Difference Between Cellar and Basement

Cellar and basement are often used as two interchangeable words. But that is not correct. They are not each other’s synonyms. As they are commonly used as synonyms, people often think they are the same thing.

But no, they are two different kinds of rooms that are used for different purposes.

Cellar vs Basement

The main difference between a cellar and a basement is that a cellar is outside of a house, and a basement is situated instead of a house. A basement is generally larger than a cellar, but every house does not have a cellar, while basements are very common in the houses.

Cellar vs Basement

A cellar is usually below the ground and situated outside the house. It usually has a horizontal door as an entrance, and one can access it with the help of a ladder or staircase.

The cellar is usually smaller than any other room, and it does not have any windows. It is ideal for storing food items and wine.

A basement can be seen inside a house. It is underground and can be used as any other room, and it can also be used as a storeroom.

Mostly unused things are kept here, it can also be used to keep washing machine. It can be partially or fully underground, so it has windows.

Comparison Table Between Cellar and Basement

Parameters of ComparisonCellarBasement
Definition A cellar is a room that is usually situated below ground level.A basement is the floor of a building that is situated below ground level.
PlacementIt is usually outside of the house and can be accessed through a horizontal door.It is placed inside the house and can be accessed through a vertical door.
PurposeA cellar is only used for storage purposes, such as storing wine and coal.A basement can be used as any other room, or it can be used as storage too.
SizeA cellar is comparatively smaller.A basement is bigger than the cellar.
WindowCellars do not have windows generally.The basement can have windows.

What is Cellar?

The cellar is a completely underground room that is positioned outside a house. It is often separate from the main building of the house. It is normally accessed through a staircase or ladder. It is usually used as a storeroom.

Certain food items are best stored in a cellar, like wine. Wine cellars are a must to have for wine enthusiasts. Cellars are ideal for storing moisture-sensitive food items.

As they are underground, they can secure the foods from the intense temperature, and it does not come in contact with direct sunlight. A cellar can be renovated into a restaurant with the right planning.

The cellar is small in size, so controlling its temperature is very easy, and it can be dehumidified as well with the right techniques. In the United Kingdom, the word cellar suggests a dark, damp room that is placed underground.

A cellar can provide shelter under a very rough climate as it does not have any windows. It can protect food items as well as humans.

What is Basement?

A basement exists below a building. A basement is situated underneath a building. It usually has the same size as a normal room. It has windows and can be decorated as the main house. It can be used for storing or for living.

You don’t need to go out of the house to be able to use it. It has the potential to be a bedroom or a study room because of its size. One can also use this as an office or can even give it up for renting purposes or can create a recreational room.

Many people use the basement as the laundry room and keep the washing machine there. The basement can be partially underground and can be used as a storeroom to keep heavy things.

It is just like another room of the house but beneath the main building.

Main Differences Between Cellar and Basement

  1. A cellar is situated outside the house, while a basement is inside a house.
  2. A cellar is always completely underground, but a basement can be partially or fully underground.
  3. A cellar is smaller than a usual basement, whereas basements have the size of any other room.
  4. A cellar does not have windows, but a basement might have windows.
  5. A cellar is situated underground, and it is outside the house, so it retains a horizontal door. But a basement is just another floor that is below the house, so it has a vertical door.
  6. A cellar can not be used as a bedroom or study room, but a basement can be used like a bedroom or any other room.
  7. A cellar is used as a storage room. Mostly to store wine or coal there. Basement can also be used as a storeroom, but mostly unused goods are stored here.
  8. Basements can be decorated according to the wish with different ornamental things. But cellars are not room to decorate. It just has lights.
  9. People often rent out a basement as it has a reasonable size, whereas cellars are too small to live in, so they can not be rented.
Difference Between Cellar and Basement


Every house does not come with a cellar, but every house has a basement. Basements can be used as any other room, but cellar can not. The main purpose of the cellar is to store food items that are too sensitive to be in a normal temperature room.

People are often confused between the two as they are not aware of the differences between these two rooms. The size and placement of the rooms are the biggest difference between them, and one can identify them based on these conditions.


  1. http://apc.aast.edu/ojs/index.php/RESD/article/view/120
  2. https://elibrary.ru/item.asp?id=23316233
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