Architectural Home Designs & Decorating Ideas

Upper Kitchen Cabinet Dimensions: Measuring Up Your Storage Space

Gabriela Connell
4 minute read

When remodeling or building your dream kitchen, one of the most important design considerations is selecting the right upper cabinet dimensions. The width, height, and depth you choose for your upper cabinets impacts the storage capacity, functionality, and overall aesthetic of your kitchen.

You’ll learn about common widths, heights, and depths and the factors that impact sizing like kitchen layout, storage needs, and ceiling height. Whether you’re aiming for a traditional or contemporary kitchen, you’ll find the upper cabinet dimension tips you need to plan your perfect space.

Typical Upper Cabinet Dimensions

Upper kitchen cabinets generally come in a range of standard width sizes. Here are some of the most popular options:

upper kitchen cabinet dimensions

The width you choose depends on your specific kitchen layout and storage requirements. Wider cabinets offer more storage but can overwhelm a tiny galley kitchen. Narrower 12” cabinets are versatile for small or customized spaces.

Standard Height

The most common standard upper cabinet height is 30 inches. This provides ample clearance between the counters and cabinets for most tasks like opening cabinets and appliances. If you have especially high ceilings, you may opt for taller 36-42 inch upper cabinets to maximize storage.

Standard Depth

Most standard upper cabinets have a depth of 12 inches. This depth provides sufficient storage without protruding too far into the room. If you need more space, upper cabinets can also be made in deeper dimensions like 15 or 18 inches. The trade off is that deeper cabinets can be harder to reach into.

Factors That Impact Cabinet Dimensions

While 30″ height, 12″ depth and a range of widths are typical, your upper cabinet dimensions can be customized to your space. Here are some key factors to consider:

Kitchen Layout

The overall size and layout of your kitchen will dictate the width options for upper cabinets. Measure the total wall length to determine how many cabinets can fit. Consider existing windows, doors and appliances when planning upper cabinet placement. Design features like peninsulas, islands and blind corners will also impact cabinet dimensions and configurations.

Storage Needs

Assess how much space you need to store all your kitchen items. This includes food staples, dishes, cookware, small appliances, servingware and more. If storage is paramount, consider wider and deeper upper cabinet dimensions, including specialty pull-out shelves or drawers. Maximize vertical storage with taller upper cabinets if ceiling height allows.

Cabinet Style

Door styles like inset cabinets add visual interest but reduce internal capacity compared to overlay cabinet doors. Custom cabinets can be designed to exact measurements while prefabricated cabinets come in set dimensions. If choosing semi-custom cabinets, verify which sizes are available.

Ceiling Height

Standard kitchen ceiling height is 8 feet. If you have taller ceilings, you can go beyond the typical 30-inch cabinet height for a dramatic, spacious aesthetic. Just ensure the upper cabinets are still accessible. For 8 foot ceilings, a maximum cabinet height of 36-42 inches is recommended. If ceilings are under 8 feet, standard 30 inch height or shorter cabinets are best to avoid a cramped look.


Consider how easily you’ll be able to access items in upper cabinets. Standard 12 inch depth provides ample reach for most. If opting for deeper 15-18 inch cabinets for greater capacity, incorporate roll-out shelves, tray dividers and other functional elements to prevent items from getting lost in the back.

Custom Upper Cabinet Sizing

Opting for custom-sized upper cabinets lets you tailor your kitchen’s functionality and aesthetic. Some benefits of custom cabinet dimensions include:

When going custom, be prepared to provide your designer or cabinet maker with accurate measurements for factors like ceiling height, window placement, and desired cabinet height. Custom cabinets typically cost more than prefab options but provide a specialized solution.

Cabinet Installation Tips

Once you’ve selected the ideal upper cabinet dimensions for your kitchen, proper installation is key. Some tips for hanging upper cabinets include:

Determining the optimal upper kitchen cabinet dimensions requires balancing your kitchen layout, storage needs, style preferences, and budget. Standard widths of 12 to 36 inches, 30 inch height and 12 inch depth work well for most kitchens. Consider going taller if you have high ceilings or deeper for more storage capacity. And don’t be afraid to customize your upper cabinet dimensions for a kitchen tailored to your lifestyle.

With these upper cabinet size tips, you’ll be well equipped to design your dream kitchen. Happy planning!