What is an alternative for a dresser?

A dresser is a common piece of bedroom furniture used for storing clothes, accessories, and other items. It typically has multiple drawers and sits low to the ground. Dressers provide storage and organization solutions for bedrooms and walk-in closets. However, there are various alternatives that can serve a similar purpose in place of a traditional dresser. When selecting an alternative, consider your storage needs, space, style, and budget. Here we will explore some of the top options for replacing a dresser in your bedroom.


An armoire is one of the closest alternatives to a traditional dresser. Armoires are upright, cabinet-style storage units that contain shelves, drawers, and hanging space behind doors. They come in various sizes and designs to match different decor styles. The main advantage of an armoire over a low dresser is they provide hanging space for longer garments. An armoire also takes up less floor space. Consider a standalone armoire or built-in closet armoire depending on your room layout.


  • Provides both hanging and shelf/drawer space
  • Takes up less floor space than a dresser
  • Comes in various sizes and styles
  • Can also serve as a wardrobe


  • Typically more expensive than a dresser
  • Doors can make interior items less accessible
  • Upright design is less suitable for folding and stacking clothes

Chest of Drawers

A chest of drawers is a short, wide cabinet with multiple stacked drawers. While still considered a dresser, chests tend to be shorter in height with a greater number of shallow drawers compared to a tall bedroom dresser. The wide surface area provides ample drawer space for organizing folded garments, while the low profile style preserves the open feel of a room. Chests work well when you need substantial folding and stowing capacity without occupying too much vertical space.


  • Many shallow drawers for organized storage
  • Low profile great for small spaces
  • Often less expensive than taller dressers
  • Variety of sizes and drawer configurations


  • Wide footprint consumes floor space
  • No hanging space
  • Difficult to store bulky items
  • Low profile makes interior contents less accessible

Shelving Units

Open shelving units offer flexible storage using adjustable shelves rather than drawers. They come in sleek, modern designs as well as classic bookshelf-style units. Mixing closed cabinets and open shelves provides both hidden and display storage. Shelving works well for holding folded garments, shoes, accessories, and display items. Consider modular shelving systems that allow you to customize and expand your storage.


  • Completely adjustable to suit your storage needs
  • Visible contents eliminate digging through drawers
  • Often less expensive than dressers
  • Easy to install and reconfigure


  • Open design exposes clutter
  • No drawers for containing small items
  • Not as much hanging space as an armoire
  • Lightweight units may tip over if not anchored

Storage Ottomans

Storage ottomans are a creative way to add concealed storage using furniture you already have. Look for ottomans with lift-top lids and spacious interior storage. Use ottomans to hold clothing, shoes, accessories, bedding, and anything you want out of sight but still accessible. Storage ottomans come in various shapes, sizes, and styles to suit your room’s decor. Using multiple ottomans creates several storage spots.


  • Doubles as extra seating
  • Discreet hidden storage
  • Movable based on storage needs
  • Also available as coffee tables, cubes, and benches


  • Storage capacity smaller than traditional dressers
  • No hanging space
  • Contents can get jumbled inside
  • Lid opening style not as convenient as drawers

Built-In Closets and Cubbies

Custom built-ins offer the ultimate storage solution if you have the space. Built-in closets can be designed with adjustable shelves, drawers, and hanging rods to hold anything a dresser would. Shallow cubbies open up the wall for neatly storing and displaying folded clothes, shoes, and accessories. Built-ins keep items organized and accessible while concealed behind doors. Work with a carpenter or contractor to create the ideal custom storage system for your needs and available space.


  • Fully customizable to your space
  • Concealed storage with doors
  • Can incorporate any combination of shelves, drawers, rods
  • Allows more floor space when built into wall


  • More expensive custom solution
  • Permanent fixtures limit room layout flexibility
  • Professional installation required
  • Limited DIY options

Wardrobes and Closet Systems

Freestanding wardrobes and closet organization systems provide customized storage like a built-in. Wardrobes are similar to armoires as upright cabinet-style units. Modular closet systems have stackable and adjustable components including shelves, baskets, drawers, and rods. Design a system to hold your specific items or choose an all-in-one closet kit. Wardrobes and closet systems allow you to customize your storage without permanent built-ins.


