Does A Closet HAVE TO HAVE A Door? (What Do You Think!?!)

We’re accustomed to closets that have doors.

This type of closet has been the default choice for many homeowners for one reason – the need to keep clothes locked away from dust and any prying eyes.

But that’s just that.

If your room is small that your closet doors can’t swing in and out without ‘taking up your valuable space, you might want to explore other options.

Regardless, Does A Closet HAVE TO HAVE A Door?

No, it doesn’t but it would be great if it had in some situations. There are a few compelling reasons why you want a doored closet. However, some closet styles – such as the open or walk-in type – are traditionally doorless (more on those later).

Three Reasons To Utilize Closet Doors

A doored closet would be a great idea in these situations:

1. UV Light-induced Damages

One of the top reasons why homeowners insist on doored closets is to protect clothes from UV rays damage

If you are unfortunate to have a closet built to face a large window through which the morning/evening sun shines into your home, there’s no way you’d keep your clothes in there without shutting the doors.

UV light can be highly destructive to your clothes in the long run.

Prolonged exposure disintegrates the bonds that hold fabrics together. Other than breakage, UV light is known to cause color fading (photodegradation).

Natural fabrics such as silk, cotton, and silk are more vulnerable to fading more than tougher well-engineered synthetic fabrics like nylon, polyester, etc.

2. The Closet Is Situated in The Hallway Or Bedroom

You want to keep your clothes clean and dust-free.

More often than not, closets are situated in the hallway or bedroom for convenience reasons.

The former is exposed to dust more than the latter.

As you clean the rest of your home, chances are high some of the flying dust and debris will find settle on your clothes.

Such a situation calls for a doored closet that you can lock to keep most of the dust at bay.

3. You Are a Smoker or Live with One

Few things are as disgusting as a seemingly nice piece of apparel that reeks of tobacco smoke.

If you smoke occasionally or you live with a smoker and would like to maintain some level of decency, consider locking your pieces in a closet.

Closet doors may not provide the perfect barrier you need to protect your shield your clothes, but it can be a nice start.

Walk In Closets: Traditionally Doorless

Picture this: you just bought a few pieces of apparel that you can’t stop admiring.

You want to see them from the bed and everywhere else in the bedroom without some swinging doors ruining your view.

So you envision a decently designed closet that simply links your bedroom through a door frame, with no door. Well, you’re imagining a real closet – an open/walk-in closet.

“Open” and “walk-in” are sometimes used interchangeably to refer to a group of different styles of closets with one attribute in common – no door. They allow you to admire your collection from anywhere in front within 180 degrees.

Open closets don’t just banish doors but, oftentimes, walls as well.

This doorless approach comes with numerous benefits:


Better organization, thanks to inbuilt shelves, purpose-built baskets, and convenient drawers for everything else you can’t store together with your clothes.

Color Integration

With walk-in closets, you get to integrate clothing and everything fashion with the room’s character.

The fact that it’s doorless may mean your clothing will be part of the look of your room.

Dressing Room Feel

An open closet helps you create a more realistic dressing room in your bedroom.

If a certain piece doesn’t rhyme with the mood of the day, you just look back in the closet from where you are and make choose a better replacement.

More Square Footage

If your dressing room has an open floor plan, a walk-in closet can be a great choice because it helps increase the overall square footage available for you to strut around and view yourself in the nearby mirror.

Reach-In Closets

Reach-in closest are very much like walk-in (open) closets except that you can’t stroll into them.

As the name suggests, you only retrieve your clothes by stretching your arm into one of the many slots that make up the larger compartment.

While they are often doorless, you are allowed to add a sliding door or even the typical swinging pair.

The fact that they are doorless by default means you can easily integrate them with the style of any room whether it is spacious or not.

However, they function better on floors with at least 100 square ft. of storage area set aside for storage (most homes can provide this).

The Ventilation Problem

Ventilation is never an afterthought when setting up your closet and that’s probably why you should go for a doorless closet.

There are two reasons why you’d take all the necessary steps to keep your closet superbly ventilated.

  1. Firstly, ample ventilation makes it comfortable to go through your collection while choosing clothes.
  2. Secondly, and most importantly, you want to keep your apparel smelling great regardless of the amount of time they stay untouched.

This sounds like an easy thing to achieve but isn’t.

If too many clothes are locked in a poorly ventilated space for a long time, they almost always pick an off-putting that takes great effort to eliminate.

Things can be worse if you like to store your shoes and clothes in the same space.

Not only are doored closets straight inappropriate for storing clothes for a long time unchecked, but they are also hard to ventilate with closed doors.

On the another hand, it is easier to ventilate your open or walk-in closet, whether naturally, mechanically, or with the assistance of your HVAC system.

Natural ventilation works well with open/walk-in because air readily flows into and out of the compartment uninhibited. You also don’t need to leave it open.

Design Considerations

You will decide on your own whether your closet must have doors albeit in consideration of a few factors.

Perhaps the only major factor worth considering when setting up a closet is the way you want to actualize it. Do you currently have a walk-in closet?

If no, go ahead and build one in the existing space if swinging doors are not a priority.

However, while rare, you might be forced to give away a significant amount of space in exchange for a decent walk-in closet especially if you plan to build two or three of them.

For that reason, it only makes sense that you assess the trade-offs at hand before embarking on the project.

Fortunately, you can turn one kind of closet into another fairly easily.

For instance, if you buy a home with traditional doored closets but you don’t want the doors, you can rip them off, make a few changes to the floor area, add a few shelves and voila!…you have a walk-in or stretch-in closet.


So, does a closet have to have a door? No, it doesn’t but it would be great if it had in some situations.

There are a few compelling reasons why you want a doored closet.

However, some closet styles – such as the open or walk-in type – are traditionally doorless.

You will decide on your own whether your closet must have doors albeit in consideration of a few factors.