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Published Sep. 7, 2021

Keeping up with the accumulation of everyday items can sometimes feel like a full-time job. Having a solid organizational system reduces clutter and creates a more comfortable environment in your home. Storage shelves come in handy for keeping things organized in interior living spaces as well as in basements, garages, and sheds. 

There are a wide variety of storage shelves on the market that are geared to both home and commercial use. We’ll break down what to look for when shopping for the best storage shelves for your home or business and discuss the key considerations to keep in mind as you consider your purchase. Keep reading for tips on choosing the best storage shelves, and explore our picks for the best options on the market. 

How We Chose the Products

Methodology 

While it’s easy to assume that all storage shelves offer similar performance, a number of factors affect their functionality. These recommendations for the best storage shelves cover a variety of sizes and styles to best suit your needs. 

Our curated selection was developed based on several years of experience testing and reviewing home products as well as extensive product research. After considering over 40 potential options of varying styles and sizes, we narrowed down our choices to five top products. We weighed a number of practical considerations when making our recommendations: 

Adjustability: We gave preference to shelving units with adjustable shelving that could be raised or lowered as needed in order to provide maximum flexibility. 

Material: Storage shelves are made from a wide variety of materials, but we only considered plastic and metal-framed shelves for this list because of their strength and durability. 

Weight Capacity: We only considered shelves with a load capacity of 200 pounds per shelf or higher. 

Mounting Type: While wall-mounted and ceiling-mounted shelving units work well in industrial settings, for home use, most shoppers prefer freestanding units because they don’t require complex installation. For our list, we focused on freestanding shelves, though some do come with additional brackets to secure them to a wall. 

Value: We know that value is a primary consideration for most shoppers, so we aimed to only include economically-friendly picks that will give you a great bang for your buck. 

The Best Storage Shelves: Reviews and Recommendations

Best Overall: Yaheetech 5-Shelf Units Storage Rack

Modular Marvel

A modular design and adjustable shelves make this our top all-around recommendation. Yaheetech

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Why It Made The Cut: The Yaheetech 5-Shelf Units Storage Rack has adjustable shelves, a high load capacity, and a modular design that allows you to easily connect several units together. 

Specs: 

  • Product dimensions: 59.1 by 55.2 by 11.8 inches (each)
  • Material: Coated iron and MDF
  • Maximum load weight: 1,320 pounds
Pros:Cons:
  • High load capacity
  • Rubber mallet recommended for assembly but not included
  • Modular design
  • Adjustable shelves
  • The Yaheetech 5-Shelf Units Storage Rack comes with two storage shelves which can be used either separately or connected side-by-side, providing versatility when organizing your space. It has an industrial aesthetic that would be just as at home in a modern living room as in a garage. 

    The iron frame and 0.3-inch thick MDF (medium-density fiberboard) shelves provide strength and stability. Each shelf has a maximum load capacity of 330 pounds, for a total capacity of 1,320 pounds per unit. The shelves are adjustable, letting users customize their height to fit their needs. Four rubber feet provide added stability and protect your finished floors. 

    Assembly is easy, with no nuts, bolts, or screws required, though the manufacturer does recommend using a rubber mallet. The frames can be entirely disassembled for moving or when they’re not in use. While this model measures 55.2 by 11.8 by 59.1 inches, there are other heights and widths available. 

    Best Value: Amazon Basics 5-Shelf Shelving Storage Unit

    Adjustable and Affordable

    Steel construction and a high load capacity make this an ideal value pick. Amazon Basics

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    Why It Made The Cut: The Amazon Basics 5-Shelf Shelving Storage Unit offers sturdy construction and a high load capacity at an affordable price, making it our best value pick. 

    Specs:

    • Product dimensions: 64.75 by 30 by 14 inches 
    • Material: Alloy steel
    • Maximum load weight: 1,500 pounds
    Pros:Cons:
  • High load capacity
  • Reduced load capacity when used with casters
  • Alloy steel construction
  • Includes casters
  • Adjustable shelves
  • Those looking for high-quality, affordable storage shelves should consider these options from AmazonBasics. Each freestanding unit is made from strong alloy steel and is available with either a black or chrome finish. The streamlined aesthetic makes this shelving unit perfect for offices, garages, and industrial-style kitchens. Assembly is easy, with no tools required. The wire shelves are adjustable in 1-inch increments, making this shelving unit completely customizable. While this particular unit features 5 shelves, there are 3-shelf and 4-shelf versions available for smaller spaces. 

