Need a better solution for all those picture books? Elevate your space with a bookshelf that radiates Montessori furniture vibes, enhancing learning and storage capacity. Here’s all you need to know about Montessori bookshelves including which options are best for your students.
Montessori classrooms, unlike traditional schools, use Montessori furniture. Furniture is considered Montessori if it is thoughtfully designed, child-sized, nurtures independence, and adapts to support a child’s growth and development.
Montessori furniture facilitates children’s active participation in daily activities. An example of this is how the Montessori bookshelf plays a pivotal role in fostering a love for reading through hands-on exploration.
What Makes a Bookshelf Montessori?
Bookshelves that are sized appropriately and easy for kids to use are considered Montessori. This setup encourages a child-friendly environment where kids can reach out and pick the books they are attracted to.
What makes a bookshelf Montessori is its purposeful design. Specifically crafted at a lower height, these bookshelves are safe for young children to access all on their own. By positioning books with front-facing covers at eye level, children can interact with titles that captivate their interests. It encourages them to take ownership of their choices and explore what interests them freely.
Any bookshelf becomes a Montessori bookshelf with books kids can easily see and reach. It helps them explore and learn on their own, encouraging curiosity and independence.
Here are some bookshelves that have earned my Montessori teacher seal of approval!
Best Overall Montessori Bookshelf: Contender 4 Compartment Manufactured Wood Book Display
This is the ultimate choice for a Montessori bookshelf! What sets it apart is its thoughtful design, featuring small shelves on the back where you can store even more learning materials.
It’s great for small places and for keeping any learning space organized. From picture books to activity books for kids, the sloping shelves of this bookshelf provide lots of room to display books of varying sizes and styles.
The standout feature is its convenience. This is a no-assembly-required situation, making it an effortless and practical addition to any Montessori-inspired environment.
User reviews: Users like this book display’s nice appearance but emphasize that its true strength lies in its durability and functionality. One reviewer stated, “It’s great quality, great for my daycare, and doesn’t need much space. I recommend this 100, I love it!”
Sure, users like that this bookshelf looks good, but they also mention that it is at a great height for kids and it’s sturdy. What reviewers comment on the most is how the bookshelf is delivered. “No assembly needed either, which was a bonus!!” is how one reviewer praised this product. Users highlight that this is a reliable, long-lasting piece that perfectly balances aesthetics with practicality.
Buy it: Contender 4 Compartment Manufactured Wood Book Display at Wayfair
Best Budget Montessori Bookshelf: IRIS USA Wide 4-Pocket Magazine Rack
This is a great bookshelf for any Montessori-inspired space where budget and functionality are what you’re after.
Going with the darker wood color not only looks great in any room but will save you money! With four spacious pockets, it offers plenty of storage. Each pocket can handle up to 5.52 pounds (2.5 kilograms) of books, providing sturdy support for your substantial collection of picture books. It’s a practical and affordable solution that encourages organization and accessibility. This magazine rack is a winner for showcasing books upright if you’re on a budget.
User reviews: While many users appreciate the price, some highlight that because it’s designed as a magazine rack, this stand hides smaller books due to its depth. Several reviewers shared a quick fix: “I added padding to boost the height as I read others had done.” This is a small adjustment that made a big difference in a few of the reviewers’ experiences. This rack is budget-friendly, helps with at-home book storage, and has helped users reclaim space in rooms cluttered with kids’ books.
Buy it: IRIS USA Wide 4 Pocket Magazine Rack at Amazon
Best Montessori Bookshelf for Schools: ECR4Kids Double-Sided Mobile Book Display
With slots on each side, this bookshelf is a fantastic addition to any classroom or daycare because it can display a lot of books.
A total of 10 wide slots at just the right height offer kids the ability to independently choose a book that captures their eye. Plus, it comes with four lockable caster wheels, so you can move it around—perfect for going from a classroom lesson to a cozy reading corner for story time. This product offers accessibility, durability, and mobility, making it a good Montessori bookshelf choice for schools.
User reviews: Users find this to be a sturdy bookshelf and mention that it can hold a lot of books, which is perfect for a growing classroom collection. Reviewers’ experiences differ when it comes to putting this piece together though, as some found assembling it to be straightforward, while others struggled. A few reviewers liked this bookshelf because “All book covers are visible even from the small board books.” This product has a great 4.5-star rating on Amazon, showing that most users are pleased with it.
Buy it: ECR4Kids Double-Sided Mobile Book Display at Amazon
Best Montessori Bookshelf for Home: Factory Direct Partners 13132-NT Birch Book Display Stand
This Montessori bookshelf features a beautiful natural birch finish, adding an elegant touch to any room in your home.
With five tiers of easily accessible shelves, it offers generous storage. Each 2-inch-deep shelf is designed to fit a variety of children’s reading materials. From toddler board books to 5th-grade picture books, along with kids’ magazines and activity books, this bookshelf can hold them all, making it a practical choice for homes aiming to nurture children’s love for reading.
User reviews: Users enjoy the function and style of this bookshelf for their kids’ book storage needs at home. One reviewer stated that it’s “very sharp-looking in the playroom.” This bookshelf’s solid build and low center of gravity were also highlighted by reviewers. Many reviewers are happy with the wood, with one expressing, “This is made with quality material and is a great addition to our reading area.” Users have also highlighted that this bookshelf perfectly fits into at-home reading nooks due to its ideal size.
