Walk-In Closet vs. Reach-In Closet: Which One Is Right for You?

Do you feel frustrated when you look for your favorite jeans? Are you spending too much time navigating your current clothing storage setup? Custom closets transform your storage with spaces built according to your preferences. These closets save time as you no longer have to rummage through a mountain of clothes every morning. Plus, they help you avoid duplicate purchases, i.e., the times when you go buy another pair of flip-flops because you can’t find the ones you just bought a few months ago.

Walk-In Closet vs. Reach-In Closet

(Pixabay / lrainero)

But to gain the most from these closets, it’s critical to pick one that’s suited to your storage needs. Walk-in closets and reach-in closets are the two most popular closet types used in residential living. Both serve a different purpose but have their own unique set of benefits. Let’s walk you through each closet type and the factors you should consider before making a buying decision.

Walk-in Closets

Any closet you can literally walk into is classified as a walk-in closet. It is an ideal choice for individuals looking to store everything in one room, including accessories, shoes, and clothes. The entrance to the walk-in closet is usually from an adjoining bedroom or bathroom.

While reach-in closet variants are nice, they do not have the amount of space that even a smaller walk-in variant offers. Besides accommodating your personal gear, clothing, and outerwear, walk-in closets offer a space to store to out-of-season apparel and bags. As a result, you no longer have to choose between extra storage for your home or bedroom, and a comfortable space to keep your attire.

Walk-in closets can also be converted into a dressing room. By putting up a mirror and a chair if space allows, you’ll have a mini dressing room ready to go. When you have an integrated dressing room, you can try out clothing, and if you don’t want to wear a certain essential, you can store it back immediately. This saves you time that you otherwise need to spend decluttering the area later.

Walk-in closets are sold in a variety of shapes and sizes and may even feature angled ceilings or walls or sloping. Some models come with an island unit installed that can double up as storage space and a working surface. Others utilize laminate or wire shelving, similar to their reach-in counterparts. The typical size for a walk-in closet is 6.5 feet, which makes it accessible for people who desire to maximize the function of the walk-in closet. Keep in mind that if you want specific features, you may have to allow extra space for a pathway.

These days, if you want to increase the resale value of your home, you should consider walk-in closets. At least one should be present in the master bedroom. However, the design of the closet needs to be efficiently done in order to maximize the available space.

Reach-in Closets

Reach-in closets are ones you can’t stroll into but can easily reach inside of. They’re the most common type of closet and are usually designed to be “grab and go.” In other words, everything is neatly laid out, so the user can see where everything is stored. You can transform reach-in closets into being super-functional with the use of built-ins, and they can still accommodate your entire wardrobe.

One of the benefits of investing in a reach-in closet is the versatility of the available variants. As your storage needs evolve, you can also modify the configuration of the closet. Because the shelves are adjustable, you can rearrange them to store extras and, if possible, you can also add to the closet system as your wardrobe expands.

When it comes to shelving, reach-in closet designers will give you two options: wire or laminate shelving. Based on how you intend to use the closet, one might be more appropriate than the other, and some people choose both options. Here’s when to use each:

  • Laminate shelving: You can customize this shelving to fit the dimensions of your closet. It’s the perfect choice for homeowners who want a more aesthetically appealing shelving option.
  • Wire shelving: This type of shelving is ideal for bathroom closets. The shelving prevents the wire from rusting or corroding if it has an epoxy coating. Wire shelving requires less maintenance and is also less likely to accumulate debris and dust. And just like laminate shelving, you can customize wire shelves to fit the dimensions of your closet.

Reach-in closets won’t give you the space that walk-ins provide, but they can still be very functional. You can increase their capacity by utilizing clear containers, hanging organizers, and baskets. Having a reach-in closet will help you stay organized and clutter-free. They’ll also help you identify the old apparel you no longer need and donate it to charity.

Which closet should I invest in?

Walk-in closets offer a larger space, but the biggest hurdle to them is the area they occupy. However, as a property appreciation investment, walk-in closets can be seen as a desirable add-on. That being said, you should talk to a home storage systems expert in Washington to provide design options and help you determine if you really have the area to accommodate a walk-in closet.

The other factor you should take into consideration is utility. If you don’t have enough accessories or apparel, it may not be worth it for you to invest in a walk-in closet. However, if you feel that your storage might become insufficient in the next couple of years, it may be best to build one now.

Space is the big variable here. If you can spare it, go with the walk-in closet. No one ever complained about having too much storage, and a walk-in can up your home value as well. However, if your living area is modest and/or you only have a limited range of clothes, a reach-in closet is a more suitable option, and there are still plenty of ways incorporate shelving and bins to make the space all that you need it to be.