7 Best Storage Racks in 2020

The best storage rack is the Sterilite bookcase-style shelving unit. It offers tool-free assembly with a rugged and heavy-duty build. The solid construction means it can hold a decent amount of weight. Alternatively, the Furinno shelf earned the title of “honorable mention” because it’s an excellent-mid-size shelf for smaller spaces like closets and pantries.

When looking to organize a garage, closet, or another area of the home or office, some of the best storage rack options stand out as being both accessible and practical. Often, they are easy to assemble and place, with durable materials that can sustain quite a bit of weight. We spent over 15 hours researching the best storage racks and shelving units, to assemble a more complete list. During our search, we prioritized convenient, yet effective shelving that will not only hold a lot of items but also allows for a much more organized setup. A ceiling-mounted shelf, for example, can be just as useful as a standing shelf, depending on the install area and what it will be used for. Keep reading to learn more about our top picks.

Top 7 Best Storage Racks

 #1  Sterilite 01553V01 5-Shelf Unit Storage Rack

Award: TOP PICK

WHY WE LIKE IT: This 5-tier storage rack is easy-to-assemble and modify, so it can fit in just about any space. The rugged, heavy-duty design accommodates many plastic totes.

Pros
  • Modular components fits in any space
  • Easy to break-down
  • Heavy-duty design
Cons
  • Plastic materials, though heavy duty

This 5-shelf option is a heavy-duty storage rack. It stands 75 ½” tall, with a width of 36” for each shelf and a depth of 18”, which offers plenty of room. It’s capable of supporting 25 to 50 quarts , even full. Without totes, you can stack quite a bit on the shelves from tools and boxes to fabrics like towels or bed-sheets. It’s also designed to be modular, so if you buy more than one you can interlock the shelves to create a much larger storage area.

The rugged, tubular style best matches garage or outdoor use, but you could also place the rack inside a laundry room, closet, or something similar. It is our favorite shelf to go with the best outdoor storage. If it’s too large altogether, it can be modified to fit within the confines of a space.

 #2  Furinno 99557BK/GY Turn-N-Tub 4-Tier Multipurpose Storage Rack

Award: HONORABLE MENTION

WHY WE LIKE IT: This mid-size, 4-shelf unit is excellent for smaller spaces, but still offers quite a bit of storage space. Moreover, it comes in several colors.

Pros
  • Mid-size unit for small spaces
  • Easy assembly
  • Multiple colors available
Cons
  • 25 pounds max per shelf
  • Not the most aesthetically pleasing design on list

This 4-tier storage unit is a medium-size compared to similar options, like our top pick. It stands 43.25” tall, with 23.6” wide shelves, and a depth of 11.6” which is still relatively roomy. Assembly takes a maximum of five minutes and requires no tools. The tubes are made out of solid PVC or plastic material, while the shelves are made out of CARB-compliant composite wood. The entire unit is available in several colors, from blue and white to all-black.

The design is ideal for garage shelving, closets, and other low-traffic storage areas. Speaking of shelving, you may want some shelf liner, or even some the best toolbox liner. Mostly, it’s because this is not a stylish or attractive build. While it’s not meant to be modular, one could easily purchase multiple units and connect them to create a bigger space. Each shelf will hold up to 25 pounds total, which limits storage options considerably.

 #3  AmazonBasics 3-Shelf Adjustable Heavy-Duty Storage Rack

Award: BEST FOR RESTAURANTS

WHY WE LIKE IT: This compact rack might only have 3 shelves but it can handle a max load of 750 pounds or 250 pounds per shelf. That’s due to its incredibly durable all-steel construction and wire shelves.

Pros
  • Shelves allow debris to drop for easy clean up
  • Durable steel construction
  • Holds 250lbs per shelf
Cons
  • Only 2 color options

While this rack is much smaller than the others — it has only 3 shelves — it can still hold up to 250 pounds per shelf with a max load of 750 pounds. The reason it is durable is thanks to an all-steel construction with metal wire shelves. Each shelf can be height-adjusted in 1-inch increments and no tools are necessary to do that or to assemble it. The feet can also be leveled and adjusted.

Because it’s smaller in size, this system offers a lot more potential. It can be placed in a kitchen, pantry, closet, office, garage, or even outdoors. It stands 30” tall, with a shelf width of 23.2” and a depth of 13.4” offering decent-size storage spaces. It comes in either an all-black or all-white finish. This rack will have room for your best socket organizer, and all your other tools.

 #4  Muscle Rack UR301260PB5P-SV Silver Vein Steel Storage Rack

Award: MOST DURABLE

WHY WE LIKE IT: This incredibly durable shelf holds up to 4,000 pounds thanks to its unique silver vein all-steel construction. Also, it’s narrow so it will in a lot of thin or compact spaces comparable units would not.

