Years ago, homes were built with closets as an afterthought, if they existed at all. The solution to housing clothes, shoes, and other apparel fell to the clothing wardrobe. Sometimes known as an armoire or chifforobe, the wardrobe was often a stately piece of furniture, made of sturdy wood and designed to last a lifetime. In fact, there are many antique wardrobes passed down through generations today.
When choosing the best closet systems, there are numerous options for the modern shopper. Many wardrobes are still constructed with sturdy wood; but while some have ornate or elaborate designs, there are also minimalist options that provide smooth, sleek lines for bedroom storage. Many aren’t made of wood at all, but particleboard. Others are made of sturdy fabric stretched around lightweight yet strong metal rods, enabling the wardrobe to be easily moved from one room to another. Wardrobes with modular pieces provide the ultimate in versatility.
Let’s take a look at some of the best wardrobes for clothes storage, with a wide range of options available to suit your needs and unique décor.
- BEST OVERALL: Tiny Times 67” Tall Free Standing Closet Wardrobe
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: YOUUD Wardrobe Storage Closet Clothes Portable
- BEST MODERN: HOMIDEC Portable Closet Wardrobe with Hanging Rod
- BEST TRADITIONAL: Sauder Harbor View Storage Cabinet, Antiqued Paint
- BEST DOORLESS: S AFSTAR Heavy Duty Clothing Garment Rack
- BEST SLIDING: Palace Imports 100% Solid Wood 2-Door Wardrobe
Types of Wardrobes
When choosing a wardrobe, think about where it will go and how you need to use it. Depending on what kind of space you have—and whether you’d like to make its contents visible—here are the main types of wardrobes to consider.
A freestanding wardrobe is one that can be moved around the room when it’s time to rearrange the furniture. Some freestanding wardrobes have a finished back, allowing them to sit anywhere and look just fine; others have an unfinished back, so care must be taken to keep the back against a wall or other surface for the best aesthetics. Many freestanding wardrobes feature fabric, particleboard, or other lightweight materials, making them easy to move.
A doorless wardrobe is exactly what it sounds like; a wardrobe with the necessities like shelves, drawers, and a hanging rod but no doors to hide what’s inside. This can be great for ease of use, as everything is right there, ready to be plucked from a drawer or hanger. On the other hand, a doorless wardrobe requires neatness, as there’s no way to hide those shoes thrown haphazardly on the shelf or that overflowing drawer.
“Sliding” refers to the doors themselves and the space they take up. A wardrobe with sliding doors takes up less space, as there is no need for extra room for the door to swing. These doors pull open and then push back, either into the wardrobe itself along a dedicated groove or to the outside of the wardrobe, where they stay until it’s time to close them. This makes them ideal for small spaces.
What to Consider When Buying the Best Wardrobe
When choosing the best wardrobe, consider where it’s most needed, the style that matches the current decor, the material that works best, and how big it can be, given the existing space. There are a few other considerations, too. Let’s look at those.
Size & Usage
Take a hard look at the clothes and accessories the wardrobe will hold. Perhaps it’s just a matter of hanging up clothing; in that case, a wardrobe with a clothing rod across the top is a good one to consider. Drawers and shelves are great for storing accessories, such as scarves and boots. When in doubt, go for more storage spaces, or compromise with a wardrobe with a drawer or two at the bottom. The clothing storage will also be a factor in determining the size of the unit, as will the available floor space.
Functionality & Practicality
The tips for usage bleed into the functionality and practicality of the best wardrobe. However, it’s important to consider how often the wardrobe may need to be moved. For those who like to change their layouts (or locations) often, a lightweight option is better than a heavy one. If the owner doesn’t plan to organize the contents or doesn’t wish to display what’s inside, a model with doors is preferable. Individuals who are looking to replace a chest of drawers may benefit from an armoire with shelves and drawers to compensate.
In addition, consider other uses for the wardrobe that might allow it a whole new life. If it has the ability to hold a sizable television, it could become an entertainment armoire. A wardrobe with the versatility to add new drawers or shelves could turn into a hobby or crafting center.
Style & Material
The style of armoire depends greatly upon the décor of a home and how much a particular look appeals. Wardrobes are available in everything from a sleek, minimalist look to an ornate, broad statement piece. The material used can also reflect the style, as sturdy wood seems statelier than strong fabric. However, the choice of material can make a difference in moving the wardrobe or choosing home accents to match it in the years to come. Consider where the wardrobe will sit, what kind of duties it will fulfill, and choose the fabric and style accordingly.
Tips for Buying and Using Best Wardrobe
When buying the best wardrobe for clothing storage, consider the other items that might wind up in the piece, such as scarves, sweaters, cardigans, jackets, shoes, and purses. While a clothing rod is essential for the proper clothing storage, keep in mind that the most clutter can come from these odds and ends. Here are some other things to consider when choosing the best wardrobe for your needs:
- If you like to rearrange your furniture, go for something light enough to move around without destroying your back in the process.
- Always look for a wardrobe that comes with a tipping restraint system for the utmost in safety.
- Look for a color and design that will suit your bedroom no matter how many paint changes happen over the years.
Our Top Picks
When making our top picks for the best wardrobe, we looked at a variety of factors, such as size, price, mobility, versatility, and more. Check out our list of the best wardrobes for clothing storage.
