Last updated: 16/10/2022

How we pick our products

21Products analysed

35Hours spent

10Evaluated articles

95User reviews

Welcome to our big vintage chest of drawers test 2023. Here we present all the vintage chests of drawers that we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the web.

With this, we would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best vintage chest of drawers for you. You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should definitely pay attention to if you want to buy a vintage chest of drawers.




Summary

  • Vintage furniture is more trendy than ever. Real flea market treasures or furniture trimmed to look old bring a very special flair to your own four walls. Vintage chests of drawers in particular are something very special. They combine a lot of practical storage space with a great shabby look.
  • There are five types of vintage chests of drawers, all of which have their own advantages and disadvantages. The types include the dressing table, the classic wooden chest of drawers, the apothecary chest of drawers, the night chest of drawers and the shoe chest of drawers.
  • When buying a dresser, you should pay attention to the size, weight and design, as well as the material and extra features.

The Best Vintage Chest of Drawers: Our Picks

Buying and evaluation criteria for vintage chests of drawers

In the following, we would like to show you which factors you can use to compare and evaluate chests of drawers. This will make it easier for you to decide whether a particular model is more suitable for you. In summary, these are:

  • The type of chest of drawers
  • Size/dimensions
  • Material
  • Colour/design
  • Weight
  • Extra features

In the following paragraphs you can read about the individual buying criteria and how you can classify them.

The type of dresser

We have already gone into detail above on the different types of these pieces of furniture, i.e. dressing tables, classic wooden chests of drawers, apothecary chests of drawers, bedside chests of drawers and shoe chests of drawers. Nevertheless, choosing the specific type is of course the first and most important step before buying your vintage chest of drawers.

So first think about the room and purpose your chest of drawers will serve. Some of these cabinets can of course be used for several purposes, but a shoe chest, for example, can hardly be “misused” as a nightstand. The solid apothecary chest, on the other hand, looks very good in any room, while the dressing table looks particularly nice in the bedroom or living room. If in doubt, simply opt for a classic wooden chest of drawers. It can be used in many different ways and will serve its purpose in any room.

Size/dimensions

Vintage chests of drawers come in numerous sizes and shapes. Here, too, the ideal size of the chest of drawers is based on your individual needs. You should therefore make the size primarily dependent on how much storage space you need. Before buying the chest of drawers, you should also measure the future location exactly.

Note that chests of drawers often look smaller on the large display areas of furniture stores than in the end in your own four walls. This often also applies to the depth of the chest of drawers, which often appears narrower in the shop than it actually is. Normally, you can roughly assume that the price of a piece of furniture increases with its size.

So measure the space you have available exactly so that you don’t have problems later with a chest of drawers that is too big or too small. With the right measurements, you can be on the safe side, because nothing is more annoying than a finished piece of furniture that does not fit in its intended place.

Material

Make sure your future chest of drawers is made of high-quality and well-made material. Only then will you be able to enjoy your new piece of furniture for a long time.

Most chests of drawers are made of wood

because it is easy to work with and very durable. Unlike steel, for example, it is also much easier to assemble, which is especially important if you want to or have to assemble your furniture yourself at home. Sometimes you can also find other materials, such as metal or plastic, but especially with vintage chests of drawers, old wood contributes a lot to the desired shabby look.

In the following, we present some of the most common types of wood used for furniture production. A very frequently used material is MDF, the so-called medium-density fibreboard. MDF is one of the world’s fastest growing wood products. For this purpose, mostly bark-free coniferous trees are gently pressed, resulting in homogeneous boards that are easy to process. Paulownia wood comes from one of the fastest growing trees in the world. It is a relatively light hardwood with numerous useful properties:

  • Very good workable hardwood
  • Very resistant to rot
  • Animal wood pests are not known
  • Fire retardant – flash point at 400 degrees
  • Resin and odourless
  • Dries very quickly in air – in approx. 30 days
  • Low weight of 300 kg/m3 (oak 670 kg/m3)
  • Low raw ash and chlorine content
  • Very good bioenergetic usability
  • Insulates against low temperatures
  • Is comparatively stable despite high growth rates

Pine wood is also very popular for furniture production. As a soft to medium-hard wood, it can be easily processed, is particularly elastic and break-resistant. Due to its numerous occurrences in domestic areas, transport routes are short and processing is cheap. Caution: Products made of pine fade in sunlight, which is why they should only be exposed to it evenly.

