Last updated: August 19, 2021

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For those who have just embarked on the adventure of leaving the nest and living away from home, or for those who have finally achieved their goal of acquiring their own home, furniture is an extremely important element. Today we will talk about one of the most practical, common and interesting: the wooden chest of drawers.

There is a saying that home is where the heart is. And a home, of course, would be incomplete without furniture that reflects our style, our personality and our needs. In addition, it is important to be able to store and organise our belongings. For all this, the wooden chest of drawers is our best ally.

In this guide we will tell you more about this convenient piece of furniture. We will show you the three most practical and aesthetic models, and then we will proceed to analyse their features in depth so that you can make the best possible purchase decision. Read on to become an expert drawer unit connoisseur!




Summary

  • A chest of drawers is a piece of furniture containing multiple retractable drawers. It can be used to store a wide variety of objects. There are countless options with variations in design, capacity, material, configuration and number of drawers.
  • The most common drawer unit formats are the bureau, chest of drawers and office drawer unit. The bureau is placed at the side of the bed and is useful for storing small items. The chest of drawers is larger and is often used to store clothes. The office chest of drawers, as the name suggests, is ideal for documents and office supplies.
  • The most important purchasing factor for a wooden chest of drawers is the type of wood, as durability and overall quality depend on it. It is also important to consider what will be stored in it. Similarly, it is worth considering a lockable option, and taking into account whether the chest of drawers must be assembled manually.

The Best Wooden Chest of Drawers: Our Picks

Buying Guide

The chest of drawers is an incredibly versatile piece of furniture. We can use it to store a large number of items and save space at home. Therefore, in this section we will look at the different types of wooden chest of drawers available on the market and show you how to choose the right one for you.

Wooden chest of drawers look great in any room of the house (Photo: Katarzyna Białasiewicz / 123rf.com)

What is a chest of drawers and what are its advantages?

A chest of drawers is a piece of furniture, usually made of wood, that has several compartments, called drawers, which allow you to store a variety of objects and personal items. They have rails on which the drawers are mounted, which allow the drawers to open and close easily.

Drawer units come in many different configurations, sizes, colours, designs and materials. No matter the size of your home, there is one to suit every space, as the options are endless.

Advantages
  • Large capacity
  • Increases storage space in the home
  • There is one to suit every space and taste
Disadvantages
  • Difficult to move from one place to another
  • Drawers can come off the rail
  • Cannot be expanded

Chests of drawers, bureaus and office drawer units - what should you pay attention to?

The design, material and amount of space of a chest of drawers can vary from one to another, mainly depending on the type of use it is to be put to. Among these types of chests of drawers, office and home chests of drawers stand out. The latter are divided into chests of drawers and bureaus, and are usually of higher quality.

Chests of drawers: The largest. They usually have more elaborate designs, more drawers and higher quality materials and workmanship. They come in both vertical and horizontal configurations. Horizontal chests are usually around 1.5 metres long. Vertical chests are usually about 1 metre long and are taller, so they take up less space.

Bureaus: The standard size is approximately .5 x .5 x .5 metres. Because of their small size, they usually include no more than two drawers. They are often placed at the sides of beds, giving the user the opportunity to easily reach inside the drawers, as well as to pick up any objects on the surface while lying down.

Office pedestals: These are usually taller than a bureau, and include approximately 4 drawers. They can come as a stand-alone piece of furniture or as part of a desk. They are usually made of MDF and covered with veneer to reduce their cost. They often include locks to secure and protect the contents inside.

Chests Chests of Drawers Office Chests
Drawers 4- 8 1 - 2 2 - 4
Use in Home Household Office
Ideal for storage Clothes Personal items Documents / office supplies

Buying criteria: factors that allow you to compare and rate drawer unit models

While it is true that you can use any chest of drawers to store anything, the following factors are important to choose an option that is durable, strong and guarantees space efficiency for what you want to store.

