15 Types of Dressers (Design Styles & Buying Guide)

There are so many different types of dressers available and there is definitely one that perfectly fits your style. Starting by selecting the type of dresser, then the material, and then the style

White chest of drawers in stylish room interior

Even starting with those categories can send you through a ton of customizable choices down the road.

A dresser is a piece of furniture that is used to store items, specifically clothing. When created, they were meant to have multiple columns with about six or more drawers in total. They are traditionally longer and shorter, but as variations have come out they have morphed to cover taller and skinnier pieces that were once referred to as chests.  

Here’s a breakdown of the most popular types:

Horizontal Dresser

Horizontal antique white dresser with beach decor

A horizontal dresser is the traditional long and short furniture piece you may have in mind. This type has many columns with just a few rows of drawers.

Horizontal dressers leave a lot of surface space to display jewelry, photos, and other trinkets as desired. These dressers also commonly come in a set with a large mirror behind it. 

Vertical Dresser [Tallboy]

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A vertical dresser is commonly one or two columns with at least 6 rows of drawers. Traditionally these are referred to as a ‘chest of drawers’ but in simpler terms, they can be called vertical dressers as they serve the same purpose. It is also called a tallboy, referring to the height compared to the standard shorter size.

Double Dresser

Room with scandinavian dresser indoor cactus and white wooden plank floor

A double dresser is typically double the size of your standard horizontal dresser. This type is commonly used with couples so they each have a separate space for their items.

Double dressers often have a little more definition in their columns to make it obvious that there are two separate sides to it.

Combination dresser

As the name suggests combination dressers combine two different pieces of furniture. This is great for small or shared spaces. Some of the most common combinations are described below. 

• Bed with dresser

A bedroom with king sized bed with dresser and tribal print coverlet and pillows with warm gold colored walls and distressed white farm house style furniture

A common combination is the bed and storage drawers in one. This can be done in a few different ways. One way is the headboard of the bed being used for the drawers as well. 

This is usually done by having extra room on the sides of the headboard to make room for drawers. Another, non-traditional way to combine them with the platform of a bed doubling as storage drawers underneath. 

The drawers can pull out from either side of the bed and fit underneath the framing. When using this combination it is important to make sure there is enough airflow through the mattress to avoid any moisture from collecting.

Dresser changing table

Beautiful baby room with toys and modern changing table

Another way to combine dressers with other pieces of furniture is as a changing table combo. This is essential with children since it keeps all the needed functions in one location. 

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This is typically done with a standard horizontal dresser with a changing table installed on the top. They are usually at about a standing height so that it is comfortable to use the changing portion of it as well as the storage functions.

Bachelor’s Chest

Bachelor's chest dresser and table with lamp in retro style interior

Another type of dresser is known as the bachelor’s chest. This is an extremely basic type; they typically only have one column and up to four drawers instead of the traditional 6. 

These were often made to double as a nightstand. The idea behind this creation was that as a bachelor one may live in a small apartment and may not have a high need to store things. Check out storage ideas for small bedrooms on a budget for more ideas.

Gentlemen’s Chest

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A gentleman’s chest is just a little upgrade to the bachelor’s chest described above. As a gentleman, you need a space to hang suit jackets, so the gentleman’s chest provides a location for just that. 

This is laid out like a standard type with an additional open section on one side with a rod inside to hang items that could be easily wrinkled. Some of these have additional features such as a shelf for shoes or mini interior drawers for ties, watches, or other accessories.

Lingerie Dresser

Lingerie dresser

Next up is the Lingerie Dresser, the safest place to store that expensive set you purchased because you just could not resist. This is also referred to as the semainier. 

Overall it is just a very small vertical chest of drawers, as it is meant to store very small pieces of clothing. When creating these pieces the idea was that there would be seven drawers (one for each day of the week) and you could plan your entire week’s worth of undergarments.  

Types Of Dresser Materials

Minimal home interior decorated with plants floor lamp and wooden cabinet

Once you select the style that best fits your needs it is time to move onto the stage of selecting the materials and finishes. Some of the options are described below.


Wood is one of the best materials that can be used for dressers. Wood is extremely long-lasting and can outlive its maker if care is given. 

Wood furniture is the items that you see at estate sales that have been passed down for generations, or that people restain and DIY constantly nowadays!

• Softwood is an option for dressers, but it is not quite as great as the hardwood choice, while the price tag is lower, so is the overall lifespan of the piece.

• Hardwood is more expensive and heavier, but it will last long lifetimes if properly taken care of.


A brown laminate dresser

Laminate is a synthetic wood, meaning it is all manufactured and none of it is a natural material. Similar to the below-mentioned, veneer laminate is often used as a wrapping for other more cost-effective materials.

Laminate is typically made to be heat resistant as well as non-susceptible to scratches. See more laminated wood furniture designs here.


A veneer is a thin slice of actual wood, this slice is typically placed on top of another (typically inexpensive and unattractive) material to up the appearance of the piece. 

This gives the illusion that the piece is wood, when in reality it is made from something like particle board. You cannot make dressers fully out of veneer.

Particle board 

Particle board is the material you see on most of the cheap dressers. Particle board is not durable and can break with too many clothes in one drawer or even from moving the piece too many times. 

