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Why are Sideboards so Expensive? (Quick Answers)

Sideboards are a popular accessory that can be found in almost every home. Many people resort to buying second-hand sideboards instead of splurging on a brand new one. But why do they have such a hefty price tag? Today, we’re going to tell you why! 

Why are sideboards so expensive?

Sideboards are expensive because of their history, uses, and design. They were first considered a ‘status symbol’ in England in the 18 century and mostly used in affluent households. Over time, their design and styles have changed and the cost of buying a sideboard has decreased greatly. 

5 reasons why sideboards are so expensive


Sideboards were considered a luxury when it first began because of their high manufacturing cost and was only seen in wealthy households. They were made with expensive wood material and had decorative pieces on them.

Following the footsteps of the high class after the industrial revolution, ordinary people started acquiring it too. Vintage sideboards are still more costly than modern designs. 


Most modern sideboards are made out of wood and high-quality wood furniture can be expensive. Many traditional sideboards are constructed from hardwood oak, contemporary oak,

walnut, and chip wood designs. Hardwoods are harder to harvest when compared to softwoods.

Sideboards made out of walnut hardwoods are costly because they are rare due to their limitations in size.

MDF(Medium Density Fiberboard) can also be expensive sometimes because they are sturdy and dense which makes them impossible to cut with a table saw. 


Quality is a factor in almost everything we buy. The higher the quality, the longer the furniture will last.

Most sideboard manufacturers try to keep up with that quality which is why they are so expensive. Some can be used for years after years and still be re-sold with a profit. 

Timeless Design:

Good design stays forever. This is why you’ll find vintage sideboards, displayed proudly, in many homes. Some of this good quality furniture lasts for decades, is well-made, and durable.

This is why pieces designed by individuals tend to cost more. Sustainable furniture will always cost more and sideboards are meant to be kept long. 


Sideboards are used for so many things. It provides extra storage with its many cabinets and drawers. The top surface of a sideboard is used as a shelf for decorative elements that you want to display.

It’s perfect for get-togethers because you can put food platters on them too. They can be found

anywhere in the house starting from the dining room, living room, bedroom, hallway, and even offices. 

Don’t lose hope because you can find cheap sideboards which are of good quality. All you have to do is find a balance between quality and price.

You can check local stores or online stores. If you still can’t find one, you can also look in the market of second-hand stores, antique malls, and estate auctions. You’ll have the vintage look and a cheaper price tag. 

Why is it called a sideboard?

A sideboard is known as a “table placed near the side of a room or hall”. The first appearance of sideboards can be dated back to the 1770s in Britain. It was popularised by Robert Adam, a furniture designer and an architect. But this was not where the name originated from. 

The origin of the word has not been confirmed. The word first came into sight in the Middle Ages. It was used as a substitute for the word “Side table”.

It has been represented as a stepped structure to showcase precious eating utensils and had a basic table shape till the 18th century. It can be assumed that due to the similarity in structures with side tables, they were referred to as sideboards.

However, they don’t look the same as before. Sideboards have evolved and now match with modern-day furniture.

Another name for a sideboard is a buffet. The word buffet came from the word sideboard itself where food was placed, drinks were obtained, etc. It also led to the word “buffet” being used as a culinary serving format instead of a piece of furniture.

How to Choose the Ideal Sideboard?


It seems simple to assume how big your sideboard will be in the room but it’s better to take measurements first. Measure the sizes of the other furniture in your room. Proportionality is important.

If you are placing your sideboard in the dining room, then your sideboard should be as tall as your dining table if not taller. The ideal height would be 30 to 36 inches.

If you have too much furniture in your room then it’s better to not go for a large sideboard to avoid making it look cramped. 


Measure the height, width, and depth of the space you will be placing your sideboard in. Make sure it doesn’t bump into other objects and has enough space between the bottom of the window and the top of the sideboard. 


