File cabinets have a place in every home and office, but as professional organizer Shaniece Jones notes, they're not all created equal. "The most important features of a file cabinet are the design, size, and function," she says. As you select a file cabinet, you'll need to consider how much paperwork you have to store, as well as where you plan to keep the cabinet itself.
With this in mind, we researched filing cabinets of various dimensions and styles with standout features.
Here are the best file cabinets for every budget and space.
Poppin Stow 2-Drawer Rolling File Cabinet
Both drawers lock
360-degree locking casters
Generous return policy
Pricey for the size
Too small for some uses
The Poppin Stow Rolling File Cabinet is made of powder-coated steel and available in your choice of white, black, gray, or teal. This compact two-drawer unit is set up for hanging files, and each drawer extends all the way out for easy access without tipping over.
If you're looking for a secure cabinet, you'll be glad to know that both drawers on this model are lockable, and you'll get a set of two keys. We also like that this file cabinet has four caster wheels that glide smoothly, spin 360 degrees for easy transport, and lock into place to prevent the cabinet from rolling away.
The Stow arrives fully assembled. And if you order it from Poppin, you can take advantage of the brand's white-glove delivery service and generous 120-day return policy. While the price is steep for the size, there's no denying the high-quality construction.
Price at time of publish: $349
Dimensions: 25 x 15.75 x 20 inches | Material: Powder-coated steel | Color: White, black, gray, teal | Drawers: 2 | Wheels: Yes | Lockable: Yes
Hirsh Space Solutions 2-Drawer Steel Filing Cabinet with Lock
Both drawers lock
Available in several colors
If you're in need of something more wallet-friendly, consider the Hirsch Space Solutions Filing Cabinet. Made of steel, this cabinet is available in several color options, including black, green, purple, and yellow. It has two lockable drawers that accommodate letter-size hanging file folders. The drawers extend three-quarters of the way out to prevent tipping.
Now, we wouldn't necessarily call this unit cheap, but you won't find many locking filing cabinets under $100 unless you're open to an open box-style filing system. And while rolling casters would be nice, the design features are about right for the price.
Price at time of publish: $103
Dimensions: 24.5 x 14.25 x 18 inches | Material: Painted steel | Color: Black, white, yellow, gray, green, purple | Drawers: 2 | Wheels: No | Lockable: Yes
Urban Outfitters Ivy Filing Cabinet
Decorative yet functional
Mid-century modern appeal
Your paper storage system doesn't have to be an eyesore—in fact, it can even blend into its surroundings. According to Jones, "A file cabinet can be used as a part of the furniture if you find one that matches your decor." With this in mind, we're loving the Ivy Filing Cabinet from Urban Outfitters.
Made of solid mango wood, natural cane, and iron, it has a cool mid-century modern vibe. This unit is a more expensive option, it doesn't have wheels or a lock, and you'll have to assemble it at home. But its aesthetic appeal can't be denied—and if you think of it as a multifunctional furniture-storage hybrid, it might be worth the investment.
Price at time of publish: $699
Dimensions: 28 x 20 x 23 inches | Material: Mango wood, cane, iron | Color: Natural | Drawers: 2 | Wheels: No | Lockable: No
Best with Wheels
Laura Davidson Stockpile Curve File Cabinet
Available in 19 colors
Three lockable drawers
Arrives fully assembled
Only one hanging file drawer
Pricey for the size
If wheels are a must-have for your file cabinet, consider the Laura Davidson Stockpile Curve. Available in over a dozen colorways, this file cabinet has smooth caster wheels, which make it easy to roll around your home, whether you place it in your office or under a desk. This model has a sleek look that would look great in any workspace, but when it comes to filing cabinet placement in general, "another option would be in a closet where it would be out of sight," says Jones.
This file cabinet features one large drawer for letter-size hanging folders, plus two smaller drawers for other important items you want to keep secure. This means that it might not have enough room for all your files if you need two drawers' worth of space. On the plus side, all three drawers are lockable. Laura Davidson offers a two-year warranty on the file cabinet, as well.
Price at time of publish: $230
Dimensions: 24 x 15.75 x 20 inches | Material: Powder-coated steel | Color: 19 colors available | Drawers: 3 | Wheels: Yes | Lockable: Yes
Stani 4 Drawer File Cabinet with Lock
Wide, lockable drawers
Drawers open and close smoothly
Cumbersome to move
Need something bigger for storing your paper documents? The Stani File Cabinet might be your best bet. It's made of sturdy steel and features four wide drawers, each lockable with ball-bearing suspension for smooth, quiet opening and closing. Plus, when one drawer opens, the others lock to prevent tipping.
Recessed handles give this file cabinet a streamlined appearance, and it also features card slots on the front to add labels. We should note this unit has to be assembled at home. Also, it's 140 pounds when empty—so you'll want to set it up in the room where you plan to keep it, as it'll be more of a hassle to move than smaller models or ones with wheels.
