The Best Bookshelves for the Home Library

The best bookshelves offer the perfect mix of style, class, and function to help you proudly display your favorite titles.

By Deirdre Mundorf | Updated Jan 12, 2021 9:26 AM

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The Best Bookshelves Option


Whether you have an expansive book collection or just a few treasured titles, bookshelves are the perfect way to keep selections neatly arranged and easily accessible. The best bookshelves for you will also match your style and provide you with an ample amount of storage for the books you own.

Choosing the best bookshelves isn’t always an easy task; there is an abundance of options on the market, which can make it challenging to find the product that will suit your needs. The following quality options will help you in your search to find the best bookshelves for the home library.

  1. BEST OVERALL: Nathan James Theo 5-Shelf Modern Bookcase
  2. BEST BUDGET: Furinno Pasir 3-Tier Open Shelf Bookcase
  3. BEST INDUSTRIAL: HSH Solid Wood Bookshelf
  4. BEST MODERN: VASAGLE Wooden Bookcase
  5. BEST DESIGN: Homfa Tree Bookshelf

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Bookshelves

Before you click that “add to cart” button, consider a few key items as you shop for bookshelves.  Taking the time to evaluate your needs and wants and weigh the pros and cons of different options will help ensure you choose the best bookshelves for your home library.


Size should be your first consideration when deciding on bookshelves. Before you begin your search, start by thinking about where you plan to put the bookshelves and your available space. You will also want to determine the approximate number of books you’d like to put on the bookshelves (both now and in the future), and look for an option that will offer sufficient space to hold your budding library.

Once you’ve assessed your needs and wants, take a careful look at the product dimensions of the bookshelves you’re considering to ensure they’re an appropriate height and width for your space. You should also note the number of tiers on the bookshelves, as this will help you determine how many books your shelves will ultimately be able to hold.


Material is another important feature to consider when choosing bookshelves, as they can be constructed with quite a few different materials. Traditionally, bookshelves were made from wood, and it is still a popular option.

Some bookshelves are made of solid wood, while others use plywood, particleboard, and MDF (medium-density fiberboard). Solid wood typically lasts longer, but it is also more expensive. In addition to solid wood and compressed wood, bookshelves are also sometimes made of metal or glass.

Many manufacturers also mix materials for a modern or industrial look. For example, you may find a product with a steel frame and wood shelves.

In addition to thinking about your preferred material(s), decide if you’d like bookshelves that feature a particular wood stain or even a certain color. Consider the other items in your living space to find bookshelves that will offer a striking complement or even contrast to your existing decor.

Freestanding vs. Wall-Mounted

Bookshelves can be freestanding or wall-mounted. Each option has its own pros and cons, and ultimately, your personal preference and available space will likely weigh heavily as to which is the right choice for you. Freestanding shelves will generally hold more books than wall-mounted options. You can also move them around in your living space if you decide to change the layout, and you won’t need to drill holes in your walls to mount them.

Wall-mounted bookshelves provide a bit more versatility. You can choose how much space to leave between each shelf to perfectly accommodate the books in your collection. Wall-mounted options can also fit above other furniture pieces in a room to maximize your wall space.


Books come in varying heights, and you may also want to display other collectibles or memorabilia on your bookshelves. Adjustable bookshelves allow you to set each tier to the right height to comfortably fit all of your books and items for display.

Many freestanding bookshelves are designed with holes along the side to adjust the position of each shelf. Some wall-mounted bookshelves also provide you with flexible layout options since each tier is often mounted independently of the others.


Finally, before making a final decision about which bookshelves to purchase, be sure to consider your own personal style preference and the aesthetic of your living space. Bookshelves can be large, and you want the item you select to look like it belongs in your space.

The good news is that plenty of bookshelves are available to match just about any personal or home style. Whether you’re considering traditional and polished wood shelves, modern and industrial steel shelves, or something in between, chances are good you’ll be able to find the best bookshelves for your space.

