7 Alternatives to Dressers in the Bedroom

Primary bedroom with a beautiful dresser

In the US, the dresser stood waist high and has drawers and an attached mirror. In England, the dresser or Welsh dresser as they called it had upper shelves and was used either for storage or for displaying dishware. Obviously, there are different ways to use a dresser just as there are many alternatives for it.

The dresser is a common sight in most homes nowadays. But this wasn’t always so. The earliest version of the dresser came out in late medieval Europe in the form of a chest, also known known as coffer. It was just a wooden box with a hinged cover that may or may not have legs for placement on the floor. Eventually drawers were added to its main compartment and this type of mules chest became a popular household furniture especially among the nobles in England and colonial America.

In the US, the dresser stood waist high and has drawers and an attached mirror. In England, the dresser or Welsh dresser as they called it had upper shelves and was used either for storage or for displaying dishware. Obviously, there are different ways to use a dresser just as there are many alternatives for it.

1. Bed with Storage Underneath

Base bed with storage in a deep walnut finish.Source: Houzz


  • Most people sleep on beds and having one with built-in storage makes it very easy to store your belongings without having to add an additional piece of furniture to your room.
  • Homeowners who have pets won’t have to worry about the animals taking toys under the bed and shedding under it. This reduces the amount of time spent cleaning the room and helps keep down allergens in the sleeping space.
  • Since the storage is tucked away, it will create a more open look to the bedroom. This is especially ideal in rooms that are very small and don’t have space for more furniture.
  • The whole bedroom will appear a lot neater since there will be plenty of storage space for all clothing.


  • It can be difficult to get down on the floor each time you need to access your clothing.
  • Depending on the size of your room and the location of the bed, some homeowners have difficulty pulling the drawers all the way out to access the clothing at the back.
  • These beds are very heavy and can be quite difficult to move when it’s time to take them to another room in the house or to another home.
  • Some storage beds are very expensive and can eat up most of a person’s bedroom remodel budget.
  • Over time, it is common to have problems with the hardware. The tracks will become damaged or loose, the knobs will fall off, and everything will have to be repaired.
  • If one person is still sleeping, then it can easily wake him or her when another one opens the drawers to get to the clothes.

2. Armoire

Tall, wardrobe cabinet with an engineered wood construction.Source: Hayneedle


  • This offers space for hanging clothes so that items such as dresses and dress pants won’t get wrinkled when folded in a drawer. This is also a great option for homeowners who do not have closets where they can hang their clothes.
  • Drawers at the bottom offer space for items that can be stored flat or for shoes.
  • By closing the doors of the armoire, you can hide the clothes inside and have a clean look in the room.
  • Armoires come in a number of different kinds of woods and finishes, making it easy for most homeowners to find one that will match the appearance of the bedroom.
  • While some armoires come with a shelf in the middle of them that is perfect for storing folded items, to maximize the amount of clothing that you can hang, you will want to opt for one that does not come with this shelf.
  • These pieces of furniture are generally more ornate than other clothing storage options, making them a focal point of the room.


  • These pieces of furniture are generally very heavy and can be quite difficult to move around the room by yourself.
  • They tend to be quite large and if you are worried about space in your room, then they can be a little overbearing in a smaller bedroom.

3. Lingerie Chest

Dark brown lingerie chest with 5 drawers.Source: Wayfair


  • Much smaller than other dressers or chests, lingerie chests are a stylish and smart way to add extra storage space to the room without taking up a lot of space.
  • They are generally quite thin and tall, which means that they can fit in a space between the bed and the wall without being awkward to use.
  • With plenty of drawers, these options usually have enough storage space for the average person.
  • It’s easy to keep all clothing items separated because of the number of drawers.
  • Available in a number of styles, it’s easy to find one that will fit in a modern bedroom as well as one that is more vintage and ornate.


  • They don’t offer as much storage space as other options, which can be a downside for the person who has a lot of clothes.
  • There’s no easy way to store hanging items as they will have to be folded and then may become wrinkled.