Pine wood appears very lively due to its irregular texture and dark grain. Pine is also solid and robust, but very heavy as a result. Pieces of furniture made of pine are not as weather-resistant as other types of wood, which is why you should only place them indoors. Pine is particularly appreciated for its beautiful appearance. So you see, there is a wide range of possibilities. You are guaranteed to find the right material for you.

Colour/design

There are no limits to your wishes when it comes to colour and design. You can find vintage chests of drawers in a huge range and they basically fit in with any interior style. How about a chest of drawers in a pastel-coloured romantic shabby look, for example? A version trimmed to look old with white-washed wood or rather the rustic country house style with loving details?

It all depends on what you personally like best. As already mentioned, your chest of drawers does not necessarily have to match the rest of your interior design style. You can set exciting accents in your home with individual pieces of furniture with an individual design, for example in vintage style. This deliberate contrast gives your home a very special, individual touch.

Bright colours do not go well with vintage. After all, this furniture gets its typical character from traces of use and an old look. Weathered, faded shades or even peeled paint add to the special charm of the vintage style.

Light colours look natural and friendly, darker colours make your room look smaller. If you want to combine the design and colours of your existing furniture with a vintage chest of drawers, experiment a little. However, if you’re not a fan of experimentation and want to play it safe, at least stick to the same colour family when choosing. So look for a vintage chest of drawers that is roughly the same basic colour as the rest of your furniture.

Weight

Chests of drawers made of different materials logically have different weights. People often think that light pieces of furniture are better than heavy ones, for example for transport reasons. This is true, but only in part. Especially with pieces of furniture whose drawers are sometimes heavily loaded, a certain dead weight is advantageous for stability.

You can usually find out the weight of your chest of drawers directly from the manufacturer’s information. Basically, however, you can also take into account that some types of wood are naturally lighter than others. For example, the frequently used wood of the Paulownia is about half as light as the same amount of solid oak.

Extra features

Some of this may seem obvious to you. Nevertheless, some extra features often prove to be useful and sensible little helpers. Additional compartments inside the drawer provide an extra dose of order. Here you can sort small items again and when opening and closing the drawers, nothing is guaranteed to get mixed up.

It is also useful to provide the feet of your furniture with self-adhesive floor glides. It always happens that you have to move your chest of drawers again. With small felt glides on the underside, you can do this without scratching your floor.

Make-up and dressing tables usually come with an additional mirror. You can not only use it for your morning routine, but also benefit from its space-enlarging effect.

Some chests of drawers, especially shoe chests, can also be used as a practical bench. Many manufacturers have taken advantage of this and offer matching seat cushions. Most of them are even included in the delivery.

This makes putting on shoes even more comfortable and visually enhances the shoe cabinet. Safety first! Whenever a manufacturer includes an additional fastening for the wall or an anti-tip device, you should not simply ignore it.

Especially when you pull out heavily loaded drawers completely, the weight of the chest of drawers shifts significantly to the front. So fasten your piece of furniture firmly to the wall and be on the safe side.

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a vintage chest of drawers

Which is better: Vintage or Shabby Chic?

Before buying such a retro piece of furniture, you should think about what exactly you are looking for – vintage or rather shabby chic? Firstly, ask yourself whether you want your chest of drawers to be an old, refurbished vintage original. Or would you prefer a new chest of drawers that has been trimmed to look old with the so-called used look or shabby chic, which gives it that very special touch of nostalgia?

Why should I buy a vintage chest of drawers?

Does a perfectly furnished flat sound like a lot of work and an overwhelming hurdle to you? It certainly shouldn’t be, because charm comes precisely from imperfection. Perfection is not always necessary and vintage furniture also works according to this system. The beauty of these pieces of furniture lies precisely in the small irregularities and unevenness that tell their own story.