Our Top Picks

Any of the top picks in this guide could be the ideal addition to improve both the functionality and style of any home library. Read through these quality recommendations to find the best bookshelves for your home library.

Best Overall

The Best Bookshelves Option: Nathan James Theo 5-Shelf Modern Bookcase

This bookcase from Nathan James features five distinct shelves that will provide plenty of space to hold and display your favorite books. Each shelf is 24 inches wide and 12 inches deep, making this a suitable option for tighter spaces. If you aren’t tight on space, consider purchasing a pair to place next to each other for even more room for your books and collectibles.

Constructed in a ladder style, this bookcase is available in numerous attractive color combinations, including white and gold, dark oak and gold, gray oak and white, natural brown and white, and warm walnut and white.

Best Budget

The Best Bookshelves Option: Furinno Pasir 3-Tier Open Shelf Bookcase

Complement any room in your home with the attractive wood finishes available on this inexpensive bookcase by Furinno. Among other options, you can choose from a deep Columbia walnut finish, a natural Sonoma oak finish, and a classic white or black finish. This composite wood bookcase is CARB (California Air Resources Board)-compliant and designed to be easy to assemble.

At 22.7 inches wide, 31.5 inches tall, and 7 inches deep, the bookcase is the perfect size to position next to your favorite reading chair and reading light in your library.

Best Industrial

The Best Bookshelves Option: HSH Solid Wood Bookshelf

If you have a modern space in which to display your book collection, this solid wood bookshelf from HSH will fit right in. The frame is constructed of heavy-duty steel, and each of the four shelves is made from rustic wood grain. The steel construction and X-shaped bracket on the back also make this a sturdy product; each shelf can support up to 120 pounds.

Four tiers of shelves will hold all of your favorite books and treasured items. Each shelf measures 41.3 inches wide and 10.7 inches deep.

Best Modern

The Best Bookshelves Option: VASAGLE Wooden Bookcase

Unlike the style of a traditional bookshelf, each of the five shelves on this combination of wood and melamine bookcase from VASAGLE is offset from one another. This style gives it a very modern and unique appearance, which makes it a focal point of your library. The edges of the shelves are fully sealed, and caps are included to hide the hardware.

The bookcase measures 27.6 inches wide by 9.4 inches deep by 62.6 inches tall. Each tier is designed to support up to 33 pounds. Hardware is included to anchor it to your wall.

Best Design

The Best Bookshelves Option: Homfa Tree Bookshelf

Looking for a creative way to hold and display your books? Each of the bookshelves on this uniquely designed item from Homfa comes off the base at an angle, creating the shape of an abstract tree. Once you add colorful books to each “branch,” this piece will transform the look and feel of your home library.

The uncommon design of this bookshelf also means it won’t take up much space in your room. The base has a small footprint that allows it to fit in tighter spaces, all while still offering nine shelves that will each hold approximately five books.

FAQs About Bookshelves

After reading through this guide, you may still have a few questions about selecting the best bookshelves for your home library. Take a few minutes to read through the frequently asked questions and their corresponding answers below.

Q. How do I maximize bookshelf space?

Ideas for maximizing bookshelf space include layering your books, adding a shelf to an existing bookshelf, and even stacking books in a decorative fashion on top of your bookshelf.

Q. How do I make a bookshelf less cluttered?

Try changing up the way you stack books on a bookshelf to make it less cluttered. For example, stand books vertically on part of each shelf, while stacking books in a neat horizontal pile with the spines out on another section of the shelf. Leaving some empty space and adding several decorative items, such as plates, figurines, and vases, can also prevent a bookshelf from looking too cluttered.

Q. How should I organize books?

So many different options exist for organizing your books. Start by thinking about whether function or style is most important to you, and then choose an organization method that fits your preference. Some possible options include organizing your books by author or genre, sorting them by color, displaying them alphabetically by title or author, or arranging them by size. Once you decide how to organize your books, it will be easier to purchase the best bookshelf for your library.