Your Cart is Empty

Cabinet vs Cupboard: What's the Difference?

January 23, 2023 3 min read

Cabinet vs Cupboard: What's the Difference?-Wholesale Cabinet Supply

Are you planning to remodel your kitchen or build a new home? Selecting kitchen cabinets or cupboards is a part of the process for design and convenience. While cabinet vs. cupboard is a debatable discussion, distinguishing between the two can be confusing. Some people refer to both terms as having shelves or no shelving. In this review, we will explore their definitions and benefits. 

Defining Cabinet

Merriam-Webster defines a cabinet as a case or cupboard with doors or shelves. The term is synonymous with a cupboard, which means the same in the US and the United Kingdom. Retailers and manufacturers in the United States often use cabinets or cabinetry, whereas the UK calls them cupboards. Usually, the location is below the countertops for storing pots and pans. Storage is the primary use of cabinets. 

Mounted wall cabinets in the kitchen are for storing your bowls, plates, serving dishware, cups and glassware. Homeowners have the option to purchase ready-to-assemble or fully assembled cabinetry. 

Explore Affordable Kitchen Cabinets

Benefits of Cabinets

  • Provide functionality in the kitchen
  • Easy accessibility to stored items
  • More kitchen storage space
  • Effortless to clean

Make your kitchen more functional for easy access to small appliances, utensils and dinnerware. With more storage space, you can organize and store your items.

Defining Cupboard

A cupboard is a closet with shelves or a small closet to keep food and dishes. People use the unit to display their fine china and small appliances through glass-pane doors. With free-standing units, there may be a cupboard and a cabinet. The top part of the unit is a cupboard for display, and the unit's lower part includes the cabinets. There may be shelves and doors affixed to the furniture.

Benefits of Cupboards

  • Offers storage space
  • Easy to clean
  • Freestanding nature makes them less complicated to fit in the kitchen
  • Can be inexpensive

Cupboards have similar benefits as cabinets, and both are available fully assembled or ready-to-assemble. Although cupboards were popular many years ago in the US, most manufacturers use the term cabinet or cabinetry today.

Certification of Kitchen Cabinetry?

Some manufacturers obtain certification for their products. The certification requirements may differ for cupboards and cabinets. You want to ensure your wholesale cabinets are KCMA certified and tested. For testing, the Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association tests each product in five categories, weight, slide, swing, spill and heat. 

Shop Stained Cabinets

 interior view home kitchen


Weight Test

KCMA laboratory technicians perform inspections and tests on the shelves and bottoms of cabinets for approximately seven days. During the testing period, they monitor the cabinetry for any signs of defects in the mounting system or assembly.

While this is one test in the weight category, there are others, including loading up to 600 pounds into the unit. The last test is dropping a steel ball that weighs three pounds onto the bottom, which is six inches above the surface. 

Slide Testing

Cabinets receive a slide test requiring opening and closing the cabinets. These tests are robust and repeated for 25,000 cycles.

Swing Test

The swing test is on the doors and hinges. KCMA techs check to see if the cabinetry can withstand 65 pounds in weight. Swing cycles for every door are 25,000. 

Spill Testing

Knowing that your cabinets can resist substances, including coffee, grape juice and alcohol, helps to protect your investment. Spill testing is for inspecting the cabinetry for stains and discoloration. 

 wiping spill paper towel

Source:Julija Sapic/

Heat Test

Kitchen Cabinets Manufacturers Association tests cabinetry in humidity and heat. The test runs for 24 hours in a hotbox with a temperature set at 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Whether you purchase a cabinet or cupboard, you should inquire about KCMA certification.  

Where You Can Purchase Affordable Cabinets

Finding a supplier to give you an incredible array of options for your cabinets is crucial when you are making updates to your kitchen. The Wholesale Cabinet Supply Company offers fully assembled and RTA cabinets in various colors and designs!

Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.