A TV cabinet in this day and age? Can’t I just stick the TV on my wall? Well – TV Cord Cutters have a dirty little secret – most of us still have a lot of cords and cables in our lives. While it’s true that getting rid of an expensive satellite/cable subscription usually removes at least one box from under the TV (not to mention a lot of money) – you still need SOMETHING connected to your TV – a streamer perhaps, a Freeview box, a soundbar, a broadband cable to your router…
And while some streamers are now small sticks that connect to your TV’s HDMI port (The Amazon FireTV Stick, Chromecast, etc’), a completely cable-free living room isn’t here yet, for most people.
In this review, I’ll take a look at some of the best TV stands and cabinets available in the UK today. I tried to pick a variety of shapes and sizes, to fit a variety of needs – from small bare-bones stands, to a huge full-wall unit – you should first use my tips to decide what your needs are, and then pick the right cabinet/stand for you.
- Prefer to “stick the TV on the wall”? See my review of TV brackets and wall mounts
And another note – some people prefer to buy furniture in a high-street shop such as IKEA. While it’s true that actually seeing and feeling the cabinet can be useful, the problem with places like IKEA is that they hold a rather small selection, and if you don’t happen to see exactly what you need, you’re out of luck.
In an on-line store like Amazon, there’s a better chance you’ll find exactly the type of cabinet you need for your own personal living room.
Best TV Stands / Cabinets For 2020
Table of Contents
Buying The Best TV Stand / Cabinet: What Do I Need To Consider?
First – what’s the difference between a TV stand and a TV cabinet? While you’ll often see the two terms used interchangeably, we separate them by saying roughly that a TV stand’s main purpose is to hold your actual TV, and not much else. It will often consist of a single shelf or holder, and that’s it – though sometimes there’ll be another shelf or two for another device. A TV cabinet, however, is a bigger piece of furniture, ready to hold more devices, such as TV streamers, a soundbar, etc’.
1. Storage Space
The first question you should ask yourself is what exactly are you going to put on your TV stand/cabinet – how many devices do you have, other than your TV? Don’t just think about the devices you own TODAY, but consider things you might buy in the near future.
So, for example, many people don’t settle for the TV’s small speakers these days and buy a soundbar. Usually, you’ll want to place that right under your TV. Then, there are the “content boxes” – do you have a boxed streamer? Do you have a separate Freeview box? What about a gaming console? And a VCR? (Just kidding about that one… but if you do – it’s really time to get a VHS to DVD converter!)
Try to leave empty room for at least ONE MORE box. So if, let’s say, you currently have two “boxes” that need to be placed under your TV, buy a cabinet that has room for at least three.
It’s also important to remember that many boxes/soundbars still use Infra-Red remotes, which means you can’t hide them behind a cabinet door/glass – UNLESS they’re special Infra-Red pass-through doors (and some of our picks here do have those.)
The experts agree that the “ideal” height for your TV puts the centre of the screen at your eye level. It can also be a bit lower than you – but higher is usually bad, and will probably strain your neck. Still, a lot of it is a matter of taste – expert opinion is all fine and dandy, but if you’ve been looking up at your TV for 30 years, you’re used to it by now.
Some TV stands allow you to change the height of the TV, while with others you simply place the TV (with the stand it originally came with) on top of the shelf/cabinet – so the height is set and can’t be changed (unless you use a pile of phone-books – please don’t.)
So sit down on your sofa at home, then take a measuring tape and check how high your TV should be so it’s more or less at eye level.
3. Size and Weight
With huge flat-screen tellies getting cheaper and cheaper, the days of 32″ screens sitting in our living rooms are coming to an end. But a larger screen means a larger TV stand/cabinet, AND one that can hold the larger screen’s extra weight.
While it’s true that flat screens today weigh a fraction of what big-belly televisions used to, they’re still quite heavy, and you have to make sure the cabinet you’re buying can hold them.
Most TV cabinets specify the maximum size of the screen they can hold. Generally speaking, the cabinet should be WIDER than your actual TV (not just the TV’s base/stand), so it’s all stable enough.
Also keep in mind that different materials behave differently – so if you buy a cabinet made of thin MDF, for example, and your TV is extra heavy, it might over time push the middle of the shelf down. So check the maximum weight limit as well.
4. Cable Management and Airflow
Electronic devices heat up, and some more than others. A gaming console, for example, can warm your hands in the winter. That being said, these boxes MUST have room for their cooling systems and fans to blow air out – so make sure your cabinet has enough space BEHIND where the box is going to sit. Even better – the back is open and lets the air flow freely behind the box.
Additionally, going back to the cords and cables issue, if you don’t want an ugly mess of tangled cords behind your pretty cabinet, get one that has some sort cable management option. The common way to do this is with holes in the middle section at the back of the cabinet – all the cables go through that and up to the TV. It’s not perfect, but it’s better than nothing (An even better solution is a cable tidy box).
5. Additional Features
The list is endless – some cabinets come with built-in lighting (I’m a sucker for that, but as pretty as it looks, it might distract your eyes from the TV) some come with infra-red compatible cabinet doors, some come with wheels – first decide what your NEEDS are, then look for the special extras.
