The kitchen may be the busiest room in the house, but the constant slamming of cabinet doors as they make contact with the frame can also take a toll, leaving dents, scuffs, and even cracks on your cabinetry. Fortunately, there’s a solution to this noisy nuisance. Soft-close hinges are an affordable way to end the racket while preserving those expensive cabinets.
Soft-close hinges look very similar to the standard concealed hinges common in kitchen and bathroom cabinets. The difference is a mechanism that stops the door an inch or two before it impacts the frame and then gently, quietly eases it shut.
If you’re becoming unhinged by the sound of banging cabinets, then read on to find out how to select the right soft-close hinges for your home and learn about some of the best options on the market.
- BEST OVERALL: Furniware 10 Pieces Soft Closing Cabinet Hinges
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: KONIGEEHRE 20 Pack Soft Close Cabinet Door Hinges
- BEST UPGRADE: Blum CLIP top BLUMOTION Soft Close Hinges
- FACE FRAME CABINET PICK: Probrico Soft Close Kitchen Cabinet Door Hinges
- FRAMELESS CABINET PICK: DecoBasics Kitchen Cabinet Frameless Hinges
- BEST PARTIAL OVERLAY: Ravinte 50 Pack 1/2 inch Overlay Soft Close Hinges
- BEST FULL OVERLAY: DecoBasics Full Overlay Frameless Cabinet Hinge
- BEST HINGE JIG: Kreg Concealed Hinge Jig and Concealed Hinge Jig Bit
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Soft Close Cabinet Hinges
With various types of soft-close hinges available, selecting one that’s compatible with the existing cabinetry can be a bit confusing. Ahead, learn about the types of cabinet hinges and how to match them to different cabinet styles.
Face Frame vs. Frameless Cabinets
There are two types of cabinets: frameless and face frame. A frameless model’s sides extend all the way to the front of the cabinet, whereas face frame cabinets have a facing that runs around the rim. Hinges for one style are typically not compatible with the other, so it’s crucial to determine which type the cabinet uses before making a purchase.
Types of Hinges
Face frame and frameless cabinet hinges come in full overlay, partial overlay, and inset. Be sure to choose the type of hinge that matches the design of the cabinet.
- Full overlay hinges cover the entire face frame when closed.
- Partial overlay hinges only cover part of the frame when the door is closed. They come in sizes that delineate how much of the frame the door will cover on the hinge side when the door is closed. With a ½-inch overlay hinge, the door will cover ½ inch of the hinge side of the frame when closed. Overlay hinge sizes range from ½ inch to 1½ inches. Hinges often have their overlay size etched into the metal, which is convenient for DIYers looking to trade out a cabinet’s existing hinges with compatible soft-close hinges.
- Inset hinges fit inside the cabinet frame on a face frame cabinet or inside the cabinet’s sides on a frameless cabinet when the door is closed, leaving the entire frame fully exposed.
It’s important to understand that these hinge styles are not interchangeable. An inset hinge will only work with an inset cabinet door, and overlay hinges will only work with compatible cabinet doors.
Soft-close hinges attach to cabinet doors by fitting into a cup drilled out of the door. These cups are 35 millimeters in diameter and 11 millimeters deep. Since this is a standard size for all hidden hinges, it’s easy to upgrade existing hidden hinges with new soft-close hinges.
Upgrading older cabinet doors with standard hinges is a bit more complicated as they require drilling out this cup hole in order to install soft-close hinges.
Soft-close hinges also feature three convenient screw adjusters that let you fine-tune the orientation of the doors after installation, allowing some room for error when mounting the hinges. These adjusters let you move the door about 2 millimeters up or down, left or right, and closer to or farther from the cabinet.
Our Top Picks
The list below narrows the field to some of the top soft-close hinges by type. These hinges feature durable construction and work with a variety of cabinet styles.
Quality construction, adjustability that aids with installation, and six sizes to suit different overlay widths set these soft-closing cabinet hinges apart from the pack. The rolled steel, nickel-plated hinges suit frame overlays ranging from ¾ to 1½ inches, making them one of the more versatile brands of soft-close hinges available.
Installation is made easy by the three-way adjusters that allow for fine-tuning the position of the doors after they are installed, eliminating the need for perfect hole placement. The cup diameter and depth are a standard 35 millimeters and 11 millimeters, respectively. Furniware soft-close hinges come in packs of 10, 20, and 50.
Replacing standard hinges in a kitchen or throughout a home can be a less costly endeavor with these partial overlay hinges. This set includes enough quality hinges for upgrading 10 cabinet doors at one of the lowest prices on the market.
Similar to higher price options, they feature stainless steel construction with a nickel-plated finish and offer three adjustment options for easy installation. They also include door bumpers, making them a good choice for new cabinet installations. Konigeehre hinges fit a cup size of 35 millimeters in diameter and 11 millimeters deep, and they have a ½-inch overlay on the cabinet frame.
