Hello and welcome to our ultimate guide on cupboards and wardrobes.
We know how much our customers love our cheap cupboards and wardrobes and they are continually asking questions about our furniture.
So we decided to draw up this guide on wardrobes and cupboards to help you with some of your queries.
We will be trying to answer everything you’ve ever wanted to know about cupboards and wardrobes including, history, types, materials, cost and more.
We will also dive into narrow wardrobes, small wardrobes and ample 4 door cupboards, walk-in wardrobes and more.
What will I learn?
- A history guide to cupboards and wardrobes– where and when did they first appear?
- Cupboards or wardrobes? Two names for one item?
- Variations of wardrobes and cupboards
- Pine, MDF or hardwood wardrobes- which material is the best?
- What type of wardrobe for my bedroom – buying guide
- How to find the best wardrobes and cupboards for your money
- F.A.Q. about wardrobes and cupboards
- Where to buy cheap wardrobes and cupboards
A quick history guide on cupboards and wardrobes types
When were cupboards and wardrobes first invented?
Well, like many other pieces of furniture, wardrobes and cupboards have been around for centuries. However, in times gone past these pieces of furniture were seen as two separate items.
One for the bedroom and one for the kitchen or living room.
In medieval Europe, the cupboard was used for storing dining, living and kitchen utensils.
This was the place where the wealthy would display their ornaments, porcelain, fancy cutlery and other more expensive items.
Those who were not wealthy, but could still afford a cupboard, would store their kitchen utensils, plates, spoons, forks and other dining items in it.
Therefore as well as being functional furniture item, the cupboard was a sign of social status.
As time moved on and furniture innovation modernised, the cupboard was joined by other pieces of furniture which would fit perfectly in the kitchen, living and dining rooms.
So with the introduction of newer furniture like sideboards, display units, console tables and living room buffets, the use of the cupboard as a primarily downstairs furniture item was slowly coming to an end.
And not before long the dining cupboard was soon to become redundant.
Bye-bye cupboard ….. hello new furniture.
One of the first pieces of dining furniture which started the downfall of the cupboard was the sideboard.
The sideboard came with its own little cupboards, cabinets and shelves for storing all your dining and kitchen utensils.
There was also the display cabinet, which was perfect for displaying ornaments, sentimental artefacts and more prestige glass and chinaware.
Many display cabinets were now being made with lower built-in cabinets too.
Console tables were perfect in the living room and especially in the hallway where there was not a great need for a large amount of storage. They had built-in drawers which were ideal for keeping essential and those close to hand items like keys, hats etc.
Living room buffets and sideboards were used by the more affluent for all the handy everyday items which were not needed in the kitchen and dining areas.
Kitchens started to be fitted with their own units and cabinets which would house all cooking and dining items conveniently.
Slowly these items would push the cupboard out of all these rooms and send it straight to its grave!
Ok ok, a bit dramatic I know, but I mean upstairs
In the late 17 and early 18th Century, there were two popular bedroom items.
There was an old type of furniture called the ‘press’. It was used to press clothes and the linen cupboard which was used for storing linens.
Eventually, these two items of furniture merged into one more prominent piece of furniture which became the clothes wardrobe.
We have to keep in mind that previously people didn’t have so many different items of clothing. The little they did have, they would fold away or hang up wherever convenient.
So there was no real need for furniture that housed all their clothes and accessories.
During the 18th Century, with a growing working and middle class, money became more available, and consumerism slowly increased.
This led to newer home furniture and accessories inventions.
Old furniture also got a face-lift and cupboards and wardrobes were no different.
Soon the design of the wardrobe changed. It started being used to hang heavier clothes like gowns and robes as well as those which would crease easily.
They were now being kept upstairs too. And though it might seem odd to us nowadays, the wardrobe was generally held in the upstairs hallway or the attic.
Away from the bedroom!
Cupboards or wardrobes? Two names for one item?
