Best Closet Systems for Your Home

If you’re ready to declutter your home, a good first step is organizing your closets. The best closet systems are easy to install and come with customizable options to suit all your storage needs.

By Manasa Reddigari | Updated Nov 12, 2020 5:05 PM

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The Best Closet Systems Option


Whether your closet is cramped but navigable or in such disarray that you waste precious time rummaging through it just to find an outfit, a closet system can help you clear the clutter and organize your existing space no matter what its size. The best closet systems are sold as kits with all the components you need—hanging rods, storage units, and mounting hardware—to assemble them directly in your closet, and often in a variety of configurations.

But not all closet kits are equal, so you want to avoid installing a system that doesn’t suit your space, your stuff, or your budget. Different materials like laminate, metal, and wood will impact your price point, as will the mounting method and different storage unit options in your chosen closet system. Ultimately, it’s important to choose a system that’s easy to assemble and flexible enough to accommodate all the items you plan to store in the closet.

  1. BEST OVERALL: Rubbermaid Configurations Custom Metal Closet System
  2. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: ClosetMaid 22875 ShelfTrack Adjustable Closet
  3. BEST FREESTANDING: ClosetMaid Style Floor Mount 6-Shelf Closet Kit
  4. BEST CUSTOMIZABLE SYSTEM: Elfa Décor 6′ Birch & White Reach-In Clothes Closet
The Best Closet Systems Option


What to Consider When Choosing the Best Closet System

Factor in the following to find a closet system that meets your needs.


Closet systems are sold in a range of materials, including laminates (such as melamine), wood (solid or engineered, like particle board), metal (usually a metal frame with wire storage units), or a combination of the above.

  • Laminate systems are usually the least expensive options. They’re good for budget-minded folks who wish to organize a small, reach-in closet for lightweight garments and accessories. They tend to have a less refined look than wood and aren’t as strong as metal (low-quality laminate systems can sag under heavy weight).
  • Metal systems, particularly those made of stainless steel, suit most people with reach-in or walk-in closets and heavy clothing and accessories, as they can withstand a good amount of weight without warping. Metal systems are also more customizable than laminate closet systems.
  • Wood closet systems are prone to expanding or contracting and slightly warping as the humidity level in the closet changes. That said, they can withstand heavier loads than laminate systems without sagging, and their hand-crafted, luxurious aesthetic can be well worth their higher price point if you plan to live in your current home for several years or have a highly-visible walk-in closet.

Mounting Method

The mounting method you choose depends on how much you wish to alter your existing closet space. The components of wall-mounted models are attached to the closet wall and are generally more customizable, while freestanding units are assembled on the closet floor and don’t require drilling holes.

  • Wall-mounted models are ideal for closets with minimal floor space. They require drilling and mounting horizontal or vertical rails into the wall, but their assembly is, on the whole, easier than that of freestanding units because the remaining closet components can easily be snapped or hooked into place on the rails.
  • Freestanding systems that are detached from the wall (although some models do have a hanging rod that mounts to the wall) usually have a more involved assembly that includes putting together multiple components with nails or screws. But they’re a great option for renters and others who want to avoid drilling holes in the wall.

Storage Units

Modern closet kits come with open or closed storage units.

  • Open storage, such as shelves or cubbies that put items on display, add visual interest to a walk-in closet and make it easier and quicker to identify and retrieve items.
  • Closed storage, which includes cabinets for long pieces like dresses and/or drawers or baskets for small items like socks, conceal their contents for privacy but may make them more prone to wrinkling. You might want to choose closed storage in a reach-in closet you share with others where you want some privacy, or if you tend to be messy and would rather not have your disarray on display.

Rod Style

Closet systems with hanging rods come in single-tier or multi-tier varieties.

  • Single-tier systems may have one long hanging rod that largely spans the width of the upper closet, or multiple shorter rods mounted at the same vertical height but interrupted horizontally by a storage unit, such as a shelf or cubby. Single tier makes sense for closets that only house long items, such as outerwear, formal wear, coats, dresses, or pants.
  • Multi-tier rod systems feature a minimum of one rod at the top and another rod toward the bottom, yet may include additional rods between the upper and lower rods. They’re popular with people who have small closets and don’t need to hang a lot of long items. Because they’re so space efficient, they can double or triple the storage space.

Our Top Picks

We looked at ease of installation, kit components, material, customization options, cost, and more to determine the best closet system options.

Best Overall

The Best Closet System Option: Rubbermaid Configurations Custom Metal Closet System

Compatible with reach-in and walk-in closets as narrow as 3 feet or as wide as 6 feet, this wall-mounted epoxy-coated metal closet system can be adapted to fit virtually any closet in any room you want to organize. Installation is as simple as mounting horizontal and vertical rails to the wall with screws and then snapping the hanging rods and storage units onto the rails. Between its three staggered hanging rods and six tiers of wire shelving, you’ll gain 18 feet of surface storage space and 12 feet of hanging space for outerwear, everyday attire, accessories, and shoes. Adjust the height of the shelves or buy and install an additional Rubbermaid-compatible hanging rod, shoe rack, or drawers to increase the storage potential.

Best Bang for the Buck

The Best Closet Systems Option: ClosetMaid 22875 ShelfTrack Adjustable Closet

ClosetMaid’s ShelfTrack Adjustable Closet Organizer is an all-in-one closet solution that gives you the freedom to build and rebuild your own custom closet. Each kit includes all the hardware and closet components needed to get started, including wire shelving, brackets, closet rods, and a support rod. The adjustable mounting system makes it easy to configure and rearrange your closet design as your needs change, while the two-piece SuperSlide hang rod and support hardware system transforms traditional wire shelves into areas with extra hanging space. Optional accessories like hanging baskets and stacking shelves give you even more options for customizing your closet system to suit any storage needs.

Best Freestanding

The Best Closet Systems Option: ClosetMaid Style Floor Mount 6-Shelf Closet Kit

The ClosetMaid Style Floor Mount Closet Kit is a freestanding closet system that lets you bring order to your wardrobe without putting drill holes in the drywall. The scratch-, stain-, and impact-resistant teak-lookalike engineered wood tower (with three hanging rods and six shelves) adds 8 extra feet of shelving space to your closet while lending it a back-to-nature beauty. Assembly boils down to stacking the side panels and shelves into a tower using cam locks and then mounting the hanging rods to the closet sidewalls with screws. Trick out your closet further with an add-on ClosetMaid tie and belt rack or shoe shelves.

Best Customizable System

The Best Closet Systems Option: Elfa Décor 6' Birch & White Reach-In Clothes Closet

The Elfa is a modular miracle available in multiple sizes and a highly customizable configuration. A popular setup for this mixed-material wall-mounted steel organizer with two solid wood shelves and two rods divides a 6-foot-wide reach-in closet into two halves. One houses tops and the other fits bottoms, a set of slide-out mesh accessory drawers, and a wire shoe rack—all of which are included in this five-star-rated kit from The Container Store. You can even design a custom closet blueprint and modify shelf color or drawer material to suit your tastes, then put on the finishing touch with an Elfa Utility Closet Door Rack (sold separately). A plus for those wary of complex installations: Elfa hanging rods and storage units effortlessly lock into place on the wall-mounted horizontal and vertical rails of the system.