This DIY-Friendly Storage Unit (for Less Than $200) Tops Our List of Best TV Stands
Forget media consoles of the past.
Updated Jun 13, 2023 10:41 AM
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These days, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a television out in the open in a well-designed living room. Since these big, blank screens are often labeled as awkward eyesores, we’ve seen plenty of designers try to hide them among a gallery wall (or even disguised as a work of art, thanks to the Samsung Frame TV) and DIYers go to crazily creative lengths to keep the electronic from view. (Case in point: this hack, hanging a rug with a curtain rod.) In most homes, however, TVs are naturally the center of attention, and if your wall isn’t sturdy enough to take on a mounting anchor, this piece of technology needs to go somewhere—and that’s often atop a media console.
But the best TV stands don’t have to look like one at all. Our favorites could easily be mistaken for a credenza (or they literally are credenzas) or DIYed to feel more personal. If you’re on the lookout for a piece of furniture that doubles as storage but can also serve as the source of your weekday news and Netflix watch, we rounded up nine options so stylish you won’t mind having your TV on display 24-7.
- The one your wallet will love: Studio McGee Thousand Oaks TV Stand
- The one that plays well with minimalism: Hay New Order Media Unit
- The one that doubles as a credenza: CB2 Truffle White Credenza
- The one for traditional living rooms: Sauder Harvey Park Credenza
- The one you can DIY: IKEA Besta Unit
- The one to hide all your stuff: Lulu and Georgia Kyra Media Console
- The one for your first apartment: Mustard The Lowdown
- The one with a small footprint: Blu Dot Dang Media Stand
- The one for a pop of color: Room & Board Slim Media Console
The One Your Wallet Will Love: Studio McGee Thousand Oaks TV Stand
Dimensions: 30-by-70-by-15.5 inches | Weight capacity: Up to 50 pounds | Materials: Wood veneer, metal hardware
What we like:
- Designed with all kinds of media in mind
- Forest Stewardship Council certified
- Material susceptible to warping
Why we chose it: A high-end, scalloped wood design for less than $500.
For a budget-friendly style, we love this lightly stained wood option designed by Studio McGee in collaboration with Target’s Threshold brand. A ribbed pattern elevates the standard door fronts, providing a textural touch to a living space and offering a moment of contrast for the smooth TV screen that will perch above. But the best part? There are four different drawers—two of which offer extra shelving—to store everything from a gaming console to your Roku player. A cord-management system also keeps your electronic accessories from going haywire, bringing a moment of organized calm—a signature of Studio McGee’s laid-back look.
The One That Plays Well With Minimalism: Hay New Order Media Unit
Dimensions: 29-by-79-by-13.5 inches | Weight capacity: Likely up to 60 pounds | Material: Powder-coated aluminum
What we like:
- Grommet holes for both lower shelves
- Industrial, minimalist design
- Arrives fully assembled
- Can take up to 9 weeks to ship
Why we chose it: Sleek and slim.
Looking for a modular TV stand? Leave it to Hay. Imagined by Germany-based designer Stefan Diez, the New Order media console provides the best of both worlds with open and closed shelves. The latter offer a streamlined solution for hiding routers, cable boxes, and more while still allowing each to be easily accessible. In line with the minimalist theme, a lack of hardware makes this unit incredibly unassuming, blending into the background rather than commanding attention. Plus it comes in industrial colorways like charcoal and light gray.
The One That Doubles as a Credenza: CB2 Truffle White Credenza
Dimensions: 59.5-by-16.5-by-29 inches | Weight capacity: Up to 50 pounds | Material: Engineered wood
What we like:
- Adjustable shelves
- Lacquer finish
- Cord cutouts
- Sometimes on back order
Why we chose it: A high-gloss, sculptural standout.
Fluted furniture is everything. It’s been a trendy treatment for kitchen cabinets and range hoods, as well as DIYed plaster walls and entryway dressers. So it’s no surprise it looks great on a TV stand. But this one is different—see the rounded edges, a dipped top, sturdy bottom, and doors that open wide (revealing space large enough to house more than just a game console). Designed by Barcelona-based Mermelada Estudio, this credenza was made to be a statement maker, but it’s also incredibly practical thanks to adjustable shelves and cord cutouts. And it can easily take on the role of a dining room buffet down the road.
The One for Rustic Living Rooms: Sauder Harvey Park Credenza
Dimensions: 20.56-by-78.75-by-6.63 inches | Weight capacity: Up to 95 pounds | Material: Laminate
What we like:
- Fast shipping
- Modern twist on rustic decor
- Large size
- Can be confusing to assemble (and arrives in more than 1 box)
Why we chose it: Beautifully boxy.