Buy it: Factory Direct Partners 13132-NT Birch Book Display Stand at Amazon
Best Montessori Bookshelf for Small Spaces: Montessori & Me Front-Facing Bookshelf
At just 11 x 17.5 x 17 inches, this compact and charming bookshelf is a must-have for small spaces! Its size allows kids to easily spot various book covers, enticing them to reach out and explore the books that catch their eye.
This redesigned bookshelf embraces all sizes of children’s books, big or small, making it an absolute gem for tiny spaces. It’s the perfect blend of space-saving and exploration for any learning environment.
User reviews: Reviewers are impressed with this Montessori bookshelf’s compact size. Users like this shelf because “it holds the right amount of books, providing plenty of options but not overwhelming for kids.” And this shelf was frequently described as beautiful. Users found assembling it was straightforward, and expressed that once set up, it’s quite sturdy. One reviewer describes the product well by saying, “Very reasonable price for the high-quality wood and considerate design.”
Buy it: Montessori & Me Front-Facing Bookshelf at Amazon
More Montessori Bookshelves to Consider
4-Tier Kids Wooden Bookshelf
This is a bigger, multipurpose piece that’s a fantastic organizational solution and looks great in any learning environment.
With five deep cotton-linen storage sling pockets and four wood shelves, it offers more space for storing books, classroom materials, plush animals, or art supplies. Built with the child in mind, it’s a good height for kids to safely reach for and put away their books independently. Not only does it help in tidying up spaces, but this Montessori bookshelf also helps foster good organizational habits in children.
User reviews: Users like this bookshelf because it’s great for organizing books and toys as well as encouraging intentional play. It’s a great product with a 4.3-star rating on Amazon. And while many reviewers love this bookshelf’s sturdiness and look, the majority of negative reviews focus on product assembly and shelf height. Overall it’s a well-liked product, with one reviewer saying that this bookshelf “adds super value to the play area.”
Buy it: 4-Tier Kids Wooden Bookshelf at Amazon
Personalized Montessori Bookshelf
Handmade from eco-friendly materials, this adorable bookshelf features a super-cute house-shaped design, a convenient handle, and wheels for easy movement. And you can have it personalized!
Even though this bookshelf is small, it can hold up to 40 books. Its Montessori-inspired design encourages children to effortlessly access books that look interesting to them.
User reviews: The high-quality and eco-friendly materials used in its construction are a huge plus for many users. Reviewers think the inclusion of wheels is great and adds to the stylish and adorable design. It was also noted as being both functional and visually appealing.
Buy it: Personalized Montessori Bookshelf at Etsy
Ikea Bergig Bookshelf With Storage
This handy Ikea bookshelf is a smart storage solution for any kids’ space! It has two open shelves and a roomy drawer for more books and learning materials.
With this bookshelf, you can keep everything tidy while providing children with easy access to a variety of books. Standing at just the right height encourages independent exploration and effortless cleanup.
User reviews: Users rave about how this Montessori-aligned bookshelf looks great and holds a ton of toys and books, providing excellent storage for at-home or classroom learning spaces. One reviewer sums up this product accurately with this statement: “Nice size, holds loads, and has a drawer!”
Buy it: Ikea Bergig Bookshelf With Storage at Ikea
Classic Nursery Shelves, Set of 2 Natural Wood Floating Book Shelves
Montessori bookshelves don’t have to stand alone—they can also be wall-mounted. They work wonderfully when combined with other bookshelves in a reading nook or on their own, offering a space-saving solution.
This product includes a pair of well-crafted floating shelves, perfect for organizing books and toys. You can set them up at a reachable height, creating an engaging library where your child’s favorite books are on display and at their fingertips.
User reviews: Several reviewers mentioned that these floating bookshelves seem durable and sturdy, even though they’re half the cost of similar bookshelves. Surprisingly, they hold a good number of books, too. Many users noted that assembling them was easy and that they looked super cute! One reviewer went so far as to say, “They get lots of compliments.”
Buy it: Classic Nursery Shelves, Set of 2 Natural Wood Floating Book Shelves at Amazon
General Montessori Bookshelf Tips
Use these tips to guide your selection of a bookshelf that aligns with the Montessori principles and supports a conducive learning environment for children.
Opt for bookshelves with open fronts, allowing children to see and access books easily. This promotes independence and encourages them to select reading materials that appeal to them.
Choose bookshelves that are at a child-friendly height. This empowers children to reach for books safely, without assistance, fostering autonomy in their learning process.
Accessible and Organized
Look for bookshelves with multiple, easily accessible compartments or shelves. Organizing books by category or theme helps children navigate and select books based on their interests.
Consider bookshelves made from natural materials like wood, as they align with the Montessori philosophy of connecting children with the natural world. Sturdy construction is also important to withstand daily use.
Ensure that the bookshelf is stable and has rounded edges or corners to prevent accidents. Safety should always be a priority, especially in environments with young children.
Promote Order and Beauty
Montessori environments emphasize order and beauty. Consider bookshelves that complement the overall aesthetic of the learning space while maintaining a sense of harmony.