Particle Board is best used when the cost must be kept extremely low. Oftentimes this product is used in combination with the above-mentioned veneer.


Scandinavian interior with wood floor metal dresser biege rug two armchairs lamp and decor

Metal dressers are not as common as some of the wood and wood-like materials listed above, but they sure do make a statement. Metal dressers are extremely durable and can be a great deal lighter than wood, which makes moving much easier. 

Metal dressers can even have multiple materials incorporated into them, for example, the base can be metal and there can be a laminate or wood surface. They can also come in a ton of colors and even be sprayed a new color when it is time for a refresher.


Mirrored dressers are an extremely elegant piece. They can make a space look larger than it is and add a level of sophistication. 

As that stands it is recommended to be used sparingly, if too many pieces are mirrored it can create an extremely bright room or give off a few too many reflections. On top of that these types of dressers can be a bit delicate, and they are not recommended for children’s spaces or high-traffic areas. 


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While the first that that comes to your mind when you think of furniture material probably is not leather, it can be a great addition to your space. Leather is more of the fabric versus the entire material of the item but it really sets it apart from its contenders. 

Leather dressers are usually built from wood and then padded down and covered in leather. This can be real leather or faux leather, the former being longer lasting. Leather dressers add a softer feel to the space and add a unique texture to the design.


Wicker and rattan are woven, which gives it a texture and appearance that is unique to the other types of materials that are used for dressers. This can be made out of different types of plastics, wood, or other natural elements, which can cause a variety in the product’s reliability. 

Typically wicker and rattan are known for being water resistant and well as relatively durable due to the weaving that is done to create the piece.

Dresser Styles

DIY colorful patterned dresser with toys in pastel girl room

Now that we have covered type and material we can look into the styles of dressers so that the details can fit the aesthetics of your home as well as the functions. Some of the most common styles are described below.

Traditional: Traditional dressers are typically made of wood and have a great deal of decor, wood trim, and even carvings. Traditional dressers are timeless pieces which is why wood is a great material since they can last for generations.

Modern bright bedroom with a contemporary dresser and mirror

Contemporary: Contemporary design is just basically the current design. Currently, that style is right up the alley of modernism. Contemporary dressers are often trendy and a hot item, but quickly become tacky or outdated as contemporary dressers change. 

Modern: Modern dressers are extremely minimalistic, they have clean lines and typically no added embellishments. The modern design can be any color but is commonly only one or two. 

Unfortunately, modern design is made from some of the lower quality materials and can become outdated quicker than a traditional option.

Cozy kids room with rustic bed and dresser

Rustic: Rustic dressers are all about the natural elements. Like most of the other dressers the preferred material is wood, but to make it easier rustic pieces do not even need to be stained or painted; leaving them as the natural wood is the best-case scenario for the rustic style.

Glam: Glam-style dressers are extravagant while still functional. While one may automatically think gam to mean the tacky bright pinks and everything covered in glitter, the opposite is true. 

Glam embodies sophistication and elegance. Glam style is the perfect place to bring in mirrored furniture pieces. 

Antique: Antique dressers are somewhat petite and delicate. These dressers are often in pale colors and various whites, creams, and wood. 

Antique dressers are often treasured heirlooms and are passed down from generation to generation so must be made from quality materials. This is typically wood, which is extremely durable. 

To make the antiques extra unique they often include a few extra materials such as leather or stone.

White wooden shabby chic dresser with three vases and flowers on white wall background

Shabby chic: Shabby chic dressers are what can commonly be referred to as cottagecore and have become somewhat popular in recent times. The main highlight is the distressed painted wood finish. 

Dresser Sizes

Standard dresser size

Sizes are usually noted by the number of drawers there are. Each drawer is about 5 to 12 inches. Multiply that by the number of rows of drawers, and you can get the height. 

There are typically about 3 drawers in standard dressers, but the types and styles can vary. The standard width of those drawers is about 24 – 36 inches. 

Standard Dresser Size

The standard dresser size ranges from 26″ to 44″ inches tall, 36″ to 60″ wide, and 16″ to 22″ deep. When pulled out drawers extend about 10″ to 12″ from the front.

The wider and deeper the furniture, the more stability it will have. This is especially important for rooms with small children to avoid tipping over.

What’s a Dresser with Doors Called?

Modern interior of living room with wooden dresser and hanging lamps

Dressers with a door are called wardrobes; they can also be used in combination with differing types of dressers. Read more about bedroom wardrobe designs here.

What is the top of a dresser called?

The dresser top refers to the surface. If the unit has two parts stacked on top of each other this is referred to as a highboy. Another variation of this can have a cabinet on top with drawers for the bottom portion.

In a baby nursery, the top of the dressers is often used as a changing table.

What is a dresser with a mirror called?

A dresser with a mirror on top is called a bureau.

A grey chest of drawers in stylish scandinavian room interior

Difference between a dresser and a chest?

A dresser is typically horizontal and short with over six drawers. A chest is commonly smaller and more vertical. Both are generally used to store clothing.

What is the difference between a bureau and a dresser?

A bureau has a mirror attached to the top, while a standard one does not.

What’s different about an armoire and a dresser?

An armoire is typically a great deal larger and taller than a standard dresser. An armoire also typically tends to have an added section for hanging clothes.

For more related articles visit our gallery of the types of bookcases.

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