Simplemost is supported by our readers. When you purchase an item through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

The Best Bookshelf - 2021

Last updated on December 31, 2020
Best Bookshelf

Why Trust The Simplemost Score?

Simplemost is focused on helping you make the best purchasing decision. Our team of experts spends hundreds of hours analyzing, testing, and researching products so you don't have to.Learn more.

Look for the Simplemost seal for products that are the best in a category.

Our Picks For The Top Bookshelves

Show Contents
Our Take
  Best All-Purpose

ClosetMaid Cubeicals Organizer & Bookshelf

ClosetMaid

Cubeicals Organizer & Bookshelf

Overall Take

Ideal for Smaller ItemsThis shelving features 12 cubes, making it perfect for smaller items tucked into baskets or displayed.

  Best for Style

Lavish Home 5-Tier Leaning Ladder Bookshelf

Lavish Home

5-Tier Leaning Ladder Bookshelf

Overall Take

Fun Ladder DesignThis five-tier bookshelf has a ladder setup that sets it apart from other furniture pieces.

  Best Classic

Sauder Beginnings Adjustable 3-Shelf Bookcase

Sauder

Beginnings Adjustable 3-Shelf Bookcase

Overall Take

Responsibly-Sourced WoodSauder's products are made from responsibly-sourced engineered wood for a eco-friendly option.

  Best for Height

Atlantic Drawbridge Adjustable Media Storage Bookshelf

Atlantic

Drawbridge Adjustable Media Storage Bookshelf

Overall Take

Plenty of StorageThis 36-by-19-by-7-inch bookshelf has four adjustable shelves and two fixed shelves to give you plenty of room for storage.

  Also Great

Furinno Jaya Simple Home 3-Tier Adjustable Bookshelf

FURINNO

Jaya Simple Home 3-Tier Adjustable Bookshelf

Overall Take

Adjustable ShelvesAdjustable shelves let you change up where you set your taller and shorter items.

Avatar
Guide written by Stephanie Faris
Last updated on December 31, 2020

Bookshelves aren’t just for holding books. You can use them to show off your favorite trinkets or store your CDs, DVDs or video games. You can also find some that have baskets that let you tuck away smaller items like shoes, toys, socks or cleaning supplies. The sky’s the limit, as long as you choose the right shelving from the start.

But what do you look for when you’re shopping for a bookcase? The first feature should be the size and configuration. Measure the space where you’ll be placing this piece of furniture to make sure you get one that’s the width and height you need. Count the number of shelves and consider the space between shelves to make sure there will be enough clearance for the height of the items you’ll be storing there.

Some bookcases have adjustable shelves, which comes in handy for combining short and tall items. Without this feature, you’ll likely find that some of your shelves don’t use the full vertical space, while you’re squeezing items onto the others. When you shop with these factors in mind, you’re sure to get the piece you need from the start.

It’s also important to pay close attention to the type of wood you’re getting. While you can save money by going with engineered wood, make sure the veneer has what it takes to last through years of use. If you can spring for a solid bookshelf, you’ll get longevity, but you’ll have to pay more. You’ll also find these are heavier and more difficult to move from one location to another.

How your wood is sourced can also come into play. If you’re concerned about the environment, look for wood that’s sustainably sourced and manufactured in an eco-friendly manner. Some brands specialize in this and also allow you to save money while getting the quality you want in a way that minimizes your carbon footprint.

The Best Bookshelves

1
  Best All-Purpose

ClosetMaid Cubeicals Organizer & Bookshelf

With 12 cubes sized 11.25 by 11.25 by 11.75 inches, this storage bookshelf is perfect for putting items on display and keeping small items in baskets. There are multiple color options to help match any decor, and the total dimensions are 47.56 by 35.9 by 11.61 inches. It's easy to put together, requiring only a screwdriver and hammer.

Features


Specifications

Brand
ClosetMaid
Model
2
  Best for Style

Lavish Home 5-Tier Leaning Ladder Bookshelf

You'll get a lot of compliments on this unique ladder-like bookshelf that leans against the wall for a classy but whimsical look. The shelf's dimensions are 50 by 16.25 by 11. 5 inches, and the shelves themselves are 15 inches wide, with a distance between shelves of 8 inches. It is available in multiple finishes to help you match your home's decor.

Features


Specifications

Brand
Lavish Home
Model
3
  Best Classic

Sauder Beginnings Adjustable 3-Shelf Bookcase

Engineered wood keeps this bookshelf attractive and functional while also keeping the price affordable. It has three shelves and measures 24.567" L X 11.496" W X 35.276" H. The shelves are adjustable to help you set your displays up the way you prefer.

