I LOVE A NICHE POST FOR A VERY SPECIFIC PROBLEM. Welcome to the roundup that I was born to write! I’m glad you’re here! Here’s the background: a few weeks ago, Em mentioned that Brian’s burgeoning record collection was getting out of control and that the Hendersons are in need of some new storage options.
And this is a problem that I know VERY well!!! My record collection is enormous. Prior to joining the team at EHD, I worked at labels, in streaming, and spent years on a vinyl startup, so I also have hundreds of LPs hanging out around my apartment.
But here’s the thing: trying to find visually attractive ways to store these records is THE. FREAKING. WORST. The universal go-to choice is the IKEA Kallax, and while it’s sturdy and affordable (I had a full warehouse outfitted with these at my last job!), it’s not necessarily an aesthetic fit for every home. So today, I’m here with a collection of not-ugly vinyl record storage solutions for all types of decor styles!
But first, some parameters to help you on your future search:
- They’re Big: For simplicity’s sake, let’s just say that the average LP is 12.5″ tall by 12.5″ deep. Units with adjustable shelves or open backs will be your friend.
- They’re Heavy: In my experience, it’s safest – for your furniture and your flooring – to assume that 50 records will weigh about 30 pounds. LPs are DENSE. These 50 records will also only take up about 13″ (read: not that much space), so you need to keep shelving’s weight limits in mind. Do not overload!
- Store Them Upright: You want to keep records as vertical as possible at all time to prevent both warping and damage to the outside sleeve (which can happen if there’s any unbalanced pressure). You also want to keep them out of direct sunlight if possible, but I digress.
- Keep it Local: If you’re into mid-century pieces, check Craigslist/FB Marketplace first for vintage pieces that were specifically designed for vinyl. If MCM isn’t your style, I’ve got you with picks below 🙂 And honestly, once you get into larger collection territory – like, 300 or 400+ – it’s probably worth connecting with a local woodworker (or with one of the Etsy makers below!) to make something custom for your needs.
- My Recommendations: Since I always get asked – this is the best turntable for starting out (get it with the built-in preamp) and these are the best speakers to pair with it. It’s actually the setup I use because it’s beautiful AND it sounds great 🙂 (Suitcase turntables are affordable and very cute, but anything with the speaker attached to the unit and without an adjustable arm will damage your records a bit during play.)
Now that we’re on the same page, LET US BEGIN…
If you’re just starting out (under 50 records), these are perfect for you. #2 and #4 are classic wall options if you’re interested in displaying a few records as decor! #5 and #6 are very cute, but I’d remain cognizant that these should not be placed in direct sunlight and that they should be left with some breathing room (just like how Urban styled them) to keep your records safe and undamaged from weight or pressure.
The real winners here are #1 and #3, which can hold around 50 LPs and can be placed on top of an existing tabletop or sideboard or bookshelf. They’re compact AND you can flip through your records while they’re forward-facing, which is way easier than trying to find things based on the spine. For Em and Brian, I’d recommend grabbing several of #3 (it’s just a little more special with that ‘Now Playing’ slot up front!) for the Mountain House 🙂
Onwards to the medium options for my pals with ~100 records! Before we get started: YES, there are full-sized bookshelves here. NO, that does not mean that you have the freedom to pack all of the shelves with LPs. These are choices for medium-sized collections only! Please be mindful of weight limits (again, records are thin but dense) so you don’t end up with shelves bowing or breaking.
I’ve owned #1 and I will vouch for its quality – it’s a great solution, the top is perfect for even larger turntable/pre-amp setups, and the maker is awesome at changing colors or patterns. I picked it up from him in person before he relocated to Nevada and he’s also a lovely guy that you can feel good about supporting. 🙂
Now, the bookshelves: we’ve used #2 in a project and while the upper shelves aren’t necessarily super deep, wall-mounting gives some space at the rear so your records aren’t falling off the front. I had #3 in my own home for a while and packed the bottom two shelves with LPs (they’re the only ones that will adjust to fit) while using the top three shelves for books and decor – it was a great solution at the time! And despite having awesome dimensions, the weight limits on #5 mean that you should really only put 20-30 LPs per shelf – this is a good pick if you really want to mix all types of media in one place.
I’m newly obsessed with #4 and #6, though. I LOVE THESE. They’re graphic alternatives to the standard milk crate, they’re movable, and they look SO CLEAN AND FRESH. They’re off the ground and stashed upright, but it’s also low enough that you could slide these under a console table or a bench. I’m thinking about grabbing 5 or 6 of these for my own MOTO 🙂
And now…the big guns. Solutions for my pals with hundreds of albums! I’ve sourced a lot of open-fronted options buuuuut if you’re trying to cut down on visual clutter, there are a few credenzas, too.
If you’re planning to go with a piece of closed storage (from here or from anywhere!), PLEASE just verify that the shelves are adjustable. In some cases, you may end up stashing that adjustable shelf in a closet – LPs are too tall! – meaning that this will be a piece solely dedicated to your record collection. That said, it’s nice to have a place that can serve as your vinyl storage and your record player stand all at once.
1 Media Console | 2. Hi-Gloss Media Credenza | 3. 8-Cube Bookcase | 4. Pull-Out Record Cabinet | 5. BESTA| 6. 4 Deck Album Сrate Сart | 7. Modern Media Console | 8. Minimalist Record Player Stand | 9. Two-Tone Credenza | 10. Natural Credenza | 11. Trace Black Wire Mesh Cabinet Credenza 12. Record Cabinet with Component Shelves
I’m most bullish on #5 here as an alternative to the Kallax. It’s another unit from IKEA, but you can customize it with pre-made cabinet fronts from a brand like Semi-Handmade and feet with a brand like Pretty Pegs to make it a little more special. (Speaking of the Kallax, #3 is a nice lookalike that feels a little more intentional and a little less “BAM, here’s my record collection in my glossy laminate box!!”)
When it comes to closed storage in general, CB2 will be your best bet for sourcing as they have an awesome variety of credenzas with adjustable shelving. (Harder to find than you’d think!) Out of all the ones sourced up there, #11 is my favorite – it has a mesh front so you’d be able to see hits of album spine without it being too overpowering. It also comes in brass!
I’m also very into the construction of #4 – the pull-out bins are awesome and a worthwhile investment for anyone with a huge collection. (This maker also manufactures larger sizes!) There’s something so nice about bringing the record store bin-flipping experience home.
But for someone like Emily, whose home has such a distinct aesthetic, I’d have to recommend a custom option like #1 – it is so Scandi and minimalist and beautiful. Etsy options can be a little expensive, but if you’ve purchased enough vinyl to need this much space, it’s a good idea to invest in keeping it safe 🙂
AND THERE YOU HAVE IT: the vinyl album storage solutions that I have tried (or that my friends have tried) over the past half decade, along with my recommendations for the Hendersons.
My questions for you: who else has had to figure out where to put their vinyl? Does anyone wanna trade Discogs info? What’s your most valuable record??? (Here’s mine, I think, though I still have a couple hundred that I haven’t added to my account. Too off-topic? Either way, I want to know.) LET’S CHAT!