bar cart vs. bar cabinet

Bar Cart Vs. Bar Cabinet: Which Storage Solution Is Right For You?

bar cart vs. bar cabinet

If you’re looking to set up a compact bar in your home, you’re probably looking at bar carts and bar cabinets. But which is best?

If you love to entertain or practice your bartending skills, one of these options would be great to have at home, but the one you choose depends on your needs and preferences.

Bar carts can be simple, sleek, and portable, but bar cabinets have more organization and are typically larger and more discreet.

Here’s how to know whether or not a bar cart or cabinet is right for you.

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Bar Carts

Bar cart with decanters

Traditional bar carts are on wheels, making them highly transportable around the house, yard, or even other locations. However, you need to consider whether you’ll be transporting it.


Many bar carts stay stationary throughout their life spans, making the wheels a moot point. The portability might be worth it if you host many gatherings in different locations of your home, such as your yard, game room, or dining room.


Bar carts are typically great storage options. Though compact, these carts often have multiple shelves where you can store glasses, tumblers, and bottles and have them ready for your next gathering.

Some carts also have drawers and small cabinets, helping you keep items from clinking against each other.


Bar carts allow you to feel like you’re “out on the town” without actually leaving home. You’ll save money in the long run when you and your guests stay at your residence instead of going to a bar or tavern.

Carts have a better chance of drawing positive attention to themselves than cabinets, making them an excellent addition to your home if you want a stand-out piece of furniture. Many have an open design, allowing you to decorate as you see fit.

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Bar Cabinets

Bar cabinet

You can turn any cabinet into a bar cabinet, but splurging on a dedicated bar cabinet has features that make it easier to store bar necessities like corkscrews, bottles, and cocktail glasses.


A big consideration for many people should be their need for portability. If you have the desire to move your bar area around constantly, go with the cart. However, a bar cabinet might be better if you don’t see yourself rolling it to and from various locations.

Though bar carts are more portable than cabinets, you can still move them around your home as you wish. Different styles of cabinets allow them to be as neutral or unique as you desire, creating options for fitting in with different home styles and making them suitable in various rooms.


Bar cabinets tend to have more storage space than a bar cart. Since these cabinets don’t have to be portable, you can take up as much space as you want. Some even come with the option to add or remove shelving, making it an excellent choice for homes that need versatility.

Cabinets have the advantage of being enclosed, allowing you to worry less about how you organize your items.

Their exteriors are also more discreet than bar carts, allowing them to blend in with your home's decor seamlessly. You can place them in entryways, dining rooms, kitchens, living rooms, or any other space without them looking awkward or out of place. You can even utilize your bar cabinet as storage for other room items alongside your beverages.


You can better categorize your items with bar cabinets because you can worry less about the aesthetic of the cabinet's interior than the open space of a cart. Add your own baskets or containers to the available shelves and drawers to accommodate all you want for the space.

Bar cabinets are also a great solution for anybody unsure about their home bar’s longevity. They provide great space to organize your items, but you can easily reutilize them later on if you decide not to have a home bar in the future.

Larger carts also work as room dividers in an open floor plan, allowing you to create an intimate space while maintaining an open floor plan.


One thing to note is that a bar cart or cabinet isn’t necessarily going to be more affordable than the other.

The prices of each home bar format depend on the materials used in its creation and whether it’s meant as a home bar or you choose to repurpose it.

You can save money by creating your own home bar, eliminating the in-store prices. Ultimately, it’s hard for the price to be your only deciding factor.

Choosing the Right Home Bar for You

Home bar

Home bars are a great way to entertain guests without leaving a private, comfortable space. When you gather with friends and family, a bar cart or bar cabinet can be a great entertainment option, with you making it as elaborate or simple as you desire.

Each option provides plenty of advantages to serving your favorite drinks at home, with carts giving you more portability and styles. On the other hand, cabinets provide greater storage options and a seamless look.

Knowing the pros and cons of bar carts and cabinets can help you make the best decision for your home.

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