Bathroom storage is essential, but can often be extremely scarce. No matter how cramped or large your bathroom is, there are tons of organizational solutions to make the space feel clutter-free and functional, though—right down to the last backup roll of toilet paper or container of cotton balls. We checked in with Lauren Saltman, professional organizer and owner of Living. Simplified, to find out more about using over-the-toilet shelving and storage units (known as an étagère) to maximize all the vertical wall space in your home, while adding extra storage.
Saltman explains that the beauty of these types of storage units is that they come in several styles, meaning there’s a fit for every design, need, and budget. “[They] can have open shelving, drawers, or even cabinets.” The final result makes items easy to store, access, and style. “Using an étagère can add functionality to your bathroom where it didn't exist previously and allows you to keep frequently used items, like toilet paper and clean towels, easily accessible," she explains.
To see how all the options on the market stacked up, we researched dozens of options, judging each one on ease of assembly, capacity, and sturdiness. Our top pick is the simple, but versatile, UTEX 3-Shelf Bathroom Organizer Over The Toilet, Bathroom Spacesaver, which sports a ladder construction with clean lines and a white hue, and ample amount of space.
Here, the best over-the-toilet storage units, so your bathroom can stay totally organized.
Best Overall: UTEX 3-Shelf Bathroom Organizer Over The Toilet
Universal aesthetic appeal
3 color options
Open shelving only
This versatile organizer works for any bathroom as a solid over-the-toilet storage solution. It features understated clean lines and a white hue, making it perfect for any style of decor (it also comes in espresso brown and a slate gray, should that be more your vibe). You also may be able to paint this unit in a matching color if you’re interested in putting in a bit of elbow grease!
This solid engineered wood storage solution features a streamlined, ladder-style construction. But it doesn’t need to lean against a wall with its standable construction style. It has three shelves, each featuring ample space for an array of items. The open shelves won’t work well to hide clutter, but they are convenient for stashing tissues, toilet paper, and a bevy of beautiful objects (such as, perfumes, beauty products, and even a plant). Best of all, it doesn’t take up much space, which makes it ideal for small space bathrooms.
Price at time of publish: $70
Best Budget: Honey-Can-Do 4-Tier Bathroom Storage Shelving Unit
Durable chrome construction
One color option
From a utility standpoint, this chrome-constructed, four-shelf unit is as useful as they come. The shelves provide more storage space than most over-the-counter units, and it’s an excellent choice for anyone who owns a lot of stuff (or has kids and pets).
In addition to ample shelving capacity, this over-the-toilet storage unit may easily match bathroom fixtures made of shiny chrome material. While scratches and hard water spots do show up easily, chrome can be wiped down with distilled white vinegar and a microfiber cloth. Admittedly, this organizer takes a bit longer to construct, but the instructions are clear and easy-to-use. Once this handy shelving unit is intact, it’s sure to last a long time. You might even want to snag a few for each of your bathrooms. Or maybe for the kitchen and garage, too.
Price at time of publish: $27
Best Cabinets: SRIWATANA Over The Toilet Storage Cabinet
Easy to assemble
Can be wiped down
Rustic farmhouse design
With a clearance of 33 inches, this over-the-toilet storage solution is ideal for most standard-height toilet setups, making it a good choice for most bathroom spaces. With its closed cabinetry, we love this option for tucking away toiletries that aren’t as display-worthy. For example, neatly tuck away bathroom cleaners, extra toilet paper, and any other unsightly items that may make a space appear cluttered.
In addition to its roomy two-door cabinet, this storage unit also features an open-shelving space for the prettier items you might actually want to display. As for the cabinet area, it features one adjustable shelf and one stationary shelf shelving unit on the inside, as well as a magnetic stopper function for easy opening and secure closing. The exterior of the farmhouse-style doors are handsome, complete with visible wood slats and elegant metal handles.
This unit is easier to install than most, largely because it has fewer pieces to assemble and easy-to-follow instructions. This storage unit is wipeable and water-resistant, which is a plus for anyone worried about an over-the-toilet storage unit becoming warped or damaged with repeated steam in the air. The manufactured wood is particularly durable and is UV-coated, giving it extra protection against common bathroom elements.
Price at time of publish: $140
Best Shelf: Rolanstar Bathroom Space Saver
4 roomy shelves
3 color options
Open shelving only
Another rustically stylish option, this dark wood and metal storage organizer straddles the industrial and farmhouse look. For this reason, it works with many different decor styles and is a great option for anyone looking to add a stylish touch to their bathroom with minimal effort. Complete with four shelves—three wood and one metal—this unit is roomy, and a good choice for lining up your prettiest (or most practical) bathroom items, like towels, tissues, toilet paper, and beauty products.
While it does lack any sort of concealment (which you’ll want to consider if you’re trying to hide less appealing items), it does feature ample room and considerable shelf depth. The added depth allows nicer-looking items to be put in the line of sight and then hide other items in a row behind.
Perhaps the handiest element of this shelving solution is its inclusion of metal hooks along the side: three medium-sized hooks and one extra-large hook, all of which are sturdy and perfect for hanging towels, loofahs, and so much more. In fact, the lowest of the hooks is perfectly aligned for placing toilet paper in a vertical manner—all while eliminating the need for a separate toilet paper holder.
Price at time of publish: $102
Best Leaning: HOOBRO 3 Tier Over Toilet Bathroom Organizer with Adjustable Feet
Easy to assemble
Shelves are narrow
The leaning, ladderlike style of this over-the-toilet storage solution adds a super-stylish touch to any room. While it looks like a ladder, it’s fully supported with extra beams to ensure sturdiness. This unit features three roomy open shelves. We love the rustic brown hue, which lends an expensive-looking touch.
The measurements are ideal for most standard-sized toilet setups. However, if you need a bit more height, you can adjust the feet for more wiggle room. There’s some assembly involved, but it’s straightforward compared to most similar models and should only take about 30 minutes if you’re adept with power tools.
This unit is an excellent value. But it’s less sturdy than some of the other options on this list. It has the tendency to wobble ever-so-slightly. While this is typically not the biggest deal if you’re storing lighter items (such as toilet paper, hand towels, or paper towels), you may want to consider another option if you’re planning to store fragile pieces, such as petite candles, glass bottle perfumes, or ceramic potted plants.
Price at time of publish: $68
Best Wood: Homykic Over The Toilet Storage, Bamboo 3-Tier Over-The-Toilet Space Saver Organizer Rack
4 stylish color options
3 S hooks
Slightly prone to wobbling with imperfect assembly
If you’re looking for maximum stability in your over-the-toilet organizer, definitely consider this solid bamboo unit. While bamboo is a grass (and not a wood), its solid nature and wood-like appeal make this storage unit comparable. It has three roomy shelves, each of which is designed with a slatted bottom for maximum moisture and air flow (no mold and mildew here!). This streamlined unit also boasts three useful metal hooks. Place the S-shaped hooks on any of the shelving spaces for an extra bit of storage to hang towels or your favorite bath brush. The bottom beams of the unit are adjustable, too, which means this is a solid choice for a number of clearance heights.
Available in bright white, slate gray, espresso brown, and an earthy, natural tone that highlights the beauty of bamboo, this unit is sure to satisfy most decor styles. It’s also worth noting that bamboo is naturally water-resistant in nature, making this a good choice for humid bathrooms. For this reason, durability is a key factor of this shelving unit, which is why it’s a smart investment.
Price at time of publish: $90
Best Metal: ALLZONE Bathroom Organizer, Over The Toilet Storage
Super-sturdy alloy steel
22 pounds load capacity per shelf
Only open shelving
Metal is an excellent material option if you’re looking for the sturdiest, most solid over-the-toilet storage unit (or any storage unit, really). The trouble, oftentimes, is the lack of aesthetic appeal that a metal unit can convey—things can look industrial very quickly! This metal storage unit breaks the mold with its stylish design. Available in matte black (which is a huge trend for bathrooms right now) and a white version, as well as white with gray accents, you have three cool color options at your fingertips.
