A new round of Consumer Reports testing into dresser stability underscores the need for a tougher, more expansive tip-over standard to make homes safer for young children and others potentially at risk.

CR’s latest testing backs up our earlier findings that the industry already manufactures reasonably priced dressers that won’t easily tip over and potentially injure or kill young children. So it can be done.

For example, the Ikea KULLEN and Ikea NORDLI dressers that passed CR’s latest testing currently sell for $69 and $129, respectively. Some dressers for sale on the U.S. market can run into the hundreds or thousands of dollars. (See results of our tests, below.)

Tougher Standard Needed

CR testing also shows that a consumer shopping for a dresser today can’t easily judge just by looking at the product whether it’s at greater risk of tipping over and posing a hazard. So having a stronger standard in place is that much more important.

More on Tip-Overs

“Our latest results show why a stronger standard is possible for dressers to meet, even for those under $100,” says James Dickerson, Consumer Reports’ chief scientific officer.

CR’s ongoing investigation is aimed at curbing a preventable safety epidemic: Some 2,800 children under age 6 were injured in 2016 when a dresser or other clothing storage unit tipped over, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). And from the beginning of 2000 through the end of 2016, there were 195 tip-over deaths reported to the CPSC involving these products.

The majority of victims are children younger than 6. Many times, they cause the tip-over by climbing up the front of a dresser or by playing inside a drawer.

A Tougher Tip-Over Test

Since 2000, the industry has operated under a voluntary tip-over testing standard that, among other things, specifies that any dresser or other clothing storage unit taller than 30 inches should remain upright with 50 pounds of weight hanging from any of the open drawers. Because it’s voluntary, manufacturers aren’t required to test their products or prove that they meet the standard to sell their dressers in the U.S.

At CR’s test labs, dressers are put through several progressively more stringent tip-over tests.

The first two tests are modeled after the industry’s voluntary standard—but they differ in several respects, including how far CR opens the drawers for every dresser it tests.

All tests are conducted with the drawers empty. The first test checks to see if a dresser will tip over if all of its drawers are fully extended. The second test is done with the top drawer fully extended and 50 pounds of weight hung from the top-drawer front. For the third test, CR devised a more rigorous test using up to 60 pounds of weight—a higher threshold that more fully represents the weight range of U.S. children under age 6. That’s the age group involved in 82 percent of dresser and clothing storage unit tip-over deaths, according to the CPSC.

In addition, CR also tested dressers 30 inches and shorter to probe a popular segment of the market not covered by the voluntary standard but that still pose a potential danger, according to CR’s examination of data compiled by the government.

In CR’s tests, 3 out of 5 dressers 30 inches and under failed our 50-pound evaluation. The Ikea Nordli from the latest round of testing is the first dresser 30 inches and under to pass all of CR’s tests.

Six New Models Tested

We most recently purchased and tested six new models from four of the biggest furniture retailers, including Ikea. The other three were from Ashley Furniture, Bob’s Discount Furniture, and Raymour & Flanigan.

It’s important to note that Consumer Reports tests products for the purpose of comparison and offering advice to consumers. CR does not test products to verify whether they pass or comply with voluntary industry standards, some of which are governed by ASTM International, a standards development organization. (Consumer Reports is an active ASTM member and participates in working groups, including the one governing dressers.)

This was the second round of models in the last year that CR has tested in our lab to assess products consumers buy from U.S. retailers or online. CR used the same methodology to evaluate the dressers for both batches of testing. The results showed:

• Three of the six newly tested models passed all three of CR’s tip-over tests.

• One model passed the first two tests, but not the tougher, 60-pound test.

• Two passed only the first test.

“The significance here is not that three of these clothing storage units had failures at various points in our testing, but that three of them passed all of our tests,” says Dickerson. “It is clear evidence in support of the more stringent standard that we as an organization and other consumer advocates have proposed.”

Counting the six new models, CR has tested 30 dressers in the last year. Just over half—16 models—passed all three of CR’s tip-over tests. (See chart below for full results.)

CR’s year-long investigation concluded that the current industry standard is inadequate. The organization is calling on regulators to set a stronger, mandatory tip-over testing standard, one that increases the test weight from 50 to 60 pounds and includes dressers 30 inches and shorter.

A more effective and mandatory tip-over standard would help consumers trust that dressers for sale in the U.S. would resist tipping over onto young children.

The trade group American Home Furnishings Alliance, which told CR it is “hesitant to support the development of a mandatory standard,” announced in April a product labeling program in partnership with UL, the product certification organization whose ubiquitous mark can be found on the back of consumer products from smoke detectors to refrigerators.

Under the program, furniture manufacturers can pay to have UL assess their in-house stability testing process in order “to help consumers identify products that meet the industry’s voluntary stability standard requirements.”

