Last updated: August 11, 2021

Welcome to our big living room cupboard test 2021. Here we present all the living room cabinets we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the internet. With this, we would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best living room cabinet for you. You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. If available, we also offer interesting test videos. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should definitely pay attention to if you want to buy a living room cabinet

Contents




Summary

  • Living room cabinets offer you a lot of storage space. Here, your belongings can be neatly stowed away when you don't need them at the moment. And your living room can be visually enhanced.
  • When it comes to living room cabinets, you can distinguish between wall units, chests of drawers, sideboards, highboards, lowboards and display cabinets.
  • Depending on how much space you have at home and what you want to store in your new living room cabinet, one or the other type of cabinet is more suitable for you. Since you have a large selection here, you are sure to find what you are looking for.

The Best Living Room Cabinet: Our Picks

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a living room cabinet

What is a living room cupboard?

Simply put, a living room cupboard is a cupboard for the living room in which you can store things such as dishes, tablecloths, children's toys and much more. Unlike a shelf, you can close the cupboard. Whether it is equipped with drawers, flap doors or sliding doors is simply a matter of taste. A living room cupboard can be tall and narrow but also deep and wide. The main thing is that it offers additional storage space in the living room. And you can hide its contents from prying eyes if necessary.

What types of living room cabinets are there?

There are the following types of living room cabinets:
Type Description
Living room wall Often used synonymously with wall unit. However, in contrast to the wall unit, it can be combined more freely. By combining load-bearing and wall units in the same style, additional storage space can be created in even the smallest living room.
Wall unit Is a wall-filling cupboard that often reaches up to the ceiling. The wall unit can be made up of deep drawers, cupboard elements, shelf elements and showcase elements. In addition, it usually has a recess for the television.
Chest of drawers Is a half-height piece of furniture for storing a wide variety of things. The classic chest of drawers consists only of drawers. Sub-types of the chest of drawers are sideboards, highboards and lowboards.
Sideboard Is a sub-type of chest of drawers that is noticeably wider than it is high. It is usually equipped with drawers, doors or a combination of both.
Highboard Is a half-height wardrobe that is noticeably taller than it is wide but not as tall as a wardrobe. The internal layout of this chest of drawers can vary greatly and can have doors made of solid material or with glass inserts, flaps, shelving units and drawers.
Lowboard Is a type of chest of drawers that is particularly low. Lowboards are also often referred to as TV boards. They can have doors, flaps, shelf elements and drawers.
Display cabinet Is a cabinet designed to skilfully present decorative objects, collectibles or other items. For this purpose, the showcase has at least one side made of glass. Some display cabinets also have their own interior lighting and/or a mirrored rear wall.

What are the alternatives to living room cabinets?

There are the following alternatives to living room cabinets:
Type Description
Storage stool Provides additional storage space under the seat and can otherwise be used as you would with a stool. Whether as a storage place for magazines, to put your feet on, to get to the top book on the shelf or simply to sit on.
Basket The container, which is usually open at the top, can be used as storage space for small to medium-sized things such as toys, magazines or cushions.
Chest Is a box-shaped piece of furniture with a hinged lid. Some chests not only offer additional storage space, but can also be used as a seat if they are cut straight at the top and are sturdy enough.
Shelf Here, the contents are presented openly and cannot be hidden when needed. In contrast to a display case, the contents of a shelf can be accessed more quickly. However, the items on the shelf are more quickly exposed to dust and other external influences.
Rolling table Is easy to move around the room and provides a storage surface for crockery, coasters, magazines or other items on one or more levels.

Decision: What types of living room cabinets are there and which one is right for you?

If you want to buy a living room cabinet, there are the following alternatives to choose from:

  • Wall unit
  • Wall unit
  • Chest of drawers
  • Sideboard
  • Highboard
  • Lowboard
  • Display cabinet

There are many different types of living room cabinets, which are not always easy to distinguish.

Wohnzimmerschrank-1

No matter which type of living room cabinet you choose, you will always have an increase in space.
(Image source: unsplash.com / André François McKenzie)

The terms living room wall and wall unit are often used synonymously, yet there are differences between the two and thus different advantages and disadvantages in each case. It is the same with the terms chest of drawers, sideboard, highboard and lowboard. These also differ and have different advantages and disadvantages. Most of the time, the differences are not that big. But if you know exactly what your new dream piece of furniture is called, you can search for it and save time.