As we have covered above, cupboards were initially dining and living room items. They had built-in cabinets for storing utensils, plates and other types of pottery.
Some also had shelves for smaller items like kitchen knives, utensils etc.
The cupboard was slowly becoming trivial in the kitchen with newer innovative pieces of furniture like sideboards and display units taking its place.
It moved around the house through the living room, attic and eventually found a home in the bedroom.
Bedrooms already had wardrobes which were used mainly for hanging heavier and longer items of clothing like gowns and robes.
Soon the cupboard and wardrobe merged together until they more or less become the same item but with interchangeable names,
Some called it a cupboard while others called it a wardrobe.
Which leads us to the modern-day, where the main difference between the two is just the name.
Two names for more or less the same item.
Yes, there may be one or two minor differences; for example, the word “cupboard” might be used a bit more in the UK than in the US. However, they have now become more or less synonymous.
Cupboards and wardrobe revolution – Modern-day differences types and variations
As with all things, needs and lifestyles change, and furniture is no different.
Soon the cupboard evolved with cabinets with doors as well as drawers. With time this would become its standard style, and it remained like this for many generations.
It’s versatility changed too.
From just storing longer and heavier garments, it was now being used to store all types of clothes and apparel including long robes, heavy dresses, shorter and lighter clothes and much more.
The wardrobe was becoming more and more functional, and slowly, carpenters started to innovate with its design.
Just as the original cupboards had two to three doors, these newer design ranged from single to 4 door cupboards with hanging rails, inner shelves and built-in drawers.
The innovation didn’t just stop there; they developed to the modern-day styles with sliding doors, free-standing cupboards and practical corner wardrobes.
Soon you could also buy wardrobes with mirrored doors and rooms with built-in bespoke cupboards and overbed units.
Now cupboards were not only officially a bedroom furniture item but amongst it’s most important.
In the 20th Century, manufacturers started introducing a range of different types of cupboards and wardrobes for the bedroom.
To give you a quick rundown below is a quick breakdown of the most popular ones:
The most popular style of home cupboard you can buy is the free-standing cupboard and wardrobe.
From small to large, with two doors to 4 door, mirrored or sliding door. These wardrobes are available in all styles and designs.
Perfect for any room wherever it is the master, children or the spare room.
Every home needs at least one free-standing wardrobe.
Another successful innovation was that of mirrored doors on wardrobes.
They help save you money on purchasing a separate large mirror and are available with standard cupboards and also corner wardrobes,
Not only do they save space and money but the risk of accidents that can occur with a stand-alone life-size mirror.
Our collection also has a large three-door and 4 door mirrored wardrobes too.
Sliding door cupboards
Sliding wardrobes are perfect in areas where there isn’t much space for the doors to open.
For example, if your bedroom is tight, and your bed or another item prevents the cupboard doors from opening fully.
Then a sliding door would be perfect for you.
As its doors slide open, giving you full access to contents without the doors being obstructed.
Available from 2 to 4 sliding door variations, the sliding door cupboard is also an excellent, fashionable piece of furniture which works flawlessly in small or large bedrooms.
Corner wardrobes are amongst the best space-saving furniture you can buy!
An essential storage solution, they easily slot into the corner of your room.
Helping you make use of dead space and provide extra storage for all your clothes.
They are available in single doors and double doors, with internal shelves, either on each side or/and as a top-shelf.
If you are struggling with space in your bedroom, then a corner cupboard might just be what you need.
Help organise your kids’ bedrooms with children’s cupboards!
From small to medium-sized children’s wardrobes, keep all your kid’s stuff in one place helping them to stay organised and independent.
Available in many different styles and sizes to fit into all types of children’s bedrooms.
Also usually priced lower than standard children saving you money for other essential items.
Narrow and slim cupboards
For all bedrooms with lack of space, narrow cupboards and wardrobes are perfect for storing your essentials.
Easily fit between other cupboards, chests of drawers and other items, narrow wardrobes are the perfect extra storage add-ons.
