The best bookshelf overall
The IKEA Billy Bookcase is affordable, well-made, and versatile, making it an ideal home for your book collection.
IKEA is known for making quality furniture at an affordable price, and the Billy Bookcase is no exception. Originally launched in 1979, its understated design and three different color options make it a versatile piece of furniture that can go with many décor styles.
It’s also an ideal foundation for your library of books, especially if you plan on expanding your collection. You can build upon this unit as your collection grows with other Billy Shelving options. Apartment Therapy calls the Billy the “world’s most versatile bookcase.” It can give you the look of a full library without the high cost of other solutions like built-in bookshelves — so both your books and your wallet can rejoice.
If you’re wondering how much the assembly of this bookshelf will cost you in the form of headaches and cursing, the answer is not much. Most reviewers found the Billy easy to assemble, and appreciated its high-quality look and feel as well as its perfect size. At nearly 80 inches tall and 31.5 inches wide, even one unit alone has the capacity to hold a lot of stuff, whether you’re just displaying books, or a mix of books and knick-knacks. With adjustable shelves at a shelf depth of 11 inches, you’ll be able to store most types of books and collectibles.
Insider Reviews’ deputy editor Malarie Gokey owns a red Billy bookcase and loves it. It’s stood up for three years already and houses a number of books, tea paraphernalia, and other collectibles. It was easy to put together in less than one hour.
Some people have a little trouble with their largest books hanging slightly over the edge. Personally, I typically use the fixed and bottom shelf of my bookcases for my heavier items and have never had an issue with this set-up. You will want to be conscious of how many large, heavier hardcover books you have if you are considering this bookshelf as it’s wooden particleboard construction won’t be quite as sturdy as solid wood.
According to IKEA, it’s estimated that one Billy bookshelf is sold somewhere in the world every five seconds. While this may be more marketing hook than factual statistic, the Billy is a bookshelf that appears repeatedly in reviews, and is a clear favorite that shouldn’t be overlooked.
Pros: Versatile style, easy assembly, easily expanded upon, good quality for the price
Cons: Fixed middle shelves, bookshelf depth won’t fit some oversized books, wood particleboard construction
$49.00 from IKEA