Kitchen Pantry vs. Closet: Difference Between Kitchen Pantry vs. Closet

Difference between kitchen pantry vs. closet

What Is a Kitchen Pantry and What Is a Closet Pantry?

The answer to this question will shift and change depending on how both of these concepts are understood.

What is a kitchen pantry? 

A kitchen pantry is any space in your home where you keep food items. This includes a designated “pantry” area that typically includes canned goods and other staples, the countertops near your stove or sink, cabinets (if not already used for dishes), and even the fridge. 

What is a closet pantry? 

A closet pantry is a narrow, walk-in space used for food storage. For example, a closet pantry might be a walk-in closet that doesn’t have clothing hangers or shelves for clothing and can be used as a food storage space. Or, it might be a small room in your kitchen converted into a pantry, complete with shelves and cabinets. 

Closet pantries typically store canned goods and other non-perishable items such as spices, vinegar, oils, and seasonings. A kitchen pantry is used more for long-term storage of food items, while a closet pantry is intended to be used as you go: grab and go.

A closet pantry might be a walk-in closet that doesn’t have clothing hangers or shelves for clothing and can be used as a food storage space. Or, it might be a small room in your kitchen that has been converted into a food storage space.

Difference between kitchen pantry vs. closet

The difference between a closet pantry and a kitchen pantry is the size of each space. A closet pantry can be limited in size (such as something that only takes up space on one tray) or much more extensive (such as an entire wall). A kitchen pantry, by contrast, can be the size of an entire room.

A kitchen pantry is a more practical space than a closet pantry. While your closet will likely have items you use daily (e.g., clothing), you may stock your kitchen pantry with canned goods and other staples you don’t need to access daily.

Some people combine the two spaces, using one space for their “everyday” food items and the other for their less-used items such as spices or baking supplies. This allows them to use their space better and keeps commonly used items in one area of their home for easy retrieval.

Kitchen pantries allow you to keep ingredients and other items that you use to cook around the house in an easily accessible, organized place. A kitchen pantry might be as simple as a small drawer or cabinet on another countertop or a large closet that works for storing frozen food and canned food.

What food is stored in a pantry?

Unlike a fridge or root cellar, a pantry doesn’t maintain a constant temperature, so it’s where you keep your grains, flour, and canned goods. Storage space for food items, such as bread and milk.

What is a food pantry?

A pantry is a storage space for many items, including food, drinks, dishes, cleaning supplies, linens, and even provisions. Kitchens don’t function without food and drink pantries as support functions.

Should you have a cabinet pantry or a walk-in pantry?

Walk-In Pantries


Their capacity to store things is greater.

  • Large, convenient pantries are a cook’s best friend in the home. You need to go no farther than these if you are seeking the most amount of storage space feasible. Multiple walls of floor-to-ceiling shelving provide ample space for a wide variety of kitchen necessities such as dry goods, canned goods, books, small appliances, and more.

As long as they have a plan, they may be more efficient.

  • Closet pantries with cabinets aren’t inefficient, but walk-in pantries are more flexible. Organize items by row, column, food group, etc. Install a separate row of shelves for non-refrigerated perishables, including fruits and vegetables, oils, and spices. You may store baking sheets with tray dividers.

Larger home appliances fit nicely inside them.

  • Toasters, coffee machines, and mixers in cabinet pantries reduce storage space. A walk-in pantry is perfect for storing and displaying larger kitchen equipment like a microwave, slow cooker, juicer, or deep fryer, allowing you to utilize your counter space better and have everything you need within easy reach. In certain pantries, it can replace a second fridge.


Distributed storage means less centralization.

  • When making a quick dinner, larger isn’t better. A walk-in pantry is convenient, but it may slow down dinner prep. Sugar and flour are often misplaced. A walk-in pantry’s distance from the cooking area and equipment may impair kitchen productivity. Some homeowners prefer to have pantry staples on hand.

More upkeep may be necessary for them.

  • One must pay the price, though, for a well-organized pantry. The more room and shelves there are, the more maintenance there will be. Cleaning dust off surfaces and removing debris from shelves is a tedious chore. If you’re looking for a strategy to cut down on the number of duties you have to complete on a weekly basis, installing a cabinet pantry might be the answer.

They are rather roomy.

  • One big drawback of walk-in pantries is the large amount of room they need to operate efficiently. The footprint of your kitchen must be reduced, whether you are constructing a new one or remodeling an existing one to make room for a walk-in pantry. To make matters worse, this can be a problem for homeowners who are already pressed for square footage in the kitchen and want to make the most of the available space.

Cabinet Pantries


The storage facilities have been consolidated.

  • Unlike walk-in pantries, which typically take up a lot of floor area, cabinet pantries are limited to a single wall. Avoid wasting time scouring endless rows of shelves for a single item. More time in the kitchen equals less time spent searching.

Access to storage is simplified.

  • You can reduce the time spent making trips to and from the pantry if it is placed in a central location inside the kitchen. You’ll have two super-efficient workspaces if you put them across from your stove and next to your fridge. You may improve the convenience of your cabinet pantry by adding accessories on the inside. One way to save time is to install pullout drawers so that you can view all of your food and ingredients at once. They’re also gentle on the spine.


Limited storage

  • Some homeowners, especially passionate chefs, need more than one pantry cabinet. Large appliances can fit in a pantry cabinet, but they take up a lot of room. Multiple cabinet pantries can increase storage capacity but take up counter space.

They increase cabinet costs.

  • If you’ve renovated a kitchen, you know that cabinets are expensive. Cabinet pantries cost extra owing to their height and bespoke features (such as pullout drawers and spice racks).

Kitchen Pantry


They’re little.

  • Cabinet pantries have a smaller footprint than walk-in pantries. 24 to 36 inches is typical. As a result, they provide more shelf and drawer space for small or medium-sized kitchens without sacrificing much.


Counterspace is taken up.

  • Whatever size your cabinet pantry is, you’ll lose counter space. Multiple pantry cabinets reduce prep space, while you must carefully balance storage and counter space. This loss is less noticeable in bigger kitchens but might affect smaller ones. Consider your kitchen size and cooking style.


The difference between a kitchen pantry and a closet pantry is that the size of each space is different if you have one of either type of pantry space in your home, although both are intended for food storage.