With its dark walnut finish and straight lines, this traditional TV stand gets a classic twist. If you’re someone who prefers a big screen, even at home, this larger unit is a good fit for electronics 70 inches wide. The drawers, which feature slatted fronts and minimalistic pulls, are deep enough to house all sorts of wares (we’d say a DVD collection, but are those even a thing anymore?). Instead we see the wide-open shelves above being great for coffee-table books or candle collection spillover. Plus you can’t beat that budget-friendly price point.
The One You Can DIY: IKEA Besta Unit
Dimensions: 47-by-16.5-by-15 inches | Weight capacity: Up to 44 pounds | Materials: Particleboard, fiberboard
What we like:
- Affordable price point
- Tons of configuration options
- Might require the use of some professional tools
Why we chose it: A blank canvas primed to be bespoke.
Both designers Crystal Sinclair and Danielle Fennoy, founder of Revamp Interior Design, are fans of floating cabinets as TV stands. “I love a floating console. It becomes more sculptural than something just sitting in the middle of the space. Besta units can be left as is or dressed up—put a slab of marble on top or change out the drawer fronts or go with fun, bold pulls,” advises Sinclair, which she did with a scrap countertop in this Brooklyn brownstone. In fact, the Besta cabinet is often used for IKEA DIYs; it can be painted, elongated, or given legs. (P.S. Our style editor, Julia Stevens, did something similar with the Ivar cabinet.) According to Fennoy, this option is also great when space is tight. “The extra room between the console and the floor allows for a clear look,” she explains.
The One to Hide All Your Stuff: Lulu and Georgia Kyra Media Console
Dimensions: 84-by-18-by-28 inches | Weight capacity: N/A | Materials: Solid wood
What we like:
- Quality natural materials
- 6 doors with 3 shelves
- Media cutouts
- Preorder only; ships in 2 to 3 weeks
Why we chose it: An extra-long shelving unit designed with TVs in mind.
There’s plenty of room atop this 84-inch-long media console for a TV and then some. You can stack books or elegantly place a collection of vases. Underneath, fit all the goods you don’t want on display with the three shelves behind six cabinet doors, accessible via brass knobs. Contrasting finishes of acacia and parawood provide a statement maker for your living room, drawing attention away from the tech. And while it is pricey—nearly $2,000—it’s made from solid wood and is one of the largest offerings on our list. Plus shoppers are obsessed. “So well made and heavy. The color is beautiful and would complement almost any other wood furniture,” one reviewer comments. “The cabinets offer a lot of storage space with cutouts for media cables and soft-close doors.” Another simply summarizes: “It is beautiful.”
The One for Your First Apartment: Mustard The Lowdown
Dimensions: 28.3-by-39.4-by-15.7 inches | Weight capacity: Up to 60 pounds | Material: Metal
What we like:
- Ships flat
- Affordably priced
- 10 colors to choose from
- Comes with hooks for hanging items inside
- Doors are lockable (don’t lose the key!)
Why we chose it: Enjoy secret storage features behind its locker doors.
Let’s get this out of the way—the Lowdown is cute. It wins nostalgia points for elevating the middle school locker look with an industrial chic color palette that ranges from superbold to subdued pastels. And sure, you can close the doors on clutter with this console option, but if you want to take your organization game up a notch (and avoid repeating a jammed locker situation from loose binders and papers of the tween years), there’s an answer for that, too. Inside you’ll find adjustable shelves (that can be broken down into two parts), a couple of hooks, wall attachment points, and a cable hole. We also recommend adding the matching wire baskets to your cart before checking out. They’ll become the perfect place to hide all your miscellaneous wares—better than you ever did in the dorms—and they are light enough to bring with you to the next place on moving day.
The One With a Small Footprint: Blu Dot Dang Media Stand
Dimensions: 42-by-20-by-30 inches | Weight capacity: Likely up to 30 pounds | Material: Powder-coated steel and brass
What we like:
- Compact design
- Fun finishes: marine blue, navy green, risk-averse gray, white
- Cord management escapes
- Fixed shelves
- Ships fully assembled
Why we chose it: With a depth matched to its height, this stand is designed to squeeze in.
If you live in a studio apartment, you probably barely have room for a dresser let alone a media console. But if you’re tired of curling up with your laptop on the couch to stream Love Island, you’ll want to invest in a TV stand that won’t soak up as much square footage. The top perforated doors mean you can hide your Apple TV without any interference when you need to raise the volume or scroll through opening credits. Inside, plop a couple of woven baskets or Hay crates to store remotes and folded blankets, as it’s surprisingly roomy.
