The 12 Best Freestanding Bookshelves are the Epitome of Easy Elegance — No Wall Mount Needed!

Freestanding bookshelves support themselves, making installation and design a total breeze. Totally attainable elegance!

a collection of large bookshelves on a colorful background
(Image credit: Burke Decor, ABC Carpet & Home, Wayfair, Design Within Reach)

It's possible the phrase 'freestanding bookshelves' is a bit redundant — when you think of a bookshelf or a bookcase, your mind probably conjures up a freestanding unit automatically, whether or not 'freestanding' was initially included. 

But it is an important distinction; as anyone following my best bookshelves odyssey would know, there are quite a few different styles out there, from ladder to wall-mounted to yes, even freestanding, and they should all be considered individually, as they add different values to a space.

Today, we're focused entirely on freestanding bookshelves — those that sit on the floor and support themselves (though you might consider securing some of them to the wall so they don't fall over). This might be my favorite edit I've done so far so you don't want to miss this!

12 of the best freestanding bookshelves

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For more bookshelf fun, do yourself a favor and check out my round-ups of the best red bookshelves, green bookshelves, large bookshelves, mid-century modern bookcases, and hanging wall bookshelves.

How should I secure a freestanding bookshelf?

As I mentioned above, securing your bookshelf to the wall might be a good idea, especially if you're living in a house with small animals or young kids. To do so, Docia Boylen, owner of Handyman Connection of Golden, recommends using an 'anti-tip furniture kit since it is the most secure for safety.' They are often included with tall/large pieces of furniture. 'Generally they are brackets that you attach with screws to the wall and then the furniture,' she told me: 'You will need a ladder and a pencil to mark the areas to ensure you install them correctly.'

If you're securing the bookshelf more for aesthetic purposes or 'just-in-case' (i.e. there is no real safety risk to animals or kids), 'you can use glue or adhesive strips' rather than screws, Docia advised. 'Just know that this will not hold it up if [its] weight is trying to pull it down.' 

Style Editor

Brigid Kennedy is a Style Editor at, where she is responsible for obsessively combing the internet for the best and most stylish deals on home decor and more. She was previously a story editor at, where she covered both U.S. politics and culture. She describes her design style as colorful and clean, and in her free time enjoys reading, watching movies, and curating impossibly niche playlists on Spotify. She lives in New York.