What distinguishes a wall unit and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

A wall unit is made up of several individual cabinets or shelves. They all have the same design and material and thus create a uniform overall appearance. The wall unit is the modern version of the wall cupboard. It can offer almost as much storage space, but can be used more individually because you can decide for yourself where to place the individual pieces of furniture. Many wall units are characterised by their material mix with lots of glass, bright colours and special lighting. This visually loosens up the room, but many living walls lack the cosy aura of solid walls of cupboards. You can use the terms living wall, TV wall and TV wall unit synonymously.

Advantages
  • Plenty of storage space even on a small budget
  • Individual room design possible
  • Large choice between different styles, colours and materials
Disadvantages
  • Less storage space than with a wall unit
  • furniture in a different style quickly stands out
  • Less cosy atmosphere than with a wall unit

What distinguishes a wall unit and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

Wall units were especially popular in the fifties to eighties of the last century. But you can still make use of the advantages that people saw in wall units back then. A wall unit is usually a space-saving alternative to a lot of individual pieces of furniture. It offers you maximum storage space and makes your living room look tidy. Modern wall units are not made exclusively of solid wood as in the past, but also of wood veneer. This allows for a greater choice of different designs. Wall units are not for small rooms and can often appear bulky due to their closed design.

Advantages
  • Maximum storage space
  • Cosy look mostly rustic country house style
  • Space-saving compared to many individual pieces of furniture
Disadvantages
  • No flexibility of individual elements
  • furniture in a different style quickly stands out
  • Not suitable for small rooms

What distinguishes a chest of drawers as a living room cupboard and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

Chests of drawers come in many different sizes and designs. They are usually table-high. There are different versions of the chest of drawers, but the classic version is characterised by the fact that it contains only drawers and no doors or shelves. Chests of drawers offer quick and easy space for many different things such as bedspreads, cushions, toys or other things. Additional box systems allow you to divide the interior of the drawers and thus have the best possible overview of your stored belongings. The upper surface of the chest can be used as an additional shelf.

Advantages
  • Flexibility thanks to a wide range of sizes
  • Large choice between different colours and designs
  • The stored things are quickly and easily at hand.
Disadvantages
  • Objects that are too large for the drawers cannot be stowed away
  • Without additional drawers, clutter can quickly arise
  • Chests of drawers that offer a lot of storage space also take up a lot of space.

What distinguishes a sideboard as a living room cupboard and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

The sideboard is a type of chest of drawers that is much wider than it is high. Unlike the classic chest of drawers, the sideboard can have doors, drawers or a combination of both. Sideboards can be mounted on legs or float on the wall. They have a narrow design and can therefore be particularly space-saving.

Advantages
  • Space-saving due to narrow design
  • Possibility of also storing things that do not fit in the drawers
  • Can additionally serve as a room divider.
Disadvantages
  • Compared to chests of drawers, you pay a little more for good quality
  • Not an optimal use of high walls
  • The wider the chest of drawers, the more sockets it can cover.

What distinguishes a highboard as a living room cupboard and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

A highboard has more height thanwidth. However, it is not as high as a wardrobe. This type of chest of drawers can also be called a half-height wardrobe. The interior of highboards can be very different, and so they can have doors made of solid material or glass inserts, contain shelving elements, drawers and flaps. As a result, there are numerous variants of highboards. You have a wide choice of interior fittings, materials, colours and styles.

Advantages
  • Numerous storage options
  • More storage space than with conventional sideboards or chests of drawers
  • Large selection of colours, materials and styles
Disadvantages
  • Can take up a lot of space
  • Rather unsuitable for sloping ceilings
  • Looks bulky in small rooms

What distinguishes a lowboard as a living room cupboard and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

Lowboards are much deeper than chests of drawers, sideboards and highboards. That's why you can use a lowboard wonderfully for media storage and place TVs, receivers, consoles and other things there. That's why the lowboard is often called a TV board. Lowboards are usually designed without a back panel so that there is enough space for the cabling. Additional storage space can be provided by doors, flaps, drawers or shelves.

Advantages
  • Space-saving
  • Use of all sockets possible due to open back
  • Large selection of colours, materials and styles
Disadvantages
  • Less storage space than with sideboards, highboards or classic chests of drawers
  • No optimal use of high walls
  • High consoles can be accommodated less well.

