The Big Debate: Walk-in Handouts vs. Cabinet Closet Handouts

If you’re looking for a new home with the right kitchen or redesigning the organization of your current cooking space, it might be helpful to start by deciding which type of pantry is right for you. You need to decide whether a closet pantry or walk-in pantry is best for you.

A well-organized pantry can help you store all food alongside other kitchen equipment and keep shelves free of groceries or clutter. A walk-in pantry can offer a nice enclosed space with plenty of shelf space, however, the distance from your cooking area may be less convenient than the cupboard space. Most people who have previously used a walk-in pantry tend to want to stick with that option for the large space, but sometimes a cupboard pantry design can turn out to have more benefits for some homes.

Let’s take a look at both possible methods of organizing the kitchen space and consider the advantages and disadvantages of each.

Habitable pantry

From the appearances, a walk-in pantry looks like a solid option for optimizing kitchen organization. Plenty of space and an elegant design make them a very attractive choice.

The biggest drawback of having a walk-in pantry is its location. Sometimes these pantries are placed inside the kitchen which takes up a lot of space, or the pantry is often built completely outside the kitchen. A pantry placed outside could force you to move back and forth between the kitchen and pantry, which can make meal preparation quite difficult. If you need to leave the kitchen space multiple times during the cooking process, a walk-in pantry can prove awkward or annoying.

Regardless of where a walk-in pantry is placed, it will require space for an entire room. This makes this type of pantry ideal for homes that already have the necessary extra space. If you have a large house, this doesn’t turn out to be too bad.

A walk-in pantry appears to be ideal for visibility rather than space efficiency as well. Most walk-in pantries have shelving along the surrounding walls, but walk-in pantry shelves aren’t often built to be very deep, which can hinder your ability to move easily through the pantry. Due to the narrow shelving, objects often cannot be placed one behind the other. Walk-in shelf storage can provide a very pleasing visual effect within an enclosed space, but the lack of depth in shelving isn’t great for long-term storage.

These are the double open doors to a walk-in pantry with storage for food and cooking equipment.  The pantry floor connects to the kitchen.

The average price of a walk-in pantry is around $ 2,000. Let’s take a look at the features of the walk-in pantry to consider the pros and cons.


  • More open shelves – With a walk-in pantry, there is more visible shelf space for food and equipment
  • Store larger items – There is less need for internal sliding shelves in a walk-in pantry, so the shelves are higher to allow you to store large kitchen equipment in a well-organized way.


  • It takes up valuable space in the house – The need for an extra room takes away space from your home that can be used for other purposes.
  • More maintenance – Open shelves in a room intended for food storage require more effort to keep them clean.

Pantry cupboard

A closet pantry is exactly what it sounds like; large cupboards with plenty of space to hold food and other kitchen items. This type of pantry doesn’t offer as much storage space per square foot, however, there are a great deal of different closet storage variations. What makes a cupboard pantry incredibly versatile is the possibility of additional additions that can be installed in the cupboard.

Here is a low mobile pantry with added shelves on the doors fully stocked with food.  There are also pull-out shelves to provide more functionality to the depth of the cabinet.

By installing pull-out shelving and other closet add-ons like door shelves, you can easily multiply your possible storage space to exceed the capacity of a walk-in pantry. If a deep closet has shelves that can be opened, you can grab more of what you need from one spot rather than walking the distance of a walk-in pantry to search through multiple shelves.

Tall pantry cabinet equipped with shelves with doors.  This set of open doors sits right above another pantry cabinet.

A cupboard pantry costs an average of $ 200 to around $ 1000. Here is a list of the pros and cons of using a pantry in your kitchen.


  • Centralized storage location – Putting your items in a closet pantry compresses what you need into a more compact space.
  • More accessible – Deep cupboard storage can store items deeper and eliminate the need to move across multiple shelves.
  • They don’t take up much space – Cabinet pantries take up less space in the kitchen and more space to move around while cooking.


  • Limited space for large items – Additional internal shelves are ideal for organizing a closet pantry, so the storage capacity is more horizontal than vertical. Additional shelves limit the ability to store taller items in some cabinets.
  • Additional charges – Using additional shelving is the best way to use a cupboard pantry, which includes additional installation costs.

What is the best pantry for my home?

The debate as to which pantry is best really depends on your personal preferences. Both offer functionality and style to your kitchen organization. Which one you choose for your home will most likely depend on how much available space you have near and inside your kitchen. Base your decision on how you want your kitchen to work. A walk-in pantry will work best for homes with extra space outside the kitchen and for cooks who don’t mind the extra distance between the pantry and the kitchen while preparing meals. The cupboard pantry works well for all kitchens and can save a lot of space for more storage that sits conveniently near your cooking station.

Frequent questions

Q: Is it possible to modify the pantry cabinets to add more storage space?

A: Yes. Pull-out shelves can be installed inside a cabinet and / or additional shelves to hang on the cabinet doors to multiply the potential storage space.

Q: What kind of pantry is best for large items?

A: The walk-in pantry is usually best for larger items as they are commonly equipped with tall shelves.

Q: Which type of pantry is more expensive?

A: A walk-in pantry is significantly more expensive than a closet pantry. The difference can range from $ 1,000 to $ 1,800 on average.

Q: Does one pantry option require more maintenance than the other?

A: Yes. A walk-in pantry will need to be dusted off if there are open exposed shelving to see as you enter.

The Great Debate: Walk-In Pantries vs. Cabinet Pantries first appeared on the Kitchen Cabinet Kings blog.

Source link