A popular type of cedar chest lid is one that locks. This can keep unwanted eyes from your heirlooms, and protect them from being taken if a thief comes into your home. The lid is a regular, smooth style of lid with a lock in the center, right under the rim. The lid can be lifted and closed just as traditional chests can.
A frame top lid has a lid that extends above the top of the chest, providing a small shelf around the top of the chest. This is called a rail. The rail can keep things from sliding off of your chest if you want to place items directly on the lid, or the chest could be used as a multipurpose piece of furniture such as a nightstand. It looks a bit less like a traditional hope chest, but will work in a more modern space.
One type of cedar chest lid is the seat top lid. This lid has a padded, upholstered top, which can also serve as a small seat in a bedroom or sitting area. The padded top adds some interest to the piece and some of these types of chests have fake drawers on the front, so it looks more like a dresser than a storage chest.
Embellished lids are a bit more decorative and make the cedar chest a little more elegant. Carvings etched into the wood can depict swirls, flowers, hearts or even a custom design such as names or initials. A carved lid can make a hope chest an even more special place to store treasures or heirlooms. It creates a distinctive look for this piece of furniture.