Best Bakers Rack of 2020
The AmazonBasics Kitchen Storage Rack is a classic, timeless option to add storage to any space. This versatile piece can perform from the kitchen to the garage and is durable enough to hold up to a lifetime of different applications. The simple design is recognizable and adds a tasteful industrial utility to a kitchen. Long favored in commercial spaces, the chrome finish adds brightness while also being extremely durable. While many racks require at least one if not multiple tools to assemble them, the AmazonBasics Kitchen Storage Rack is a quick no-tools necessary assembly. In our testing, this was the fastest rack we put together. The shelves are adjustable, which allows you to tailor the spacing specific to your needs, and they are so strong that we had no concerns with even the heaviest appliances. The real wood top was a welcome change from the laminate surfaces on almost all our other racks.
While the AmazonBasics Rack achieves remarkable strength in its metal shelving, it certainly prefers large item storage. Smaller items have trouble sitting flat on the wire shelving, and a plastic shelf cover (ordered separately) may be a nice addition for many people. The chrome finish is attractive, but its bold look may clash with some interiors. And although the assembly was uniquely fast, lining up the shelf supports can require some patience. Luckily, double stripes on the chrome uprights help with alignment.
The Vasagle Alinru is a clean and modern bakers rack that will blend in with almost any kitchen space. We tested multiple racks in the three and four tier category, and the Alinru excelled in material quality and design. The wood laminate shelves and the black metal framing are an understated semi-gloss finish that helps the rack blend into the room. The thin square tubing with its overhead accents on the upper-level shelf adds a modern touch to a utilitarian unit. The wire basket has sidewalls to keep items from escaping, and hooks allow for accessory racking on the outside of the frame. Metal nut inserts into the counter surface added confidence that the Alinru could be lifted by its main shelf without fear of coming apart.
While few racks are as straightforward to assemble as the AmazonBasics rack, the Alinru was a contender for the most hardware for assembly. Be patient as the parts can be easy to mix up even though they are all labeled. The top shelf "spice rack" could interfere with built-in cabinetry or hanging artwork because of its extra height. It's not a required item, and the Alinru can be built up without it easily. Move spaces, and you can always add it back on.
The Bestier 4-Tier is a standout compact option for those looking to add counter and storage space in well-loved but compact kitchens. We were taken aback by the outstanding materials and hardware of the Bestier. Where most racks utilize a sliding (no wheel) basket for pull-out storage, the Bestier incorporates a full span roller shelf to increase the modular utility of the unit. Place a large item on the shelf and gain easy top-down access by sliding the shelf out. Further customization is possible as the rack arrives with the option of feet or rollers. Hold onto both and change them out down the road if needed. The Bestier is a well-made bakers rack in a compact footprint.
The time the designers put into the utility and material quality of the Bestier didn't look like it left a lot of energy for design flourishes. Utilitarian best describes the visual style of the rack. Simple high contrast black frame and light laminate wood grain could be at home in kitchens or offices. It's not the most exciting looking rack, but its vanilla visual performance also makes it an aesthetically versatile piece. The biggest concern with the Bestier is the fine motor skills needed for assembly. Of all the racks we built, this one required the smallest screws in building up the roller shelf.
The Soges 3-Tier Kitchen Rack is a great option for the open storage of glass and dishware. The understated but dark wood laminate against the white frame looks great with glass and ceramics. Small but noticeable highlights like the chrome finish feet make this a surprisingly attractive piece to add to any kitchen. We enjoyed using the sliding wire shelf as silverware storage and found that an aftermarket silverware tray fit perfectly. The laminate shelving is durable and resists scratching, and will hold up well to everyday use.
What the Soges achieves from a distance didn't hold up to close inspection as well as some other racks we tested. If you are very detail-oriented, you may not like the sloppy plastic work on the chrome feet or the thin weight of the wire shelf. The hardware was also a bit lower quality than competing racks, and the silver hex head bolts were thin and particularly prone to stripping if not installed carefully. The Soges is a simple and tasteful addition to most kitchens and will likely handle daily abuse but is better suited to small object storage.
