From clothes storage in the bedroom, to the home office, or a hallway hideaway for those essential bits, a versatile and well-made chest of drawers can serve its purpose all around the home as your needs change.
It may sound obvious, but double check the size when buying online – images can be deceiving. As always, check whether self-assembly is required, and whether delivery is a matter of days or several weeks. Also check whether the drawers are on runners and glides making them smooth to open and close – cheaper options have a groove which can get tough to use over time.
1. Habitat Radius Oak Chest of Drawers: £595, Habitat
Quality of construction underlies this seemingly simple three-drawer chest from Habitat. The Radius chest is crafted from lacquered solid oak and oak veneer, and the drawer handles are subtle round recesses that leave the features of the natural wood untouched. The corner joints are done with a traditional bridle joint – a connection that is strong in all directions.
2. West Elm Audrey 3-drawer Chest: £699, West Elm
The textured finish on this petite chest from West Elm is what makes it really stand out. The drawer fronts have a three-dimensional honeycomb pattern that contrasts with the rest of the smooth lacquered surfaces. Slim brass-finished drawer pulls and legs make a final retro-inspired touch. The structure is engineered wood, and the drawers open on metal glides.
3. Out There Interiors Eastern Panels Venetian Chest: £875, Out There Interiors
The exotic looks of this Moroccan-style chest are down to the use of mirrored glass panels and a strong decorative motif applied all over. It is handmade and the drawers open without handles, leaving the surface uninterrupted. With five drawers it packs in more storage than most on the list, but the price is really down to the crafted finish of this unusual furniture piece.
4. Swoon Editions Dawson Chest of Drawers: £399, Swoon Editions
This antique-looking chest is finished in charcoal grey for a timeless feel that suits contemporary and traditional interiors. The chest is made in mango wood with an engineered wood top and brass handles. The three drawers have grooves rather than runners or glides. This makes the chest better suited to occasional use in a hallway, rather than the bedroom.
5. Marks & Spencer Alto 3-drawer Chest: £449, Marks & Spencer
This 85cm x 90cm chest is made with compact living in mind. Small but robust, the turned legs of the chest are made from solid oak, with the body from oak veneer. There are no fussy details, maximising practicality over style – although it does have an air of Scandinavian-style minimalism to it. The top drawer is slimmer for smaller objects.
6. Atkin and Thyme Estelle Mother of Pearl Inlay Chest: £999, Atkin and Thyme
A real statement piece, this chest of drawers gleams with pieces of decorative inlaid mother of pearl. Each piece is crafted by hand in India over several weeks, but order from Atkin and Thyme’s stock and delivery can take only 12 days. The frame is mango wood with carved fragments of reliably sourced mother of pearl fixed to a white resin surface.
7. La Redoute Eugenie Chest of Drawers: £195, La Redoute
French catalogue retailer La Redoute is a great find for those seeking chic furniture on a budget. The Eugenie chest is typically practical but with a hint of decorative cut-out detail, all at a very reasonable price. The chest is made of MDF with a varnish lacquered finish for the grey version – you can also opt for a natural oak finish. Self-assembly is required.
8. Maison du Monde Janeiro Chest of Drawers: £399.90, Maisons du Monde
This colourful vintage-inspired cabinet from Maisons du Monde has four grooved drawers with long wooden pulls in stained mango wood. The drawers are painted blue, green and grey acrylic with one left in a natural finish. This chest is small at about 83cm x 86cm, so it is a good choice for the bedside or a narrow hallway. Some self-assembly is required.
9. Harley and Lola Kielder Chest: £745, Harley and Lola
The Kielder set of four drawers from Harley and Lola has a solid feel, with chunky, rectangular oak legs. It works well as a vanity unit, in combination with a freestanding or fixed wall mirror, and has two smaller drawers for cosmetics. The chest comes with a 12-month warranty and there are matching pieces available if you’re looking to fit out the whole bedroom.
10. Made Penn Compact Chest of Drawers: £399, Made
This 90cm-wide chest has an elegant feel and is made with ash, finished with a dark stain. The scooping recessed handles are an interesting touch, and the unfussy design means the drawers are mostly practical with a good capacity. There’s a five-drawer version available with compartments of different sizes.
The Verdict: Chests of drawers
Top marks go to the Radius chest of drawers from Habitat, which combines a minimal design with care for craft and construction. It’s practical too, with drawers of a fairly generous size. La Redoute’s Eugenie is the best budget buy, with a hint of decorative detail for a reasonable price.
IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing
- More about:
- Home & Garden