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Children's bookcases: The best kids bookcases for 2021

Included in this guide:

Children's bookcases
(Image credit: IKEA)

Adding the perfect children's bookcases to your space won't just hold books and look great, but could even get your little one reading more. Kids bookcases come in a variety of sizes and designs, displaying books in different ways for different readers, for example with the covers facing outwards (much more accessible for younger children who can't read spines as easily).

Size is also a consideration – you want your kids to be able to reach the books independently, and not worry about books falling down. Many children's bookcases also have integral features such as extra storage (boxes, cupboards and so on), and some even have seats for children to perch on whilst reading. 

We've chosen a range of bookcases for all tastes and budgets so you're sure to find something perfect for your child. Options for the US are at the top, followed by those for the UK. And to fill the shelves up, check out our guide to the best children's books of all time.

Children's bookcases: US

Children's bookcases: dragon

(Image credit: Amazon)

01. Kids Cartoon Bookshelf

Best low-cost children's bookcase

Specifications
Material: Plastic
Price: $49.99
Colour: Blue
Type: Shelves and baskets
Dimensions (WxDxH): 24x14x30in
Weight: 2.7kg
Reasons to buy
+Perfect size+Imaginative design
Reasons to avoid
-Plastic

This fun dragon bookcase not only looks exciting, but the design is super-practical as well. It's the perfect size for a small human to access all of the shelves easily, and the books face outwards so your child can see them clearly and choose a book for themselves. The extra boxes at the bottom could be used for storing other books (especially great for book rotation), or for other toys.

Though it's made out of plastic, it doesn't feel at all cheap, but sturdy. The cut out detail on each row of shelves adds interest and makes the magical dragon design feel even more enticing – perfect for adding extra imagination to the reading adventure that's about to happen.

Children's bookcases: Martha Stewart

(Image credit: Wayfair)

02. Martha Stewart Living & Learning Kids Reading Nook

Best bookcase for older kids

Specifications
Material: Wood (birch)
Price: $599.95
Colour: Grey or white
Type: Shelves with seat
Size (WxDxH): 50.8x15.7x56.6in
Weight: 115lb
Reasons to buy
+Versatile and roomy+Quality materials
Reasons to avoid
-Too big for small children 

Certainly not the cheapest bookcase around, but this is a quality unit with a design that's sure to last your child well into their teens and beyond. This bookshelf may not be as suitable for smaller children (they would need a ladder to reach the top) but it has the capacity to store a veritable library of books and anything else an older child could want.

According to the manufacturer, this bookcase pioneers the concept of a child's home office space, and it's definitely a grown up choice. With different size shelf cubbies for books, four useful baskets and even a cosy little nook to curl up in, it's versatile and roomy.

Children's bookcases: KidKraft

(Image credit: Walmart)

03. KidKraft Wall Storage Unit

Best bookcase with storage

Specifications
Material: Wood
Price: Currently $218.00
Colour: White or espresso
Type: Shelves and boxes
Size (WxDxH): 37.125x16x48.875in
Weight: 82.5lb
Reasons to buy
+Lots of storage
Reasons to avoid
-No display space

If it's storage you're after, you won't go wrong with this bookcase, which has an impressive 13 storage compartments. The top level of shelving is perfect for lining up and stacking books, while the different sized boxes underneath will hold smaller items (these eight boxes are included). Then, the bottom level has roomier cubbies. This bookcase comes in the above white with pink, purple, green and yellow boxes, or the espresso option comes with green, yellow, red and blue boxes.

The whole thing is still a brilliant size for children to explore, meaning they can be totally hands on with selecting and (perhaps more importantly) tidying up their toys and books. There's not really anywhere to display books facing outwards but if that's not a consideration for you then the host of glowing reviews proves this is a brilliant choice.

Children's bookcases: Sunny Safari

(Image credit: Wayfair)

04. Sunny Safari Kids Bookshelf

Most beautiful bookcase

Specifications
Material: Wood
Price: $115.20
Colour: Multicoloured
Type: Shelves and drawers
Size (WxDxH): 21.9x11.5x38
Weight: 30.14lb
Reasons to buy
+Stunning design+Lots of space
Reasons to avoid
-Heavy drawer when full (and it sticks a bit)

The Sunny Safari bookcase is stunning. It's beautifully crafted, with hand-painted patterns and colours, and friendly-looking animals adorning the sides. Shelving-wise, there is ample space for books, stacked or lined up, and you could also display them facing outwards if you purchased a couple of stands to sit on the bottom or top shelves (you can buy themed bookends to match, if you wanted to go the whole hog).

A big drawer sits along the bottom, for special books or other items. The drawer does stick a little, and is a bit heavy so little ones might need help opening and closing it. Check out the manufacturer for a range of other themes. Note: the colours are a lot brighter than this picture shows.

