Last updated: 16/10/2022

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A locker is always particularly practical when several people need to store valuables or clothing in the most space-saving way possible. This special form of locker can be found especially in schools, universities, companies or sports facilities.

Unlike normal lockers, lockers often have standardised dimensions, which makes it easier to combine them. Furthermore, they are more space-saving and compact than conventional lockers.

With our locker guide, we want to support you in your purchase decision. We have taken a close look at locker lockers and wardrobe lockers and summarised the most important advantages and disadvantages as well as other special features for you.




Summary

  • A locker is the perfect cabinet for the busy workplace. Where many people need to store items, the locker saves space.
  • A distinction is made between two types of lockers: While the locker locker is particularly suitable for storing valuables, wardrobe lockers are better geared towards storing clothes.
  • A good locker has interior fittings. Coat hooks, extra compartments or shelves make organisation easier.

The Best Locker: Our Picks

Lockers: buying and evaluation criteria

There are many different lockers on the market. In general, lockers can be distinguished according to the following criteria.

So before you decide on a locker, take a closer look at the criteria below.

Number of compartments

Wardrobe lockers are usually available with a number of compartments ranging from 1 to 6. More is neither necessary nor sensible. Since the height and depth of lockers in particular are standardised, you can place as many lockers next to each other as you like and still have a uniform line.

Especially when it comes to saving as much space as possible, this is where the Z-shaped lockers come into play. With their Z-shaped nesting, they provide both a storage area and a place to hang clothes.

Locker lockers have significantly more compartments. Usually the number is somewhere between 4 and 18 compartments.

Coating

The coating of the locker plays an important role, especially with lockers made of sheet metal. The material itself is not rustproof, which is why a good coating is almost indispensable. A distinction is made between powder coating and stove enamelling.

Powder coating

Powder coating is somewhat more elaborate and therefore also associated with higher costs. However, there is a noticeable difference in quality compared to stove enamelling.

Metal lockers coated with powder are particularly robust

Powder-coated metal lockers are particularly robust. They are much less susceptible to damage from scratches or rust.

Especially in environments with higher humidity, such as in a gym or swimming pool, a locker with powder coating is recommended. Lockers of this type have a slightly rougher surface.

Stove enamelling

This form of coating is somewhat cheaper and simpler than the alternative variant with powder. Overall, layers with stove enamelling are only half as thick as the layer with powder coating. Stove enamelling sometimes has problems, especially with corners and edges. These areas are more likely to be damaged.

Should damage actually occur, however, lockers with stove enamelling are somewhat easier to repair than those with powder coating. Lockers with this finish have a very smooth surface.

Lock type

There are many different types of locks. They can be divided into electronic locks, rotary bolt locks, cylinder locks and coin deposit locks / cashier locks.

Electronic lock

Electronic locks are usually used in conjunction with an electronic card. You can simply pull the card across a magnetic field on the locker to open and close it. These locks are particularly practical in gyms or businesses, where the card functions both as a key and as an employee or membership card.

But there are also variants that can be opened and closed with a wristband, for example. If an electronic key of this type should ever get lost, it is no big deal. Most systems have a staff opening card that can be used to open any electronic locker in the system.

Rotary bolt lock

This type of lock is the now somewhat outdated classic. The locker can be opened and closed with the rotary bolt lock. When closed, you can insert a padlock through the hole provided in the knob and lock the locker in a theft-proof manner.

On the one hand, this lock is comparatively more secure than other methods, but on the other hand it also means extra work. Users have to take care of a padlock themselves.

Cylinder lock

A locker with a cylinder lock usually has two types of keys. On the one hand the normal single keys and on the other hand the central key. While the individual keys can only open one specific lock, the central key can open all lockers.

Coin deposit lock / Cashier lock

The key of a coin deposit lock can only be removed if a coin has been inserted first. Depending on the lock, this may be a 50 ct, a 1 or a 2 euro coin. If the lock is unlocked again, the coin is returned to the user. The cashier’s lock is based on the same principle, except that the coin is also retained after opening.

These locks are particularly useful when it comes to saving administrative costs. For example, it is not necessary to hand out the keys at the reception desk or to keep issue lists.

Size

If the installation of a locker is required by law, or if special work clothing makes it necessary to store it in a locker, certain dimensions are specified. According to the “Technical Rules for Workplaces (TSR)”, a compartment of a clothes or cloakroom locker must have at least the following dimensions:

  • Height: 180cm
  • Width: 30cm
  • Depth: 50cm

This 180x30x50 formula is essentially the standardised normal model for cloakroom lockers. However, there are often even more spacious compartment variants.

Cloakroom lockers with standardised dimensions are easy to combine.

With these models, only the width varies, so that you can also place a larger locker next to a smaller one without a corner or edge protruding.

