The Best Shelving Units

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No matter how small or large your living space is, sometimes it seems as if there is never enough room to fit all the things in your life. The best way to expand your space without tearing down a wall or building an addition to your home is to add shelving.

Shelves automatically increase the vertical or horizontal space in a room, allowing you to store or display everything from pots and pans, and home canning goods to plants and ceramics too. Since shelving comes in so many shapes and forms, you can add them to any room in your house — even inside a closet.

Some spaces cry out for functionality, some need a pop of décor, and others can offer you a nice blend of both. Below, you will find a list of the best shelving units that you can use in your home based on size, space and taste.

1. Editor's Pick: Love-KANKEI Wall-Mounted Floating Shelves (Set of 3)

1. Editor's Pick: Love-KANKEI Wall-Mounted Floating Shelves (Set of 3)
  • Affordably priced
  • Ideal for rooms with limited floor space for storage
  • Shelves can be grouped together or separately in different rooms
  • Shelves are small and cannot carry heavy weight

Key Specs

Material: Wood
Installation Type: Wall Mount
Assembly: Yes
Shelf Type: Accent Shelf, Floating Shelf, Display Shelf

When you want to add a touch of décor to a room, using small, floating shelving units on the wall is an easy and affordable way to do it — without taking up any valuable floor space. This set of three floating shelves of different sizes are constructed of solid Paulownia wood boards and held up with powder-coated metal brackets.

They feature a rustic style with torched finish wood and industrial metal brackets for a look that would be a great addition or accent to any wall space. Although the shelves are not large, they are useful for displaying small items like plants, photo and collectibles. They're also great for organizing items like stuffed animals in a kid’s room, or hand towels/soaps/hair products in the bathroom.

These affordable shelves are ideal for small spaces with not a lot of floor area and they're easy to install. What's more, it come with all the hardware you need to install it correctly. Grab your tag-team partner and start creating the perfect space.

2. Best for Heavy Items: Honey-Can-Do SHF-01442 72-Inch Shelving Unit (Set of 5)

2. Best for Heavy Items: Honey-Can-Do SHF-01442 72-Inch Shelving Unit (Set of 5)
  • Versatile vertical storage
  • Adjustable shelves
  • Can hold heavy items
  • More expensive than other units

Key Specs

Material: Steel
Installation Type: Free standing with wall attachment
Assembly: Yes
Shelf Type: Storage, adjustable shelves

This five-tier shelving unit from Honey-Can-Do can hold heavy items, and is ideal for the garage or basement. If you’re looking for flexible shelving for a room that has a lot of wall space, you may want to consider this five-tier shelving unit.

The shelves have been tested to hold 200 lbs. each when evenly spaced. Made from heavy-duty steel with a bright chrome finish, they're ideal for storing paint cans, storage bins, tools, canned goods, and gardening tools. The black finish is also neutral enough to fit into any décor so it's good for decorative rooms in your home as well.

You won’t need any tools to put this unit together either, and the shelves can be raised or lowered so you can customize it to suit your needs. You can use one on its own, or line up two or three for a full wall of extra space for your home, office or workroom.

3. Best Adjustable: AmazonBasics 6 Cube Grid Wire Storage Shelves

3. Best Adjustable: AmazonBasics 6 Cube Grid Wire Storage Shelves
  • Easy to clean and move
  • Flexible modular design
  • Affordably priced
  • Each cube cannot hold more than 10 pounds

Key Specs

Installation: Freestanding
Shelf Type: Corner Shelf, Display Shelf
Material: Powder coated steel wire
Assembly Required: Yes

They say variety is the spice of life, and we couldn’t agree more when it comes to a shelving unit. While some people prefer a structure that remains solid except perhaps for adjustable shelves, there is something to be said about a modular system that is as flexible as your specific needs.

The AmazonBasics 6 Cube Grid Wire Storage Shelve is an easy-to-assemble, modular wire shelving unit with multiple stacking options.

The set’s unique design allows you to consider multiple stacking options — from tall and skinny to wide and low. It even has an asymmetrical configuration. Since the open end of the top row of cubes can face out like a bookshelf, or face up like a basket-type container, anything goes with this unit.