Usually with no internal shelves of drawers, so ample amount of space for hanging essential items of clothes like suits, shirts, dresses etc.
Some come with single or double lower drawers too.
Overbed wardrobe units
Overbed wardrobes units are usually custom made but can be bought off the shelf too.
If you’re doing a total refurb, then these cupboards are a good option.
The cupboards are designed to be on either side of your bed with smaller cabinets hanging over it.
This way, you get to make the most out of your space, leaving nothing as redundant or useless.
Large cupboards which are 3 doors wide, with and without mirrors, sliding doors or standard ones, are the ultimate bedroom storage item.
Having just one large cupboard could be enough for all your clothes and bedroom storage. With plenty of hanging space for suits, shirts, dresses, gown, robes and more.
They are designed with internal shelves to fit all types of towels, jumpers and more.
With two, three or four drawers too, any items you want to throw in, you can we the peace of mind knowing that they are safe and at hand when needed.
You can keep all types of things in here, including shoe storage areas too.
Having at least one of these cupboards is a must for every home.
Fitted wardrobes or bespoke cupboards are perfect for a complete bedroom refurbish.
If you have the budget, then fitted wardrobes could be the best option.
You can fit them perfectly into the space you have available and they are a fantastic way of using up difficult areas which otherwise might not get used to their full potential.
This is especially the case in areas like between chimney breasts etc.
For a more detailed comparison between the different varieties of wardrobes, please read our which cupboard is best for me? Article.
Pine, MDF or hardwood wardrobes- which material is the best?
Another thing to consider when buying a wardrobe or cupboard is the material it is made from.
We are lucky enough to live in a time where technology has advanced in a way previous generations could never have imagined.
And the furniture trade is no exception.
Nowadays wardrobes and cupboards are built form numerous different types of materials including hardwood oak, walnut, mahogany, pine, MDF, chipboard, reclaimed wood, metal etc.
Hardwood and Wooden pine wardrobes
In previous civilisations wherever in Europe, Greece or the far east, most home furniture was made out of wood.
Not only was it the cheapest and most popular material around, but it was also easy to work with.
It was soft yet durable, light yet strong, and most importantly, it was readily available.
Wooden furniture has always had a certain romanticism about it. And wooden wardrobes and cupboards are no different.
Robust, sturdy and yet still cheap, wooden cupboards are always most people go-to option.
There are many different types of woods to choose from. From pine to hardwood mango, mahogany, walnut and also reclaimed wood.
So when it comes to wood, there’s something for everyone!
Each with its own features and benefits!
Now metal wardrobes are not as widely used as wooden cupboards. However, they are becoming more and more popular. They are light and easy to transport around the house.
The most popular design is metal frames with fabric covers hanging over them for a light yet cheap storage solution. (image)
You can also buy the more chic style metal wardrobes too (add image)
MDF and Chipwood cupboards
A trendy modern way of manufacturing heavy duty furniture, MDF furniture has moved on bounds and bounds.
Once Seen as a cheaper option, now MDF furniture has a touch of quality and discovery about it.
Much easier to manipulate then hardwood, and stronger than plywood, MDF furniture is designed in many many styles, sizes and colours.
What type of wardrobe for my bedroom – buying guide
Everyone has different reasons for buying wardrobes and cupboards for their bedrooms. Some want to completely refurb their bedroom others just want to replace some old furniture.
Those with children might want to invest in one for their children while if you have moved into a new property, you might want to change the old furniture.
Then there is also the type of room you are trying to furnish.
For the smaller room, you might want a more compact one or for the guest room a more functional style. If it for your master room, then you might wish to buy a larger free-standing one.
If you’re looking for something for your children’s rooms, then you might either want a smaller and more compact wardrobe.
Or you have the option of a medium wardrobe to fit in everything they need, or for a shared room.
If purchasing for the master bedroom, more extensive cupboards usually fit the bill. This includes large wardrobes, overbed units and even fitted wardrobes
It all depends on your needs.