A locker often has similar dimensions, but it also has many more compartments than a wardrobe locker. Normally, the compartments are roughly cube-shaped with edge lengths of around 40 cm.

Interior fittings

Apart from appearance and materials, the interior fittings are also an important criterion when it comes to choosing a locker model. It always depends on the purpose for which you want to use the locker.

If you want to store clothes in it, make sure there are enough ventilation slits. Otherwise the fabric will develop a musty smell.

If you want to store clothes in the locker, make sure there are enough vents. Otherwise the fabric will develop a musty smell.

Do you have a business where you work with water? Then make sure there is an additional floor with holes in the locker. The wet boots can then drip onto the floor, which is later cleaned by the cleaning staff.

Other useful refinements in the interior include extra compartments for valuables or a sliding coat hook on the crossbar or cross rail.

Lockers: frequently asked questions and answers

Various questions about lockers are circulating on the internet. We have collected the most important of these questions and answered them briefly for you.

What is a locker?

A locker is not the same as a steel cabinet. The main difference is that the locker is specifically designed for use in a facility with many people. As a result, this form of locker also has some special features.

First of all, the locker is much more compact and space-saving than a steel locker. The latter can only be locked as a whole, whereas lockers usually have several compartments. In this way, several people can use one locker at the same time.

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A wardrobe locker should not be without air vents. Otherwise, the clothes will take on a musty smell when stored for a long time
(Image source: itman47/ 123rf.com).

The locker is particularly common in social institutions, gyms, sports clubs, schools, universities and industrial and commercial enterprises. Especially when certain work clothes are used in the profession, special storage is required by law. Thus, a wardrobe locker is obligatory in such cases.

What types of lockers are there?

There are two main types of lockers: locker lockers and wardrobe lockers. While the first type is mainly suitable for storing valuables, wardrobe lockers are especially designed for storing clothes.

Type advantage disadvantage
Locker locker more stable walls and doors usually no air vents, too small for clothes,
Wardrobe locker ideal for storing clothes, special interior fittings require more space than locker lockers

Locker lockers often have several smaller compartments where you usually store valuables such as briefcases, laptops, wallets, keys and so on. The locker is less suitable for clothes. The small size makes it impossible to hang jackets, for example, there is no airflow and you cannot effectively separate shoes and clothes. Often these lockers are somewhat more robust and have thicker walls and sturdier doors.

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Whether in educational institutions, at the workplace or in the sports sector: if many people need to store clothes or valuables safely, a locker is necessary.
(Image source: unsplash / Dilan Bandara)

When it comes to wardrobe lockers, the focus is especially on problem-free storage of clothing. Usually, these lockers also have certain extras such as coat hooks, ventilation slots and special perforated storage areas for wet shoes. This prevents the clothes from wearing out or taking on a musty smell.

What does a locker cost?

Both locker lockers and wardrobe lockers are available in a price range between 100 and 400 euros.

Type price in euros
Locker locker 100 – 400
Cloakroom locker 100 – 400

How much a locker costs also always depends on how many compartments or compartments there are and what quality it is.

What alternatives are there to a locker?

If a locker is legally required in the company, there is no alternative. If this is not the case, there are some substitute options, especially for the private sector.

Type Description
Safe A safe is much more secure against theft because it is much more robust than a locker locker and has a more complex lock mechanism. However, this alternative is also significantly heavier and more unwieldy.
Wardrobe For private use or for a very small company with a small number of employees, a normal wardrobe can also be worthwhile. It is only confusing if too many people have to share a wardrobe key

The alternatives can be very useful in the private sphere or in a small group. But for several people, a locker is the better choice.

How can I open a locker without a key?

Opening a locker without a key should only be done in an emergency. It is best to find out beforehand whether there is a central or spare key that can be used to open your locker.

Before picking a locker lock, first ask for a central key.

If there is no way to open the locker with a key, you can resort to the paper clip trick.

Basically, you have to press down the pins in the lock with a thin wire, like a paper clip, and at the same time apply slight rotational pressure to the lock.

The whole thing often looks a little easier than it is. It requires a bit of dexterity and the right tools. Depending on how big the lock is, you have to use a larger or smaller wire.

Conclusion

In principle, a locker fulfils the same function as a wardrobe or a safe. Nevertheless, there are significant differences. The locker is specially designed for use in institutions such as schools, universities, companies or sports and fitness studios. Especially for professional clothing, the legislator even prescribes a wardrobe locker with minimum dimensions.

But lockers are also extremely useful in non-professional areas. Wherever large numbers of people go in and out and valuables or clothing are to be stored for longer periods, the locker is an ideal problem solver.

Image source: viteethumb/ 123rf.com

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