What Is the Difference Between a Wardrobe and a Dresser?

Short Answer: The main difference between a wardrobe and a dresser is that a wardrobe features drawers and an area to hang things, while the dresser only comes with drawers.

Choosing between a wardrobe and a dresser is something you’ll have to go through if you’re aiming for the perfect closet solutions.

Most people think they are similar things. For the most part, it does store belongings. So, quite similar. (You’re right!) 

However, there are some distinctions that we should all know to figure out which one is most suitable for your needs.

What is a wardrobe?

A wardrobe is a storage space for clothes and accessories such as shoes, makeup, handbags, pillows, bed sheets, a mirror, and so on.

A wardrobe features compartments, hanging closets, and shelves where you can place items like shoes, accessories, and attires for specific occasions. The aim is to achieve more space to make your closet look organised and clutter-free. 

Instrument ALICE sliding wardrobe

The ideal wardrobe measurement varies depending on the type of wardrobe and your storage needs.

We decided to go for the Cleo sliding wardrobe with a depth measurement of 61 cm, width of 120 cm, and height at 215 cm. Also, it comes with an adjustable hanging rails for large clothing which we really need for our formal suits and gowns!

Instrument CLEO 18 sliding wardrobe

The wardrobe design has evolved since the 17th century, and more modifications are made daily. It takes extraordinary fashion and expertise to build a wardrobe according to the required size, dimensions, and placement. 

If you want to get serious about building your dream wardrobe, it is wise to get an expert to help you create your wardrobe plan. 

How to Choose a Wardrobe

I have put together these tips on how to choose the best wardrobe type:

  • Consider what kind of storage space you need
  • Design your wardrobe with functionality in mind
  • Go big, if possible!
  • Go for a style that suits your bedroom interior
  • Choose the best material for your wardrobe

What is a dresser?

The use of the term dresser has shifted over time. Initially, the dresser was a piece of furniture used in the dining rooms of the wealthy, and now it’s a piece of bedroom furniture that holds clothing.

A typical bedroom dresser features drawers for storing small clothing and personal items. It comes with variations depending on its purpose and function. 

A standard dresser has around six to nine drawers that are around your waist tall. However, the length may vary depending on your option and what works best in your bedroom. 

Image from deavita.net

Although they’re predominantly found in the bedroom, they can be placed anywhere that storage is needed.

We got the double dresser (with six drawers) in our guest room. It’s a small room with a floor area of 12 m². The double dresser was a practical idea because of the room size. 

Although our double dresser is a bit bulky, we like that the surface area can easily accommodate a small tele if a mirror isn’t needed. (We do prefer a small vanity mirror, though!)

A double dresser is a practical good choice if you have a spacious room - bigger than our guest room, at least!

How to Choose the Perfect Dresser

Here are ways to choose the perfect dresser in terms of depth, width, and height.

Instrument Maestro dresser with 8 drawers

Decide where you want to put the dresser. We decided to put the dresser across the bed to allow more space on both sides and for convenience too. 

Next, measure the distance between the wall and the closest piece of furniture where your dresser will be positioned. Subtract 36” to get the correct dresser depth. It will allow enough space for drawers to open and close.

Also, you need to measure the wall area where you intend to place your dresser to determine its width. Dressers should have enough space to swing without hitting closet or bedroom doors if they are near the spot you chose.

Dressers need to be the right height, whether placed under a window or positioned against a wall with a mirror or tele above them. 

Of course, consider your storage needs too! Once you know what kind of dresser is perfect for your needs, you can now explore the features and styles that are suitable for your bedroom. 

Dresser vs. Wardrobe: What is the difference?

To put it simply, the wardrobe offers more storage than the dresser.

The wardrobe can store bigger items like gowns, dresses, and formal suits. On the other hand, the dresser is more suitable for smaller clothes, makeup, jewelry, accessories, and other personal items.

Also, a wardrobe is a better choice for spacious rooms as it’ll give you the freedom to design and build your dream wardrobe. There are different types of wardrobe designs for maximum storage and functionality.  

Instrument JUNO large sliding wardrobe

However, dressers are more versatile compared to a wardrobe. You can pretty much put them anywhere it’s needed depending on their purpose or functions. (For that reason, we love the dresser too!)

Therefore, they’re both excellent closet solutions, but you have to consider a few things to arrive at the most practical choice. 

Final Say

Despite their differences, wardrobes and dressers have many things in common. These two pieces of furniture are designed to provide households with storage functionality. 

They come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and patterns. Wardrobes can be built-in into walls or made-shift, but dressers with drawers are wall-side furniture stacked against walls. 

Clothing, bedding sets, and other home essentials can be stored in wardrobes, but dressers are compact storage pieces. 


Dressers do not always come with cloth hangers like wardrobes. Women find the aesthetic dressers more attractive as they come equipped with useful mirrors when getting ready. 

Also, dressers are essential for safely storing accessories, cosmetics, jewelry, and other small items.

So, what is it for you - a dresser or a wardrobe?