4. Trunk

Large, wooden treasure chest with a vintage finish.Source: Houzz


  • With so many different designs and styles to choose from, the right trunk can be a very interesting focal point in a bedroom.
  • They offer a lot of storage for folded items and some even have smaller drawers perfect for a watch, rolled-up tie, or other jewelry.
  • The lid opens easily and allows the owner to quickly scan the contents for the clothing that he or she is looking for.
  • They are easier to move than other pieces of furniture because they are built for travel. This means that they usually come with functional handles while handles on some other types of furniture are merely decorative.


  • If the hinges are not cared for, then the trunk can be difficult to open and to close. They will also squeak if they are not oiled as necessary and this can wake up the other person sleeping in the room.
  • It’s easy for clothing to become jumbled up in the trunk unless the homeowner is very careful and uses dividers to help keep everything organized and neat.
  • When filled when clothes, they become very heavy and are difficult to move. This means that while they are built for travel, most people need the help of another person to move them.

5. Cedar Chest

Cedar chest with a cherry finish.Buy it on Hayneedle


  • Gorgeous and a little larger than most trunks, cedar chests offer a lot of storage for clothing.
  • The aroma of the cedar oil in the wood will actually keep insects away from clothing.
  • They offer a functional way to store clothing in your room without being an eyesore.
  • If off-season clothing is stored, then the top of the chest can be used for displaying pictures or jewelry or stacking books by the bed.
  • When well cared for, sanded, and oiled, these pieces of furniture smell amazing and will offer a nice light scent to the room.
  • A well-made cedar chest will last for years and never have to be replaced as long as it is cared for correctly.


  • When the wood dries out, it will not offer protection against insects. This means that homeowners have to sand the cedar every few years to ensure that there is enough protection against insects.
  • Clothing can’t touch the actual wood or it can stain.
  • They are generally fairly bulky and large, which makes them very difficult to move.
  • The odor of cedar is very difficult to get out of clothing and will sometimes require the clothing item to need to be dry cleaned multiple times.

6. Bookshelf

Wooden bookshelf with a warm brown tone.Source: Wayfair


  • Bookshelves can be used to store a number of items so you can easily repurpose this piece of furniture when you no longer need it in the room.
  • Deep bookshelves can hold stylish containers for clothing, which allows them to be pulled out easily and the clothing removed quickly.
  • Since there are no barriers on the shelves themselves, homeowners can mix and match how they want to store clothing, creating an interesting look that is all their own.
  • Barrister bookcases will keep insects and pet fur away from the clothing stored inside while still allowing the homeowner to easily see what they have to wear.
  • There are some bookshelf/container systems available at large stores that make this storage system very easy to create.


  • This does not have the finished look the way that other clothing storage does.
  • Many people do not like being able to see their clothing in the shelves as it can look very messy and allows everyone to see what they have to wear.
  • When not kept clean and neat, the clothes will slide off of the shelves.
  • The wrong storage containers can snag and damage clothing. While wicker and other natural options look great, they aren’t usually the best choice for long-term storage.

7. Bedside Table

Traditional-style, white bedside table with three full extension drawers.Source: Houzz


  • Small enough to go by a bed, bedside tables don’t take up a lot of space in a room.
  • The flat surface on top is great for storing a cell phone, jewelry, and book during the night, ensuring that these items are within easy reach when needed.
  • The drawers are perfect for storing smaller clothing items, making this furniture option a great choice for the bedroom that also has a closet for additional storage.
  • Due to their size, they are very easy to move, making it simple to rearrange the room, move to a new home, or even pull the bedside table out from the wall for a deep cleaning.
  • Available in a number of different styles and colors from Victorian to contemporary, it’s easy to find a bedside table that will fit with the style and décor of the bedroom.


  • It does not offer enough storage to hold a complete wardrobe. These are often used for smaller items.
  • Depending on the size of the bed, they can look small and out of place. This means that it’s very important to take measurements before buying a bedside table.

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