What distinguishes a glass cabinet as a living room cupboard and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

With a display cabinet, you can skilfully showcase things such as fine crockery, collectible figurines or other items. To do this, the display cabinet has at least one side made of glass. Some showcases also have a mirrored rear wall and/or their own interior lighting. There are also showcases that are glazed at the top and have drawers or flaps at the bottom that serve as storage space for the things you don't want to display.

Advantages
  • Space-saving
  • Protection of exhibits from dust
  • Additional decorative element in the room
Disadvantages
  • Little storage space
  • High cost factor
  • Must always be tidy

Buying criteria: You can use these factors to compare and evaluate living room cabinets

In the following, we will show you which criteria you can use to decide between a variety of possible living room cabinets.

In the following paragraphs, we will explain what is important in each aspect.

Size

The size of your new living room cupboard depends, of course, on the conditions at home. This means that a wall unit probably won't fit in an attic flat. And a single lowboard in an old flat with high ceilings will probably look rather lost.

That's why you should consider beforehand how much storage space you need, i.e. whether you want to store more or fewer things, and how big the items you want to store are.

If you are looking for a living room cupboard for fine crockery and glasses, for example, a highboard with a glass cabinet section for the glasses and a drawer section for the plates is a good choice. While living room walls and wall units take up a relatively large amount of space, chests of drawers and display cabinets are usually space-saving alternatives. Roughly speaking, sideboards are between 120 and 200 cm wide and 70 - 100 cm long. Highboards are about 110 - 130 cm high and accordingly have a smaller width. The height of lowboards is only about 25 - 50 cm. Mostly, however, TV boards are quite wide. The height and width of display cabinets are quite variable.

Deviations from the standard dimensions are of course always possible.

If you have problems finding a living room cabinet in the right size for you, you don't have to worry. Many websites already offer custom-made products tailored to your needs.

Layout

The layout of your new furniture again depends on you and your personal circumstances. Depending on how large and/or bulky the items you want to store are, you will naturally need larger compartments, drawers, etc. Living walls and wall units offer different combinations of doors, flaps, drawers and shelving elements. That's why they offer the most storage space for many of your things. For what doesn't fit in a small drawer, you can perhaps put on one of the shelves. Strictly speaking,classic chests of drawers consist only of drawers. This has the advantage that you can keep a good overview of your belongings thanks to the additional organisational elements. One disadvantage of classic chests of drawers, however, is that not everything fits in the drawers. If you want to store large sofa cushions, for example, you won't get far with a classic chest of drawers. Sideboards and highboards, on the other hand, offer you more flexibility when it comes to their internal arrangement. They can be equipped not only with drawers but also with flaps, doors and shelves. Lowboards can also offer a variety of internal storage options, but are rather limited in terms of accommodating larger items due to their lower height. As already mentioned above,display cabinets are available in numerous sizes. The layout is usually quite similar. A classic display case has several shelves on which the exhibits can be presented protected from the glass. Some showcases also have additional compartments or drawers that provide storage space for everything that does not need to be seen by everyone.

Material/processing

Living room cabinets are actually almost always made of wood. How the wood is processed and what kind of wood it is, that is what makes the differences between the furniture. A cabinet made of solid wood is not only of better quality than one made of veneered chipboard, it also looks different. That doesn't mean you can't like a veneered wardrobe better, because unlike furniture made of solid wood, veneered furniture can boast a continuous grain.

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Most living room cabinets are made of wood. Your living room cabinet can be made of solid wood or veneered wood material. Depending on how it is made, your new cupboard will have a different look.
(Image source: unsplash.com / Artur Łuczka)

Since the properties of the wood have to be taken into account more in the production of solid wood furniture, it is unfortunately not possible to produce it with a uniform grain. In addition, the quality of veneered furniture is highly dependent on the supporting material. Thus, veneered cabinets with stick plywood as a basis can even be more dimensionally stable than furniture made of solid wood. Here is an overview of the materials and processing methods you can choose from:

  • Solid wood
  • Veneered chipboard
  • Veneered MDF board
  • Veneered veneer plywood/strip plywood
  • Partial solid processing
  • Lacquered material

