How To Choose A Media Shelf Tower

Media shelf towers are an ideal way to sort, organize and maintain your collections of CDs, DVDs, video cassettes, music records, and reading material. Being mostly of vertical design, they do not take up much floor space. Tall and elegant, they are the “skyscrapers” of your home.

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Not being a fixed piece of furniture, you can move media shelf towers all over the place. This helps you to change your room’s look-and-feel on a whim, thus avoiding the boredom of static interiors. Mixing you collections with small art objects, planters, statuettes, or even a lucky bamboo plant increases their aesthetic value.

So, over to discovering “your type” of media shelf tower! This article will help you to make an informed decision.

What are the considerations when choosing media shelf towers?

Interrelationship between Interiors and Media Shelf Towers

It is vital not to think of a media shelf tower in isolation. It has to integrate naturally with the other elements of your interior. How do you ensure this before making the purchase? In your mind, try and place the media tower at various places in the room for which you are buying it. If it fits like family with the rest of the elements, you are spot-on.

This consideration also applies to the design and aesthetics aspects. Your new media tower better not be a post-modern angular high-rise in cerulean blue if your sofa is natural finish antic teak with deep cushions. The key point is, achieve overall harmony as if you bought the media tower along with the other furniture and not separately.

Functionality of Media Shelf Towers

Look for the tower that firstly fulfills the core function of adequate and safe storage of media.

  • As standing pieces, media shelf towers should not be too wide, or they will sag from the middle. Ideal width is 18” to 30”.

  • Its depth should be just adequate to fully cover media. 8” deep shelf will conveniently accommodate your CDs, DVDs, and video cassettes.

  • For spacing between shelves, the standard is 10”. If you want to store other media such as records or even books, you can always stack them vertically.

  • Drawers protect optical discs from dust and other atmospheric pollutants. They also shield media from temperature and humidity exposure.

  • You can store audio and video plug-ins such as headphones, ear-pods, pen drives, external hard disks, and other entertainment accessories in drawers.

  • If you have private collections, they are safe in lockable drawers from prying eyes.

Design and Ergonomics

Media shelf towers have evolved as tasteful pieces of furniture over time, and design has played an important role in this evolution. Today, the market is flushed with numerous design choices. To each, their own. That said, you can consider these popular designs for their proven appeal.

  • Single-column media shelf towers have rows of un-partitioned shelves. They are ideal if you have large collections of media and want to arrange them in neat, single files.

  • Compartmental designs offer the advantage of segregating media into different categories, alphabetical order, serial order, order by month or years, and so on. They are good if you are a highly organized media viewer and prefer quick access to any type of video or audio experience.

  • Cupboards are lower-height designs that are more cabinets than towers. Normally covered by doors or partitions, they are good if you hate your valuable collections “gathering dust.”

  • Designs with asymmetrical shelves break the monotony of conventional towers and offer visual intrigue and appeal. These towers could have horizontally, vertically, or diagonally asymmetrical shelves. They are good if you have varying quantities of various collections. So, the smaller collections go into the smaller shelves, and vice versa.

  • Towers with reduced shelf depth in ascending or descending order accentuate the height of the tower. They also complement a wide range of interiors. Do you have large and small quantities of collections, and do you love a cascading effect in interiors? If yes, go for this design.

  • Wireframe designs give media shelf towers an “armature” look. They are made from metal tubes, pipes, or sections and are open from all sides. Rows of slim metal pipes or sections make the shelves. Elegant, slim, and delicate, they are one of the more refined designs around. Good for you if you love openness and arty look.

Black Wooden Classic Multimedia Tower
Brown Wooden Traditional Revolving Multimedia Tower
Dark Brown Traditional Multimedia Cupboard
Wireframe Modern Wave Multimedia Tower
Wireframe Classic 100 CD Multimedia Tower
Brown Wooden Classic 4 Tier Multimedia Tower

In terms of ergonomics, short-list the media shelf tower right away if:

  • You are comfortable standing in front of it. Trust your instinct if you feel that you both are made for each other.

