The 11 Best Bookcases of 2022

The Floyd Shelving System is our top pick

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The 9 Best Bookcases of 2022

The Spruce / Chloe Jeong

Bookshelves offer a tasteful solution to store and display not only books but also small plants, candles, photo frames, and other decorative objects.

We caught up with Decorist designer designer Maria DeLucia for buying tips, then researched top options at every size and price point. She noted the many uses bookcases have, emphasizing the need to make the right choice when buying one: "Bookcases are not just for books. They help organize and display collections in a thoughtful and artistic way," she shares. With this in mind, our number-one pick is the Floyd Shelving System, a customizable, modular storage unit with a high weight capacity.

Read on for the best bookshelves available today.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Floyd The Shelving System

4.9
Floyd The Shelving System
Courtesy of West Elm.
What We Like
  • Customizable

  • Modular

  • Expandable

  • 390-pound weight limit

What We Don't Like
  • Pricey

  • Assembly required

  • Weeks-long wait on made-to-order items

Who else recommends it? Architectural Digest and Cosmopolitan both picked the Floyd Shelving System.

We'd happily drool over bookcases all day, but if we could only recommend one to our readers, we'd have to go with The Shelving System from Floyd. It has scratch-resistant, powder-coated steel shelves in your choice of moody black, forest green, or modish white. Plus, the birch plywood frame comes with either a light ash or deep walnut veneer.

This customizable bookshelf is available in a range of sizes and configurations: There are three tall options, three short and wide, a few short-tall combos, and even some specialized designs with angled shelves and cabinets on the bottom. Plus, as a modular unit, you'll always have the option to reconfigure it or expand it when you need a bit more storage space.

Though it depends on which one you get, The Shelving System has an impressive weight capacity of nearly 400 pounds—or about 65 pounds per shelf. It's on the pricier side for a bookcase, and you'll have to assemble it on your own. But all in all, this is a high-quality, versatile storage solution with lots of potential.

Dimensions: Varies | Weight: 78 pounds | Material: Birch plywood, powder-coated steel | Shelves: Varies

Best Budget: Furinno Luder Bookcase

Furinno Luder Bookcase
Courtesy of Amazon.
What We Like
  • Budget-friendly

  • Versatile

  • Several sizes/colors

What We Don't Like
  • Not solid wood

  • Assembly required

Looking for something more budget-friendly? Check out the Furinno Luder Bookcase. It comes in several colors, sizes, and configurations, ranging from two to five tiers, with the option to include cubby-style storage.

Featuring clean lines and a pared-down aesthetic, this shelving unit has a minimalist-modern appeal that'll complement most decor schemes. While it's not made of solid wood and can only support about 10 pounds per shelf, you really can't beat the price. What's more, you can mix and match with different sizes, depending on your storage needs.

Dimensions: Varies | Weight: 17 pounds | Material: Composite wood | Shelves: Varies

Best Splurge: Lulu & Georgia Philene Bookcase

Philene Bookcase
Courtesy of Lulu & Georgia.
What We Like
  • Solid wood

  • Arrives fully assembled

  • Designer-recommended

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

Decorist designer designer Maria DeLucia is a huge fan of Lulu & Georgia's Philene Bookcase. "It's the ideal size and scale with an open bottom for adding baskets or storage bins," she tells The Spruce. "I love the light mango wood and cane finish combo."

There's also an option with a matte black frame that contrasts beautifully with the natural cane facade. The Philene is made of solid wood and has six shelves, each 16 inches deep with a 40-pound capacity. This large, stately shelving unit arrives at your door fully assembled. If you can swing the price and have the space for it, it's well worth the investment.

Dimensions: 90 x 38 x 17 inches | Weight: 159 pounds | Material: Mango wood, cane | Shelves: 6

Best for Small Spaces: Sauder Nova Loft Display & Storage Shelf

Nova Loft Shelf
Courtesy of Amazon.
What We Like
  • Compact

  • Designer-recommended

  • Five-year warranty

What We Don't Like
  • Not solid wood

  • Assembly required

Short on space? DeLucia recommends the Sauder Nova Loft Shelf. "I love the style and size," she says. "It's so perfect to use as a nightstand as well as a bookcase."

Flaunting an industrial-modern aesthetic, this compact storage solution has a powder-coated metal frame and particleboard shelves with a walnut finish. Since it's technically designed for records and portfolios, the shelves are angled backward, which adds interest and dimension. Though we wish the Nova was made of solid wood, the manufacturer's five-year warranty can give you some peace of mind about your purchase.

Dimensions: 37 x 25 x 19 inches | Weight: 47 pounds | Material: Particlebaord, powder-coated metal | Shelves: 3

Best Console: Pottery Barn Folsom 58" x 45" Console Bookcase

Folsom Console Bookcase
Courtesy of Pottery Barn.
What We Like
  • Solid kiln-dried wood

  • Adjustable shelves

  • Fair Trade certified

  • White-glove delivery

What We Don't Like
  • Pricey

  • Expensive shipping

If you're not into the towering look or just need something a little more versatile, you might consider a storage console. We like Pottery Barn's Folsom, a strikingly simple unit with plenty of space. Constructed in a Fair Trade facility, it's made out of solid kiln-dried wood spruced from responsibly managed forests.