  • Wood type
  • Deadbolt
  • Handles
  • Items to be stored
  • Installation

Type of wood

The main point on which the quality of the chest of drawers depends is the type of wood. Each type of wood has different properties and natural characteristics that have a particular impact on the strength, durability, appearance and cost of the furniture. Below, we review the most common ones:

MDF: "Medium Density Fibreboard ". It is a lightweight, affordable chipboard. Many furniture stores claim that their furniture is solid wood and charge as such, when in fact it is made of MDF covered with veneer. In such cases, the edges of the veneer are visible, and when the surface is tapped, the sound is slightly hollow.

This does not mean that MDF is bad, as it is certainly a hard-wearing material from which beautiful, high-quality furniture can be made. However, we feel it is important to emphasise this point because we do not want you to overpay for a product that is not what it claims to be.

Mahogany: A fine tropical wood of superior quality, often used to make luxury furniture. It is usually reddish-brown in colour. Its surface is smooth. It is moderately light. It has good resistance to moisture and other wear factors.

Oak: One of the most common furniture woods, of very good quality. It is moderately priced. It is a dense wood, and is therefore very strong and durable. It is also resistant to moisture, fungus and other wear factors.

Pine: Probably the most widely used wood for making furniture and chests of drawers. There are different types of pine trees, but the characteristics are generally similar. Pine wood is very light. It is not the most durable wood by nature, but if treated, it can be used to make good quality furniture.

Drawer units with latches are ideal for the office (Photo: Sarach Naetimaetee / 123rf.com)

Bolt lock

Although the lock is much more common on office drawer units, it is not exclusive to them. It's not usually necessary for chests of drawers that will be used to store clothes, but if you plan to store personal or valuable items, we highly recommend that you opt for a chest of drawers option with a latch, preferably a key lock.

Handles

Handles are attached to drawers and allow you to pull them open. However, not all drawer units have handles, as many rely on other mechanisms to allow you to open the drawers. This factor depends purely on the consumer's taste, so it is advisable to choose the one you like the most.

With handles: They are usually made of wood or stainless steel, although in the most luxurious models they are frequently made of aluminium. The wooden ones are more common in conservative and traditional furniture, while the metallic ones are very frequent in minimalist and modern furniture.

No handles: There are many drawer units without integrated handles, which is much more common in ultra-modern furniture. Some drawer units have pressure-responsive rail systems, in which the drawer opens automatically when pushed lightly. Others have small slits in the drawers that allow you to pull them out.

Items to store

Each drawer unit is ideal for a certain type of item. Sure, it's true that you can store just about anything in any type of drawer unit, but to get the most out of your space, it's important to consider what you're going to store in it.

Bureau: Perfect for storing small personal items, particularly those you're likely to want to keep handy at night or when lying down, such as medicines, glasses, chargers and electronic devices like tablets or mobile phones.

Chest of drawers: Ideal for storing clothes. It is ideal for those who live in rooms without a wardrobe, or for cases where the wardrobe is small or full. They usually have two columns of drawers, which is convenient for distributing different types of garments. It is also a good option for personal items.

Office chest of drawers: Perfect for storing documents and office supplies such as paper, pens, pencils, USB sticks and electronic devices. They usually have a lock to secure important documents or high-value devices, such as a laptop computer.

Installation

In the case of higher quality drawer units, furniture stores usually ship the product to your home with trained personnel to transport and install it. However, if you opt for cheaper options, they will most likely come in parts and you will have to assemble them yourself.

Although it is often quite simple to assemble a chest of drawers, we strongly suggest that you make sure you have enough time to do so. We also recommend that you check that the chest of drawers includes everything you need to assemble it, because if this is not the case, finding the right screws and components can be very complicated.

If you will be installing your chest of drawers yourself, it is important that you pay particular attention to the rails. If the rails are not properly fastened and installed straight and even, the drawers may come loose from the rail, making it difficult to open and close them. Always remember to follow the assembly instructions for your drawer unit.

(Featured image photo: Positivtplus/123rf.com)

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