The best bookshelves and wall shelves

Give your favourite books the home they deserve with our pick of the best bookshelves and wall shelves

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Looking to boost storage at home, and in particular, book storage? Anyone who’s ever dreamed of owning a Regency-style library, floor to ceiling with leather-bound books will know that bookcases have their place, but if you’re stuck for floor space, or would otherwise prefer a more open-ended option, bookshelves and wall shelves make just as good a home for those prized titles. 

Open-ended shelves are best when it comes to not hogging all the visual space in a room, however it’s worth considering how annoyed you’ll get constantly righting books that have taken a tumble, or how a set of bookends would fit in with your overall design. If we really had to choose, our favourite open option would be Brick & Barrow’s Aramantha Reclaimed Floating Shelf for its low-key looks and solid build, although there are plenty more where that came from.

Alternatively, do away with the whole sorry business altogether and go for a wall unit that keeps books where they’re meant to be: on the shelf. Our best bookshelf overall is the MADE Fowler Wall Shelving Unit, which keeps your most impressive-looking books at the forefront (anyone with a copy of Ulysses that isn’t currently being used as a doorstop, raise your hand) while concealing clutter. For all of our other picks, continue reading below.
 

The best bookshelf

1. MADE Fowler Wall Shelving Unit

For all the classics – including Fowler – give this contemporary unit a try

Reasons to buy
+ Options for open and closed storage + Trendy colourway 

Why stop at books? With open-fronted and closed-door options, this modular-look shelving unit from MADE invites you to show off the things you want to (like that artfully aged copy of War & Peace) and stow away the things you’d rather not – we don’t believe in being embarrassed of your reading material, whatever it is, but these compartments make a great home for things that otherwise linger as clutter.

And then there’s the design: the palette of yellow, soft blue and grey could not be trendier, while the depth of the flat top gives you more scope to store your favourite things. It’s great all round.

Brick & Barrow Aramantha Reclaimed Floating Shelf

2. Brick & Barrow Aramantha Reclaimed Floating Shelf

Reclaimed wood shelving that ticks all the trend boxes

Reasons to buy
+ Gorgeous rustic look + Choice of finishes 

This beautifully versatile solid wood floating shelf has the uncanny ability to suit almost any interior style, from so-now industrial to country kitchen, thanks to its minimal design and natural materials. It’s crafted from solid pine, but comes in a great range of finishes including walnut and four shades of oak, each of which bring out the grain beautifully for a real high-quality ‘found’ feel. Its reviewers agree, too, saying the quality is tangible and the finish stunning. 

Tesco Wallace Wire Shelf

3. Tesco Wallace Wire Shelf

Wallace, minus the grommets, makes a great statement shelf

Reasons to buy
+ Makes a statement + On-trend industrial look 

Statement shelving is a great way to really make the most of a prized collection, whether it’s of books or something altogether different. This enormous circular shelf from Tesco is such a thing, with industrial-style good looks and a large footprint that makes a feature of any wall, while the open sides keep it from feeling too closed-off. It’s also phenomenally good value, considering its high-end design and solid acacia wood shelves, proving you don’t need to spend a bundle to make a statement with your storage. 

Breakwater Bay Belle Isle Floating Shelf

4. Breakwater Bay Belle Isle Floating Shelf

Make a beautiful island in your very own living room with this floating shelf

Reasons to buy
+ Suits tricky-to-buy-for traditional schemes + Ideal for showing off small curated collections 

Short of rummaging through markets and sales sites, it can be very difficult to find shelves for period homes that don’t look anachronistic or just plain odd. That’s where the Belle Isle floating shelf from Breakwater Bay at Wayfair comes in so handy. The simple white paintwork gives it a clean, fresh look and a neutral palette that allows it to fit in with a wide range of schemes, while the cornicing-style details are beautifully fitting for traditional living rooms and kitchens. However, they are quite small, so you’ll want to pick up a few or leave them for your very favourite reads. 

Great Little Trading Co. Townhouse Wall Shelves

5. Great Little Trading Co. Townhouse Wall Shelves

Cute and functional, this set of three shelves is right at home in children’s bedrooms

Reasons to buy
+ Group them how you like + Playful twist on shadow box shelving 

Kids' book storage solutions like these ones from the Great Little Trading Co are a very special kind of blessing when it comes to designing children's bedrooms. A set of three differently-sized house-shaped shelves, you can configure them however you want, in a line or gallery wall-style, and use them to keep a carefully curated selection of books close at hand. Their brightly coloured interiors make them great for showing off favoured trinkets or for toy storage, too. 

John Lewis Sirius LED Floating Shelf

6. John Lewis Sirius LED Floating Shelf

This modern acrylic shelf is clear as day, but really comes into its own at night

Reasons to buy
+ Looks great both switched on and off + Contemporary style 

For when you really want to show off your collection, sometimes nothing but a light-up shelf will do. Create a display worthy of the V&A with this LED floating shelf, ideal for creating an elegant look in the daytime and a dramatic storage statement at night. The soft white glow it emits in low light doubles up as feature lighting when you want to draw attention to your most aesthetically pleasing tomes and trinkets, although the clear acrylic look is bang on trend too, making for a shelf that looks equally pleasing at all times of day. Love using walls to create a display? Find more inspiring gallery wall ideas.

Hokku Designs Luksa Corner Shelf

7. Hokku Designs Luksa Corner Shelf

Make use of every nook and cranny with this corner shelf

Reasons to buy
+ Makes the most of available space + Built-in bookends 

Storage ideas for a small house can be the trickiest to find, but corner shelves are a great solution for when wall space is lacking. This one from Hokku Designs at Wayfair comes in a choice of fire-engine red, modern black, minimal white or rustic oak, offering something to suit pretty much any space you have in mind, while its upticked ends make it great for books, meaning no need to shell out for separate bookends. 

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