Updating an interior space with features that add convenience, safety, and a high-quality look is a new trend (and we can assure you it will be a trend that will stay). Not only do modern and high-quality interior features need to involve technology, but it could also be as simple as a drawer that can upgrade your interior’s safety and overall aesthetic.
Soft-closing drawers are the latest innovation for cabinetry, which is hugely popular thanks to their multitude of advantages.
In this post, you will discover more about what soft-closing drawers are, how they work, what they can be used for, their different types, and their advantages.
What Are Soft Closing Drawers?
Soft closing drawers are premium drawers that close silently and gently, without manually pushing them. Instead of pushing the drawer completely shut yourself, a soft close drawer catches the drawer before it shuts and takes over the closing mechanism. Thus, the drawer will close softly, smoothly, and silently.
How Do They Work?
Soft close drawers work thanks to their runners, which feature hydraulic dampeners that allow the drawer to close smoothly and silently, even if someone attempts to push it to shut with a lot of pressure.
The dampener takes over the closure of the drawer when it reaches a certain point. When the point is reached, the hydraulic mechanism takes over and closes the drawer shut.
Each soft-close drawer consists of three parts, which are the sliding arm, the sliding arms metal housing, and the drawer runners. The metal housing of the sliding arms is the only stationary part of the drawer system, which stays in place during opening and closing. Its purpose is to hold the cabinet and drawer in place and prevent wobbling or moving around.
The metal housing is attached to sliding arms, which feature runners. As a team, the sliding arms and runners are what allow the drawer to open and close. The runners are metal channels that are connected to the drawer. A soft-closing drawer closes to about three-quarters of the way before the runners take over (thanks to their hydraulic abilities). During this, the sliding arm catches the spring and piston that is located in the metal housing, which slows down the closing action of the drawer. Thus, the drawer will close softly and without any added pressure.
There are various types of soft close drawers, which depend on their closing mechanism location. Some drawers feature the mechanism on the side while others feature it underneath the drawer.
Before we get into the different types of drawers, here is more on what soft closing drawers can be used for.
What Can Soft Closing Drawers Be Used For?
You will benefit from adding soft closing drawers to certain areas of interior spaces. Most drawers are better off being soft close so that you can enjoy silence and smoothness when closing the drawer.
Here are the most common places that you will find soft closing drawers and why they feature there.
A commonplace for soft-closing drawers are within DIY wardrobes. If you custom-build a wardrobe, you can add any feature you like. Soft-close drawers are a common feature for smaller items such as jewelry, accessories, and underwear.
The reason for soft close drawers being used in wardrobes is due to their smooth closing, which won’t move items around. The last thing you want is to position your items in an orderly fashion and then the drawer slams shut and everything moves.
In a bedroom, you want peace and quiet. Thus, a soft close drawer can provide that as well as ensuring that the bedroom is always neat as the drawers will never stay open.
Side tables often feature soft-closing drawers for a similar reason to wardrobes. A side table often features items on top, which are often fragile. Lamps and other delicate items are often placed on the top of a side table. If a drawer is slammed shut, the fragile items could risk falling off and being broken.
Thus, a soft closing drawer will allow a person to close the drawer gently and prevent anything from falling off.
Like in a bedroom, you might want your office to be as quiet as possible. Soft closing drawers are so silent and smooth that you wouldn’t even hear them closing during a silent meeting.
These are popular in offices in order to keep the place neat and tidy. Instead of the drawers being left open, a soft-close drawer will finish the job for you if you push them to close.
The most common place to feature soft close drawers is in a kitchen. The reason for this is to prevent banging and crashing. You often store expensive or hazardous goods in kitchen cupboards, which if broken or moved, could cause damage.
Soft-close drawers in kitchens are extremely popular to keep the room quiet, neat, and safe.
Types Of Soft Closing Drawers
Now that you are aware of popular places to put your soft-close drawers and how they can fulfill your rooms, here are the different types of soft-closing drawers available.
European slides are often featured on pull-out shelves, such as a side table or wardrobe. These involve epoxy-coated slides that roll on nylon wheels.
These runners are usually located on the side of the drawer, which is ideal for lightweight goods. These are often less durable than underneath runners and provide less support. Because of that, they are often less expensive. They are great for small drawers that do not carry heavy goods.
Ball Bearing Slides
Ball-bearing slides are similar to European slides yet are zinc coated and metallic silver in color. They do not often offer soft-close abilities.
Ball-bearing slides are best for small drawers, such as chests of drawers and wardrobes.
Under-mount slides are the most hidden style of runners, which are located underneath a drawer. These often provide more support for heavier goods and can be used on small or large drawers.
These are installed in pairs and one slide will be positioned on either side of the drawer. They collect less dirt and dust, so they require less maintenance than other options.
Under-mount slides are most popular in the soft-close drawers options, as they can extend out fully and provide smooth closing.
Most types of slides are available as either ¾ or full extension. Full-extension allows you to pull the drawers all the way out, which is common for under-mount slides. Whereas ¾ extension limits the pull-out ability to 75%. These are common for European slides that can bear less weight. ¾ slides are often more affordable yet less durable.
Full-extension sliding drawers are often the most popular as they can provide the best durability. These are often more expensive yet when it comes to drawers, you won’t want to be on a tight budget. You won’t want the drawer breaking or getting stuck. If you are afford to pay a little more for your drawers, you might want to consider a full extension to ensure durability, complete safety, and a premium feel.
Consider the weight ratio
When you are purchasing a soft-close drawer and are wondering which slide style to choose, you will want to consider the weight ratio. Each type of drawer will be able to hold maximum weight. The European and ball-bearing slides can often hold less weight due to the positioning of the slides and the mechanism. Whereas under-mount slides can hold more weight thanks to the positioning of the slides. When you install drawers, consider what you wish to store in them to ensure that the sliding mechanism will be able to withstand the weight.
The Benefits Of Soft Closing Drawers
Soft-close drawers offer a multitude of benefits. From safety to durability, here are all of the reasons why you should choose soft-closing drawers.
Never stay open and make a room look untidy
The beauty of soft-closing drawers is that they will always close if you push them gently. Thus, they will never stay and open and help a room look tidy. It is common for people to leave their drawers open or forget to push them fully closed. Whereas with a soft-close drawer, it will always close so long as it gives it a small push.
Soft-closing drawers are the safest drawers on the market. It is easy to close your fingers in a regular drawer if you slam it too quickly. Seeing as a soft-close drawer closes smoothly and slowly, it will be impossible to slam your fingers shut in them. Even if you were to put your finger between the cabinet and the drawer, it wouldn’t cause any pain as the closing motion is smooth and slow.
No slamming and banging
It is impossible to slam a soft-close drawer. When the drawer is pushed shut, the runners will take over and finish the job for you. The last quarter of the drawer closing will be smooth and silent. You will no longer have to hear cupboards banging around the house. Instead, every drawer can be shut silently.
Everything in the drawer will stay put
If you slam a drawer closed, everything inside will likely move around (unless you have sticky pads down). A soft-close drawer closes so slowly and smoothly that nothing in the drawer will move. Thus, your belongings will stay put and you won’t have to worry about breaking or damaging anything in the drawer.
Soft-close drawers are often much longer-lasting than those that aren’t, thanks to all of the benefits above. As they will not slam, the doors and runners will not become damaged. Plus, the safety of the drawers encourages people to use them forever and avoid reverting back to non-soft-closing drawers.
Tips For Installation
To get the most out of your soft-close drawers, you will want to consider the best installation guides.
Before you begin the installation, you will want to ensure that your cabinet is level. A level cabinet will ensure that your drawer can be level, which will guarantee the safety and protection of your goods. If a cabinet is unlevel, then your items might slide around even if the drawer is installed properly.
When you are installing the drawer, ensure to secure the drawer slides with screws. Tightening them as much as possible will ensure that they stay in place during use and will not loosen and lose their efficacy. Then, install the drawer into the designated cabinet. Trial the drawer and adjust accordingly so that the drawer shuts and it extends properly.
When the installation is complete, the drawer should open and close smoothly. TIf it stills bangs or struggles to close itself, then it will likely need adjusting. To adjust the drawer, simply release the clip on the bottom. This can be done while the drawer is installed. The most important part is that it closes silently and softly. When it does, it has been installed correctly.
It is important to know that not all soft-close drawers are self-closing. Likewise, not all self-closing drawers feature soft-close mechanisms. Any soft-close drawer can be identified by its hydraulic runners. These offer smooth and silent closure, no matter how much pressure or force you to put onto the drawer.
Soft-close drawers are worth investing in. They provide more safety and will protect your belongings. No longer will you have to worry about shutting your fingers in the drawer or breaking your items by accidentally pushing the drawer too hard.
For durability and reliability, under-mount slides are the best option when you are looking for soft-close drawers. They can withstand more weight, offer a premium look thanks to the hidden runners, and can be used for various types of drawers.
When you are shopping for soft-close drawers, always ask about the slider style and the weight ratio. Even if you are storing light goods, you will want to ensure that the drawer features the hydraulic runners so that you can reap the benefits.