We love this unit for stashing pretty-yet-delicate items: think plants, breakable bottles, incense holders, and even a photo frame or two. Each of the four shelves holds an impressive 22 pounds of weight.
This unit is perfect for anyone who’s averse to power tools, and even a simple screwdriver and screw assembly, as it’s totally tool-free in terms of assembly. Just remove the piece from the box, slide the shelving and metal poles into place, and voila! A beautiful, sturdy storage solution you can start using in mere minutes.
Price at time of publish: $70
Best Large: Azmall Over Toilet Bathroom Organizer Rack
Curved lip on each shelf prevents items from falling
May be a bit too large for small-space living
Smaller items require separate organization bins
Do you own lots (and we mean lots) of stuff? Look no further than this extra-large organizer to accommodate plenty of knickknacks. Stash kids’ bath toys, loofahs, shampoo bottles, and any other overflow items. You can also store day-to-day essentials like toilet paper and paper towels, as well as bars of soap. There are a total of four roomy shelves made of metal slats, which allows for airflow (thus preventing mold). At the same time, the slatted rung-style shelving means it’s trickier to store smaller items (such as bottles of nail polish) because they can easily fall through the open spaces. This can be avoided with a few handy organizing bins! (Which, in addition to looking nice and neat, also helps with keeping clutter in place.)
We love how this open shelving unit features a curved lip at the edge of the shelf to keep organization storage boxes from falling. Lastly, this unit features two useful hanging racks on the side of each shelf. Each rack gives additional storage space to hang items like towels, small robes, and loofahs. The racks contain four sturdy metal hooks, for a total of eight hooks altogether. The bottom shelf features a jutting vertical rung designed specifically for placing toilet paper at a convenient height and nixes the need for any additional hardware on the wall.
Price at time of publish: $77
Best for Small Spaces: Godboat Over The Toilet Storage, 2-Tier Bathroom Organizer Shelves
No assembly required
Sturdy suction cups
May not adhere perfectly to curved toilet tanks
Over-the-toilet storage is perhaps most necessary in small spaces, which means many storage units can be a bit too large for tiny toilet areas. This one strikes the perfect balance of utility with its roomy two-shelf design and space-saving capacity. Unlike other shelves on our list, this option does not require taking up any floor space. Instead, it sits atop any standard toilet tank. Of course, this configuration may pose more of a precarious option, given that it is not anchored to anything. There are, however, suction cups that function as durable feet. They’re incredibly easy to affix to most smooth surfaces (such as the toilet top). Press down for a few seconds for a sturdy seal that’ll keep all your items intact. As another easy out-of-the-box option, his unit requires no assembly.
Store lotions, shampoos, and other bottles and bathroom accouterments without worrying about slippage or breakage. Another space-saving addition: an easy-to-use S-shaped hook, which can be affixed in seconds anywhere on the storage unit. Available in both black and white, the unit has a clean, modern feel that works with any bathroom style. It’s also available in a single-tier design, if you prefer an even cleaner, less-cluttered look—or if you’re really tight on vertical space. Lastly, we could also see this organizer used in the kitchen, too, for spices and olive oil, for example. This option is sure to work well in any setup and as a great investment even if you plan to move.
Price at time of publish: $30
The UTEX 3-Shelf Bathroom Organizer features a streamlined, ladder-style design that works in any bathroom, while offering ample sturdiness and utility for most spaces. The open shelves can easily stash tissues, toilet paper, and a number of beautiful objects. For a space-saving option, look to the suction cup-enhanced Godboat 2-Tier Bathroom Organizer Shelves, which require no assembly.
