We think of cabinet drawers as just boxes we can cram our things in… but not all drawers are alike. We can be frustrated by drawers if they don’t serve their purpose of holding things or aren’t easy to use.
However, there are several different options of drawers, customizing how much and where we can store things in cabinets. Knowing what kinds of drawers are available can make things more convenient in the long run. Yet many of us don’t know all of the options for drawers other than a standard box.
So what drawer options are available? We provide examples and even terminology so when you get your next cabinet, you know what options to ask for:
Standard cabinet drawers
Before talking about all the options and variations, we should talk about what is expected from the standard drawer.
Most wooden drawer use joints to keep the structure stable, specifically dovetail joints that have trapezoid edges that interlock. Some of these are reinforced with wood glue while other joints fit so snugly, that they function well without it.
The build of the drawer’s front panel determines if the cabinet is frameless. Frameless cabinets rely on the drawer front panels extending wide to cover the front of the structure.
Double cabinet drawers
A double drawer gives the appearance of two separate drawers but is actually one large deep drawer. This gives you larger compartments without ruining any pattern or the symmetry that is in your cabinet design.
Some modern cabinets have large, deep slab drawers that are still called double drawers despite not having that two-panel appearance.
Jewelry drawers / Shallow drawers
In movies where you see luxurious interiors, you may see shallow drawers in their dressers for watches, earrings or sunglasses. Jewelry drawers are shallow and placed at the top of cabinets. Shallow drawers don’t have a standard measurement. Jewelry organizer trays are 2 inches in height. Felt-lined drawers are an available variation in a jewelry drawer.
Drawers are not only for horizontal storage. Vertical pull-outs slide out to store several items and ideal for narrow objects, although larger racks are ae available. They have the benefit of being accessible while standing on either side of the rack. There’s less need to crouch or reach for your most used items because you can store things at torso level.
Vertical pull out shelving operates on sliders so they look and feel impressive in any room.
Full-extension cabinet drawers
Full extension drawers require drawer slides mounted to the cabinet box to take advantage of the full storage. Mounted drawer slides offer a satisfying smooth glide that makes drawers easy to open and close.
As an option, soft-close drawers use hydraulic mechanisms to reduce the impact when the drawers close. This also helps cabinet appearance by preventing impact marks where the drawer panel hits the frame from repeated closures.
Cabinet rollout / Rollout shelves
This is a slightly different take on the sliding drawers. These shelves are additions that allow you to access the backspace of a cabinet. Not only are they in typical cabinets, but commonly in pantries.
Trash drawers / Wastebasket cabinets
These sliding rollout drawers appear to be the size of large cabinet doors, but when pulled out, hold garbage bins. This incorporates waste into the function and design of the cabinet. This is an option for those do not want a separate disposal unit out of place in the kitchen interior.
These drawers have front panels that tilt down to reveal storage. almost act like vertical doors where the back of the panel becomes an extended surface. These are popular in media centers where drop-front drawers reveal digital devices like cable boxes or network routers. Some of these are connected to storage bins and are popular in some dresser drawers or standing toy chests.
Tip-out drawers are a smaller variation of the drop-front drawers. These are found in kitchen base cabinet or bathroom vanities where a panel next to sink offers very limited storage. Tip-out drawers can hold sponges and brushes in the kitchen and the contact lens cases and brushes in bathroom vanities.
Toe-kick cabinet drawers
Toe-kick drawers replace the baseboards of the cabinet, that don’t have much function than being a solid bottom, with drawers. These low-to-the-ground drawers maximize the most of your storage when every inch of space is important in your room.
Corner cabinet drawers
For kitchen countertop corners, some bad designs of drawers will open into each other. That would be inconvenient accessing things from either drawer since one drawer could be fully extended at a given time.
However, cleverly built corner drawers allow you to pull that corner at a 45-degree angle as a full drawer. This takes advantage of maximizing the use of that corner space in a unique and unexpectedly efficient way.