The Vasagle Industrial impressed us with its quality finishes and excellent hardware. It's the small things that count, and the robust feet included with the Vasagle were an indication of the overall quality of the piece. The wide framing makes a bold statement in profile and narrows neatly when viewed straight on. The powder coat black is a pleasant visual and tactile finish. The wire shelf has backstops on the slider rails that keep you from marring the wall surface behind your rack. The three tier option is a great design overall and will fit on short divider walls between kitchens and dining rooms, or as end storage to a center island, or in pantries lacking existing shelving.
The additional stability does come at a slightly higher visual impact. While many other racks have a square tubing frame system, the Vasagle opts for a larger rectangular frame. This bulks up the rigidity but makes the unit look heavier. Depending on your space, you may prefer the more substantial look or a thinner option. The finish on the laminate was a touch overdone for our tastes. A simpler wood grain graphic would have been a more understated overall result. Aesthetic preferences aside, the Vasagle will stand up to the most arduous daily use.
The Homfa 5-Tier Free Standing is one of the most versatile units we tested in the bakers rack category. Equally at home in the kitchen, living room, bedroom, or bathroom, the Homfa tilts away from pure utility and towards accent piece. Simple yet elegant, we were impressed by the visual impact of adding the Homfa to a space. The tall narrow profile increases the perceived height of a space and makes use of otherwise difficult to incorporate areas. In corners or as an end piece to existing furniture, the Homfa will surprise you with its transformative ability. Shelves are light, and the entire unit was straightforward to assemble. There are no tight spaces to access, and the hardware was good enough to inspire confidence.
The unique size of the Homfa can present challenges in some spaces. As an acknowledgment of the tipping potential, the unit arrives with a wall anchor that can be installed to prevent an accident. The middle bracket that connects the vertical framing can be a little finicky to assemble and requires two hands-on for a successful build. The adjustable feet will allow some leveling, but the Homfa is best suited to hard flat surfaces. The ladder-like side frame may beg to be climbed by young children, so take proper precautions to anchor the top.
The Seville Classics Rack was one of the sturdiest racks we tested, beating out even the AmazonBasics rack. A heavier gauge metal-inspired even more confidence than that competitor. It was one of the easiest racks to assemble, coming in just under 15 minutes in our test. No tools are necessary, and the two lower shelf heights remain adjustable even after the initial build. The hanging rack is dramatically stronger than other racks and was one of two racks on which we were willing to hang heavy items like cast iron skillets. If your kitchen is awkwardly hiding heavy-duty appliances in tight cupboards, the Seville rack is an excellent option.
The primary reason Seville lost out to the AmazonBasics was the quality and placement of the wooden countertop. The Seville claims a butcher block wood top while it delivers a wooden top with a heavy synthetic varnish. It's a durable and attractive surface, but we wouldn't want to cut directly on it. The counter height was a touch low for our testers at 33.25 inches of the ground. Seville states that the wooden top can be flipped over for two top styles, but the underside is disappointingly rough and unfinished.
Mr. Ironstone 3-Tier is an ultra-compact three-tier option on wheels. With a low overall height, 28.75 inches, the Ironstone 3-Tier could be an excellent option for those who want under counter storage with the possibility of additional counter space when necessary. Wheel it out while preparing a meal, and wheel it back into its resting place to reduce clutter. The small footprint achieves stability easily, and we had no complaints with any of the included hardware. It's a simple design that will fade into the background easily and accomplish its humble goal of adding quick, compact storage.
A few design upgrades could have made the Ironstone a more versatile unit. It's not symmetrical, with rounded front corners and 90 degree back edges; this is a small detail, but one that made the Ironstone feel out of place when it wasn't pushed up to a wall. It also made it feel strange as an island unit. The Ironstone comes only with wheels, unlike the Bestier that ships with wheels and leveling feet. Although there were no immediate concerns with the wheels from a durability standpoint, they are not the highest quality materials. The most considerable concern for us when reviewing the Ironstone was the very low top counter height. We mentioned that this feature makes it a viable under-counter option, but it also makes it a less enjoyable surface for chopping and everyday use.
For another great three-tier option, the Mr. Ironstone 3-Tier + 3-Tier bakers rack is an excellent choice. Similar to the Vasagle Industrial, the Ironstone has a simple but attractive offset three shelf design with an integrated wire rack. The wood laminate is a nice warm tint without too much red that it becomes distracting. The black framing is narrow square tubing that provides adequate stability with a casual look. The feet are easy to level, and the Ironstone excels in various spaces and on a variety of surfaces.
