The 12 Best Floating Shelves of 2023


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Mar 17, 2023

The 12 Best Floating Shelves of 2023

Take advantage of vertical storage space with these stunning yet functional

Take advantage of vertical storage space with these stunning yet functional options.

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Real Simple / David Hattan

The best floating shelves add vertical storage to any wall in your home. They can be used to showcase your favorite items, trinkets, and framed photos without taking up any valuable floor space.

"When shopping for floating shelves, I specifically look for something that will hold up over time," says Samantha Pappas, principal designer of Samantha S. Pappas Design. "Solid wood, I especially like walnut and white oak, is not only sturdy but beautiful and timeless."

To find the best floating shelves, we researched various options on the market while comparing material, installation, durability, and weight capacity. In addition to Pappas, we also spoke with Kate Gray, the principal designer at Hamilton Gray Studio, for expert tips on choosing floating shelves for your home.


The customization options and variety of finishes make this a great shelf you can tailor to your space and decor style.

The price of this shelf is somewhat high.

This pick from Ultra Shelf is equal parts sturdy and beautiful. The solid white oak wood shelf is available in eight finishes you can tailor to your existing furniture and decor style, with everything from pickled white to ebony. The shelf is secured with brackets and can hold up to 50 pounds per stud—making it ideal for the kitchen or living room where durable storage is necessary. Plus, you can customize the shelf's depth, length, and thickness for the perfect fit.

We also love these shelves for the easy-to-install hardware and pre-drilled holes. They only take 15 minutes to set up, according to the brand, and once installed, the shelves sit flush with the wall, creating a built-in look. While the range of customization options is most impressive directly from the manufacturer's site, other retailers also carry the shelves and may ship faster.

Price at time of publish: $155

Product Details:


This affordable floating shelf can hold 20 pounds and is available in multiple colors.

These shelves could have a higher weight capacity.

The Sorbus Home Large Floating Shelf is made of engineered wood and MDF rather than solid wood, which makes the price significantly lower than other options. Though this pick may be more prone to chipping and denting than solid wood shelves, it's an affordable and lightweight alternative ideal for small decorations and items.

The set of two shelves is installed with wall studs and can hold up to 20 pounds per stud. The mounting hardware is included and allows these floating shelves to sit flush against the wall. While there are no customization options for size, these floating shelves are available in white, maple, and black finishes.

Price at time of publish: $40

Product Details:


These authentic wood shelves come in many sizes and stains and can hold 40 pounds per stud.

We wish we could also customize the thickness of the shelves.

The Urbandi Rustic Floating Shelves are hand-crafted of solid pine wood, making them ideal for those who want their decor to have a bit of character. The wood's natural grain and knots create a rustic feel, with straight edges that still look sleek and flush against the wall. These shelves can hold up to 40 pounds per stud, so you can use them for dishware in the kitchen, books in the office, or a trinket display in your bedroom.

They're available in sizes up to 84 inches wide and 12 inches deep, and there are six stain options (walnut, unstained, provincial, jacobean, aged oak, and aged barrel), allowing you to customize the shelves to your decor. The installation kit includes the screws, brackets, and anchors and is only a four-step process, so you don't need to stress too much about setting up your new shelves.

Price at time of publish: $85

Product Details:

Urban Outfitters

These floating shelves have a unique design that makes them double as a decorative accent.

While we like the small size, we wish the weight capacity was higher.

Ideal for trinket storage, the Urban Outfitters Expandable Metal Wall Shelves have a unique wavy edge and are available in pastel rose, mint, and classic black colors. These shelves have the smallest weight capacity on our list at just 4.4 pounds, so be sure to only store small items on them. Each shelf has two interlocking pieces that can extend from 11 inches to 21 inches.

Made from iron, these shelves won't rust or warp due to water and high humidity, making them a great storage solution for bathrooms. The mounting screws are color matched to the shelves, but the included hardware may still be visible once installed.

Price at time of publish: $59

Product Details:

Pottery Barn

This shelf is available in multiple lengths and stains, with a medium-weight capacity that can suit almost any room.

While we like the wood construction, it makes this shelf fairly expensive.

The Pottery Barn Brighton Floating Wood Shelf comes in multiple sizes ranging from 18 to 60 inches, so you can fit them to any wall. With finishes like a gray wash, walnut, black, white, and white ash, this shelf can coordinate with any existing decor or woodwork in your space.

Whether you want to store dinnerware, books, or trinkets, we love the shelf's streamlined and subtle design. Be mindful that the weight capacity of this pick is 25 pounds, so while you can store a decent display of items, we don't recommend overloading your shelf. Also keep in mind that the authentic, kiln-dried mango wood can fade or become discolored if you use harsh cleaners, so the brand recommends cleaning it with a soft, damp cloth.

Price at time of publish: From $199

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West Elm

This natural wood shelf has a unique, natural shape that can be a beautiful display space.

