Last updated on November 28th, 2023
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Is your garage a mess, with tools and materials and half-finished projects all over the floor and workbenches? Think how much better you will feel with everything neatly organised on shelving units. This was also me, so I decided to get a few of the most popular garage rackings to see which models and brands were the best, so it give me the perfect opportunity to put this review together. Spoiler alert, the most expensive garage shelving/racking I purchased didn’t actually turn out to be the best or the sturdiest like you would think.
My review of the Best Garage Shelving Units/Racking introduces you to a variety of shelving options that you can customise to suit how you want to arrange your space and your belongings. I give their pros and cons (which are somewhat similar in each model) and describe their best features. My Buyer’s Guide expands on the common features and describes what to look for in the best garage storage shelves. When it comes to garage shelving, what really matters is how sturdy they are and how much weight they can hold along with long-lasting moisture-proof shelving.
The Best Garage Shelving Unit I found is the G-Rack Extra Wide Garage Storage Shelving Unit. As the name suggests, this model is wider (by 30%) than a standard shelving unit and comes with a generous five-year warranty. By far one of the best shelving units you can buy and my personal favourite.
My Runner-up pick is also my choice for the Best Multi-Unit Garage Shelving. The Storalex Pack of 3 Extra Deep Garage Shelving Racking Units comes with three bays of shelves that are also 30% deeper than a standard shelving unit.
It is worth mentioning, that I purchased the single version of the Storalex steel rack (as pictured above) with the standard 40cm depth to see how it compared to my best pick by G-Rack. At the time of writing this review, it was more expensive and was 30cm smaller in width too.
Best Garage Shelving Unit
Best Multi-Unit Garage Shelving
Need a new garage workbench? – Check out my review of the best garage workbenches
The Best Garage Shelving Units For Organising Your Belongings Review
1. G-Rack Extra Wide Garage Storage Shelving Unit
Best Garage Shelving Unit
So I have got to say, I have been really impressed with the G-Rack 120cm Garage Racking and in the photograph above, it is the shelving in the middle. When I purchased this model it was 30cm wider than what I thought it would be and even turned out to be better than the model by Storalex, which you can see to the left of the G-Rack shelving unit. I purchased them both at the same time to undertake a fair comparison and the price difference between them was around £20. So naturally, I thought the wider racking that was more affordable would not be quite as good, how wrong was I?!
I think this is actually slightly better than the smaller Storalex model, don’t get me wrong, the Storalex model is a good alternative, but this G-Rack definitely has the edge.
Design-wise, they’re very similar, in fact, all the boltless shelving/racking are because they all slot together in a similar way. However, I think this model is better due to the fact it seems more sturdy, whereas other models have a little movement in them. This model is solid with very little movement at all, even when I had fully loaded the shelves up with tools, birdseed and paint etc. The strange thing is, the steel used doesn’t seem to be any more substantial either, it almost looks identical with just a few slight design changes.
Quality-wise, it’s excellent, the frame is powder-coated in black for protection against rust and scratches. The five shelves are made from MDF, granted they could do with being a little thicker but they are good enough. The manufacturer says that each shelf can hold up to 175kg of equally distributed weight.
Having said that, the Storalex Garage Shelving Racking which I review further down claims it can hold 265kg per shelf, and I personally think this model could easily hold as much weight per shelf as the Storalex model although I haven’t actually tested this theory out.
A word of warning about the shelves, they are made from 5.0mm MDF and are supposed to be moisture-resistant. However, from experience with MDF shelving, they are suspectable to mould in damp conditions.
With this in mind, I’ve painted mine with an oil-based protection paint but you can also varnish them. It’s optional but I would recommend doing it too, especially if your garage gets damp.
It’s super easy to put together, I built mine on my own but it will definitely be easier with two people. The whole process took me about 30 minutes and the instructions are nice and clear, however, it’s easy enough because everything just slots together. Just have a rubber mallet handy to tap them sucurely into place.
You assemble the unit in two vertical halves. This lets you put the halves together to form the full height of 180cm (6ft) or alternatively you can use the two sections separately if you need lower height storage.
