What Size Should Kitchen Drawers Be?

It's time to think about your kitchen. What size should your kitchen drawers be? Designing a kitchen layout can be daunting because you want to be sure you have the storage you need and that the drawers are the right size for their purpose. We've checked with the experts on the most common sizes and have information for you here.

Kitchen drawers, or drawer boxes, correspond with the size of your cabinets and their intended uses:

  • For base cabinets, drawers range 6-36" in width, 4-10" in height, and just under 24-36" deep, depending on the depth of the base cabinet (which could also be the island). You have to leave room for the drawer glides to fit inside of the base space.
  • For upper cabinets, drawers tend to be specialty drawers like spice pulls. These can range from 3-8" in width, about 11.8" deep, and are generally the full height of your cabinet, around 30".

We'll look at these drawer measurements and what purposes they serve in the kitchen. We'll talk about the correct way to measure kitchen drawers, how much space you need between them, and if there are the best sizes for kitchen drawers. Please keep reading for all of the details.

Kitchen furniture with open drawers, What Size Should Kitchen Drawers Be?

Sizes Of Kitchen Drawers In A Typical Kitchen Layout


When you're designing a kitchen space, probably the main consideration, besides types of appliances, is the size and configuration of your cabinetry. Kitchens need to be functional and provide enough storage for the items you use for dining and storage. This includes figuring out what type and sizes of kitchen drawers you need.

So what is a typical kitchen layout? You will have either an L-shaped or Galley-shaped kitchen with upper cabinets and lower cabinets in a typical kitchen. Larger kitchens may have an island or a third row of lower cabinets with a peninsula. Your drawer sizes will be in direct relationship to your cabinets.

Interior design sketch for modern kitchen

How Many Drawers In A Typical Kitchen Layout?

In a small 10' x 10' kitchen with an L-shaped configuration and no island, you may have as few as four or five drawers or as many as twelve. This, of course, depends upon where your appliances are situated.

At A Minimum

Cutlery drawer with compartments in luxury kitchen

At a minimum, you'll want a silverware drawer, a drawer for cooking utensils, and a drawer for soft goods like potholders and kitchen towels. A silverware drawer should be anywhere between 15" to 24" wide. You can have them with pre-configured dividers or easily buy an insert.

A simple cutlery organizer will keep your drawer organized. Click here for this on Amazon.

Utensil drawers are the same sizes as cutlery drawers. For soft goods like potholders and kitchen towels, drawers can often fit in a small drawer between the fridge and the oven or sink space. These drawers are typically about 9" wide x 6" tall and slightly less deep than the depth of the cabinet base.

Other Types Of Drawers And Their Sizes

Upscale maple red kitchen drawer for plates or dishes shelf cabinet

Though cabinets were once the popular option for base cabinets, more and more people opt for drawers. Drawers can make it easier to access the things you need. You can open them and look inside without having to crouch down to look inside a cabinet.

Nowadays, people use drawers for everything from their pots and pans to pantry storage, glass storage, and kitchen implements. Here are some typical measurements of these other popular options:

Modern white kitchen with open drawers

  • Pots and Pan Drawers are typically about 8-10" high. We prefer them to be about 30" in width if your kitchen allows it and 36" is even better. Their depth will be dependant upon the depth of your base cabinet, which is typically 24", 30", or 36" for standard cabinetry.
  • Pantry and Other Storage Drawers should be deep enough to hold jars and Tupperware containers for your dry goods or snacks. Many base cabinets with 3-drawer stacks will have two drawers that are 10-12" tall and one drawer that is 4-6" tall. These lower drawers are great for all types of storage.

Pull-Out Drawers Like Spice Drawers

Two vertical drawers for spices shelf under countertop with wooden panel

These vertical drawers can be installed in either upper or lower cabinets and are very convenient for awkward areas that might otherwise be dead space. You can find these inserts as narrow as 3" in width up to about 9". The depth of this particular unit is 23", which is perfect for 24" base cabinets and 30" tall.

This is a great drawer for spices, oils, and baking needs. It keeps these smaller items easily accessible and easy to see.

Click here for this insert on Amazon.

How Do You Measure Kitchen Drawers

If you're replacing existing drawer boxes,  then measure the height, width, and depth by measuring the outside dimensions of the drawer box. You do not need to include the measurement of the drawer front.

For new drawer boxes with side glide mounts, measure the cabinet opening width (inside the frame to frame) and subtract 1” from that width. Typical side mount drawer glides take up 1/2" on each side of the drawer box. You may need to subtract more depending on the glides you choose. 

For depth, subtract 1" from the length of the side-mounted drawer glides. If your glides are 21" in length, then subtract 1" for a 20" deep drawer box.

How Much Space Do You Need Between Kitchen Drawers?

If you're building your own boxes, you may need to know how much vertical space to leave between the drawer openings. A good rule of thumb is to allow for an inch or so. Your fronts for your drawers will help create a unified look that is continuous from drawer to drawer.

Some builders who want to maximize the number of drawers they can squeeze into a kitchen may make the space as small as 1/4", but that takes some precise measuring.

What Is The Best Size For Kitchen Drawers?

The best size for kitchen drawers is the size you need. What we mean by that is to figure out the function you want in your kitchen. Do you know you want to store wine glasses in a drawer? Then keep in mind wine glasses run between 6-10" tall, so your drawer will need to be at least 10" tall.

Drawer dividers like this work great for storing glasses in a drawer. It keeps them from jostling against each other and potentially scratching or breaking.

Click here for these on Amazon.

If you want to have a drawer that stores mason jars filled with dry goods or spices, measure the height of your mason jar or other container and plan the drawer accordingly. Containers like these range from 4" tall to 12" tall and need drawers with corresponding heights.

Click here for these on Amazon.

Measure Twice To Be Certain

Whether you're replacing drawer boxes in existing cabinets or building a brand new kitchen, always remember to measure twice. It's always better to get it right the first time than to have to redo an order or rebuild a drawer box. And take an inventory of your storage needs. This will really help figure out your exact specifications.

We hope you enjoyed this post here at KitchenSeer.com. For more posts like this one, please check out a few of the following posts:

How High Should Kitchen Wall Cabinets Be From The Floor?

How To Adjust Kitchen Drawer Fronts

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