Armoire vs Dresser – What’s The Difference?

Interior design trends seemingly change with every new year and various items constantly go in and out of style.

However, some furniture elements are timeless and resistant to every new trend that comes along. Armoire and dresser certainly belong to this group, as they’ve successfully outlasted numerous short-lived fads.

Both armoires and dressers have been around for centuries. These two timeless furniture pieces never seem to go out of style and it’s easy to see why.

They’re very practical, providing a great way to store your clothes and similar items.

Besides, they can hardly be matched when it comes to how much class and elegance they can add to your home decor.

However, despite being around for so long, some people still don’t have a clear idea of what separates these two pieces of furniture.

Below, I’ll compare armoire vs dresser and explore how different they are from each other.

DefinitionA tall, freestanding wardrobe cabinet with doors and shelves for storage, often used for hanging clothesA low, wide, freestanding cabinet with drawers for storage, often used for storing clothes
FunctionalityProvides both hanging and folded clothing storage in one piece of furniturePrimarily provides folded clothing storage, but may have a small hanging rod
SizeGenerally taller and bulkier than a dresserGenerally shorter and wider than an armoire
StyleOften has a traditional or vintage styleAvailable in a wide variety of styles, from modern to traditional
VersatilityCan be used in a variety of rooms, such as a bedroom or living room, for storing a variety of itemsPrimarily used in a bedroom for storing clothing

What Is An Armoire?


An armoire is a versatile piece of furniture, mainly intended for storing clothes, but also capable of providing space for various other household items.

Basically, it’s a large and tall free-standing cupboard.

An armoire typically features two large doors with hanging space in one part and shelves and drawers in the other.

This makes it suitable for both large pieces of clothing as well as smaller personal items.

Originally, they were used in 17th century France to store tools and arms. They’re mostly used to provide extra storage space in bedrooms.

However, they can also be useful in other areas of the house, such as the living room or kitchen.

This is because they’re very versatile and have a little bit of everything in terms of size and type of storage space.

As they commonly feature ornate designs, armoires are often used to elevate the elegance of the living space.

Different Types Of Armoires

In modern days, armoires are available in different styles, sizes, and can serve different purposes.

Originally, they were always massive, tall, and wide, and most of them still are.

However, modern furniture designers have been often experimenting with dimensions in addition to adding new features.

Depending on their primary purpose, there are a couple of different types of armories.

Bedroom Or Wardrobe Armoires

These are the most common and are mainly used to store clothing items, but can also hold bedding, shoes, purses, and similar accessories.

In most cases, these armoires are made of wood and feature embroidery, ornaments, decorative knobs, and, sometimes, mirrors on doors.

Kitchen Armoires

Kitchen armoires’main purpose is to store kitchenware.

Commonly, they have glass doors where you can display your fancy kitchenware and wooden doors and drawers where you can hide utensils and other cluttering kitchen appliances.

This type of armoire is also often used in living rooms.

Living Room Armoires

These armoires are similar to ones in the bedroom, but mostly hold books and similar items.

They can also have glass doors, suitable for displaying souvenirs or trophies.

Just like armoires in bedrooms, they are usually very fancy with attractive ornaments on doors.

Craft Armoires

Even though it’s not their primary purpose, armoires can serve pretty well as storage space for various craft materials and tools.

They are of great help when it comes to decluttering the living space as they can store both bigger craft appliances and small, easy-to-lose items.

What Is A Dresser?

Dresser in a bedroom.

Mainly used in bedrooms, a dresser is a piece of furniture that is mainly found in bedrooms.

Its primary purpose is to provide enough storage space for clothes, various clothing accessories, valuables, and jewelry, as well as grooming and make-up sets.

In addition, dressers can serve as make-up or grooming station.

Due to their size and imposing appearance, they are crucial in determining the overall tone of the bedroom decor.

In most cases, dressers are very long, wide, and deep, but relatively short.

They feature several wide and deep drawers of different heights so you can fit various clothing items in them.

They have ample space on the top, so they can serve as table tops.

As they often have a mirror attached to the top, that space can be used as a place for hairstyling or makeup.

People often additionally decorate dressers with lamps, souvenirs, books, or similar items.

Different Types Of Dressers

Horizontal dressers are the most common type and are usually what we visualize when we think of dressers.

They have deep and wide drawers usually organized in two or three rows. Often, they will have a few smaller drawers in the top row.

As they’re very wide and deep, the large space on the top can also be used as a tabletop.

Double Dressers also feature deep drawers but they’re a bit narrower and organized in two columns. Each column usually features three or four drawers.

Even though they’re not very suitable for small rooms due to their size, they’re great for couples as each partner can have their own ample storage space.

Combo dressers are a bit more versatile. Like standard dressers, they have a few rows of drawers but also one or two cabinets in the middle or on the sides.

This provides additional hanging space.

Armoire vs Dresser – What’s The Difference?

Armoire.Dresser in a bedroom.

The main purpose of both armoire and dresser is more or less the same – to store clothes.

However, each of these pieces of furniture provides some additional functionality, which is where they differ.

We can think of a dresser as a smaller version of an armoire with all the good and bad that comes with that.

One of the good things dressers have going for them is that even though they have more square footage, they occupy less space in the room and make it look less cluttered.

However, dressers also typically have less storage space than armoires and are not as versatile and able to accommodate that large variety of different items.

On the other hand, due to their height, the top of the armoire is practically useless, while the top of the dresser usually features a mirror and provides ample space for various useful items or decor pieces.

Armoire vs Dresser – Which Is Better For Your Room?

While you can have both of these furniture pieces in the same room, it will likely make the space feel cramped and cluttered.

For this reason, the majority of people have only one of these, especially when we are talking about bedrooms, where armoire and dresser are commonly located.

So, you’ll have to carefully consider your needs and the room itself before deciding on either of these.

If you plan to hang some pieces of clothing, such as dresses or jackets, rather than folding them, then the armoire is definitely the better solution.

This is particularly useful if your room has no closet. Also, you should consider the height and size of the room.

If the ceiling is lower, then having an armoire may make the room look even smaller. On the other hand, the dresser takes up more horizontal space.


Both armoires and dressers are classic pieces of furniture that can easily bring new life and add a touch of class to your room.

Plus, they’re extremely practical and offer more clothing storage space than almost any other interior design solution.

When deciding which one is right for you, the main factor will be your personal preference and sense of style.

However, you should also take into account how they will fit with the rest of your home decor and whether they will occupy too much space and overwhelm the other interior elements.

Even though armoires will provide more space for your stuff, don’t forget the benefits that dressers bring.

As they’re shorter, they will free up some of the wall space and allow you to further enrich the interior design by hanging an art piece or a mirror.

Whatever you choose, just make sure that you will feel comfortable and satisfied in your room.

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