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Is it Okay for a Dresser to Double as a Nightstand?

A photo of a dresser beside the bed.

I’ve often lived in apartments where I had a minimal amount of space available, especially when it comes to my bedroom.

I still like to have a spot to place my eyeglasses, book, glass of water, and other items I like to have close at hand near my bed.

Once, I needed to double up and use a dresser for clothing storage along with surface space for some really important things. It turned out quite well since it was a sturdy hard wood that was right at my bed’s height.

I kept a lamp there for my nightly reading, so I didn’t have to deal with the glaring overhead light. I really felt proud that I was making the most out of my furniture and taking a minimalist approach in life.

You may wonder if it’s worth it to try this for yourself. You might opt for a smaller dresser if you only need enough storage for one person and to maintain proportion with your bed.

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Here are some pros and cons when it comes to using a dresser as a nightstand.


1. You Have More Space

A photo of a spacious bedroom.

Even if your room is spacious, you don’t necessarily want to clutter it up with excess furniture than what you absolutely need. It’s a good idea to make the most of what’s available to you.

This is safer and provides you with a more peaceful atmosphere overall when you don’t end up walking only two feet before you bump into some piece of furniture.

2. Storage Is Optimal

When you want adequate storage space near to hand upon waking up, it’s great to have your dresser right next to your bed.

This is especially the case if you’re someone who likes to start your day with a fresh change of clothes before you see other people in your living space.

You can sit up in bed and reach over to pick out what you need, giving you a few extra minutes to stay in the warmth of your covers.

3. Proportion Is Key

A photo of a dresser same level with the bed.

Do you have a larger bed? If so, you’d do well to have a dresser beside it instead of a small nightstand.

Since dressers tend to be taller than the typical nightstand, be sure to take careful measurements to make sure the height feels right for your bed (a couple of inches above the mattress is a good rule of thumb).

It’s a win-win all around to have a durable piece of furniture with plenty of surface area that’s at just the perfect height for your needs.


1. Dressers Are Bulky

A photo of a bulky black dresser.

If you prefer to keep a wide open space next to your bed or at least no bulky furniture so close, you want to avoid having your dresser right beside it. Most of them are on the heavier side and can be awkward if you have limited room there.

While a small dresser or cabinet will make your space feel more grand and luxurious, keep the weight of the accent piece in mind while making your decision.

No matter what you decide to do, it’s best if you choose a good spot right when you move in so that you don’t have to worry about moving it a few weeks or months down the road.

2. Blocking of Windows

Some people have windows close to their beds. If this is the case in your home, you want to avoid having your dresser there since they’re usually taller than your typical bedside table.

You probably don’t want your window to be blocked because it’s nice to open it occasionally and let in the fresh air as well as have as much natural lighting as possible. A shorter side table is much better to have in this space.

3. More Space Means More Clutter

A woman with a messy bedroom.

Are you someone who usually tries to stay tidy? Even if you have the best of intentions, you might struggle with the fact that all of a sudden you have all this extra surface space with which you can work.

This may end up your dumping ground for a ton of things that you bring into your room. At that point, you aren’t just leaving things there for convenience for the middle of the night or when you wake up.

You’ve got to be careful if you do decide to use your dresser for this purpose.

If you’re still undecided about what furniture you should have beside your bed to use as a nightstand, there are some things you can do first. It can be good to measure so that you can get some dimensions.

Then, you can visit a home goods or furniture store to see if you find something that calls to you and is ideal for the space you have.

If you want to avoid making this trip when you already have a dresser or something else to utilize, you can talk to friends or family and bounce your ideas off of them.

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