File Cabinet Dimensions

Do you need a place to store important documents and folders? A file cabinet is probably the best piece of office furniture for this job. The main thing to consider is whether or not the file cabinet dimensions fit your workspace.

File cabinets come in a wide range of sizes, which are typically based on its orientation and the number of drawers. A typical vertical 4-drawer file cabinet measures around 18 inches wide, 27 inches deep, and 52 inches high (46 × 69 × 132 cm).

This guide will cover common file cabinet types and common dimensions, as well as describe how to find the best file cabinet for your home or office.

Types of File Cabinets and Their Dimensions

Everybody needs a file cabinet—a piece of furniture that’s designed to store and organize important documents and folders. However, there’s more than one type of file cabinet.

1. Vertical File Cabinet

These are the traditional file cabinets, tall and narrow, saving floor space while offering ample storage. They typically have 2 to 5 drawers, ideal for storing legal and letter-sized documents. This type of file cabinet is perfect for small offices or personal use.

The dimensions of a vertical cabinet heavily rely on how many drawers it has. The typical 4-drawer vertical file cabinet measures around 18 inches in width, 27 inches in depth, and 52 inches in height. In contrast, a 5-drawer unit will have a height of around 64 inches.

2. Lateral File Cabinets

Wider than vertical cabinets, lateral file cabinets offer a larger filing capacity. They’re suitable for both letter and legal-sized files. These cabinets are great for larger office spaces and can also be used as room dividers or extra counter space.

While the number of drawers may affect a lateral file cabinet’s height, the width of each drawer is what matters the most. For instance, 2 or 3-drawer lateral file cabinets may measure 30 inches tall and 20 inches deep, but its width can be 28 to 36 inches and beyond.

3. Mobile File Cabinets

Designed for flexibility, mobile file cabinets are compact with wheels for easy movement. They’re perfect for dynamic office environments or home offices where space is limited. Some come with a cushioned top, doubling as a temporary seat.

The measurements of a 2-drawer mobile cabinet are around 15 inches wide, 16 inches deep, and 27 inches high. Take into account a few extra inches in height due to its casters.

4. Flat File Cabinets

These cabinets are unique, designed for storing large documents like blueprints, maps, or artwork. They consist of wide, shallow drawers and are ideal for architects, artists, and engineers.

Due to its specialized purpose, these file cabinets are much wider and deeper than the typical file cabinet. Common dimensions are 54 inches wide, 42 inches deep, and only about 17 inches high.

5. Side Tab File Cabinets

Commonly used in medical and legal offices, these cabinets store files laterally with tabs on the side for easy viewing and access. They may or may not have drawers since the main purpose is for visibility. As such, these cabinets usually have shelves. They’re efficient for high-volume filing systems.

The dimensions of a side tab file cabinet are similar to vertical file cabinets, but lateral-sized side tab file cabinets are also made available.

Top File Cabinet Picks and Their Sizes

If you’re looking for the best file cabinet, you should take a look at the following top picks:

1. Poppin Stow 2-Drawer File Cabinet

The Poppin Stow 2-Drawer File Cabinet combines style and functionality. Its sturdy, powder-coated steel design, accommodating both letter and legal-size files, is ideal for any office. Pre-assembled with a lock for security, it’s convenient and secure. The sleek 15.5 × 17.7 × 25.8-inch design enhances any workspace, promoting organization and productivity. The choice of colors allows for personalization or branding, making it a versatile choice for various office environments.

2. DEVAISE 3 Drawer Rolling File Cabinet with Lock

The DEVAISE 3 Drawer Rolling File Cabinet is a practical addition to any office space. Its lockable first drawer enhances security, fitting neatly under most desks. The 17.7 × 15.5 × 25.8-inch cabinet offers ample storage, with 2 smaller drawers and a larger one for various file sizes. Its smooth ball bearing slides ensure easy access. The addition of rotatable wheels, including safety casters, adds mobility and stability. Constructed from durable materials, it also serves as a sturdy printer stand.

3. Lorell 14341 18 Deep 2-Drawer File Cabinet

The Lorell 14341 18 Deep 2-Drawer File Cabinet is a solid choice for small or home offices. Its compact size (14.3 x 18 x 24 inches) makes it a convenient fit for various spaces. The 2 drawers, designed for letter-size files, feature smooth-glide suspension for easy access. The lockable drawers add a layer of security for important documents. Its steel construction with a baked enamel finish ensures durability, while the plastic pull handles provide a comfortable grip.

4. Safco Products 4996WHR 5-Drawer Flat File Cabinet

The Safco Products 4996WHR 5-Drawer Flat File Cabinet is a robust and spacious storage solution for large documents. Its steel construction with a white powder coat finish is both durable and sleek. The drawers, designed for documents up to 32 × 43 inches, glide smoothly on heavy-duty nylon rollers and are equipped with safety features. The cabinet’s stackable design up to 5 units high offers customizable storage options. Compatibility with Safco’s bases and an optional lock kit adds versatility and security to this functional office essential.

How to Pick the Best File Cabinet

Picking a file cabinet can be tricky business, especially since they’re used for storing important files. Here’s a quick guide that will help you find the best file cabinet for your workspace.

1. Measure Available Space

This includes measuring floor space and vertical clearance. Tighter offices may require a narrower file cabinet with a limited footprint. Take any overhead obstacles into account, such as lamps or ceiling fans.

2. Determine Your Storage Needs

Think about the volume and type of documents you need to store. For standard-sized documents, traditional vertical or lateral cabinets are suitable. For oversized documents like blueprints, opt for flat file cabinets.

3. Material and Durability

File cabinets are typically made from metal or wood. Metal cabinets are durable and often more secure, while wood cabinets offer aesthetic appeal and blend well with home decor.

4. Locking Mechanism for Security

If you store sensitive documents, choose a file cabinet with a reliable locking system. This provides added security against unauthorized access.

5. Fireproof and Water-resistant Options

For added protection of critical documents, consider fireproof and water-resistant file cabinets. They provide peace of mind by protecting against fire and water damage.