As you replace the noisy devices and appliances in your home with quieter alternatives, you’ll inevitably start discovering more structural problems. Everything that doesn’t do its job silently will become much more noticeable, from squeaky floorboards to door hinges. Even the sound of closing cupboard doors could start bothering you — which is why you should consider upgrading to the best soft-close cabinet hinges.
Are Soft-Close Hinges Any Good?
Soft-close hinges are the latest technological advancement that can take your kitchen and bathroom cabinets to the next level. The hydraulic piston system inside the hinge kicks in when the door comes within an inch or two away from closing. In essence, the joint catches the door before it comes into contact with the cabinet box, preventing noise and physical damage. That’s how these add-ons can maximize the longevity of your elements.
Most importantly, most soft-close hinges are adjustable in more ways than basic free-swing hinges are. In addition to being able to tweak the distance of the door from the cabinet box and its angle, these hinges allow you to control the speed at which the door closes. They are also less noticeable than physical or mechanical bumpers.
Ultimately, a slamming cabinet door could get as loud as 90 decibels. Even though that’s usually a short burst of sound, hearing such a loud noise is never pleasant. Luckily, good hinges could bring that down to 29 decibels or less. You just have to know how to pick the right product for the job.
How to Choose the Right Soft-Close Hinges for Your Cabinets
There are many things you should keep in mind when shopping for soft-close hinges. You’ll have to take into account the style of your cabinets as well as the type of doors they have. Knowing that will help you figure out the dimensions you need to look for. The range of motion and the materials the hinges are made of are also important considerations.
You should also check whether the hinges you’re looking at come with any additional mounting equipment. However, before you go into those details, you should make sure the products you’re looking at are, indeed, soft-closing.
Make Sure They Have Soft-Close Properties
If you were to walk into your local home improvement store and ask for hinges, they’d probably present you with three types:
- Free-swing ones are the cheapest and most common kind, without any built-in mechanism
- Self-closing ones have a spring-loaded mechanism that detects when a door is about two inches away from the cabinet and pulls or snaps it shut
- Soft-closing ones are like the previous type, except they have a piston mechanism that slowly draws the door shut instead of snapping it.
For example, as cool as they look, these matt black hinges aren’t going to close your cabinet doors quietly. However, they do come with about fifty of those plastic bumpers that should protect your cabinets from the sharp closing mechanism. Of course, that won’t completely eliminate the noise. So if you really want black hinges, make sure they’re the right kind!
Identify Your Cabinet Style
One of the most important things you’ll have to consider when choosing your hinges is the type of cabinets you have. That will determine the mounting style you’ll need to get.
Most American households have face-frame cabinets, which means that their cabinet boxes have a frame surrounding the front edge. Those are usually between an inch and a half and two inches wide. If your cabinets have a ledge like that, your hinges would be attached directly to that bit of solid wood.
On the other hand, if you have European-style kitchen or bathroom elements, you might have frameless cabinets instead. Those have an open front with exposed edges, making it possible to attach your hinges directly to the inside walls of the cabinet box. Crucially, these two styles of cabinets correspond with different kinds of hinges.
While you’re examining the shape of your cabinets, you might also spare a thought for the positioning of the doors. They can be:
- Full-inset ones, which are fully inside the cabinets and flush with the front edge when shut
- 3/8 inset, meaning that they’re halfway inside the cabinet thanks to lipped doors which usually have a rabbet
- Overlay or half-overlay doors, which overlap with the sides of the cabinet or the face frame
Since the last type is the standard, the following instructions and product recommendations may skew toward overlay styles.
Check the Size and Quantity
If you’re looking for hinges to replace the ones you have, you should get your measuring tape out before you go shopping. Firstly, you’ll need to measure the cup depth of your current hinges — that’s the circular part that goes on the door. Your new hinges will need to match the existing hole unless you want to expand it.
Depending on the design of the joints you have in place, you may have to remove them to accurately measure the cup depth. Alternatively, you could try sticking the tip of your tape measure into the cup while the hinge is still on the door.
If you have overlay cabinet doors, you’ll also want to check the overlap between the door and the cabinet box. Simply measure the distance between the outer edge of the cabinet door and the inside edge of the face frame. Following the tutorial in this video should help you get the dimensions you need. On American-style cabinets, that overlay is usually either half an inch or an inch and a quarter long.
Remember, if you install the wrong joints, you may end up with crooked cabinet doors. Or worse, you might waste money on items that don’t even fit into the preexisting drill holes. So remember to measure twice — and order the right hinges right off the bat.
While you’re jotting down numbers, you should also count the number of hinges you want to replace. The products we’re about to review come in packs of 10, 20, 50, 100, or more — so figure out how many you need in advance.
