9 best magazine racks: Keep your to-read literature together

Rachel Ogden
·11-min read
<p>Marie Kondo your space with one of these</p> (The Independent)

Marie Kondo your space with one of these

(The Independent)

Given our spiralling screen time, you might have thought the magazine rack was headed the same way as the typewriter and VHS tapes. But after a day of video calls and emails, there’s something inherently soothing about curling up with the printed page.

Since many of us used the daily commute to read, and might not have that chunk of time with any regularity, it’s even more important now to carve out a space at home to unwind.

That’s where a well-designed magazine rack comes in. The best are easy to carry around, so you can pop it next to one of your favourite spots – a breakfast bar, sinkably soft armchair or cosy window seat – and help keep your reading matter in check, so you can see at a glance what’s in store.

Of course, there’s no need to confine your rack to magazines – they’re just as handy for unwieldy coffee table books, newspapers, engrossing novels and even brochures.

We’ve selected the magazine racks below, rating them for portability and storage capacity as well as style (because storage should be as appealing as the contents). The magazines we stacked in them consisted of a couple of bulky special editions as well as regular magazines and were a range of sizes – all magazine capacities stated below are approximate and based on this. Our edit comprises a range of designs so you can find the perfect fit for your space, big or small.

You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections. This revenue helps us to fund journalism across The Independent.

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Retreat wicker magazine rack

While some racks fill up easily or struggle to accommodate a variety of publications, this wide wonder swallows them easily while remaining sturdy. We were able to fit eight of our stack of magazines in before they started to become too uneven and there was still a good chunk of space left for books.

It’s a fairly lightweight rack (around 1.2kg) when not filled, so you can pop it wherever it’s most useful, and it’s not too bulky, so won’t take up a lot of space. One niggle was that the legs of our sample were slightly different lengths so it rocked a little when it was empty and set on a hard floor. This wouldn’t be an issue on carpet or when it’s filled but it’s worth noting that there can be some variation.

Where Amara’s magazine rack really scores highly is in the style stakes. Made from on-trend woven cane on a black iron wirework base, it looks just as good in a modern lounge as it would a Scandi-style bedroom. Surprisingly, it’s one of our more affordable picks, proving that you don’t need to splash the cash for tasteful magazine storage.

Buy now £40.00, Amara

Ferm Living magazine stand

If you’re short on space, you’ll love the versatility of this sling-style rack. When it’s not full of magazines, it simply folds up, deckchair-style, so it can tuck behind furniture or on top of cupboards. The other plus is that the cotton canvas sling has brass press-studs, so it can completely detach for a wipe down should it get a bit grubby. Its powder-coated black metal frame means it’s heavier than some to move around – around 2.2kg empty – but on the plus side, this gives it excellent stability. Nine magazines fitted in happily before the stack started to curve, and there was still some space for smaller publications.

What’s especially noticeable is that the design of this rack is simple and thus repairable over time. The frame is held together with nuts and bolts rather than a hinge, and the leather laces thread through and tie in place, meaning that even if they stretch with use, they’re easily replaceable. So while it’s pricier than some, think of this rack as more of an investment piece that you’ll be using for many years to come.

Buy now £90.00, Kagu Interiors

Apollo Housewares wooden magazine rack

While the classic styling of Apollo’s solid rubberwood rack and its pocket-friendly price might seem alluring, there’s some flatpack DIY involved to get it up and running. Its assembly consists of screws, wooden dowels and diagram instructions that required two people to put it together – we spent around half an hour assembling it before it was ready for use. What also lets the rack down is a thin laminated plywood base that could start to bend over time and doesn’t match the rubberwood frame.

However, once made, it was a decent-sized robust rack featuring a central carry handle to move it around and a shallow shelf at the top that’s ideal for remote controls or a glasses case. It fitted 15 magazines inside, handily split by a divider in the centre to help keep them upright. By itself, it’s pretty weighty at around 3kg, though, so this is one you might only be moving around when you absolutely need to. A+ for the price point but F for the effort of assembling it.

Buy now £28.20, Amazon

Mesh magazine rack

Turn your magazine mess into magazine mesh with this curvy lightweight rack. It weighs less than a kilo, so it’s easy to move around your home, although this does also mean it’s easily knocked over when not full of magazines. Much like the Amara rack reviewed above, this rocked a little on a hard floor when empty. However, we liked that it had rubber feet to prevent any scratches to a floor and that the mesh body allows you to see which titles you have at a glance.

We managed to fit in eight magazines comfortably with room for a few newspapers next to them. However, the curved base tended to make the magazines bend and flop when it wasn’t full. The mesh goes some way to keeping them in place but pulling out the title you want, without the others bending, is a challenge. Bugbears aside, this is an affordable stylish piece that’s perfect for adding a subtle industrial feel to any room.

