Guidecraft Dress Up Carousel vs Kidkraft Swivel Vanity: Which Is Best?

Kidkraft vs GuidecraftYou’ve reached the point where you know that her dress up clothes, accessories, and shoes are getting out of control, and you’ve decided that you need to purchase a dress up storage center to organize the chaos. You don’t have a lot of space, so you’ve determined that you need a vertical organizer, (as opposed to something wider, like the Guidecraft Dress Up Storage Center.) But which one is best?

Two very popular vertical dress up organizers are the Guidecraft Dress Up Carousel, and the Kidkraft Princess Swivel Vanity.  Let’s dig into the both here, take a look at the pros and cons of each, and see if we can figure out which, if either of them, is a good fit for the room of your little dress up queen. Or princess, perhaps I should say. 😉 

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The Guidecraft Dress Up Carousel

Guidecraft is known for having some really great kids furniture. And their dress up furniture line is pretty popular among dress up enthusiasts (and their parents) judging on their overall reviews.

The particular model we’re looking at here is the Dress Up Carousel.  (To read about the Guidecraft Dress Up Storage Center, click here.)  Here are the basic specs for it, and afterwards we’ll look at Pros and Cons of this particular item.

  • Price (See current at Up Carousel
  • Star Rating: 4.2 / 5 (49 reviews, currently)
  • Colors Available:  Natural (wood grain), and several pastels
  • Number of storage cubbies:  8
  • Number of accessories bins:   2
  • Number of hanging pegs:  9
  • Number of mirrors:  2
  • Swivel:  360 degrees. Lazy-Susan style
  • Material:   Sustainable, Rubberwood
  • Target Age:   3+
  • Dimensions:  49.5″ (height) x 20″ (diameter)
  • Shipping Weight:  Approx 45lbs.

After digging into the many reviews on this product for you, here are the Pros and the Cons of the Guidecraft Dress Up Carousel.


  • Overall, it is hailed as a very sturdy and well built item that kids will be able to use for years.
  • It’s attractive – appeals especially to little girls. The Pastel colors match many different girl bedroom themes, and the natural one fits nicely in boys or gender neutral play spaces.
  • The mirrors on both sides and the full rotation makes it Dress Up Storagegood for more than one child at a time to play with/near it.
  • It has a very small footprint, yet holds a lot… reviewers found it a much more practical and neater storage solution for small play rooms or bedrooms than a trunk.
  • The variety and amount of different compartments make it very easy for little kids to see items they want to try on and play with (as compared to a big trunk), and ALSO easy for them to know where to put their girls dress up shoes and other accessories AWAY neatly.


  • The set-up directions are frequently reported as being pretty bad. Basically a few pictures that you sort of interpret yourself. If you’re a handy or “big picture” person, you should be able to figure it out, but for those of us who like detailed instructions, you may become a bit frustrated… like several previous purchasers.  NOTE: If you DO purchase this, browse through the reviews on Amazon… there are some great tips there that will make it easier.
  • The screw heads show on the front panels of the “accessories” boxes – this is not really seen in the pictures – there are no little decorative covers or screw caps. (Some reviewers purchased some at Lowes, others said they just “got used to it”.)
  • If you don’t love it, it’s cumbersome to return.
  • For customer service, if needed, Guidecraft’s only hours are regular office hours… which can be frustrating if you yourself ALSO work office hours.

CLICK HERE to purchase or read more about the Guidecraft Dress Up Carousel.

The Kidkraft Swivel Vanity  (Princess Dress Up Unit)

The second vertical storage unit we’re looking at today is the Kidkraft Swivel Vanity – also known as the Princess Dress Up Unit.  It too is a really fun-looking piece of dress up storage that would be an adorable addition to your little Princess’ playroom or bedroom.

Let’s see how it stacks up. Here are the specs. I’ve listed the same categories as the Guidecraft Dress up Carousel above so that you can see how it compares.

  • Price (See current at Swivel Vanity
  • Star Rating: 4.1 / 5 (34 reviews, currently)
  • Colors Available:  Pink with Gold Detailing
  • Number of storage cubbies:  5
  • Number of accessories bins:   0
  • Number of hanging pegs:  4 (gold, crown-shaped)
  • Number of mirrors:  1 (non-breakable safety glass)
  • Swivel:  360 degrees. Lazy-Susan style
  • Material:   Wood
  • Target Age:   not specified
  • Dimensions:  44″ (height) x 18″ (diameter)
  • Shipping Weight:  Approx 38lbs.

After reading and sorting through the many reviews on this product for you, here are the Pros and the Cons of the Kidkraft Swivel Vanity.


