Whether you’re designing a restful main bedroom, a fun play room for kids or a welcoming entryway, there is one major design element that can’t be missed — a good closet door.
Closets are a major touchpoint in the house for organization and storage, of course. But they also can heighten a room’s layout and flow. Dedicated closets are typically found in the living and sleeping spaces, but other spaces can serve as types of closets too, such as pantries, linen and hall closets, attics and basements and playrooms.
So, why should we focus on the closet door itself? Having a door on a closet or other storage space keeps stored items (and yes, clutter) hidden from view and keeps valuables safe. Doors also can serve as protective barriers for appliances and projects that aren’t often in use.
The right closet door can even enhance a space’s design through color, texture, patterns and fixtures. Read on for our guide to the best types of closet doors for any room.
Before You Begin
Closet doors vary based on a room’s purpose, layout and size. You might have one type of closet door for hallways and another for bedrooms and offices.
Before diving into the different types of closet doors to choose from, take stock of your home’s design with this simple checklist:
- Assess how many closet doors are needed in the home.
- Categorize the number of closets by the room’s function.
- Take measurements of any areas or door frames for each closet.
- Make a budget that includes materials, fixtures and warranties.
- Note your preferred colors, textures, trends and materials for the doors.
Types of Closet Doors
No matter your needs, personal style or budget, you’ll find your optimal closet door choices for each space. The closets in most new homes come with the standard prehung interior doors — single or double — that are hinged and inserted into the doorway. But if you want a different look, check out these other door styles:
Accordion: With a multipanel configuration, the accordion door runs on a single top track on the closet frame and opens exactly like the instrument it’s named after. Budget-friendly and easy-to-install by a contractor, the accordion door comes in a variety of finishes and styles. Similar to the bifold in its drawback, the accordion can also easily dismount off of its top track.
Barn: Sliding barn doors work similarly to the bypass door, but the hardware is installed on the outside of the door frame. The slider mechanism is functional and purposeful in its style. Since the door is sliding along the outer wall and not a frame, this door can be configured to any size or width. Rustic or industrial, this door works with many aesthetics and is a space-saving option.
Bifold: A popular option for closet doors, the bifold door is composed of two panels that fold together on a hinge and then slide along a track to open or close. Similar to the bypass door, this is a compact-style that can save loads of space. Bifolds come in an array of colors and finishes too, as they’re easily moldable to the homeowner’s style. Since both bifold doors can open along the track at once, they offer easy access to the entire closet area. One downside to this door type is that the bifold door can easily come off of the track.
Bypass: A classic and common style, the bypass door slides open and shut on a track. A top-notch space saver, the door doesn’t open out into the room. And the sliding door can be made of wood, glass or even metal depending on aesthetics. One major drawback? While bypass doors provide easy access, you can only access one part of the closet at a given time.
French: An elegant and timeless look, French closet doors are double-hinged doors that open out to the room. Classy and pretty, these doors offer open access to the entire closet and require an average amount of clearance.
Pivot: For large, open rooms, pivot doors add a stylish dramatic effect. The door is attached to the top and bottom of the frame and opens in a circular motion. While the aesthetics of the pivot door may be enticing, it can be more expensive than other styles, and it must be professionally installed, which can add to the overall cost.
Pocket: A pocket door functions exactly how you think: It slides into a pocket in the wall to open or shut. This closet door is a great option for cozier spaces. The disadvantage to a pocket door? It can eat away at your budget, as the contractor would have to make an opening and get special hardware to outfit the pocket door.
Stephanie Valente is a Content Director and Editor in Brooklyn, NY. She’s previously held writing and social media positions at Barkbox, Men’s Journal, and currently works at a full-service advertising agency. She’s a self-confessed home and design enthusiast. Stephanie is an award-winning poet and fiction writer. When she’s offline, you can find her taking a yoga class, running, hanging out with her rescue dog Pepper. Find her on stephanievalente.com.