If you appreciate contemporary and modern decor with clean lines and want to add some visual interest to your walls, you’ll get a lot of impact with little effort by installing floating shelves. They’re both practical and decorative, great for storing books and desk accessories in your home office, rolled towels and beauty products in the bathroom, to display keepsakes in the living room. Plus, they’re relatively inexpensive—an easy way to give your living space a designer look, minus a pricey designer.
What to Consider
Start by measuring your wall space and thinking about the shelf’s dimensions—along with what you plan to put on it, as maximum weight capacity is important to look at. Beyond that, decision making basically boils down to the look you want to achieve to accent your walls.
A good first place to start is to think about material, and options generally include solid wood or manufactured wood, metal, and glass, along with various finishes. Next up is to decide on whether you’re going for one or several to arrange in a particular configuration. There are floating shelves with ledges around the edge, which work well for holding framed photos, and specialty shelves made to fit in corners. Almost all come with mounting hardware.
How We Chose
Every floating shelf we cover below has an average rating of 4.5 stars or more. We read through countless customer reviews while doing our research, and our selection includes shelves in a range of materials as mentioned above, and styles, from rustic-chic to contemporary to modern. Price runs the gamut from budget to high-end, and we chose shelves across multiple price points. Also, most of our picks are available in additional finishes and sizes, and we point out other option to consider, when applicable.
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Our Budget Pick
ClosetMaid Floating Shelf
This floating wall shelf from budget-friendly ClosetMaid is attractive and affordable, priced at about $31 at the time of this writing. It’s made of laminated manufactured wood, with a simple, versatile design to hold everything from bathroom products to picture frames and curios.
There’s a ledge along the edge to prevent items from sliding off and it comes with mounting hardware. It’s available in black in addition to the white that’s shown, and in two size options.
Best Rustic Wood
Birch Lane Elba Wood Floating Shelf
Customers save about this handsome floating shelf, with more than 1,500 reviewers giving it an average 4.7 stars.
Crafted of solid pine and made in the U.S., the shelf has exposed nails and a warm honey-toned finish that’s slightly distressed, giving it a weathered, rustic look. It has a 30-pound maximum weight limit and wall-mounting hardware is included. It’s available in five different lengths, ranging from roughly 2 to 5 feet wide.
Best White Wood
Zipcode Design Isabella Floating Shelf
This modern floating shelf is sleek, but at 2 inches thick, it’s substantial enough to make a statement on a wall—especially if displayed in a set of two or three. Made of manufactured wood, the shelf has a spacious, 10-inch-deep surface to hold several books, desk accessories, or a small plant.
White always looks fresh set against a dark wall, but it’s also available in black and chocolate brown. There are multiple length options too, from 10 inches to 2 feet wide.
Ebern Designs River Ridge Floating Shelf (Set of 6)
These eye-catching, minimalist metal floating shelves can be used to hold a variety of items, from books in your home office to condiments in the kitchen, thanks to their tall sides. They come in a set of six, so you can also get creative with how you arrange them on the wall.
They’re each 17 inches wide and 6 inches deep, with a maximum weight capacity of 20 pounds. All the mounting hardware is included, and they’re available in a white or black finish.
Ebern Designs Giullia 2-Piece Floating Shelf
If you’re looking for floating shelves that are understated yet elegant, glass is the way to go—and the polished chrome mounting brackets included with this pair adds to the effect.
The 16-inch-wide glass shelves have sleek beveled edges and look just as great displaying a grouping of curios in the living room as they do in the bathroom used to store rolled towels and products.
The only drawback with glass is that weight capacity is often limited; these cap off at 3 pounds.
Best for Photos
Red Barrel Studio Photo Ledge Floating Shelf (Set of 2)
Using floating shelves is a lovely way to display a collection of photos and has multiple benefits. For starters, mixing up frame sizes creates the effect of an accent wall, plus you can rotate pictures as often as you please. This set of two is a customer favorite, with an average 48 stars from nearly 600 reviewers.
They’re made of manufactured wood with a ledge along the edge and each roughly 4 feet wide, with a maximum weight capacity of 20 pounds. The shelves are available in white in addition to the espresso brown shown, and they come with mounting hardware.
Best for Plants
AllModern Jaylon Floating Shelf (Set of 2)
For some, collecting tiny potted succulents is a near-obsession, and if you happen to be one of those people, these on-trend metal floating shelves are a stylish way to display your babies. There are two sizes per set—one a smidge smaller than the other—and they’re available in gold and silver.
Mounting hardware is included and installation couldn’t be easier, as it requires a single hole in the wall. Each has a 10-pound weight capacity, which is sufficient for the amount of shelf space as long as planters aren’t too heavy.
Best With Light
Ebern Designs Lighted Floating Shelf
This floating shelf has a built-in battery operated light underneath, perfect for placing above a desk in a home office or in the family room to brighten up a reading corner.
The matte white shelf is made of manufactured wood and the light is touch-activated. There’s a metal backplate to add stability, mounting hardware is included, and the spotlight takes three AAA batteries. The shelf comes in several width options, ranging from 2 to 4 feet.
Best Corner Shelf
Andover Mills Georgiana Corner Shelf
Tuck this floating shelf into a corner to display keepsakes such as picture frames with old family photos or a simple vase with dried flowers from the garden. It’s made of manufactured wood, with traditional moulding accenting its edge, the small shelf has a substantial 35-pound weight capacity and comes with mounting hardware.
Choose from espresso brown or the attractive white that’s shown, plus it’s available in two sizes: 12 or 18 inches wide.
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