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How Deep Are Closets?

There are no strict rules as to the depth and dimension of a closet but it varies on the storage. We have classified the different closets and the recommended dimensions for each.

A look at a white built-in wooden closet.

If you are remodeling a room and putting in a new closet or attempting to add more storage to another room by adding a closet, you may be curious about standard closet dimensions. Perhaps you have purchased an older house that has not been renovated at all. In that case, you may be dealing with tiny closets that are not at all up to modern standard closet size. Whether you are attempting to add closets to make a profit, or because you need the usable space, knowing the standard measurements for closets will help you know where to start.

Knowing closet dimensions is also helpful if you are shopping for a closet system. If you know your closet has standard dimensions, you will have an idea of what closet organizer system will fit inside it. Of course, make sure to double-check and measure before placing any order. There are no standard closet dimensions, but there are recommended closet dimensions. These recommended closet dimensions are based on the approximate amount of room needed to store items like clothes and shoes. For example, a linen closet will have different general dimensions than bedroom or coat closet, and a coat closet will typically need to be deeper than a linen closet to accommodate bulky coats.

Keep reading to find out more about closets and their dimensions.

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Reach-In Closets

A close look inside a boy's reach-in closet.

Not every house has bedrooms that can accommodate a walk-in closet, and not every person wants one. A reach-in closet can provide plenty of storage while taking up relatively little space in a room. The typical reach-in closet needs to be deep enough for clothes to hang properly sideways on clothes hangers. Additionally, there should be at least one hanging rod that is tall enough to accommodate hanging longer items like long dresses and coats.

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The appropriate closet depth for a reach-in bedroom closet is a minimum of 24 inches. This gives enough space to hang clothes and also provides clearance so that the clothes are not in direct contact with the walls. To accommodate bulkier clothing items, or just add a little more depth, 28 inches would be appropriate. Coat closets are typically 28 inches deep to accommodate coats, which are bulkier than other clothing items.

The short walls on either side of the closet door are more important than they might initially seem to be. These walls need to have a narrow enough width to allow easy access to the sides of the closet. They should be about 12 inches or less so you can reach inside them to grab the clothing in those areas. A closet should be at least 6 feet long, and its height is usually the same as the height of the room’s ceiling.

If you have a closet with only one rod, that rod should hang about 68 inches (about 5 feet 8 inches) from the ground. If you are installing a system with multiple rods inside a closet and have a section with 2 short rods, you should place one above the other. One should hang about 84 inches above the ground, with another about 42 inches from the ground.

If you have one rod for long items and one hanging slightly lower to accommodate clothing items like pants, the higher of the two should hang at 68 inches high. The lower one should be positioned next to it, to hang at about 50 inches.

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Walk-In Closets

This is a spacious walk-in closet with built-in shelves, drawers and racks on its walls.

Walk-in closets are a luxury convenience. So, they should be sized like the luxury they are. There should be enough room for clothes to be spread out, and room for shelving and any other closet accessory items that could be handy in keeping the space neat. Not every walk-in closet is going to be decked out with display shelves or searing. Obviously, these features are not necessarily what everyone wants. Also, a walk-in closet should be large enough to provide adequate storage.

A walk-in closet should be big enough for someone to be able to walk inside it. To create an actual walk-in closet that is not just a glorified or oversized reach-in closet, standard closet size dictates that it should be four feet wide by four feet deep. There should be about 2 feet between any shelves and the closet rod. A closet of this size allows for walking inside, but only provides enough room to hang clothes along two walls with adequate clearance. Increasing the width from four to six feet would allow for three sides of storage.

One way to accomplish a more luxurious feeling in a walk-in closet is to add seating in the middle of the closet. This can be made possible by increasing the width of the closet to at least 10 feet. This width is required because structures in the middle of the closet need at least two feet of clearance space on all sides of the closet. The rod heights in a closet like this should be identical to the heights mentioned under the reach-in closet section: 84 inches for a tall hanging rod, 50 inches for a mid-height rod, and 84 inches and 52 inches respectively for a rod over rod hanging section.

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Linen Closets

Stacks of towels placed in the linen closet.

A linen closet is typically a reach-in closet, but since a closet like this does not have to accommodate hanging clothes, it can be more shallow than the standard reach-in closet. A standard linen closet is around 15 to 24 inches deep, and typically between 30 to 36 inches wide. Shelves in a linen closet should be hung at the standard height. They should start at 84 inches high and spaced 15 inches apart. However, if you are using a linen closet as a laundry closet, it will have to be deeper and likely longer to accommodate a dryer and washing machine.

If you are customizing a closet for yourself, consider moving closet rods and shelves to suit your personal needs. Every homeowner has different storage needs and different expectations for what will make the perfect closet. Closets should be designed for the way you live to prevent wasting space.


A woman organizing the contents of the wooden shelves.

If you are placing shelves in your closet as well as rods, the shelves should also hang at specific heights. The tallest shelves should hang at 84 inches. Also, shelves should be at least 16 inches deep to provide adequate storage. They should be spaced 15 inches apart from top to bottom if there are multiple shelves.

When it comes to shelving in a closet for shoes, there should be 7-10 inches of space per pair of shoes. This allows enough room to store your shoes without making your shelves look crowded.

When it comes to getting organized, a closet is just the first step. Take a look here for more closet and storage inspiration.

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