Wardrobe vs Closet: What Is the Difference?

A wardrobe or closet is an important feature of any home. Some may use these terms interchangeably; however, they are different. What is the difference between a wardrobe vs. a closet?

A closet is a small enclosed spaced built in the wall of a room or hallway. A wardrobe is a standalone piece of furniture. They are both used for hanging clothes. A closet is usually used for storing other items such as a vacuum or ironing board.

Read on to learn more about the differences between a closet and wardrobe, including the pros and cons for each.

wardrobe vs closet

What Is a Wardrobe?

A wardrobe is like a closet. The difference is that it is not typically built into the house walls, although you can custom-build it. You can buy a wardrobe at a furniture store with various lengths, sizes, widths, depths, and colors.

Below is an image of a wardrobe:


What are the pros and cons of a wardrobe?


1. Portable

When you own a wardrobe, it is straightforward to move it from left to right or across your room. You can even decorate it to your own liking and transfer it to various locations.

But if you have a whole room as a wardrobe, then it is an exception. Wealthy people usually have one room as their wardrobes. 

If you have a wardrobe room, you still must have a portable wardrobe so that you can conveniently take it with you anywhere you go. 

2. Offers Several Choices

When you are planning on getting a wardrobe, there are various types you can choose from. The sizes and features vary. You should opt for a wardrobe that responds to your needs. 

You may want to choose a wardrobe with several small compartments. This way, you do not have to custom-build them. Some wardrobes have shoe racks, where you can store your shoes and other footwear.

Look for useful features before deciding what wardrobe to buy.

3. You Can Customize It 

You can either buy your wardrobe or make it custom-built with your own preferences. This means that whatever you want your wardrobe to look like, you can custom-build it. You could also have it custom-built with the features you want to add.

With the availability of a wide range of materials, you can add drawers and small compartments to organize your things. The compartments can help you organize your stuff and provide ample space for each type of material you want to store. 


Takes Up Space

When owning a wardrobe, it is typically a piece of big straight furniture, which means it will take up space in your room. You can customize a wardrobe to fit your available space, but it could cost a fortune.

But if you have sufficient finances, you can go ahead and resize your wardrobe.

What Is a Closet?

A closet is typically built into the walls of your house. It can be a small fitted closet to store your clothes only, or it can be a walk-in closet. A walk-in closet is a room where you can walk in and change.

Below is an image of a closet:


What are the pros and cons of having a closet?


1. Does Not Take Up Much Space

A closet is built onto your room walls, which means that the closet itself does not take up that much space. For smaller houses, a closet is an ideal choice.

2. You Can Customize It

Just like your wardrobe, you can customize your closet to your own liking as well. You can make it into a walk-in closet, A fitted closet, or a closet with many organizers.

Many people choose to have a walk-in closet because it is bigger than an average closet and can fit many things.

3. You Can Easily Add Racks or Drawers

With a closet, it is easy to find things that you could add to enhance it. Examples are small racks where you can put your shoes. You could also put adjustable bars so that you can hang longer clothes. 

You can choose from many options to enhance your closet space or make the closet itself more utilized and organized.

4. You Can Hide Unwanted or Outdated Clothes

A good thing about owning a closet is you can hide things that are not necessarily needed anymore, such as old clothes or decorations that are not in season. You can even utilize your closet to store your tools and supplies.


Usually Permanent

Unlike a wardrobe, a closet typically cannot be moved because closets are often built onto the walls of your house. So, when you want a closet, you might want to plan out where it goes because once it is built, it will stay there. 

closet vs wardrobe

What Is the Standard Closet Shelf Height?

Difference Between a Wardrobe and Closet

For many people, wardrobes and closets are pretty much the same. Nevertheless, there are slight differences between the two. The difference between a closet and a wardrobe is listed below:

1. Portability

Closets are usually built-in, while wardrobes are portable. While a closet is accommodating and functional. Nonetheless, others prefer the wardrobe.

For them, a wardrobe functions effectively than a closet. It is portable because you can move it from one location to another. 

The difference between a wardrobe and closet is that the wardrobe is commonly not built into the walls of the house. 

2. Size

Unlike a closet, a wardrobe comes in different shapes and sizes, like a chest. Simultaneously, a closet is not portable because it is normally built into the walls of your room. 

The difference between a closet and wardrobe in size is not so much. It will depend upon your preferences upon purchase or when building your closet.