We wish there were different shelf depths available.

Crafted from durable teak, this floating shelf showcases the beauty of natural wood grain with a curved, authentic edge that adds an organic element to your space. Because of its natural materials, each shelf may vary slightly in texture and color. It's available in lengths ranging from 11.75 inches to 23.5 inches—but regardless of the size, the shelves project from the wall about 10 inches.

While this pick's weight capacity isn't as high as some other shelves on our list, 10 pounds is enough to display some of your favorite photos or even a small indoor plant. Keep in mind that this shelf is more of a display space than a storage solution.

Price at time of publish: From $88

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This shelf has an extensive assortment of available colors and is durable against humidity and water.

The visible backplate could be more low-profile.

Shelfology's Bender FM 5 Metal Shelf is available in over 30 vibrant shades, so it can blend in or stand out among your existing decor. Depending on the length you choose (either 24, 36, or 48 inches), the shelf can hold between 30 and 60 pounds, so it's shockingly sturdy for such thin metal. Additionally, you can choose between mounting hardware suited for drywall or masonry when purchasing, so you’re well prepared when it comes time to install.

The powder-coated finish is rust-resistant and ideal for high-humidity areas like bathrooms and outdoor spaces. When mounting, you can also place the backplate above or below the shelf surface for a more flush look, though it isn't as seamless as other shelves.

Price at time of publish: From $106

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The space-saving design of this shelf has an impressive weight capacity that can hold anything from glassware to books.

There could be more stain options available.

Efficient and sturdy, the Conamily Corner Floating Shelf can tuck into the seldom-used corners of your home, creating valuable storage and display space. This shelf is available in oak and walnut finishes and has five size options that all fit within a standard, right-angled corner. The 100 percent solid wood construction is resistant to warping and fading, so you can be sure your shelves will stand the test of time. Each shelf is also coated with a clear wood oil to aid with durability.

With a weight capacity of nearly 50 pounds, this shelf is ideal for displaying stylish glassware, books, and plants. We especially love that there is a cut-out in the back for cords to run through. You can install this shelf in wood, cement, drywall, and even doors.

Price at time of publish: $26

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These shelves can create the illusion of floating books on your wall.

Heavier-duty anchors could improve the weight capacity of these shelves.

Designed to hide amongst your favorite titles, these invisible floating shelves are perfect for creating an impressive display of books. The Storage Maniac shelves are great for those who don't have enough room for a bookshelf but don't want to stack their books on the floor. The added groove underneath holds a book cover in place, which hides the shelf for a clever optical illusion.

The hardware is included with this pick, but you may want to use sturdier anchors to increase the weight capacity if you need to store heavy hardback books. Installation requires a hammer and a screwdriver, but we recommend using a power drill if you have one available. The powder-coated steel construction is sturdy and won't bend over time—and is hidden beneath your books for a sleek appearance.

Price at time of publish: $32

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The small surrounding metal bar keeps small products in place, making it ideal for additional bathroom storage.

Mounting hardware is not included.

We love the Yamazaki Home Wall-Mounted Shelf for its raised metal bar that prevents small items from falling off or being knocked over. This makes it great for skincare bottles, fragile perfumes, and makeup products in your bathroom. While only one size is available, the shelf is large enough to create valuable storage space if your vanity or sink is too crowded. It's available in a light-toned wood with white hardware and a darker wood with black hardware.

Unlike most other shelves on our list, the mounting hardware is not included with this pick, but it does come with four small hooks for hanging bath towels and other accessories.

Price at time of publish: $68

Product Details:


This pack of two floating shelves has a towel bar, which is perfect for added storage near your kitchen sink.

While the narrow width of the shelf saves space, it isn't ideal for storing large items.

These Gracie Oaks floating shelves come in a pack of two, and one has a built-in metal bar, making it a convenient pick for hanging your kitchen towels. With dark walnut, gray, and white available, you can match the shelves to your kitchen decor, though the towel bar is black regardless of what finish you choose. These shelves are 5.5 inches deep, giving you enough space for everyday items like mugs and drinking glasses. Plus, with a 50-pound capacity, even your heftiest cookbook can find a home on one of these shelves.

We especially love that the installation brackets are included for a streamlined setup, and while these shelves do not require a wall stud, they may be more sturdy with one.

Price at time of publish: $44

Product Details:

Pottery Barn

The narrow shelf creates dimension and shape on your wall without taking up much space.

There could be additional shelf lengths, particularly one shorter than the smallest 2-foot option.

The Pottery Barn Holman Handmade Floating Shelf has a raised edge to hold picture frames and prevent them from slipping or sliding off. We also love that the slim depth of 3.5 inches keeps your photos at the ideal angle for viewing. This floating shelf comes in multiple finishes to suit any style or decor preferences.

