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How to Choose Kitchen Cabinets with Drawers vs. Doors

kitchen cabinets with drawers vs doors

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Choosing Drawers or Doors for Base Cabinets

Choosing between kitchen cabinets with drawers vs doors can feel like a big decision. Consider how you use your space and what you find most convenient. Many kitchens often have a mix of drawers and door front cabinets.

Are you looking to store many large appliances? Do you have items that you don’t access often? Are you needing custom organization? What look do you prefer?

kitchen cabinets with drawers vs doors

This kitchen has a mix of drawer-base cabinets and door-front cabinets! Who says you have to pick just one type? Mix and match for your perfect organization system.

By considering your storage needs and design preferences, you can find the right balance between functionality and style in your kitchen – the ultimate goal for kitchen design.

Which is better cabinet drawers or doors?

If we had to pick one, we would say cabinet drawers are better, offering more versatility in storage options, better pricing (when compared to doors with pull-out shelves), and accessibility.

Let’s jump into the pros and cons of each so you can decide for yourself!

kitchen cabinets with drawers vs doors

Pros and Cons of Cabinet Doors and Drawers

Deciding between kitchen cabinet drawers and doors involves weighing the pros and cons of each option. Your storage and design preferences play a big role in this decision.

kitchen cabinets with drawers vs doors

Pros & Cons: Cabinet Doors

Doors provide a classic look. They are ideal for storing larger items, but the door makes accessing the back of the base cabinet more challenging.

  • May be harder to reach the back of the base cabinet
  • Adjustable shelves are a plus, for large seldom used items
  • Not living in place ‘approved’ (harder for mobility and accessibility)
  • Doors w/ pull-outs are not as cost-effective as a bank of 3 drawers
  • Simpler appearance, cleaner lines
kitchen cabinets with drawers vs doors

Pros & Cons: Cabinet Drawers

Drawers offer the advantage of full-extension tracks, making it easy to see and access everything at once. They are ergonomically friendly, reducing the need to bend and reach, and they utilize storage space more efficiently with the help of dividers and inserts.

  • You can see everything at once when the door is open
  • Ergonomically friendly – less bending (more accessible)
  • Better use of storage space in base cabinet
  • May look more busy, more lines of separation in one base cabinet
  • Unless you have a deep drawer, it may be more difficult to store large appliances and kitchen gadgets

Kitchens with Cabinet Doors

Cabinet doors are the more traditional option for most base cabinets. Most kitchens have a combination of both, but here are some ideas for kitchens with a majority of cabinet doors. 

Don’t mistake this traditional layout for the exclusivity of traditional style; many contemporary options have cabinet doors rather than drawers!

kitchen cabinets with drawers vs doors

Modern Simple Doors

Flat panel door fronts create a clean and cohesive look in this modern green kitchen. 

kitchen cabinets with drawers vs doors

Under Window Dining Cabinetry

Shaker cabinet doors with dainty knobs look stunning underneath this dining room window, creating lots of storage for dishes and linens.

kitchen cabinets with drawers vs doors

Cabinet Drawers with Slim Drawers

These base cabinets with slim drawers beautifully match the upper cabinet door style.

Kitchens with Cabinet Drawers

Cabinet drawers have traditionally been a small accent in a kitchen, for utensils or linens. That has changed with the increasing quality and customization of cabinet drawers.

Here are some options for kitchens with primarily drawer base cabinets.

kitchen cabinets with drawers vs doors

Island with Deep Drawers

These deep drawers are perfect for storing small appliances or pots and pans. A peg system can be added to organize plates and other dishware items.

kitchen cabinets with drawers vs doors

Peninsula with Cabinet Drawers

This well-organized peninsula creates easy access to dish towels, utensils, cutting boards, and more!

kitchen cabinets with drawers vs doors

Kitchen with Drawer Base Cabinets

Wide drawers in this kitchen create a stunning transitional look. A corner cabinet with doors caps off this custom shaker kitchen.

Kitchens with both drawers and doors

There are many base cabinet options that combine both drawers and doors. Or, kitchens that alternate a bank of drawers and a base cabinet with one or two doors. Check out some ideas for kitchens with both styles of base cabinet.

kitchen cabinets with drawers vs doors

Base Cabinets with Drawers

Cabinets with a combination of doors and drawers are very popular. Wide drawers with one or two doors below is a great way to maximize storage space.

kitchen cabinets with drawers vs doors

Sink Cabinets and Bank of Drawers

Sink cabinets with doors are popular, and alternating with a bank of three drawers creates different organization opportunities. 

kitchen cabinets with drawers vs doors

Drawers and Island Cabinet Doors

Another popular combination for cabinet drawers and doors is to use one style of the cabinet on the island (in this case, doors) and one style on the main kitchen (in this case, drawers)!

Frequently Asked Questions

Drawer vs. cabinet, what is best?
Drawers. They offer more accessibility and flexibility in organization.

What is the difference between a drawer and a cabinet? Drawers are on tracks and glide out, revealing everything that is inside. Cabinets traditionally are open boxes with either stationary shelves or pull-out shelves inside.

Do drawers and cabinets have soft-close hardware? For most custom cabinetry, both drawers and cabinets have soft-close hardware.

kitchen cabinets with drawers vs doors

Are drawers or cabinets cheaper? This depends on the number of drawers, the cabinet size, and whether inserts or specialty organizers are added. Cabinets are usually cheaper if they have shelves only. Drawers can be cheaper than cabinets if you compare them to a cabinet with pull-out shelves.

Can cabinets have drawers? Yes! A cabinet can have both. Some combinations include two doors and one top drawer base cabinet and a one door cabinet with a hidden drawer inside.

Discover Your Dream Kitchen With Decor

Discover Your Dream Kitchen With Decor

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