Last updated: August 4, 2021

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There are standing files in a wide variety of colours and shapes. With their help, order can be created at the workplace, desk or on shelves in order to store documents, magazines or folders in a useful way.

However, it also turns out that there are other possible uses for standing files in addition to the classic application. With the help of our magazine file test 2021 we want to help you find the right organiser for your needs.

To support you in your purchase decision, we have examined and compared the various materials and worked out their advantages and disadvantages.


  • A standing file helps to bring order to documents, magazines or folders. They come in different formats, including standard document formats. Mostly the top is open, but there are also versions that are closed.
  • The colours range from black, white and grey to the various colours of the rainbow. Metallic effects and colours can also be found. These are partly due to the material, which can be plastic, leather, wood or cardboard.
  • In addition to their classic use as organisers, they can also be converted into other household helpers or even pieces of furniture. With a little creativity, you might even think of other uses than those that already exist.

The Best Magazine File: Our Choices

If you are looking for magazine files, you will find a wide range of different materials, colours and shapes. To make your choice easier, we have selected five models that have convinced us.

Magzine file: buying and evaluation criteria

In the next section, we'll show you the criteria we used to evaluate the stand-up bins to help you make your buying decision. These criteria are:

In the following, we will explain in more detail what is important in the individual criteria.


There are different types of magazine racks. They are made of plastic, leather, corrugated cardboard, metal or wood/bamboo. As can be observed in other areas of life, materials vary in stability. Cardboard, for example, can be practical because it can be folded, but it may be less stable in comparison.


Documents that can be collected in upright collectors
(Image source: Jerzy Górecki / Pixabay)

Considering sustainability, there is also the possibility of making standing files from recycled raw materials in order to save resources.


Just like documents and folders, filing cabinets come in different sizes. They range from A5 to C4. In order to be adaptable to individual needs, they are available in widths between 5 cm and 30 cm. This makes it easy to sort things that belong together.


The organisers are available in all colours of the rainbow. From purple to green to yellow, they come in a wide variety of shades. If you can't decide, there are also transparent and neutral-coloured models. If you are looking for something more unusual, you can orientate yourself on various patterns.

Besides floral patterns, you can find them printed with well-known brands, but you can also make your children happy with their favourite character on them. Especially the metal version can be found in trendy metallic colours like rose gold.


Since documents are not only to be filed standing upright, there are also horizontal and horizontal files, which can also be subdivided one on top of the other. The upright models can also be subdivided to allow for separation.

In addition to closed models, they can also be found with an open front or with a lid, which makes them easier to stack and protects them from dust.

Discontinued products

Often you want to test a product or take a closer look at it before deciding on a larger quantity, so it is good to know if an item is about to be discontinued.

Since companies do not keep all models in their range, there are always discontinued models that are only available until a limited time.

However, it may also be that you already own a product and want to add to it or keep this option open when buying it.

Standing file: Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

In the following, we will answer any questions you may still have. We have selected the most important ones and dealt with them briefly. At the end of the article, all important information should be clear.

What is a filing cabinet?

A standing file is a filing aid for sorting documents, mainly unperforated, magazines and folders. It has a box-like shape and is usually open at the top, with the height dropping towards the back.

There are also models with an open front or the option of a closed model with a lid. It is used to bring order to offices and desks, but also to children's rooms or living rooms. Elements that belong together can be stored and organised well in this way.

If they are placed in a visible position, many of them can also be combined with other matching organisational aids. Due to their versatile design, they can be integrated into any room but can also be used as a visual eye-catcher.


One area of application for a standing collector can be the desk to create order there
(Image source: Mohammad Danish / Pexels)

In addition to shelves, the standing file can also be used in drawers and boxes. It is possible to arrange several elements next to each other and they usually have a labelling option, preferably on the front side, for a better overview.

What types of magazine file are there?