Using the half-height sections individually allows them to do double duty as a workbench. Connectors to hold the two half-height units together come with this garage shelving unit too, which is a bonus if this is how you plan to assemble it.
- Dimensions: 120cm (width); 45cm (depth); 180cm (height).
- Black metal five tier shelving unit that has a rust resistant coating to keep it in pristine condition.
- MDF shelves are 5mm thick and moisture resistant to stop them warping.
- Holds 175kg of stuff per shelf for a total of 875kg of your garage contents.
- Spacing of shelves is adjustable to store your big and small items appropriately.
- Can split into two half-height bays of shelves (of three shelves and two shelves) if you need more headroom between shelving.
- Non-slip rubber feet stop the empty shelves from skittering across the smooth garage floor.
- Boltless/screw less assembly lets you put the shelves together quickly and easily.
- Five-year warranty.
- Mould on MDF shelves in damp garages.
- Tabs can be difficult in assembly
The G-Rack Extra Wide Garage Storage Shelving Unit provides more storage than a standard-size five shelf bay due to it being 120cm (4ft) wider compared to only 90cm of a standard width unit.
I like that its black powder-coated metal frame can split into two half-height sections and form a workshop bench with shelves – one section with three shelves and the other section with two widely spaced shelves. The five-year warranty from the manufacturer is a generous warranty for this type of garage storage too.
I like the G-Rack Extra Wide Garage Storage Rack for its wider shelves, how sturdy it is and its extended warranty gives me more reassurance that it will last. I’ve made this my Best Garage Shelving Unit choice. It’s a great choice if you have a larger space in which to put up storage shelves. Overall, I’ve been really impressed with this model and highly recommend considering it.
2. Storalex Garage Shelving Racking by Tufferman
I purchased this Storalex Garage Shelving Racking because I wanted to see if it was better than the G-Rack Extra Wide Garage Storage Shelving I reviewed above, mainly because it was more expensive by around £20.
This model is 180cm tall (6ft) by 90cm wide (3ft) by 45cm deep, and that’s 30cm shorter than our best pick by G-Rack. However, this is a pretty standard for garage shelving and racking units. So, with this model being a standard size and more expensive, was it any better? Personally I’d say no, although it’s still worth considering if you want a narrower racking and haven’t the space for the G-Rack.
When it was delivered (the next day after ordering) it came all nicely boxed up with no damage so off to a good start. There aren’t that many parts, you have the uprights, which are clearly marked with arrows so you know which way you need them, then you have the front and backs, the longest sections and then you have the sides and the 5 middle braces to help support the shelves more effectively.
First, though, let’s talk about assembly, the whole racking is boltless assembly, there are small tabs and everything just slots together, as shown below. Just have a rubber mallet handy to give them a tap to make sure the tabs are fully secured into place.
Assembling is super easy, it took a total of around 15-20 minutes to put the whole unit together on my own. The image below shows the first sections I put together.
Once you have fully assembled the frame, as shown above, all that is left is to add the smooth MFD shelves, as shown below.
Overall the quality is very good, the frame is powder-coated in graphite grey which makes it look good but it also adds protection against rust, which is even more important.
All the edges are nice and smooth too which is not the case with some shelving units, some have sharp edges which can easily cut your hand. However, with this rack they are all nice and smooth.
So the manufacturer claims that each shelf can hold 265kg, now I don’t doubt this but if you plan on putting anything of that kind of weight on the shelves, I would certainly be making sure to securely fasten the racking to the wall. At the moment I don’t seem to need to do this and it does seem quite sturdy overall.
- Easy to assemable in only 15 minutes, everything is boltless and just slots together.
- Fairly sturdy once assembled.
- Powder coated graphite grey metal five tier shelving unit.
- MDF shelves are 5mm thick and moisture resistant to stop them warping (to an extent).
- Holds 265kg per shelf for a total of 1325kg of your garage contents.
- You can space shelving at any distance between them.
- All the edges and nice and smooth, no sharp edges.
- Non-slip rubber feet to provide better grip and protect your floor
- MDF shelves may be a little thin.