Also included in Consumer Reports’ latest round of testing were Ashley Furniture’s Lulu Chest of Drawers and the Jaidyn Chest of Drawers. These dressers passed the first test—fully extending all the drawers with them empty to see if the dressers tip over. These dressers tipped over in our second test—fully extending the top drawer and hanging a 50-pound weight from the drawer front. Consumer Reports tests with drawers extended fully to the final "outstop." An outstop is an indent in the drawer glide designed to hinder the sliding motion or prevent the drawer from falling out.

Ashley Furniture, contacted by CR about the latest test results, said in a statement, “Ashley is an industry leader in product safety and all of our product lines subject to the current ASTM stability standard are designed to comply, and tested to verify compliance, with the standard."

The company also said, “These two dresser models not only meet, but also exceed ASTM’s stability mandates.”

The company points to the fact that its dressers have two outstops, one close to the end of the drawer (between two-thirds and the end of the drawer), and one at the end. Ashley told CR that its compliance testing is done using the outstop close to the end of the drawer.

In order to conduct our own comparative tests using all the same criteria, CR evaluated all 30 dressers using the final outstop, regardless of whether the dresser had another outstop. Of the 30 dressers we tested currently on the market, all have final outstops, but only the Ashley samples have a second stop.

Consumer Reports does not dispute that Ashley meets the ASTM standard, and CR's tests are not meant to be indicators of whether a product complies with standards.

Regardless of which dresser you choose, CR recommends that in any home where children may be present, dressers should be anchored to the wall.

Some manufacturers provide anchors and straps with their dresser models, others do not. (Watch video, above.)

How Stable Is Your Dresser?

CR conducted tip-over testing on 30 dresser models that represent a cross-section of the retail market, using progressively tougher tests. They were purchased from May 2017 through April 2018. Our tests show that you can’t spot a stable dresser with the naked eye.


HOW WE TESTED

We performed three tests with all the drawers empty and to their final outstops, even if they had additional ones.

In Test 1, all drawers were open.

In Test 2, the top drawer was open to its final stop and a 50-pound weight was hung from the drawer front.

In Test 3, the top drawer was open to its final stop and the 50-pound weight was increased in 1-pound increments to a maximum of 60 pounds.


Consumer Reports conducts its tests for the purpose of comparison and not for compliance. Our results are not meant as indicators for whether or not a dresser meets the voluntary industry standard set through ASTM International, a standards development organization.


Dressers shaded in blue are from the latest round of tests.

