Toy boxes have been used for generations to organize the toys and other playthings that kids use to create, invent, and imagine as they play throughout the day. These boxes come in several designs, each made for a specific group of toys. For instance, bins that may only hold a couple of stuffed toys can excel when it comes to storing and organizing Lego sets or toy cars.
Another thing to keep in mind while deciding on the best toy box for your home is whether the design will fit with your current home aesthetic, like a storage ottoman, or it can be concealed under a coffee table or on a shelf. This ensures that even when the toys are put away, the toy box won’t stand out. The list of top products below is a great place to start your search for the best toy box for your kids.
- BEST OVERALL: Melissa & Doug Wooden Toy Chest – Natural
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Delta Children Deluxe Multi-Bin Toy Organizer
- BEST FOR TODDLERS: Humble Crew Toddler-Size Storage with Rolling Toy Box
- BEST FOR LIVING ROOM: BELLEZE 48″ inch Long Rectangular Upholstered Storage
- BEST COLLAPSIBLE: Woffit Toy Storage Organizer Chest for Kids
- BEST MULTIPURPOSE: Sauder Pogo Bookcase/footboard, Soft White Finish
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Toy Box
Finding a toy box to keep the kids’ things organized doesn’t need to be difficult. Just keep in mind the desired size of the toy box in relation to the room, the type of storage options available, and the material the toy box is made of, as well as a few other important considerations mentioned below.
Toy boxes come in a range of sizes and designs, making it easy to find a toy box that fits comfortably in a home of any size.
- Small toy boxes are appropriate for little toys like LOL dolls, Lego blocks, action figures, other dolls, or electric train sets. These toy boxes typically measure about 12 by 12 by 12 inches or 1 cubic foot. Depending on the type of toy box, they may also come with a lid to ensure the small toys don’t fall out and to make it easy to stack. These toy boxes work well in small homes and living rooms where it is necessary to conserve space while remaining organized.
- Medium toy boxes are normally designed to double as a piece of furniture that blends with the interior aesthetic. With this in mind, the size typically falls between the small toy boxes and the floor toy boxes with an average of 12 by 24 by 24 inches, or 4 cubic feet. These toy boxes will often have a lid that conceals the toys when they aren’t being used, making them a great choice to set up in the middle of the living room, place at the end of a bed, or even put in a guest room.
- Large toy boxes are generally made in two configurations: a tall set of vertical shelves or a long, open chest. The vertical shelves can include cubbyholes, and they are great for storing kids’ books, picture frames, remote-controlled vehicles, or even smaller toy boxes. A toy chest is better for organizing large toys, like stuffed animals and oversize checkers sets. It’s common for these toy boxes to measure around 12 by 24 by 48 inches, or 8 cubic feet. This type of toy box wouldn’t be a great idea for a den or living room due to the large size. They are better for the kids’ bedrooms or a playroom.
There is a range of toy box types and forms, each designed to benefit a specific group of toys or kids’ belongings, including closed boxes and chests, open bins, drawers, shelves, and cubbyholes.
- Closed boxes and chests can range from medium-size toy benches, like an ottoman, to large-size floor toy boxes, like a full toy chest with 8 cubic feet of storage space. These toy boxes are usually used for storing larger toys, like stuffed animals, but the smaller toy benches are better for books or even board games.
- Open bins are a good option for young children because they are easy to access, enabling kids to take out the toys and learn to put them away. These bins can be used for most types of toys, depending on the size of the bin. Smaller bins should be used for Lego, toy cars, trains, and LOL dolls, while larger bins are good for books, stuffed toys, and fake items like plastic plates, cups, and bowls.
- Drawers offer the same type of storage space as the open bins, except that they can slide away neatly where the toys (and the mess within the drawer) are neatly out of sight. This type of toy box works well when it is built into a chair or a table so that the toys can be organized without adding another piece of furniture to the room.
- Shelves have been used for storing books for as long as books have existed. Before then, they were used to store scrolls, so it’s clear that they are good for literature, but they are also a great option for models, larger action figures, completed Lego sets, and other toys that are made to be displayed.
- Cubbyholes are useful for kids from two years old through most of the elementary school years. This simple square storage space gives kids a quick and easy place to store everything from boots and hats to books and tablets. Younger kids can also use them for smaller toys if they are paired with an open bin.
Toy boxes are generally made out of wood, plastic, cardboard and fabric, cotton, or even leather.
- Wood is the most common material used for larger toy boxes because it’s strong enough to support kids sitting on top of it, durable enough to take the punishment of having large and small toys thrown haphazardly into it, and it looks great in a bedroom or playroom. This category of material includes engineered MDF wood, softwoods, and hardwoods.