Price at time of publish: $305
Dimensions: 35.4 x 17.7 x 51.9 inches | Material: Steel | Color: Black, white | Drawers: 4 | Wheels: No | Lockable: Yes
Ebern Designs Cavitt 14.25-Inch-Wide 4-Drawer Steel Vertical Filing Cabinet
Arrives fully assembled
Only two drawers lock
Steel on thinner side
"Vertical file cabinets are a great way to store files without taking up too much floor space," says Pia Thompson, professional home organizer and founder of Sweet Digs. With that in mine, the Ebern Designs Cavitt packs a lot of storage space into a small footprint. Measuring just 14 inches wide, it features four drawers that accommodate letter-size hanging file folders. You can snag the file cabinet in one of two neutrals—black or ivory. Each drawer features a chic shaker-cabinet-style front with a metal pull handle.
Only two of the drawers lock, and they don't extend all the way out, but this is by design to prevent tipping. We read some reports that the steel is on the thinner side and might be more easily dented than heavy-duty file cabinets, so this might be most appropriate for light home use, rather than a busy office setting. However, the filing cabinet arrives fully assembled, and considering the size, it's a decent value for the $200 range.
Price at time of publish: $230
Dimensions: 46.38 x 14.25 x 18 inches | Material: Powder-coated steel | Color: Black, pearl white | Drawers: 4 | Wheels: No | Lockable: Yes
Best for Small Spaces
BirdRock Home Rolling File Cabinet with 1 Lateral Drawer
Easy to move
Fits letter- or legal-size folders
If you're short on space and need something more compact, the BirdRock Home Rolling Cabinet might be just the thing. It measures about 14 inches tall, 14 inches wide, and 16.5 inches deep, with a single drawer for hanging letter- or legal-size file folders, depending on the direction you hang them.
Featuring a metal and MDF (medium-density fiberboard) frame and fabric-covered drawer, this unit comes in a dark driftwood gray or white with a gray drawer. The caster wheels make it easy to move around your space. Plus, if you ever need more storage, you can buy additional cabinets and stack them together—the divots on the top of the cabinet will keep them in place. Just keep in mind that the drawer won't be the most durable option available, and since it doesn't lock, it isn't the most secure either.
Price at time of publish: $63
Dimensions: 13.8 x 14.25 x 16.4 inches | Material: Metal, MDF, fabric | Color: Dark gray, white | Drawers: 1 | Wheels: Yes | Lockable: No
Best for Home Offices
West Elm Parsons Rolling File Cabinet
Pairs with modular pieces
Hidden caster wheels
Made with kiln-dried wood
Arrives fully assembled
Only one colorway
According to Jones, a file cabinet for your home office "should be placed close to the workstation where you ultimately create, write, and sort the documents you plan to file." With this in mind, we like the modular Parsons Rolling File Cabinet from West Elm. If you have the space and budget, you can pair it with other pieces—including a variety of desks and bookcases—from the retailer's Parsons collection.
The file cabinet is constructed with kiln-dried mahogany and engineered wood, and the larger of the two drawers is designed with metal rails for hanging file folders. We wish it had a lock and came in more colors, but the white lacquer finish and streamlined design would make it a great fit for a range of decor styles.
Price at time of publish: $479
Dimensions: 23 x 16 x 23.75 inches | Material: Mahogany, engineered wood, metal | Color: White | Drawers: 2 | Wheels: Yes | Lockable: No
Branch Small Filing Cabinet
Pricey for the size
Another option is to place your file cabinet under your desk for easy access while keeping it out of the way. Measuring just 12 inches wide, the compact Branch Small Filing Cabinet is perfect for this purpose. While small in size, the powder-coated steel cabinet packs a real design punch with curved edges and a minimalist-modern silhouette.
The larger of the two lockable drawers can fit letter- or legal-size file folders. This unit has caster wheels, allowing you to pull it out and move it around your space as needed. It's a little pricey for the size, but you can count on premium quality.
Price at time of publish: $245
Dimensions: 20 x 12 x 20 inches | Material: Powder-coated steel | Color: White, gray, black | Drawers: 2 | Wheels: Yes | Lockable: Yes
Inbox Zero 15'-Inch-Wide 3-Drawer Steel Vertical Filing Cabinet
Sturdy and durable
Arrives fully assembled
If you're in the market for a three-drawer vertical cabinet, consider the Inbox Zero 3-Drawer Vertical Filing Cabinet. All three drawers can be locked simultaneously, and they each feature ball-bearing suspension, extending 80 percent of the way to prevent tipping. The drawers even feature follower wires, which you can adjust to ensure your files stay upright and don't bend.
This filing cabinet is constructed primarily from steel, and 28 percent of the materials used are recycled. It doesn't roll, and the design is relatively basic. But it's nice and sturdy, arrives fully assembled, and definitely gets the job done for those who need a mid-size unit.