  • You shake the tower and it stands firm on its legs. This will give you confidence that the tower will serve you with “unshakable” stability.

  • The tower height is proportionate to yours and you don’t have to stand on your toes or stretch your arms to reach the highest shelf. The right tower for you will not make you perform such “stretch exercises.”

  • The lower shelves are conveniently accessible in standing or bending positions. You should not have to sit to access them.

  • The tower’s drawers are at your abdomen level. This is the best position to operate them.

Which are the best media shelf tower materials?

Wood is the universal material. Other materials are artificial wood, plywood, sheet metal, metal pipes and rods, and PVC plastic. Innovations include towers with leather or faux leather side walls, and combination materials such as wood and PVC.

Glass is unadvisable because of its breakability and relative expensiveness. Acrylic is a strict no because it gathers dust very quickly. You should also avoid particleboard. It plays host to termite and bacteria colonies.

Brown Wooden Classic Multimedia Rack
Black Manufactured Wood Multimedia Tower
Wireframe Traditional Metal Multimedia Storage
8 Tier Adjustable Plastic Multimedia Rack
Dark Brown TraditionalMultimedia Cupboard
Silver Metal Modern Multimedia Shelve Tower
Brown Wooden Classic 504 CD Multimedia Storage Rack

Which are the types of media shelf towers to choose from?

These are some popular types:


These structures have revolving square or circular shelves, with media arranged in them in rows or stacks. They could be deep or shallow, depending upon the media dimension. These towers are ideal if you have large collections, wherein you don’t have to move to sort or select, the media moves for you.


This is an innovation that has two, 3 or more towers hinged together. When shut, they look like a single piece with a flush front, but they can be opened like doors to reveal their other dimensions. As such, they are towers within a tower, ideal as a family media unit. You can have your collection stored on the left, Jack can take the middle one, and Jace can have his piles stacked in the right partition.


The spiral type is made to stock media in ascending or descending order. It is good for a category-wise arrangement or storing media in alphabetical order. There are sectional demarcations for organizing the storage. You could put the titles beginning with “A” on top and “Z” at the bottom, or vice versa. Likewise, for categories. Begin at the top with National Geographic DVDs and move down, with Hollywood greats at the bottom.


This type is a composite of two towers placed at the intersection of two walls. Being positioned at 900, they occupy less floor space and offer more storage space. In terms of ergonomics, though, there is no mentionable advantage.

Push-n-pull Drawer Type

You can push and pull the drawers of these media shelf towers just like kitchen or work desk drawers. They offer concealed, dust-protected storage. Also, you could install locks to these drawers to avoid unauthorized or unwelcome access.


These are usually light-weight towers that you can easily maneuver around the room. Fitted with castors or other motion mechanisms, these modular towers can break the monotony of interior décor.

Black Wooden 2 Sided Revolving Multimedia Tower
Wireframe Corner Folding Multimedia Tower
Modern Metal Multimedia Shelve Tower
Dark Brown Wooden With Metal Pipes Multimedia Tower
Black Artificial Wood Spinning 4 Side Multimedia Tower
Brown Manufactured Wood Adjustable Multimedia Shelves

Quick tips

Media shelf towers have ceased to be bland and basic storage systems and transformed into designer furniture. Today, while choosing such a tower, you don’t only think of functional elements but factor-in design, aesthetics, and ergonomics as well.

While making your choice, be conscious about:

  • Interrelationship between the tower and the rest of the interior
  • Functional aspects
  • Different designs such as single-column, compartmentalized, cupboard, asymmetrical, cascading, and wireframe designs.
  • Ergonomics. Choose the media shelf tower that offers maximum functionality, user-friendliness, and easy operability at all levels.
  • Materials of media shelf towers that you should and should not consider
  • Types of towers available for consideration, which include revolving, multi-dimensional, spiral, corner-fitting, push-n-pull drawer, and moving types.