If you want a living room cabinet made of solid wood, you will have to dig a little deeper into your pocket. Solid wood furniture is made of pure wood. It has a particularly natural look and is durable. The signs of use that a piece of solid wood furniture gets over the years give it character. Another advantage of solid wood is that it is very easy to maintain. If you want to get rid of unsightly scratches, you can simply sand the wood and then varnish, wax or oil it. The disadvantages of solid wood cabinets are that they can warp as soon as the temperature or humidity changes. In addition, the colour of the wood may change over time and small cracks may appear. To keep your new piece of solid wood furniture in shape, it is glued together in a very specific way. This interrupts the grain pattern in the cabinet and creates an uneven look. Whether you like this or prefer a uniform grain as with veneered furniture is a matter of taste. Veneered furniture can have different substrates on whose surface thin sheets of wood are glued. Because the wooden sheets are so thin, they cannot warp on the carrier plate. This makes it possible to create a surface with a continuous grain that does not change over time. The quality of a veneered wardrobe depends on which carrier material has been used. It may even be that a veneered piece of furniture has better dimensional stability than one made of solid wood. Veneered chipboard is very inexpensive. Since wood chips that cannot be used for the production of solid wood furniture are used for the production of chipboard, natural wood resources are conserved. Furniture made of chipboard is lighter than furniture made of solid wood, but it is also less robust. Living room cabinets made of veneered MDF, on the other hand, are more stable than those made of chipboard because they are made of finely chopped wood fibres. This results in a particularly high bending strength and breaking strength of the MDF board. Veneer plywood or stick plywood are the best supports for veneer panels. They are made from sheets of wood or wooden rods that are glued together to keep their shape. This is why this type of veneer is found in many high-quality pieces of furniture. Living room cabinets that have a partially solid finish are characterised by the fact that some of their parts are made of solid wood and others are made of veneer or lacquered or foiled wood materials. With partly solid furniture, you should pay attention to how much of the cabinet is actually made of solid wood and what other materials have been used. Materials such as chipboard or MDF are often lacquered. The lacquer protects such cabinets from external influences and makes them easy to clean. Here, you should pay particular attention to whether all parts of the living room cabinet are covered with lacquer, whether the lacquer feels smooth all over and whether unsightly drips have formed.

Style

Once you have decided how big you want your new piece of furniture to be and what type of living room cabinet suits you best. You can then decide on a particular style. Which one you choose depends, of course, on your own personal taste. Below I present a selection of styles that others often look for:

  • Country style
  • Rustic style
  • Antique style/Vintage style
  • Industrial style
  • Modern style

Country style furniture is meant to evoke country life and old farmhouses. Here you will often find living room cabinets made of natural woods with brass fittings. If you are looking for country-style furniture, you will probably find many wall units, highboards and chests of drawers that have a cosy look. The rustic style is characterised by many natural materials. The difference to the country house style is that the materials here are much coarser. Bare stone walls and visible beams are characteristic of the country house style. A living room cabinet in the country house style is characterised by its solid workmanship of untreated pine or oak. The more the wood has lived in, the cosier the room looks in terms of the rustic style. The antique furniture style or vintage style can be very versatile. Here you can roughly distinguish between Biedermeier style, Art Nouveau style and the style of the Gründerzeit. Living room cabinets in the Biedermeier style are elegant but simple. They rarely have conspicuous ornamentation, but are classically characterised by a rounded top. These cabinets radiate cosiness and are practical at the same time. Art Nouveau cabinets are characterised by stylised floral elements or geometric elements. Such living room cabinets are particularly decorative and captivate with curved shapes. The Gründerzeit style combines various styles of the past. Such living room cabinets are often very ornate and feature decorative ornaments. Living room cabinets in the industrial style are oriented towards the factory halls of early industrialisation. Open architecture is predominant here. This means that living room cabinets in particular fit well into the industrial style. Here you will find functional and straightforward cabinets that impress with their simple design. If you are looking for a living room cabinet in a modern style, you have many options to choose from. Grade lowboards and wall units can embody this style perfectly. They are characterised by straight shapes, strong colours, stylish material mixes, LED lighting or innovative suspension devices.