Consider the Range of Motion
Most hinges are capable of a certain range of motion, which is usually expressed in degrees. Ones that can push a door out to a position that’s perpendicular to the cabinet box are standard. If you want your cabinets to be able to swing a bit wider than a right angle, you can get 105 or 110-degree hinges. Just make sure to check product descriptions for that kind of information.
Durability and Construction
The way your cabinet hinges were made — and the materials that were used in the process — are both pretty important factors to consider. After all, they can reveal how long the products you’re looking into will last.
Most of the hinges we’re about to review are made of stainless steel, though some also have a nickel finish. Both of those materials are usually chosen for their durability and corrosion-resistant properties. Since kitchen and bathroom cabinets tend to be surrounded by a lot of moisture, having rust-proof hinges is crucial.
Mounting Style and Accessories
Last but not least, you should also make an effort to discover whether the hinges you’re considering come with mounting equipment like screws. Many do, but if the ones you want to get don’t — it’s nothing to worry about. After all, you can find the small screws you’ll need pretty much anywhere. And, if you’re merely replacing your old joints, you can always reuse the screws that are holding them in place now.
You should also keep in mind the shape of the hinges, as that may affect the installation. The plainest kind looks like metal plates that are screwed into the cabinets. However, many have a circular cup that embeds into a corresponding hole in the cabinet door to provide a more secure fit. If your cabinet doors don’t have that space already, get a drill bit that has the circumference you need.
7 Best Soft-Close Cabinet Hinges on the Market
Now that you know how to find the best soft-close hinges for your cabinets, let’s see the contenders!
1. DecoBasics 105 Degrees Overlay Soft-Close Cabinet Hinges
If you’re looking for simple, standard hinges for face-frame cabinets with overlay doors, check out DecoBasics. The soft-close piston mechanism fits neatly into the hinge cup, which slides into the universal cavity measuring 0.45 inches deep and 1.37 inches across.
Each hinge comes with three screws — two to fit around the cup and one to go through the frame of your cabinet. Notably, the two screws around the cup are 1.77 inches apart, so keep that in mind if you’re replacing old hinges. Since these are standard cabinet hinges first and foremost, they also have three adjustment screws. That should let you move the door horizontally, vertically, and away from the cabinet even after installation.
Depending on your needs, you’ll be able to get these in pairs or in packs containing up to a hundred pieces. Just make sure to measure the overlap of your cabinet doors properly. Once you know if the overlay is 0.5, 0.75, or 1.25 inches long, you’ll be able to select the right DecoBasics hinges for them.
- 2–100 steel hinges with mounting screws
- 0.45 inches deep and 1.37 inches wide cup
- 105-degree opening angle
- Suitable for face-frame cabinets with 0.5–1.25-inch overlay doors
2. Berta 110 Degrees Full-Overlay Soft-Closing European Hinges
If you have frameless cabinets, the previous suggestion won’t work for you. In that case, you might consider these full-overlay hinges from Berta instead.
These hinges consist of several parts that can be taken apart, which should make the installation process easier. After fitting the cup into the circular cavity on the cabinet door, fasten the screws on either side. They should be 1.77 inches apart, though the two screws you’ll put into the side of the cabinet wall are only 1.25 inches apart.
Once both sides of the steel hinges are in place, you’ll extend the straight arm of the hinge and connect it to the door, clipping it in place. The finished product should give you 110 degrees of movement.
- 1–50 stainless steel clip-on hinges with mounting screws
- 0.45 inches deep and 1.37 inches wide cup
- 110-degree opening angle
- Suitable for frameless cabinets with overlay doors
3. Ravinte 0.5–1.5-Inch Overlay Soft-Close Hinges
These stainless steel hinges from Ravinte really are the best of both worlds. In addition to having an effective soft-close piston, they also have a self-closing spring mechanism. So when you push your cabinet doors closed, they’ll pull them flush against the cabinet without any unnecessary noises.
The nickel-finished hinges come in packs of 2, 6, 10, 20, 30, 50, and 60. So you’ll have enough to convert a single cabinet or all the cupboards in your house. These joints should fit onto face-frame cabinets with an overlay of 0.5, 0.75, 1.25, or 1.5 inches.
When you install the hinge onto the frame of the cabinet, you’ll see that the screw hole in the middle is only slightly elliptical. Usually, that would mean that you can’t adjust the door vertically. In this case, the surrounding three screws will still allow you to align the door properly.
The circular cup on the door side of the hinge is about 0.45 inches deep and 1.37 inches wide. Meanwhile, the two screws that surround the cup are about 1.77 inches apart. That should tell you whether you’ll need to drill new holes.
