5 Dresser Alternatives for When Space is Tight in the Bedroom

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dresser alternatives

Dresser alternatives are a must for most of us. We move into a college dorm or our first tiny apartment and realize we don't have room for the furniture we're used to having. We still want to decorate nicely, and that's where these five options come into play.

A dresser is a very useful piece of furniture to have in your bedroom. You can use it to keep your clothes, makeup, and other grooming items. However, it does take up space without offering the a similar amount of storage in return.

There are several other types of storage options you can use to hold your essentials and then some more. The following are some of the best alternatives to dressers to store your clothing and still look great while doing it.

5 Dresser Alternatives

Having a bedroom without a dresser doesn't have to be a disaster. These bedroom dresser alternatives are creative, offer ample storage, are a smarter use of your limited space, and often look cooler and are more fun.

Bed with Drawers

bed with drawers is the most classic of the dresser alternatives
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One of the best ways to create more storage space in your room without using a dresser that takes up more room than required is a box bed with drawers. A box bed is a regular bed, but it will be hollow on the inside (underneath the box spring and/or mattress) so you can use that space to store extra things.

This may not be a way to store everyday things. However, this is one of the best ways to make space for your winter clothing, woolens, and crucial items that you need to have around the house, but do not have use for it on a daily basis. Mainly because you'll need to kneel down to access them.

A box bed is also the ideal piece of furniture to have if you have space constraints in your home as it is. If you live in a small apartment or want to have more floor space free so that your room looks bigger, this is one of the most innovative ways to store all your things without taking up more floor space.

A box bed also does not have to come at a great price and in several cases is cheaper than a standard bed. It's also a much lighter bed to move around given that the wood is hollow from the inside instead of being a heavy metal frame.

However, since the inside works as a storage unit, this also means that the box bed needs to have some height and cannot be a low-lying bed. This is perfect for kids with tons of toys, too. They're among my favorite of the bed alternatives out there.

Trunk

foot of the bed trunk as alternatives to dressers
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If you are bored with the look of your dresser and want to change things up a bit, you can also invest in a large trunk. A trunk doesn't have to take any more floor space up than a regular dresser (typically it's much less).

On the contrary, since a trunk will be lower in height, it can be placed at the foot of your bed which you can't always do with a dresser. It's the perfect alternative to a chest of drawers.

A trunk will add a charming, vintage vibe to your room. You can experiment with various styles and finishes of the wood, perhaps, by going for a trunk with a rustic look.

One of the best ways to find a good trunk is to hit an antique flea market and consider buying a second-hand wooden trunk. One might think that second-hand furniture is not good in quality. However, old wood is one of the most sturdy and durable types of wood.

They have been treated and have been exposed to the elements for longer, which makes them seasoned. The proof is in the pudding that they still exist and function. This is why dried and treated wood lasts longer than wood from a new tree that has had no work done.

It is safer to buy an old second-hand trunk than investing in a fancy, new piece of wooden furniture made from questionable materials, perhaps even designed to fail after a certain amount of time to get you to buy another.

Getting an old second-hand trunk also means that you'll have several choices between charming, vintage designs. You can pick out exquisite motif designs that are no longer available in the market because this kind of work is no longer done.

Besides, when you have furniture of this kind in your home, it's always a conversation starter! In addition to that, the trunk is great for keeping your clothes and can be used exactly how you would use a dresser.

Armoire Wardrobe

armoire wardrobe for a bedroom without a dresser
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Another way to change up your interior design and do something different than a simple dresser is to invest in an armoire. An armoire is an old-fashioned, two-doored wooden wardrobe which often has intricate carvings on it.

You can invest in a vintage armoire or you can also get a new one that has a vintage finish, and these suffer from less of the problems that new trunks do in terms of poor construction.

An armoire will add some delicate warmth to your room. The more wood you add in your room, the more charming and inviting the space will become and an armoire is a perfect way to do that.

Of course, it will take up more space than a standard dresser but you will also get a lot more space in an armoire so it will free up the rest of the room. Instead of drawers and the space between them, you have one giant open space that you can customize how you need.