For the price, I may have expected it to be a little better than it is. The MDF shelves are around 5mm or thereabouts so maybe slightly more heavy-duty shelves would be better. However, it’s worth noting there is a steel support strut in the middle of each shelf so I don’t expect it to sag in the middle.
I might paint them to add a little more protection against moisture as I have done with the G-Rack model. Overall I’m happy with them, they seem good quality for the price and they were easy to assemble so I have no issue recommending them.
3. Storalex Pack of 3 Extra Deep Garage Shelving Racking Units
Best Multiple-Unit Garage Shelving
The Storalex Pack of 3 Extra Deep Garage Shelving Racking Units has several features that make it stand apart from its competitors – multi-unit, deep shelves and maximum storage load. First up is that it comes in a set of three shelving bays giving you plenty of storage space. If you want a wall of matching shelving units, perhaps in a workshop you like to show off to visitors, buy them all at once with this single purchase. The price per shelving bay works out comparable to buying an individual unit.
The metal frame of these shelving units is finished in a graphite-grey powder coating for strength and rust resistance. This softens the angular industrial appearance of the long length of three sets of shelves. The frame may feel quite flimsy until you put the shelves in and place your items on them. However, be careful of the thin metal as some users report being cut by it. As far as stability goes, the manufacturer does recommend that you screw the frame into the wall to make it extra safe which we also recommend, better to be safe than sorry as they say.
Each bay contains five shelves made of MDF. Each shelf is 30% deeper than a standard garage unit shelf and so holds extra-large boxes and sports equipment just like our best pick does. The maximum weight load of a shelf is 200kg. That’s 1000kg per bay of five shelves and 3000kg for the three bays. That’s a lot of stuff, even if it does include heavy power tools. All the shelves are height adjustable in 35mm increments, so you can customise the height of the spaces between them to whatever you’re storing there.
Online reviewers report the usual problems with the MDF shelves – sagging and unable to hold the full weight stated and mould developing. However, the shelves have support beams across their underside that help with the amount they hold. Use the units at their full height or at half-height if you need lower storage space, or mix and match the heights across the three units.
- Dimensions: 90cm (width); 60cm (depth); and 180cm (height).
- Three shelving bays in your purchase to create a wall of shelves in your garage.
- Graphite grey rust-resistant finish to the metal frame softens the industrial look to fit into any workshop or storage space.
- Divide a single bay into two half-height units for lower storage options.
- Five adjustable MDF shelves in each bay each hold 200kg of your garage or storage items.
- Snap assembly system doesn’t require bolts or screws, making it accessible for most people.
- Increase stability by fixing to the walls using the drill holes in the frame posts.
- Mould on MDF shelves
- Shelves bowing
- Tabs are difficult in assembly
The Storalex Pack of 3 Extra Deep Garage Shelving Racking Units gives you a 2.7m width of three matching metal shelving units in graphite grey powder-coated metal. And with the extra depth of these shelves, all your largest stuff can fit alongside the smallest boxes and pieces of equipment. These shelves are the most weight-bearing, at 200kg per shelf, of all the units in our review making them a better choice if you know you have lots of heavy items to store.
We like the Storalex Pack of 3 Extra Deep Garage Shelving Racking Units for its extra deep shelves and the ability to buy three sets of shelving units at once. It’s the Runner-up in our review of best garage racking and our choice of Best Multi-Unit Garage Shelving. This could be the storage shelving unit for you if you need more than one shelving unit and have large heavy items to store.
4. Rhino Racking 0057 Heavy Duty Stand-Alone 5 Tier Industrial Shelving Rack
The Rhino Racking Heavy Duty Stand-Alone 5 Tier Industrial Shelving Rack is just as it says. This freestanding metal shelving rack is coated in a rust-resistant grey paint for durability and to repel scratches. You assemble it by clicking together the parts and there’s no need to use any tools or fittings such as bolts or screws. However, we recommend that you do have a rubber mallet and a screwdriver handy in case any parts are out of shape or become bent.
