How to Shop for a Dresser

7 tips for getting the highest quality for your money, no matter your budget.

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If you're in the market for a new dresser, expect to shop around a lot. Plan on visiting several stores to get an overall feel for what's out there and what fits your budget. Rest assured that there are deals to be had, but the more you know about the design, quality, finish and construction you should expect for your money, the more likely you are to find one of those deals. Here are some things to consider while shopping:

  1. More expensive dressers often offer more drawers than dressers of comparable size.

  2. The drawer pulls and other hardware to be found in a moderate price range are generally purchased from hardware manufacturers. As you move up the price-quality spectrum, you'll see more custom-designed hardware and a more stylized look.

  3. Graduated drawers, which tend to be smaller at the top dresser and larger at the bottom, are a good indicator of high-quality product design. A less expensive design will often have drawers of the same size.

  4. Pine and oak dressers are often affordably-priced, while maple, mahogany and cherry dressers tend to be more expensive. Oak dressers are considered to be in the moderate range.

  5. Moderately-priced pieces tend to have a finish that's sprayed on, with lacquer applied over it. As you move up in price, you'll get more steps to the finished process and more handwork.

     
  6. Dovetail joints at the face and back of the drawers, which are much stronger than nails or glue, are signs of good quality. So are sanded and finished-edge drawer sides, which prevent clothes from snagging, and reinforced legs and dust panels.

     
  7. Moderately-priced pieces have metal drawer glides. As you step up, look for wood-on-wood glides and a center-rail support. This will help support your drawers and help maintain the form longer.

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