How High Should A Coat Rack Be?

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Whether you’re still considering coat racks or have already bought the hooks and hardware, there’s something you need to know before you can install the rack on the wall. Just where on the wall does it go – how high should a coat rack be? While it’s not a firm rule, common sense dictates the answer (and coat tree makers agree).
 
As a general rule, most people conclude five feet to be an acceptable height. In a public place, the ADA standards say that coat racks should be only four feet high. A standalone coat rack is typically around six feet tall, with the hooks located near the five-foot mark. Whatever you choose, your coat rack should be placed low enough to be reached conveniently. However, it must also be high enough to keep coats from touching the ground (even long coats).
 
While five feet is the normal height, you’ll want to consider who uses the coat rack regularly. Whether your family is especially tall or includes small children, you can always tweak the height to something more appropriate. If a member of your household needs wheelchair accommodations, four feet may be more appropriate. Keep reading for tips on picking the best coat rack for your home and decor, examples of different coat rack styles, alternative places to use coat racks, and more!
An entryway of a house with a zigzag styled coat rack, How High Should A Coat Rack Be?

Why Use A Coat Rack?

Coat racks (and trees and benches) are a great way to organize the clutter and chaos that usually gets dumped at the doorway. No one wants to find an overwhelming mess when you first enter the home. Keeping everything confined into one space makes it easy to find coats, hats, and other needed items every time you leave the house. It also makes the space look uniform and orderly. After all, a place for everything and everything in its place, right? What better place than a coat rack!

By having a coat rack available, you’ll also be able to keep your things off the floor. This means that when you’re rushing out of the house, you won’t have to pick things off the floor. No one likes to find dust, pet hair, and dirty footprints marring their outerwear on their way out the door.

An entryway with overhead cabinets and a coat rack right underneath the cabinets with an extra shoe section on the bottom

How To Pick A Coat Rack?

There’s a lot of things to consider when picking a coat rack for your home. First, let’s look at some of the questions that you’ll need to answer to pick the perfect coat rack for your space.

Style Options

Both wall-mounted and freestanding coat racks lend themselves to certain home designs. Wall-mounted can blend into the wall if desired. Freestanding, on the other hand, stands out more like a separate piece of furniture.

Some people do not like hanging things on the walls and instead prefer to keep walls clear. Others don’t like having to drill holes in the walls (or live in a rental home and cannot). On the other hand, a freestanding coat rack can be easily moved at a moment’s notice. If you redecorate frequently, this might be a necessity. 

What Are You Storing

If you know your coat rack’s main use is hanging up coats, look for deeper hooks to keep coats from slipping to the floor. If you expect to use several hooks for accessories, such as purses, you’ll probably want hooks located at different heights. Finally, some coat racks even have space for shoes or storage boxes.

How Many Hooks

Now that you know what you plan to store on your coat rack, figure out how many hooks you’ll need. Don’t forget to add some space for guests, in addition to your family’s regular belongings.

Available Space

Freestanding coat racks take up more room, as a general rule.  Wall-mounted coat racks with a bench require a lot of room as well. If you need something that fits into a small area, there are compact options with folding hooks.

There are also corner wall-mounted coat racks. Since these are designed to fit into the corner, they really maximize the storage potential of a small and (usually) under-used space. Corner racks can work really well to create more storage in a small entryway closet.

Wall-Mounted Coat Rack Styles

Corner

Corner racks are available as wall-mounted hooks or bench-style options, as seen below:

Click here to see this corner coat rack on Amazon.

Compact

Compact options generally refer to coat racks with hooks that fold up in some way. This means that extra hooks can be stored away until they are needed.

Click here to see this compact coat rack on Amazon.

Wooden

For a more rustic style home, what could be more fitting than this old-fashioned throwback?

Click here to see this wooden coat rack on Amazon.

Metal

Metal hooks tend to be the sturdiest option and support the most weight. Plus, they create a modern and streamlined look.

Click here to see this metal coat rack on Amazon.

Artisan

Artisan coat racks are anything where the coat rack is more aesthetic than just functional – the design of the coat rack really stands alone, instead of simply offering a storage option. This cast iron rack is durable and would look great in a room with a more natural, outdoorsy setting.

Click here to see this cast iron coat rack on Amazon.

Freestanding Coat Rack Styles

Compact

The individual flappers, or hooks, can fold up to make room when they aren’t in use.

Click here to see this compact coat rack on Amazon.

Wooden

This wooden coat rack looks a bit more modern than the older options. It also combines coat hooks and storage shelves for more flexibility.

Click here to see this wooden coat rack on Amazon.

Metal

This rack is only 17 feet by 17 feet, meaning it can fit into a pretty narrow space. It also blends shelves, coat hooks, and hanging rods for an option that will fit nearly any space, and meet nearly any need.

Click here to see this coat rack on Amazon.

Artisan

This unique and quirky coat rack would look great in a casual setting.

Click here to see this metal coat rack on Amazon.

Where Should A Coat Rack Be Placed?

The most obvious place for a coat rack is in the entryway to organize all the incoming clutter, coats, and other accessories. But that isn’t the only place. Coat racks can also be used in the bathroom to hang towels or robes. Some people put coat racks in the bedroom to organize clothes. They can even be placed in the kitchen as a convenient way to hang aprons, towels, or potholders.

Where Should You Place A Coat Stand (Or Tree)?

Coat stands take up a bit more room than their wall-mounted counterparts. For this reason, they are mostly used in large entryways where there’s some extra space. This might be the front or back door. Sometimes, it might make sense to place a coat stand in a utility room. For more advice on organizing an entryway, read “How To Keep Entryway Floor Clean (Even In Winter!)” or “Where to Store Shoes at Entryway? [5 Suggestions]

Like coat racks, coat stands can also be used creatively in bedrooms, kitchens, or bathrooms. They won’t fit as easily as a coat rack, but if the room has enough space, a coat stand can be a great way to add extra storage. Just be sure to put it somewhere that it doesn’t impede movement around the room. Also, in a bathroom, consider whether the material can stand the moisture.

How Much Weight Can A Coat Rack Hold?

There’s no set rule on how much weight a coat rack can support. You’ll need to check the manufacturer’s instructions for specifics on your rack. Every coat rack is designed differently. In our coat rack examples above, the compact wall-mount rack only holds five pounds on each hook. The metal standalone coat rack supports 11-pounds on each hook. The corner bench supports up to 200-pounds in total.

With wall-mounted coat racks, the most important factor is proper installation. For best results, be sure to install the coat rack at studs in the walls. Hanging just from the drywall alone, your screw will only hold a few pounds. But going through the studs, you may be able to easily support 50-pounds or more. If you can’t use the studs, make sure that you at least use drywall anchors for installation. If you use a 3/8-inch drywall anchor, for example, it will help ensure that your wall can hold at least 50-pounds.

In Summary

Coat racks are the ideal way to organize and store coats and other accessories in an entryway, by the front or back door, or in a utility room. They also work well in a bathroom, bedroom, or kitchen to organize towels, robes, aprons, accessories, or clothing. Whether you use a standalone or wall-mounted coat rack depends on personal preference and space available. 

Coat racks are installed at about five feet high. This ensures that they are convenient and easy to reach for everyone but still high enough to keep coats from dragging on the floor. For proper and safe installation, always screw wall-mounted coat racks into studs (or at least use drywall anchors for extra support).

 
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