Skip to Content

How High Should Closet Shelves And Rod Be?

Making certain that the items in your closet are easily accessible makes life a little bit easier. The height of the shelf and rod have a big impact on how well things can be arranged and reached. If you are wondering how high a closet shelf and clothes rod should be, we can help you. We researched the dynamics of this little room from multiple expert sources, so you'll know where they need to be.

Disclosure: We may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

If you are placing a single clothes rod in a closet, it should be placed 66 inches above the floor. A single shelf should be placed at least four inches above the clothes rod.

Now that we know how high a closet shelf and clothes rod should be, we'll look at the practical reasons for these recommendations. You might also be curious how deep a shelf is above a clothes rod or how many inches you'll need for hanging clothes. For the answers to these questions and more, read ahead in this post to see what our research has uncovered.

Female Fashionable Stylish Wardrobe. A Large White Built-in Wardrobe Stocked With Women's Clothing, Shoes and Accessories. Walk-in closet, Dressing Room for Women. High quality photo - How High Should Closet Shelves And Rod Be

The height of your rods and shelves 

Earlier in this post, we outlined the recommended height of a single clothes bar in a closet with a single shelf. But many folks would rather capitalize on as much of this available space as possible. With a single clothes rod, you'll notice a lot of room between the bottom of the hanging clothes and the floor. How can this area be best utilized?

The double clothes bar system allows you to utilize more space in your closet.

Many people have used a double clothes bar in their bedroom closets. However, doing so will mean that you have to set the clothes bar at certain heights. You want ample room between both bars so that the clothes on the top bar aren't in the way of the bottom bar. And you will want the bottom bar high enough so the clothes hanging on it won't touch the floor.

With a double rod system, it's recommended that you place the top bar 80 inches above the ground. The second bar should be 40 inches from the floor. This makes both clothes rods low enough for a person of average height to access but high enough to be off the floor.

Remember that if you have longer garments, like dresses or coats, the double bar system we mention here will not work well. You will either need to use a single rod system or place the top rod near the top of the closet. This will be too high for most people to retrieve garments from without the aid of a step stool.

Multiple shelves do not pair well with various clothes rods

Home closet organized by color with hangers aligned

Multiple shelves in a closet have distances between them that are not set in stone. While you want about four inches between the bottom shelf and a clothes rod, you can have varying distances between that shelf and the one above it. How far apart these shelves are will depend on the available room, how many clothes rods you have, and what you want to store.

If your closet is standard, it will be eight feet tall [96 inches]. If you have a double clothes bar, you have already taken up 80 inches of room from the floor, leaving 12 inches [after placing the shelf four inches above the rod]. One shelf might be all you can have in this scenario.

But if you have a single clothes rod set at 66 inches above the floor, you will have 30 inches of room. If the shelves are an inch thick, and you have the bottom shelf at four inches above the clothes rod, this leaves 24 inches of room. Two shelves with 12 inches of vertical space above them are plenty of room for most items you'd store in a clothes closet.

How deep should a closet shelf be above a clothes rod?

How deep the shelf of a closet should be might not have even been one of your considerations. But having proper depth is important. This will determine what items will safely fit on the shelf.

It's recommended that the shelf in your closet be between 11 and 15 inches. This sets the frame back far enough in the closet so that access to the small room is not limited. It also gives you enough room to store shoes, boots, hats, and other items suitable for this space.

Closets in modern homes are typically 24 inches deep. But in older homes, this amount varies greatly. Carefully measure all dimensions of your closet before you plan on what your shelf and rod layout will be. This could save you a lot of additional trouble and added work.

Female Fashionable Stylish Wardrobe. A Large White Built-in Wardrobe Stocked With Women's Clothing, Shoes and Accessories. Walk-in closet, Dressing Room for Women. High quality photo

How many inches do you need to hang clothes?

When you finish your closet redo, you will want the right amount of room in the closet to hang your clothes so they don't get wrinkled or damaged. As we mentioned earlier in this post, proper spacing between rods is essential, as is keeping the rods a certain minimum distance above the floor.

You'll want the clothes to be about 40 inches apart for shorter garments, like shirts. Folded jeans, slacks, and dress pants are usually folded and will fit nicely in this space. Larger garments, like dresses and coats, can pose a problem.

You want a minimum of 52 inches for these types of garments. If you are using a clothes closet for them, you might forgo the double bar system. Alternately, you can eliminate the shelf and hang the top clothes rod higher. You can maximize the space by leaving the bottom rod at 40 inches from the floor but installing the top rod 92 inches up.

Keep in mind that most people will not be able to reach the clothes on the top bar without difficulty. Using this method, you will need to keep a stepstool handy.

Smiling young woman standing with heap of folded clothing in hands smiling at camera

How far should a clothes bar be from the closet's back wall?

When installing the clothes rod in the closet, you know that putting it at the right height is important. But ensuring that you leave enough space between the rod and the closet's back wall is just as critical.

The garments will be crammed against the wall if you leave too little space. They will sit weird and wrinkle. They will also rub against the wall, wearing parts of the garment out.

You will eliminate this issue if you leave at least 15 inches of room between the clothes rod and the back wall. It also leaves enough room in front of the hung clothes for the door of the closet to close unimpeded.

Rainbow colored shirts on hangers.

Final thoughts

The distance that a clothes rod and shelf should be from the floor is relatively uniform, but there is a lot of deviation depending on whether or not you are using a single rod and shelf or multiple ones.

By carefully planning out where your rods and shelves are, you can both maximize the available space in this tiny area while at the same time making it easier to access its contents. Keep our design guidelines in mind when planning your next closet rearrangement, and you'll be able to get the most out of your closet.

We hope this post on closet shelving answered all of your questions. For additional helpful information, we recommend reading the following posts:

What To Do With Open Space Above A Closet [11 Stylish Solutions!]

Should Inside Of Closet Be White Or The Same Color As The Room?

How To Make Use Of A Closet With A Sloped Ceiling