For more help with your wardrobe choices, please read our complete wardrobe buying guide.
How to organise your bedroom for wardrobes and cupboards
Right, so now we are going to try and organise your bedroom in the best possible manner.
We want to make sure we get all the essential items in there, while still having enough room to move around and not feel claustrophobic.
Ok, let’s start at the beginning.
Where to put my wardrobe?
If you’re like most people, then you might not have much choice with this one.
What I mean by this is, if your house is the traditionally designed house, where it has a chimney wall on one side and a windowed wall adjacent to it.
Then you are only left with two walls to put your wardrobe, especially if it is a large one.
However, if you have a small or a compact medium wardrobe, then you might be able to fit in between the chimney breast or on the windowed wall, to the side of the window.
Again if you have two windows on the wall, then you most likely will only be able to fit it next to one of them without covering some part of the other window.
So if you are facing with little issues like these, the first thing you need to do is plan out the area you have available.
This way, you will be able to visualise your room correctly with all the furniture that needs to go in, giving you a better understanding of the space that is available.
It helps to ensure there are no obstructions when trying to fit in each piece of furniture it into the designated areas.
Planning your bedroom layout
Each room has different storage possibilities. So we have listed some common points and ideas to help you plan your bedroom.
There are a few things we need to keep in mind during this process, and at the same time find solutions to any problems we might occur.
Measuring your room
Measure the areas where you want to put the wardrobes or where they are most likely going to fit. Make sure you give it a bit of space on either side, as you will have to manoeuvre it in the gap. If it’s too tight, the cupboard might fit, but you might struggle to get it in properly.
If you have a low ceiling or your room is in the attic, or the loft then measure every wall and corner precisely.
This will help you with your buying choices and should prevent you from buying the wrong size furniture.
As mentioned before, it’s always a good idea to draw out a plan of your room on a piece of paper.
Another thing which might be of concern is light.
Ideally, you want the cupboard in an area where light can get to it easily.
Whether it’s natural light or not.
You don’t want to tuck away such a niche area that it always remain dark around it.
Otherwise, you will have to invest in a separate wardrobe light.
Damp can be another problem when deciding which wall to put your wardrobe against.
If the wall you choose does have a damp problem, then clean it properly first and treat it.
As with all furniture, we aim to prevent damp from setting in.
Measuring your wardrobe
So the first thing we need to measure the exact width of the cupboard.
This also includes opening the doors and measuring the full span.
If your bedroom is in the attic or loft, then you may have low-end ceilings. If so you might also have to measure the height of the wardrobe too.
Where to put your wardrobe
Well, ideally we have be careful not to put in a tight area. This could prevent the doors from opening full stretch. They might also rub against the walls when opening.
But to answer this question properly; first, we have to determine which type of cupboards and room we have.
Medium to large rooms
Large bedrooms can add extra furnishings like armchairs, m desks etc..
The way to plan to fit in your wardrobes in a sizeable room is to use the longest wall with no windows or door frames in it.
As large wardrobes are usually the widest piece of furniture you will have so the main walls are perfect for them.
If you have niche areas next to the chimney breasts, then that is an ideal area for small or medium type cupboards.
For dead space behind the door frames or other room corners, a corner wardrobe would be perfect in that area.
Away from windows ideally, big and clucky and obscure natural light from getting in.
Small / Tight bedrooms
Now if you have a tight bedroom, the best solution for you will be a sliding door cupboard.
This way you can put it close to another piece of furniture or any other items you might need in your bedroom and still not worry about your access to the wardrobe.
As the doors slide to the sides of the wardrobes, having a bed or something similar in front of it won’t obstruct your access.
If you have a lot of furniture in your bedroom but still need some extra storage than a narrow wardrobe could be perfect.
You can fit it into areas next to chimney breast, or next to other wardrobes, chest of drawers or even in areas where you would typically put a corner cupboard.
