What is the Standard Closet Depth?

Having enough storage space is vital in any home. A large closet, for example, is necessary if you have a lot of clothes. If this is the case, you have to understand the standard closet depths so you’ll be able to choose the right size for your closet.

To explain further, closet depths are determined based on the dimension of different clothing elements such as folded clothes and shirts hung on hangers. So, what is the standard closet depth?

On average, a closet depth in the US ranges from 12 inches to 28 inches. But the standard will be 24 inches, which gives enough space to store hanging clothes comfortably. For detailed depths of more types of closets, keep reading.

Standard Closet Depth

Standard Closet Depth

The standard closet depth in the U.S. is 24 inches or 61 cm, but you can also opt for a narrower closet depth of 20 inches if desired. For shoes and small clothing elements, the recommended shelf depth is 12 inches or 30.5 cm.

Drawers for folded clothes, on the other hand, should have a minimum depth of 18 inches or 45.7 cm, while deep drawers can follow the standard closet depth, which is 24 inches or 61 cm.

Walk-In Closet

Walk-In Closet

It is highly recommended that a walk-in closet should be at least four feet (wide) x four feet (deep). Aside from that, the storage accommodations of the closet should also have a 24-inch clear passageway between the shelves.

Keep in mind that hanging clothes can take up about two feet of depth. As such, a closet that is four feet wide can only accommodate hanging clothes on one side of the wall and the back wall.

To have storage on both sides of the wall and the back wall, you’ll need about six feet of width. With this width, there is still about 24 inches of available space at the center of the closet.

Detailed dimensions of a walk-in closet are discussed further here – Walk-In Closet Dimensions & Sizes

Reach-In Closet

Reach-In Closet

Typically, a reach-in closet is deep enough to let clothes hang perpendicularly to the back wall, plus it should be shallow so that you can reach the back portion of the closet without stepping inside the closet.

The standard depth for a reach-in closet is 24 inches. However, if you’re going to store bulky items, like coats, it is best to opt for a 28 inches closet depth. Also, keep in mind that a 22 inches closet depth is not enough for hanging clothes.

Reach in closet depth

Another vital dimension in a closet is the length of its return walls. To explain further, return walls are the short sections of a wall that extends from the side walls to the door.

Remember, return walls that are too long can result in deep spaces at the end of the closet. As such, there will be some spaces that you won’t be able to reach with ease. To avoid this problem, return walls should be more than 12 inches long.



It is recommended to place upper shelves at about 84 inches above the floor. This figure is the same as the height of the upper rod in a double-hang configuration closet.

For the depth, it is recommended that a shelf should have a minimum of 16 inches depth if you’re going to store large items. For bulky items, like blankets and pillows, a 24-inches depth is strongly recommended.

Shelf Depth

Hanging Heights

In general, hanging rods are placed in a closet to maximize space. Short-hang rods are best suited for blouses and shirts, and it is usually placed about 42 inches above the floor. As for the double-hang configuration, one of the rods is typically placed about 42 inches above the floor.

The second rod, on the other hand, is placed above the first rod, about 84 inches above the closet floor. Aside from that, a mid-hang is placed about 50 inches above the floor, and it is typically used for hanging pants. Lastly, a long-hang rod is best suited for coats and dresses, and it is positioned about 68 inches above the closet floor.

Pull-Out Baskets and Drawers

Pull-Out Baskets and Drawers

Including drawers or pull-out baskets in your closet is a good option if you have a lot of small items. Typically, these are available in standard widths such as 18 inches, 24, inches, and 30 inches.

Aside from that, drawers and pull-out baskets have the same depth, which is 14 inches. The difference between the two is that you can make your drawers deeper, while the pull-out basket should follow the standard depth.

Always remember that you need to position your pull-out baskets and drawers carefully to ensure that you will have enough space when you open them. Typically, a fully opened basket can extend to up to 26 inches. As for drawers, they need an additional 1/2 inch for their handles.

Is My Closet Big Enough?

To determine if your closet is big enough, you have to consider the various clothing elements you’re going to place there. To give you a better view, here are some of the closet size standards of the common items placed in a closet.

  • Shirts and blouses require about one inch of rod space per item.
  • Skirts and pants need at least 1 1/14 inches of rod space per item.
  • Coats and dresses will need about two inches of rod space per item.
  • Folded clothing, including men’s shirts, jeans, and sweaters, will need about 12 inches of shelf width if they are neatly folded. Women’s shirts, on the other hand, are smaller, so they only require about nine inches of shelf width.

Keep in mind that if your closet space is not enough, you can always use space-saving hangers to optimize your closet space because they will allow you to fit more items on the rod.

Additionally, your folded clothes should not also go above 12 inches in height. This height will ensure that your clothes will not topple while in the closet.


Always remember that using the standard closet depth will ensure that you’ll be able to maximize your storage space. As mentioned, your closet should be at least 24 inches deep.

However, if you’re going to store bulky items, you can opt for about 28 inches in depth. Also, keep in mind that a depth of 22 inches is not enough if you’re going to place hanging clothes in your closet.