What Is The Difference Between A Hutch And A China Cabinet, Curio Cabinet, Credenza, Sideboard, Buffet & Armoire

Have you ever wondered what is the difference between a hutch and a china cabinet? Or between china and a curio cabinet? A credenza, sideboard and buffet? In this ultimate guide, we will help you understand all these types of cabinets.

When you want a piece of furniture that can easily add beauty and functionality to your dining room, cabinets are your best solution. There are many different types of cabinets with similar functions but slight variations. Recently, while I was renovating my dining room, I learned about many different types of cabinets available.

You may come across a console, a credenza, a sideboard, a hutch, a server, a buffet, and a china cabinet. After a while, I was thoroughly confused as to which one I should use for my home. What is the difference between a hutch and a china cabinet? I asked myself.

What Is The Difference Between A Hutch And A China Cabinet - Random Cabinet

Well, luckily, I came across a professional who helped me understand these cabinets in detail. Let me walk you through these cabinets and their differences in detail.

In this writeup, I will help you understand:

  • China, Hutch, Credenza, Buffet, Armoire, Sideboard, and Curio cabinets
  • Features, Benefits, and when to use which type of cabinets
  • Differences between similar types of cabinets
  • Answers to some important questions

What is a China Cabinet?

If you take pride in exhibiting that beautiful piece of pottery that you have, then you need to have a china cabinet for sure. Yes, you guessed it right! A china cabinet is a dining room furniture cabinet that has glass fronts and sides. These cabinets are used to display precious porcelain dinnerware with elegance. 

Features of China Cabinet

It has a mirrored back, which helps to showcase and emphasize all the displays in the cabinet. When you place a china cabinet with a mirrored back in a room, it makes your room appear larger in space. Thus, it can be a great addition to your smaller room.

You can use interior lights in the china cabinet to help focus on the details of your display.

The china cabinet comes with adjustable shelves, which help you adjust your displays according to your needs. 

Advantages of Using China Cabinets

  • China cabinets ensure a proper and smooth exhibition of your valuable ceramics with ease.
  • These china cabinets are a study way of displaying your luxurious items having great sentimental value for you.
  • You can make use of narrow china cabinets if you face a space issue with larger cabinets.
  • The mirrored back of the china cabinet helps you emphasize your chinaware preserved inside. Also, as mentioned above, the mirrored back lends a helping hand in making a smaller room look bigger.

When should you use it?

You can make use of a china cabinet when you are seeking a perfect place to store your precious chinaware. Thus, people who want to display their exquisite crockery in their dining rooms should use these china cabinets.

What is a Hutch Cabinet?

A hutch is multipurpose furniture that you can easily use in any house. A hutch is made up of two parts, a lower part which is a cabinet, and a top part which is used as a display case and is made up of shelves. 

People buy these hutches to get extra storage space. Though many people also buy it to showcase their chinaware. There are three types of hutches like the kitchen hutch, the buffet hutch, and the china hutch.

What Is The Difference Between A Hutch And A China Cabinet - Hutch

Features of a Hutch 

  • A kitchen hutch can be the best way to keep your things neatly and in an organized manner.
  • You can make use of the hutch for multi-tasking, as you can use cabinets for keeping those bowls, shelves for storing platters, and lower cabinet space for keeping your bakeware intact. 
  • Hutches are beautiful; you can add them to your living room for just the elegance they add to the place.

Advantages of Using Hutch Cabinets

  • Hutches give you multiple storage options, with and without display (you don’t want your dirty socks on display, right!)
  • You can store your utensils, chinaware, and linen in a hutch. It is very versatile
  • You can use the hutch cabinet as a decorative piece of furniture to easily hang those festive decorations.
  • Kitchen hutch cabinets make it easy for you to store your belongings as per their purpose. You may store things to retrieve quickly on your front shelves, while the things you require are occasionally at the topmost shelves. 

When should you use it?

You can make use of a hutch cabinet when you are looking for extra storage space for your things, such as crockery, linen, etc. Also, if you need furniture that you can use for decoration purposes, a hutch cabinet is your solution. 

What is the Difference Between A Hutch and A China Cabinet?


The main difference between a hutch and china cabinets is their placing locations in your home. Though both hutch and china cabinets both look similar, you can place a hutch in any room.

 The reason is that the hutch has multipurpose storage. However, you can place a china cabinet only in a kitchen or a dining room only as it is only meant for displaying your fine crockery or chinaware.

What You Can Display

Also, hutches are usually less formal than these china cabinets. You can only display chinaware in a china cabinet; there is no such compulsion with a hutch cabinet. 

Detachable Parts

In addition, china cabinets do not have detachable parts, whereas these hutch cabinets have two main parts: a lower and a top. 

Serving Areas

You can find hutches with serving areas, whereas china cabinets have no such option. 


Lastly, though both the cabinets have glass doors, the doors on a hutch cabinet are much smaller than china cabinets.

What is a Credenza?

People often confuse a credenza as being a desk, a hutch, or a sideboard. A credenza is a cabinet style of furniture with either no legs or very short legs. 

It also has sliding doors that open up to offer extra storage space for essential crockery. The best aspect of a credenza is that you can use it as your workspace while offering extra storage space.