- 2–60 nickel-covered stainless steel hinges
- 0.45 inches deep and 1.37 inches wide cup
- 105-degree opening angle
- Suitable for face-frame cabinets with overlay doors
4. Konigeehre 100-Degree Soft-Close Cabinet Door Hinges for Half-Inch Partial Overlay Cupboard
Unlike some other manufacturers, Konigeehre uses a metal hydraulic mechanism instead of a plastic soft-close system. Rather than having a plastic connector between the door and the cabinet, these stainless steel hinges rely on a connection made up of six steel pieces. But that’s not the only thing that makes this product special.
Thanks to their universal design, these hinges should fit frameless cabinets as well as face-frame ones. In either case, they will overlay half an inch of the frame — or, rather, the inner wall of the cabinet.
The pack of 20 nickel-plated hinges comes with 20 plastic bumpers — though you probably won’t need them. On top of that, you’ll also get 80 mounting screws. Before you start pushing those in, you’ll need to make sure the cup fits the cavity in the cabinet door. For reference, it should be about half an inch deep and 1.37 inches in diameter.
The two screw holes around the cup are 1.77 inches apart while the ones that will go on the cabinet are 1.3 inches apart and more elongated. That will give you some wiggle room when you go to install them. As usual, the hinges also have several adjustment screws that will let you tweak the doors’ position in 6 directions. Once you get the doors on, they’ll be able to swing out by 100 degrees and close soundlessly.
- 20 nickel-plated stainless steel hinges with 80 mounting screws and 20 bumpers
- Half an inch deep and 1.37 inches wide cup
- 100-degree opening angle
- Suitable for face-frame or frameless cabinets with a half-inch overlay
5. Blum 1.25-Inch Overlay Soft-Close Cabinet Hinges
Most people who are interested in furniture flipping are familiar with Blum products and especially the company’s proprietary Blumotion compact, which provides the soft-closing function of the hinges we’re about to discuss. In this case, though, the hinge mechanism allows users to turn the soft-close system on and off.
While these hinges are the more common choice, this list could use some variety. With that in mind, I decided to check out the company’s one-piece wraparound hinge. The product should fit around the edge of a face-frame cabinet with a 1.25-inch overlay door. The cup on the other end of the hinge should slide right into a standard cavity size.
Once installed, the nickel-plated steel hinge will allow your cabinet doors to swing out to 110 degrees. If you’re interested in having wraparound hinges from Blum, you can get these with or without mounting screws. They come in packs of up to 50 hinges, so you can spruce up all of your cupboards at once!
- 1–50 nickel-plated steel hinges with or without screws
- Standard cup size
- 110-degree opening angle
- Suitable for face-frame cabinets with 1.25-inch overlay doors
6. Tambee 175-Degree Full-Overlay Hydraulic Soft-Close Hinges
These TamBee hinges are a unique entry on our list because of the incredible range of movement they allow. Rather than sticking to the 100-degree range, they’ll let you swing that door open to 175 degrees. Still, that kind of mobility does come with additional bulk and a somewhat awkward appearance.
Overall, the hinge is about 5.35 inches long and 2.56 inches wide, which makes it the largest product on this list. Moreover, the arm of the hinge is actually detachable. That lets you install the part that goes on the door and the one that goes on the inside of the cabinet box separately.
Simply fit the 0.47 by 1.38-inch cup into its cavity and affix everything with the screws that come with the pair of hinges. Once you have done that, you can simply clip the door portion of the hinge into the part you have screwed into the cabinet. If you need to make any adjustments, you can just use the alignment screws on the hinges.
Due to their specific design, these hinges won’t work on inset doors or face-frame cabinets. Instead, you’ll need to pair them with frameless cabinets and full or half-overlay doors. Still, if you want to have a wide range of motion, there’s no better option than this one.
- A pair of nickel-plated steel hinges with mounting screws
- 0.47 inches deep and 1.38 inches wide cup
- 175-degree opening angle
- Suitable for frameless cabinets with overlay doors
7. JQK Matte Black Full-Overlay Frameless Cabinet Hinges
Last but not least, if you’d rather have black hinges, these soft-closing ones from JQK are as good as they come. The company makes versions of this product to fit full and partial overlay cabinet doors as well as inset ones. All of them should help your cabinet doors swing out to 100 degrees.
Notably, these hinges should fit doors that are 0.55–0.86 inches wide. That would allow them to slip into the 1.37 by half-inch cup cavity. The two screw holes around the cup are just about 1.9 inches away, which is slightly wider than usual. Meanwhile, the holes on the cabinet side of the hinge are 1.28 inches apart.
Like the other stainless steel hinges on this list, these ones will have no trouble functioning in wet or dry environments. They’re durable and adjustable — anything you could want from a hinge. And, since they are matte black, they also come with matching screws.