Pros
  • Supports 800 per shelf
  • Silver vein steel construction
  • 12” narrow depth
Cons
  • Particle board shelves

Right away, it’s easy to see why this unit is so durable. The frame is made entirely of silver vein steel, supporting five sturdy, and thick particle board shelves. The post coupler system allows the shelves to be locked into place, which is also height-adjustable. The entire thing can be assembled in minutes, without any tools. The most important feature, however, is that the entire rack supports 4,000 pounds total, which amounts to 800 pounds per shelf.

The shelf stands 60” tall so it’s quite a bit taller than most others, with a shelf width of 30” and a depth of 12”. It offers a lot of storage space per shelf, but it’s narrow so it will fit in many places a comparable unit would not. It’s excellent for storing or holding heavy-duty items, like in a garage or closet. If you’re using this in your garage, take a look at the best garage lighting too.

 #5  MonsterRax 2×8 Overhead Garage Storage Rack

Award: BEST SPACE-SAVER

WHY WE LIKE IT: This shelf mounts to the ceiling, out of the way, and it comes with the installation hardware. It’s height-adjustable and holds up to 400 pounds which is impressive for a 2” by 8” hanging shelf.

Pros
  • Easily customizable drop length
  • Three ranges to choose from
  • Includes heavy-duty brackets
Cons
  • Not the most aesthetically pleasing item on list
  • Can be difficult to install

Unlike the other bookshelf-style units on the list, this system is meant to be mounted on the ceiling, so it’s one of the best garage storage options. Realistically, it could be installed in any room in the home. For example, it would make an excellent hanging rack for a theater room projector. If the included heavy-duty brackets are installed correctly — to ceiling joists — it can hold a maximum of 400 pounds. The frame is made of steel with metal wiring for the shelf. Definitely among the best garage shelving on our list.

It’s height-adjustable with 3 different variants to choose from. The first has a drop length of 12” to 21”, the second has a drop length of 18” to 33”, and the final set has a drop length of 24” to 45”, with the larger number denoting the lowest it can hang down. As for the shelf, it’s 8” long and has a depth of 2” total.

 #6  Meet Perfect Metal Shelf Wire Storage Rack

Award: BEST FOR CUPBOARD

WHY WE LIKE IT: This extra-large rack is made of steel with wire shelves and holds up to 2100 pounds total. It’s narrow for thin-profile spaces like a pantry, but still roomy. An interchangeable base offers either leveled feet or wheels for extra mobility.

Pros
  • Residential and commercial ready
  • Holds 2100lbs, 350 per shelf
  • Choose wheels or feet
Cons
  • Needs a large space

This all-metal, 6-shelf unit holds a maximum of 2100 pounds or up to 350 pounds per shelf. What makes it stand out is that despite the heavy-duty design and high weight capacity, it’s still portable thanks to built-in floor wheels. The entire system can be moved around, and the wheels lock in place when you need it to remain static. You can also swap out the wheels for the adjustable, leveling feet. It stands 82” tall, considerably larger than anything else on the list, with a shelf width of 40” and a depth of 18”.

The frame is made of steel, while each shelf is composed of a metal wire. All of the shelves are height-adjustable offering a personalized storage area. The high-capacity and mobility of this shelf mean it’s excellent in more functional areas like a pantry or closet. As a matter of fact, this is the best wire shelving for pantry that we encountered. It would also be ideal in warehouses, supermarkets, and much more.

 #7  Seville Classics 5-Tier Steel Storage Rack

Award: BEST WITH CASTERS

WHY WE LIKE IT: This 5-shelf is made of corrosion-resistant plated steel so it can be used indoors and out. It holds up to 1500 pounds total, with bottom-mounted wheels for mobility. The wheels can be swapped out for feet.

Pros
  • Works indoors and outdoors
  • Corrosion-resistant plated steel
  • Holds 1500lbs, 300 per shelf
Cons
  • Not as steady as some picks on list

Although it’s made of steel, like many of the others, this 5-shelf rack is considerably less solid. Even so, it’s still reasonably durable, capable of holding up to 1500 pounds total, or 300 pounds per shelf. The corrosion-resistant plated steel means it can be used both indoors and out, including in the garage. It stands 60” tall with a shelf width of 30” and depth of 14” so it’s about the same size as comparable units.

Assembly is tool-free, and the shelves are adjustable in 1” increments, with no tools needed for that either. It comes with locking wheels so it can be moved about freely, but you can also swap them out for leveled feet.

How We Decided

The most important thing we looked at for each shelf was the total storage space and weight capacity of each unit. With a higher weight capacity, that means the shelf can hold a lot more without buckling or warping. Depending on where the shelf is going to be placed and what it’s going to be used for, a higher capacity and larger storage area are preferable.