What Is The Difference Between A Hutch And A China Cabinet - Credenza

Advantages of Using Credenza

  • Credenza is a stylish storage solution for getting extra storage.
  • A Credenza can be useful when you need additional space for spreading your legs, taking notes, and collaborating on different projects.
  • You can declutter your space and get organized with your belongings.
  • These credenzas can complement any decor.

When should you use it?

You can use a credenza when you need to use a cabinet as an office space as well. Also, this is one cabinet that offers you stylish storage options for your crockery.

What is a Buffet?

The buffet is a cabinet that is brought into use for serving food. Well, this is the reason behind the name of the cabinet. Since it is for a buffet, it is neither too tall nor too short. 

The height of the buffet is around a counter level which makes it easy for users to serve from the surface as well. A buffet can have larger cabinets and shorter legs which enables it to be lower on the floor. 

What Is The Difference Between A Hutch And A China Cabinet - Buffet

Advantages of Using Buffet

  • The buffet allows easy food display. You can use it for a dinner party.
  • This cabinet also allows you to keep all your buffet accessories in one place.
  • It also helps you to keep your dining area more organized.

When should you use it?

You can go for a buffet cabinet when you are looking for an option to keep your dining area more organized and add a touch of elegance to it. So, when you are planning to organize a dinner party, you can use this cabinet.

What is a Sideboard?

A sideboard is long and has low storage space. Its features include short legs, and they are available in different styles as well as features. It is meant basically for displaying food items, just like a buffet table. It has many drawers for keeping dishes, cutlery, napkins, and other dining accessories. 

The main difference between a buffet and a sideboard is that sideboards have very short legs.

When these are placed in your living room, they function as a perfect entertainment center. Since they have a large storage space, you can easily fit in your television. 

What Is The Difference Between A Hutch And A China Cabinet - Sideboard

Advantages of Using Sideboard

  • The presence of a sideboard adds a touch of elegance and fanciness to your dining room.
  • Sideboards are aesthetically pleasing for your decor.
  • You get more storage space with more cabinets and drawers.
  • It helps in creating a perfect display area.
  • Sideboards are usually durable and versatile.

When should you use it?

People who are looking for extra space for displaying their luxurious dishes should go for a sideboard. You can even rearrange the sideboard in your living room as an entertainment piece of furniture.

What is an Armoire?

Armoire is a decorative piece of furniture that offers you a practical way to store your clothes. It is a large cupboard that can keep your essential items in an organized manner. 

The average armoire has lots of storage space in the form of hanging space on shelves and drawers. In simple words, it is a free-standing cabinet having two doors that have shelves and drawers.

What Is The Difference Between A Hutch And A China Cabinet - Armoire

Advantages of Using Armoire

  • These armoires are perfect for offering sufficient storage space.
  • You can easily customize these armoires to make the piece work for you.
  • These armoires can anchor your rooms as well.

When should you use it?

These armoires are useful when you need more space for your clothes and other wardrobe essentials. You can also make use of these armoires to display your photographs with these extra shelves.

What is a Curio Cabinet?

A curio cabinet is a special display case made up of glass with a metal or wooden framework. This furniture is used for displaying special figurines or other curious objects. These cabinets enjoy a rich history of collectors. The best aspect of these curio cabinets is that it offers a 360-degree view of the insides of the cabinet. 

What Is The Difference Between A Hutch And A China Cabinet

Advantages of Using Curio Cabinets

  • These curio cabinets are perfect for displaying your excellent figurines.
  • These cabinets provide storage space with style.
  • You can easily design your awkward rooms with these curio cabinets.
  • These cabinets are functional and practical pieces of decoration.

When should you use it?

Curio cabinets are perfect for use when looking for a place to honor and display our traditional collectibles. They are the perfect key to styling and decorating your rooms with additional storage space. 

What is the Difference Between China Cabinet and Curio Cabinet?

Many people easily confuse between a china cabinet and a curio cabinet. However, the difference is simple yet clear. 

Glass Panel Positioning

The main point of difference is that a china cabinet features a wooden construction having a glass panel in the front. However, in curio cabinets, you can find glass panels in both the side and front views. 

Display Etiquettes

As per display etiquettes, you can present only special crystals as well as dinnerware in a china cabinet. However, with a curio cabinet, you are free to display collectibles of different types which are not strictly chinaware.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is considered a hutch?

A hutch is a set of shelves placed on the top of a lower unit having a counter. Also, a hutch is an American word for a particular type of furniture. Moreover, you can categorize a hutch in the form of dining room furniture, kitchen furniture, or a desk.

Is hutch a cabinet?

Yes, a hutch consists of a cabinet that is the lower part of the furniture, and the top part of the hutch is a display case.

What is a china cabinet hutch?

A china cabinet hutch is a piece of furniture that is similar to a china cabinet in appearance. It has a mirror in the back of the upper shelves to lend a feeling of greater depth and focus more on display within.

Cabinets Galore: Choose as per your need!

Cabinets have always formed an essential part of dining room furniture. However, as per experts, you need to be cautious while using these different types of cabinets. 

The main aspect that you need to consider while selecting your dining room cabinet is space, purpose, and of course, the kind of storage you want to have. After all, these dining cabinets have the power to make a difference between a monotonous and an exciting dining room.

Happy furniture!