  • This is a heavy/solid and sturdy item, which can handle toddlers playing with it.
  • The full length mirror is shatter-proof and large enough for a child to nicely see herself in costume. (Reviewers are split over the quality of the mirror – some say it’s great, others not so great. It is NOT real mirror either way, so buyers be aware.)
  • Nearly every reviewer who mentioned it said that assembly was easy, that there are good directions, and that item was packaged very well for delivery.
  • If required, Kidkraft customer service is reported to be excellent.
  • The design is very girly and several reviewers said the pink is a very pretty pastel shade. The elegant swirls and crowns will definitely appeal to a young Princess lover.  And there is a matching bookcase and side table! 🙂
  • Like the Guidecraft, it also has a very small footprint, yet holds a lot, with easy item accessibility for toddlers.


  • If your little girl has a LOT of princess dresses, especially big poofy ones, she probably won’t be able to hang all of them on it. There are 4 hooks – 2 on each side – and each can hold maybe 2 or 3 dresses max. However, the hooks are relatively close together, and reviewers say that if you stuff both full, the dresses block the mirror and also hinder the ability of the unit to swivel nicely. So, depending on the amount of dresses she has, it might not be big enough.
  • If you don’t love it, it’s cumbersome to return.
  • A few reviewers said that the crowns on the spindles had fallen off and needed to be re-glued.

CLICK HERE to purchase or read more about the Kidkraft Swivel Vanity (Princess Dress Up Unit).


So, which one to go with?? I’ll let you decide, but here are a few closing thoughts.

  1. The Guidecraft has more spots for dress up accessories, shoes, and dresses. Kidkraft Princess UnitIn short, it can fit more on it. The shelves on the Kidkraft are deeper though.
  2. The Kidkraft has a bigger mirror… but the Guidecraft has 2 – one on each side.
  3. The Kidkraft runs approx. $60-70 cheaper than the Guidekraft… that is a significant price difference.
  4. If assembly scares you, the Guidekraft could cause some headaches… while the Kidkraft should be pretty simple, from the sounds of it.
  5. Both are cute, girly, and could transition to a nice piece in a girls bedroom for non-dress-up-play items later on.

CLICK HERE to purchase or read more about the Guidecraft Dress Up Carousel

CLICK HERE to purchase or read more about the Kidkraft Swivel Vanity (Princess Dress Up Unit)

speechbubbleAnd that about sums up my reviews on these two vertical dress up organizers for you, friends! Let me know if you have any questions or thoughts on either one in the comments below! I’d love to hear from you!

Be sure to check out  “TOP 12 Kids Dress Up Storage Units” for more ideas!



26 thoughts on “Guidecraft Dress Up Carousel vs Kidkraft Swivel Vanity: Which Is Best?

  1. koko September 21, 2016 at 11:14 pm

    Nice review on two great products. I am loving them already and look forward to purchasing them for my girls. Thank you.

    • Marlaine September 22, 2016 at 11:16 am

      Glad you like them. Which one did you like best? Or do you have two girls? I can imagine they’d be both pretty popular items! 🙂

  2. Becka September 22, 2016 at 9:08 pm

    Thank you for this review, it does give me some very good information to think over. My youngest son’s children all play together. While the girls would probably be fine with whatever I got for them. I’m sure his son wouldn’t appreciate a pink vanity for any of his superhero outfits. I would think the Guidecraft offering the neutral color would be the best solution for them. I’ll send this page to him in an email for his consideration.

    • Marlaine September 23, 2016 at 1:34 pm

      I agree… pink just wouldn’t suit for a little boy and his superhero gear! 🙂 I have a boy and a girl myself, so I think neutral is my route too. Thanks for sharing the page with your son! Have a lovely day and thanks for dropping in!

  3. Lucero Strickland September 22, 2016 at 9:15 pm

    Hi Marlaine
    I am a grandmother looking at your website reminds me of the girls one is 4 and the other is 12 you are so blessed you have a wonderful website the flow is great Thank You

    • Marlaine September 23, 2016 at 1:33 pm

      Hi Lucero, thanks for dropping in! I’m glad you enjoyed my site… I sure have fun with this topic! I imagine with your 2 granddaughters you see (have seen) a lot of dress up fun! Have a lovely day!

  4. Vanessa September 23, 2016 at 7:35 pm

    Wow these look awesome! I don’t recall ever seeing these dress-up vanities in my childhood in the 90s. I kind of wish I was a kid again to enjoy these! I”m surprised how the Guidekraft has assembly issues considering the price. I like how these take up little space compared to the traditional trunk (and they look better too) so they are perfect for apartments. Thanks for the objective review!

    • Marlaine September 23, 2016 at 7:50 pm

      Hi Vanessa,
      I certainly don’t remember seeing them back in my childhood either, and I’m guessing I’m older than you are LOL. They sure do look like they’d be a fun addition to dress up play, don’t they? I agree that they’d be great for apartments!
      Thanks for dropping in, and have a lovely day!