Before you decide to buy a filing system, there are some criteria you can use to make a decision. To make this step easier for you, we have selected some advantages and disadvantages of the different materials:

type advantages disadvantages
plastic/plastic easy to clean, wide range of colours, visual durability few recycled models, can become brittle
leather looks elegant, timeless price, prone to wear
corrugated cardboard/cardboard Price, various designs, light, foldable durability, less stability
Metal discreet elegance, durability, easy to care for, stable weight, small range of colours
Wood renewable raw material, many design options, stable no choice of colours, susceptible surface finish (unprocessed)

In terms of stability, wood and metal have the edge. In the case of leather models, it depends on the finish of the leather. Here, however, you will notice the advantage in the weight. If you want different or unusual designs, you will usually find them in standing collectors made of corrugated cardboard / cardboard and you have a wide choice of colours, especially in the plastic / plastic version.

The models made of plastic are very easy to clean compared to the other materials. Corrugated cardboard upright files can often be folded up, which is practical for storing them when not in use, but they can also break easily and are comparatively more unstable.

How do you assemble a file cabinet?

If you have chosen a file that needs to be assembled, it may happen that there are no assembly instructions. In the following, we will show you the most important steps of the assembly in order to be able to use it:

  • Unpacking: first, you have to unpack the upright file from the packaging with which it is usually protected.
  • Assembling: the next step is to fold it at the designated points, which are usually marked, or, in the case of models that are designed to be plugged in, to plug it together.
  • Fixing: the last step is to fix the folder so that it cannot fold up again by itself. For this purpose, there is either a tab at the bottom that is inserted into an opening or buttons or similar to hold the pages together.

How much does a filing cabinet cost?

The costs can vary greatly depending on the material, design and manufacturer. The price range is from 2 € to 158 €, a list depending on the material is visible here:

type price from - to
plastic / plastic 2 € - 15 €
leather 15 € - 158 €
corrugated cardboard / cardboard 4 € - 33 €
metal 8 € - 90 €
wood 11 € - 30 €

The choice depends on how much importance you attach to the appearance and design. It is also important to consider how intensively the organiser will be used. If you want a higher-quality product that also has a matching design and a decorative purpose, you have to reckon with it having a higher price.

The same applies to products that are used a lot; here you should consider opting for a slightly higher-quality model that remains undamaged for longer, which can be noticed in the price.

What are the alternatives to a magazine file?

If the arguments in favour of filing cabinets are not sufficient, you can also fall back on other alternatives for creating order. You can organise individual pages of documents with staples or paper clips.

Documents, folders or magazines that have already been combined can be collected in boxes / cartons, which can also be labelled. If you have the option of punching holes in documents, they can also be sorted into folders. These can be arranged in a similar way to standing files.


Ring binders are an alternative to standing binders
(Image source: Andrea Piacquadio / Pexels)

What are the alternative uses of magazine files?

If you can no longer see the colour or pattern you decided on when you bought it, you have the option of redesigning it, depending on the material. You can use different colours, but also fabrics, various ropes or other handicraft utensils. The following materials are recommended for the redesign:

  • Wood (untreated, easier to work with)
  • Cardboard / corrugated cardboard (easier to process untreated)

In addition to the possibility of organising documents and papers in standing file cabinets, they can also be used as screen raisers or small shelves at the desk. Mounted on the wall, it can be turned into a shelf or bedside table, and fixed under a table it can be used as an additional shelf.

They can also help to create order in the kitchen by storing aluminium foil and the like or cooking utensils in them. They can also be used as spice racks.


Filing cabinets help you to create order quickly and easily, both in the room and for documents. They are available in different sizes and materials, which have their advantages depending on the requirements and can therefore be individually adapted.

In addition to the classic application, they can be used in a variety of ways, from as a piece of furniture to as an organiser for household areas other than documents. If you have had enough of the look, you can, with a little skill, simply redesign them and breathe new life into them, turning them into eye-catchers.

Image source: allexxandar / 123rf

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