We had little to complain about in our testing of the Ironstone. Assembly was long and relatively complex, but no more so than similar competing units. The wire shelf has widely spaced bars that may not support small items. We found dish towels to be the perfect item to store there. We would have preferred metal insert nuts to screw the top counter to the frame, but the item we tested had plastic inserts.
The Rolanstar Utility Shelf transforms the tried and true bakers rack formula into a distressed vintage aesthetic. Curved framing softens the racks typically angular presence into an older style. Brushed dual-tone paint on the black framing creates a patina reminiscent of subtle rusted iron. The laminate uses a pronounced textured grain to further the weathered feel. Where most racks use individual hooks, the Rolanstar comes with a group of hooks pre-fixed to a hanging rack. It's a cleaner and better application of hooks if that is a feature you are interested in.
The antique aesthetic of the Rolanstar may not be for everyone; if you are looking for a whimsical bakers rack, it might be a good choice. We were disappointed to have a broken weld point on the wire basket. The basket still functioned decently, but the failure was indicative of the minimal construction quality. Our testers were preferential to the more basic modern style racks, but in its style, the Rolanstar was our favorite tested rack.
Bright colors and round styling characterize the Mr. Ironstone 3-Tier + 4-Tier. Ample storage is available in the offset three shelf design plus overhead spice rack. The overhead rack leaves some counter space uncovered to allow for larger items. The high arches on the overhead rack were tall enough that we could stand books without them tipping over the supports. In the wide rack class, this Ironstone was a remarkably stable unit. The wire basket has four sidewalls to keep items enclosed, and the spacing on the wire cage allowed for happy storage of fruits and other medium size items.
The wood laminate of the Ironstone was a bit over the top for our testers. The high contrast grain looked passable from a distance, but up close it made the rack feel tacky. The high gloss white frame was durable and strong but not the most attractive finish as well. The hardware was noticeably softer than competing racks and required care during assembly to avoid stripping the hex heads. The Ironstone would be a bright piece for any kitchen.
Why You Should Trust Us
Organization is a hobby of Eric Bissell, our lead tester on this review. Eric has lived in a variety of spaces each with its unique challenge of maximizing efficiency and enjoyment. At home in Eric is always looking for ways to improve the utility and design of a space.
To cut through the countless bakers rack options on the internet, we researched dozens of the most popular racks available. From there, we narrowed our selection to 11 of the best contenders. We then assembled them just as you would and put them through side by side testing in the kitchen.
Analysis and Test Results
From the moment the racks arrived at our test kitchen, we started assessing how they stood up to one another. We wanted to capture the entire experience of finding the best bakers racks, from the assembly, to raw material quality, to aesthetics, to accessories, to stability. Considering each rack via these five criteria allowed us to narrow in on the best various for a variety of uses.
Because bakers racks don't arrive pre-built (far from it), we wanted to test the process of transforming the flat-shipped item into its final product. Bakers racks are not the most straightforward item to order online. All told, we spent 311 minutes and 40 seconds assembling bakers racks for this review. The average rack took 28 minutes, and 20 seconds, the quickest rack was the AmazonBasics Kitchen Storage Rack at 13 minutes and three seconds, with the Seville Classics Rack a close runner up. These two were standouts also because they didn't require any tools for assembly.
From no tools to multiple tools, the longest rack assembly time was the Mr. Ironstone 3-Tier + 3-Tier. Most racks in this style were of comparable difficulty, but the Ironstone 3-Tier had a few tricky moments attaching the drawer rails with the provided tiny screwdriver. Overall, we learned that you'd be better off having a few hex keys and a nice screwdriver on hand for a more enjoyable assembly experience. We wanted to get the full experience for the test though, so we used the provided tools. Another standout tricky assembly was the Bestier 4-Tier rack. Although it had some of the nicest materials, the Bestier required the most delicate motor skills getting some tiny screws to set in wood for the roller shelf rail.
Although there were broad similarities to the material quality of most racks, some racks put more effort into sourcing better quality materials to construct their product and improve the assembly. Standouts items were again the Seville Classics Rack and the AmazonBasics Kitchen Storage Rack for using durable chrome-plated steel framing and real wood countertops. In the wooden shelf style racks, the Bestier 4-Tier impressed our testers as soon as we opened the box with heavier gauge metal framing and roller wheels on the sliding shelf. Another standout was the Vasagle Industrial, a unit with one of our favorite powder coat matte black finishes. The Vasagle also used metal insert nuts for attaching the countertop to the frame, where some units used plastic inserts on the countertop.
