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How to Choose a Dresser

So many parents focus their attention on crib selection when designing their babies’ nurseries, but as a mother of two, I speak from personal experience when I say that it’s all about the changer and the dresser. For me, finding a case piece that’s functional and stylish is so important because, let’s face it, it’s the one item in the room that can and should stay for a long time. There are a few key points to consider when you’re ready to choose a dresser.

Functionality. This is the key in picking a dresser for a nursery. I am most definitely in favor of picking a dresser that can double as a changing table—it’s practical and a huge space saver. I recommend a removable changing tray so the child doesn’t end up with a piece of furniture that looks like a changer after the diapering days are over. You will also want a dresser that has enough storage space to meet the needs of the room. If there is a huge closet, then maybe a large dresser isn’t necessary, but a room with limited closet space will need plenty of drawer space—yes, babies have lots of stuff!

DwellStudio Dresser

Mid-Century Dresser with Changer by Dwell Studio

Space. Selecting the right size dresser for your baby’s room is very important. If the dresser is too big, it will make the room feel overcrowded, and if it’s too small, the room will look empty. I suggest taking newspaper and placing it on the floor in the empty room to help gauge the size of your space in relation to the size of your furniture. This will help you to visualize depth as well as placement of all the furniture if you plan on including more than one piece for storage. So many case pieces don’t leave much room for playing, and eventually babies grow up and want to use their rooms as play spaces.

Chelsea Dresser by Bratt Decor

Chelsea Dresser by Bratt Decor

Aesthetic. We can’t forget about the design element, and dresser selection is a crucial part of the overall look and feel of the room. You should pick something that complements the look of the crib, but keep in mind that the dresser will stick around longer than the crib (especially if you’ve chosen a non-convertible crib). Make sure to choose a dresser that you won’t tire of and will work for a child as well as a baby, and consider selecting something that is more timeless and less trendy.

Jackie Dresser by Bellini

Jackie Dresser by Bungalow 5

Durability. Last but not least, don’t forget to check the construction of the piece. Give the drawers a test pull to make sure the tracks and glides work smoothly. I recommend dovetailed construction for drawers, and nice deep drawers are best for storing bulky clothes as the child gets bigger.

Wildon Home 3-Drawer Dresser from Wayfair

3-Drawer Dresser by Wildon Home

Taking these tips into consideration will help you choose a dresser that will work for you through the early years of your baby’s life and stand the test of time through childhood and beyond.

Check out the rest of our Baby Furniture series:
How to Choose a CribHow to Choose a Changing Table and How to Choose a Glider


Friday 3rd of March 2017

I like that you suggest to use newspaper to help measure out how a dresser will fit in a room. My wife is due in about a month and we are making the finishing touches on our daughter's room. It is hard to know what furniture will fit best. I will have to try this method and see how it works out.

Elissa Capelle Vaughn

Thursday 22nd of May 2014

This is GREAT advice! Thank you! :)

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Thursday 22nd of May 2014

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