The STURDY Act: New Safety Requirements


You’ve probably begun to hear about a new safety requirement for clothing storage units sold on the furniture market. Manufacturers and retailers now know this new federal law as the STURDY Act. Here’s what you need to know about it and how it might affect your business.

What is the STURDY Act?

The STURDY Act stands for Stop Tip-overs of Unstable, Risky Dressers on Youth. (Also known as 16 CFR 1262 and ASTM 2057-23.) Just as the acronym states, the STURDY Act was made to reduce the chances of child injury or death from dressers, chests, and other bedroom clothing storage units.

Since 2021, parent lobbying was one of the main factors of the STURDY Act. The CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission) first approved a concise clothing storage unit law in December 2022. In that same month, we released a Child Safety article covering their standards. However, lobbying manufacturers proved that the CPSC’s requirements were not attainable or sustainable. By April 2023, the Federal Government modified the original safety law.

On September 1st of 2023, this revised STURDY Act will be in effect.

Why are the Changes Necessary?

The main issue with the lack of stability in these storage units comes from multiple open drawers combined with the weight and force of a child climbing them. Unfortunately, too many injuries and deaths surrounding unstable clothing storage units happened in the past 20 years. An update on these numbers was given on June 28, 2023, in Charm, Ohio, at a furniture manufacturer’s meeting held by Ohio’s Hardwood Furniture Guild. There, Executive Director Kendrick Mullet summarized the STURDY Act and quoted the increased tip-over incidents since our last article:

There were 470 reported deaths in the United States since the year 2000 and 22,500 ER visits in 2022 alone.

All in all, we cannot overlook these innocent lives and numbers. While we do have faith in the stability of Amish furniture compared to other manufacturing companies, builders and retailers don’t want the name of Amish furniture to lose good standing with the public. Thus, that is why it is necessary to test and label these furniture pieces to prove they are safe and made with care.

Any retailers, hotels, dormitories, and manufacturers will be held responsible for having products that do not comply with the STURDY Act.

The STURDY Act Requirements

Now the 2023 revised standards only require verified tip-over testing and new warning labels for all new and existing products in the U.S. market. Tip-overs that could occur around small children can be prevented through quality interlock designs, wall-mounted stabilizers, and counterweights. Any of these features is the recommended solution by the government in order for manufacturers to pass the stability tests.

As builders test their products, they will undergo three stability tests. The tests are a Simulated Clothing Load test, a Simulated Horizontal Dynamic Force test, and a Reaction on Carpet with a Child test. If the piece passes all these, it will be certified to be on the market. Builders that succeed in these tests will have a General Certificate of Conformity that proves their product is certified. Retailers will be given access to the certificates as they are needed.

Another part of the new law is the required warning labels. You will find these on the drawers stating any warnings and instructions for the piece. Clothing storage units with interlock systems will have a special label to instruct consumers on how to remove the interlocking drawers.

Furniture Affected by the STURDY Act

Products affected by the STURDY Act include, but are not limited to:

  • Chests
  • Chests of drawers
  • Drawer chests
  • Armoires
  • Chifferobes
  • Bureaus
  • Door chests
  • Dressers

Pieces that will not be affected by the STURDY Act:

  • Bookcases
  • Entertainment centers
  • Office furniture
  • Dining room furniture
  • Jewelry armoires
  • Underbed storage
  • Occasionals
  • Laundry storage
  • and other storage units that are less than 27 in height, less than 30 lbs. in mass, and contain less than 3 feet of enclosed storage volume.

You can see the entire act on the Federal Register.

Affects on the Amish Furniture Industry

By now, we’re sure you’ve already received letters from a few of your manufacturers regarding the STURDY Act. Thankfully, many businesses are finding creative ways to meet the requirements that will guarantee safety for young children.

You’ll notice manufacturers are opting to install interlock systems on their drawers. This kind of change requires very little design modifications for existing products. Others may add counterweights or attachable accessories, but these features are expected to be less common.

In addition, “discontinued” notices are coming through. Builders are only discontinuing products that need help beyond basic revision and continue to fail to pass the test. This may include a top-heavy dresser with an already considerable amount of bulk. On the bright side. many builders have not had many issues altering their products to meet requirements.

Now that builders are making changes to product information in catalogs and price lists, you may also notice some slight price increases. These prices are to cover the costs of interlocking systems, weights, or accessories needed to make these pieces compliant.


Overall, the STURDY Act will incite noticeable changes across all spectrums of the furniture industry. While the change will cause some stores to remove certain floor models, and manufacturers to revise their catalogs, we know this will lead to safer home furniture.

Please know that the Amish builders of Ohio, Indiana, and Pennsylvania are working hard to meet requirements and supply retailers with updated products. If you are a furniture retailer wanting more answers on these changes, please reach out to your builders to make the necessary updates to your showrooms and archived catalogs.

Special Note:

We would like to thank Kendrick Mullet and the Ohio Hardwood Furniture Guild for the presentation they held for the STURDY Act on June 28, 2023. The information they presented to Ohio’s Amish furniture manufacturers has been the main source for this article alongside the online copies of 16 CFR 1262/ASTM 2057-23 on the Federal Register.



This article was made to educate furniture retailers and sales representatives about the new requirements of the STURDY Act, the CPSC’s mandatory safety standards under 16 CFR 1261, and the testing requirements of ASTM F2057-23.

All information provided is our best interpretation of these regulations. Nothing provided in this article should be interpreted as a failproof compliance guide nor does it constitute legal advice.

None of the requirements mentioned in this article will be effective until September 1st of 2023. Readers are encouraged to continue to educate themselves as more information becomes available and are responsible for ensuring their own compliance.


About Alisha

Naturally inquisitive and always inspired by the life stories and creations of others, Alisha officially became a copywriter and editor of VIZTECH in 2021. Though her current role involves writing informational pieces, her lifelong passion for creative writing fuels the content she creates in the office today.

Every client and business that comes to VIZTECH has a story to be told. Alisha’s goal is to understand the heart behind each customer so that their viewers can clearly picture and connect to the soul of their company and its trade.