The five shelves in this unit are made of MDF just like the previous two models. The distance between shelves is adjustable to make room for whatever size object you need to store there. The MDF shelves come with the usual problems identified by online reviews – the moisture resistance isn’t sufficient to stop black mould from forming, and the thickness of the MDF isn’t enough to stop the shelves from bowing before the maximum weight load of each shelf (175kg) is reached.
What sets the Rhino Racking 0057 Unit apart from the other garage storage shelving units in our review is its size. The Rhino unit is both wider and deeper than any other model we investigate here. At 120cm wide, it’s 30% wider and at 60cm deep, it’s 30% deeper than standard garage shelves. This gives you much more storage space with not that much larger of a footprint.
- Dimensions: 120cm (width); 60cm (depth) and 180cm (height).
- Freestanding metal shelves with a rust-resistant grey paint for durability and protection from scratches.
- Assemble by snapping the parts together with no need for tools or fittings.
- Five shelves each made of moisture-resistant MDF for all your workshop bits and pieces.
- Total storage weight is 875kg – up to 175kg evenly distributed on each shelf.
- Each shelf is adjustable to suit the height of whatever you want to store there.
- Mould on MDF shelves
- Shelves bowing
- Tabs are difficult in assembly
- No instructions on how to make two half-height units.
The Rhino Racking 0057 Heavy Duty Stand-Alone 5 Tier Industrial Shelving Rack is the largest garage unit in our review. It’s both wider and deeper than standard size garage shelving and so is suitable for larger tools and materials, perhaps car parts or more industrial or light engineering machinery. Assembly is via a click system but have a rubber mallet handy for those parts that don’t want to fit together.
We like the Rhino Racking 0057 Heavy Duty Stand-Alone 5 Tier Industrial Shelving Rack for its larger size. If you have awkward-sized or miss-shaped items to store, think about this industrial unit.
5. VonHaus 5 Tier Garage Shelving
The VonHaus 5 Tier Garage Shelving is the closest to a standard size garage shelving unit of the models in our review. It’s also the least expensive selection.
This unit’s metal frame has a medium grey hammered metal finish that won’t look out of place in an indoors craft room or art studio. The edges of the five MDF shelves are also finished in this style. Although online users report the usual problems with the MDF material of the shelves – mould and sagging – VonHaus is the only manufacturer in this review to recommend that owners of this unit resurface the MDF shelves every year with a weather-resistant treatment.
The dimensions of this VonHaus unit are a width of 90cm, a height of 180cm, and a depth of 40cm (just 5cm narrower than the standard width). Use the unit at its full height for the most shelf space or divide it into two half-height parts for double duty as a workbench.
- Dimensions: 90cm (width); 40cm (depth) and 180cm (height).
- Hammered metal finish to the frame for durability and strength.
- Five MDF shelves have adjustable spacing for you to create customisable storage.
- Shelf capacity is 175kg per shelf for a total of 875kg of your storage stuff.
- Use at full height for shelving or in two half-height units for a workbench.
- Assembly is a keyhole locking mallet requiring only a rubber mallet and some patience.
- Two-year manufacturer’s warranty.
- Mould on MDF shelves, but addressed by manufacturer.
- Shelves bowing
- Metal frame is flimsy
- Tabs are difficult in assembly
The VonHaus 5 Tier Garage Shelving is a regular size garage shelving unit with a hammered metal finish that would also look good indoors in a craft or work area. The manufacturer recommends protecting the MDF shelves every 12 months with a weather-resistant treatment or stain to avoid the problem of black mould from the moist UK climate. This is another shelving unit that just clicks together, but know where your rubber mallet is just in case.
We like the VonHaus 5 Tier Garage Shelving unit for its standard size and its good looks. This is for you if you have people over into your workspace and you want everything to look tidy and stylish or are looking for a more affordable shelving option to store a few items.
6. Racking Solutions Heavy Duty Garage Corner Shelving Kit
The Racking Solutions Heavy Duty Garage Corner Shelving Kit is unique among the shelving units in our review in that it provides the answer to the question of how best to use the corner of your garage or workroom for storage. These two shelving units and the corner unit that gores between them make use of the space that would be wasted if you just abutted two straight shelving racks together there.
