Changing Table vs Changing Pad on Dresser – which one to choose

Looking for a reliable and sturdy diaper-changing surface? Are you weighing up making a decision between buying a changing table vs a changing pad on a dresser? You’re in luck – I’m here to help! My recommendation is a changing table. To find out why, keep on reading.

Parenting is a challenge and changing diapers is not always a fun activity. But the right changing surface could change that and make diaper changing fun – for both you and your baby! Today I’ll be comparing the two most popular options to help you pick the perfect diaper-changing solution.

My Top Picks

Evaluating the two options – What’s the Deal?

A safe space to change diapers is something that every parent needs.

Let’s Talk Pros and Cons

Like all other products, both changing tables and changing pads on dressers have their own unique pros and cons. Let’s take a look at them.

Changing Table


  • Ergonomically designed to prevent strain on the parent’s back or spine
  • Solid, sturdy, and perfect for newborns
  • Typically includes side rails for extra security and peace of mind
  • You can store all diaper-changing supplies neatly below the changing table


  • Traditional changing tables more expensive than other options
  • Once babies reach the maximum age or weight limit the table becomes unusable and redundant

Changing Pad on Dresser


  • Can be used anywhere as a standard dresser anywhere in the house once baby has outgrown it
  • Typically feature built-in hidden storage pockets and drawers
  • You can take the pad anywhere – from camping trips to grocery store visits
  • Babies don’t outgrow them as quickly as they do changing tables


  • The loose pads on top of the dresser aren’t as secure and as your baby begins wiggling and rolling more you’ll have to place it on the floor instead of on the dresser
  • Without a non-slip design or mat under it, the pad can slip and slide around the dresser

Which One to Pick?

Deciding which one to pick largely depends on your budget and personal preference. Consider which one you’ll get the most use out of. This is easy to do when you consider the available space you have in the nursery or apartment – which item works best for your space? Will either option provide you with sufficient storage space to make the diapering process convenient?

Why it’s an Important Choice?

Picking between the two options is important. Your baby’s safety is key so you’ll want something that is comfortable, reliable, sturdy and can be used 24/7 if need be. It’s incredibly important that you pick a product that meets ASTM safety standards. It’s a one-off investment that will pay for itself in no time.

Are There Any Alternatives?

If you’re not sold on the idea of a changing table or a changing pad on a dresser, you can use a blanket or towel placed on the bed, couch, or even floor when changing your baby. While this is virtually cost-free, your back will pay the price. Or you might need to use a changing tray.

Delta Children Infant Changing Table with Pad

Delta Children Infant Changing Table with Pad, Grey

First up is the Delta Children Infant Changing Table with Pad. Its simple solid wood build is strong and sturdy while its non-toxic finish meets ASTM safety standards. It’s available in a variety of colors from stark white to espresso cherry so there’s an option to make every nursery’s design scheme. It has a waterproof changing pad with a safety strap and the table’s top is completely railed. This is a great option for babies aged 0 to 18 months and it can be used as a nightstand or toy storage rack once your little one becomes too big for it.

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Costzon Baby Changing Table

Costzon Baby Changing Table, Folding Diaper Station Nursery Organizer for Infant (Gray)

Next up we have the Costzon Baby Changing Table. Its foldable design makes it ideal for a nursery with limited space – simply fold it up and stow it away under the crib, in the closet, or behind the door.  It has been ergonomically designed and has non-skid feet so it won’t shift around during diaper changes. A ruler on the side of the changing mat allows you to track your baby’s growth which is a thoughtful touch. It’s constructed with reinforced steel and 600D canvas so it’s safe to say this product is built to last. It’s a great option for babies aged 0 to 12 months.

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Dream On Me Emily Changing Table

Dream On Me Emily Changing Table In Espresso, Comes With 1' Changing Pad, Features Two Shelves, Portable Changing Station, Made Of Sustainable New Zealand Pinewood

Finally, we have the Dream On Me Emily Changing Table. It’s budget-friendly, ergonomically designed and has numerous safety features. You can pick between black, white, cherry, espresso, natural and steel white color options to match your nursery best. It is constructed from solid pinewood which is free from phthalates, BPA, latex and lead. It’s also lightweight and easily portable and has a tiny footprint. It is suitable for changing the diapers of babies who weigh up to 30lbs. What’s not to like about this traditional yet practical changing table?

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Summer Contoured Changing Pad 

Summer by Ingenuity Contoured Changing Pad – Includes Waterproof Changing Liner and Safety Fastening Strap with Quick-Release Buckle

Now, moving on to changing pads that can be used atop dressers. The first option is the Summer Contoured Changing Pad. This 16″ x 32″ waterproof pad is made with quilted PEVA vinyl and has a non-skid bottom that will work well on standard dressers much like the Delta Children 3 Drawer Dresser. This dresser is constructed with solid wood and wood composites and is certified safe by governmental safety standards. It’s available in white, off-white, gray, and black.  The pad’s contoured design means your baby will be comfortable while walls and a quick-release safety belt with a security strap ensure he or she will be safe and secure too.

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Munchkin Secure Grip Waterproof Diaper Changing Pad 

Munchkin® Secure Grip™ Contoured Baby Diaper Changing Pad for Dresser, Waterproof, 16' x 31'

Lastly, we have the Munchkin Secure Grip Waterproof Diaper Changing Pa. Safety straps and contoured sides ensure your baby will always be secure while rubber grip strips prevent the pad from moving around. The pad measures 16″ x 31″ so it can be used on most types of dressers although I think it works particularly well with the Delta Children Universal 6 Drawer Dresser. This dresser is constructed with sturdy wood, meets all of the necessary ASTM safety standards, and is available in an assortment of colors from black to white and all shades in between. The pad is constructed with numerous materials including polyurethane foam, polypropylene, polyacetal, thermoplastic elastomer, paper cardboard, and non-phthalate polyvinyl chloride.

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Until What age do I use a changing table?

You must stop using a changing table once your baby reaches the maximum age or weight limit as recommended by the manufacturer. This is typically around the time that your baby turns two years old or weighs between 20lbs to 30lbs.

Can I fold up a changing table while holding a baby?

This might prove tricky with only one hand available. Most foldable changing tables have safety latches that require two free hands for folding. Instead of taking any chances, wear a baby carrier or wait until you have two free hands to fold up the table.

What activity can I do with my baby while changing them?

Changing your baby’s diaper keeps you busy, but doesn’t quite have the same effect on them. Give them a toy to play with, narrate your actions, sing a song, play some music, point out their different body parts or simply talk to them.


So which is better – a changing table vs a changing pad on the dresser? Again, this depends on your needs and wallet but I prefer the changing table. It’s a clear winner for its safety, solidity, and reliability. Out of today’s three options, I’d recommend the Dream On Me Emily Changing Table. It’s ergonomically designed, affordable, and extremely high-quality. Plus, when your baby outgrows it you can use it as a nursery storage solution so you’re definitely getting bang for your buck.

And have you heard about cribs with an integrated changing table? I love their multifunctional use. When my child got older than two we felt the need for a dresser with three drawers, and we went for the IKEA Hemnes model.

If you still need a changing pad, it’s worthwhile reading my other post on some of the best ones.

Last update on 2024-05-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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