  • Fully customizable storage
  • Can include any combination of shelves, drawers, hanging rods
  • Reconfigurable and adjustable components
  • Freestanding versatility


  • Typically more expensive than basic dressers
  • Self assembly required
  • Doors can make interior access less convenient
  • Large units consume floor space

Bedroom Benches

Bedroom benches provide both storage and extra seating. Look for bench styles with hinged lids that lift to reveal spacious storage compartments inside. Use benches at the foot of the bed or alongside walls to hold folded clothing, bedding, shoes, and other items. Benches are available in various sizes, colors, and material to match your room decor. Add removable cubbies or baskets inside the bench to keep contents organized.


  • Doubles as seating
  • Discreet hidden storage
  • Usually less expensive than other furniture
  • Compact linear design great for small rooms


  • Less storage capacity than dressers
  • No drawers for containing loose items
  • Contents can get jumbled inside bench
  • Hinged lids not as convenient as drawers

Headboards with Storage

If your room lacks closet space, consider choosing a headboard with built-in storage for the bed. Headboards with shelves, cubbies, and drawers integrate storage directly into your bed frame. Look for headboards with ample closed storage to conceal clutter. You can store clothing, accessories, books, and anything you want close at hand but out of sight. Upholstered headboards also provide a soft, padded surface for leaning.


  • Convenient storage built into bed
  • Hidden storage with closed cabinets and drawers
  • Soft upholstered styles work as cushioned headboards
  • Keeps nighttime essentials within reach


  • Very limited storage capacity
  • Only fits smaller items and accessories
  • Contents less organized than dresser drawers
  • Shopping limited to headboard styles

Under Bed Storage

Lift the bed to find hidden storage space underneath. Under bed storage containers and pull-out drawers utilize the often underutilized space beneath your mattress. Clear under bed boxes allow you to easily see contents while keeping items dust-free. Roll-out drawers on smooth casters make storage accessible without having to lift the bed. Look for under bed options with lids or use storage bins that match your decor. Utilize the narrow but expansive space under the bed for out-of-season clothing, shoes, linens, and bulky items.


  • Maximizes unused space under bed
  • Dust-free sealed containers
  • Roll-out drawers for easy access
  • Low profile hidden storage


  • Limited height for bulky items
  • Accessed less conveniently than dresser drawers
  • Can require bed lifting if no roll-out option
  • Not usable with low-profile bed frames

Comparison Tables

Storage Furniture Types

Furniture Description
Armoires Upright cabinet with shelves, drawers, and hanging space behind doors
Dressers Low cabinets with multiple stacked drawers
Chests of Drawers Short dressers with many shallow stacked drawers
Shelving Units Open or closed cabinets with adjustable shelves
Ottomans Upholstered furniture with lifting top and interior storage compartment
Built-Ins Permanent closets and storage fixtures built into room
Wardrobes Freestanding upright cabinet for hanging and storing clothes
Benches Seating with lift-up lid revealing interior storage compartment

Storage Capacity Comparison

Furniture Storage Cubic Feet
Small Dresser 10-20 cubic feet
Medium Dresser 20-40 cubic feet
Large Dresser 40+ cubic feet
Armoire 15-30 cubic feet
Chest of Drawers 25-35 cubic feet
Wardrobe 20-50 cubic feet
Shelving Unit 10-30 cubic feet
Ottoman 5-15 cubic feet
Bench 10-20 cubic feet

Key Considerations When Choosing

When selecting an alternative to a traditional dresser, keep the following key factors in mind:

  • Available space – Choose furniture that fits well in the room without dominating.
  • Storage needs – Opt for sufficient capacity and configurations to hold all your items.
  • Style – Pick an option that matches your room’s existing decor and aesthetic.
  • Budget – Compare prices and opt for quality materials that fit within budget.
  • Accessibility – Ensure the storage allows convenient access to contents when needed.
  • Multi-functional – Seek pieces like benches that provide storage plus additional utility.
  • Ease of use – Open shelving offers visibility while doors and drawers contain items.
  • Adjustability – Modular and customizable pieces allow reconfiguring storage.

Carefully evaluating these factors will help you select the ideal dresser alternative to meet your unique needs and bedroom style.


Dressers provide tried and true clothing storage, but various functional alternatives exist. Armoires offer both hanging and shelf space. Storage ottomans and benches do double duty as seating with concealed storage inside. Built-in closets and wardrobes allow fully customized storage. Shelving units work well for folded items and displaying favorite pieces. Consider your space, needs and style to decide the best dresser alternative for your bedroom. With some creativity, you can come up with solutions beyond just a standard dresser.