The units in this shelving kit are narrower, shallower and shorter than standard garage shelving. This is useful if you don’t have a large room and have limited corner space.
These three freestanding racks are made of 0.7mm graded steel that’s powder-coated in a head-turning shade of glossy blue. As well as providing durability and hiding scratches, this colour will remind you of where to put your tools and other stuff away. Use all three units to their full height for maximum storage or use one, two or all three at their half-height as a shelved workbench. However, this shelving kit doesn’t come with connections to hold all the units together. Some online reviewers have used their own designs of bolts and screws to attach the three units’ frames together especially if they’re used at full height.
Each unit has five 5mm thick MDF shelves. You adjust the distance between the shelves independently of each other and in increments of 35mm. These options let you customise the shelving to your workshop and storage needs.
The storage capacity in weight of the entire unit (three sections) is a massive 2,250kg. If you do have this weight of stuff, maybe look at whether you really need it all. Bear in mind that the weight must be distributed equally over each shelf. And also that the shelves have no support bar underneath them, so you might want to screw some lengths of wood there yourself.
- Two freestanding shelving units and one corner unit between them give you full shelving in a corner of your garage or workshop.
- Metal frame is constructed of graded steel that’s 0.7mm thick and powder-coated in an eye-catching gloss blue for durability and water-resistance.
- Five shelves per unit are made of smooth 5mm MDF with a load capacity of 150kg each.
- Storage capacity of the entire unit is 2,250kg which should get most of your stuff off your workbenches and the floor.
- Shelf positions are adjustable every 35mm to provide you with a customisable shelving unit.
- All three units split into two halves to use as a workbench with shelves below.
- Easy to assemble boltless construction that needs only a rubber mallet.
- Dimensions: Straight shelving: 75cm (width); 30cm (depth) and 150cm (height) – Corner shelving: 75cm (width); 30cm depth) and 150cm (height).
- Five-year guarantee for peace of mind.
- Mould on MDF shelves
- Shelves bowing
- Tabs are difficult in assembly
- No support on the undersides of the shelves.
- No connections between the three units.
The Racking Solutions Heavy Duty Garage Corner Shelving Kit solves your storage problem if you look into the corners of your workshop or garage and just see piles of clutter there. Working together these three units provide maximum storage along each wall and in the corner itself. These units have slightly smaller dimensions than the other kits in our review but, taken together, provide an impressive amount of space for all your stuff.
We like the Racking Solutions Heavy Duty Garage Corner Shelving Kit for its good use of corner space, thick steel frame and makes-you-smile bright blue colour. If you have a spare corner in your workspace, use this corner shelving kit to store your stuff out of the way.
In general, there’s not a great deal to know about garage shelving units and there’s not many differences between the models in our review. You do need to know some things about the frame, the shelving and assembly; the main differences are found in the dimensions, the colour and the weight load of the unit. We cover all this here.
The frames of most garage shelving units are made of metal, usually some thickness of mild steel. The differences in the prices of the shelving can reflect the quality and thickness of the steel. Don’t expect high quality metal at a budget price.
One of the most common complaints in the online reviews of garage shelving units we looked at was that the metal frames were thin and flimsy, and bent easily. Some reviewers even reported cutting themselves on the sharp, thin metal. Do be careful when assembling these tiers of shelves because the struts can bend out of shape and then need to be persuaded (with a rubber mallet or gently with a hammer) back into their correct form.
All the garage racking we review are made of powder-coated metal, in various colours, but usually some tone of grey. Not many manufacturers treat these shelving units as design statements, though one of the models we review is bright blue and another has a hammered metal finish. Other materials (not reviewed here) that garage shelving is available include wood and plastic.
Most garage storage units are marked as freestanding, meaning that they just stand up on their own on the garage or workshop floor. However, the stability of these shelving bays is of concern to quite a few online reviewers. Admittedly, the shelving may seem flimsy and unsafe until you put the shelves in and some heavy items on them. However, some manufacturers recommend that you bolt the shelving to a wall for extra stability. But not all shelving frames provide drill holes to do this through. Consider how and where you plan to use the shelving and make arrangements for securing it to a wall if possible.