Vintage chests of drawers are characterised by their irregularities in the surface. (Image source: 123rf / Roman Kosolapov)

Special textures and structures in furniture are – without question next to functionality – the most appealing element of old or handmade objects. This is because they are regarded as traces of the artist or craftsman who created them. In this way, each piece of retro furniture tells of its own past, each piece of home furnishing acquires an ideal value. And doesn’t that clearly sound like an enrichment for your own four walls?

Does vintage suit me?

Everything you feel comfortable with suits you. So decide for yourself whether you want to give your home a touch of nostalgia with a vintage chest of drawers or whether you prefer clear, cool colours and structures. Keep in mind, however, that one does not automatically exclude the other.

Did you know that there is not only vintage furniture, but also fashion? However, vintage is often mistakenly equated with second-hand fashion. Vintage is fashion from the twenties to the seventies. However, secondhand literally means “second hand”, clothes that have been worn but were bought only last year.

Furnishing in retro style does not necessarily mean that the entire household must consist of antiques. Because then there is quickly the danger that your flat will look dusty and old-fashioned. Play it safe with a skilful combination of old and new.

Because immaculate, smooth surfaces often only come into their own when contrasted with lively and uneven structures. Moreover, you can only guarantee your nostalgic treasures the chance to shine as something special if you don’t overdo it and direct the focus specifically on individual pieces of jewellery.

What types of vintage chests of drawers are there?

These little cabinets come in more colours and shapes than you think. Find out which types of chests of drawers are available and which one is exactly right for you. For example, how about one of the following models?

  • Dressing table
  • Classic wooden dresser
  • Apothecary chest of drawers
  • Night chest
  • Shoe Chest

When it comes to using and designing your vintage chest of drawers, you can of course be very individual and creative. Nevertheless, some of these chests of drawers are better suited to certain rooms and purposes than others.

Vintage Kommode

It is always possible to give a vintage chest of drawers a personal touch and thus set accents in the room. (Image source: leexi / pixabay)

In order to find out which of the vintage pieces of furniture make the most sense for you, we will introduce you to the variants mentioned above and go into their respective advantages and disadvantages.

Vintage dressing table

The dressing table is one of the centrepieces for true vintage lovers. These dressing tables with attached vanity mirrors were already a place for the morning routine in a very special atmosphere. If the mirror is not integrated, you can let your creativity run free with a normal wall mirror. These romantically playful baroque dressing tables add a special charm to any bedroom or living room and can also be used as an elegant version of a desk.

Advantages
  • Decorative
  • Optical enlargement of space through mirror
  • Optional: Additional light source
Disadvantages
  • Little storage space

Make-up chests often have a practical recess for sitting with a matching stool or chair, which makes them look particularly decorative. Mirror lighting can also serve as an indirect light source. Make-up, hairbrushes and other small items can easily be stored in the drawers, which are designed directly for small items. However, if this is not enough, you can provide additional storage space with matching boxes and baskets on the dressing table.

Classic vintage wooden dresser

Classic does not automatically mean boring. The classic wooden dresser comes in a wide variety of sizes with drawers or doors, so you can find the right one for every need.

Advantages
  • Lots of storage space
  • Additional shelf space
  • Compatible with other pieces of furniture
Disadvantages
  • None

If the chest of drawers is used in the living room, it not only offers a lot of storage space, but also an additional shelf area. For example, for your TV, a decorative vase of flowers, your most important documents or decorations. In the bedroom, you can store utensils such as socks, underwear, ties and belts.

Basically, you can’t go wrong with a wooden chest of drawers. It is not for nothing that wood is so popular as a raw material for pieces of furniture and can convince with its naturalness and charm, especially in the area of vintage. Vintage wood in particular has a warm effect, is solid and durable and becomes more beautiful with age.

Vintage apothecary chest of drawers

This solid cabinet, tried and tested in pharmacies and households for decades, was already loved for its properties in the 18th century. Simply because of its appearance and past, the apothecary chest of drawers automatically exudes a feeling of vintage and shabby chic. You can also find this type of chest of drawers in different proportions and sizes, so you are guaranteed to find the right piece of furniture for your home.

