popular because they work well for a range of styles, including classical and modern. The material adds a luxurious feeling to the room, and it can help create an illusion that your room is larger than it actually is. Even though these dressers give you a nice design statement, it’s not the best pick for every scenario.
The dressers can have sharper corners on them that are dangerous with small kids running around, and they also require a great deal of care when you handle them because they can shatter or crack. If you’re someone who likes to rearrange your furniture or move your house regularly, this may not be the best style for you. They’re much more prone to damage, especially when you move them. Also, you want to take extra care with what you put on your dresser because dropping something heavy on it can cause cracks.
Modern types of dressers are all about minimalism and clean lines. This dresser works very well if you have an industrial style in your home. They also do well in a converted loft apartment or in a contemporary new build. A contemporary and modern dresser can be made from a large range of materials, and you can find one to fit virtually any budget. You can buy modern-style dressers at a lower cost from IKEA, or you can use high-end furniture designers with modern types of dressers.
Modern types of dressers will usually come with a glossy finish, and you can get this by using a veneer or a lacquered spray paint. You can find these dressers in virtually any shade to suit your exact color scheme. Modern furniture is also trending right now, and this is a style that could get outdated as the years go on. So, you may want to avoid spending a large amount of money on it.
18. Raised Bed and Dresser
This type of dresser is a raised bed, also called a cabin or loft bed, and a chest of drawers or a dresser attached to the side or underneath it. This is a nice space-saving solution if you have a smaller room that needs more storage space, or if you have a large area where you want to free up floor space to give your kids room to play and do whatever they like.
This dresser type is most popular with older kids or teenagers because having a younger kid on a raised bed is a safety issue. The drawers on this piece of furniture can be useful to store clothing, but you can use it as a deck area to store stationery and paper too.
Rustic style types of dressers are typically wood, but the wood won’t have any varnish or paint on it. Instead, you’ll get it in its natural state. Rustic furniture is generally very hard wearing and solid, and it can either be old or created to look much older than it really is. They’re very popular in farmhouses, and you’ll find them in industrial or modern interiors as well.
You’ll typically find them with darker colored wood and have metal handles. The idea of this type of dresser is that it should look utilitarian, sturdy, and distressed. The great thing about this particular style is that the older it gets, the better it’ll look. If it gets accidentally damaged or scratched, it’ll blend into the rustic look.
Rustic is a very common and popular design style, and you typically get very solid pieces of wooden furniture with it that is built to last, including dressers. Western Boy’s Room by tambra / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
20. Shabby Chic
Shabby chic is also called the cottage style, and it gets designed to make your spaces feel informal, comfortable, and homely. Shabby chic types of dressers are wooden, and you’ll typically paint them in neutral or pale shades like white, cream, or gray before you artificially destroy them.
You can achieve this look by lightly rubbing sandpaper over the front edges or corners to make the dresser look older than it really is. They can also have a natural wood state using a pale wood, or you can white-wash them to allow the woodgrain to show through when it dries. This is a style that is very popular in England and France, and you can see it around the world in rural or coastal homes.
21. Standard Vertical Dresser
This is a type of dresser that is slightly taller than it is wide. You may hear it called a chest of drawers, vertical chest, or a tallboy. This is a nice piece of furniture if you don’t have a lot of floor space but you want to maximize your storage capability. Vertical dresser chests are usually made up of several drawers, but the upper portion usually has a small cupboard area. This technically puts it into the armoire category.
22. Standard Horizontal Dresser
This type of dresser is what most people think of if you ask them to imagine what a dresser looks like. This is the most common dresser type available, and it’s been massively popular for years. It has a squat shape to it, and it’s wider than it is tall. It also gives you a large top surface that you can use to position a mirror on or display items like jewelry stands or photo frames. These dressers can come with various sized drawers that make them very versatile for storing personal items of different types of clothing.
Traditional dresser styles are timeless, and they fit nicely into a huge range of interior design styles. This type of dresser won’t get outdated, so if you plan to spend a lot of money on your new dresser, you can be confident that it’ll last for years.
Traditional-style dressers are usually made out of wood, and this is one material that is always popular. When you have this style of dresser, you can update your interior style or redecorate your home without having to replace your dresser because it looks good in virtually any setting.
Better known as rattan, wicker is a woven material that can have plastic, wood, or a combination of both in the material. There are different variations to this material that range from weak and thin to water-resistant and tough. You’ll find this type of dresser in cottage-style interiors or used in bathrooms for toiletries and soap storage. The benefit of a dresser made out of wicker is that it can be inexpensive, but it’s gone out of style in recent years.
