Fitted Vs. Freestanding Wardrobe: Which One is Right for You?

Written by: Instrument furniture 
Date: Jun 22, 2021 Updated: Jan 18, 2022

Everyone needs a room in their home that is their sanctuary, and you already know that your choice of bed and paint colours will set the tone for the room. However, the secondary furnishings and décor are just as important. This is especially true when it comes to the wardrobe. The first step and most significant decision you will have to make when shopping for a wardrobe is identifying whether you want a freestanding or a fitted wardrobe. Here is your guide on how to decide which type of wardrobe is right for you. 

What is a Freestanding Wardrobe?

Ipanema freestanding wardrobe

A freestanding wardrobe is also known as a stand-alone wardrobe. It is precisely as it sounds. This wardrobe style is portable pieces of furniture that are entirely self-containing, independent of anything else in the room. It is not attached to the walls, floors, or other pieces of furniture in the room. They either come pre-assembled or require assembly upon arrival.

What is a Fitted Wardrobe?

fitted wardrobeFitted wardrobe (Image credit: Anna Stathaki)

A fitted wardrobe is the complete opposite of a freestanding wardrobe. Once installed, this style is a permanent fixture in your room. Fitted wardrobes are custom-built to fit the specific space you have designated in the bedroom. They are typically built-in and permanently affixed to the floor, walls, and ceiling. 

Benefits of Freestanding Wardrobes

Purchasing a freestanding wardrobe will offer a myriad of benefits.  


One of the most attractive benefits of a freestanding wardrobe is that it is portable. If you want to rearrange your room, this is not an issue. Simply secure the manpower, and you can easily move a freestanding wardrobe to a different place in your bedroom, another room in the house, or even a different home if you decide to move in the future. If you purchase a freestanding wardrobe, it can be a long-term investment if you wish. You can rest assured that your wardrobe can go wherever you go in life. 

Resale Value

On the other hand, if you decide the freestanding wardrobe you purchased no longer fits your needs or your tastes have changed, you can determine resale price and sell it. Since it is mobile and not considered a permanent part of your home, you can move it out of your home and make a little extra money. 

Perfectly Match the Furniture in Your Room

You want your wardrobe to match the other pieces of furniture in your room. Opting for a freestanding wardrobe gives you a much higher chance of coordinating pieces of furniture. In fact, you can buy bedroom furniture sets that include freestanding wardrobes. Purchasing furniture in a set will save you time and money.

More Variation

There are so many types of freestanding wardrobes to choose from. Choose the colour you want, the style of doors, and the wardrobe size you need. With so many choices available, there’s no doubt that you can find a freestanding wardrobe that fits your wants and needs for your bedroom. 


Freestanding wardrobes tend to be more cost-effective than custom-built wardrobes. You can save even more money by purchasing a wardrobe with assembly required. Instructions are included and are straightforward, making for an easy build. This type of wardrobe is an excellent option for those who have a strict budget. 

Quicker Delivery

Since freestanding wardrobes are not custom, you can receive the piece of furniture much quicker. In fact, you may be able to get same-day delivery or receive it same-day in the store.

Benefits of Fitted Wardrobes

Although different, fitted wardrobes also offer their own benefits. Advantages come from the fact that this style of wardrobe is custom-built.

Take Advantage of Unique Spaces

Sloping ceilings and awkward nooks can make it challenging to fit a freestanding wardrobe. However, you can have a fitted wardrobe that accommodates non-standard ceilings and wall angles. This is a great way to take advantage of unique spaces in your bedroom that otherwise would go to waste. A fitted wardrobe is a clever way to hide an otherwise unattractive layout.

Customise Storage Space

Fitted wardrobes allow you to customise your storage space. Incorporate as much or as little hanging space, drawers, and shoe racks as you wish based on your wardrobe. Maybe you only have a few shoes but have many clothes. In this case, you will want primarily hanging and drawer space. This allows you to maximise the efficiency of your wardrobe. 

