Last updated: 16/10/2022

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Wooden shelves are indispensable for many people nowadays. They offer storage space, are quickly assembled and require hardly any maintenance. At the same time, they can be a visual highlight in any room. The design options are diverse – whether decorated with LEDs or simply painted white – the choice is yours.

Especially in certain rooms of your home, they serve a profitable purpose. In pantries or in the cellar, wooden shelves are ideal because the material has a high load-bearing capacity and stability. For our product comparison, we have compared different models and worked out the most important aspects.




Summary

  • The wooden shelf is a practical and inexpensive household item that can be characterised by a variety of shapes, wood types and sizes. It usually arrives compactly in a package with the accompanying assembly instructions.
  • The wooden shelf can offer a lot of storage space and at the same time be a visual highlight in many rooms. It also combines functionality with design.
  • The wooden shelf is also biodegradable, as it consists of harmless ingredients that decompose quickly in nature. Thus, you not only benefit from the cosy ambience, but also serve sustainability.

The Best Wooden Shelf: Our Choices

Buying and evaluation criteria for wooden shelves

So that you are not overwhelmed when buying wooden shelves, we have listed the most important buying criteria. This should give you a better overview. They are basically as follows:

Of course, the list of potential buying criteria can be continued. Depending on which criterion has priority for you personally, you can find the ideal wooden shelf for you. To give you a more precise specification of the purchase criteria, you will now find a detailed explanation:

Size / Dimensions

The first purchase criterion is the size of the wooden shelf. Of course, it should neither be too big nor too small. However, wooden shelves are often available in a wide variety of sizes and shapes. If you still cannot find what you are looking for, there is also the option of having a wooden shelf made to measure.

For all hobbyists, there is also the alternative of a self-made wooden shelf. You can also find numerous assembly and installation instructions on the Internet that you can use.

Material (type of wood) and durability

Not all wooden shelving is the same. They can be made of many different types of wood. To give you a small overview of them, we have listed them here. They are:

  • Walnut
  • Oak
  • Pine
  • Spruce
  • Bamboo

These materials are characterised by their extremely high stability, durability and load-bearing capacity. Generally speaking, the more solid the type of wood, the greater the load-bearing capacity of the wooden shelf. Moreover, this depends on the framework.

This can be, for example, corten steel or other metal. Depending on the load-bearing capacity, the number of shelves that can be mounted on the wooden shelf can also vary. What they all have in common, however, is that they can combine functionality and appearance.

Weight

Depending on the material you have chosen, the weight of your wooden shelf can vary. Of course, a wooden shelf with a metal frame will be much heavier than a wooden shelf with a wooden frame.

Make sure your wooden shelf is on a level surface and cannot easily topple over. Heavier materials will probably be harder to topple over, but it’s especially important to keep an eye out for lightweight materials. For this reason, it is also recommended that you do not place your wooden shelf in the middle of the room.

Uses

Wooden shelves have a wide range of uses. They can serve as a bookshelf in the living room or bedroom or as a filing cabinet in the study. Alternatively, a wooden shelf can be placed in the pantry or kitchen for spices or fruit.

Even outside in the garden or in the cellar, a wooden shelf can be used for firewood or drink crates. They offer you a variety of storage possibilities. Your wooden shelf is also suitable as a decorative means in the bathroom under the sink or under the stairs for shoes.

Design

Wooden shelves come in a wide variety of styles. Rustic, antique or industrial versions in particular, but also vintage, natural or country house styles are gaining in popularity. In combination with them, you can also set colourful accents.

Whether the wooden shelf itself is painted white or the decorative contents stand out – the choice is always yours. However, so that you no longer have any unanswered questions, we have put together a small guide for you below. This should make you a specialist when it comes to wooden shelves.

Guide: Frequently asked questions about wooden shelving answered in detail

In the following, we would like to answer the most important questions about wooden shelving. In this way, we want to give you a deeper insight into the topic. The questions are as follows:

For whom is a wooden shelf suitable?

The wooden shelf is basically suitable for anyone who wants to create a certain clarity and order. Whether in the cellar, the pantry, the children’s room or the kitchen – the wooden shelf is really suitable for every ambience.

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Especially in the kitchen, your wooden shelf can be a visual highlight and create a cosy ambience with its natural contrasting tones (Image source: unsplash / Gareth Hubbard).

Even if you don’t necessarily want to store anything, your wooden shelf can visually stand out in the room. Especially decorative are fabric cubes or plants that you integrate into your wooden shelf to create a cosy atmosphere. As you can see, a wooden shelf is suitable for a wide range of applications. There are no limits to your ideas.

What types of wooden shelves are there?

Wooden shelves come in a wide variety of styles – whether rustic, antique, industrial or vintage, natural or country style – the choice is yours. In addition to these visual differences, you can also differentiate in terms of structural features.

Wooden shelves are also available with doors, with drawers, with baskets, on castors or simply open.

They can also differ formally. They are available square as cubes or square. Often plants are placed hanging on a wooden shelf or attached to ropes inside the room. But the wooden shelf can also serve as a rack for firewood outside. There are many different types.

What does a wooden shelf cost?

The price is mainly determined by the scope of delivery and the additional products included. The prices for wooden shelves can range from low to high. The following table should give you an overview.

Price range Available products
Low-priced (50 – 200 €) Very simple design with 5-7 shelves, usually low scope of delivery
Medium-priced (200 – 400 €) Various design types and different load capacities, usually 5-9 shelves
High-priced (from 500 €) Mostly high scope of delivery, noble design, suitable for decorative purposes, mostly up to 9 shelves

Our product comparison showed that high-quality designs are already available from a medium price range. Depending on your personal needs, you can choose the right wooden shelf for you in this way.

How and where do I professionally assemble / install a wooden shelf?

Assembly instructions are often included in the delivery. These should help you to assemble the shelving correctly. Depending on the company or manufacturer, there are also fitters who can assemble it for you.

However, if the assembly instructions are not included or the service is not included, identical instructions are sometimes available for download on the Internet. We recommend that you check the homepage where you purchased your wooden shelf.

You decide where you want to place the wooden shelf. You can usually place or hang the wooden shelf inside or outside. However, you should make sure that your wooden shelf has the appropriate load-bearing capacity, e.g. to hang it (on ropes).

How do I paint or varnish a wooden shelf?

As with all other wooden objects, there are some things to consider before painting or varnishing. Basically, the wood should be untreated, oil-free, dry and free of dirt. Only then can you spread the paint or varnish evenly and cleanly.

If your wooden shelf has already been treated, you should sand it down. This will create a smooth surface on which you can apply the paint or varnish. We also recommend that you do this several times. This means that you should ideally paint / varnish once and then do the same again after a short drying time. Only then will you benefit from real opacity.

However, there is something you should bear in mind when it comes to maintenance. After treatment, it is advisable to clean your wooden shelf with a slightly damp cloth. You should make sure that the cloth is not too wet, otherwise stains or mould can develop. Afterwards, wipe the wooden shelf dry.

Conclusion

Wooden shelves are helpful for storing various objects. Because of their material, they are very easy to assemble and integrate into the interior. Of course, wood can also be recycled very easily. This is good for the environment. Before you buy your personal wooden shelf, you should always consider its intended use. Decisive features are load-bearing capacity, design, dimensions and weight.

As we have shown you, good wooden shelves are already available in the lower and middle price segments. However, this also depends on the purchase criteria mentioned. Basically, however, there is nothing to consider when buying your wooden shelf. You should only wipe your wooden shelf dry. Otherwise, you should now be one of the specialists when it comes to wooden shelves.

(Cover photo: Sigmung Hdum / unsplash)

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