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 doing an extensive remodel, and are doing most of the leg work yourself. There may be several questions regarding storage.

If you are remodeling a room and putting in a new closet or attempting to add more storage to a front room with a coat closet, you may be curious about standard dimensions.

Maybe you have purchased an older house that has not been touched, you may be dealing with tiny closets, that are not at all up to modern standards.

Whether you are attempting to add them to make a profit, or because you need the usable space, knowing standard measurements for closets will help you know where to start.

Knowing closet dimensions is helpful if you are shopping for a closet system. If you know your closet has standard dimensions, you will have an idea of what will fit. Of course, make sure to double-check before placing that order.

There are no standard dimensions, but there are recommended dimensions based on the approximate amount of room needed to store items like clothes and shoes.

A linen closet will have different general dimensions than clothes or coat closet, and a coat closet will typically need to be deeper to accommodate bulky coats.

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

Reach-In Closets

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

Not every house 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.

Your typical reach-in closet needs to be deep enough for clothes to hang properly sideways, and you need at least one hanging rod that is tall enough to accommodate hanging longer items like long dresses and coats.

The appropriate depth for a reach-in closet is at least 24 inches. This gives enough room to hang the clothes and provides clearance so they are not bumped directly against the walls. To accommodate bulkier items, or just add a little more depth, 28 inches would be appropriate. Coat closets are typically 28 inches deep to accommodate coats.

Pay attention to the short walls on either side of the closet door. These need to be narrow enough to allow easy access to the sides of the closet. These should be about 12 inches or less. The closet should be at least 6 feet long, and the height is usually the same as your ceiling height

If you have a closet with only one rod, it should hang about 68 inches ( about 5 feet 6 inches) off of the ground. If you are installing a system with multiple rods, and have a section with 2 short rods that are one above the other, you should have one hanging about 84 inches above the ground, with another about 42 inches.

If you have one rod for long items and one hanging slightly lower to accommodate pants, the tall one should remain 68 inches high. The shorter one should be positioned next to it, and hang at about 50 inches.

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 item and should be sized like one, You should have enough room for your clothes to be spread out, and have room for shelving, and any closet accessory items that could be handy in keeping your closet neat.

Not every walk-in is going to be decked out with display shelves, or seating, and again that is not something every homeowner wants. It should be large enough to provide adequate storage.

A walk-in closet should be big enough to actually walk into. To create an actual walk-in and not just a glorified reach-in closet, it should be 4 feet wide by 4 feet deep. There should be about 2 feet between shelves and the closet rod.

A closet of this size allows you to walk in, but only provides enough room to hang clothes along two walls, with adequate clearance. Increasing the width to 6 feet allows you to use 3 sides for storage.

If you are trying to create an extremely luxe feeling in your closet by adding seating in the middle, this can be accomplished by increasing the width of the closet to at least 10 feet. Structures in the middle of the closet need at least 2 feet of clearance on all sides.

The rod heights should be the same as 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.

Linen Closets

Stacks of towels placed in the linen closet.

A linen closet is typically a reach-in, but since it does not have to accommodate hanging clothes, it can be more shallow. A standard linen closet is around 15 inches to 24 inches deep. Typically they are between 30 to 36 inches wide.

Shelves in a linen closet will be hung at the standard height, starting at 84 inches high and spaced 15 inches apart.

The size of closets is based on the size of the items that will be stored there. While you can have variations in the height and the width, these are the dimensions that are most commonly used.

If you are customizing a closet for yourself, moving rods and shelves to suit your needs. Every homeowner has different storage needs and different expectations for what will make the perfect closet. Design your closets for the way you live, and you should have no problems.


A woman organizing the contents of the wooden shelves.

If you are placing shelves in your closet as well as rods, your shelves should also hang at specific heights. The tallest shelves should hang at 84 inches.

Shelves should be at least 16 inches deep to provide adequate storage and be spaced 15 inches apart up and down if you have multiple shelves.

If you are attempting to add shelving for shoes, try to allow 7-10 inches of space per pair. This gives you enough room to store them, without your shelves looking crowded.

If you are trying to get organized your closet is just the first step. Take a look here for more closet and storage inspiration.

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