We did our best to select storage types that match varying configurations. A ceiling-mounted storage rack, for example, needs to be considerably smaller than a bookshelf-style unit. Still, both types of storage shelves need to offer adequate space for the design.

We also considered the build quality or construction materials, with steel and metal being the preferred choice. Metal shelves are less likely to warp, fail, or become damaged over time. They also tend to hold a lot more weight, which is excellent when you have a lot to store. Moreover, when they are properly treated they are often corrosion and rust-resistant, which is even more necessary if they’re being used on a patio, or outdoors. That’s why they make the best heavy duty garage shelving options.

Finally, we tried to find relatively modular storage options. With the plastic shelves, for example, it means they can be added onto or expanded if multiple packs are acquired. They can also be reduced to fit smaller spaces if that’s necessary. Some of the other shelves include wheels, so they can be moved around more freely even while bearing a load.

Best Storage Racks Buyer’s Guide

The Most Important Features to Consider

  1. Storage Space and Capacity
    Before you select a shelf or storage unit, think about how much space you’ll need. Part of this equation is also deciding what the shelf will be used for. If you’re only going to display a few items like photo frames, for instance, a smaller shelf with less space would be an ideal choice. If you have a large collection of books, tools, or items to store you’ll not only need a bigger shelf but one that’s suitably durable to handle the heavier weight. Adversely, if you have a lot of items to store but they won’t be that heavy, a smaller frame shelf will work just fine.
  2. Material
    Almost all of the shelves on the list are made out of steel or metal, except for a couple of heavy-duty plastic units. There are shelves on the market made out of many other materials too like wood, composites, and more. That’s something to keep in mind when selecting a storage option for your space. Wood and composite materials are excellent for indoor use like in a cupboard, office, or living room. However, top notch heavy duty storage shelves for garage and outdoor spaces are almost always composed of metal. Think about where you’ll be placing the storage rack, and how durable it needs to be for that particular space. If you’re placing a shelf in your garage, for example, where there’s a lot of humidity, steel or metal would be a better choice over particle board and composite wood materials.
  3. Design and Style
    Although we didn’t give it a lot of consideration during selection, the overall design or style of each shelf matters. That is especially true if you’re placing the storage unit in an open, high-traffic area of your home. It’s something that’s going to be seen by guests and family, so it’s reasonable to assume you won’t want something unsightly in view. The storage space, weight capacity, and build quality all hold priority — and matter much more — but when it comes to matching your home’s decor and style, it’s something worth mulling over.

Storage Racks FAQs

What Is the Best Garage Shelving?

The best storage options for garage and warehouse areas include metal garage storage shelves with wire, or heavy-duty plastic shelves. The metal shelves tend to be much more durable, so they’re capable of holding higher weight capacities. They’re also well suited to extreme temperature and high humidity spaces like a garage and won’t warp or buckle due to moisture. However, the same is true of heavy-duty plastic and PVC shelves. Most importantly, plastic shelves tend to be much more modular allowing you to increase or decrease space, based on the available surface area.

Which Type of Shelving Is Best for the Pantry?

For walk-in pantries, standing metal and wire shelves work a treat. For smaller pantries, wall-mounted shelves are much better and offer a space-saving design, but they are more difficult to install. As far as the build material, pantry shelves should be suitably durable to hold a swath of items from heavy cans and fresh goods to boxed foods. The better materials include metal or steel, heavy-duty plastic, and in some cases, solid wood.

Is Heavy-Duty Plastic Shelving Better Than Metal?

The metal versus plastic debate is somewhat silly, if only because both materials are an excellent option in most cases. Plastic shelves can be just as durable as metal or steel, especially when the design is solid and thicker — like the plastic shelves on our list. The choice between these two materials is going to come down to preference and application above all. If a metal unit is not the right fit for the place where you want the shelf, well then plastic it is. Plastic shelves tend to be much more modular too, so they can be decreased or increased to fit different size areas.

What Types of Storage Shelves Are There?

Besides the standing bookshelf-style units, like those featured on our list, there are also ceiling-mounted shelves and hanging or wall shelves, which are mounted directly to the wall. Desks and small tables could also be considered a type of storage shelf, especially when used to display decor or photos. Moreover, there are bookshelves, big and small, entertainment-style units with built-in storage, and a wide variety of composite furniture. Some solid bed frames, for instance, include shelves built-in.

Also why not check out:

Briley Kenney

Briley has been a freelance technology writer and entrepreneur for over a decade now. You might know him from his work with Ideaing, Lifewire, or Smartwatches.org. He has a strong background in all things tech and loves to learn the ins and outs of new gadgets and platforms. He loves to share his knowledge with others just as much.

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