The standard dimensions of a garage shelving unit are:
The garage racking we review here offers options on this: wider; deeper; wider and deeper; narrower, shallower and shorter. Plus we review one model that comes in a pack of three bays to create a wall of shelves and another option that includes a corner unit to take advantage of an unused corner of space.
And along with this, all the models we look at have the feature of being used at half-height as a workbench with shelves underneath. And don’t worry about having to cram a tall object onto an undersized gap between the shelves – all the shelving units have adjustable shelf spacing, usually in 35mm increments.
All of this is to say that, as far as the size and shape of shelving units go, you have enough choice to suit most workshop, storage room or garage needs.
All the units in this review have five shelves per bay and in all cases, the shelves are made of MDF of various thicknesses. And it’s this shelving that draws the most complaints from users of garage shelving. Although the MDF is marketed as moisture-resistance, there are complaints across the brands of black mould forming on the shelves in short order. And scrubbing with mould-removing products doesn’t seem to help. Only one manufacturer in this review (VonHaus) addresses this issue by recommending that users treat the shelves with a weather-resistant stain or coating annually to deter this problem. Make sure to wipe down the shelves regularly with a cleaning product to keep the mould away.
You can also try to add extra ventilation to your garage and maybe a garage heater to help deter mode too.
All garage shelving units give a maximum weight load that each shelf can hold. You can multiply this by the number of shelves to figure out the total weight of items you can move from around your workshop or storage room floor to the shelves. Be aware though that if, for example, the weight load is 175kg per shelf, that means that much weight needs to be evenly distributed across the shelf. And for safety, it’s best not to put 175kg of power tools on the top shelf.
But that’s the theory. You have to ask whether you have confidence that MDF shelves of the given thickness can hold that much weight without sagging or bowing. If they have a central support strut, they are stronger than just planks of MDF. Many reviews state that the shelves bowed long before the maximum allowed weight load was reached. With this in mind try to store heavier items towards the edges of the shelves and not place one heavy item right in the middle.
Take a look at how heavy the items are that you plan to put on the shelves. Place the heavier ones on the lower shelves. In addition, users report that they’ve replaced some or all of the shelves with pieces of solid wood to provide a strong surface on which to store their objects. Alternatively, add or reinforce the support on the undersides of the MDF shelves.
We briefly mention assembly as, while all manufacturers in this review use some kind of click assembly system, some state that you don’t need to use any tools. In reading reviews, we found that at the very least you do need a rubber mallet or a hammer with a woodblock to soften the blow. You may also need a screwdriver because tabs on the frames seem to be difficult to handle and may need to be bent and unbent, and prodded into place with a pointed tool. And don’t hesitate to go online to find out how to put the unit together if the instructions provided aren’t enough for you.
Having an organised and tidy workspace or storage space has many advantages: you know what you have and you can see it at a glance; you don’t buy doubles of an item you can’t find; you can find what you’re looking for without having to pull everything out on to the floor where you probably leave it, and you feel that you deserve a treat for clearing up.
Garage shelving units provide the space for you to organise your garage workspace, workshop, storage cupboard or room, garden shed and anywhere else that’s become a repository of unused and unwanted items. We’ve reviewed different sized units as well as units that double as workbenches or fit nicely in corners. Customise these to your needs by adjusting the spaces between the shelves to fit the different items you want to keep around.
Our Best Pick for Garage Shelving Unit is the G-Rack Extra Wide Garage Storage Shelving Unit. This 120cm wide unit gives you extra storage space and the option of splitting it in half height-wise so that it does a double duty as a workbench with shelving.
Our Runner-up is the Storalex Pack of 3 Extra Deep Garage Shelving Racking Units. Create a whole wall of shelving with these three units that attach together. In addition, the shelves are extra deep to hold larger items and extra-large storage boxes.
If organising your garage or workshop has you looking around at what and where else you can tidy up and organise outside the home, take a look at our other reviews that will help you:
Last update on 2024-02-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API