A wardrobe cabinet typically measures 24 inches to 96 inches in width and is 24 inches deep. But they can also be narrower at 12 or 18 inches deep. The standard height is typically not more than 72 inches.

Closets are usually found in kids’ rooms, bedrooms, and hallways. They usually measure from 3 feet to 9 feet wide, with a depth of 25 to 30 inches. Some of these types of closets feature a single solid rod, where you can hang your clothes.

Note that in some cases, a wardrobe or armoire can also be a room full of closets and drawers for storing clothes. Thus, in this case, your wardrobe is not portable.

3. Usage

Both closets and wardrobes are used for storing clothes or other materials. You could use closets to store your beddings and pillows too. Moreover, you can use the closet to store the following:

  • Neckties,
  • Underwear, and
  • Handkerchiefs by adding several drawers. 

You could use the wardrobe to store pieces of jewelry and similar items as well. It’s up to you how you want to organize your things.

So what is the difference between a closet and a wardrobe? A closet can be any private area in the open air or inside the room as a built-in addition. On the other hand, a wardrobe could be a walk-in closet or a room where you can keep clothes and other things safe. A wardrobe can also be a standing closet to store clothes.

Next, let’s proceed to some tips for choosing between a closet and wardrobe.

Tips for Taking Care of Your Wardrobe and Closet

1. Avoid Placing Heavy Objects on Top of Your Wardrobe or Closet

In taking care of your wardrobe chest and closet, you have to make sure that you don’t put anything heavy that may cause them to break. You should only place safe things inside and on top of your closet or wardrobe. 

2. Clean Your Closet and Wardrobe Twice a Week

You should wipe off the dust inside and outside your closet or wardrobe to prevent any dirt build-up. Consider adding soft linings on the drawers or chests to prevent damaging your clothes. A dirty closet is a good haven for bugs, such as cockroaches and termites.

Cleaning your closet or wardrobe does not only mean eliminating dust and dirt but also getting rid of old clothes or accessories that you no longer want to wear. 

3. Organize the Contents

You can let your wardrobe and closet last longer if you organize their contents properly. When you know where to locate specific things in your closet and wardrobe, you will not close and open the doors and drawers frequently. 

You could place all neckties in one drawer, and all underwear in another one, and so forth—separate colored items from whites. Learn how to store jeans, cashmere, and all the other clothing types. [1

This organized system will prevent your closet or wardrobe from easy wear and tear. This is because you will not be opening it often. Likewise, it will save you time and energy.

4. Apply Varnish to the Surfaces of Your Wardrobe and Closet

Applying a coating or varnish on the surfaces of your wardrobe or closet would reduce wear and tear. You may want to seek the help of a furniture expert if unsure what to use. 

Some people make use of plastic to prevent easy damage. But plastic material is not usually recommended due to its odor.

5. You Can Cover Your Wardrobe or Closet

You may want to cover your wardrobe or closet with soft clothing, if possible. This cover will prevent dust formation and reduces the risk of damages and scratches. 

You can also use a plastic cover that can ward off external elements from ruining your closet or wardrobe.

Wardrobe vs Closet: Which Is Better?

Again, your choice would depend on your purpose and preferences. If you have more space, you can choose a wardrobe. Furthermore, if you need a change of clothing more often, you need a wardrobe too.

Conversely, if your house is small, you will have to go with built-in closets. You may have to choose built-in closets too when you want a permanent place to store your clothes.

difference between a wardrobe and closet

Conclusion – Closet vs Wardrobe

A closet can be any private area in the open air or a built-in closet inside the house. Meanwhile, a wardrobe can be a room for keeping clothes and other materials safe. A wardrobe could also be a walk-in closet beside a bedroom or a dressing room. It could also be a standing closet where you can store clothes.

Most closets now are built into the wall, while wardrobes can stand alone. If you are undecided about what to choose between close vs. wardrobe, don’t worry.

You can pick a suitable space/chest for your clothes and personal paraphernalia without knowing whether it is a wardrobe or a closet. What is important is that you are contented with your choice.

Related reading:

What Is an Armoire [Armoire Vs Wardrobe Vs Dresser]

Chest of Drawers Vs Dresser: What Are the Differences?

Where Is Ikea Furniture Made? (Sweden or China?)

Is IKEA Cheap? Why Is IKEA Cheap?