Cabinet vs Dresser – What’s The Difference?

Most homeowners want beautiful and unique pieces of furniture that will add class and elegance to their living space and nicely complement other interior design elements.

However, when it comes to furniture, there’s more to it than just aesthetics.

You have to carefully consider the functionality of each piece as they will serve as your main storage space in the house, no matter the room they’re in.

The trick is to find furniture that will serve both of these purposes.

That’s why it’s important to know different types of furniture to be able to put them to good use in a particular house.

For example, cabinets and dressers are both essential parts of home decor, but people sometimes get confused about what each of them can bring to their home.

To help out, I’ll explain what they are and compare cabinet vs dresser to point out the differences between the two.

PurposeTypically used for storage in the kitchen, bathroom, or bedroomTypically used for storing clothing in a bedroom or dressing area
DesignUsually has shelves, drawers, or a combination of both, and may have doorsUsually has several large drawers that are stacked vertically, with no doors
SizeCan range in size from small, freestanding units to large built-in cabinetsTends to be larger and more horizontally oriented than cabinets
MaterialCan be made from a variety of materials, including wood, metal, or plasticOften made from wood, although some may be constructed from other materials such as metal or glass
StyleCan have a variety of styles, from modern to traditionalOften available in styles that match bedroom sets or decor themes

What Is A Cabinet?

A Kitchen Cabinet.

A cabinet is a rather broad term that can indicate a couple of similar types of storage units.

However, in general, a cabinet refers to a box-shaped piece of furniture, commonly featuring shelves and doors enclosing those shelves.

Doors are mounted with door hardware and may or may not feature a lock. Occasionally, a cabinet may feature drawers, especially those used in bedrooms. Check cabinets from Dyco Ventures that offer customized drawers for your home and garage.

Cabinets can be made from several different materials. The most common material used in the cabinet manufacturing process is wood.

For drawer face and cabinet doors, manufacturers mainly use natural wood such as oak, maple, or ash.

The frame, drawers, and cabinet boxes are commonly made from wood derivatives like plywood or particle board.

The interior finish is usually wood veneer.

However, with modern advancements in design and technology, we can now often see some other materials in use, such as coated steel or various synthetic materials.

Different Types Of Cabinets

The main purpose of a cabinet is to store various items.

Which items will be stored mainly depends on the type of cabinet and the room it’s been used in.

  • Kitchen cabinets are mostly used for storing various utensils or food.
  • Bathroom cabinets usually store medicine and grooming or hygiene products.
  • Bedroom cabinets, in most cases, are used for storing different clothing items.

Cabinets also differ in how they’re installed.

Depending on the type, a cabinet can be built-in or mounted on the wall, or it can be designed to stand on its own.

The former type is common in kitchens and bathrooms.

Built-in cabinets are commonly custom-made for a particular space and are fixed into a wall, floor, or framed in an opening.

On the other hand, free-standing cabinets are mostly seen in bedrooms.

As they can be moved around, they’re a more flexible option when it comes to interior design.

What Is A Dresser?

Bedroom with dresser.

A dresser is a type of furniture mainly used in bedrooms for storing clothes and clothing accessories, as well as grooming or make-up kits.

It’s usually a piece of furniture that, next to the bed, presents the visual focal point of the bedroom.

Besides serving as a crucial decor piece, the dresser is also very practical, both as a storage unit and a place to do your hairstyling or makeup.

The storage space in the dresser is usually organized in multiple horizontal sliding drawers which can have different heights and widths to accommodate different items.

Commonly, dressers are rather wide, somewhat short, and feature plenty of space on the top. Most of them have a mirror on top that you can use to dress up or do your make-up.

The large top space can also be used as a table to place clothes or decorated with lamps, photos, or books.

Different Types Of Dressers

The most common type of dresser is the horizontal dresser.

It usually features two or three rows of very wide and deep drawers, and, occasionally several smaller drawers in the top row.

Due to its ample width and depth, it can also be used as a tabletop where you can store or display various items.

The double dresser features two wide columns of large and spacious drawers, usually with three or four drawers in each column.

They’re perfect for couples with large bedrooms as they provide both partners with plenty of storage space.

However, double dressers may make smaller bedrooms look a bit cramped.

A combo dresser features, like all traditional dressers, a few rows of drawers, but also one or two wardrobe cabinets.

They’re either in the middle or attached to the sides and can be used to hang dresses, while smaller items can be placed in drawers.

Cabinet vs Dresser – What’s The Difference?

The dresser is often considered to be just another type of cabinet. Cabinets, indeed, have much broader functionality and can be used for multiple purposes.

They can be seen almost anywhere in the house.

Cabinets are used in kitchens, bathrooms, bedrooms, and even hallways where they serve to store all kinds of stuff.

On the other hand, a dresser’s purpose is mostly tied to the bedroom and storing clothes.

In addition, they mainly feature only drawers, while cabinets can have multiple storage spaces of various types and sizes.

The advantage of dressers over cabinets is the ample space they have on top of them.

It’s often used to place a mirror, expanding the dresser’s function beyond being a mere storage space and making it a handy make-up and hairstyling station.

The large top also provides more options for improving the overall decor of the room.


When designing the interior of the house, furniture is usually one of the first things on everyone’s mind.

However, finding the right furniture that will provide storage, but also look nice, is often a tough balancing act.

Cabinets and dressers both can significantly improve your living space, adding more functionality and refreshing the overall feel of the room.

Still, each of these furniture pieces has certain qualities and drawbacks which means that you can’t just place them anywhere.

When choosing either a cabinet or a dresser, you should carefully consider what would be their intended purpose, as well as the type and size of the room you plan to put them in.

My Interior Palace