Difference Between Cupboards And Cabinets

Cabinets VS Cupboards

Cupboards and cabinets are both storage units, but the main difference lies in their design and usage. Cupboards typically have shelves and doors for storing dishes or clothes, while cabinets often include drawers and shelves and are commonly used in kitchens for storing food and cookware.

Cabinets VS. Cupboards

Made of solid wood or composite materials.Made of solid wood or composite materials.
Typically have doors and shelves for storage.May have doors and shelves, or simply open shelves.
Available in various sizes and styles.Available in various sizes and styles.
Frequently used in kitchens, bathrooms, and living rooms.Commonly found in kitchens and dining areas.
Can be freestanding or wall-mounted.Usually freestanding and placed against a wall.
Have a more modern and sleek appearance.Often have a more rustic or traditional look.
Offer better organization and storage options.Offer storage options but may not have as many organizational features.
Can be customized with additional features like drawers, dividers, and pull-out trays.May have customization options, but usually limited to shelves and doors.
Often more expensive due to their construction and additional features.Generally more affordable compared to cabinets.
Require professional installation in many cases.Can be easily assembled and installed by homeowners.
Provide a more polished and finished look to a space.Give a cozy and warm feel to the area they are placed in.

Types Of Cupboards

There are different types of cupboards depending on their purpose. They include:

Airing Cupboards

 These are cupboards designed to allow free circulation of air. They have slatted shelves that prevent damping. Some households use airing cupboards as drying space by storing damp towels and linen. They are also called boiler cupboards since they are also used to store immersion heaters or hot water storage tanks.

Built-In Cupboards

 These are cupboards that form part of a room’s design. They are attached to the room, making them immovable and not free-standing. They are different from cabinets and are mostly used in the United Kingdom, mostly under a staircase

Linen Cupboards

 Most households have enclosed recesses for storing their linen, such as tablecloths and towels. These cupboards are free-standing in a space that allows free air circulation.

Stationery Cupboards.

 These are mostly used in offices as a repository for office items. Small items that are likely to be misplaced, such as stationery, are stored in these cupboards. Other items such as office cups and spoons are also stored there.

Types Of Cabinets

There are also different types of cabinets depending on the purpose they are made for. They include: 

Night Stands

These are small cabinets mostly made to be kept at the bedside. They are used to store small items such as jewelry. Since most cabinets are made with flat tops, they serve as dressing tables that one can use to place make-up items and perfumes.


A wardrobe is a tall cabinet made for storing clothes. Some come with shelves dividing a wardrobe to enhance the arrangement of clothes. Most wardrobes are incorporated into a room’s design, meaning they are in-built and immovable. 

Face Frame Cabinets

Face frame cabinets have supporting frames at the front. The frame usually has a 4cm width, and on it, a cabinet door is mounted. Face frame cabinets were traditionally made but have been outfaced by frameless cabinets.

Frameless Cabinets

These cabinets lack frames with their door mounted directly to the cabinet’s sides. They instead have bottom and top panels, which are 15-20mm thick. Most modern cabinets are frameless and made from materials such as plywood and chipboard. In other cases, they are made of normal timber, or plastic laminate and then painted.

Types Of Cabinets

When it comes to organizing and storing items, cabinets are an essential piece of furniture in any home or workspace. With their variety of designs and functions, cabinets offer practicality and aesthetics. Whether you’re renovating your kitchen, upgrading your office, or simply enhancing your living space, it’s essential to understand the different types of cabinets available to make an informed decision. Let’s explore some of the most common types of cabinets and their uses.

  1. Kitchen Cabinets:
    • Base Cabinets: Installed beneath countertops, these cabinets provide storage space for larger kitchen items and appliances.
    • Wall Cabinets: Mounted on the wall, above the countertops, these cabinets are perfect for storing cookware, dishware, and glassware.
    • Pantry Cabinets: Featuring deeper shelves and sometimes pull-out drawers, these cabinets are designed for storing dry food, canned goods, and other pantry items.
  2. Bathroom Cabinets:
    • Vanity Cabinets: These freestanding cabinets are commonly seen in bathrooms, offering storage for toiletries, towels, and cleaning supplies.
    • Medicine Cabinets: Mounted on the wall, these cabinets usually feature a mirror on the front and storage space inside for medication and personal care products.
    • Linen Cabinets: Ideal for organizing towels, bed sheets, and other linens, these cabinets often have adjustable shelves to accommodate various-sized items.
  3. Office Cabinets:
    • Filing Cabinets: Perfect for organizing documents and files, these cabinets typically have multiple drawers and sometimes lock for security.
    • Bookcases: Though not typically considered traditional cabinets, bookcases with adjustable shelves provide storage and display space for books, files, and ornaments.
    • Credenzas: Combining open and closed storage spaces, these cabinets are versatile additions to any office, providing both functionality and style.
  4. Living Room Cabinets:
    • Entertainment Centers: These cabinets often encompass the entire wall, offering storage for electronics, such as televisions, gaming consoles, and DVD players, as well as space for displaying decorative items.
    • Display Cabinets: Designed to showcase collectibles, artwork, and valuable possessions, display cabinets often feature glass doors and internal lighting to highlight items effectively.
    • Console Cabinets: These narrow and versatile cabinets can be placed against walls, providing storage for media components, books, and other miscellaneous items.
  5. Garage Cabinets:
    • Tool Cabinets: Featuring drawers and pegboards, these cabinets are specifically designed for organizing tools and equipment in your garage or workshop.
    • Storage Cabinets: Perfect for larger items like sports gear, gardening supplies, and automotive accessories, these cabinets offer ample space and often have adjustable shelves or hooks.