What to Look for in an Over-the-Toilet Storage Unit
Type and Size
Given the array of style options, as well as type of organizers (including ladder, shelf, and cabinet), Lauren Saltman, professional organizer and owner of Living. Simplified, stresses the importance of measuring and understanding the style you’re going for before you purchase your over-the-toilet storage unit. “Think wisely before purchasing one for your own home,” she says. Measure your space in comparison to the unit you plan to purchase to make sure there’s enough clearance on either side of your toilet and above your toilet.
The Godboat 2-Tier Bathroom Organizer Shelves are our top pick for small spaces because they don't take up any floor space, unlike some other shelf-style options that require a footprint on either side of your toilet. They're also adhered with suction cups, so assembly is flexible and easy.
Material and Color
As Saltman notes, over-the-toilet storage units are available in many materials, including wood and metal—each of which offers its own advantages and drawbacks depending on what you’re looking for. Metal options—like our "best metal" pick, the ALLZONE Bathroom Organizer, are typically more sturdy than particle board or manufactured wood options and are also more durable. A wood option, or a bamboo option (which is naturally water-resistant)—like our "best wood" pick, the Homykic Bamboo 3-Tier Over-The-Toilet Space Saver Organizer Rack, can better match a more organic style than an industrial, metal option.
Depending on the items you plan to store, you may want to hide your clutter away, or put your items on full display. These considerations can impact which storage unit you ultimately choose. Cabinet-style options will keep items like toilet paper rolls, extra packages of dental floss, and your skincare products all hidden away, which can be ideal if your bathroom is going to be used by guests as well as your household's members. Shelving units typically keep items on display.
In addition to the overall style of the organization piece, you'll want to consider if there's opportunity for items to fall over or slip through wire shelving. That way, you know if you need to purchase other organization bins and baskets to decorate your storage unit with, that'll ultimately make your daily experience as smooth as possible.
Most over-the-toilet storage units require at least a little bit of assembly, including a simple screw and screwdriver. If you’re not too keen on using tools, look for an option with minimum assembly required, or, better yet, an option that requires no assembly at all and can be used straight from the box. The Godboat 2-Tier Bathroom Organizer Shelves use suction cups to adhere themselves, and are a great option for anyone looking for an easy-to-add-to-their-home product.
What can you store in a cabinet over your toilet?
You can store whatever you’d like in your over-the-toilet storage unit! Some practical ideas include extra rolls of toilet paper, feminine products, razors, spare hand towels, soaps, shampoos, body wash, and any other shower supplies that would otherwise take up too much space.
How wide should over-the-toilet storage be?
Over-the-toilet storage should be snug with the width of your toilet tank, but with an inch or two of space on either side to ensure there’s enough wiggle room for installation. As always, don’t forget to measure your space prior to purchasing. You’ll want to measure the width of your toilet tank, as well as the clearance between the tank and the first storage shelf to ensure there’s enough clearance. Many over-the-toilet storage units also feature adjustable feet and shelving, which can be a bonus if you need a few extra inches.
Is over-the-toilet storage tacky?
There’s always a way to make an over-the-toilet storage unit look refined. To ensure it looks as good as possible, choose an option that corresponds with the overall vibe of your bathroom. Options for storage units come in several styles, including earthy, organic bamboo, or matte, black steel for a more industrial flair.
Plus, you can always invest in stylish baskets and containers to hide any unsightly clutter on your storage unit. Or you can simply remove labels from your toiletries, such as shampoos and lotions, for a more uniformed look, or consider decanting your liquid products into sleek containers that look lovely on display.
Saltman says, “Using clear acrylic bins to keep similar items together is a great way to stay organized.” As an added bonus, she suggests spending time making labels for each bin and listing its contents.
Why Trust The Spruce?
Sophie Wirt is a freelance writer, product tester, and organization enthusiast who has written numerous organization-focused articles for The Spruce. For this roundup, she considered dozens of picks currently on the market, evaluating them for assembly, capacity, sturdiness, and overall style. In addition to Sophie’s personal knowledge, she wrote this article and selected her picks based on insight from Lauren Saltman, a professional organizer and owner of Living. Simplified.