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A simple cupboard, with its doors closed

The term cupboard was originally used to describe an open-shelved side table for displaying dishware, more specifically plates, cups and saucers. These open cupboards typically had between one and three display tiers, and at the time, a drawer or multiple drawers fitted to them. The word cupboard gradually came to mean a closed piece of furniture.[1][2]

The word cupboard is also frequently used in British English to denote what North Americans would call a closet.[citation needed]

Types of cupboardsEdit

Airing cupboardEdit

An airing cupboard is a built-in storage space, sometimes of walk-in dimensions, containing a water heater, either an immersion heater for hot running water or a boiler for central heating water (hence also "boiler cupboard"), or a hot water storage tank. Shelves, usually slatted to allow for circulation of heat, are positioned above or around the heater to provide room for clothing. The purpose is to allow air to circulate around the stored fabrics to prevent damp forming.

In one version, the airing cupboard serves also as the linen cupboard, the permanent home of the household's clean sheets and towels. (In Irish English, a "hot press".)

In another version, the airing cupboard serves as a temporary drying space, either for laundry or for wet outdoor clothes and shoes. Its shelves can be used to fully remove traces of damp from dried clothing before the items are put away elsewhere in drawers and wardrobes. A moveable electrical version of this is a drying cabinet.

Built-in cupboardEdit

A built-in cupboard is a storage space that forms part of the design of the room and is not free-standing or moveable. It is not the same as a cabinet.

Linen cupboardEdit

A linen cupboard is an enclosed recess of a room used for storing household linen (e.g. sheets, towels, tablecloths) and other things for storage, usually with shelves, or a free-standing piece of furniture for this purpose.[3]

Stationery cupboardEdit

Most offices have a lockable repository for valuables. The heart of this is usually the supply of stationery.

Indian CupboardsEdit

In India people use steel cupboards more than wood mainly for two reasons: one is economic and other one is safety.

Steel cupboards are highly customizable in terms of model, color, design and based on the purpose. Various varieties of steel cupboards are available in India based on size, weight, safety and usage.  


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Cupboard". The Free Dictionary By Farlex. Retrieved 19 May 2012.
  2. ^ Andrews, John (2006) British Antique Furniture. Antique Collectors' Club ISBN 1-85149-444-8; p. 226
  3. ^ Bravery, Suzanne (10 May 2008), "The Linen Cupboard", Mother's Day Address at Eryldene, Gordon, NSW: Eryldene Trust, retrieved 30 March 2009