Made of solid pine, this mirrored wardrobe by Tiny Times stands 67 inches tall, the ideal height for the full-length mirror on one side. The 23.6-inch length and 17.5-inch depth put this wardrobe on the smaller side, which could be great for smaller bedrooms. It can even be used in an entryway for coats and jackets. Two shelves on the bottom are conducive to holding baskets and bins for even more organization. Besides the hanging bar for clothing, there are also hooks on the side, providing a convenient place for scarves, purses, and more. Four smooth-rolling wheels make this unit easy to move; lock those wheels tightly in place for safety when the wardrobe is in just the right spot.
This affordable closet by YOUUD is as portable as it claims; at only 10 pounds, the clothing inside the closet might weigh much more than the wardrobe itself. But don’t mistake that light weight for weakness. Powder-coated steel tubes with plastic connectors hold the pieces firmly together, and the fabric cover adds an extra layer of stability. This closet is larger than many of its counterparts and features dimensions of 50 by 17.7 by 66 inches. It features four separate areas for hanging clothing as well as four sections for folded clothes, baskets, and the like. It’s easy to assemble without tools, making this wardrobe a quick solution to housing those extra clothes.
Those seeking versatility and a modern look will enjoy this portable closet wardrobe from HOMIDEC. This modular unit can adjust to whims and needs with 16 potential cubes that can be modified to include more extended hanging spaces for dresses, shorter hanging spaces for shirts and pants, and cubes to fit fabric drawers or for open storage. Metal clothes rods, capable of holding up to 30 pounds, can be inserted into the cubes, thus creating the utmost in flexibility. Each cube holds up to 22 pounds of weight on the sturdy metal frame and ABS connectors. At just about 31 pounds empty, this set can be moved easily. Keep in mind this portable closet can be divided into two separate units, allowing for storage in different rooms or for one section to be used for another purpose, such as an entertainment center.
The antiqued paint finish of the Sauder cabinet isn’t the only thing that fits the traditional décor style. Two louver doors hide four adjustable shelves as well as a full upper shelf, which lends itself to more storage and better stability. Solid wood knobs add to the traditional look, as does the arched bottom and wide top. At 122 pounds, this unit is best left right where it’s assembled. The dimensions—35.5 by 16.75 by 61 inches—can accommodate many clothing pieces without overburdening the shelves inside. Please note that this wardrobe cabinet is not designed with a clothing rod, so it’s best for folded clothes that fit neatly on the shelves.
For a very modern look, this doorless garment wardrobe is made of low carbon steel and open on all sides, making it easy to find anything at a glance. At only 28 pounds, this extensive clothes rack can be moved from one area of the room to another when it’s time to refresh the furniture layout. It comes with two large shelves, two small shelves, and three hanging rods for better organization. The shelves can handle up to 70 pounds each, while the hanging rods can handle up to 66 pounds. As an added bonus, the wire shelving allows room for hanging hooks, great for purses, scarves, and even hats. Six adjustable legs help keep this unit stable.
Made of 100 percent kiln-dried pine wood with a java color finish, this large wardrobe from Palace Imports weighs 110 sturdy pounds. The sliding louvered doors help ensure the armoire sticks to its small footprint of 36 by 22.5 by 72 inches. While the wardrobe comes with a clothing rod and one interior shelf, individuals can purchase up to three additional adjustable shelves for even more versatility. The construction is solid, with two solid wood cross ties and two bars at the top for extra stability. The rolling doors glide on a track and guide channel, with only one available for opening at a time.
The Advantages of Owning Best Wardrobe
There are several reasons why a good wardrobe is a worthwhile investment. Let’s take a look at why it’s an excellent idea to buy one.
- There’s more space for clothing. Sometimes a closet just isn’t enough, especially if the space is shared with another occupant. A freestanding wardrobe can provide a place for an individual to keep their clothing separate from others or offer room for “overflow” items. Some use a wardrobe to store seasonal clothing while not in use.
- It keeps a room neat. When clothes pile up, it can be tempting to throw them into baskets, boxes, or corners—or to simply leave them in the laundry basket. A wardrobe helps organize those extra clothes and frees up space in other areas of the bedroom.
- It can be converted into something else later. Though the best wardrobe will be one that neatly holds clothing, removing the clothing rod or shelves can transform the unit into something different, such as an entertainment center, linen storage, or even a kitchen pantry.
FAQs About Your New Wardrobe
Our list of the best wardrobes for clothing storage gives you a great deal of information, but you might still have some questions about wardrobes, armoires, or even chifforobes. Read on to learn more about your upcoming purchase.
What is the difference between a wardrobe and an armoire?
A wardrobe is a catch-all term that refers to freestanding clothing storage. An armoire is an ornate wardrobe with doors and a hanging bar. A chifforobe is a bit smaller than an armoire and often contains drawers.
Which wood is best for wardrobes?
Real wood is often the best bet for longevity. Woods used to build wardrobes include many of the same woods used for finer furniture, such as pine, oak, maple, and the like. Cedar, which helps repel pests, is also popular.
What type of wardrobe do I need?
The type of wardrobe you need depends on how much space you have and whether you want a light and portable wardrobe or one that will sit in one place for a long while. Your clothing inventory also plays an important role. For instance, if you wear a lot of dresses, you’ll want an armoire with a hanging space tall enough to accommodate the longer length of those dresses.