Children's bookcases: UTEX

(Image credit: UTEX)

05. UTEX Kids' Book Caddy

Best simple book storage

Specifications
Material: Medium-density fibreboard
Price: $55.99
Colour: Black or grey or white
Type: Caddy with shelf underneath
Size (WxDxH): 25x16.77x16.77
Weight: 17.76lb
Reasons to buy
+Kids can dive in to explore+Space-saving
Reasons to avoid
-Can't display covers

We love the simplicity of this book caddy. It's totally accessible for children, who can rummage through the selection of books with ease, and it looks great as well. It holds more than you'd imagine, with some reports stating it'll take up to 30 books, but it is still a space-saving option. You could use more than one if you need more book space – the three colours (white, blue and grey) look great together.

Children's bookcases: UK

Children's bookcases: Labebe

(Image credit: Labebe)

06. 2-in-1 Labebe Wooden Bookcase

Best bookcase with wheels

Specifications
Material: Wood (MDF/plywood)
Price: £72.99
Colour: Multicoloured
Type: Shelves
Size (WxDxH): 20x21.3x23.7in
Weight: 10.3kg
Reasons to buy
+Great for toddlers+Wheels/two-sided
Reasons to avoid
-Not accessible from two sides

This colourful bookcase has a fox design along the bottom and fun multicoloured detail, making it a beautiful addition to your child's space. It's a wonderful choice for toddlers given the size and layout of the shelving. The different sections have space to display or stack books (we recommend not overloading these shelves to make it easier for small hands to explore). The best part is that it has wheels, so you or your child can move it around as you wish.

Children's bookcases: Steelman

(Image credit: Wayfair)

07. Steelman Bookcase

Best bookcase with a seat

Specifications
Material: Wood/linen/sponge
Price: £99.99
Colour: White
Type: Shelves with seat
Size (WxDxH): 40.15x11.8x24in
Weight: 100kg
Reasons to buy
+It has a seat+Cube storage
Reasons to avoid
-Plain

Cube storage is the holy grail of storage. Perfect for fitting books and, well, anything really, the roomy compartments will stack, line up and display books (you'll need a stand for displaying). You could also pop in cube-shaped boxes if you wanted to diversify the storage even further. 

Ideal for creating a cosy book corner, this bookcase comes complete with a cushioned seat so your little one can sit amongst their books while they read. It may not be the most exciting of designs, but it comes in classic black or white so will fit with any decorative scheme.

Children's bookcases: IKEA

(Image credit: IKEA)

08. Ikea FLISAT

Cheapest bookcase

Specifications
Material: Wood (pine)
Price: £17
Colour: Wooden
Type: Caddy
Size (WxDxH): 19.2x11x16.1in
Weight: Not specified
Reasons to buy
+Small and simple+Ideal for book rotation
Reasons to avoid
-Won't hold many books

The Ikea FLISAT is a simple book caddy with an interesting design, which trumps a basic box. Perfect for very small readers, this bookcase only holds a few books – showing off the cover of all of them. To utilise it fully, you could have a different set of shelves or boxes for the majority of books then rotate the ones you want your child to access – the rotation keeps the books fresh and interesting to a child. 

Even better, it's incredibly good value. This means you could have more than one to vary things more.

Children's bookcases: Shelves

(Image credit: Etsy)

09. Kids bookshelf

Best wall shelves for books

Specifications
Material: Solid ash hardwood
Price: From £45
Colour: Wood with a choice of 25 colours for the band
Type: Wall shelves
Size (WxDxH): Three sizes available
Weight: Not specified
Reasons to buy
+Space-saving+Beautifully made
Reasons to avoid
-Quite pricey

If you want to save floor space, popping shelves on the wall is a great option. These wall shelves are solid, sturdy and beautifully made. It is possible to get wall-mounted bookshelves, but we've found that many of them don't have tall enough shelf compartments to fit anything but small or baby books. By choosing actual shelves (as opposed to a unit) you'll be able to space them how you want to ensure you can actually fit books in. 

These shelves come in three different sizes. The small is 15in wide, the medium comes in at 23.6in wide and the large is 31.4in wide. All three together will give display space for your child's favourite books.

Children's bookcases: Magic Garden

(Image credit: Amazon)

10. Fantasy Fields Magic Garden

Best themed bookcase

Specifications
Material: Wood
Price: £110.49
Colour: Multicoloured
Type: Shelves with drawers
Size (WxDxH): 22x11.49x37.99in
Weight: 16kg
Reasons to buy
+A variety of different themes+Themed
Reasons to avoid
-Drawers can get heavy

This magical bookcase is just one theme of many created by Fantasy Fields. Also available is Outer Space, Sunny Safari and others. All are hand-crafted and hand-painted, covered with intricate detail that your child is sure to love. There's plenty of space on the three shelves, which are tall enough to hold the biggest books stacked or lined up. In fact, they hold up to 50 books – pretty impressive.

Two drawers make up the bottom shelf, which have a bee and a dragonfly as handles. These drawers are excellent for storing special books or other toys, but be warned that they do get a little heavy for little hands. 

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Georgia Coggan

Georgia Coggan is a regular freelance contributor for Creative Bloq, who has also worked on T3 and Top Ten Reviews. With a particular interest in branding and retro design, Georgia writes about everything from logo design to creative technology, enjoys hunting down genuinely good deals and has even used her knowledge as an ex-teacher to create buying guides on products including children's books and bookcases. Tying these design interests together is an obsession with London Underground posters from the last century.