Most closets don't make efficient use of available space. The typical builder-grade closet features a single clothing rod and a shelf above it if you're lucky—not a very practical solution if you have a sizeable wardrobe or share the space with a partner or roommate. While you could purchase a hanging organizer or slimmer clothes hangers to maximize space in your closet, the best way to utilize every square inch is to invest in a closet system. In a nutshell, a closet system is a combination of storage solutions—including clothing rods, drawers, shelves, shoe racks and more—that are designed to improve functionality. Closet systems vary widely in size, price, storage capabilities and installation requirements, so it's important to do your research before plunking down your credit card.
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What to Consider When Purchasing a Closet System
Inventory: The best first step is to pare down your wardrobe by separating your clothes into three piles—donate, toss or keep. There's no sense in purchasing a closet system to accommodate articles of clothing you no longer wear. After thinning out your closet, take note of which items you kept and the best methods for storing them. This will help you determine the types of storage features you need, whether they be double hanging rods, pull-out drawers or open shelves.
Space: The next step is to grab your measuring tape and jot down the dimensions of your closet. If it's a reach-in closet, measure the width of the back wall, the height from floor to ceiling, the depths of the side walls, and the width and height of the closet doors (if applicable). It might be a good idea to take multiple width measurements, such as the bottom, middle and top, to ensure the assembled closet system will fit perfectly.
Installation: Some closet systems are freestanding and come with an Allen key, while others are wall-mounted and require the use of power tools. You should always consider how easy the product is to assemble, how clear the directions are, and whether you will need another person to assist you in the process. Some closet systems are adjustable, which provides greater flexibility and customization.
Without further ado, here are the best closet systems on the market in 2022.
The Best Freestanding Closet System
Whitmor Double Rod Freestanding Closet
Whether you lack any sort of closet whatsoever or want to convert a spare bedroom into the walk-in closet of your dreams, Whitmor's Double Rod Freestanding Closet System will organize your clothes and accessories to perfection. It comes with five wire shelves and two clothing rods, although the lower one is optional if you wish to hang longer items like sundresses or jumpsuits. The chrome-finished steel frame is held together with heavy-duty black plastic end connectors, making the closet system lightweight enough to move around. It's very easy to assemble—no tools are required and it can be put together in about 20 minutes. The assembled dimensions are 19.25 inches long, 45.25 inches wide and 68 inches high, which is ideal for those with a small to medium size wardrobe. Although, if you own a lot of clothes, you could purchase two of these freestanding closets and position them side by side.
The Best Configurable Closet System
Closetmaid ShelfTrack 4-ft to 6-ft x 12-in White Wire Closet Kit
Intended for a space that's 4 to 6 feet wide, this versatile kit can be configured up to four different ways depending on the size of your closet. It comes with four wire shelves (two 2-foot shelves and two 4-foot shelves) as well as three clothing rods (two 2-foot rods and one 4-foot rod). The rods are telescoping, so they can be expanded from four to eight feet. If you need even more space, clip-in expanding kits can be purchased separately.
The closet kit is made in the U.S. and utilizes a track system—just mount the tracks to the wall, then add the shelves, rods, brackets and supports. While it's simple enough for one person to assemble, it's not as easy as the previous closet system, as it requires some tools. Hardware is included though and some of the pieces can be cut to size if necessary. The overall dimensions are 72 inches long, 12 inches wide and 48 inches high. All of the systems in the Closetmaid range can be easily snapped together to create unique storage solutions for large walk-in or reach-in closets.
The Best Reach-In Closet System
Elfa Classic 4' White Reach-In Closet
The Elfa Classic Closet System is the entry-level closet solution that promises superior quality and customization. Pictured here is the 4-foot version designed for a reach-in closet, but there are dozens of other kits in various sizes and styles, plus numerous accessories. This basic model offers a little bit of everything—you get three ventilated shelves made of epoxy-bonded steel, two clothing rods, two mesh drawers, a gliding shoe shelf and a gliding shoe rack. The only piece mounted to the wall is the horizontal top track, so there's minimal damage. This specific kit is intended for back walls that are up to 51 inches long, but there are plenty of other options available if that's not a perfect fit.
The Best Walk-In Closet System
Grid 65" W - 113" W Closet System Corner Systems
Take your walk-in closet from boring to bougie with this system that wraps around a corner. Made from engineered wood, it boasts 16 shelves, five clothing rods and three drawers. There are four finishes available—white, brown, honey blonde and weathered gray—and some of the shelves are adjustable to accomodate taller items like storage baskets or purses with top handles. We're particularly fond of the space-saving corner shelf and the roomy drawers with chrome knobs. The system hangs on a steel track, allowing you to choose whether you want to "float" it off the ground or not. All the necessary hardware is included and assembly takes just a few hours for those with prior building experience. The system is designed for wall widths between 65 and 113 inches and reaches 72 inches high.
The Best Childrens' Closet System
Little Seeds Grow With Me Closet
If you're looking for a stylish storage solution for your growing child, then Little Seeds Grow With Me Closet should fit the bill. Made of laminated particleboard with a non-toxic, light gray finish, the system includes five adjustable clothing rods that can be repositioned as your child grows taller. There are also three open shelves, four open cubbies, a drawer with built-in safety stops, and a lower shoe rack that can be installed on the right or left side. For the closet system to fit with the clothing rods attached on either side, the width of the back wall must be no greater than 68.76 inches. When assembled, the unit measures 76.8 inches high. The manufacturers recommend that two adults assemble this unit together, but the process should only take a couple of hours.
Woodcrest 48" W - 120" W Closet System Reach-In Sets
Suitable for a reach-in closet or walk-in closet, this solid pine wood system by John Louis Home is a stylish solution to your clutter problem. While there are six different configurations to choose from, the option pictured below touts three clothing rods, five drawers, and five shelves—two of which are concealed behind fluted glass doors in the 'cabinet' element. The spacious drawers feature Shaker-style fronts, felt-lined bottoms, soft-close, full extension gliders, and satin nickel pulls. It's somewhat challenging to put together and may require the help of a professional but it's wall-mounted for security and made of only high-quality materials. The system is designed for closet walls ranging from 48 inches to 120 inches wide. The overall height of the system is adjustable too, expanding from 72 inches to 84 inches. Many of the pieces can also be cut to size to fit your space properly.