The Best Nursery Dresser 2020
Best Nursery Dresser 2020
Last Updated: The Best Nursery Dresser 2020. After researching over 80 manufacturers of dressers and other nursery furniture our top pick for best nursery dresser is the DaVinci Jayden 6-Drawer Double Wide Dresser ($399.00). If you just need a three-drawer dresser with changing top, the same brand sells that for $249.00..
New to nursery furniture shopping for baby’s room? Read our 7 Things No One Tells You About Buying a Nursery Dresser for advice and tips.
We picked this dresser because the brand (DaVinci) is reliable and has a good safety track record. The dresser itself is made of New Zealand pine and has metal drawer glides with safety stops (so drawers can’t be removed accidentally). DaVinci also includes an anti-tip kit—that is essential to install to prevent tip-over accidents.
The Jayden comes in four different finishes (white, slate, espresso and chestnut). The price can vary a bit depending on the finish color.
Flaws but not deal breakers
The dresser comes unassembled—and assembly takes some time, our readers tell us. It isn’t overly complicated, just time consuming. Like nearly all ready-to-assemble dressers, the DaVinci Jayden dresser does not have drawers with dovetail construction.
New Zealand pine is a soft wood that can be easily scratched—be careful when you are moving the dresser around.
Finally, we would call the overall quality of this dresser average (the drawer bottoms are not solid wood, for example) . . . this is not heirloom quality furniture, but neither is the price, of course! For under $500, this dresser is functional and will last through more than one child. But you may have to occasionally re-tighten the drawer screws for example.
While the Jayden has safety drawer stops, the drawers themselves are not full extension—that is, they only pull out part way. This is a safety feature.
We also heard a few scattered reports of shipping damage—this is an unfortunate fact of life when ordering dressers online versus a store. Customer service from Amazon is prompt at fixing issues, but just a heads up: be sure to carefully inspect the box and contents when it first arrives, just in case.
Despite these drawbacks, we think the DaVinci Jayden 6-Drawer Double Wide Dresser is a good value.
Best Budget-Friendly Dresser
Just as in cribs, IKEA’s affordable dressers (about $100 to $280) are our top pick if money (or space) is tight. Yes, assembly can be challenging. And these dressers probably won’t last until your kid goes to college, but $249 for a double dresser (the Hemnes)? You can’t beat that price.
Readers praise IKEA’s dressers for their simplicity and value. (One caveat: IKEA dressers were recalled in 2016 for tip-over hazards. Always anchor a dresser to the wall, whether it is from IKEA or any brand for that matter!).
Best for a Splurge
If you’ve got the bankroll, the very best quality in dressers can be found from Canadian nursery furniture maker Natart. A double dresser from Natart typically tops $1000 (example: Natart’s Ithaca five drawer dresser for $1300) and features top notch construction.
A close runner up to Natart is Romina, with their all solid-wood construction, and the very best in drawer glides–smooth like butter. But on the downside, a double dresser from Romina can run $1500 to $1800. The Cleopatra five drawer chest, below, is $1575 to $1764.
Best Eco Friendly Dresser
Romina is our top choice for eco friendly nursery dresser. These dressers are made of solid European beech and tree sap-based organic glues, then finished with a non-toxic, water based finish (or a Bees Wax organic finish for an up charge). You won’t have to worry about any formaldehyde emissions, since Romina’s line is GREENGUARD certified. And they make their furniture in Europe, not Asia. Quality touches make it an even better dresser: corner blocks, dove tailed drawers and soft close drawer glides. The price, however, is stratospheric: The Imperio six drawer dresser shown above runs $1625 to $1820. Eco goodness definitely has a price.
Why Trust Us
We’ve been rating and reviewing nursery furniture since 1994. In addition to hands on inspections of nursery furniture, we have also visited manufacturer facilities and met with safety regulators—and when we travel, we pay our all of our own expenses. We also evaluate consumer reviews posted on sites like Amazon, as well as our own message boards.
Here’s another key point: we don’t take money from the brands we review. No free samples, no sponsors, no “partnerships.” Baby Bargains is your independent and unbiased source for expert baby gear reviews. We’ve been writing and reviewing baby gear since 1994. Yes, that long!