- Plastic is typically used for open bins, cubbyholes, and some shelves. The material is lightweight and stain-resistant, which is an important feature for kids’ products. However, it isn’t as durable as wood and can bend or break under pressure.
- Cardboard and fabric toy boxes are inexpensive and are typically foldable, so they can be packed up into a car to take to the campsite, cottage, or to the grandparents’ house. These toy boxes are very soft and safe, though they are the least durable and are vulnerable to easily breaking and bending. The soft material is great for very young children so that they can’t be hurt by the toy box and they can’t damage the fragile material.
- Upholstered toy boxes, like ottomans or storage benches, may have cotton, leather, or a faux-leather exterior that is made to blend in with a living room aesthetic. This material is also resistant to stains, though it isn’t as durable as wood or plastic.
Some toy boxes have a standard opening and maybe a lid, but they aren’t very versatile. To take advantage of smaller spaces, look for toy benches that can double as a bench or footstool and open shelves that can be split into cubbyholes or loaded with small open bins.
- Closed boxes and chests can double as ottoman-style furniture and benches, helping to save space in the living room, bedroom, or hall while providing ample storage for the kids’ toys.
- Open shelves can be made into cubbyholes to increase the amount of storage on the shelf. This open access to the toys on the shelf is more convenient for younger kids instead of them having to pull down smaller boxes.
- Shelves and bins can be used together, with the small bins neatly fitting onto the shelves. This creates a vertical storage area that doesn’t take up very much floor space, though small kids may have a hard time taking the bins out if they are filled with heavy toys, books, or art supplies.
Moving the toy box around the house is easier if it’s designed to be portable. To determine how portable the toy box will be, consider whether it has handles or wheels, whether it can collapse, and the weight of the toy box.
- Handles can be built onto the side of the toy box or cut into the side, providing a place for the box to be grabbed. For small to medium-size toy boxes, having handles greatly increases the portability of the box.
- Wheels are not common on most toy boxes, though some large closed boxes and chests may have a set of four wheels, allowing the oversize box to be moved around a room or single floor of the house.
- Collapsibility refers to the ability of the toy box to collapse and fold up. This feature is common with fabric and cardboard toy boxes, allowing them to be tucked away when not in use or packed into a vehicle.
- Weight restrictions may prevent a toy box from being considered portable. Even with handles, if the toy box is too heavy it won’t be able to be moved without significant effort. If the plan is for a portable toy box, look for something lightweight, like plastic, or fabric and cardboard.
Any time a product is designed for kids, safety needs to be one of the first considerations in order to ensure that children can enjoy playing without having to put a lot of thought into how to stay safe with their toys. Child-safe toy boxes may feature slow closing hinges that prevent heavy lids from slamming closed on little fingers.
Another important safety feature is an air gap that ensures proper ventilation inside the toy box, just in case a child decides it’s a great place to hide. Rounded edges and protective padding are common additions to plastic toy boxes that may otherwise pose a risk with sharp, plastic edges. One of the most important safety features is actually the absence of a feature. For example, a toy box that doesn’t have a locking mechanism means children are unlikely to become trapped inside the toy box.
Toy boxes can come in bright, vibrant colors that are attractive to younger kids and suitable for bedrooms or playrooms, but this same color scheme won’t likely match the aesthetic in the living room, den, or throughout the home. Toy benches that mimic the appearance of regular furniture are a good option if the goal is to store toys safely and completely out of sight of guests.
Shelves can also fit into a whole-room aesthetic, though the contents of the shelf may stand out unless these toys, books, or figurines are packed away into smaller toy boxes. Large toy chests work well in bedrooms or playrooms where the size of the toy box isn’t out of place. Drawers have the ability to be used in any room, provided that the piece of furniture the drawers belong to is equally suited for any room of the house.
Our Top Picks
These top-rated toy boxes were selected for their quality, price, customer satisfaction, and the important product factors mentioned above.
Designed for durability, safety, and aesthetic appeal, this large toy chest is easy to assemble using just a Phillips head screwdriver. The toy box is made with natural wood, but there are three finishes to choose from including blonde, gray, or white. While the toy box doesn’t come with a set of wheels, it does have a light frame at just 21 pounds, so it shouldn’t be too difficult to maneuver when it’s empty.
