Best office cabinets: Storage must-haves to make your workspace work

Can office storage do its job and actually look good while doing it? The best office cabinets can.

Despite the increasingly digital nature of recordkeeping, many critical documents still come in hard copy and require dedicated office storage built around safety, security and ease of access. Paperwork and supplies can also contribute to workspace clutter, cutting down on productivity and mental clarity. But that doesn’t mean you have to let cabinets and storage cubes make you feel boxed in. While it’s crucial to keep essentials close at hand, you can have them out of sight by finding the best office cabinets to fit your space.

Getting things in order can sometimes feel chaotic, but there’s a system of office file cabinets and office storage cabinets for every scenario, whether you’re working in a private home office, a shared workspace, or somewhere in between. For example, users of shared workspaces or who are storing sensitive documents should have at least one locking cabinet on hand, and home office users storing tax forms, birth certificates, and other legal paperwork should consider a fireproof file cabinet to safeguard their documents. If you’re looking to store odds and ends, important paperwork, or a bit of both, here are a few of the best office cabinets on the market for users of every type.

Features to consider when shopping for the best office cabinets

The best office cabinets on the market offer ample space for office supplies and dedicated access to critical documents. And they don’t have to sacrifice form for function. Organized, easy-to-access office storage can increase productivity, and you can even get it in a dedicated office cabinet you don’t mind staring at from nine to five.

Related: More office organization advice: The best L-shaped desk for any office layout

Good office storage equals quick access

Most managers will need a bit of office storage for paper files, as well as supplies like paper clips, printer ink, pens, etc. While it’s nice to have a place for everything and everything in its place, the convenience of separate storage systems for different types of items is offset by the potential amount of space required. By choosing an integrated cabinet system that offers multiple kinds of item storage, you can maximize your space and still ensure different items remain grouped but separate.

For most workspaces, whether at home or in shared offices, the best office cabinets overall will provide multiple compartments, as well as integrated file management for paper documents. A two- or three-drawer system is the most common design you’ll encounter due to the flexibility and relative compactness it offers, with a three-drawer system being ideal for space maximization purposes. A vertical file system is less wide than a lateral file cabinet and is therefore better suited to placing alongside or underneath a desktop, which is another important thing to keep in mind.

Best office cabinets overall: Poppin White Stow 3-Drawer File Cabinet

Maximize Space And Style

This unique steel office cabinet comes in six charming colors. Amazon

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The Poppin Stow three-drawer unit is one of the best office cabinets overall for its fun and functional design. The office storage cabinets’ exterior is made of a durable powder-coated steel alloy and it features a single lock that secures all its doors at once. The two utility drawers on top are ideal for storing office essentials and odds and ends, while the lower unit is dedicated to securing files and important documents, making this a great all-around choice for most environments.

A locking cabinet will safeguard your sensitive files from prying eyes

Users who want to store sensitive items—including medical records, tax forms, bank documents, and more—will benefit from opting for a locking file cabinet over a standard design. A locking file cabinet can be, well, the key to peace of mind in shared spaces and home offices alike and are very easy to maintain. In fact, most file cabinets come standard with a locking mechanism due to the expectation that files worthy of long-term storage are sensitive in nature, but it’s still good to confirm a model comes with locks if you plan on storing anything private.

A lock is only as good as the quality of its housing, of course, so go for a model that’s constructed from thick and rigid metal to ensure that its casing can withstand impacts and potential prying in the event of a theft attempt. It’s also important to note that many locking cabinet models have only one keyhole that locks multiple drawers at one time, which is a completely effective and normal design feature but doesn’t let you partition your more sensitive items.

Best locking file cabinets: Bisley 2-Drawer Locking File Cabinet

Stylish Security

Available in two-drawer and three-drawer varieties, this locking cabinet nestles nicely under your desk or office table. Amazon

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This Bisley locking file cabinet is made of powder-coated steel with fully welded seams to allow for maximum durability paired with stylish, minimal finishes and colors to satisfy the most discerning tastes. It’s compatible with both US letter and A4 sheets and includes two keys for locking away critical documents with ease. At 27 inches tall, these lockable office cabinets are ideal for stowing under tables and desks in a variety of workspaces.