    These shelves come with two base options: leveling feet and 4-inch locking caster wheels. While the casters offer convenience in terms of portability, they do reduce the maximum load capacity significantly. The total maximum weight when using the leveling feet is 1,500 pounds, but it drops to 661 pounds when the castors are installed. If you plan on moving the shelf around, the maximum load capacity falls even further to 441 pounds. 

    Best for Organization: Seville Classics Bin Rack

    Clean Compartmentalization

    With 24 plastic compartments, it’s perfect for fine-tuned organization. Seville Classics

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    Why It Made The Cut: The Seville Classics Bin Rack is our top pick for organizing smaller items because it includes 24 plastic bins as well as labels and bin dividers. 

    Specs: 

    • Product dimensions: 63.5 by 36 by 14.25 inches 
    • Material: Alloy steel, plastic, metal
    • Maximum load weight: 1,200 pounds
    Pros:Cons:
  • High load capacity
  • Reduced load capacity when used with casters 
  • 24 individual bins included
  • NSF/ANSI Standard 2 rating
  • Includes casters
  • If you’re looking to organize tools, hardware, crafting supplies, or your pantry, you’ll appreciate the compartmentalized storage offered with this model from Seville Classics. The 8-tier metal shelving unit features 24 plastic storage bins in a variety of sizes. 

    Each unit comes with 12 medium bins, 6 large bins, and 6 extra-large bins. The bins slide out smoothly and lock against the frame so you can easily access their contents. Your purchase also includes 10 bin dividers which help you get even more organized by dividing the containers to create smaller compartments. Label each container with the sticky labels that come with the shelving unit. You can also choose from four container colors: silver, gray, blue, or yellow. 

    If you’re looking for extra storage in the basement, the platinum epoxy powder coating on the metal shelving allows you to use these units in damp environments without risking rust or corrosion. They are certified as Standard 2 by the NSF/ANSI, meaning they can be used commercially for food goods. 

    While each shelf has a 150-pound load capacity when the leveling feet are used, the capacity drops when the casters are installed. 

    Best for Kitchens: SafeRacks Adjustable 4-Tier Steel Wire Shelving Rack

    Wire Wonder

    Caster wheels and an NSF/ANSI Standard 2 rating make this pick perfect for kitchens. SafeRacks

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    Why It Made The Cut: The NSF/ANSI Standard 2 rating on this storage shelf from SafeRacks means that it’s safe to use for food storage in either home or professional kitchens. 

    Specs:

    • Product dimensions: 72 by 60 by 24 inches 
    • Material: Alloy steel
    • Maximum load weight: 1,400 pounds
    Pros:Cons:
  • High load capacity
  • Reduced load capacity when used with casters 
  • Includes casters
  • Adjustable shelves
  • NSF/ANSI Standard 2 rating
  • If safety is your top priority, you can rest assured with the SafeRacks Adjustable 4-Tier Steel Wire Shelving Rack. The National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) has rated this freestanding shelving unit from SafeRacks as Standard 2 rating, which means it’s certified for storing both food and medicine in an industrial setting. Each shelf is supported by a double truss design, which allows for a maximum load capacity of 350 pounds per shelf, for a total capacity of 1,400 pounds. When the 4-inch caster wheels are installed, however, the total load capacity of the shelf drops to 400 pounds. 

    The high-shine chrome finish is easy to keep clean and brings an industrial aesthetic to any home kitchen. One appealing thing about this line is the number of size options available. Shoppers can choose from a 4-, 5-, or 6-tier design with shelf lengths and widths varying depending on the model chosen. Installation is easy, and each shelf is adjustable for maximum versatility. 

    While these shelves are an excellent pick for the kitchen, they also work well in basements and garages. 