Thanks to their innovative design, Blum Blumotion soft-close hinges are a premium product that makes it easy to upgrade your cabinets. A unique clip mechanism allows the user to attach and detach the cabinet doors in seconds, eliminating the need to attach the hardware while holding the door in place.
They also offer more control than most competitors, via a switch that turns the soft-close feature off and on. Blum Blumotion clip-top hinges fit ½-inch to ¾-inch overlay doors and the standard cup size of 35 millimeters in diameter and 11 millimeters deep. They are sold in packs of eight.
These Probrico hinges for full overlay frame cabinets feature durable construction and adjusters that make them easy to install. They use a hydraulic cylinder that’s strong enough to turn a standard cabinet door into a soft-close door by only replacing one hinge. And with nickel-plated cast-iron construction, these hinges are well suited for heavier cabinet doors that see a lot of use.
The hinges fit cabinet doors with cup-size mortises of 35 millimeters tall by 11 millimeters wide and will work with doors ranging from 14 to 22 millimeters thick. Probrico’s soft-close kitchen cabinet door hinges come in packs of 1, 2, 4, 5, 10, and 20 pairs.
With a wide range of adjustability for easy installation, these frameless hinges are ideal for frameless cabinets. A three-way adjustable design allows the user to adjust the hinges, up and down, left to right, and front to back, so it’s simple to correct minor errors made while drilling pilot holes for the hinge hardware.
Each hinge fits a 35-millimeter-diameter hinge cup with a 10.5 millimeter depth and fits doors ranging in thickness from 14 millimeters to 20 millimeters. Their design makes them suitable for a ⅝-inch to a ¾-inch overlay on frameless cabinets. DecoBasics cabinet hinges come in numerous package quantities ranging from 2 to 100 and are available in a full and half overlay.
These well-made hinges suit multiple overlay widths, making them ideal for a broad range of kitchen cabinets. The versatile hinges come in sizes to suit 1¼-inch, ½-inch, and ¾-inch overlays, and nickel-plated steel construction makes them ideal for kitchens and other cabinets that see a lot of use.
For easy installation, adjusters allow the user to move the doors left to right, front to back, and up and down with a standard Phillips head screwdriver. Each hinge fits a standard cup that’s 35 millimeters in diameter and 11 millimeters deep. Ravinte’s soft-close hinges come in packs of 10, 20, 30, 50, and 60.
Multiple points of adjustment and durable construction make these soft-close hinges an ideal choice for full overlay cabinets. The hinges fit a standard 35 millimeter diameter, 11-millimeter- deep hinge cup. A clip-on plate design eliminates the need to attach the door to the hinges while they’re installed in the cabinets.
Once installed, a three-way adjuster allows for fine-tuning the position of each cabinet door. DecoBasics hinges come in a variety of pack sizes ranging from two to 100, a cost-effective asset when replacing hinges on a large number of cabinets.
All soft-close cabinet hinges use a drilled-out cup in the door for mounting, so cabinet doors that lack this design must be retrofitted before adding soft-close hinges. That’s where this jig from Kreg can come in, allowing the user to create a standard cup hole (35 millimeters in diameter and 11 millimeters deep) in the cabinet door for the hinge.
The kit includes a jig that attaches to the cabinet as well as a cutting bit to create the hole that fits a standard power drill chuck. Measuring scales built into the jig let the user create a precise alignment, while a depth stop collar ensures drilling to the proper depth. Note: This kit does not include hinges, which must be purchased separately, and the cabinet doors must be at least 14 millimeters thick to work with this jig.
FAQs About Soft-Close Cabinet Hinges
If you still have questions about how soft-close hinges work or how to install them, read on for answers to these and other questions about this type of hinge.
Q. Can you put soft-close hinges on old cabinets?
Yes, it’s possible to put soft-close hinges on old cabinets. To do so, you must drill a cup 35 millimeters in diameter and 11 millimeters deep in the back of the cabinet door to mount the new soft-close hinge. The best way to accomplish this is to use a jig, such as this model from Kreg.
Q. How many soft-close cabinet hinges do I need per door?
In general, one soft-close hinge is enough to provide dampening for cabinet doors. Heavier cabinet doors may require two to handle the added weight.
Q. How do I adjust soft-close cabinet hinges?
Soft-close hinges have three points of adjustment on the hinge, each of which is changeable using a Phillips head screwdriver. The horizontal adjusting screw moves the cabinet door left to right or right to left depending on which way you turn the screw. The vertical adjuster screw moves the cabinet door up and down while the third screw moves the door closer to or further from the cabinet frame.
Q. What is the difference between a soft-closing and a self-closing hinge?
When you close a cabinet with a soft-closing hinge, the hinge catches the cabinet door a few inches before it closes so it shuts slowly. A self-closing hinge has a mechanism that snaps the door shut when it is a few inches from being completely closed.