What Are The Distinguishing Components Of A Cabinet?

The following are some basic components that distinguish cabinets:


Cabinets resting on the floor are supported by a base. There are different cabinet bases, such as scrolled base and bracket feet base. Fully enclosed bases are known as plinth bases.

Adjustable Feet

Adjustable feet are common features for most kitchen cabinets. They are attached by creating holes through the cabinet to provide a firm stand. Adjustable feet enable one to adjust the height of a cabinet to one’s preference. 

Cabinet Compartments

 cabinets have either open or closed compartments. Some may even have secret compartments that may be difficult to access, especially for people who store their valuables at home. Modern cabinets have complicated compartments that are ironically more efficient and comfortable. An example is the “lazy Susan” cabinet, which rotates around an axis allowing drawers at the back of a cabinet to come to the front. Such cabinets are suitable in places with small and limited space.

Cabinet Tops 

Most cabinets incorporate a functional cabinet top, especially short cabinets. The tops are used as dressing tables in bedrooms. In the kitchen, they are sometimes used as a working surface. In-wall hanging cabinets, the tops are only used to enclose the compartments.

What Are The Advantages Of Using Cabinets And Cupboards?

Enhance The Look And Feel Of A Room

Cupboards and cabinets make a room look beautiful especially if used in a kitchen. These fixtures make it easy to arrange cookware and other utensils. Good and quality arrangements make a kitchen feel warm and welcoming. It also makes a kitchen neat and tidy. Wooden cupboards give a natural and classic look. When combined with stainless appliances and countertops, a glossy and rich environment combination look is achieved.

Both Cupboards And Cabinets Are Customizable

This furniture can be customized to fit a room’s dimensions as they both come in different shapes and sizes. One can decide whether to go for inbuilt or movable cabinets and cupboards. There is also a variety of textures, designs, and colors since wood can be painted. People who like unique designs for their rooms can achieve this by using cabinets and cupboards. One can match them to their rooms and likings. They are very handy pieces of furniture in any room.

Save Space And Arrangements In A Room 

Some items stored in cabinets and cupboards would use very large space. They both serve as storage units at some point. Instead of cooking ware scattered in a kitchen, they look better when locked away in a cabinet. Plates and cups create a sense of glamor in a kitchen when well arranged in the cupboards. The use of compartments in cabinets enables one to utilize space that would be “dead” and unused. Cabinets and cupboards are a modern necessity in many households for this reason.

Both Serve As Security 

For example, when utensils are stored in a cupboard, they are at a lesser risk of being accidentally broken. Similarly, cabinets come with locks and keys for their doors. Some have secret compartments that may be used to store valuables. They act as extra security for household items that are at risk of being stolen or damaged.

They Provide One With Better Organizational Structures

 Poor organizational structures have a lot of disadvantages, such as double buying of items. This happens when one cannot find an item because they forgot where they placed it. With the use of cupboards and cabinets, one can easily locate an item due to good organization. For example, small items used in the kitchen, such as condiments and knives, are easily misplaced. Having a common drawer or shelf to put them makes it easy to access when one needs to use them. Good organization saves time and energy.

Disadvantages Of Using Cupboards And Cabinets

Both of them need to be strategically positioned for ease of access. Otherwise, when poorly positioned, cabinets and cupboards are likely to attract extra costs for the users. For example, when located in a corner, some cabinet drawers may be inaccessible. There will be extra costs for creating an extra door to access.

Cleaning rooms with cupboards and cabinets that are not inbuilt is difficult and tiresome. A lot of pulling and pushing is involved. It may even cause damage to the floor. In other cases, minor accidents such as the breaking of glass utensils occur. Such accidents may be fatal in case a heavy item falls on someone when cleaning.

The use of stand-free cabinets and cupboards limits one’s interior setup. They also require a lot of space, especially when they are not in-built. They hinder one from tailoring the interior design of a room to one’s liking.


Cabinets and cupboards differ mostly in their make and use. Their main difference is in what they store. Cupboards are specifically used to store utensils, whereas cabinets are used for general storage. For example, clothes, office items, and cookware when used in the kitchen. 

While cupboards are mostly associated with displaying, cabinets are associated with storage. They can be both inbuilt or free-standing. Cabinets are mostly inbuilt for household use. For official use, they are free-standing, making them flexible and mobile. They are both important when organizing a room. They provide security, for example, cabinets that come with compartments and drawers with locks and keys.




Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *