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Vertical Vs. Lateral Filing Cabinet: Which Should You Choose for Your Office?

by Radhe Gupta

Having the right filing cabinet makes a difference when organizing paperwork in the office. 

Two of the most popular options are vertical and lateral filing cabinets. 

This post will examine the contrasts between the two to assist you in selecting which is ideal for your workplace requirements.

Vertical Filing Cabinets

They are taller and narrower than their lateral counterparts. They feature drawers extending from the cabinet’s front to the back, with files arranged vertically from front to back. These cabinets are less expensive than lateral cabinets and take up less floor space. However, they could make it more difficult to retrieve files because you might have to search through numerous levels of files to find what you need.

Lateral Filing Cabinets

They are broader and shorter than vertical cabinets. They have drawers extending from side to side, with files arranged horizontally. It makes seeing and accessing files easier, as you can quickly flip through them. They are also more spacious than vertical cabinets, making them an excellent choice for offices with a high volume of paperwork.

Pros and Cons of Lateral Filing Cabinets


  • Easier to access files: make seeing and accessing files easier, as you can quickly flip through them.
  • More spacious: more expansive and offers more space than vertical cabinets.
  • Aesthetically pleasing: give your office a modern, streamlined look.


  • More expensive: They are more expensive than vertical cabinets.
  • Take up more floor space: They are more expensive than vertical cabinets, so they may not be ideal for smaller offices.
  • Cannotfit in tight spaces: The broader design of lateral cabinets makes them difficult to fit in certain areas.

Pros and Cons of Vertical Filing Cabinets


  • Less expensive: often less costly than lateral cabinets.
  • Take up less floor space: taller and narrower, so they take up less.
  • Ideal for smaller offices: The compact design of vertical cabinets may make them a better fit for smaller offices or rooms.


  • Harder to access files: Because files are arranged vertically, it’s harder to access the files you need quickly.
  • Less spacious: They are narrower than lateral cabinets and may offer less space for storage.
  • Cannot fit longer documents: Because the drawers are narrower, vertical cabinets cannot be the best choice for longer documents, such as legal-size papers.

Which Filing Cabinet is Right for Your Office?

The decision between vertical and locking lateral file cabinet comes down to your office needs. A lateral filing cabinet may be better for you if you have a lot of paperwork to store and frequently access. A vertical filing cabinet, however, can be more appropriate if you have a tiny workplace or constrained floor space.

While deciding, consider your cost estimate, the size of your workspace, and the types of papers you have to keep. Regardless of your option, keep your filing cabinet organized and regularly purge no longer-needed files.


Vertical and lateral filing cabinets have unique advantages and disadvantages. You can choose the finest alternative for your office requirements by learning the distinctions between the two.

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