Buy now £36.00, Heavenly Homes and Gardens

Williston Forge Larrison magazine rack

A wall-mounted rack is a smart move when floor space is in short supply and this metal wirework design is a great example. There are twin loops at the top, rather than fiddly screw holes, so you can hang it any way you want, and it’s one of the lightest magazine racks in our round-up at just 600g, so you won’t need to bolt it to the wall. Another plus is its wavy wirework and gold ombre finish that make it feel less utilitarian and more of a stylish storage solution.

Unlike some floor-dwelling racks, there are two distinct sections so you can keep track of your reading material. That said, the bottom section would benefit from a bit more vertical space – we couldn’t fit in some of our taller titles, only a maximum of 28.5cm fitted in comfortably. Each slot accommodated seven of our magazines without squashing. The final reason to choose this rack? It lends itself equally well to a home office for housing paperwork and notebooks.

Buy now £31.99, Wayfair

Black Cat magazine rack

While this black metal prowling cat is more of a novelty item (Red Candy also offers a campervan version for those who long for the open road), it’s still quite a practical buy. Its smaller size (21cm tall) means it can fit neatly on a shelf or in a compact space to keep your magazines organised, while its flat base makes it surprisingly sturdy. There are even rubber studs on the bottom to prevent shelf or floor damage from the metal, and it’s not too heavy at around 1.1kg. You will need to fill it to prevent magazines from bending too much but it can fit in 10 magazines without issue.

Given the affordable price point, there’s little to dislike about this functional feline. It’s not as portable as some in our selection – there’s no handle or clear way to grasp it other than from the base – plus the finish on our sample had a slight sharp edge on one side of the cat’s head – but that’s about it. Dogs might have traditionally brought you the newspaper but it takes a cat to keep your magazines tidy.

Buy now £30.00, Red Candy

Life of Riley curved leather storage basket

You’ll never be stuck for something to read again if you add this capacious leather basket to your living room. We were able to fit in 20 magazines, with the added bonus that they could stand upright without making the basket unstable, so they could be flicked through. The basket is wide enough for magazines to lay down on their side too or for other items to be stored, such as newspapers or even your heaviest hardbacks. On the outside, it’s just as impressive – double rows of stitching and multiple layers of leather give it a classic look, good rigidity and a feeling of longevity.

A flat base makes sure it’s sturdy no matter what it’s storing while another feature is cut out handles. They’re too distant from each other to carry the basket with one hand but make it easier to move it around. The basket itself is fairly light considering its construction and weighs about 1kg. Despite the pluses, it’s pretty pricey for something that holds periodicals – no wonder then that it’s available with a personalised luggage tag, making it an ideal gift or wedding present.

Buy now £149.00, Life of Riley

Faux shagreen magazine/newspaper box in taupe

Meet the luxurious option for storing your reading matter. Oka’s magazine box is made from solid wood with a walnut trim at the top, while the exterior is textured to resemble faux shagreen (a type of rawhide leather). It’s incredibly roomy inside, although not quite wide enough to accommodate two stacks of magazines side by side. We fitted 10 magazines on one side and slotted in six narrower titles next door before pages started to curl. Another feature we liked was the velvet on the base, so if it’s moved on a hard floor, it won’t leave a mark.

Due to its construction, this was the heaviest rack in our selection, weighing an approx. 3.3kg. On the plus side, it didn’t tip over easily, even when empty, while built-in handles at either end allow you to move it from room to room. What this rack also has going for it is that it’s part of a range in the same finish. So you can create a coordinated look with tissue box holders, a wastepaper bin, sideboard, dressing table, or even a loo roll holder – should your magazines be destined to live in the smallest room of the house.

Buy now £275.00, Oka

Collard Manson rattan magazine basket

For those with lots of magazines they’d like to keep at hand, look no further than this rattan basket. We were able to stack 45 magazines in it as a pile with plenty of space either side. So far, so capacious. However, the design means that you can’t select one magazine without disturbing the whole stack, plus there’s nothing to stop the pile from slipping around and titles tumbling out. In which case, the basket is probably better for a neat stack of 15 magazines, with other items tucked in at the side.

In terms of carrying the basket around, it’s bulky but manageable at 1.5kg, plus the handle at the top is sturdy. Its rounded design means it rocks from side to side slightly, especially on a hard floor, and it’s also a bit of a space hog, taking up a decent area of floor area. What we did like about it was that it’s made from natural materials, so would look great in any room, and that it’s incredibly versatile. When not needed for magazines, this multifunctional piece could double as a log basket, shoe storage or as a home for cosy cushions and throws.

£79.00, Not On The High Street

The verdict: Magazine racks

Amara’s smart yet simple rack wins for its combination of price and style, but if you’re looking to spend a bit more, the Ferm Living sling design at Kagu Interiors is sure to be a forever piece in your home. We were also impressed by Life of Riley’s leather basket – expensive but overflowing with country house charm.