Before fixating on the material, think about where your sideboard will be, how often it will be used, what you’ll be storing, and how durable you want it to be.

Solid wood such as oak, walnut, or teak is a smart choice because not only are they stunning, they also last longer. But not everyone can afford wood sideboards, so a cheaper option is wood veneers.

They imitate real wood and are less costly. You can pick contemporary materials too such as stainless steel or glass. 


Decide on how many drawers you will need and if you need one at all. Sideboards with drawers are preferred in dining rooms and home officers.

You might not need large compartments if you are only purchasing it as a decorative element to hold vases and bottles. 

Style and Trends:

Style and trends are essential for any furniture. You can either match your sideboard completely with the furniture in your room or make it completely different.

The safe option is matching the style with your current furniture. It gives off a classy and professional vibe. Look for similar finishes even if it’s not a complete match. 

What Material Options Exist for a Sideboard?

There are three main materials for sideboards and they are wood, manufactured boards, and metal. The most uncommon materials used are glass, composite, and plastics.

Main panels which are made out of metal are usually lighter and have a large variety of coatings and colors. A sideboard embodying stone comes with a higher price than others.

Most sideboards are made out of solid woods for their durability, variation of tones, and natural appeal. They do last longer but they are harder to maintain and repair.

MDF and chipboards are combined with other material such as veneers which helps provide many colors and finishes. Their durability varies depending on the quality and manufacturing company.

Laminates are cheaper too and can give the impression of wood and marble. However they become damaged faster than solid woods. 

The countertops of sideboards can be made with many things such as marble. To create unique styles, sideboards have materials that are incorporated into a part of the sideboard such as leather, crystals, stone, and metal inlays. 

What is the purpose of a sideboard?

Sideboards are bought as a decorative element and for storage. Sideboards can be placed in dining rooms, living rooms, hallways, and bedrooms as well.

There are various types of sideboards for different purposes. In dining rooms, they can be used to keep cutlery and other dining accessories. 

They can be placed in bedrooms, matched with bedside tables, for clothes, and as a lamp table, or shelf. A sideboard and two lamps with your favorite candles in the middle can simply create a cozy mood in your bedroom.

Narrow sideboards can be placed on hallways to keep on-the-way items. It will be the first thing your guests notice when they enter. 

Can you use a dresser as a sideboard?

Although it does require some work, you can definitely transform your dress into a sideboard. You can either hire a professional to do this or do it on your own. You can’t use every dresser as a sideboard.

It has to be low and the surface has to be wide so that the top can be used to keep items. If your dresser has three drawers, remove the top drawer for open shelving and creating versatility. You will need some wood-cutting tools and sandpaper. 

Read more, Why are sideboards so low?

You don’t need to update your hardware if your original hardware is in good shape. Just clean it up and reuse it. Give it a refreshed and modern feel by painting it according to the other furniture in the room. 

Can I put a sideboard in the living room?

Sideboards are often placed in the living room. They can completely enhance the look of your living room. Just make sure to get the correct sizing according to your room and other furniture in the room.

Sideboards are used as a cabinet to store day-to-day items such as keys, books, and toys. They can be used to keep decorative elements as well such as lamps, clocks, vases, and frames. 

Can you put a TV on a sideboard?

Many sideboards are specifically designed to support equipment such as TV and other media equipment with compartments for speakers along with USB outlets. Some come with openings for your cabling and power outlets whereas others require customization. 

These are also referred to as TV cabinets instead of sideboards. 

What to Store in a Sideboard?

This mainly depends on where you will be placing your sideboard. Sideboards can be used to store many items.

Dining room sideboards are used to keep dining materials such as cutlery, glasses, tablecloths, dishes, and trays. If you have a sideboard in your living room, you can keep media equipment and books.

The top of the sideboard can be organized with awards and treasured showpieces. 

You can keep anything on your sideboard as long as it looks elegant, stylish, and fit for your home.