How Big Should Walk-In Pantries Be?

A walk-in pantry is an excellent addition to any home. Building a walk-in pantry in your kitchen will provide you with an abundance of storage space.

Which is especially useful if you love to cook and work with a wide variety of ingredients, or if you like to bulk-buy your food. 

Walk-In Pantries

However, one problem many people run into when they begin the process of building a walk-in pantry is that they don’t know what dimensions to work with. In other words, they have no idea how large (or small) the average walk-in pantry should be. 

If you’re in this position currently, don’t worry. We’ve done all the research so you don’t have to, and we have the ideal dimensions for average, large, small, narrow, and corner-style walk-in pantries to fit any kitchen layout. 

If you want to organize your kitchen better with a walk-in pantry but don’t know where to start, you’re in the right place. Read on to find out exactly how large your walk-in pantry should be depending on the kitchen space you have to work with.

What Are Walk-In Pantries?

Before we get into the ideal walk-in pantry dimensions, let’s talk about what a walk-in pantry actually is. For many people, the concept of a walk-in pantry is a completely new one, and it can be confusing at first. 

Basically, a walk-in pantry is a room in which to store food. It’s usually inside your kitchen, so it’s effectively a smaller room within a larger room.

Rather than opening the pantry door and simply looking inside, you can walk right into a walk-in pantry to find what you need.

So, why would you want a pantry large enough to walk into? Well, for one thing, a walk-in pantry helps to minimize clutter on your countertops and the shelves on your kitchen walls. 

Many people don’t have enough space in their kitchens to keep all of their non-perishable food items organized properly, which leads to jars and bags taking up space on counters and shelves.

With a walk-in pantry, you won’t have this problem, and you’ll have enough space to keep your ingredients organized by category so everything will be easy to find at all times.

Average Walk-In Pantry Dimensions 

Let’s start by discussing the size of the average walk-in pantry. You may end up with a walk-in pantry that is smaller or larger than this, especially if you need to build in a specific shape (like a corner-style pantry) depending on the layout of your kitchen.

However, it’s good to know the average dimensions as a baseline. 

According to most experts, the average walk-in pantry is about 4 feet deep and has a width of 4 feet. With that being said, this is still a pretty small walk-in pantry, and most people prefer something a little larger, at roughly 5 by 5 feet

The Minimum Size For A Walk-In Pantry

Now that we have given you a rough average for how big most walk-in pantries are, let’s talk about minimum sizes.

After all, most of us don’t have endless space to work with when it comes to building a walk-in pantry, so you might be wondering just how small you can get away with making your new pantry. 

At an absolute minimum, you need to have at least 12 square feet of space to build a walk-in pantry.

This could mean that you end up with a 6-foot by 2-foot pantry (we’ll talk more about this kind of narrow pantry in a moment) or a 3-foot by 4-foot pantry (although, as you can imagine, actually walking into this pantry would be difficult). 

Most people will ideally want something larger than this for a walk-in pantry, but if you really can’t go any larger, 12 square feet is the minimum. 

Sizing For A Small Walk-In Pantry 

Sizing For A Small Walk-In Pantry 

While we’re on the subject of the minimum walk-in pantry size, we should take a moment to talk about smaller walk-in pantries.

Realistically, the average walk-in pantry is actually quite a small walk-in pantry since most of us have fairly limited kitchen space to dedicate to this kind of pantry. 

So, the average 4-foot by 4-foot walk-in pantry is actually a small walk-in pantry. There are benefits to having a walk-in pantry of this size, including the fact that it won’t encroach on too much of your actual kitchen space.

However, smaller walk-in pantries obviously don’t have as much storage space, so you may need to get creative in terms of how you organize your food items. 

For instance, with larger walk-in pantries, you might be able to install cabinets, but with a smaller pantry, you’ll probably have to make do with basic shelving or a stacking strategy. 

Narrow Walk-In Pantry Size 

As we mentioned earlier, one of the ways you can make a walk-in pantry out of a small area of kitchen space is by building a narrow walk-in pantry.

For instance, if you have 12 square feet of space to work with, the best option is to make your walk-in pantry 6 feet deep and 2 feet wide as opposed to 3 feet by 4 feet.

The important thing to remember about a narrow walk-in pantry is that it will be longer than it is wide.

Sure, you may not have the room to move around like you would in a larger walk-in pantry, but it’s still an effective storage option if you’re willing to be creative about the way you organize your food items. 

