9 Important Kitchen Cabinet Drawer Dimensions To Know

The kitchen is one of the most fully-loaded places in any house. It can be hot, slippery, and smelly because of the many food items, kitchen appliances, utensils, cooking resources, and other objects. Thankfully, families can keep the kitchen safer by making it more organized. 

White cabinet drawers diagonal floor tiles

Of the many kitchen organization platforms, many families are torn between cabinets and drawers. While most oldies opt for the good ole cabinet, modern households prefer drawers because they’re more space-efficient, aesthetically pleasing, and convenient to use. Optimizing these benefits requires knowing the correct drawer size. And one can only do that if they’re familiar with kitchen cabinet drawer dimensions. That’s what we’ll share in this post. So, read on. [toc]

Standard Kitchen Drawer Dimensions

Kitchen cabinet drawer dimensionsKnowing a kitchen cabinet drawer dimensions requires appreciating the furniture’s fundamental design. Drawers don’t exist as standalone furnishings. They need a boxy frame to support mechanisms allowing the drawers to extend and retract relative to the skeleton box.

One can consider the box frame a cabinet, forming a supporting structure for different drawer components, including rails, sliders, fasteners, and rollers.

So, is there such a thing as a standard kitchen drawer? Unfortunately, no. And it’s understandable because most kitchen base cabinet drawers range in widths, heights, and depths.

For instance, it’s not unusual to see base cabinet drawers as narrow as 6 inches (15 centimeters), which is half a ruler. It can handle small kitchen items, including spoons and forks arranged front to back to fit into the drawer’s narrow side-to-side span. Some furnishings can extend up to 3 feet from side to side (about 91 centimeters).

As for the depth, drawers range from 2 to 3 feet or about 61 to 91 centimeters from front to back. The deeper the drawer, the more items it can accommodate. There’s no problem accessing kitchen resources from the deepest drawer because one can easily pull out the furnishing from the base cabinet. That’s an advantage traditional hinge-type kitchen cabinets don’t have.

Base cabinet drawers range between 4 and 10 inches (about 10 and 25 centimeters) tall. The taller the furnishing, the better for accommodating taller objects.

We already talked about the base or lower cabinets. But what about drawers for upper cabinets?

Upper drawers have slightly smaller dimensions than base sections. For example, the narrowest furnishing is a 3-inch (7.6-centimeter) option, with the widest at 8 inches (20 centimeters). These drawers have a shorter front-to-rear span, maxing only at 11.8 inches or about 30 centimeters.

Kitchen drawer dimensions also vary between framed and frameless cabinet box construction.

For example, a 24-inch-wide (61 centimeters) cabinet box can have framed drawers measuring 19-1/8 inches (48.5 centimeters) from side to side and 19.75 inches (51 centimeters) front-to-back. If the drawer is frameless, the dimensions are 21-1/8 inches wide (53.5 centimeters) and 19.75 inches deep (51 centimeters).

Drawer height also varies depending on the furnishings location in the cabinet box. For example, a three-drawer cabinet will have a 5.25-inch high (13 centimeters) lower and middle drawers and a 2.5-inch-tall (6.3 centimeters) upper drawer.

Here are other kitchen drawer dimensions you might want to know.

• Silverware drawer – 15 to 24 inches from side to side (38 to 61 centimeters); similar dimensions with organizers for cooking utensils and cutlery

Soft goods drawer – 6 inches (15 centimeters) tall and 9 inches (23 centimeters) wide; ideal for kitchen towels and potholders

• Pots and pans drawer – 8 to 10 inches (20 to 25 centimeters) tall, 30 to 36 inches (76 to 91 centimeters) wide, and 24 to 36 inches (61 to 91 centimeters) deep

• Spice drawer – 3 to 9 inches (7.6 to 23 centimeters) broad, 23 inches (58 centimeters) deep; ideal for spices, baking products, and oils

How Deep Should Kitchen Cabinet Drawers Be?

No right and wrong answers exist for how deep drawers in the kitchen should be. One thing’s clear. The drawer is smaller than the box it rolls out from. 

For example, a 24-inch-deep (61-centimeter) kitchen cabinet box cannot accommodate a similarly-sized drawer because carpenters must provide allowances for other components (i.e., slide or guide). Drawer slides are also longer than the drawer. Hence, one can expect a 24-inch-deep cabinet to feature a 22-inch-deep (58-centimeter) drawer (with a slide length of 23 inches or 59 centimeters). 

Homeowners can make these approximations regardless of their cabinet box sizes. For instance, a 36-inch-deep (91 centimeters) cabinet can accommodate a 34-inch-deep (86 centimeters) drawer.

How Wide Should Cabinet Drawers Be?

Modern kitchen with gray cabinets opened drawers

Drawer cabinets can be as broad as 3 feet (91 centimeters) or as narrow as 6 inches (15 centimeters). Everything depends on your kitchen requirements and the cabinet’s location.

For example, cutlery and spice drawers are naturally narrower than furnishings for pots, pans, and small kitchen appliances (i.e., blenders, food processors, and bread toasters).

Carpenters often detract an inch from the cabinet opening’s width for allowances. It should accommodate the drawer without issues.

How Do You Measure Drawer Size?

Kitchen cabinet drawer measurement

Because no two kitchens are exactly alike, homeowners might want to measure their kitchen cabinets to determine the most accurate drawer size. This task is not an issue if you’re replacing existing drawers. You can pull them from the cabinet box and measure the dimensions (width, depth, and height. Ensure to measure only the drawer box’s outside dimensions, excluding the front panel.

Measuring drawer sizes for new installations can be trickier than replacing old units. However, homeowners can still determine the precise measurements by extending a tape measure from one side of the cabinet’s opening to the opposing site. Next, subtract an inch from the measurement to account for a half-inch allowance on both sides. 

For example, if the cabinet opening extends 18 inches (45.7 centimeters) side-to-side, the drawer must be 17 inches (43 centimeters). However, you might want to consider the drawer glides and factor their size into the final width measurement. 

As for the drawer’s depth, one needs to consider the drawer glides or rails’ length and subtract an inch from the measurement. For instance, if the rail extends 24 inches (61 centimeters) the drawer’s front to back, the cabinet drawer must be 23 inches (58 centimeters). 

Standard Measurements
How Deep Should They Be
How Wide Should They Be

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