Which hope chest is best?

For some, a hope chest represents the idea of a future: a life fully lived and realized. For others, hope chests are beautiful pieces of furniture that accent a room and bring it together. Either way, the hope chest has remained an American staple for new homeowners for centuries. They represent hope, optimism for the future and love. The Rustic Red Door Co. Cedar Hope Chest with Waterfall Top is a perfect option for those looking to add an authentic and beautiful hope chest to their home. 

What to know before you buy a hope chest

What is a hope chest?

Traditionally, hope chests are pieces of furniture that young unmarried women use to collect items like clothing, keepsakes and other household necessities to use ultimately during married life. Typically made of wood, they are perfect for storing various items and tend to sit at the foot of the bed. Other names for a hope chest include cedar chests, vintage chests, dowry chests and trousseau chests. 

History of the hope chest

The history of the hope chest is vast, spanning several countries and cultures. As early as the 15th and 16th centuries, several countries utilized decorative wooden boxes to store valuables, including Italy, Germany, the Middle East and Scandinavia. These chests were often a part of a young woman’s dowry. The hope chest made its way to America sometime in the late 18th century with settlers bringing their precious belongings across the Atlantic. Today, hope chests are still used by people of all ages, especially among communities such as the Amish. 

What do you put in a hope chest?

Traditionally, a hope chest was filled by the mother of a young bride and included things like family heirlooms, pictures and other personalized gifts. However, the items that can be put into a hope chest are seemingly infinite. They are great for storing items for a future child, partner or even a future version of yourself. 

What to look for in a quality hope chest

Hope chest construction

In America, the Lane Company, which originated in Altavista, VA, was one of the most famous makers of cedar chests. During World War I, they made large numbers of chests for young women across the country. As a result, hope chests made from cedar wood became the standard. However, contemporary hope chests can be made from various kinds of woods. 

Practicality

A hope chest is a beautiful place to store precious items or valuables, which make it a popular piece of furniture in the home. They can store delicate dishes and silverware, linens, jewelry and childhood keepsakes. With this in mind, finding a hope chest with handles will make it easier to transport valuable cargo in the case of a move or special event. 

Size

The average hope chest is quite large and often spans the entire length of the foot of a bed. Historically, young brides would have all of their personal items inside of it, along with any precious family items that were handed down to them. However, not all hope chests are built the same size, so pay attention to the dimensions during your search to ensure that it will suit your needs.  

How much you can expect to spend on a hope chest

Authentic hope chests are expensive and hard to come by. Because they are generally used by those who value master craftsmanship over large producible quantities, they can be rather expensive. True-blue hope chests can cost upwards of $1000. However, other options can be found for as little as $100 but may not resemble traditional hope chests. 

Hope chest FAQ

How early can a person start using a hope chest?

A. Due to the nature of the hope chest, they can be started at any point in one’s life. A bride can start her own hope chest at any moment she feels comfortable. The same can be said for parents who want to give their child a hope chest when they grow up. 

Are hope chests utilized in modern wedding ceremonies? 

A. Depending on the couple, modern wedding ceremonies can include the hope chest as a part of the couple’s celebration of union. 

What are the best hope chests to buy?

Top hope chest

Rustic Red Door Co. Cedar Hope Chest with Waterfall Top

Rustic Red Door Co. Cedar Hope Chest with Waterfall Top

What you need to know: This authentic and traditional cedar chest is of the highest quality and design. 

What you’ll love: It is an Amish-made cedar chest handcrafted to ensure durability and authenticity. It has an anti-slam lid and a lock for privacy and protection. 

What you should consider: It is costly, but the quality speaks for itself. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top hope chest for the money

Household Essentials Wooden Arch Trunk Storage Chest

Household Essentials Wooden Arch Trunk Storage Chest

What you need to know: This wooden chest from Household Essentials makes a wonderful hope chest alternative for those looking for something comparable at a more affordable price point.

What you’ll love: You can buy this chest in a small or large size, or you can buy both sizes as a set. If the arch style doesn’t quite match your decor, this chest is also available in Gothic and Victorian styles as well. 

What you should consider: A few users have mentioned that this large trunk is a lot smaller than it appears, so make sure to check the dimensions and the size of your space before purchasing. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Sauder Shoal Creek Storage Chest

Sauder Shoal Creek Storage Chest

What you need to know: This storage chest is a versatile piece of furniture and the perfect stand-in for a hope chest. 

What you’ll love: It features an oiled oak finish and durable construction, which means it should last a lifetime. It also includes a ventilation lid for safety. 

What you should consider: A few users mentioned they had issues assembling the chest. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Badger Basket Hardwood Safety Hinge Barrel-Top Toy Storage Chest

Badger Basket Hardwood Safety Hinge Barrel-Top Toy Storage Chest

What you need to know: This hardwood, barrel-top chest is the perfect option for storing precious keepsakes or childhood toys. 

What you’ll love: It has a treasure chest design and a spacious interior. The safety support hinge holds the lid in place. 

What you should consider: Assembly is required before using this chest. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

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Jared Lindsay writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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