What is the Difference Between Shaker Cabinets and Regular Cabinets?

12 Jun 2024

As a trusted partner to retailers, designers, and installers across the UK, Probox supplies cabinet doors and drawers for a range of industries.

Shaker cabinets and regular cabinets stand out among the popular choices for common design projects.

Understanding the differences between these two types can help you make informed decisions for your clients, enhancing both functionality and aesthetics.

What are shaker cabinets?

Shaker Style Cabinets

Shaker cabinets are named after the ‘Shakers’, a religious group from the 18th century known for their simple, functional, and high-quality craftsmanship.

These cabinets feature a distinctive five-piece door with a recessed centre panel. The design is straightforward, focusing on clean lines and minimal ornamentation.

Key characteristics of shaker cabinets:

  1. Simplicity: Shaker cabinets are renowned for their minimalist design, lacking intricate carvings or elaborate decorations. This simplicity gives them a timeless appeal.
  1. Durability: Constructed from high-quality materials, shaker cabinets are celebrated for their longevity and robustness.
  1. Versatility: Their straightforward design makes them compatible with a wide range of interior styles, from modern to traditional.

What are regular cabinets?

Regular kitchen cabinets

Regular cabinets, often referred to as traditional or standard cabinets, offer a diverse range of designs, materials, and finishes.

This category of ‘regular cabinets’ includes any cabinet style that doesn’t fall into a specific category like shaker, modern, or contemporary.

Key characteristics of regular cabinets

  1. Variety: Regular cabinets offer a broad spectrum of styles, from ornate and decorative to sleek and modern. This variety includes raised panel cabinets, flat panel cabinets, and more.
  1. Customisation: With regular cabinets, there are more options for customisation, including various materials, finishes, and hardware.
  1. Design flexibility: These cabinets can cater to specific design preferences, whether the desired look is rustic, classic, or contemporary.

Comparing shaker cabinets and regular cabinets

Design and aesthetics

Shaker cabinets: Known for their clean, simple lines, shaker cabinets provide a timeless look that complements both traditional and modern interiors. Their understated elegance makes them versatile for various home decor and styles.

Regular cabinets: Offer a broader range of designs, from intricate and decorative to sleek and minimalist. This variety allows for greater personalisation to match specific aesthetic preferences.

Construction and materials

Shaker cabinets: Typically constructed from high-quality hardwoods like maple, cherry, or oak. Their solid construction contributes to their durability and long-lasting appeal.

Regular cabinets: These can be made from a variety of materials including hardwood, plywood, MDF, and even particleboard. The choice of material affects the cabinet’s durability and price point.


Shaker cabinets: Shaker cabinets can be more expensive due to their use of high-quality materials and craftsmanship. However, their timeless design and durability is a long-term investment.

Regular cabinets: The cost can vary widely depending on the materials and construction quality. There are budget-friendly options available, as well as high-end custom designs that can be quite costly.


Shaker cabinets: Their straightforward design focuses on functionality and ease of use. The simple lines and recessed panels make cleaning and maintenance easier.

Regular cabinets: Depending on the style, some regular cabinets might have more intricate details that can be harder to clean. However, the wide range of options allows for cabinets that meet specific functional needs.

Which one should you choose?

When advising clients on their choice between shaker cabinets and regular cabinets, consider their personal preferences, budget, and overall design vision for the space.

Here are some considerations:

  1. Design preference: If your clients prefer a minimalist, timeless look, shaker cabinets are an excellent choice. However, regular cabinets might be more suitable for those seeking more design options and customisation
  1. Budget: Consider the budget and the material quality. Shaker cabinets are typically more expensive, but their durability offers better long-term value.
  1. Maintenance: Think about how much time clients are willing to spend on maintenance. Shaker cabinets are easier to clean due to their simple design.

Discover shaker cabinet doors and frames at Probox!

At Probox, we offer shaker cabinet doors, frames and accessories in a range of finishes and dimensions.

As your reliable partner in the kitchen, bedroom, and furniture-making industry, we support your success with high-quality drawer solutions and expert advice.

Contact our team today to learn more about how we can help find the best solution for you.