Each shelf has a capacity of over 100 pounds, supporting upwards of 400 pounds in total. This shelving unit is hand-finished with a multi-step process and comes in two hues: light desert pine or matte charcoal. The Folsom is priced pretty steep, and shipping will be extra, but you'll get white-glove delivery service and can expect it to last for decades.

Dimensions: 58 x 45 x 14 inches | Weight: 91 pounds | Material: Spruce, pine, and fir wood | Shelves: 4

Best Corner: Crate & Barrel Fayette Corner Bookcase with Storage

Fayette Corner Bookcase
Courtesy of Crate & Barrel.
What We Like
  • Unique aesthetic

  • Concealed storage

  • Durable engineering

What We Don't Like
  • Pricey

  • Upper shelves aren't adjustable

Need to fill a corner? Check out the Fayette Bookcase from Crate & Barrel. This glamorous storage solution features wedge-shaped shelves that go back 19 inches. It has a brass-finished metal frame and engineered wood shelving, plus a double-doored base cabinet with internal shelves.

There are six shelves in total, half of which are concealed behind the cabinet. As DeLucia notes, this type of unit is ideal for storing surplus items you might not want on display. We definitely wish the Fayette was more affordable, but we love the French art deco-inspired design and appreciate the durable engineering.

Dimensions: 76 x 20 x 20 inches | Weight: Not listed | Material: Metal, engineered wood | Shelves: 6

What Our Experts Say

"A bookcase that has both open and closed storage can do double-duty and hold oversized items that don't fit in your file cabinet or desk."Decorist designer Maria DeLucia

Best Ladder: AllModern Innes 42.2'' Ladder Bookcase

Innes Ladder Bookcase
Courtesy of Wayfair.
What We Like
  • Solid kiln-dried wood

  • High weight capacity

  • Tip-over restraint included

What We Don't Like
  • Full assembly required

If you've yet to explore ladder-style units, allow us to introduce you to one of our favorite contemporary storage solutions. The Innes Bookcase from AllModern has a black powder-coated steel frame and four contrasting kiln-dried wood shelves of varying depths.

This Scandinavian-inspired unit can hold a lot of heavy books—or whatever else you want to put on display. The smallest shelf has a 60-pound capacity, and the largest one can support up to 100 pounds. Just bear in mind that full assembly is required, and you'll want to mount it to your wall to prevent tipping.

Dimensions: 72 x 42 x 18 inches | Weight: 48 pounds | Material: Wood, powder-coated steel | Shelves: 4

Best with Door: McGee & Co. Brookes Cabinet

Brookes Cabinet
Courtesy of McGee & Co.
What We Like
  • Arrives fully assembled

  • White-glove delivery

  • Designer-recommended

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

  • Pricey shipping

According to DeLucia, the best bookcases help you organize and display your collections in a thoughtful, artistic way. She recommends the Brookes Cabinet, which has an eyecatching design that would be great for showcasing milk glass or fine china. Made of iron and glass, this storage solution flaunts a glammed-up gothic vibe that'll work in modern, industrial, and traditional design schemes.

The Brookes is undoubtedly expensive, and you'll pay a hefty shipping fee, but its striking beauty and versatile design can't be understated. This sizable unit measures weighs nearly 250 pounds, but don't worry—it arrives fully assembled with white-glove delivery, meaning they'll set it up in the room of your choice.

Dimensions: 87 x 40 x 16 inches | Weight: 246 pounds | Material: Iron, glass | Shelves: 5

Best Solid Wood: Anthropologie Kalle Sculptural Oak Bookshelf

Kalle Sculptural Oak Bookshelf
Courtesy of Anthropologie.
What We Like
  • Unique design

  • Two colors available

  • White-glove delivery

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

  • Pricey shipping

Anthropologie's Kalle Bookshelf is made of solid oak and comes in your choice of a natural finish or a matte black stain, both of which are sealed with a protective lacquer. Since it's made of real wood, you can expect natural variations in the texture—but this is part of the charm.

Featuring soft edges and varying cubby sizes, the design is uniquely minimalist with a down-to-earth appeal. The Kalle is one of the more expensive options on this list, and you'll have to pay a pricey flat-rate shipping fee. However, it comes with a white-glove delivery service and is made to last for several years—maybe even decades.

Dimensions: 69 x 48 x 14 inches | Weight: 96 pounds | Material: Solid oak wood | Shelves: 5

Best Modern: Urban Outfitters Alana Bookshelf

Alana Bookshelf
Courtesy of Urban Outfitters.
What We Like
  • Reasonably priced

  • Curved lines

  • Versatile size

  • Four colors available

What We Don't Like
  • Assembly required

If you're drawn to modern furniture with mid-century flair, you'll love the Alana Bookshelf from Urban Outfitters. It's made of powder-coated metal and comes in four chic hues: periwinkle, white, gold, and black. Inspired by 1960s interior design, it features curved lines and four shelves of varying sizes.