Home office cabinets can look good

Let’s face it: Some office cabinet can be…ugly. Or just clash with the rest of your decor. If you don’t care, then no worries. But if you do, know that you can find good office storage that also complements your existing furnishings. Some of the most popular and effective designs of home office cabinets are formidable wooden pieces with classic finishes that more closely resemble a chest of drawers than a traditional file cabinet, which can make all the difference in ensuring that your den or home office remains comfortable. Choosing a lateral file cabinet design instead of a traditional vertical model is another way to assist in stylish blending for the home office, as lateral files are usually shallower from front to back and wider, giving them perfect surfaces for placing photo frames, printers, lamps, or other decorative items.

Best home office cabinets: Sauder Clifford Place Lateral File

Timeless Design, Contemporary Features

Featuring individually locked drawers and a built-in anti-tip safety mechanism that allows for one drawer to be opened at a time, this office cabinet can satisfy multiple users. Amazon

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Home office owners with a flair for interior decorating will appreciate the flexible wooden design of this lateral file cabinet from Sauder. It’s made of recyclable materials and finished with a stylish walnut veneer that allows it to blend in naturally in almost any home setup. Each drawer comes with an individual lock, allowing users to selectively secure their files as they please. These unique features combined with its sturdy construction make the Clifford Place one of the best home office cabinets available.

Low on space? Try a two-drawer cabinet

Want to keep clutter at bay but essential items close at hand? A two-drawer file cabinet paired with an office wall cabinet can make your storage dreams come true without depleting all of your free space. The best two-drawer file cabinets sport a high capacity in a relatively small footprint and allow users to compactly stack two independent drawers of hanging files, making them a good choice for home offices of large families or small offices with a high number of paper documents to store. And office wall cabinets are a perfect complement because they won’t take up more floor space while offering the perfect place for supplies. You know how frustrating life can be if you can’t find more staples or Post-it notes? The best office wall cabinets include an open shelf area that allows quick access to commonly used office supplies, as well as a closed cabinet area for larger items.

Best two-drawer file cabinet: Lorell 2-Drawer File Cabinet

Tough and Efficient

Equipped with smooth glide suspension for quick and easy access, this 2-drawer cabinet is compact without being limited. Amazon

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This two-drawer file cabinet from Lorell boasts durable steel construction and a timeless baked enamel finish that allow it to blend into nearly any office setting. It features locking 18-inch-deep drawers with high sides that enable users to pack plenty of files into a small space. This is one of the best two-drawer file cabinets currently available for shoppers who are looking for an auxiliary filing cabinet to add to their existing setup or for users who are working with limited space.

Best office wall cabinet: Seville Classics Open Shelf Wall Cabinet

Space-Saving and Secure

This office wall cabinet’s fingerprint-resistant stainless steel doors make sure you can regularly access documents without needing frequent cleanings. Amazon

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Offices with little to no space to spare can benefit from the significant storage expansion that this open shelf wall cabinet offers. It holds a weight capacity of 350 pounds—more than enough for storing office essentials—and features both an open shelf as well as a two-shelf locking compartment with doors for securing valuable items. The body of the unit is constructed of granite powder-coated steel, making it one of the best office wall cabinets with an understated and professional finish that will blend in nicely with office furniture.

Go with a fireproof file cabinet for extra peace of mind

Do you have burning concerns about your most precious documents? Fires and other potential property-related disasters are an unfortunate part of life, but there are still things you can do to prepare yourself in the event of an unforeseen accident. By protecting valuable documents like birth certificates, Social Security cards, and property deeds from accidental destruction, you’ll be saving yourself a lot of potential headache in the future. Choosing a fireproof cabinet that offers a dedicated safe area in addition to hanging file storage is also a fantastic way to store irreplaceable hard drives and other sensitive items that might otherwise suffer when exposed to high temperatures.