You can use the armoire for your clothes, shoes, and even for important gadgets, etc. Look for an armoire that has at least three shelves and preferably even one set of drawers to keep your precious things.

An armoire is also better for your clothes because you can even hang the delicate clothes in which you don't want any crease lines to appear. With a dresser, you'll have no option but to fold your clothes and keep them straight.

The armoire can also have a mirror on one of the doors, which eliminates the need to buy a separate mirror for the room. You can opt for an armoire that comes with a full-length mirror, saving you an added expense.

You can also look at armoires with various wood finishes—birchwood, rosewood, teak, etc. An armoire could be one of your most prized possessions, passed down through the generations as an heirloom.

Shelf with Hooks

shelf with hooks to replace a bedroom dresser
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If you want a dresser only to store your clothes, you can save a lot of space by investing in a rack of hooks on your wall. This may sound like you are simply hanging your clothes on the wall, but it doesn't need to look shabby if you do it right.

This is a great, minimalist way to make space for your clothes or at least for clothes that you use every day like a housecoat, running pants, shirts, etc. I have a shelf with hooks below it so I can place a scarf, house shoes, and gloves on top.

There are several decorative hooks you can find in the market and the good thing about this method is that you don't need to pay for extra labor to carry the hooks to your house.

You can do all of this on your own, including nailing the hooks to the wall, without spending any extra money or time. You don't even need any drywall anchors or worry about finding studs since you aren't hanging anything extremely heavy. If you want to play it safe, anchors can be used and are extremely cheap and easy to use.

A good set of hooks will also prevent you from piling clothes onto that lone chair in your room or making a mess of the bed or floor. As soon as you come back from work or from a social call, you can hang the clothes you change out of unless they need to go for a wash immediately.

This will keep your room looking neat and your clothes will be fresh for when you want to wear them next. Of course, a few hooks may not be able to replace an entire dresser. But you can combine the hooks with a vertical clothes organizer and this should more than suffice in lieu of a standard dresser.

Overhead Storage

bedroom closet storage organizer
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Another great dresser alternative is constructing shelves or storage compartments above your bed or up high in the closet. This is a great way to free up more floor space and you also won’t have storage cubbies protruding from the walls elsewhere in the room.

You can create niches to place the shelves above your bed. This is a good option if you use your dresser to keep small items, or for your night clothes and delicates.

This isn't a recommended alternative if your dresser holds all the clothes you own as this would mean you have to reach over the bed every time you need to take your clothes out.

The shelf over your bed is perfect to keep the things you need at night, such as cosmetics, your clothes, and perhaps a book or two you may be reading before turning in. Shelves instead of a dresser are much more intimate and enjoyable, in my opinion.

This is also a unique alternative to a dresser because you can have this built into the walls and ensure that the wood, or whatever material you use for the shelves complements your walls.

Since you'll be building these shelves from scratch, you can monitor all these elements—space, color, style, compartments, etc. No matter how much you look in the market, you don't always find the exact thing you are looking for.

There are some adjustments to be made at times. But when you commission your own furniture to be custom made by a professional, these problems won't arise. Just keep in mind the bedroom feng shui rules as you go about this.

Dresser Alternatives are Space Saving & Cool

The dresser alternatives that have been mentioned above are some of the most unique ways in which you can save more floor space while still catering to your storage needs. You can make the worst apartments homey and enjoyable with a little creativity.

A dresser is most frequently used to keep clothes that you wear often or to keep clothes that don't fit into your regular wardrobe. You can do it in a much more fun way if you're willing to break away from tradition.

However, there are ways to do this where you can create more storage by either using the same amount of floor space as a dresser or by not cutting into your floor space at all. Regardless of which option you pick, the dresser alternatives described above make it clear that there are other ways you can go.

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Rick Worst Headshot Rick is a home design consultant and enthusiast, who's life is consumed by all things home and garden. Starting as a hobby, Worst Room has grown into an information and inspiration wheelhouse for professionals and home owners alike. Rick serves as owner and editor for our many content contributors. Learn more about operation here.