The 10 Best Bookcases of 2020

Find a home for your books and knick-knacks

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Our Top Picks
"Crafted from kiln-dried wood, this open-shelf bookcase will resist warping and splitting—even after years of use."
"Available in five different stains, this affordable bookcase strikes the perfect balance of value and quality."
"Its classic walnut appearance is enhanced with a natural oil and wax finish."
"Specifically designed to fit into corners, this triangular bookshelf has five shelves to display books, pictures, and more."
"The wooden and metal ladder design would make a great addition to an industrial, modern, or farmhouse-style home."
"Wider than it is tall, this sturdy, solid wood bookcase can hold up to 70 pounds per shelf."
"The tree-like design is great for displaying stacks of books, adding visual interest to your office, bedroom, or living space."
Best Adjustable Shelves:
IKEA BRIMNES Bookcase at Ikea
"With three adjustable shelves and a set of lower drawers, this affordable unit will suit a variety of different storage needs."
"This compact, mid-century style unit has three open shelves to hold books, vases, and other things you might want to display."
"Simple and versatile, the bookcase's bottom shelf features two market bins for quick and easy toy storage."

No matter if your personal library is big or small, the best way to put books on display in your home is with a bookcase. However, bookcases aren’t just for books—you also can use them to style decor, including precious memorabilia and various knick-knacks. 

There are a huge number of bookcases available today, including every size and style imaginable. Whether your home has a traditional aesthetic or a more modern, bohemian, or rustic vibe, you’ll be able to find a bookcase that fits in. When shopping for a bookcase, be sure to look at the materials it’s made from—because books are fairly heavy, cheap materials might sag and break over time. For this reason, it's typically better to spend a little more for wood construction, when possible.

Here, the best bookcases you can buy.

Best Overall: Pottery Barn Mateo 36" x 72" Wide Etagere Bookcase

The Mateo Wide Etagere Bookcase is a well-built, stylish product that would blend in with just about any decor style. This beautiful open-shelf bookcase is crafted from kiln-dried solid poplar wood and veneers that will resist warping and splitting, even after years of use. 

The bookcase is 36 x 15 x 72 inches, and it has five shelves with over 1 foot of clearance on each. The unit can hold up to 200 pounds of books and other items, and the bookcase itself weighs a substantial 70 pounds. There are adjustable levelers on the legs to provide stability on uneven surfaces, and the distressed black finish will bring a touch of warmth to your home.

Best Budget: Casual Home Shelf Bookcase

Bookcases can cost a pretty penny, especially if they’re made from solid wood. If you’re trying to decorate your home on a budget, the Casual Home Shelf Bookcase strikes the perfect balance of value and quality.

This affordable bookcase is 29.5 x 12 x 63 inches, and it’s made from solid wood with five stain options available. The unit has contemporary X-shaped accents along the sides, and there are five shelves, each of which can support up to 25 pounds. Reviewers say this bookcase is well-built, especially for the low price, but several note the finishes aren’t the exact color they appear in the product photos.

Best Classic: Crate & Barrel Ainsworth Walnut Bookcase

For a traditional style home, the Ainsworth Walnut Bookcase is a high-quality product with a classic, versatile appearance. This handcrafted bookcase is made from solid walnut for unmatched durability, and it measures 26 x 13.25 x 72 inches, allowing it to fit into smaller spaces. The Ainsworth Bookcase has five adjustable shelves, and the wood’s natural beauty is enhanced with a natural oil and wax finish. Reviewers say this classic bookcase is stunning and extremely well-built, allowing it to hold heavy books without any concern of bowing.

Best for Corners: Red Barrel Studio Tauranac Corner Bookcase

If you want to put a bookcase in the corner of your home, there’s no better option than the Red Barrel Studio Tauranac Corner Bookcase. This triangular unit is specifically designed to fit into corners, and it’s made from a combination of solid and manufactured wood for durability. 

The Tauranac Corner Bookcase measures 32 x 17 x 78 inches—that’s more than 6-1/2 feet tall! You can opt for either a white or espresso finish, and the bookcase has five wedge shelves where you can display books, pictures, and other pieces of decor.