The same goes for the material – some cabinets are made of wood, MDF, plastic, tempered glass, the list is long – just keep in mind that if you have children running around, glass might not always be the best idea,.
Cord Busters’ Best TV Stands / Cabinets 2020
Features and Specs
One of the questions you need to ask yourself when you’re shopping for a TV cabinet, is whether you want a functional, bland unit that will “disappear” in the room and just hold your telly – or whether you want a piece of furniture that will draw attention to itself.
Well, this cabinet certainly draws attention to itself. At 160cm (width) it’s not a very big unit (a 55″ TV is probably the limit – but check its width first), but it stands out with the glossy-white drawers and the glass shelves – especially if you fit in the included RGB LED light strips. (The LEDs are not top-quality, mind you, but you can always replace them as they’re not built-in).
The end result is a beautiful, futuristic cabinet with an open back (so there are no issues with the cables) and plenty of storage room. Keep in mind that the space between the top shelf and the lower drawers is a bit narrow – so you won’t be able to fit very ‘high’ boxes in there.
All in all, if you’re looking for an attention-grabbing cabinet at a very affordable price – this is it. If your TV is small, you can also get the cheaper 130cm model.
Features and Specs
- Dimensions: 100(w) x 50(h) x 42(d) cm
- TV Size: Up to 50″ (Approx.)
- TV Weight: Up to 40kg
- Cable Management: Yes (holes in the back)
Sometimes, easy does it – and this TV stand fits the bill. It’s not too fancy, but it doesn’t take a lot of space, it’s quite cheap and easy to assemble – so it gets the job done.
Don’t get me wrong, this unit looks good for what it is – three black, safety-glass shelves – the top one is 8mm thick and the bottom ones are 5mm thick. If you have a soundbar, you can use the middle shelf for that, and the bottom shelf for your streaming devices.
The back is completely open, and even though there are central holes to run your cables through, it still means you see all those cables running around there.
Installation is pretty easy (though keep in mind the pieces are heavy), and they have additional colours and sizes to choose from.
All in all, this is a solid, simple and cheap TV stand that looks good and does what it needs to do, with excellent reviews from most people who purchased it – which is often all we ask for.
Features and Specs
- Dimensions: 260 x 150 x 41 cm
- TV Size:Up to 70″ (Approx.)
- TV Weight: Up to 40kg
- Cable Management: No
Want something extravagant with lots of storage place? This is your pick.
The package comes with four separate units – The floor unit, the two side cabinet, and the upper shelf. The TV can either be placed on the lower floor unit, or fitted to the wall (with brackets that you would need to buy separately). Do note that if you place the telly on the floor unit, it will be rather low (it’s 35cm high), so check the height of your TV’s original stand.
You get a lot of storage space, though disappointingly the open-storage space for devices, under the TV, is limited to two shelves. The drawers are good for storing media and devices that don’t need any reception.
The side cabinets are two separate units, and the tempered glass doors give a nice effect with the supplied LED lights that you put inside the cabinets. Do note that the glass is frosted – so don’t plan on putting anything on display in there. The upper shelf is yet another separate unit, and the only way to install it is by drilling in the wall – so if you don’t want to do that, you’ll have to skip that shelf.
This is a good unit if you need something that looks modern and has plenty of storage space, and while it’s definitely not cheap – the price is quite decent for what you get and the unit’s size.
Features and Specs
- Dimensions: 120 x 36 x 40 cm
- TV Size: Up to 55″ (Approx.)
- TV Weight: Up to 60kg
- Cable Management: Yes (just holes)
This, in my eye, is one of the best looking TV cabinets in this roundup. The unit is a bit on the small side, so you don’t get a lot of space in the two sides (one is a single compartment, the other has two shelves).
The dark glass on the closed compartment is Infrared compatible, which means you can keep the door closed and still control your devices. The back panel has holes in it to pass the cables through, though it doesn’t have specific cable-management tubes.
If you have a soundbar, you’re in trouble here, as there’s no wide shelf to place one. Technically you could place it on top, right under and in front of your TV, but that depends on the height of your TV’s base-stand.
If you’re looking for a beautiful unit that can hold several devices, sans a soundbar – this is one of the best choices (and you can pick from several colours).
Features and Specs
- TV Weight: Not specified
While I usually prefer cabinets with more space, sometimes you need something compact that looks good. This cabinet fits the bill – it’s made of pinewood with a retro, Mexican design and it’s rather cheap.
The single open storage compartment below the main surface can hold 2-3 boxes or one (not-too-wide) soundbar. There are storage drawers at the bottom, which is useful for, well, storage – but obviously not for any wired TV boxes or those that need Infra-Red reception.
Assembly isn’t the easiest, and the height leaves something to be desired – depending on your living room and the distance between the sofa and the TV, you might find it a bit too low.
If you’re looking for a basic cabinet for a TV (up to 50″, depending on the size of your telly) and just a couple of devices – this is a solid, cheap choice.