Sizing Up Pantry Cabinets


Pantry cabinets are built as freestanding furniture or part of a design line of kitchen cabinet sets. This article focuses on kitchen cabinet collections. You will get a better understanding of pantry dimensions and have your common questions answered. Included is a chart of common pantry cabinet sizes.

Kitchen pantry cabinet sizes

Kitchen cabinets in the United States come in increments of 3 inches starting at 12″ wide and going as wide as 36″. This may vary by company, but handling sizes larger than this becomes difficult. Upper cabinets tend to be 12″ deep and base cabinets 24″ deep. Cabinets depths vary to accommodate the design, such as deeper upper cabinets above a refrigerator.

Tall pantry cabinets will have less size options since they are a specialty cabinet. Pantry cabinets are typically 84″ to 94″ tall. They are intended to match other kitchen cabinets installed at the same height and fit within an 8 foot ceiling height or higher. Soffits or trim finish off any remaining space.

Visiting a retail location that sells kitchen cabinets is a great way to start getting a feel for cabinet dimensions. Check out the article “Tips for Buying Kitchen and Pantry Cabinets” so you know what construction features to look for when buying kitchen cabinets.

Kitchen cabinet displays, home improvement store.

Kitchen cabinet displays, home improvement store.

Navigating a kitchen cabinet website

The RTA Store (run by the Ackerman family since 1969) offers a fabulous selection of premium cabinets in many color options at factory direct prices. TIP: Skip the search bar – for the term “pantry” you will get almost 1800 choices! You will have better luck drilling down to a specific style. Each kitchen cabinet line has a separate tab for all of the specialty cabinets offered in that style. 

Note that not all cabinet lines will have pantry cabinets. You may have to get creative and look at the bathroom cabinets in the same cabinet line. If no luck, consider going with a slightly different style and color for the pantry cabinets that compliment the main kitchen. Many designers have successfully used this strategy and achieved a unique, custom look.

TIP: online sites can be overwhelming to navigate; start with a style and then look at the availability of pantry cabinets for that style.

Styles like “Euro Grey” at The RTA Store, don’t refer to “pantry cabinets” but rather “tall cabinets” (the Euro Grey line has a surprisingly large variety of configurations for tall cabinets). One more tip – jump to the footer of any cabinet website to quickly get  direct links to the most popular styles.

Dimensions of pantry cabinets

Below are answers to common questions about pantry dimensions. A helpful chart follows featuring the available pantry cabinet dimensions from The RTA Store, an online, factory-direct store for ready-to-assemble and fully-assembled cabinets.

What are the dimensions of a pantry cabinet? Pantry depths vary from 12″ deep to 24″ deep and 15″ to 36″ wide and come in heights of 84″, 90″ and 96″.

How deep are pantry cabinets? Pantry cabinets come in depths of 12″ and 24″. Twenty-four inches is the most common depth because it matches the depth of kitchen base cabinets. However, it isn’t always the most practical depth and should include roll-out shelves to access food items easier.

However, anything less than 24″ deep will be hard to find, as that is the prevalent pantry depth offered. For shallower depths, consider building a wall pantry and covering with a cabinet door to match the rest of the kitchen.

TIP: if your kitchen cabinet style doesn’t have pantry cabinets, try looking at the bath cabinet line, opt for a different style just for pantry cabinets, or get creative and stack cabinets.

For a broader selection of depths, try jumping over to the matching bath line of cabinets. Those come in 15″ depths.

Cheaper cabinets will have less of a selection for pantry cabinet sizes, if they have any at all. A custom cabinet maker is not restricted by standard dimensions and is often willing to accomodate special situations. Custom cabinets are an ideal solution, especially in older or historical homes with unique design challenges.

TIP: custom cabinets are an ideal solution, especially in older or historical homes with unique design challenges.

How wide should a pantry cabinet be? Tall pantry cabinets should not be wider than 30″. For safety and practical reasons, larger sizes becomes too difficult to handle, and shorter-span shelving is necessary because it is stronger for supporting heavier canned goods.

Can I get cabinet doors to match my wall pantry? Most cabinet lines sell cabinet door fronts separately, without the cabinet box. This allows the builder to create a closet pantry built into the wall and still have the door blend in with the rest of the kitchen cabinets. Wall pantries have more flexibility in depth, especially more shallow depths of 12″ – 18″. Retail cabinet lines primarily offer pantry cabinets in 24″ depths.

TIP: some cabinet lines offer separate cabinet doors to match the rest of the kitchen cabinets – these work beautifully as wall pantry doors.

How wide are pantry cabinets? Standard pantry cabinet widths are 15″, 18″, 24″. Pantry cabinets offer less width options than kitchen cabinets. This is due to the fact that they are specialty cabinets and for practicality in handling and strength, often do not exceed 24″. 

If you desire a greater width, consider installing a built in wall cabinet, instead. Cabinet manufacturers sell separate cabinet doors, allowing the builders to have more control over space.

As stated earlier, in the United States, kitchen cabinets are built in widths of 3″. As with all kitchen installation, any voids of space are filled in with “fillers” – strips of wood of the same color and finish that match the cabinets. Fillers come in different heights to match tall cabinets as well as base and upper cabinets. When designers or builders order cabinets, they also order the fillers to complete the design. Filler wood strips are cut to fit the gap, so it’s a perfect fit every time.

TIP: buy “filler” strips to fill in the small gaps in the kitchen design. These wood strips have the same color and finish as the kitchen cabinets.

The chart below shows pantry size width options from The RTA Store.

How tall are pantry cabinets? Standard pantry heights are 84″, 90″, and 96″. Tall pantry cabinets are designed to align with the height of the upper kitchen cabinets in a continuous cabinet layout plan. Variations in ceiling height and choice of upper kitchen cabinet height determine the installation position of the upper cabinets. 

It is possible for pantry cabinets to “step-down” or “step-up” in a design plan, compared to the height position of the upper kitchen cabinets. Pantry cabinets can also occupy their own space/wall, or be out of eyesight of the main kitchen floor plan. In these instances, the need to align with the installed height of the upper kitchen cabinets is not as great.

Below is a chart of pantry cabinet sizes offered by the RTA cabinet company. This gives and idea of the size availability.

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Width

Height

Depth

Style

15″ 84″ 24″ Aspen White
15″ 90″ 24″ Aspen White
15″ 96″ 24″ Aspen White

18″

84″

24″

Aspen White

18″

90″

24″

Aspen White

18″

96″

24″

Aspen White 

24″ 84″ 24″ Aspen White
24″ 90″ 24″ Aspen White
24″ 96″ 24″ Aspen White
24″ 84″ 12″ White Sorrento Caramel Glazed
24″ 90″ 12″ White Sorrento Carmel Glazed
24″ 96″ 12″ White Sorrento Caramel Glazed

About the author 

Renee Matt

Renee is a former kitchen designer, home remodeling enthusiast (having lived through several DIY projects), and an Iowa farmwife. Renee is passionate about preparedness, garden skills, and knowing where her food comes from. Years of being a stay-at-home mom and supporting the family farm with hearty meals has been key to Renee's pantry readiness. She uses her professional IT background and expertise to bring the Everything Pantry website to life.

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Pantry Talk for Pantry Enthusiasts!

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