What Are The Dimensions of a Walk-In Pantry?

Last Updated on September 20, 2023 by Kimberly Crawford

A walk-in pantry is a small room or closet where food, dishes, and other household items are stored. It’s a dedicated space usually adjacent to the kitchen, designed to keep everything organized and within easy reach. Unlike traditional cabinet pantries, a walk-in pantry allows you to literally walk inside, giving you access to shelves on all sides.

In contemporary home designs, walk-in pantries are becoming increasingly popular. This trend can be attributed to several reasons. Firstly, they offer ample storage space, allowing homeowners to store bulk purchases, kitchen appliances, and even food preservation equipment easily.

Secondly, walk-in pantries provide a clear view of all stored items at a glance, helping to prevent items from being forgotten or overlooked. Lastly, they add a touch of luxury and sophistication to the kitchen, increasing the overall value of the home.

As more people discover the benefits of having a well-organized and spacious area for their food and kitchen necessities, the interest in walk-in pantries continues to grow.

However, one key aspect to consider when planning for a walk-in pantry is its dimensions. Proper sizing not only ensures efficient use of space but also contributes significantly to the functionality and convenience of the pantry.

Importance of Proper Pantry Dimensions

walk in pantry size

When planning a walk-in pantry, the right dimensions can make a significant difference in maximizing storage space and enhancing kitchen efficiency.

Maximizing Storage Space

A properly sized walk-in pantry can optimize storage capacity. The key is to strike a balance between having enough room to store all your items and not wasting precious square footage. As such, you need to consider the volume and types of items you plan to store.

For instance, if you frequently buy in bulk or have large kitchen appliances, you may require a larger pantry.

Your pantry should have enough shelf space to comfortably accommodate all your goods while leaving some room for growth. Consider varying shelf depths to cater to different item sizes. Deep shelves are perfect for bulky items, while shallow shelves can be used for smaller items like spices and canned goods.

Enhancing Kitchen Efficiency

The size of your pantry can also impact how efficiently you can work in your kitchen. A well-planned pantry allows for easy access to all items, reducing the time spent searching for ingredients or equipment.

It should be large enough for you to move around comfortably but not so large that you need to take many steps to reach what you need.

Remember, your pantry’s dimensions should complement your kitchen’s layout. For example, if your kitchen is compact, an oversized pantry may disrupt the flow of your cooking space.

On the other hand, a pantry that’s too small might not offer the storage you need, forcing you to store items outside the pantry, which could clutter your kitchen.

Standard Walk-In Pantry Dimensions

walk in pantry size 1

Designing a walk-in pantry involves careful consideration of its dimensions to ensure it serves its purpose effectively. Here are the standard measurements typically used in the design:

  1. Width and Depth: The minimum recommended width for a walk-in pantry is about 5 feet, while the depth is also typically around 5 feet. These dimensions allow enough space for storage on all sides without making the area feel too cramped.
  2. Height: The height of a pantry often mirrors the ceiling height of the home, usually around 8 to 9 feet. This allows for maximum vertical storage space.
  3. Shelf Depth: For optimal storage, shelves should generally be between 16 to 20 inches deep. Any deeper and items might get lost at the back; any shallower and larger items might not fit properly.
  4. Walkway Width: The walkway or aisle width should ideally be at least 36 to 48 inches. This allows for easy movement and accessibility within the pantry.

The rationale behind these standard dimensions is to balance storage capacity with ease of access. A 5-foot square space provides ample room for shelving and movement. Having the pantry’s height match the rest of the home ensures a consistent look and makes use of potential vertical storage space.

The suggested shelf depth accommodates most household items comfortably, while the recommended aisle width allows individuals to move and access stored items easily.

Factors Affecting Pantry Dimensions

Designing a walk-in pantry isn’t a one-size-fits-all proposition. Several factors come into play when determining the dimensions of your pantry, including the size of your kitchen, the number and size of items you plan to store, as well as personal preference and individual needs.

Role of Kitchen Size

The size of your kitchen plays a significant role in determining the dimensions of your pantry. If you have a large kitchen, you may have the luxury of allocating more space to your pantry.

However, in a smaller kitchen, you’ll need to balance the need for storage with maintaining enough space for cooking and movement. It’s crucial to ensure that the pantry doesn’t crowd the kitchen or impede its functionality.

Number and Size of Items to Be Stored

The quantity and size of the items you intend to store in your pantry can greatly affect its size. If you tend to buy food and other kitchen items in bulk, or if you have large kitchen appliances that require storage, you’ll need a larger pantry.

Conversely, if you shop more frequently and buy fewer items at a time, a smaller pantry might suffice.

