Depending on the materials you choose—cheaper wire, more expensive laminated wood or MDF, or high-end hardwoods—and where you buy, you can pay less than $100 for a small closet system to thousands for something large and fancy.

Because retailers sell widely different types of systems and brands, it’s impossible to make meaningful store-to-store comparisons.

Below we report the types of systems available at large retailers, along with price ranges for their typical offerings for an illustrative typical closet: a traditional 72-inch-wide reach-in with 16- and 28-inch return walls (the sides of a closet to the left and right of the open doorway).

Note that different stores sell different systems built by various manufacturers with varying materials, mounting hardware and styles, and overall quality. Consequently, our illustrative examples and prices will give you only an idea of which companies offer which options and what they cost. We included a wire example and a laminate or hardwood example for each store that offered those, and then chose a brand and model that we (somewhat subjectively) decided best fit our sample space.

Note also that many independent custom-closet businesses operate in the area, and they’re definitely worth checking to compare their offerings, quality, and prices.

Sells its own brands of laminate and hardwood systems via showrooms, in-home appointments, or video-chat consultations.
Sample price for a 72-inch reach-in closet: Does not offer wire systems. Prices start at around $1,000 for a six-foot space—its least expensive option costs $175 to $350 per linear foot—including installation. Its entry-level system includes wall-mounted, off-the-floor construction with laminated-wood boards 3/4 inch thick; accessories (e.g., baskets and pull-out racks); and customized, adjustable shelving.

Exclusive U.S. distributor for Elfa (wall hanging, with wire and wood options), Avera (wall-hanging but with a built-in look), and Preston (high-end wall-hanging and floor-based built-in). Offers free in-store design services (you do the measuring).
Sample prices for a 72-inch reach-in closet: $1,109 and up for a track-mounted wire Elfa Classic system, which includes wall-mounted epoxy-bonded steel structure; epoxy-bonded steel ventilated shelving; mesh hanging drawers; and chrome-plated closet rods. Installation is extra; the fee is usually about one-third the cost of the system. Costs are $5,000 and up, including installation, for a wall-mounted laminate custom Avera system that includes LED lighting package, full-extension, soft-close drawers, and multiple exclusive accessories. For a Preston system, costs are $10,000 and up, including installation; it includes all the Avera features plus all-wood construction, top-tier finishes, and glass cabinet doors.

Online only. Use its planning tools to spec out your system; if you need help it offers free online design assistance. Sells its own wood laminate systems and provides extensive online installation instructions, with photos.
Sample price for 72-inch reach-in closet: $361 for a wall-mounted laminate system made with recycled materials. Does not offer wire systems.

Sells multiple brands in-store and online, but mostly offers ClosetMaid wire systems (shelves and other components hang from brackets mounted onto closet walls). Offers installation services by third-party subcontractors; fees vary by job. We couldn’t get price quotes for installation without an in-home consultation—which is pretty unfriendly to those of us who like to shop around a bit before committing to a waiting-around-at-home day.
Sample prices for 72-inch reach-in closet: $85 for a ClosetMaid SuperSlide White Wire Fixed Mount Double Hang Reach In Closet Kit; $264 for a wall-mounted laminate Essential Plus 60-96 inch White Wood Closet System, including four rods and seven shelves.

Offers its own BOAXEL line of highly customizable wall-mounted storage systems (galvanized and powder-coated steel brackets, rails, shoe shelves; foil-coated particleboard shelves; some plastic hardware) that you can fit with drawers and other elements. Website offers a closet system customization tool, but our researchers found it even more difficult to navigate than the company’s stores on a Saturday afternoon. Offers assembly services via TaskRabbit; for our sample system, assembly cost was estimated at $75. IKEA doesn’t offer delivery services for its BOAXEL line.
Sample prices for 72-inch reach-in closet: $211 for BOAXEL basic kit, which includes hanging rails, two shoe shelves, and two large baskets.

Like Home Depot, Lowe’s sells several brands, but ClosetMaid wire systems (shelves and other components hang from brackets mounted onto closet walls) dominate its offerings. Does not offer installation services.
Sample price for 72-inch reach-in closet: $136 for a ClosetMaid ShelfTrack White Wire Closet Kit with bracket installation and up to eight feet of hanging space; $430 for an EZ Shelf Silver Wire Closet Kit, which includes five expandable closet rods and shelf units.