Advantages
  • Storage space for many small to medium-sized items
  • practical for collections of all kinds
Disadvantages
  • Quite special for everyday use
  • Poor visibility due to deep drawers

The apothecary chest combines traditional looks with functionality, comes completely without doors and probably has the most drawers of all chest types. How about an apothecary chest in your kitchen, for example? You’ll always have sugar, flour and spices to hand. A nice and useful labelling of the individual drawers could serve as an orientation aid.

Vintage nightstand

The nightstand offers you space for things that need to be at hand at a moment’s notice. After all, who likes to get up again once they’re snuggled up in a warm blanket? It is the ideal little cupboard for the headboard of your bed. The small drawers are particularly suitable as a hiding place for handkerchiefs, nose drops etc. Now all you need is your favourite book, the alarm clock and a pretty bedside lamp on the nightstand and the eye-catcher in your bedroom is ready.

Advantages
  • Space for bedside lamp
  • Small and compact
  • Usually inexpensive
Disadvantages
  • Little storage space

Make sure your bedside table is the right height, ideally aligned with the top of your mattress. This way, everything is within easy reach and you don’t run the risk of injuring yourself on the corners or edges of the chest of drawers. If your bedroom is otherwise furnished in a modern style, that’s no reason why you shouldn’t have a vintage nightstand. Shabby Chic can also be combined very well with clean lines.

Harmony is especially important in the bedroom, which is why you should at least stay in the same colour family when making your choice.

Advantages
  • Storage system for shoes
  • Practical as a bench
  • Optional: Integrated mirror
Disadvantages
  • Odour formation with closed doors

If you opt for a low model, you can kill two birds with one stone and use your chest of drawers as a bench for putting on shoes. If you choose a higher model, you can store important things such as your front door key on the console.

With a shoe chest, you not only protect your guests from your shoe chaos, but also your shoes from dirt and dust. Height-adjustable compartments are also particularly useful. This means that boots or high heels also fit in the chest of drawers. Shoe cabinets with integrated mirrors allow you to check your outfit before you leave the house.

Vintage shoe cabinet

Such a cupboard in the hallway offers the possibility to bring order into your shoe chaos. Here, all the shoes lying around individually can be stored neatly and systematically. Shoe chests are available in different versions, whether as shoe tippers, with an integrated grid or individual baskets and drawers.

What does a vintage chest of drawers cost?

Vintage chests of drawers are available in all price ranges. The price depends primarily on whether your chest of drawers is a genuine old vintage unicum or whether you have opted for the Shabby Chic variant. In the case of the former, you usually have to reckon with higher prices, as they are often unique pieces. With a bit of luck, however, you can hit the jackpot and get hold of a unique piece at affordable prices on flea markets or auction platforms (e.g. eBay Classifieds).

You can find a pretty chest of drawers trimmed to look old in any price range. It all depends on what you have in mind for your home and what your wallet can afford. Make sure, however, that in addition to the price, you continue to pay attention to the quality, because only then will you be able to enjoy your chest of drawers for a long time.

How does furniture become “vintage furniture”?

There are many ways in which vintage furniture becomes vintage furniture. If it is not a naturally aged piece of furniture, interesting effects can be achieved by the following means: A commonly used technique to trim furniture to look old is staining (treating the wood surface with a special solution). This makes the wood darker, but the typical wood structure remains. A particularly beautiful effect is that the annual rings of the wood stand out more clearly.

Furniture can also be given a retro touch by applying a supposedly old coat of paint. To do this, the pores of the wood are opened up with a so-called root brush. This brass wire brush is rubbed vigorously and evenly over the wood, which is then treated with a lime paste. Pastel shades are particularly popular here.

Another simple way to create a vintage effect on a piece of furniture is to use white paint. To do this, dilute normal interior paint with water and then apply it to the surface of the wood with a cloth. On top of the dried paint, apply a thin layer of glaze, for example in the shades of mahogany or chestnut. After this treatment, the white colour still shimmers slightly through the varnish, which gives the wood the desired vintage look.

Vintage Kommode

Vintage chests of drawers are characterised by worn wood. This gives the room character. (Image source: Pexels / pixabay)

Certain varnishes such as rip or crackle varnish from hobby shops also give wood an old look. Once applied and dried, this varnish creates the look of old, peeled paint through fine hairline cracks.

Image source: Pixabay / ErikaWittlieb

Reviews