Price at time of publish: $310
Dimensions: 40.19 x 15 x 22 inches | Material: Steel | Color: Black, gray, beige | Drawers: 3 | Wheels: No | Lockable: Yes
FireKing Turtle Series Fireproof 2-Drawer Vertical File
UL-listed for fire protection
Four-pin key lock
"Fireproof file storage cabinets work as a solution for those who have documents that need extra protection, such as for historical documents," says Thompson. The FireKing Turtle Series Fireproof 2-Drawer Vertical File is UL-listed to withstand temperatures as hot as 1,700 degrees Fahrenheit for a full hour.
It's also designed to resist crushing from a 30-foot drop or a collapsing ceiling. With two drawers and a four-pin key lock, it doubles as a fireproof safe. This file cabinet is one of the most expensive options we found, but it might be worth investing in for peace of mind in the event of an emergency, especially for storing irreplaceable or otherwise priceless items.
Price at time of publish: $899
Dimensions: 27.75 x 17.75 x 22.12 inches | Material: Steel | Color: Beige | Drawers: 2 | Wheels: No | Lockable: Yes
Our top choice is the Poppin Stow 2-Drawer Rolling File Cabinet. It boasts high-quality construction, dual locking drawers, and 360-degree caster wheels. Plus, it arrives fully assembled with white-glove delivery. For a more budget-friendly option, we recommend the Hirsh Space Solutions 2-Drawer Filing Cabinet, which has two lockable drawers and an anti-tip design.
What to Look for in a File Cabinet
Type, Size, and Organization Options
The different types of filing cabinets mainly vary in terms of size. "The dimensions/size of the cabinet is an important feature to consider because that will depend on the size files you plan to store in the cabinets," says professional organizer Shaniece Jones. You should also consider where you plan to store the file cabinet. There are compact one- and two-drawer units that can be tucked into a closet or underneath a desk, like the Branch Small Filing Cabinet. If you have more to store and space for a larger file cabinet, consider snagging a large lateral system with wide drawers or a vertical cabinet that's tall and narrow, like the Ebern Designs Cavitt Cabinet.
Material and Color
You'll also want to pay attention to the material. Most filing cabinets are made of steel, which is generally strong, water-resistant, and long-lasting. Many feature a powder coating, which makes for a smooth, nonporous surface while giving you more color options, as is the case with the Laura Stockpile Curve File Cabinet.
Some are made of wood and look more like regular furniture, like the Urban Outfitters Ivy Filing Cabinet. In any case, Jones explains that your file cabinet "shouldn't be an item that stands alone or places a sore thumb in your space."
According to professional home organizer and founder of Sweet Digs Pia Thompson, "Mobile file cabinets…serve as portable file systems because of the convenient wheels that allow you to easily transport them from room to room." Not all filing cabinets have caster wheels, but this can be a critical feature since they can get heavy when full.
Locking and Security
"Having a cabinet with a lock or one that is fireproof can provide security around your important papers," says Thompson. When browsing lockable units, check how many of the drawers lock, as some are only partially lockable. For instance, both drawers on the Poppin Stow 2-Drawer File Cabinet lock with a single key.
What are the different filing cabinet styles?
Thompson says the main styles include horizontal, vertical, mobile, and fireproof. "Horizontal file cabinets provide a filing system wide enough to accommodate both letter- and legal-size papers," she notes. "They tend to have wide, deep drawers that don't extend very far." Vertical units, on the other hand, stand taller and narrower, with a smaller footprint on your floors.
"Also, consider a cabinet that comes in a variety of colors that fits in with your decor and feels good in your home," Thompson adds. "That will encourage you to use it without adding to your visual clutter."
What's the difference between legal- and letter-size file cabinets?
A letter-size file cabinet can fit letter-size hanging files, meaning the documents measure 8.5 by 11 inches, and the folders they go in measure roughly 9.5 by 12 inches. A legal-size filing cabinet accommodates legal-size hanging files. These documents are longer (8.5 by 14 inches), and the folders are bigger (about 9.5 by 15 inches), too.
Are metal file cabinets fireproof?
Metal file cabinets aren't necessarily fireproof. Steel has some inherent resistance to fire, meaning it'll hold up longer than other materials in flames and high temperatures. But to ensure full protection of your paperwork and other important items in the event of an emergency, you'll want to get a file cabinet that's UL-listed for fire resistance.
Why Trust The Spruce?
Theresa Holland is an experienced commerce writer and product tester specializing in home improvement, remote work, and lifestyle topics. For this story, she interviewed Shaniece Jones, a professional organizer specializing in storage solutions, and home organizer Pia Thompson of Sweet Digs. With their expert insights in mind, Holland researched today's best filing cabinets, narrowing it down to units that stood out in terms of durability, versatility, portability, security, and aesthetic appeal.