The One for a Pop of Color: Room & Board Slim Media Console
What we like:
- Made in the U.S.
- Comes with anti-tip safety hardware
- $79 full-service delivery
Dimensions: 42-by-15-by-24 inches | Weight capacity: Likely up to 50 pounds | Material: Powder-coated steel
Why we chose it: Sixteen colors to choose from.
Room & Board’s slim media console could easily be mistaken for a bookshelf—and that’s why we like it. The powder-coated recycled steel frame offers 16 paint choices including tangerine, saffron, and slate (though how could you go wrong with sage green?) for stress-free color coordination—and for $25, you can sample every color and then get a refund if you decide to return. If you are in need of extra shelving or thinking about encasing your TV, surround it with more books by tacking on the Slim collection’s bookshelves to flank your main unit. Quick tip: Keep an eye on Kaiyo for a preused deal.
How We Chose These Products
The best TV stands are ones that won’t fight for space. We made sure our picks included everything—for tiny studio apartments all the way to wide-open living rooms. Other factors kept in mind: weighing quality materials and price points, unique designs, and storage features (particularly those to keep loose cords in check).
Our Shopping Checklist
TV stands are made from pretty much anything these days, and no material is inherently better than another. Our list includes everything from hardwood to aluminum, so it’s really a stylistic decision, though we would warn that solid wood will likely outlast particleboard.
Size and Weight
The ideal width of a media console depends on the size of your TV screen. Long story short, a larger TV should be paired with a larger stand and one that can take on a bit more weight without buckling. Before purchasing, it’s important to double-check that your preferred piece can hold the weight of your technology. In general your TV stand should be roughly 10 inches wider than your screen, but you can go wider for styling purposes (flank it with books, tapers, and other knickknacks).
More than anything, designer Mandy Cheng warns your TV must sit at the appropriate viewing height. “This means that when you’re sitting on the sofa across from the TV, the TV should be at eye level,” she explains. “If you’re purchasing a media cabinet, make sure it fits underneath the designated height of your TV. If you have a large wall and a large sofa, try to get a wider console so it doesn’t feel like a tiny piece of furniture floating in an otherwise large space. On the contrary, if your space is small, don’t get a big media console. Otherwise, walk space will be limited and the room will end up feeling cramped.”
TV Stand Design
“While I try to avoid making it the central fixture of the space, I simultaneously want to prioritize the overall comfort factor of the room—everyone should have a place they can lounge and watch a movie in if they feel like it,” offers Fennoy. “All designers have clients who are avid TV lovers, and I never want to make someone shy away from something they like strictly because of my own design preferences.”
Q: Do I have to use a media console as a TV stand?
Of course not! In fact, Sinclair loves to bring in alternative features. Although she is a fan of the gallery wall trick (“It blends into the space rather than working against the television and hiding it or framing it in a built-in,” she says), sometimes that isn’t an option. In those instances, she suggests avoiding a media unit altogether. “We’re not afraid of including a television in our design. In one project we’re currently working on, we’ve sourced a vintage wood standing art easel,” she offers, which makes it less intrusive as the focal point. Think of it as a conversation piece, not an eyesore.
Q: What’s the best TV stand to hide all of my cords?
“If you don’t want your TV to detract from the rest of the space, you should take the time to manage your wires,” stresses Fennoy. “I’d suggest getting a console that has two holes—one on top and one in the back—for the wires to run through, so all necessary equipment can be used properly without looking like a rat’s nest.” If your furniture doesn’t happen to have wire-friendly built-ins, don’t sweat it—you can purchase a few add-ons to corral cords like a cable box or clip-on wire organizer.
Q: Any advice on how to style my TV so it’s less noticeable?
“Decorating around the TV—i.e., books, plants, art—is definitely a good way to draw attention away from it,” offers Cheng. She’s also a proponent of the Frame TV for the option of displaying art when not in use. “It doesn’t make the TV disappear, but it definitely helps it blend in! If you really can’t stand seeing your TV, consider building out a media cabinet so you can hide it behind closed cabinet doors.”
The Last Word
“I always say you don’t want to make a stylistic choice that will impede the use of any equipment, let alone the TV itself,” points out Fennoy. In other words, the best TV stand is large enough to store everything without sacrificing functionality. “Don’t jam an Xbox into the back of a cabinet if you’re going to want to use it at some point!” she adds.