Style and type of wardrobe:
Last but not least, the style of the wardrobe also matters to our customers.
With our range you can choose from traditional. modern, corner wardrobes, sliding door wardrobes, free standing wardrobes and even mirrored wardrobes.
Now narrow wardrobes can fit anywhere, most of the time. They can slot in between other wardrobes and areas like in between the chimney breast and side well.
These cupboards can also fit into dead areas like between the door frame and an adjacent wall.
You can even put them just outside your bedroom in the hallway to save yourself more space.
Sliding door wardrobes
Wardrobes with sliding doors are excellent in a box room where everything has to be cramped in.
If you only have enough room for a cupboard right behind, in front of or next to your bed, then a sliding door one is perfect.
You can push it right up against your bed and not worry about obstructing the doors when trying to open it,
If you want to, you can even put a lamp table or little chest of drawers in front of the side of the wardrobe that doesn’t open, and still have access to your wardrobe.
Mirrored wardrobes are ideal for masters rooms as well as those rooms that don’t have much room space.
They help you save money on buying separate large size mirrors and can be put anywhere you like.
Corner wardrobes can fit into most corners of any bedroom.
Even in small tight rooms, you can fit a corner wardrobe to help make more space by leaving a lot of room free.
If you have dead space in a room and want to make the best of it, buy a corner wardrobe.
Narrow free standing wardrobes are the most common and standard wardrobes which are used by most people. They vary in size from single doors to large 4 door wardrobes. Can fit into small, medium and larger rooms.
Ideal for most houses
Traditional styles wardrobes fit into most bedrooms which have a large wooden furniture appearance. So if you have many pine and other wooden beds, chest of drawers, dressing tables etc, then a traditional wardrobe will fit right in.
They also allow a smart contrast in more modern rooms to.
Modern style wardrobes are usually painted in matt or high gloss. You can also get them in metal and chrome! If you are looking to jazz up a room from modern styles are perfect.
Once again, they also give a sharp contrast in more traditional themes too.
How to find the best wardrobes and cupboards for your money
Everybody wants to find a bargain.
I mean, who doesn’t want the perfect piece of furniture at the best price?
So here we will list all the features and benefits you should look out for in a wardrobe.
We shall also show you a selection of wardrobes and cupboards which are not only great value for money but fit into all the different styles you might want.
Ok, so what do you need to look for in a new wardrobe?
Well, It all depends on what is the most essential factor for you?
Is it budget, size or style of the wardrobe?
Let’s start with the budget
If it is budget, then pick a figure and stick to it.
Granted there is always some scope for slight movement up or down. Still, generally, you don’t want to move away from your original figure too much.
Hopefully, this will save you from regretting spending too much money later on.
So here is our list of the Best wardrobes under £200.
These wardrobes are not only great value for money but also sleek, chic and come with internal hanging rails and shelves.
First up is the :
A fresh and calm effect wardrobe which has an internal rail and a top-shelf. Perfect as a medium wardrobe for any room. Priced at only £165.00 with free delivery
Next up is the Nina 2 Door Simple Wardrobe in Arctic White.
This wardrobe is soft, sensual and beautiful. It also has an inner top-shelf and comes with a hanging rail too.
Third on the wardrobes under £200 list is the Florence 2 door corner wardrobe.
Part of our fantastic space savers, corner cupboards help use up dead space while saving you money at the same time.
Our list of medium budget wardrobes – Between £200 – £299.99
These wardrobes are available in corner cupboards and standard freestanding cupboards as well. They include shelves, hanging rails and in some case drawers also.
This white gloss wardrobe has a number of built-in shelves as well as an internal hanging rail. It is 200 cm high and 120 cm wide, so can provide a storage solution to most bedrooms.
A bargain at only £239.99, including delivery.
The Santino 2 door corner wardrobe
The Santino grey and white 2 door corner cupboard is a fantastically practical corner wardrobe that easily fits into any bedroom.