This six-pack of interlocking wire storage cubes includes 26 plastic corner connectors that lock the wire grid panels together and 23 grid panels — made of powder-coated steel wire. Each cube can handle about 10 pounds of weight and users says it's great for storing linen, clothing, games and toys.

With a total weight capacity of 60 pounds, you don't need any tools to build it and all its intangibles come enclosed in the box. And since it comes in a choice of black or white, it will fit nicely into any décor in your home.

4. Best Decorative: Vasagle Ladder Shelf

4. Best Decorative: Vasagle Ladder Shelf
  • Attractive and functional
  • Four shelves of different sizes
  • Must be attached to the wall

Key Specs

Material: Particle Board, Steel
Shelf Type: Ladder Shelf
Installation Type: Freestanding
Assembly Required: Yes

The VASAGLE Ladder Shelf is vertical decorative shelving unit that is attractive and functional. it gives you the best of both worlds with its rustic, warm wood tones, and four stable shelves that work perfect in your living room, bedroom or bathroom.

Constructed with a sturdy matte-black steel frame, cross-bars, and dark brown particleboard shelves, the elegant unit will stand out in any room. The shelves on the unit get wider from top to bottom, offering you plenty of space to be creative with your displays. And since each level can hold up to 11 lbs., you can add anything from picture frames to ceramic pots.

The shelving unit also comes with instructions on how to put the numbered parts together and attach the unit to the wall; included is a tool and an anti-tip kit.

5. Best Corner Shelving: Furinno 99811BE/WH Turn-N-Tube 5 Tier Corner Display Rack

5. Best Corner Shelving: Furinno 99811BE/WH Turn-N-Tube 5 Tier Corner Display Rack
  • Easy to assemble in 10 minutes with no tools
  • Affordably priced
  • Made with recycled materials
  • May need to be anchored to the wall if put onto carpeted floors

Key Specs

Material: Particleboard, recycled ABS plastic
Installation Type: Freestanding
Assembly Required: Yes
Shelf Type: Corner Shelf

Ideal for when you want to fill that empty corner space with a shelving unit, the Furinno Turn-N-Tube 5 Tier Corner Display Rack is suitable for any room that needs vertical storage — kitchen, bathroom or a bedroom. What makes it unique is that you can position it different angles to customize the look and the space. Plus, you can adjust the unit's height by removing or adding shelves.

You may be the type of person who leaves the corners in a room empty to keep the space looking airy and clean. However, those unobtrusive areas are perfect for placing a shelving unit to store or display your things.

Easy to assemble with no tools, the unit is made from durable recycled PVC tubes and engineered particleboard that can withstand heavy weight. For the eco-minded, the display rack has CARB-compliant composite wood that carries the Forest Stewardship Council Certification (FSCC).

What to Look for in a Shelving Unit

Before choosing shelving for your home or office, the first thing to consider is what you want to use the unit for. If you need shelving to organize and store all the items in your garage, you probably should consider functionality over aesthetics.

To be able to store heavy items like paint cans, plastic storage bins filled with tools or canned food, tires, or boxes, find out the weight capacity of each shelf of the unit before you decided to buy it. If you store items where the total weight is greater than the capacity, you risk denting or breaking the shelf — or worse, having the whole unit collapse or fall over.

If you’re looking for shelving to add vertical storage to a room in the house, you’ll want to consider its functionality as well as its colour and style so it can blend seamlessly with a room’s décor.

Once again, you will have to consider what you want to put on the shelves or into cubes of the unit, and find out the maximum weight capacity so you don’t overload it. If you want to display some small plants or ceramic pots, floating shelves are a good option. If you want to store books, linens, or small storage bins, look for a unit that: stands on the floor; has a sturdy build; or, can be wall-mounted, would be a good option.

Finally, depending on how much stuff you have to display or organize, you will have to decided how many shelves the unit should have and if you could purchase multiple units to stand side by side if you want a complete shelving structure for a whole wall.

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