Model Dimensions Test Number
 1 2 3
Ashley Furniture Jaidyn Chest of Drawers
$330
H55"xW39.5”xD17"
120.8 lb.
Drawers Open 50 LBS 60 LBS
Ashley Furniture Lulu Chest of Drawers
$220
H47.75"xW28.75”xD16.75"
94.8 lb.
Drawers Open 50 LBS 60 LBS
Bob’s Discount Furniture Chadwick Chest
$280
H48.25"xW36”xD17"
99.0 lb.
Drawers Open 50 LBS 60 LBS
Bob's Discount Furniture Madelyn White Dresser
$299
H48.75"xW36”xD18"
129 lb.
Drawers Open 50 LBS 60 LBS
DaVinci Jayden 4-Drawer Dresser
$280
H37.75”xW36”xD18.75”
87.6 lb.
Drawers Open 50 LBS 60 LBS
DaVinci Kalani 4-Drawer Dresser (discontinued)
$300
H38.25”xW32.75"xD21.25”
83.6 lb.
Drawers Open 50 LBS 60 LBS
Delta Children Bentley 6 Drawer Dresser
$340
H33.75”xW49”xD19”
111.0 lb.
Drawers Open 50 LBS 60 LBS
Delta Children Clermont
6 Drawer Dresser
$250
H38”xW47.25”xD18.75”
111.6 lb.
Drawers Open 50 LBS 60 LBS
Delta Children Sutton 3 Drawer Dresser
$170
H37”xW35”xD19”
83.2 lb.
Drawers Open 50 LBS 60 LBS
Delta Children Epic 3 Drawer Dresser
$180
H33”xW36.5”xD18.75”
71.4 lb.
Drawers Open 50 LBS 60 LBS
Delta Children 3 Drawer Dresser, similar to: Viv + Rae 3 Drawer Dresser
$280
H33.5"xW37"xD20"
74 lb.
Drawers Open 50 LBS 60 LBS
Epoch Design 5 Drawer Chest
$740
H46.25”xW33.75”xD21”
131.2 lb.
Drawers Open 50 LBS 60 LBS
Epoch Design Seneca 5 Drawer Chest
$770
H48.25”xW35.75”xD21.25”
164.0 lb.
Drawers Open 50 LBS 60 LBS
Essential Home Belmont 4 Drawer Dresser Chest (Ameriwood)
$40
H30”xW27.75”xD15.75”
47.0 lb.
Drawers Open 50 LBS 60 LBS
Hillsdale Furniture Mila Kids' Bedroom Dresser
$579
H36.5"xW58”xD18"
150 lb.
Drawers Open 50 LBS 60 LBS
Ikea KULLEN
$69
H44"xW27.75”xD15.5"
81 lb.
Drawers Open 50 LBS 60 LBS
Ikea NORDLI
$129
H30"xW31.5”xD18.5"
92 lb.
Drawers Open 50 LBS 60 LBS
Ikea Malm 3-Drawer Chest
$100
H30.5”xW31.75”xD19”
96.0 lb.
Drawers Open 50 LBS 60 LBS
Pottery Barn Kids Catalina Dresser
$500
H31”xW38.5”xD18.75”
89.6 lb.
Drawers Open 50 LBS 60 LBS
Pottery Barn Kids Catalina Extra-Wide Dresser
$900
H31.25”xW56.25”xD18”
119.2 lb.
Drawers Open 50 LBS 60 LBS
Sauder Pogo 3-Drawer Chest
$180
H47.25”xW30.25”xD19.5”
99.4 lb.
Drawers Open 50 LBS 60 LBS
Sauder Shoal Creek 4-Drawer Chest
$230
H42.5”xW34.75”xD18.75”
106.4 lb.
Drawers Open 50 LBS 60 LBS
Simmons Kids Rowen Double Dresser
$300
H34”xW47.75”xD19.75”
128.2 lb.
Drawers Open 50 LBS 60 LBS
South Shore Libra 3-Drawer Chest, similar to: Simply Basics 3 Drawer Dresser
$90
H27.5”xW31.5”xD16”
57.2 lb.
Drawers Open 50 LBS 60 LBS
South Shore Little Treasures 5-Drawer Chest
$165
H43.75”xW31.5”xD18”
89.8 lb.
Drawers Open 50 LBS 60 LBS
South Shore Logik 6-Drawer Double Dresser A
$200
H29.75”xW47.5”xD17.5”
103.6 lb.
Drawers Open 50 LBS 60 LBS
South Shore Logik 6-Drawer Double Dresser B
$200
H27.5”xW51.25”xD19”
108.6 lb.
Drawers Open 50 LBS 60 LBS
South Shore Summer Breeze 6-Drawer Double Dresser A
$270
H32”xW52.25”xD16.5”
111.6 lb.
Drawers Open 50 LBS 60 LBS
South Shore Summer Breeze 6-Drawer Double Dresser B
$230
H31.25”xW52”xD20”
113.2 lb.
Drawers Open 50 LBS 60 LBS
Storkcraft Kenton 6 Drawer Universal Double Dresser
$220
H32.5”xW50”xD18”
102.2 lb.
Drawers Open 50 LBS 60 LBS

Notes: 1) Some models have the same name with a modifier ("A" or "B"). The latter sample (B) was found to have different dimensions from the earlier sample (A). This is reflected in both dimensions and test results. 2) Dimensions are overall dimensions of the assembled product rounded up to the nearest ¼ inch, measured by CR technicians, including any additional components, such as a changing table or hardware. These dimensions may differ from what appears in the manufacturers’ specifications. 3) Purchase price may vary from the currently available price.


How Stable Is Your Dresser?

CR conducted tip-over testing on 30 dresser models that represent a cross-section of the retail market, using progressively tougher tests. They were purchased from May 2017 through April 2018. Our tests show that you can’t spot a stable dresser with the naked eye.


HOW WE TESTED

We performed three tests with all the drawers empty and to their final outstops, even if they had additional ones.

In Test 1, all drawers were open.

In Test 2, the top drawer was open to its final stop and a 50-pound weight was hung from the drawer front.

In Test 3, the top drawer was open to its final stop and the 50-pound weight was increased in 1-pound increments to a maximum of 60 pounds.


Consumer Reports conducts its tests for the purpose of comparison and not for compliance. Our results are not meant as indicators for whether or not a dresser meets the voluntary industry standard set through ASTM International, a standards development organization.


Dressers shaded in blue are from the latest round of tests.