How we picked a winner
We evaluate nursery furniture, including dressers and chests, with in-depth inspections, checking models for overall quality and ease of use—for example, testing drawer glides and making sure drawers have dovetails and corner blocks. We also gather significant reader feedback (our book, Baby Bargains has over 1 million copies in print), tracking furniture on quality and durability. Besides interviewing parents, we also regularly talk with retailers of nursery furniture to see which brands are most trustworthy and other key quality metrics.
The reliability of nursery furniture companies is another key factor—we meet with key company executives at least once a year. Since we’ve been doing this since 1994, we have developed detailed profiles of major nursery furniture brands that help guide our recommendations. See below for links.
7 Things No One Tells You About Buying A Nursery Dresser!
1. Focus on drawer glides.
Test this in the store—drawers with an easy glide typically have tracks on BOTH sides of the drawer. Cheaper dressers have drawers that simply sit on a track at the bottom center of the drawer. As a result, they don’t roll out as smoothly and are prone to coming off the track. Look at the drawer glide itself. Cheaper dressers have simple metal glides.
Better dressers use more elaborate mechanisms including ballbearings or self-closing glides (you push the drawer nearly closed and it automatically/slowly closes the rest of the way). A few dresser makers use wood-on-wood glides, more commonly seen in adult furniture; we don’t recommend this type of drawer glide.
2. Look closely at the sides of the drawer.
The best furniture makers use “dove-tailed” drawer joints. There are two types of dove-tail drawers: English and French (see pictures below). Both are acceptable. What’s not good? Drawers and drawer fronts that are merely stapled together.
Keep in mind that many affordably priced dressers may not have dovetailed drawers. This is especially true with dressers you have to assemble yourself like those from DaVinci or IKEA.
3. A third quality indicator is drawers with corner blocks.
Pull the drawer out and turn it over to look at the corners—if there is a small block that braces the corner, that’s good. Cheaper dressers omit this feature, which adds to the stability of the drawer.
4. Most shoppers never look at the back of a dresser.
You should. You might find the backing is just a flimsy piece of chipboard stapled to the frame. But if it’s a good quality piece of furniture, it will be a solid (although perhaps only 1/4″ thick) piece of wood that is screwed to the frame.
5. Medium density fiberboard (MDF) versus solid wood.
The best-made dressers have solid wood tops and drawer fronts (and some have solid wood sides).
Of course, solid wood is expensive. To make dressers more affordable, many furniture makers turn to substitute wood products such as medium density fiberboard (MDF). What is MDF? Basically, MDF is made from wood scraps that are turned into fiber and then glued together to form a solid board.
In addition to being affordable, MDF is easier to sculpt since it lacks knots or wood grain. Hence, you often seen MDF used in modern furniture groupings where a sleek, smooth aesthetic is the goal.
One downside to MDF: the glue or resin that is used to hold it together may contain formaldehyde. Back in 2008, five nursery furniture makers were sued by the state of California for unsafe levels of formaldehyde in their dressers.
Of course, not all glues are high in formaldehyde. Look for furniture manufacturers that are GREENGUARD certified to be low emission.
Our opinion: MDF isn’t necessarily good or bad. The more money you spend, however, the more solid should be in that dressser!
6. Skip buying a separate changing area and use a dresser.
Most folks look for dressers to do double duty: not only a place to store clothes, but also to change diapers. Basically, you need a changing area of the right height to do this—evaluate your and your spouse’s heights to see what you’d need (a lower side-by-side dresser or a taller chest). Then you can purchase a changing pad for your dresser top. Some pads have non-skid bases or you can screw the pad onto the dresser (we aren’t sure this is a good idea!). Changing table pads typically cost around $20.
7. We don’t recommend combination crib and dressers.
As the name implies, a combo crib and dresser is a crib with an attached dresser or changing area. This may sound like a good deal, but these combos are a safety risk, in our opinion. The hazard: babies can climb out of them too easily, based on reports to a government safety database we reviewed. Clever babies can get a toe hold on the railing or dresser drawer and push themselves up to the top of the dresser. From there, nothing good can happen.
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