Dimensions For Large Walk-In Pantries 

Now, if you have plenty of spare kitchen space to work with, you may want to go all-out and build a larger walk-in pantry. 

Generally speaking, a walk-in pantry is considered large if the dimensions are a minimum of 6 feet deep and 6 feet wide. However, a large walk-in pantry may be larger than this. 8 feet by 8 feet is another popular size. 

The larger your walk-in pantry, the more storage space you’ll have for food, appliances, and various items of cookware. 

Before you get excited about building the largest possible walk-in pantry to house all of your ingredients and cookware, though, bear in mind that a larger pantry will take up more of your kitchen space.

If your kitchen already feels a little cramped, adding even a small walk-in pantry might make it feel unmanageable, let alone a large pantry.   

Average Size For Corner-Style Walk-In Pantry 

If you already have limited space in your kitchen, one alternative to building a narrow walk-in pantry is to opt for a corner-style walk-in pantry. 

Corner walk-in pantries are designed, as the name suggests, to fit into the corner of your kitchen. They may not be rectangular or square like regular walk-in pantries. 

There is a huge size range when it comes to corner walk-in pantries. Some might only be a few square feet in size, hence why they can be a good choice for small kitchens.

However, they can also be very large depending on the size of the kitchen, with some corner-style pantries measuring over 100 square feet! 

On average, your typical walk-in pantry in the corner of a kitchen will measure somewhere between 12 square feet (the minimum size for most walk-in pantries) and 20 square feet

Walk-In Pantry Shelf Depth 

Most walk-in pantries will have shelves built in. Some may have cabinets, and smaller pantries might require ingredients to be stacked rather than shelved, but shelving is the most common storage arrangement for walk-in pantries. 

However, in order for shelving to be effective, there should be both a minimum and a maximum depth that you work to. 18 inches should be the minimum and 24 inches is the maximum most pantries will accommodate comfortably.

18-inch shelves are narrower than your average shelving system, but it’s a space-saving option that will also save you money since shallower shelves are generally more affordable. 

Now, if your pantry is less than 2 feet wide, shelving in general might not be the right option for you. In this case, you may need to turn to more creative solutions to organize your ingredients such as stacking them in jars or crates, for example. 

Is A Walk-In Pantry A Good Use Of Space?

If you have a very small kitchen already, you might think that a walk-in pantry would be a waste of space. However, before ruling it out, you should consider whether you have a workable storage system for your food items and cookware as it is. 

For example, it’s possible that your kitchen feels small and cramped because you don’t have a convenient place to store these items.

If there are ingredients lining the countertops and appliances on every surface, it’s no wonder you don’t feel that there’s enough space in your kitchen.

Building a walk-in pantry, even if it does take away some floor space, might make your kitchen feel more spacious and organized overall.

On the other hand, if you have plenty of empty space in your kitchen and want a good space to organize your kitchen items, building a walk-in pantry is a no-brainer.

Your kitchen will feel more organized and it won’t be a waste of space because you had empty space to begin with. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

How Wide Should a Walk-In Pantry Door Be?

On average, a walk-in pantry door should measure approximately 32 inches in width, unless it’s an especially narrow pantry, in which case, 24 inches will be more realistic.

However, some walk-in pantries may need to be more accessible (for example, if it will be used by somebody who uses a wheelchair). In this situation, a minimum of 36 inches would be ideal. 

What Is Good Spacing For Pantry Shelves? 

You should leave at least 14 to 16 inches of space between pantry shelves to make sure you can put packages of flour and sugar as well as boxes of cereal on your shelves easily. 

How Much Does It Cost To Build A Walk-In Pantry?

On average, it costs anywhere between just over $1000 and just under $3000 to build a walk-in pantry. The average cost is just over $2000.

Final Thoughts 

The average walk-in pantry is 4-5 feet deep and 4-5 feet wide. The minimum space you should allocate to a walk-in pantry is 12 square feet, which would mean a depth of 6 feet and a width of 2 feet in most cases.

Larger walk-in pantries can be 8 feet by 8 feet, while some corner-style walk-in pantries can go up to 100 square feet depending on the overall size of the kitchen. 

The larger your walk-in pantry, the more it will cost to build. For a larger build, you’ll be looking at over $2000, whereas a smaller walk-in pantry could only cost around $1000 to build if you budget carefully. 

Joel Adams
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