Credenza vs. Buffet vs. Sideboards - Learn The Differences



  1. Credenza
  2. Buffet
  3. Sideboard
  4. What is Credenza vs. Sideboard vs. Buffet
  5. Final Words

If you are tired of seeing the kitchen or dining room messy and unorganized, you must need some storage pieces. But have you ever found yourself at a furniture store and looked at some storage pieces and then wondered their names?

Is that a credenza, a buffet, or a sideboard? Well, you are not alone. This is kind of a universal problem. Because the furniture industry has different terminology, that can be a bit confusing to get a hold of initially.

To clear the air, we thought we would come up with an article that talks about these three similar yet different furniture pieces. Now let's get started.

Here is a hint before you go: Credenza, buffet, and sideboard usage are not restricted to the dining room; they can be used in other rooms of the sweet home. Before digging more into it, let's learn about CREDENZA vs. BUFFET vs. SIDEBOARD now.



What Is a Credenza?

A credenza is a low-slang dining room-side cupboard used to serve buffet meals. So, what does it look like? Well, they appear smaller and have a more formal look than a sideboard or buffet. This furniture has short legs or no legs at all, which means it can sit directly on the floor.

Why Is It Called Credenza?

The term credenza has its roots in the Italian word "credere," which means to believe or to trust. Credenzas were holding areas where taste-testers examined a royal person's food for poison in Italy.

In those days, they were decorated with columns and intricate woodwork. If you have assumed that credenzas are dining room furniture, here's what you didn't know. Credenzas can be used in offices and be used instead of a desk or workspace while providing extra office storage.

What Is the Purpose of a Credenza?

As already mentioned, the credenza is a piece of furniture mainly used for storing things. This piece of furniture can be used in various rooms, including dining rooms, living rooms, offices, and bedrooms, depending on its design and features. So, this means they are available in different types.

What Are the Types of Credenzas?

  • Office credenza, as the name insists, is used in office spaces. You can use this furniture for storing files, office supplies, and even as a workspace. You wish!
  • Dining room credenzas are used in dining rooms where you can keep the dishes, linens, and serving items and keep your kitchen mess-free.
  • Media credenzas are the ones used in living rooms or entertainment spaces. Here, you can place your TV and other home decor on it.

What Is Another Name for Credenza?

Credenza is often used interchangeably with sideboards. But that's not right. Both are different pieces of furniture.

What Is the Difference Between a Sideboard and a Credenza?

A sideboard is also storage furniture, but it looks a bit different than Credenza. It tends to be bigger and is equipped with high legs and a dresser-like drawer.



What’s the Purpose of a Buffet?

A buffet table or cabinet is a dual-purpose furniture piece that acts as a stylish display for serving food and offers practical storage. They are often used as buffet-style spreads and are often exclusively found in dining rooms.

Buffet tables were initially used in Sweden to lay out big spreads of food and drink called smorgasbords. Then, this concept of buffet tables spread to France and to the rest of Europe.

What Does a Buffet Look Like?

Buffet tables have an elongated design with a flat surface for arranging dishes. They vary in length and feature cabinets, drawers, or shelves for storing dining essentials.

What Is Another Name for a Buffet Table?

Often, a buffet table is also referred to as a sideboard. But these names are often used interchangeably in furniture terminology, although they are both different.

What Do You Store in a Buffet Cabinet?

A buffet table is designed to provide immense storage space for your formal and special occasions, let's say during a buffet feast. They can store your dishes, flatware, and even linens, which you probably use in a dining room. Its flat surface also serves as a place for dishes or trays of food.

So these are the things that you can put on a buffet table.

Can I Put a Buffet in the Living Room?

Yes, you can put a buffet in the living room. While buffets are traditionally used in dining areas, their adaptable design makes them suitable for other spaces. Sometimes, this piece of furniture also serves best as a TV stand, besides serving as a dining room table and storage unit.

When placed in a living room, take advantage of the storage options to keep media devices, cables, and other accessories neatly organized.

So, if you ask if you can use buffet TV stands, why not?

What Is the Difference between a Buffet Table and a Sideboard?

A buffet table and a sideboard look similar but differ in size. Buffets are usually larger than sideboards.



A sideboard is a versatile piece of furniture used for storage and serving in dining or living areas. It often features cabinets and drawers. Sometimes it comes with open shelving that can store silverware, dishes, and other dining-related items.

The origin of sideboards dates back to 18th- and 19th-century England, where they gained popularity as dining room accessories in affluent households. These were not just functional but also decorative, featuring expensive wood veneer.

Usually, a sideboard resembles a buffet but differs in size. So the sideboard is smaller than a buffet.

What Does a Sideboard Look Like?

A sideboard is a low-to-the-ground, freestanding furniture unit. It often rests on short legs and is more traditionally seen in mid-century or minimalist styles. Sideboards contain drawers or cabinet storage and are used in several areas of the home.

What Is a Sideboard Used For?

The top surface of a sideboard provides a convenient space for serving dishes during meals or displaying decorative items.

What Is Another Name for a Sideboard?

What sets them apart is their tendency to have floor-length cabinets and, at times, box-like hutches for displaying decorative items. Some people may refer to them as "servers."

Do You Need a Sideboard?

The need for a sideboard depends on your storage and serving requirements. If you entertain frequently or require additional storage for dining essentials, a sideboard can be a practical and stylish addition to your space.

What Is a Small Sideboard Called?

A small sideboard is sometimes called a "console," emphasizing its compact size while retaining the functionality of a sideboard.

What is Credenza vs. Sideboard vs. Buffet?

Here's the difference based on the legs, size, depth, and materials used:


A credenza comes with very short legs or no legs at all. A sideboard also has short legs, but a buffet has long legs, making them look tall.


Credenzas are long but short; a buffet is long and tall, while a sideboard is shorter than both but almost has the same height as the buffet.


A buffet table has more depth than the other two. For instance, buffets are 19 to 20 inches deep, whereas a credenza is only 16 to 18 inches deep, and the sideboard measures only 14 to 15 inches. Note that the depth might change based on the design.


You may ask what's in the material, but know that credenza is often used as a decorative piece, so it comes with a solid stone top. While a buffet and sideboard can be made out of boards, metal, or wood, We hope that the debate has come to an end. Let's give a quick glimpse of what it is.

  • Credenzas come with elaborate decorations. They appear low and wide, where you can keep your fancy dishes and show them off rather than hiding them somewhere. So, this furniture piece can contribute to your decor as well as store whatever dining room essentials, especially dishes, linens, etc.
  • Sideboards are similar to credenzas and are still popular because their styles range from traditional to sleek and modern. They are low and wide but not decorative, which means they are plain-looking and less specific to the kitchen. So, you can use them as storage furniture in different areas of your home, and they can store more general items.
  • One can easily spot a buffet if they remember this point: buffets are the narrowest and tallest of the other two pieces of furniture. Their top portion doubles as a serving area that's around the same height as a counter or dining table.

Final Words

One of the biggest arguments for these three pieces of furniture is that they are very similar in appearance and function. We hope that, after reading this article, you are now clear.

But remember, no matter what you have decided to buy, invest in a credenza, sideboard, or buffet table from a reputed furniture retailer. Because every piece of furniture is an investment that will last for generations to come. So, check the brand, the cost, and the retailer who's selling the good, and get it home.

Jenni Home is a trusted furniture retailer that's got the finest collection of buffets and sideboards for your home. You can check out the buffet collections here.

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