The toy chest is great for large toys, like stuffed animals, plush sports balls, or oversize board games that can be played on the floor of the room. It’s also a good place for blankets or pillows so that the kids can have a nap right in the playroom. This toy box has an ample amount of storage with a measurement of 24 by 17.9 by 33 inches or about 8.5 cubic feet. It also has slow-close safety hinges and a finger gap at the top of the front wall to help protect children’s fingers from the lid dropping closed.
Choose this set of nine open bins in a gray and blue color palette; white and pink combination; or with a dark chocolate shelf and yellow, red, green, and blue bins. The entire unit weighs just 15 pounds due to the lightweight construction of the polyester open bins and the simple, yet durable, build of the engineered MDF shelf. Overall, the open bin shelf measures 36 by 11.8 by 28 inches.
Four small bins each measure 8.5 by 9.75 by 7 inches, making them great for Legos, LOL dolls, and other small toys. The three medium bins are 11.5 by 9.75 by 7 inches, with a little more room for things like small plushies or remote-controlled cars. The two large bins sit at the bottom and measure 17 by 11 by 8.5 inches, which is great to store everything needed for a nap, including pillows, blankets, and favorite stuffed animals.
The multipurpose toy box combines a small top shelf, with three plastic open bins, and a deep, rollout bin for larger toys and stuffed animals. It is made with engineered MDF wood and comes in a rich espresso color or a natural wood-grain finish so that it can fit a range of decors. The wood and the plastic bins are free of BPAs and phthalates.
The toy box has an overall size of 25 by 15 by 30 inches, with each bin measuring 11.5 by 7.5 by 5 inches, and the rollout bin is 22 by 13.75 by 12.75 inches, ensuring that there is ample space for a variety of toys. The bin sits on four wheels so toddlers only need to pull it away from the rest of the toy box to access their favorite stuffed animal before bedtime.
Don’t choose between allowing the kids to play in the living room and keeping it neat for guests when the BELLEZE Ottoman Bench can be used to help facilitate both goals. The children can play on the floor or pull stuffed toys up on the couch to cuddle while watching a movie, and afterward, the toys can go right back into the ottoman toy box. The box weighs about 35 pounds and sits on four wooden legs, meaning that it isn’t very portable.
However, this ottoman is designed to stay exactly where it was placed in the center of the living room as a great footrest, a soft-surface table, or simply for decoration. The black faux-leather exterior suits many decorating schemes, and the box measures 16.5 by 46.9 by 16.4 inches, ensuring that there is more than enough room for a wide range of toys, games, and books.
Fabric toy boxes, like this 600D polyester toy box, are ideal for storing a wide variety of items like stuffed toys, art and craft supplies, pillows, blankets, and games. The lightweight design is easy to carry at only 8 pounds, and the handles on either side of the toy box help to grip the box when it’s full. The 600D polyester fabric is soft and sturdy, with 3-mm-thick boards to serve as the frame.
When the box is open, it measures 30 by 15 by 16 inches, and it features a simple flip lid that covers up the toys and makes the room look a little tidier. When it’s time to pack up the toy box, it can be folded down almost completely flat with a new measurement of 30 by 16 by 1 inch. There is also a detachable divider that can be used for better organization, or it can be removed to use the box for larger toys.
When one type of toy box doesn’t quite fit the desired look, there are multipurpose toy boxes, like this combination of a small bookshelf on the top and two deep cubbyholes at the base. The bookshelf portion has a single shelf that is split in half to keep items organized. For instance, books can be placed on one side and board games on the other side.
The cubbyhole storage area is excellent for stuffed animals, blankets, pillows, and other soft toys, with an angled wall that makes it easy to grab toys or put toys away. This multipurpose toy box can be used as a bookcase in a bedroom or living room, or it can be used as a footboard. It’s made with light but durable engineered wood, and it measures 41.1 by 14.5 by 32.9 inches.
FAQs About Your New Toy Box
Before investing in a new toy box, take a look at these frequently asked questions and their answers to learn more about what toy box is most appropriate for small houses, storing soft toys, and living rooms.
Q. How do you store toys in a small house?
There are a variety of space-saving toy organizers that can help to store toys in a small house, such as an ottoman, stackable storage bins, or vertical shelves, where books or even smaller toy boxes can be neatly organized.
Q. Where do you store soft toys?
Soft toys like stuffed animals and plushies should be stored in open bins and large closed boxes and chests, made of wood, plastic, or fabric, like the Woffit Toy Storage Organizer Chest for Kids.
Q. How can I hide toys in my living room?
Toys can be neatly hidden in a living room with small baskets that can fit under the existing furniture or even a toy storage bench or ottoman, like the BELLEZE 48″ inch Long Rectangular Upholstered Storage.