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A storage bench is a hardworking piece of multipurpose furniture that can make organizing your entryway, mudroom, living room, bedroom, kids room, basement, garage, or patio easier. It's the perfect piece to help keep tidy while providing a place to tie your shoes or take a moment to rest.
Wooden benches with built-in storage have been around for centuries, but today you can find them in a variety of materials and formats to suit any taste or style. Storage benches are flexible pieces that can address a variety of needs and work in many areas of the home.
Below, find our top picks for the best storage benches to help you stay organized.
Best Small: SONGMICS Two-Tier Shoe Bench
An entryway bench needs to be extra-tough to stand up to the daily wear of the family coming in and out, especially when you consider how many backpacks, handbags, helmets, and groceries will come across its surface! For that reason, wood is a low-maintenance material, and open shelving will allow you to easily access what you need when it’s stored below.
This two-tier shoe bench is on the smaller side at 27 ½” x 11 ⅛” x 17 ¾”, just big enough to put next to the back door of a smaller home to help with organizing the drop-zone without blocking the entryway. The bench includes two slatted shelves to hold your shoes while letting them breathe and releasing debris, and it has cleverly rounded corners so no one hurts their shins.
Best Budget: SONGMICS Faux Leather Folding Bench
This inexpensive storage bench has a surprising feature: it folds flat. Great for renters, dorm rooms, or to easily set up extra storage or seating in a temporary space, this folding storage bench comes in four shades of leather-look fabric. At 43 ¼” x 14 ⅞” x 14 ⅞”, it’s longer and narrower than some of our other picks, making it a good pick for narrow rooms, shared spaces, or along the bottom of a bed in a smaller room.
The bench is made from MDF and, even though it folds into position, can hold up to 660 pounds—almost 300 pounds more than some of the other benches we found. Inside, a wall divides the storage space into two zones to keep contents organized and to add extra support to the seat.
Best for Mudroom: Pottery Barn Samantha Bench
This storage bench is generously sized at 50” x 17” x 20”, with three divided cubbies below to stow shoes, bags, and sports equipment under the seating area. It’s made of solid woods with wood veneers and available with a light-washed or darker-toned stain. It also comes with a few add-ons, like coordinating baskets and a fitted cushion.
As wide as this bench is, it’s the centerpiece of any semi-custom mudroom, with plenty of space for a few family members to sit as they get ready for work or school, even with bags resting beside them. The traditional styling makes this feel like an upscale furniture piece that will elevate an entryway without feeling utilitarian.
Best for Shoes: MJL Furniture Designs The Sole Secret Button Tufted Ottoman
If you’re a person with a sizable shoe collection cluttering your closet floor or entryway, consider this bench. At 50” x 17” x 20”, this is one of the wider and taller storage benches on the market, and the higher seat may be more comfortable for taller people. Inside, use removable dividers (included) to section off the storage area into individual cubbies for up to 14 pairs of women’s shoes or 12 pairs of men’s shoes, or use fewer or none of the dividers if you want wider storage areas. The large bench lid has hydraulics to make it easy to open and close. The bench is available in seven soothing fabric colors and has elegant button tufting to make it work in a bedroom or formal entryway.
Best with Back Support: Simpli Home Adams Entryway Storage Bench
Made of solid pine in four wood stain options, this handcrafted wooden entryway bench has a Shaker-style front panel and horizontal ladder back styling. Because it has a back and arms, it can be more comfortable to sit in than other wooden benches, and the arms can make it easier to get up and down off the bench, while the back protects your wall from scuffs and wear. Two child-safe hinges make it easier to open the bench, and inside you’ll find the storage area separated into two compartments. At 48” x 25.3” x 17”, this bench is great for wider hallways and front doors where it can add to the decor.
Best Winged: Convenience Concepts Garbo Storage Bench
With delicately rolled arms and curved legs, it may come as a surprise that this elegant bench hides storage inside the seat! The interior is almost six inches deep, just enough space to stash a few decorative pillows, a knitting project, or a stack of magazines. At 51.8” x 17” x 25.2”, the long bench is long enough to look good at the bottom of a bed for an elegant spot to put on your shoes and store extra linens. The symmetrical design also makes it a nice option in a dining or living room to create a reading nook underneath a picture window. This solid-wood bench comes in one of six tasteful upholstery options, including a chic black leather-look, chic botanical print and transitional geometric patterns.
What to Look for When Buying a Storage Bench
To ensure that you will take advantage of the built-in storage of your bench, think about what you plan to stow away in it. Make sure that the storage compartment is deep enough, large enough, and finished correctly to store items in a handy and accessible way. And while you’re at it, check to see if the materials used are adapted to your planned use, such as breathable slatted compartments in a shoe bench, or a cedar-lined blanket chest to help keep moths at bay.
Storage benches come in a variety of sizes. Take care that you choose a bench with the right proportions both to accommodate users, and so that it will fit seamlessly with existing furniture, rather than looking like an ill-fitting piece of clutter. A storage bench at the foot of the bed will look seamless if it is the same width, or slightly under that of the bed itself. In a hallway, make sure that the bench is large enough to seat however many will be using it, and choose a model that will accommodate the maximum storage capacity without obstructing flow or overwhelming the space.
Look for child-safe hinges or open storage on a bench that will be used for children. Benches constructed from lightweight materials such as wicker will ensure that little fingers don’t get slammed. Choose a bench that can be moved easily when vacuuming. And be sure to check that the top lifts up easily and smoothly for ease of use so that you will enjoy using it on a daily basis.
Can you use a storage bench as a coffee table?
You can absolutely use a storage bench as a coffee table, as long as the top is relatively flat and stable and the proportions work with your sofa or armchairs. This type of arrangement works best if you are storing infrequently used items in the storage bench, or if you are the kind of person who believes a coffee table is a useful surface for temporarily posing your coffee, drink, book, or tablet, rather than a showcase for knick-knacks and seasonal vignettes, since you don’t want to have to undo an elaborately styled coffee table every time you want to access it.
How high should a storage bench be?
The standard height of a bench is between 18 and 20 inches from the ground. But this is only a general rule, and storage bench height can vary. The short answer is that bench height is a matter of preference, and your storage bench should be as high (or low) as you and the people who will be using find comfortable.
How do you install hinges on a storage bench?
Installing hinges on a storage bench requires screwing them into the underside of the bench top and back panel using a drill. If you are building your own storage bench, you can choose the type of hinges you prefer. Piano hinges are standard, while quiet soft-close hinges will ensure that your fingers don’t get slammed, or that the sound of it opening and closing doesn’t grate on your nerves.
Why Trust The Spruce?
This article was researched and written by Ayn-Monique Klahre, a product reviewer for The Spruce, as well as the former magazine editor at Good Housekeeping and Woman's Day magazines. She has written about décor for The New York Times, Real Simple, and more.