Dresser & Hutch Buying Guide

A dresser gives your room much needed storage and stylish, decorative accents: adding a hutch on top will increase both. This dresser and hutch buying guide outlines your options.

Dressers 101

A dresser is a versatile, attractive storage unit for holding clothing, accessories, cosmetics, jewellery and more. While the term dresser is often used as a catchall term to include chests of drawers and bureaus, dressers are traditionally lower and wider (usually waist high) in design, and feature either one or two columns of drawers. Most dressers are made from wood and wood composites. They're available in different widths and depths and can be paired with a mirror to create a vanity or a hutch to increase storage capacity. You can find dressers in a wide range of styles, finishes and colours to suit any decor.

Dresser Buying Tips:

  • Measure your space and assess for restrictions to ensure your new dresser and hutch doesn't block traffic, doors or windows
  • Consider how much storage capacity you need
  • Increase your storage capacity by adding a hutch
  • Choose materials, finishes and hardware that complement your existing decor
  • If buying a mirror, select a compatible length and height for your dresser

Dresser & Hutch Features

Dresser Drawers +

Dressers are available with a variety of drawer configurations to suit different space, storage and decor needs. Your options include one or more rows of drawers, with each row containing two or more drawers. Look for wood or metal gliders to ensure smooth movement of drawers when opening and closing. A soft-close mechanism, common to higher-end models, allows the drawer to close on its own with a gentle push-start. Drawers should also have stoppers. This prevents them from falling all the way out when pulled open, preventing damage to your dresser or injury to you. It also helps to prevent the unit from tipping over by stopping upper drawers from being pulled too far.

Dresser Size +

Dressers come in varying shapes and sizes. Before shopping, it's important to assess your space to determine whether you have any width or depth restrictions. That way, you'll avoid buying an item that obstructs a traffic lane or prevents a door from opening fully. If you'll be adding a hutch for additional storage, or attaching a mirror to your dresser to create a vanity, be sure to account for the extra height. You want to avoid blocking a window or running into height restrictions due to angled ceilings.

Dresser Storage Capacity +

A simple three-drawer dresser is an economical storage solution that takes up minimal space. If you’ve got a ton of clothes, or will be sharing the unit with a partner or roommate, consider a double dresser with two rows of multiple drawers. Some dressers include smaller drawers that open quickly for easy access to lighter items such as socks or undergarments. Others offer extra deep, large capacity drawers for storing bulky items like jeans and sweaters. Adding a hutch with shelving over your dresser will further increase your storage capacity.

Dresser Styles +

Other than your bed, your dresser is usually the next important focal point in your bedroom. So choosing a dresser that complements your room decor is essential. Dressers and hutches are available in many different decor themes from classic to contemporary. For example, an oak or cherry wood dresser embellished with brass knobs, side mouldings and ornately carved accents will complement a traditional bedroom. For a more modern look consider a white or espresso-coloured dresser with clean straight lines, sleek geometric handles and steel or glass accents.

Hardware +

The hardware you choose for your dresser will have a big impact on both function and style. Large knobs and pulls are easier to grasp and can contribute to a more traditional look. Some dressers forgo pulls and handles altogether for a sleek minimalist appearance. If you opt for hardware, be sure it's securely attached to prevent it from coming apart from the drawer with use. You can also replace your dresser hardware for an easy, inexpensive way to update your room decor.

Materials & Construction +

Dressers were traditionally made from solid hardwoods like oak or walnut, or softwoods like pine. A dresser made from a hardwood will resist dings better than a softwood. Today, you can get the same traditional look on the outside with affordable, durable composite woods inside. You can also go with a composite exterior for a sleek, modern style. Composite woods are often created from recycled wood products, making them an environmentally friendly option. Other marks of quality include drawer sides that are stained to match the rest of the dresser, and back-panel wood that matches the sides and front (important if your dresser won’t be against a wall). Drawer corners should also be joined securely: interlocking dovetail joints indicate solid construction.

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Dresser Maintenance Tips:

  • Follow the manufacturer’s directions for cleaning and maintenance
  • A damp cloth and mild cleanser usually works well on composite wood dressers
  • Ensure all knobs, handles and other hardware is tightened and secure
  • Keep wood dressers out of harsh sunlight to prevent fading
  • Dust wood drawer slides occasionally to prevent drying and cracking
  • Oil metal drawer slides occasionally to prevent sticking and squeaking, but remove excess oil to prevent damage to clothes

Turn Your Dresser into a Vanity

You can transform your dresser into a vanity or dressing table by adding a mirror. It’s a practical solution for getting ready in the morning or before going out in the evening. It also frees up valuable real estate in your bathroom. Some dressers have optional mirrors that are easy to install. If you choose a mirror that was not specifically designed for your dresser, be sure the length, height and style are compatible with your furniture.

Add a Hutch for More Storage

Adding a hutch to your dresser gives you additional storage without taking up additional floor space. Some models sit directly on top of your dresser to create the appearance of a seamless, single unit. Others can be mounted slightly higher to a wall so as not to reduce your dresser's surface area. Open-shelf hutches are a good option for display items such as photos or collectibles, while hutches with closed cabinets offer a discreet way to conceal clutter. Adding a hutch in a nursery can turn an ordinary dresser top into a handy change table, with baby essentials stored above within easy reach. The hutch should be attached to a wall: growing babies get stronger and could potentially pull or tip it over. 
This article is intended as general information. Always be sure to read and follow the label(s)/instruction(s) that accompany your product(s). Walmart will not be responsible for any injury or damage caused by this activity.



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