Personal Preference and Individual Needs

Your personal preferences and individual needs are also key determinants of pantry size. If you prefer a spacious pantry where you can see everything at a glance, you might opt for a larger pantry with deep shelves.

On the other hand, if you prefer a compact, efficient space, a smaller pantry with shallower shelves might be more to your liking.

Individual needs can also dictate pantry dimensions. For instance, a family with young children might need lower shelves for kid-friendly snacks, while a gourmet cook might require extra space for a variety of specialty ingredients.

Customizing Your Walk-In Pantry Dimensions

While standard sizes provide a useful starting point, there are various instances where you might want to deviate from these dimensions. This could be due to the unique layout of your kitchen, specific storage requirements, or personal preferences.

Reasons for Customization

  1. Unique Kitchen Layout: If your kitchen has an irregular shape or limited space, standard pantry dimensions may not fit perfectly. In such cases, customizing the dimensions allows for better utilization of available space.
  2. Specific Storage Needs: If you have unique storage needs, such as storing oversized appliances or bulk food items, a custom-sized pantry can cater to these requirements more effectively than a standard-sized one.
  3. Personal Preferences: Personal taste also plays a role. You might prefer a larger, more spacious pantry, or a smaller, more compact one depending on your lifestyle and aesthetic preferences.

Tips for Customization

  1. Assess Your Needs: Take inventory of what you plan to store in the pantry. This helps determine the required shelf depth and overall size of the pantry.
  2. Consider Accessibility: Ensure that the pantry design allows for easy access to the items you use most frequently. Lower shelves can be used for everyday items, while higher shelves can store rarely used items.
  3. Think Vertically: If kitchen floor space is limited, consider a taller pantry to make use of vertical space.
  4. Plan for Lighting: A well-lit pantry makes it easier to find items. Consider this when designing your pantry, especially if it’s deep or tall.

Optimizing Pantry Layout

  1. Shelf Spacing: Adjust the spacing between shelves based on the height of the items you’re storing. This ensures efficient use of space.
  2. Use of Corners: Corner shelves or lazy susans can help utilize corner space effectively.
  3. Dividers and Baskets: Use these for better organization and to prevent small items from getting lost.
  4. Door Storage: If space is at a premium, adding storage options to the back of the pantry door can provide additional room.

Professional Help vs DIY for Walk-In Pantry Design

When it comes to designing your walk-in pantry, you may be torn between hiring a professional or taking on the task yourself. Both options have their advantages and disadvantages.

Hiring a Professional


  1. Expertise: Professionals bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the table. They are aware of the latest trends, have a deep understanding of space utilization, and can help avoid common design pitfalls.
  2. Time-Saving: Hiring a professional can save you a considerable amount of time. They take care of the entire design process, from planning to execution.
  3. Customization: A professional can provide a custom design that perfectly suits your needs and maximizes your space.
  4. Quality Assurance: With a professional, you can expect a high level of quality in the final output. They have the skills and tools to ensure everything is done right.


  1. Cost: Hiring a professional can be expensive, especially if you are working with a limited budget.
  2. Control: While professionals will work with your input, they ultimately make the final decisions which may not always align with your vision.

DIY Route


  1. Cost-Effective: Doing it yourself can save money, especially if you already have some DIY skills and the necessary tools.
  2. Personal Satisfaction: There’s a sense of achievement that comes from completing a project yourself. It allows you to add a personal touch to the design.
  3. Control: With DIY, you have complete control over every aspect of the design and execution.


  1. Time-Consuming: Designing and building a pantry yourself can be a lengthy process, particularly if you’re new to DIY projects.
  2. Lack of Expertise: Without professional expertise, you might face challenges in maximizing space utilization, choosing the right materials, or overcoming unexpected issues.


Designing a well-functioning walk-in pantry is a critical aspect of any kitchen layout. The dimensions of your pantry can significantly impact its functionality and the overall efficiency of your kitchen.

From the size of your kitchen to the number and size of items you plan to store, personal preferences, and individual needs, several factors come into play when determining the ideal pantry dimensions.

If you’re considering a DIY route, remember to take advantage of the wealth of resources available online and in-store to guide you through the process. However, if you opt for professional help, their expertise can ensure a high-quality result that aligns with your vision and meets your specific needs.

Whether you choose to hire a professional or do it yourself, careful planning is key. Understanding your requirements, assessing your space, and thoughtful design can help you create a pantry that not only looks great but also enhances the functionality of your kitchen.

Remember, the goal is to create a pantry that suits your lifestyle, optimizes your kitchen space, and makes cooking a more enjoyable experience. With careful planning and consideration, you can create a walk-in pantry that you’ll love for years to come.