It is a grey and white gloss corner wardrobe with white gloss fronts and matt white sides. It has 2 hanging rails, one high and one low, making it ideal for long coats, dresses and robes as well as suits, jeans, trousers, jumpers etc.
Also available in a white cupboard,both at £349.99 with quick dispatch and free delivery!
The next most common buying factor is size
With most people, when they need to buy a wardrobe, they always check which size would fit their room.
When purchasing for the master room, most people go for large or medium cupboards.
For a regular room or for children’s room than usually it is small to medium size bedroom.
For small box room and guest rooms, then small and narrow cupboards are suitable.
Our range starts from small and narrow to large 4 door wardrobes.
From smallest to largest.
Small wardrobes are perfect for children’s rooms or even guest rooms. When you are tight for space or don’t need too much to store than these wardrobes are ideal for you.
They are generally cheaper to buy and also and more accessible to clean too.
A few quick examples of small wardrobes:
This is our French styled Single wardrobe. This piece has been handmade and hand carved and is constructed with a 100% solid mango wood.
Then there is the Niton Sonoma Oak Effect Shallow Narrow Slim Mirrored Wardrobe
It has 3 internal shelves as well as a hanging rail and a mirrored door! A great dynamic wardrobe.
Or you could try the Bamby narrow wardrobe
A compact, slim narrow wardrobe in oak with white gloss doors with pull out hanging rail.
Perfect for small tight spaces.
Medium to moderate sized wardrobes.
Moderate size cupboards can fit into medium and large size rooms reasonably easily. They provided ample storage space that can be used as a stand-alone solution or part of a set of wardrobes.
Most of them come with internal shelves, and some also have drawers too.
Usually priced relatively low, you can sometimes gran yourself a bargain with a good-sized yet cheap medium-sized wardrobes
For example, check out the The Sandringham Oak and Grey Two Door Two Drawer Wardrobe.
This piece offers a great blend of style and practicality.
It has a full-width hanging rail and two wide drawers offering varied storage options.
Then there is the Venice Alpine White 2 door 2 drawer Wardrobe.
It has internal shelves, hanging rails and two drawers. It also has a mirrored front.
Large sized cupboards:
Large wardrobes are best for master rooms. They can fit in everything you need from your clothes, apparels etc.
They have several internal shelves to help organise your wardrobe precisely and also have drawers for all other smaller items.
Slightly more expensive than the rest, but with our free delivery and multi-purchase discount you can save some money when ordering through us.
The Sensational Carloni Sliding Door Wardrobe is available in Oak, Wenge and White.
It has shelves, hanging rails and a sliding door. Sized at W251cm, H216cm, D63cm, it can fit in more or less everything you need to store!
We also have the Helena Large Sliding Door Wardrobe which is also available in Wenge or White Semi Gloss.
It comes with numerous internal shelves and a long hanging rail. It’s dimension are: W219cm, H206cm, D66cm, thus giving you ample amount of storage space.
F.A.Q. about wardrobes and cupboards
- Can i buy cheap yet good quality wardrobes?
Yes, of course you can. Good quality wardrobes do not have to be expensive. You can find an array of good wardrobes at affordable prices. Checkout our range too, you might find something which suits your needs.
2. Are mdf wardrobes cheaply made?
Mdf furniture have been given a bad reputation over the years. They were seen as low quality when they were first introduced to society. However as times have moved on, manufacturing technology has allowed the making of MDF furniture to a high quality yet still keeping the prices down.
3. Which is the best material for bedroom wardrobes?
Many people buy pine wardrobes. These are perfect for most styles and themes. Easily manipulated to be designed in many ways, pine wardrobes are also very keenly priced too.
Hardwood wardrobes, like, Oak, are very popular too. Long lasting and heavy duty, these cupboards can become a long term investment.
Metal, MDF and other types of wardrobes have really moved on in their development too.
Where to buy cheap wardrobes and cupboards
So just browse our wardrobe category and hopefully you will find what you’re after, any questions just email!