Best Ladder-Style: Orren Ellis Zachary 72" x 24" Metal Ladder Bookcase

Ladder-style bookcases have become popular in recent years, and the top-rated Orren Ellis Zachary Metal Ladder is a great pick for an industrial, modern, or farmhouse-style home. The product measures in at 24 x 12 x 72 inches, and it features five manufactured wood shelves mounted on a metal frame. 

The Zachary Metal Ladder comes in a range of finishes to match any decor, and each of its shelves can hold up to 50 pounds of weight. The unit takes less than 30 minutes to set up, and the manufacturer offers a limited lifetime warranty on the bookcase—though reviewers say you won’t need it, as they’ve found the product to be well-built and stylish.

Best Heavy-Duty: Concepts in Wood 36 in. Dry Oak Wood 9-Shelf Standard Bookcase

If you’re planning to really load up your bookcase with lots of books or other heavy items, you’re going to need a heavy-duty design like the Concepts in Wood 9-Shelf Standard Bookcase. This design is wider than it is tall—measuring 72 inches wide and 36 inches high—giving it a sturdy foundation to hold all your belongings. 

This heavy-duty bookcase is made from solid wood molding with wood veneers, and it has six adjustable shelves broken up into three columns. The shelves can hold up to 70 pounds each, and the whole unit has a classic oak polyurethane finish. While it’s sturdy, keep in mind that this unit is also heavy, weighing more than 100 pounds by itself, so you probably won’t be able to move it once you’ve placed books and other items on its shelves.

Best Modern: VASAGLE Tree Bookshelf

For a more modern bookcase with an eye-catching appearance, you can’t go wrong with the VASAGLE Tree Bookshelf. True to its name, this unique bookcase resembles a tree, with shelves branching off at a diagonal. While this design is great for displaying stacks of books, keep in mind that the tilted shelves won’t be ideal for holding other pieces of decor. 

The VASAGLE Bookshelf is roughly 20 x 10 x 56 inches, and it has eight open shelves, each of which can hold up to 22 pounds. The unit is made from particle board with veneer, so it may not be the most durable option, but reviewers say it’s a visually interesting piece that’s sure to earn you compliments.

Best Adjustable Shelves: IKEA BRIMNES Bookcase

If you own any oversized books, you know it can be a hassle to arrange them on a standard bookcase. Luckily, the affordable BRIMNES Bookcase from IKEA has adjustable shelving, allowing you to tailor its appearance to suit your storage needs. This bookcase measures roughly 24 x 14 x 78 inches, and it includes two lower drawers and three adjustable shelves. The BRIMNES is available in three colors, and because it’s from IKEA, there is a fair bit of assembly necessary.

Best Small: West Elm Mid-Century Low Shelf

For a smaller bookcase, the Mid-Century Low Shelf has a very sleek, modern design. It measures 36 x 15 x 43.5 inches, and it’s made from acacia veneer over engineered wood. It offers three fixed shelves where you can stack books, and the legs include built-in levelers, which is handy if your floors are a little bit uneven. 

This short bookcase is perfect for anyone who loves the mid-century modern aesthetic, as it has the slim legs and beveled edges that were characteristic of this period. The whole unit has a pretty acorn finish, and it’s also made from sustainably sourced wood, so it’s a purchase you can feel good about.

Best for Kids' Room: PB Kids Cameron Storage Bookcase

If you’re searching for a bookcase to put in your kids’ room, look no further than the Cameron Storage Bookcase. It has a simple design that will fit in with just about any decor, and the bottom shelf features two market bins for quick and easy toy storage. 

This bookcase is 42 x 16 x 42 inches, and it’s made from solid poplar wood and finished with a childproof paint. There are two upper fixed shelves, as well as a cord cutout in the center, which is handy if you want to place electronics on the bookcase. Plus, the unit comes with an anti-tip kit, complete with safety-tested mounting hardware—essential for any furniture that you’re placing in a child’s room.

Why Trust The Spruce?

This roundup was written by Camryn Rabideau, who has studied interior design and is an avid book collector. With hundreds of books in her personal library, she knows firsthand the importance of having a sturdy, well-crafted bookcase.

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