What Is A Cedar Closet? (Plus Its Many Benefits)

what is a cedar closet

Cedar has long been a darling of the fashion industry—at least when it comes to the materials they use to store clothing. Top labels always prefer to keep their clothes in cedar racks, or even in cedar closets. If you are new to the world of garment storage, then you might be curious as to why this is. Heck, you might even be wondering what a cedar closet even is. Don’t worry, we got you covered.

A cedar closet is a walk-in closet built almost exclusively with cedar wood planks. In addition to its visual appeal, cedar wood can offer subtle aroma to your clothing and act as an insect repellant. Most cedar closets are walk-in, but it’s possible to install such closets in smaller apartments. Remember to acclimate cedar where it is installed for at least 24 hours to avoid warping or gapping. 

The elegant touch that cedar offers your wardrobe can be an amazing addition to your closet build. But, that doesn’t mean it’s right for many fashionistas. Here’s the scoop.

What Is A Cedar Closet Used For?

Cedar closets are used for garment storage, especially when it comes to long-term storage. Though virtually any garment can benefit from being stored in a cedar closet, there are two primary types of clothes that get the most out of them. The first category is wool clothing, such as business suits or upscale sweaters.

The second major category is luxury footwear. I mean, if you have ever used cedar balls inside your shoes, you already understand why that happens to be the case.

What Do Cedar Closets Do?

The truth is that cedar closets don’t actively have to do anything to work. The aroma from the cedar does all the work for you. The reason why is simple: cedar has a natural tendency to ward off pests and can also help add a fresh scent to your clothing. In some cases, cedar can also reduce humidity in a room, which can help keep shoes and wool jackets in better condition.

What Does A Cedar Closet Look Like?

Cedar closets are one of the more obvious closets out there. They are generally the exact same as a regular closet, but are made almost entirely of cedar. Because cedar closets are meant to let their natural aromas waft through the area, it’s rare to see them actually have a glossy finish or a seal. They are close to “raw” wood.

Another form of cedar closets will involve panels of raw cedar on the back or bottom of your shelves. In some cases, your closet may have glass panels that cover the shelving. This helps lock the intoxicating scent of cedar into the clothing. However, that’s more of an upgrade or a rarity than anything else.

DIY: Installing a Cedar Closet By Yourself

The Pros And Cons Of Cedar Closets

Cedar closets can be a great addition to your home, and if you’re a fashionista, then it’s basically a heck yes. Even so, we need to talk about their pros and cons.

What Are The Benefits Of Cedar Closets?

Having a cedar closet is a major perk if you work in fashion and can afford it. They’re even gaining traction among people who aren’t totally privy to the world of Versace or Brooks Brothers. Here’s why people adore them:

  • You never have to worry about moths and many other pests. Cedar repels pests like the plague. It’s the OG moth ball for a reason. These will work well for people who want to preserve clothes that might not do well in a plastic bag.
  • They smell incredible. Well, okay, so most people like the smell of cedar. It’s aromatherapeutic and leads to feelings of relaxation in most people.
  • Your clothes will smell like cedar too. This is a great perk for people who love woody, gender-neutral scents. Your clothes won’t get a musty smell.
  • It’s a status symbol that also looks amazing. Here’s the thing that people will always make note about these closets: they are a status symbol. People like the way they look and will also raise an eyebrow and say, “Nice!” when they see them.

What Are The Drawbacks Of Cedar Closets?

While they are a staple in the world of fashion, they aren’t for everyone. Sometimes it just doesn’t work out. Though it can be for any reason, the truth is that these reasons below tend to be why:

  • Some people just can’t stand the smell of cedar. I, for one, am one of those people. Cedar smells like burning rubber to me, so I sure as heck wouldn’t want a closet full of clothing that smells like that.
  • People occasionally get allergic to cedar aroma. It’s rare, but it happens. If you have allergies, you may want to think twice before you try to install these closets in your home.
  • Cedar also loses its scent over time. It’s true. The smell that you (might) enjoy will fade over time. When this happens, you may need to get your entire closet refinished and sanded, just so that you can get the odor you want.
  • You have to maintain them. Cedar closets need to be oiled somewhat regularly to stay fresh. This will require you to remove all the clothes from the closet.
  • It’s an expensive addition. It’s a huge issue, really. The price of cedar skyrocketed during the pandemic, so getting a fully wooden closet out of this premium wood is going to cost an arm and a leg.

How Much Does A Cedar Closet Cost?

Cedar closets are meant to be custom cabinetry-filled walk-in closets. They are luxury items to a fault, and that means that you will most likely have to pay a top-tier price. It’s not unheard of for price quotes to be upwards of $25,000 for a closet that is fully outfitted with cedar.

If you want to install cedar planks on the bottom of your closet’s shelves, then that’s more reasonable. You should expect to pay $1,000 to $2,000 for it. If you want to add backlighting, then you will have an additional $200 to $300 to worry about. 

Related Questions

Are cedar closets dangerous?

Cedar closets are generally not seen as dangerous. However, there are people who have sensitivities to the oils that cedar produces. In some rare cases, it can cause respiratory issues and rashes. If you have an allergy to cedar or have asthma, then it may be best to pass up on a cedar closet for your health’s sake.

Do cedar closets add value to a home?

Due to the fact that they’re considered to be a luxury upgrade, more people than ever before are requesting homes with them. As a result, cedar closets can end up adding value to a home. Unfortunately, it’s not entirely clear how much value they will add. If you are concerned about getting a good ROI on home improvements, it’s best to go with a more “tried and true” home upgrade.

How do you maintain a cedar closet?

In order to make sure that your cedar closet stays aromatic for as long as possible, you need to apply cedar oil to the cedar wood. This is best done at least once a year. In areas that are dry or prone to moisture, it’s better to up your maintenance session to two times a year.

Ossiana Tepfenhart

Ossiana Tepfenhart is an expert writer, focusing on interior design and general home tips. Writing is her life, and it's what she does best. Her interests include art and real estate investments.

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