There are four sizes available to ensure all of your frames fit—24, 36, 48, or 60 inches long. Each shelf includes the hanging hardware and has a built-in level to ensure proper placement when securing the wall studs. The brand notes that you should only clean this shelf with a wood-safe cleaner or a soft, dry cloth. Because each shelf is hand stained, keep in mind that some color variation may occur if you purchase multiple of the same finish.

Price at time of publish: $79

Product Details:

Our top pick is the Ultra Shelf White Oak Floating Shelf for its elegant, solid white oak wood construction, eight available finishes, 50-pound weight capacity, and customizable depth, width, and thickness for a near-perfect fit. For those who want something more budget-friendly, we recommend the Sorbus Home Large Floating Shelf, which comes in three finishes and can hold up to 20 pounds.

While floating shelves can be made of many materials, the most popular is wood—it's durable, stylish, and comes in many finishes. For bathrooms and outdoor spaces alike, we recommend a metal option like the Shelfology Bender FM-5 Metal Shelf, as it can withstand high humidity and resists warping.

Kate Gray, the designer of Hamilton Gray Studio, says she has no hard rule when selecting the right material, but she "avoids MDF and particle boards because they’re prone to chipping and aren't as sturdy as solid wood or metal." She also recommends real metal mounting posts and brackets for a secure, long-lasting installation.

Floating shelves can hold everything from kitchen essentials to decor (like books and photo frames), maximizing storage space without taking up valuable square footage. According to Gray, it's important to determine the purpose and placement of your floating shelves to choose the best material and measurements.

"If [you] are expecting to hold books, you need to make sure the shelf is the proper depth and made to hold enough weight," Gray says. "A lot of floating shelves are designed to hold purely decorative objects."

The weight capacity of your floating shelves depends on their size, materials, and installation. We recommend installing your shelves on wall studs if possible—each stud can support approximately 50 pounds (though we don't recommend reaching the max capacity when loading your shelf). Most wall studs are 16 or 24 inches apart on your wall, but you can use a stud finder while installing your shelves for better precision. In general, most floating shelves can hold anywhere from 20–75 pounds.

While you can select a weight capacity based on what you plan to store on your shelf, Samantha Pappas, the founder and principal of Samantha S. Pappas Design, notes that floating shelves can have ever-changing uses. "It's important to remember you may switch up what is displayed on the shelves," she says. "Initially you may have a few glasses and a decorative bowl but may swap those out for cookbooks. Make sure the shelves can hold a significant amount of weight for any design changes you may have."

If you’re displaying smaller items, a shelf with a 15–25-pound capacity should be suitable. However, for books and heavier items, look for shelves that distribute the weight per stud. The longer the shelf, the more it can carry, but it also will be sturdier for delicate and heavyweight items alike. If you want to store dishes, pots, pans, or cookbooks, we recommend a weight capacity of 40–50 pounds.

The height of your floating shelf depends on your ceiling height and how many consecutive shelves you want to hang, according to Pappas. "I like to have my lowest shelf for a bar area around 20 inches off the countertop and space additional shelves 10–12 inches apart from there," she says.

However, for lower ceilings, Pappas recommends limiting the number of shelves. "You don't want it to look cluttered and with no space to display anything," she says. "If I’m doing two shelves for dishes, books, or other items, I like to have them closer to 28–30 inches off of the countertop."

If you want to display items at eye level, 60 inches from the ground is a great baseline, especially for picture frames. For a single shelf, Gray says 20–24 inches from the highest surface nearby (like a countertop, desk, or dresser) keeps things within arms’ reach without getting cramped.

Though you don't need studs to install floating shelves, we highly recommend them if you want to display heavy or fragile items. Shorter floating shelves, like the Urban Outfitters Expandable Metal Wall Shelf, aren't large enough to be installed into multiple studs, so they can't hold heavy items. If a stud isn't available, Gray buys her own hardware. "I often have to buy better anchors than the ones provided with floating shelves that I purchase," she says. "I use butterfly anchors to get as secure a hold as possible."

Consider what you want to display on the shelf to determine how deep it needs to be. Picture frames only need a depth of 4–5 inches. But for book storage or decorative displays, measure your largest item and add a few inches. Gray's baseline depth is 10 inches, but "less deep shelves can be used for styling objects and leaning art against a wall," she explains. "Any shallower and you risk items falling or not being stable enough." For dishware and kitchen storage, any less than a foot deep won't be secure enough for fragile plates and glassware.

This article was written by Kate McGregor, a design writer and market editor who has written about the best in home goods and furniture for publications such as ELLE Decor, Architectural Digest, The Expert, and Domino. To write this article, she researched a wide range of floating shelves, keeping in mind materials, weight capacity, durability, and price point. She also consulted interior designers Kate Gray, the designer of Hamilton Gray Studio, and Samantha Pappas, the founder and principal of Samantha S. Pappas Design.

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