When shopping for the best fireproof file cabinet, keep an eye on the UL fire rating of the product in question. A good place to start for basic document protection is a UL rating of one-hour class 350, which indicates that the cabinet’s internal temperature will remain at or below 350 degrees Fahrenheit for one hour while being subjected to an external temperature of 1700 degrees Fahrenheit. Bear in mind that fireproof designs rely upon the use of very heavy construction to produce substantial protection, so these models are better suited to permanent office installations, often on ground-level concrete floors for secure mounting.

Best fireproof file cabinet: FireKing Fire Resistant File Cabinet

A Force Field for Files

Finished with a tough, scratch-resistant powder coating, this fireproof cabinet offers ease of use and peace of mind. Amazon

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This fireproof file cabinet from FireKing is one of the best office file cabinets to withstand flames, offering a generous one-hour UL rating of 350 paired with free manufacturer replacement after a fire event. It sports recessed handles, a durable cam key lock, and a unique safe disguised as a drawer in the top space for storing all manner of hard drives, CDs, and other office valuables. It’s also only 22 inches deep, so it’s perfect for protecting your files in smaller offices at home and beyond.

Find the best office cabinets on a budget

No office in the world has unlimited space or an unlimited budget, so it’s important to do the most you can with what you have. Office cabinets are a unique class of item that rarely find a secondary purpose, so it’s important to tailor the product and price point to your specific needs. If you just need an extra storage cabinet to supplement your existing space or system, a less expensive option may be all that you need. When searching for the best cheap office storage cabinets, you’ll find that plywood or fiberboard designs are more affordable than metal, which can contribute somewhat to the aesthetic quality of an office cabinet. Sliding drawers are usually not found on the cheap, but it shouldn’t be hard to find a budget office storage cabinet that offers several shelves, as well as a door or other closing mechanism to cut down on the visual clutter of your space.

Best cheap office storage cabinets: ClosetMaid Stackable 1-Door Organizer

Build-It-Yourself Versatility

This modular cabinet option doesn’t have to be limited to the office. Amazon

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The ClosetMaid Stackable organizer is designed to work in tandem with other cabinets of the same system to create a whole storage system. This unit is one of the best cheap office storage cabinets available due to its sturdy manufactured wood construction and flexible layout of three internal shelves. Its door can be shifted from left to right depending on the needs of your particular office and it measures in at a very compact 12 inches deep and 31 inches high, making it a unique piece that’s fit for use in small spaces.

Office file cabinets FAQ: people also ask

How to choose an office cabinet?

The best office cabinets and flexible, with three compartments that together offer file management and storage for small office supplies. This design will fare well in the majority of office situations, but users who have more paperwork should consider a two-drawer unit dedicated for files, while users who need more storage for small items may fare better with an office wall cabinet.

Which holds more, lateral or vertical file cabinets?

Lateral file cabinets hold more paperwork and are generally less deep than vertical files. While vertical file cabinets store documents front-to-back, lateral file cabinets store files from side to side, which allows manufacturers to max out document storage capacity in a shallower footprint.

What can I use instead of a filing cabinet?

There’s really no functional or convenient alternative to a traditional filing cabinet for proper document storage and office organization. That being said, it’s possible to use a basic storage cabinet or even a bookshelf for temporary document storage if paperwork is contained within binders or folders; just don’t expect to have quick on-demand access to your files.

Related: Want better posture? Try a kneeling chair for your home office

A final word on shopping for the best office cabinets

The best office cabinets protect significant documents and important supplies while offering users quick access to what they need. Both lockable file cabinets and fireproof file cabinets offer an elevated level of protection, while two-drawer file cabinets and office wall cabinets are perfect for saving space. Whether you’re shopping for a cheap office cabinet or stately home office furniture, there are best office cabinets for every perfectly organized and outfitted setting.