A bakers rack that didn't impress us with its material quality was the Mr. Ironstone 3-Tier + 4-Tier. The high gloss white finish felt tacky, and the graphic print for the wood laminate was too high contrast to replicate real wood grain. Another rack that seemed to cut corners with its materials was the Soges 3-Tier Kitchen Rack. The shelves were very thin, and the chrome-colored feet were rough plastic fakes. In the end, we enjoyed the aesthetic of the chrome feet more than expected and only wished they could have sourced the real deal for their product.
In testing and comparing aesthetics of the top 11 bakers racks, we considered the racks' achievement of their intended style as well as their versatility in a variety of interior designs. Although aesthetics can be subjective, we felt some brought joy to our testers for their design considerations while other racks excelled in other categories. The ability to reference a timeless design allowed the AmazonBasics Kitchen Storage Rack to be a standout visual addition to any kitchen. Its chrome finish can complement modern spaces and add contrast to rustic spaces. A sneak performer was the Homfa 5-Tier Free Standing, which we praised for its balanced proportions and ability to elevate a variety of backgrounds. For displaying heirloom objects, the Homfa is an excellent choice. For a more traditional look, we commend the Rolanstar Utility Shelf for its patina finish and softer curves.
Some racks were not as visually pleasing and were best suited to a pantry closet. Mr. Ironstone 3-Tier didn't make a positive visual statement and loudly proclaimed utility over beauty. We found the red tint of its wood laminate to be a bit off-putting as well. Another rack that disappointed testers in its aesthetic was the Mr. Ironstone 3-Tier + 4-Tier. In the kitchen, its materials appeared tacky. We did think that as a storage unit in a kid's room or garage, it would look quite nice.
Each bakers rack in our testing provided a few accessory options. Almost all models provided some sort of hanging hook option, and many included a wire shelf or basket. All the racks included feet that could be adjusted for quick leveling or rolling wheels. The Bestier 4-Tier was the only model that came with both feet and wheels and overall spared no expense on its accessory items. The Bestier's roller shelf (the only rack to include such a feature) could be a fantastic feature in the right use. The Rolanstar Utility Shelf had hooks like most other designs, but in a nice alternative, the hooks are fixed to a hanging frame as a unit. The individual hooks on the other designs are useful but somewhat cheaply designed and fall off their hanging bars easily.
The Soges 3-Tier Kitchen Rack feels like the hooks were a major oversight. The wire shelf on the Soges is also thin and insubstantial but worked well when we included a silverware drawer on top of the rack. One obvious low performer in the accessory metric was the Homfa 5-Tier Free Standing because it didn't come with any accessories. It did, however, include a wall anchor to prevent tipping.
We tested each bakers rack for its loaded and unloaded stability as well as evaluating its joint stability during assembly. In testing, the Seville Classics Rack is one of the strongest options available with a stated 350 pound distributed weight capacity. It and the AmazonBasics Kitchen Storage Rack were the only racks we trusted to hang heavy pots and pans from. The Vasagle Industrial was a sturdy and stable option within the shelving style bakers rack. Sturdy feet inspired confidence, and we trusted the Vasagle would last a long time. A surprise result was how well the Mr. Ironstone 3-Tier + 4-Tier performed for stability; it was one of the most stable wide 4-tier racks.
In general, feet were more stable than rolling wheels in our analysis. The Mr. Ironstone 3-Tier wheels were nice as an accessory but lacked the stability of leveling feet. It also has thin wood with a wide span that should be a consideration for large heavy objects. Many racks had a little racking (side to side motion) when push tested. The Rolanstar Utility Shelf was especially noticeable. In general, though, most racks were plenty stable for everyday use.
After building enough bakers rack to make our hands sore, we tested them in various uses and with consideration to a range of kitchen appliances. All of these racks added space and organization to our test kitchen. Some provided additional counter space, while some excelled at storage capacity. For a quick and relatively easy upgrade to any kitchen — or living room or bedroom — don't be fooled into thinking bakers racks are just for bakers.
— Eric Bissell