As an added benefit, you can better organise your clothing to suit your lifestyle and not have to spend every morning searching for the specific clothing items you need for the day. 

Maximise Space

In most cases, freestanding wardrobes do not go floor to ceiling. There will be space between the top of the wardrobe and the ceiling, which is great if you want to use it for décor. However, if you don’t, this is considered wasted space. Fitted wardrobes can be built to go floor-to-ceiling, giving you more space inside your closet and eliminating wasted space in your bedroom. 

The Illusion of a Bigger Room

Since fitted wardrobes are part of the room, they may make a bedroom feel larger than it actually is. This can help with resale value. As we mentioned above, incorporating a fitted wardrobe can help make an awkward layout more functional which also helps when selling your home.

Cons of Freestanding Wardrobes

As with everything, there are always cons to any item, and freestanding wardrobes are no exception. Let’s look at the disadvantages of purchasing a stand-alone wardrobe.

Standard Sizes

More than likely, you will not be able to find freestanding wardrobes in oddball sizes. However, since wardrobes come in several standard sizes, the chances are great that you can find a size that works for the space. Learn how to choose ideal wardrobe measurements carefully before making a purchase.

Potential for Wasted Space

Since freestanding wardrobes do not go from the floor to the ceiling, there is the potential that the space between the top of the piece of furniture and the ceiling is wasted space. You can make use of this space by adding décor or even shelving. 

Cons of Fitted Wardrobes

creative fitted wardrobe interiorCreative use of built-in wardrobe by Chris Snook

At first glance, custom can seem like the easy winner. However, it is vital to understand the substantial downsides that come with a fitted wardrobe before you commit. 

Inability to Relocate

Once a fitted wardrobe is installed, it’s there! If you want to rearrange the bedroom, moving the wardrobe is not an option. Moving the piece of furniture to another room is also not an option. Most importantly, a fitted wardrobe cannot come with you if you move homes. It is part of the house and must stay there. 

Even if you could move a fitted wardrobe, chances are good it will not fit into your new bedroom since it is a custom build.

Resale is Not an Option

Whether you want a different wardrobe or are moving, selling a fitted wardrobe is not an option. With a freestanding wardrobe, you may get some of your money back if you change your mind. This is not the case with a custom wardrobe.


Custom products always cost more than standard options. A fitted wardrobe will cost more than a freestanding option because it must be tailor-built to your specifications. This option should definitely be thought of as a long-term investment.

More Time Consuming

It takes time to build a custom wardrobe. Therefore, you will not get your wardrobe immediately, which can be a problem if you are in a time crunch. The length of time it takes to complete the build and installation is based on the contractor’s availability and the size of the project.

Hurt Your Home’s Resale Value

If you know there is a chance you may resale your home in the future, installing a fitted wardrobe is a risk. It is a permanent fixture, which means potential home buyers must like your taste in wardrobes, and the layout must work for their style. This can severely limit potential buyers and may even be a deal-breaker if buyers who look at the home do not love the wardrobe. 

A Freestanding Wardrobe Might Be Right for You If

Maestro freestanding sliding wardrobeMaestro freestanding sliding wardrobe

  • You are on a budget
  • May move in the future
  • Like to rearrange and redecorate spaces
  • Like the idea of having the option to resale the piece of furniture down the road
  • Need a wardrobe sooner rather than later

Opting for a freestanding wardrobe does not mean you have to sacrifice style or quality. You can shop for stand-alones in just about any colour and layout you want. 

A Fitted Wardrobe Might Be Right for You If

  • You have a large budget
  • You plan on staying in your home long-term 
  • You never rearrange furniture or incorporate new décor
  • The resale value of the piece of furniture does not matter to you
  • You have an awkward space to work with, or unique layout needs

Final Thoughts

When vetting wardrobe options, there is no one right answer. The perfect solution will depend on your unique needs, budget, and personal preferences. Freestanding wardrobes offer the most versatility, while fitted wardrobes offer the most customisation. Choose the option that will work best with your lifestyle, and you won’t go wrong!