Features


Specifications

Brand
Sauder
Model
4
  Best for Height

Atlantic Drawbridge Adjustable Media Storage Bookshelf

You'll be able to hold 240 CDs, 108 DVDs or 132 Blu-ray discs or games with this shelving option. It has two fixed shelves and four adjustable shelves to help you set things up to fit your needs. The slim design can slide into small spaces, and the sturdy base will ensure plenty of stability even if it's bumped.

Features


Specifications

Brand
Atlantic
Model
5
  Also Great

Furinno Jaya Simple Home 3-Tier Adjustable Bookshelf

Made from responsibly-sourced composite wood, this three-tier bookshelf has adjustable shelves to help you customize your storage. It's easy to assemble, and you'll get an instruction manual to help you along.

Features


Specifications

Brand
FURINNO
Model

Our Bookshelf Buying Guide

Bookshelves aren’t just for holding books. You can use them to show off your favorite trinkets or store your CDs, DVDs or video games. You can also find some that have baskets that let you tuck away smaller items like shoes, toys, socks or cleaning supplies. The sky’s the limit, as long as you choose the right shelving from the start.

But what do you look for when you’re shopping for a bookcase? The first feature should be the size and configuration. Measure the space where you’ll be placing this piece of furniture to make sure you get one that’s the width and height you need. Count the number of shelves and consider the space between shelves to make sure there will be enough clearance for the height of the items you’ll be storing there.

Some bookcases have adjustable shelves, which comes in handy for combining short and tall items. Without this feature, you’ll likely find that some of your shelves don’t use the full vertical space, while you’re squeezing items onto the others. When you shop with these factors in mind, you’re sure to get the piece you need from the start.

It’s also important to pay close attention to the type of wood you’re getting. While you can save money by going with engineered wood, make sure the veneer has what it takes to last through years of use. If you can spring for a solid bookshelf, you’ll get longevity, but you’ll have to pay more. You’ll also find these are heavier and more difficult to move from one location to another.

How your wood is sourced can also come into play. If you’re concerned about the environment, look for wood that’s sustainably sourced and manufactured in an eco-friendly manner. Some brands specialize in this and also allow you to save money while getting the quality you want in a way that minimizes your carbon footprint.

Simplemost Fun Fact

Despite the growing popularity of electronic books over the years, bookshelves have managed to hold their own. One reason for that is the #shelfie hashtag, which has social media users snapping photos of their bookshelves. It not only brands someone as well-read, but it’s a chance to show off an impressive book collection.

For that reason, it’s not only important to choose a bookshelf that’s attractive, but to also build a nice-looking book collection. The trend has increased bookcase sales in recent years, but it’s also had an interesting side benefit. New generations of readers are falling in love with the thrill of collecting and reading physical books.

The Bookshelf Tips and Advice

  • Unless you’re picking your bookshelf up or having it delivered, you’ll have to put it together. Look for a piece that not only is easy to assemble but comes with step-by-step instructions.
  • Some bookcases have wood covering the back portion, while others are open to expose the wall. It can open up a room more to have backless bookshelves, but you may prefer the look of a back that matches the rest of the piece.
  • The wood you choose will determine how long your piece lasts. A solid piece of wood has staying power, but it can be both hard to move and expensive. Many bookshelves are made using composite or engineered wood, which is a mix of wood and other items. It may contain straw or plastic, along with a combination of different types of wood.
  • Composite wood will have a veneer applied to give it a quality look that competes with solid wood. Once painted and sealed, composite wood can also be water-resistant. That may not be an issue with indoor furniture like a bookshelf, but if you do have a spill or leak, it will be a nice feature to have.
  • Cube bookcases can be a functional alternative to traditional bookshelves. You can display knickknacks and other decorative items, along with smaller pieces like books. Using baskets, you can tuck in a wide range of pieces that you want to keep out of sight.
  • If you get a chip or ding in your bookcase, you can buy a furniture pen that will disguise the flaw.
  • Bookcases don’t have to be made of wood. You can get a metal piece that’s durable, functional and lightweight. It might not be as attractive as wood, although you can find pieces that add an interesting decorative touch to your living spaces. This option is also great if your bookshelf won’t be in an area that gets much foot traffic.

About The Author

Avatar
Stephanie Faris 

Stephanie Faris is a novelist and business writer whose work has appeared on numerous blogs. She worked for the State of Tennessee for 19 years, the latter six of which were spent as a supervisor. She has written content for entrepreneurs and marketing firms since 2011. In addition to her online content, she is also the author of eight novels for Simon & Schuster, including the Piper Morgan chapter book series.