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Hutch vs. China Cabinet: What’s The Difference?

The hutch and china cabinets are indispensable furniture in many households, helping homeowners store and display items.

Have you ever wondered which is the better option, the hutch or the china cabinet? Are you struggling to make the purchase decision between these two options?

If the answer is yes, you have come to the right place. Now keep reading to find out! I will dwell on their features, design, and function to give you a clear answer.

What is a Hutch?

Hutch is a popular word that indicates a type of furniture. This furniture typically has many cabinets and shelves on top of a unit. This unit has many counters, which can be cabinets or drawers.

Hutch is prevalent in many households, especially in dining rooms and kitchens. In the past, a hutch often refers to as a base and a tabletop set on top.

The most common material for making hutch is timber or wood. Using this material, the manufacturers can create country cottage-style hutches. Plus, many modern hutches feature mirrors on the upper shelving.

This mirror will increase the aesthetic look of the furniture. Plus, it helps the items you put inside appear more eye-catching.

A typical hutch

What is a China Cabinet?

The china cabinet is also prevalent and used in many countries around the world. Its main purpose is to store and display ceramics or items. For example, you can use the china cabinet to hold plates, glasses, cups, and bowls.

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The china can pair well with dining rooms that have a rustic and traditional setup. Yet, you can put this furniture in the living room or any other room.

A china cabinet typically comes with glass on its sides and front. People usually place this furniture against the wall, facing a window or door. The position should be visible to guests to maximize the displaying capacity.

The size, design, and construction of china cabinets are very diverse. Some china cabinets come with glass shelves. Meanwhile, the others may have decorative velvet or silk patterns.

Another design of the china cabinet

What is the Difference Between Hutch and China Cabinet?

It’s easy to mistake between a china cabinet and a hutch. It’s because they feature many similarities in materials, size, and construction.

Yet, there are many differences between the two pieces of furniture that can highlight their own advantages. Therefore, this comparison will focus on their features and help you choose the most suitable item for your needs.

Comparison Table


China Cabinet



A formal design with many display shelves

A table top placed on a firm base.


Typically wood and glass

Wood, glass, and metal (steel, aluminum, or iron)


Typically small

Typical bigger


For displaying formal items


1. Design

In the 18th and 19th centuries, a hutch comprised a tabletop placed on a firm base vertically. This design allows the user to swing out of the table when it’s not in use. Some hutches also possess integrated desks and a cutout to place a chair.

Meanwhile, the china cabinet features a more formal design. It comprises glass-panelled doors and wooden frames. The most obvious trait lies in its high number of display shelves to maximize the display capacity.

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This video will give you a closer look at china cabinets’ designs.

2. Material

The most common material for making hutch and china cabinets is timber mixed with glass. The glass shelves will cover the furniture on its side and top where you store the items.

However, many manufacturers have begun to use metal like iron or aluminum to produce modern hutch. The metal frames are sturdier and can withstand mold or moisture.

Meanwhile, the antique and rustic china cabinets often come with wood and glass only. Yet, they involve high-quality and natural wood materials to withstand moisture and rots.

Wood and glass are two primary materials

3. Size

The size of the hutch and china cabinet can vary significantly. It depends on the type and manufacturer of the product. For instance, large hutches and cabinets feature many cabinets.

Therefore, they can range between 1,2, to 2 meters in height and width. However, the height of the furniture is always bigger than its width.

Since china cabinets are for displaying items and porcelains, they often come in smaller sizes than hutches. On the other hand, its counterpart possesses bigger sizes to maximize the storage area.

4. Functionality

As mentioned above, the china cabinet’s primary purpose is to display ceramic artwork and decorative items. For instance, you can display porcelains or your collection in a china cabinet.

This tradition has been around for thousands of years. In the past, china cabinets were very classy and expensive. Thus, it is a favorite item of collectors who want to display their collections.

The primary use of china cabinets hasn’t changed much. It focuses more on displaying purpose and often appears at formal parties or meeting places.

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Meanwhile, the hutch is just an ordinary cabinet or container. People often place this furniture inside their homes to store anything. It can be artwork, kitchen utensils, and documents, for example.

You can store a lot of items using a hutch

Hutch vs. China Cabinet: Which Should You Choose?

The sizes, designs, and construction of the two pieces of furniture vary significantly. So, you should focus on the formality and purpose of each option.

For instance, the china cabinet is a more classy piece of furniture with its antique and rustic design. The furniture is suitable for traditional dining rooms and formal occasions.

So, choose the china cabinet if you want to display beautiful items for many guests to see. Meanwhile, a hutch features higher versatility with its more affordable price and more modern design.

If you thus want regular furniture to store dishes, plates, and items at home, go for the hutch. It is more versatile and customizable. Plus, you can store various objects in a hutch other than just ceramic artwork.

Final Thoughts

I hope this comparison can give you the answer. To decide on a more suitable option, you should consider your needs and preferences carefully.

Do you want a classy container to display eye-catching items? Or do you prefer a more affordable and versatile cabinet to store the usual items? Ask yourself these questions before making the decision. Thanks for reading!