Though assembly is required, the Alana comes at a very reasonable price point. This unit is the perfect medium size for your living room, hallway, or entryway. There's a larger size, too, which measures 66 x 30 x 18 inches.

Dimensions: 57 x 30 x 13 inches | Weight: 28 pounds | Material: Powder-coated metal | Shelves: 4

Best for Kids: Pottery Barn Kids Cameron Storage Bookcase

Pottery Barn Kids Cameron Storage Bookcase
Courtesy of PB Kids.
What We Like
  • Solid kiln-dried wood

  • Child-safe paint

  • Anti-tip kit included

What We Don't Like
  • Pricey for kids' furniture

  • Shelves aren't adjustable

Shopping for a kid's room? We're big fans of the Cameron Bookcase from Pottery Barn Kids. It's made of solid kiln-dried poplar wood and MDF (medium-density fiberboard) and finished with child-safe paint in your choice of white or gray.

With two shelves and two storage bins beneath, the Cameron is compact but still has plenty of space to stash books and toys. We also like that it comes with an anti-tip kit and mounting hardware for added safety. You can choose to assemble it yourself or opt for white-glove service, in which case Pottery Barn will set it up for you in the room of your choice.

Dimensions: 42 x 42 x 16 inches | Weight: 72 pounds | Material: Poplar wood, medium-density fiberboard | Shelves: 2

Final Verdict

Our number one pick is the Floyd Shelving System, a customizable, modular shelving unit with an expandable design and an impressive per-shelf weight limit. However, the Furinno Luder Bookcase is an excellent choice if you're on a budget, and it comes in several colors, sizes, and configurations.

What to Look for in a Bookcase

Material

Because bookcases often have to support quite a bit of weight, it’s important to find one that’s made from strong and durable materials. Solid wood is usually the best option, but it can be quite expensive. More affordable options include metal, which is especially sturdy, and manufactured wood, which may have a lower weight capacity per shelf.

Size

When comparing bookcases, look at their dimensions to ensure they’ll fit comfortably in your home. (You may also want to measure to ensure they’ll fit through doorways or tight staircases.) Other sizing considerations include how tall the shelves are, as well as if they can be adjusted. This is especially important if you’re planning to display tall books or oversized pieces of décor.

Weight capacity

Books can be quite heavy. A one-foot row of average-sized books typically weighs around 20 pounds, so you should always check the weight capacity of bookcase shelves before purchasing. If you’re planning to display a full shelf of books, each shelf should be able to hold 50 pounds or more (depending on its width).

FAQ
  • How deep should a bookcase be?

    It really depends on what you're planning to put on it, whether it's hefty encyclopedias, paperback novels, small potted plants, or a collection of picture frames. But generally speaking, the shelves of a bookcase should be at least 12 inches deep. Many models go a lot deeper, sometimes up to 20 inches. In any case, make sure you have enough clearance space in front.

  • When should you opt for a standalone bookcase over floating shelves?

    This is mostly a matter of personal preference, so consider your storage needs and design taste. A standalone unit will usually provide more space to display items, though you can always hang several floating shelves to achieve a similar effect.


    "Bookcases are unique in the way that they can both anchor a wall or fill a corner," says DeLucia. "They often do double-duty by becoming room dividers, nightstands, or console tables."

  • How can you decorate a bookcase?

    "I love styling bookshelves in a very neat and orderly way," says DeLucia. She often reaches for large bins, decorative boxes, and woven baskets to hide clutter while adding color, texture, and geometric interest. "I also like to combine 'like items' or organize my books by color so it feels visually cohesive."

    "I love styling bookshelves in a very neat and orderly way," says DeLucia. She often reaches for large bins, decorative boxes, and woven baskets to hide clutter while adding color, texture, and geometric interest. "I also like to combine 'like items' or organize my books by color so it feels visually cohesive."

Why Trust The Spruce?

Theresa Holland is a commerce writer specializing in home improvement, interior decor, and lifestyle. She interviewed a professional designer for this story, compiling their product suggestions, styling tips, and insight into sizing and placement. Before landing on the final bookcases, Theresa looked at dozens of models from a medley of brands and retailers, ultimately selecting those that stood out in terms of durability, aesthetics, and capacity.

Theresa covers furniture and organizational solutions at The Spruce. You can read more of her home-related articles on MyDomaine.

Article Sources
The Spruce uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. 13 Clever-Approved Bookshelves That’ll Make You Look Smart. Architectural Digest. https://www.architecturaldigest.com/gallery/12-clever-approved-bookshelves-that-wont-blow-your-budget

  2. 14 Best Bookshelves to Create the Reading Nook of Your Dreams. Cosmopolitan. https://www.cosmopolitan.com/lifestyle/g34041129/best-bookshelves/

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