3 DRAWER VS 4 DRAWER BASE CABINETS

Jenny Cazares | Discovery Team | Dean Cabinetry
By Jenny Cazares

There are benefits to both the 3-drawer and 4-drawer base cabinets. Selecting the right drawer base cabinet will depend on how you use your new space, and what you will be storing in your drawer base cabinets.

Both 3 and 4-drawer base cabinets have become very popular in recent years. Many clients are choosing to design their entire kitchen with only drawer base cabinets and no base cabinets. 

What is the difference between a base cabinet and a drawer base cabinet?

Both cabinets have a standard height top drawer. A base cabinet has no additional drawers, it has a door(s) at the bottom. A drawer base cabinet has additional drawers at the bottom, but no doors.

Clients love the streamlined look and the functionality of drawer base cabinets. You will be able to easily access your kitchen items in one step, just open your drawers. 

With a base cabinet, even if it has rollouts that provide easy access, it is a two-step process. You’ll need to open the base cabinet doors, and then pull out your rollouts.

A benefit of the rollouts is that they are usually adjustable. Drawers on the other hand are not adjustable.

What are 3 drawer base cabinets?

  • The top drawer is the standard height of a base cabinet
  • The 2 drawers below are deeper / taller in height

What are 4 drawer base cabinets?

  • The top drawer is the standard height of a base cabinet
  • The 3 remaining drawers are about the same height as the top drawer

Depending on your cabinet line, the lower 3 drawers might all be the same height or they might not. Sometimes the top 3 drawers are all the same height and then the bottom drawer is slightly taller. 

Talk with your kitchen designer about how you plan to use your drawer base cabinets and they will help guide you to prepare the best cabinet layout.

What is the best use of 3 drawer base cabinets?

Top drawer:

  • eating utensils
  • cooking utensils
  • kitchen towels
  • spices organized using a tiered insert
  • wraps including tin foil, plastic wrap, etc, 
  • coffee pod storage
  • coffee and tea storage
  • paper or cloth napkins
  • A “junk” drawer…we all need at least one!

Bottom 2 deeper drawers:

  • stacked dishes
  • pots & pans
  • small appliances
  • snacks
  • boxed food
  • larger, heavier kitchen items
  • mixing bowls

What is the best use of 4 drawer base cabinets?

Top drawer:

  • eating utensils
  • cooking utensils
  • kitchen towels
  • spices organized using a tiered insert
  • wraps including tin foil, plastic wrap, etc, 
  • coffee pod storage
  • coffee and tea storage
  • linens and napkins
  • paper or cloth napkins
  • A “junk” drawer…we all need at least one!

Bottom 3 less tall drawers: (excellent for items that aren’t too tall)

  • cooking utensils
  • kitchen towels
  • spices organized using a tiered insert
  • wraps including tin foil, plastic wrap, etc, 
  • coffee pod storage
  • coffee and tea storage
  • linens
  • paper or cloth napkins
  • frying and sauteing pans
  • cast iron skillets
  • lids for pots, pans, and skillets
  • serving trays
  • serving platters
  • canned food
  • baking items

Where would be a good location for 3-drawer base cabinets?

  • next to your sink
  • next to your stove
  • in your island
  • in your Butler’s pantry
  • as part of your cooktop cabinet

Where would be a good place for 4 drawer base cabinets?

  • next to your range or cooktop
  • a wet/dry beverage station or coffee bar
  • in your island
  • in your Butler’s pantry
  • in your Buffet or hutch

Can I blend 3 drawer and 4 drawer base cabinets together?

Yes, your kitchen designer will help you determine the best cabinet layout for your new kitchen. You can blend a combination of different cabinets together, as seen in the photo below. There is a 3 drawer base cabinet to the right of the range…maybe potholders in the top drawer, and tall pots, tall pans, and larger lids in those 2 lower drawers. To the left of the range they have a 4 drawer base cabinet…maybe cooking utensils in the top drawer, spices in a tiered insert in the second drawer, cast iron pans in the third drawer, and some serving platters in the bottom drawer.

Your kitchen cabinet partner will design you a well-thought-out, functional, and beautiful new kitchen. Take note of your designer’s suggestions, your designer is the professional; they will fully understand how you want to use your new kitchen and help create your dream kitchen!

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