    Best Heavy Duty: Dewalt Industrial Workshop/Garage Storage Rack

    Made for Heavy Loads

    With a maximum load capacity of 4,500 pounds, this unit is ideal for storing heavy tools and equipment. Dewalt

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    Why It Made The Cut: Dewalt’s Industrial Storage Rack has an impressive 4,500-pound capacity due to its steel construction and added supports, making it an excellent choice for storing heavy boxes or equipment.  

    Specs:

    • Product dimensions: 50 by 48 by 18 inches 
    • Material: Alloy steel, wood
    • Maximum load weight: 4,500 pounds
    Pros:Cons:
  • High load capacity
  • Installation required
  • Alloy steel construction
  • Wall-mounting bracket included
  • Adjustable shelves
  • This shelving unit from Dewalt is a heavy-duty option for either home or commercial storage. While most storage units feature shelves that max out at a 350-pound load capacity, these composite wood shelves can hold up to 1,500 pounds each, for a total maximum load capacity of 4,500 pounds. Dewalt achieves this level of stability by using powder-coated steel for the shelving unit’s uprights, support straps, and cross beams. 

    Each shelf features 5 support straps that prevent the wood from buckling under uneven loads. The shelves are adjustable in 2.35-inch increments, allowing for greater flexibility. The nylon footpads protect the powder-coated steel finish and are gentle on your floors. 

    As an added safety feature, locking pins secure the cross beams in place. While the shelf can be used as a freestanding unit, it does include a mounting anchor bracket that prevents it from tipping over. You can connect multiple units either vertically or horizontally using the included stacking plates. Assembly requires a wrench, hex key, and hex driver bit, all of which come included with each purchase. 

    Things to Consider Before Buying a Storage Shelf

    Choosing storage shelves might seem like a simple decision, but there are a number of considerations to weigh before you make a purchase. 

    Mounting

    Storage shelves are wall-mounted, ceiling-mounted, or freestanding. Wall-mounted shelves fasten to your wall’s studs and feature metal brackets that keep them in place. Ceiling-mounted shelves are a great choice for garages but require professional installation to ensure their security. Consider the structural integrity of either your walls or ceiling before installing mounted storage shelves. Freestanding shelves offer versatility because they are not permanently installed and can therefore be moved around as needed. For added safety, freestanding shelves can still be bracketed to the wall to prevent them from tipping over. 

    Storage Needs

    Before purchasing storage shelves, consider what types of items you’ll be storing. This will determine the weight capacity you need as well as whether you should opt for a model with adjustable shelving. Look for storage shelves featuring a high weight capacity of 350 pounds per shelf or higher if you’ll be storing heavy boxes or items. If you’ll be storing irregularly-shaped items like sporting equipment, opt for a model with adjustable shelves to ensure everything will fit. 

    Mobility

    Some lightweight metal shelving units come with a set of four caster wheels which allow you to easily move the shelf around your space. While they do increase convenience and portability, shelves on casters have lower load capacities than shelves with feet. Consider how important mobility is and whether it’s worth it to lose a significant amount of load capacity. 

    FAQs 

    Q: Is it cheaper to build or buy storage shelves?

    While even beginner woodworkers can build storage shelves relatively easily using inexpensive lumber, homemade shelves likely won’t be able to compare to high-quality store-bought shelves when it comes to load capacity. 

    Q: What is the best material for storage shelves?

    Storage shelves are typically made from either wood, plastic, or metal. The strongest storage shelves with the highest load capacities tend to be made from metal. Plastic works well for outdoor shelving because it can withstand the elements and won’t rust or warp. Solid wood shelves can make an attractive addition to your interior decor, but they may not be as long-lasting or durable as their plastic or metal counterparts. 

    Q: How much weight do storage shelves hold?

    Storage shelf load capacities vary from model to model. Flimsier shelves may only be able to hold 80 pounds while heavy-duty options like the Dewalt Industrial Workshop/Garage Storage Rack holds 1,500 per shelf. For standard home use, shelves that hold 200 pounds or more are sufficient. 

    Final Thoughts

    Hopefully, after reviewing our guide you’ll feel well-informed when shopping for storage shelves for your home or business. Whether you need a storage solution for your kitchen, living room, basement, or garage, the Yaheetech 5-Shelf Units Storage Rack is our top pick because of its sturdy construction, modular design, and great value. 

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