Colour

As with style, the colour of your new living room cabinet is of course a matter of taste. If your new piece of furniture is lacquered, foiled or glazed (weakly pigmented lacquer in which the grain shows through), it is easy to find the right colour However, if you want a living room cabinet with a wooden look, whether solid wood or veneered wood, you should have some idea of what kind of wood looks like. Below, I have created a table of popular wood types and their appearance:

Wood species Appearance
Maple Can have different colours: Almost white, light brown, reddish-grey. Has an even, subtle grain
Beech Has a light yellowish to pinkish-brown colour and a tongue-like grain. The older the beech, the darker the wood. Darkens a little when exposed to light.
Oak Is grey-yellow to yellow-brown. Has an even grain. Depending on how the wood is cut, it is tongue-shaped.
Ash Is pale grey, yellowish white or reddish white. When it darkens, the wood can become light brown. The grain of ash wood consists of narrow dark stripes or a tongue pattern
Spruce The wood of spruce is yellowish-white to reddish-white. When it darkens, it can become yellow-brown. The grain in spruce wood is either finely striped or tongue-shaped. Sometimes knotholes can also be seen in the spruce wood.
Fir Is red to yellow-white and can have a grey-purple undertone. The grain of fir wood can be striped or figured (a pattern that can resemble flowers).
Cherry Can be yellow to reddish brown but also rusty brown. When the wood comes into contact with light, it darkens. Cherry wood has a grain consisting of many smaller rays
Mahogany Can have different colours between reddish brown and light brown. If the wood is not properly protected, it can turn grey due to environmental influences. The grain of mahogany wood can be striped, mottled, flame-shaped or veined.
Teak Is medium brown to golden brown. If teak is not oiled or waxed regularly, it can acquire a silver or grey patina. Its grain is striped or tongue-shaped.
Walnut Is light brown to blackish brown and can have a red or lilac shimmer. The sun makes the walnut wood a lot darker. Its grain can be cloudy, striped or mottled.
Walnut Can be a light grey-brown but also dark brown or blackish brown. Walnut wood has a striped or irregular cloudy grain.

Facts worth knowing about the topic of living room cabinets

How do I fix a living room cupboard to the wall?

Highboards in particular, but also chests of drawers or other taller living room cabinets, should be fixed to the wall.

Wohnzimmerschrank-3

Unattached living room cabinets like this chest of drawers can pose an accident risk if you do not attach them to the wall properly. You can prevent this risk by using metal brackets from the DIY store. This way, small children and pets are safe, even if they climb onto the cupboard out of curiosity.
(Image source: unsplash.com / Mathilde Merlin)

Small children or larger pets such as dogs or cats can sometimes cause a living room cupboard to tip over unintentionally; if it is not properly attached to the wall, an accident can easily happen.

If your new living room cupboard does not have a wall bracket included, you can easily fix it there with metal brackets, screws and dowels.

How do I embellish my living room cupboard?

There are many ways to decorate your living room cupboard. One option is wall tattoos, which are available in a wide range of designs for little money. In the following video you can see how to attach a wall tattoo correctly: If you want to give your new living room cupboard that certain something, you can stick a blackboard foil on it to write messages for your loved one or to-do lists for yourself. For example, if you paint the door of your new cupboard with magnetic paint, you have created a practical magnetic wall. Mirror elements attached to the outside of the wardrobe are a special eye-catcher. You can also attach them to the inside of the wardrobe just for you, e.g. to quickly and inconspicuously check your appearance during a date.

How do I dismantle my living room wardrobe?

Who hasn't experienced it: you're moving house and you know that your new wardrobe won't fit through the door. So it has to be dismantled, preferably in such a way that it can be reassembled in the new flat. The best way to do this is to follow the steps below:

  1. You should label the individual parts of your wardrobe with masking tape so that you can distinguish between a floor panel and a ceiling panel, for example.
  2. Remove everything that is not screwed down (shelves, drawers, etc.). When assembling, it is also easier for you if you mark the positions where the shelves were attached.
  3. In this step you unscrew the doors, get help from a second person. One person holds the door while the other loosens the screws. Work from the bottom up.
  4. For the next step it is best to lay down your living room cupboard (of course you will need help here too). Now take the cupboard apart from top to bottom. That means you start with the top panel. You can carefully remove the nails on the back with pliers.

How do I tidy up my living room cupboard properly?

Since you will often use your living room cupboard to store and retrieve things, it can quickly become a mess. The following tips can help you tidy it up:

  1. Set yourself small goals and tidy up a little every day so that you don't lose motivation.
  2. Start tidying up what you feel like doing the most, for example, what looks the least elaborate.
  3. Remember to put everything back where you found it.
  4. Set a specific time each day to tidy up a little. 10 minutes a day can be enough.
  5. If you throw a few things out now and then, you will create extra storage space. If you haven't used something for a year, you probably won't need it in the future.

Watch the video below for inspiration on how to clean out and tidy up your living room cupboard so that everything looks tidy again:

Image source: Belchonock/ 123rf.com

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