Model/
Dimensions
Test Number
 1 2 3
Ashley Furniture Jaidyn Chest of Drawers $330
H55"xW39.5”xD17"
120.8 lb.
Drawers Open 50 LBS 60 LBS
Ashley Furniture Lulu Chest of Drawers $220
H47.75"xW28.75”xD16.75"
94.8 lb.
Drawers Open 50 LBS 60 LBS
Bob’s Discount Furniture Chadwick Chest $280
H48.25"xW36”xD17"
99.0 lb.
Drawers Open 50 LBS 60 LBS
Bob's Discount Furniture Madelyn White Dresser $299
H48.75"xW36”xD18"
129 lb.
Drawers Open 50 LBS 60 LBS
DaVinci Jayden 4-Drawer Dresser $280
H37.75”xW36”xD18.75”
87.6 lb.
Drawers Open 50 LBS 60 LBS
DaVinci Kalani 4-Drawer Dresser (discontinued) $300
H38.25”xW32.75"xD21.25”
83.6 lb.
Drawers Open 50 LBS 60 LBS
Delta Children Bentley 6 Drawer Dresser $340
H33.75”xW49”xD19”
111.0 lb.
Drawers Open 50 LBS 60 LBS
Delta Children Clermont 6 Drawer Dresser $250
H38”xW47.25”xD18.75”
111.6 lb.
Drawers Open 50 LBS 60 LBS
Delta Children Sutton 3 Drawer Dresser $170
H37”xW35”xD19”
83.2 lb.
Drawers Open 50 LBS 60 LBS
Delta Children Epic 3 Drawer Dresser $180
H33”xW36.5”xD18.75”
71.4 lb.
Drawers Open 50 LBS 60 LBS
Delta Children 3 Drawer Dresser, similar to: Viv + Rae 3 Drawer Dresser $280
H33.5"xW37"xD20"
74 lb.
Drawers Open 50 LBS 60 LBS
Epoch Design 5 Drawer Chest $740
H46.25”xW33.75”xD21”
131.2 lb.
Drawers Open 50 LBS 60 LBS
Epoch Design Seneca 5 Drawer Chest $770
H48.25”xW35.75”xD21.25”
164.0 lb.
Drawers Open 50 LBS 60 LBS
Essential Home Belmont 4 Drawer Dresser Chest (Ameriwood) $40
H30”xW27.75”xD15.75”
47.0 lb.
Drawers Open 50 LBS 60 LBS
Hillsdale Furniture Mila Kids' Bedroom Dresser $579
H36.5"xW58”xD18"
150 lb.
Drawers Open 50 LBS 60 LBS
Ikea KULLEN $69
H44"xW27.75”xD15.5"
81 lb.
Drawers Open 50 LBS 60 LBS
Ikea NORDLI $129
H30"xW31.5”xD18.5"
92 lb.
Drawers Open 50 LBS 60 LBS
Ikea Malm 3-Drawer Chest $100
H30.5”xW31.75”xD19”
96.0 lb.
Drawers Open 50 LBS 60 LBS
Pottery Barn Kids Catalina Dresser $500
H31”xW38.5”xD18.75”
89.6 lb.
Drawers Open 50 LBS 60 LBS
Pottery Barn Kids Catalina Extra-Wide Dresser $900
H31.25”xW56.25”xD18”
119.2 lb.
Drawers Open 50 LBS 60 LBS
Sauder Pogo 3-Drawer Chest $180
H47.25”xW30.25”xD19.5”
99.4 lb.
Drawers Open 50 LBS 60 LBS
Sauder Shoal Creek 4-Drawer Chest $230
H42.5”xW34.75”xD18.75”
106.4 lb.
Drawers Open 50 LBS 60 LBS
Simmons Kids Rowen Double Dresser $300
H34”xW47.75”xD19.75”
128.2 lb.
Drawers Open 50 LBS 60 LBS
South Shore Libra 3-Drawer Chest, similar to: Simply Basics 3 Drawer Dresser $90
H27.5”xW31.5”xD16”
57.2 lb.
Drawers Open 50 LBS 60 LBS
South Shore Little Treasures 5-Drawer Chest $165
H43.75”xW31.5”xD18”
89.8 lb.
Drawers Open 50 LBS 60 LBS
South Shore Logik 6-Drawer Double Dresser A $200
H29.75”xW47.5”xD17.5”
103.6 lb.
Drawers Open 50 LBS 60 LBS
South Shore Logik 6-Drawer Double Dresser B $200
H27.5”xW51.25”xD19”
108.6 lb.
Drawers Open 50 LBS 60 LBS
South Shore Summer Breeze 6-Drawer Double Dresser A $270
H32”xW52.25”xD16.5”
111.6 lb.
Drawers Open 50 LBS 60 LBS
South Shore Summer Breeze 6-Drawer Double Dresser B $230
H31.25”xW52”xD20”
113.2 lb.
Drawers Open 50 LBS 60 LBS
Storkcraft Kenton 6 Drawer Universal Double Dresser $220
H32.5”xW50”xD18”
102.2 lb.
Drawers Open 50 LBS 60 LBS

Notes: 1) Some models have the same name with a modifier ("A" or "B"). The latter sample (B) was found to have different dimensions from the earlier sample (A). This is reflected in both dimensions and test results. 2) Dimensions are overall dimensions of the assembled product rounded up to the nearest ¼ inch, measured by CR technicians, including any additional components, such as a changing table or hardware. These dimensions may differ from what appears in the manufacturers’ specifications. 3) Purchase price may vary from the currently available price.