Hoteliers are rethinking dressers, and it’s about time
Hoteliers are rethinking dressers, and it’s about time
25 OCTOBER 2019 7:22 AM

One of the next steps forward in guestroom design could be the removal of dressers. As someone who never uses a dresser, that seems like a no-brainer.

For the past couple of years, we’ve read and heard about the disappearance and reappearance of the hotel guestroom desk. I was confused and disappointed to hear initially that hotel companies thought of them as unnecessary and were looking at ways to either shrink or remove them. It was a great relief to learn that reports of the demise of the guestroom desk were greatly exaggerated.

Along with using the desk as a work area on business trips, that’s often where I eat a meal when I grab some takeout and want to relax in my room.

I just read a story about another piece of guestroom furniture that might go away, and I can honestly say I do not feel it would be an inconvenience in the slightest.

Conde Nast Traveler asks (and answers) “Why are dressers vanishing from hotel rooms?” The main answer, which should not be surprising, is that hardly anyone actually uses them. Sonya Haffey, VP of V Starr Interiors, offered a good explanation.

“It's just that no one used them, and they finally realized that it didn't need to be like a bedroom,” she said. “If no one's utilizing it, then why spend the money on it? I was just at the NextGen conference in (Austin, Texas) and one of the speakers was saying that through various research, (they’ve learned) 80% of people that stay at hotels are alone. It's just one person. So, why would they need a dresser? Two-night stays for one person is the standard.”

In my entire life, I can only think of one time I have ever used a dresser in a hotel room. It was on a family vacation when I was a child, and I left my pair of binoculars in the dresser by accident (I repeat, I was a kid), so about half an hour back on the road, we had to turn around and go get them.

I don’t know of anyone who actually unpacks fully when they stay in a hotel. Sure, it makes sense to pull out any clothes that need to go on hangers to keep them from wrinkling any more than they already have, but I think most people keep their clothes in their luggage.

If what Haffey referenced about 80% of the people who stay in hotels are alone and on average only stay for two nights is true, that doesn’t exactly create a lot of demand for dressers.

Another potential reason that the article doesn’t mention is that people might feel their clothes are safer in their luggage. Not from thieves, but from bedbugs. There was a huge media scare about bed bugs years ago, and I think that has stuck with people. While most travelers aren’t going as far as tearing apart their beds and inspecting the guestroom with a magnifying glass, I think there’s a healthy number who feel better about keeping their clothes in their luggage on a luggage rack instead of inside furniture in the room.

Also, if their clothes are already in their luggage, the dresser is one fewer place to check when packing up to check out of the hotel. That really helps you make sure you don’t forget anything in your room, such as a pair of binoculars.

The decision to remove dressers from guestrooms also makes business sense, the article points out. Hotel rooms are trending smaller, so why take up any of that smaller space with large furniture that many guests don’t use? That should also make it easier for housekeeping to clean the rooms, improving efficiency as a result.

So there you have it. People don’t use dressers, and getting rid of them can help improve operational efficiency. If you’re looking to remove something from guestrooms, take the dresser, not the desk. My clothes are hanging up, and I need a place to eat my sandwich.

What would you remove from a hotel guestroom? Let me know in the comments below, or reach out to me at or @HNN_Bryan.

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