The final type of dresser is made from wood, and this gives you a long-lasting, solid material that can fit into a range of styles and designs. Softwood dressers are usually more cost-effective to buy than hardwood options, but they won’t last as long and they’re more prone to damage.
Solid wood types of dressers are the best quality, but if you want a short-term and cheap solution, you can find dressers made out of particleboard. This dresser will come flat packed and havea wood veneer covering the surfaces once you put it together.
Dresser Buying Factors
Beyond materials, styles, and types of dressers, there are a few more important buying factors to keep in mind when you start shopping and comparing products. Johnson carpenter dresser by juxtapose^esopatxuj / CC BY-SA 2.0
The following are points you should consider before you buy:
From remote controlled opening, ergonomic handles, lighting, and voice recognition, you can benefit from adding more features to your dresser. If you have a higher budget or if you want to invest in your type of dresser so that they last longer and are more unique, consider added features.
One of the most important buying considerations when it comes to your type of dresser is the cost. The average cost of a decent-quality dresser is $100 and up. Depending on if you customize it, how many drawers you need, if it has solid wood or not, you should have a budget of a few hundred dollars to get a good piece of furniture for your space.
Style is important, but what you intend to use the dresser for is more vital. Before you buy one, you need to consider which items you’re going to store in it. If they’re lighter items, you won’t need to buy a bulkier dresser with deeper drawers. If you need to hang clothing, shoes, or bags, a dresser that has a wardrobe is a better pick.
Quality can be hard to predict when it comes to furniture. You should buy from a reputable dresser brand or store to ensure that you get something that will last. An established company won’t risk their reputation by putting out a bad type of dresser.
The size of your dresser should be relative to the size of the room you’re going to put it in. This is why it’s essential that you measure the space before you buy anything. You want to leave between two and five inches of space around the dresser for moving and cleaning purposes.
Where You Can Buy Types of Dressers
Since various types of dressers are staple pieces of furniture in bedrooms, you can find them in all major retailers as well as online. You should still try to buy your dresser in a physical store because of the style, material, and size nuances. We’ve picked out both online and physical stores where you can find a broad range of dressers to match your desired price point. They include:
- Bed, Bath and Beyond
- Crate and Barrel
- Goods Home Furnishing
- Home Depot
- Thos Moser
Types of Dressers – Frequently Asked Questions
Since this can be a decent investment, it’s common for people to have questions when they start looking at various types of dressers. The more you ask, the better chances you have of getting a dresser that’ll serve you for years. Elissa’s Dresser by Doug Farmer / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
1. What is the name of the taller, skinny types of dressers?
This is referred to as a vertical dresser or a tallboy. The main features on this dresser are their uniquely tall height with their narrow profile. They have lines of drawers with a uniform depth and size. They’re great for storing different items.
2. How tall is a standard tall boy?
On average, this type of dresser is nine feet tall. The average height of standard dressers ranges from four to five feet tall. The idea behind this dresser is that it’s actually two stacked dressers. They have clean and sleek lines, and they do well in rooms with higher ceilings.
3. What’s the main difference between a dresser and a bureau?
Both a bureau and a dresser look very similar, but the main difference is where you put them in your house. Dressers are a piece of bedroom furniture while bureaus are popular in study rooms or home offices. You use both of them for storage purposes, but bureaus have a more utilitarian, wider tabletop.
4. Are there any differences between a chest of drawers and a dresser?
No. You tend to use these terms interchangeably because a chest of drawers was a prototype for the dresser we know today. During the 17th century, a chest of drawers was a chest of furniture with lines of drawers along the base. By the time the late 17th century came around, the chest of drawers changed to just drawers. In the 19th century, this changed to dressers.
5. What is the average cost of a dresser?
Depending on the added features, styles, and size, the average cost of various types of dressers starts around $120 and goes up. If you add dressers as part of the finishing process in a home contracting job, the starting price is around $240.
We’ve outlined 25 popular types of dressers for you to consider as you finish out your space and pick out furniture pieces that’ll serve you well. You can go with all of the same style or mix and match to create a unique look and feel for every room.
Jen is a master gardener, interior designer and home improvement expert. She has completed many home improvement, decor and remodeling projects with her family over the past 10 years on their 4,500 sf Victorian house. She is also a passionate farmer who keeps goats, chickens, turkeys cows and pigs on her farm, and an instructor for her community’s Organic and Sustainable Farming project.