- 4 black stainless steel hinges with matching screws
- 0.47 inches deep and 1.37 inches wide cup
- 100-degree opening angle
- Suitable for frameless cabinets with full overlay doors
How Many Soft-Close Hinges Should You Get per Cabinet Door?
While soft-close hinges are no longer as expensive as they used to be, they’re still pricier than free-swing ones. That may factor into your final decision, particularly if you have tight budget constraints. With that in mind, let’s talk about a solution some people turn to in those circumstances. Is it possible to only replace a few joints instead of doing a complete overhaul of your cabinets?
Well, if you have to convert many cabinets without breaking the bank, you could try replacing only one hinge per door with a soft-close alternative. If the door isn’t too heavy, one hinge may effectively catch it before it slams shut. However, if you have enough money to revamp all of your cupboards, you should replace all of the existing hinges.
Of course, if you’re looking to buy hinges for brand new kitchen elements, you’ll have to start from scratch. So how many joints should you get for each cabinet door? The calculation is relatively simple. Since the size and strength of the hinges are relatively consistent across different brands, the number of bearings you’ll need will depend on the weight and height of the doors.
Most cabinet doors don’t require more than two hinges. However, if the door in question is more than 40 inches tall or more than 10 pounds heavy, you might want to consider putting in a third hinge. Furthermore, if the height of a cabinet door exceeds 60 inches, a fourth hinge may be necessary. Generally, longer and heavier doors need more joints.
How to Install Your Soft-Close Cabinet Hinges
Once you order your new cabinet hinges, you should prepare to install them. To do so, you’ll need a screwdriver or a drill with the right drill bit to remove your current cabinet joints. On top of that, you might want to get some wood filler and paint. Those might come in handy if you end up having to plug the holes where the old screws used to be.
Detach the Door
To replace the old hinges, you’ll first need to detach the cabinet doors. Depending on the kind of joints you have in place, you’ll either clip the door part of the hinge off or unscrew the part that’s attached to the cabinet itself. However, before you do so, you might want to use a pencil to mark the underside of the hinge part that’s attached to the face frame. If nothing else, that’ll help you place your new parts later on.
Replace the Hinge
In any case, once the doors are off the cabinets, bring them to a flat surface. Remove the screws that are holding the old hinges to the door and wiggle them out of the cup cavity. At that point, you could simply pop the new hinge into place. If you have measured correctly before ordering, you won’t have a problem there.
Even so, the previous screw holes may not line up with the new hinge. In that case, you can plug them with wood filler and drill new holes for your screws. Just remember to square up the flat edge of the hinge before inserting those screws.
The adjustments on the hinge should let you shift the doors a bit even after you install them. Still, you should do your best to line the hinges up properly while you’re installing them. The last thing you want to do is go back to drilling screw holes after you see the door drooping on your cabinet.
Put the Door Back On
Once the hinges are securely installed on the cabinet doors, you’ll need an assistant. With someone else holding the door, you’ll be able to screw the other side of the hinge into the face frame. Make sure the bit is right on the line you drew earlier before you push the screw in. That should bring an end to any cabinet door slamming that may go on around your house!
Additional Ways to Prevent Cabinet Doors From Slamming Shut
There are several ways to eliminate the sounds cabinet doors make as they close. If you’re looking to get rid of the stray squeak, you can lubricate the hinges or replace them with plain free-swing ones. But if you’re in the habit of pushing your cabinet doors and letting them shut on their own, you’ll certainly benefit from installing some impact dampeners.
On the one hand, you could simply attach self-adhesive bumpers to the surfaces that come into contact when the cabinet doors slam shut. Those kinds of pads are even frequently included in packs of self-closing hinges, which we will discuss later on. In any case, the stick-on bumpers should take the sting out of a slamming door no matter what kind of hinges you have in place.
On the other hand, you could use a mechanical dampener that would catch the door before it shuts and close it softly. Those kinds of attachments usually reduce the sound of slamming doors even more than simple plastic bumpers. And, like the previous method we have mentioned, they should work with any type of hinge.
Lastly, you could also opt for lid stays, which are typically installed on cabinets that have flipper doors that swing out upwards. Essentially, the mechanical arm is supposed to slow down the descent of the door when it comes back down toward the cabinet box. However, the accessory would work just as well on regular cabinet doors.
The only problem with all of these solutions is that they require you to install an item in addition to the hinges your doors already have. Conversely, soft-close hinges would work like regular bearings while reducing noise.
A lawyer never retires. So I would just say that I am not as active as I used to be. Now I simply dedicate myself to fishing, my hobby, and my grandchildren. For Business Finance News I write about legal aspects of mortgage policies, mostly regarding the rights of policyholders. I also have articles about personal injuries.