  5. Amanda November 26, 2016 at 2:29 am

    Wow, with the first product ‘Guidecraft Dress Up Carousel’,I can definitely say that I feel as though that choice would not be best for me. For one, the lack of decorative screw-ups would drive me crazy, not to mention that it’s cumbersome to return. Thanks for reviewing these products! I wouldn’t have known about the second one had it not been reviewed by yourself.

    • Marlaine November 26, 2016 at 3:08 am

      Glad to help, Amanda! Yeah, I’m big on “easy to return” items, if I buy online. Thankfully most purchasers have NOT had issues! 🙂

  6. Marlinda Davis November 30, 2016 at 1:59 am

    Hey Marlaine!

    Those are both super cute!! I like that the Guidecraft Dress Up Carousel is like a mini closet so when children play dress up they can also play hanging up their clothes and putting away their shoes.

    I’m all for learning in play. Loved this comparison review 🙂

    • Marlaine November 30, 2016 at 3:17 am

      I’m all for learning in play AND for my kids being able to put away their own dress up gear in a great dress up storage carousel! 🙂 Thanks for dropping by and commenting, Marlinda! Have a lovely day!

  7. Owain January 24, 2017 at 4:31 pm

    My daughter is not quite old enough for dress ups. Despite this she has already got some hand-me-down dress ups. Their all in a big black bag at the moment so me and my wife would like to have somewhere proper that they can be stored and got at easier.

    These look like a great way for us to put them in. I’d have to go with te Guidecraft as I see you can hang up her costumes. Although I don’t like the fact that I would have to interpret the instructions. I hate it when they just don’t make sense and they are not straight forward.

    • Marlaine January 24, 2017 at 8:02 pm

      Hi Owain,
      Hand-me-downs are fantastic for dress up play! Building a fun wardrobe takes time and resources – and being gifted items is so helpful!
      The Guidecraft is a great option, but if your daughter isn’t ready for daily dress up play, I’d hold off for a bit – it’s literally a piece of furniture in a room! That being said, if she’s really young, you can use it for cute outfits, baby shoes, etc.! Tip: if you do ever choose to go with it, there are lots of great assembly tips in the reviews section on Amazon from other purchasers!
      Have a lovely day yet!

  8. jed January 25, 2017 at 4:59 am

    Hi Marlaine, I liked the The Guidecraft Dress Up Carousel better and for the price too it is okay. My sister’s daughter is very fanatic about her clothes and belongings. This will be a big present for her on my visit to my sister’s house. I am looking forward to buy it. Thank you for the review and useful comparison of both the products.

    • Marlaine January 25, 2017 at 1:09 pm

      So happy to hear you found the review useful! Your niece will love it… and your sister will thank you for getting something that helps NEATEN as opposed to helping create a bigger MESS! 🙂 Cheers!

  9. Heather Moore January 26, 2017 at 1:44 pm

    I love the princess courosel best. My nieces will love it when I can buy one. I just wish they had something simalar in adult furniture.

    • Marlaine January 26, 2017 at 2:16 pm

      It’s pretty cute, isn’t it? 🙂

  10. david January 26, 2017 at 1:55 pm

    Hi Marlaine,
    Great post, very useful. My sister is pregnant so I will need a lot of information like this one when I will have to buy something for the baby. 😉
    Look forward for more
    Wish you the best

    • Marlaine January 26, 2017 at 2:15 pm

      Congrats… You’ll love being an uncle! Kids certainly bring a new aspect to family life. And you’ll no doubt have a lot of fun shopping for the little one!

  11. Demi January 27, 2017 at 7:03 am

    I love both the product. This can a good gift for my niece on her birthday who’s turning 5 soon. In fact I like them so much that I can get one for storing small accessories .

    • Marlaine January 27, 2017 at 1:11 pm

      They’d be great for a 5 year old girl! But like you, I can totally see them being handy for hanging scarves, purses, and other lady’s accessories too! Now to convince my husband that I need one LOL. 🙂

  12. Kathy January 27, 2017 at 5:22 pm

    Hi Marlaine,
    Thank you for sharing such in depth reviews. Although both carousels seem to be sturdy and very well made, I think I prefer the Guide Craft model because of it’s neutral color and the amount of storage available. My niece has limited space–this would be great for her toddler son.

    • Marlaine January 27, 2017 at 5:38 pm

      Thanks Kathy! I think you’re absolutely right that the Guidecraft is a bit of a better choice for a boy. Glad you found the review helpful. 🙂

  13. Monika March 3, 2017 at 3:36 pm

    Oh my goodness those are the cutest. I like your reviews. I have a niece that would totally adore having something like that. Reminds me of Mr. Dress-ups tickle trunk. Oops dated myself here. ha.
    Great job. Easy to understand and very well done review.

    • Marlaine March 6, 2017 at 9:09 pm

      I loved Mr. Dress Up and his tickle trunk, so I am just as “dated” as you might be LOL. He was very inspiring! 🙂 Thanks for the positive feedback, Monika, and have a lovely day!

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