February 13, 2023 7 min read

Thinking of the perfect furniture for your new home, or maybe you just want to give your old room a makeover?


A chest drawer or dressing table is a must-have. They're both storage units and come in different designs that add beauty to your room.


Read on to learn more about these two pieces of furniture, their differences, and similarities, and how to decide which one is best for your personal needs.


Key Take Aways:

  1. The main function of a chest of drawers is to provide storage space while a dressing table is used for personal grooming, applying makeup etc
  2. Chest drawers are usually taller and have a simple design. Dressing tables are much lower, have a larger surface area and additional features such as a dressing table mirror
  3. Chest drawer storage spaces are bigger while dressing tables are more for organizing personal items

What Is A Chest Drawer?

Chest drawers are a type of furniture that has an upright frame and comes with multiple drawers used for storage purposes.

They're mostly used to store bedroom belongings like bedding, clothes, underwear, and other personal stuff. In other instances, chest drawers can be placed in the living room to store books, TV remotes, and other household appliances.

The top of the chest serves as the perfect spot to keep decorative items such as lamps, flower vases, or artwork. Chest drawers come in different shapes, sizes, and designs. They could have as little as three drawers or as many as twelve.

The drawers could be made with less or more depending on your storage needs.


Types of Chest Drawers:


  • Vertical chest:this type of chest drawer is best suited for compact interiors and can be placed in the bedroom, study, or hallway. They also have less storage space than other types of chest drawers.
  • Gentleman's chest:the gentleman's chest has a combination of drawers and cabinets. The name comes from its feature that allows users to hang suits, pants, and jackets and store rolled ties.
  • Media chest:the top of a media chest is meant to hold your television, DVDs Speakers, and gaming console. It also has open shelves to keep your remotes, cables, gamepads, and other media accessories while at the bottom there are drawers to store your clothes or other personal items.
  • Lingerie chest:chest drawers a tall and narrow but the lingerie chest stands out in that area. They're taller and smaller than other types of chests and are used to store undergarments and night clothing. They could also be used to store jewelry and makeup products.
  • Bachelor's chest:this is a low chest of drawers that comes with a pull-out side for writing. The drawers are not deep and only have enough space for one person's items, hence the name. The bachelor's chest is about 34 inches tall and mostly has just three drawers.




What Is A Dressing Table?


A dressing table, also called a dresser, is a desk that has parallel and horizontal drawers and a dressing table mirror on top of it.

Typically a dressing table is waist high and may have a small stool in front where you can sit to apply your makeup or get dressed.

The drawers of a dressing table serve as a storage unit for personal items like underwear, makeup items, sanitary and skincare products, and even clothes depending on how many drawers it has.

That being said, a dressing table is meant to be placed strictly in the bedroom.


Types of Dressers and they include:


  • Horizontal dressers: this is the most common type of dresser and it comes with six or more pullout drawers. The drawers are deep for storage and are arranged in two to three long rows with enough space on the top to hold a large mirror.
  • Double dressers: double dressers have two columns of six or eight drawers on each side. It also comes with a mirror and is suitable for compact apartments.
  • Combo dressers: this type of dresser is a mix of drawers and storage cabinets. They're usually smaller in size compared to horizontal dressers but can equally hold a large mirror on top.
  • Wide dressers: these are typically longer and have wider space on top compared to other types of dressers.
  • Tall dressers:these types of dresses stand at a height of 24 to 44 inches and are ideal for narrow spaces.





Chest of Drawers vs Dressing Table Difference:

The major difference between a chest of drawers and a dressing table is the absence/presence of mirrors.

A dressing table has a vanity mirror attached to it at the top while a chest drawer does not. But mirrors are not the only distinguishing feature there is. Others include:


  • Appearance:one feature that will help to identify a chest of drawers is that it has a narrow and upright frame. Chest drawers are taller than most dressing tables and have more drawers to store things. A standard chest drawer can stand at a height of 44 to 60 inches while dressers are usually 24 to 40 inches tall. Dressing tables also have more width space compared to chest drawers.
  • Function:Chest drawers are used only for storage while a dressing table is meant to be used for grooming, dressing, or applying makeup in addition to storage of personal items.
  • Cost:Dressing tables are more expensive than chest drawers, this could be because chest drawers are not as fancy as dressers.
  • Storage:Dressing tables are meant to store personal items like lingerie, jewelry, clothes, and accessories while chest drawers can be used to store anything from household appliances to important documents and files.



Chest of Drawers vs Dressing Table Similarities:

One thing that a chest of drawers and a dressing table have in common is that they look almost the same and as such, one can easily be confused with the other.

Here are some similarities they share:


  • Chest drawers and dressers are both household furniture made of wood.
  • They both have drawers
  • The drawers on a dresser and that of a chest both serve as storage units.
  • The top of a chest and a dresser also serve as desks where you can keep your candles, figurines, or skincare products.
  • They're mostly found in the bedroom
  • They both serve a functional and aesthetic purpose. This means, they can be used to store essential items, while their designs can add beauty to your room's interior design.
  • Having a dressing table or chest of drawers in your room makes it easier to organize your clothing, and also helps to keep your room clutter-free.
  • They're both great options for small-spaced rooms.





Dressing Table Vs Chest of Drawers: How To Decide Which One To Choose


Even though chests of drawers and dressing tables look and serve almost the same functions, deciding on which one to choose can be difficult.

Here are some things you should consider before making that purchase.


  1. Space needs:Chests and dressers come in different sizes which means they can be built large or small depending on the amount of space available in your room. Chest drawers are tall and narrow and would fit better in studio apartments, dorms, or hostels. While dressers tend to occupy a little bit more space and are great for personal bedrooms. Chest drawers are also a better option if you're sharing an apartment or room with people. If you want to make the most of your small space, the top of your chest can function as a media chest or dresser. If you live alone, or in a more spacious apartment, then a dresser will be just fine.


  1. Storage needs:another thing you need to consider when choosing between a dresser and a chest is your storage needs. What will you be storing in the drawers? If you only want to keep a few undergarments, clothes, and personal care items then you should probably get a dressing table, but if you want something that can cater to your general storage needs like stroking your blankets, pillows, and other items, then a chest drawer is your best bet. Bedroom chests offer different sizes of drawers from the large compartment for storing your clothes and bedding to smaller ones where you can keep your necklaces, jewelry, and other collectible items. All you need to do is to do a quick survey of the items you intend to keep in your drawers, this will help determine which portion of the chest should be for small, medium, or large items.


  1. Beauty needs:A Dressing table is usually waist high plus they come with a mirror which is perfect for matching and modeling outfits. Dressing tables can also be customized with makeup vanities to make your morning routines more seamless and convenient. You can use the drawers to store your clothes and the top of it could hold your favorite go-to moisturizer, powder, and lip gloss. However, chest drawers lack mirrors which means you'll still need to get a dressing table, which means you'll have to spend more money. If you're looking to cut costs while prioritizing your beauty needs, buying a dressing table is your best option.


  1. Budget:Chest drawers are generally less expensive compared to dressing tables. Probably because dressing tables come with mirrors and are a lot fancier than chests. But price should be your sole deciding factor when choosing between these two pieces of furniture, rather consider what you want the furniture to do for you.  If you need storage for clothing and a dressing mirror, then go for a dressing table but if you want something that will serve your general storage needs, go for a bedroom chest.





Chest drawers and dressing tables are both great pieces of furniture you can add to your room to store, clothes, and other items. Just like other furniture they come in different sizes and designs that add to the aesthetic appeal of your room. Although they look and share similar functions, they are quite different.


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