How To Choose Toy Boxes & Benches

If you have kids and you want an organized home, you can’t go wrong with toy boxes and benches. These are the perfect way to add some style to your home, while having a hidden place for all those toys that would otherwise clutter up the floor.

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Toy boxes & benches come in many different styles, materials and sizes. They range from being one solid color and understated to decorative and ornate. Toy benches are especially useful, since you have the multifunctional aspect of both storage space and a place to sit.

Below we’ll help you decide which toy box or bench works best for your needs and your home.

How to Decide Between a Toy Box and a Toy Bench?

The first step is choosing between toy boxes and benches. A toy box operates mainly as a storage unit. A bench was built with someone sitting on it in mind. If you want something that also doubles as sitting space, look for a toy bench, since these are constructed with bearing the weight of a person in mind.

Choose a toy box if you want only the storage. The two main situations where this makes sense include:

  • You already have many chairs and furniture around, so having a storage bench would be redundant.
  • Where you place the toy box makes a difference. If you plan to slide it under a floating shelf or near another obstruction, it won’t make sense to buy a toy bench.

Buy a toy bench if:

  • You plan to place the toy bench where extra sitting space would be convenient. For instance, a popular place to put a toy bench is at the foot of a bed.
  • Toy benches work wonderfully in smaller spaces. It’s a bit counterintuitive, but because you have less square footage, combing the uses of storage and a place to sit frees up space.

How to Select the Style for Toy Boxes and Benches?

Perhaps the most crucial part of choosing toy boxes & benches is what type of style you use. Each style goes best with a certain décor type, which we’ll outline here:

  • Choose plain and solid color toy boxes and benches in rooms with a modern or transitional look. If the rest of the room is full of solid colors and has a sleek look, plain and solid-colored toy boxes and toy benches will fit right in. These will add a timeless appeal.
  • Choose wood grain toy boxes and benches in styles that are more on the rustic or classic side. Wood grains give a rich texture and have a classic, handmade look.
  • Choose colorful toy boxes and benches for artistic spaces or children’s rooms. Bold colors are a common design theme for children’s spaces, which is where toy storage is a necessity.
  • Embellished toy boxes and benches are a great addition to a child’s room or play area. For instance, many toy boxes and toy benches may have painted text on the side, a certain color pattern or added sitting cushions on the top. You might see a pink princess theme in a girl’s bedroom, as an example. It might also make sense to organize by putting each child’s name on the front of their toy box.

Which Are the Best Materials for Toy Boxes & Benches?

You can find toy boxes and benches in a few different types of materials.

  • The most common material you’ll see is wood. Wood is a sturdy material that can support the weight of people sitting on it, so it’s a good choice for a toy bench, especially. For safety reasons, make sure the box is carefully finished, there are no splinters or rough edges that may pose threat to your child’s delicate skin.
  • A common addition to toy benches is a tufted ottoman look on the lid. These can come in leather or a type of fabric like cotton. Some toy boxes and benches may even be lined in fabric. Choose these types if you’re looking for a style that matches your upholstered furniture. You may also want an understated look that appears to be furniture itself.
  • Another type of toy box is made of fabric, such as canvas. These are often foldable, so they make a wonderful option for small spaces when not in use. Pro tip: Whenever you choose fabric to be part of your child’s play area, consider scotch guarding it to protect it from staining.
  • The other most common material toy storage boxes are made out of is plastic. Since plastic doesn’t support weight well, these types are often smaller varieties you’d place on a shelf or off to the side of the room. They also often come in bright colors and playful children’s motifs, making them a good option for a children’s room or play area. Some larger models even have a children’s art easel as a lid.

Which Sizes Can You Find Toy Boxes & Benches In?

Choosing the correct size will depend on your goals for toy boxes & benches. Below we’ll cover the three main sizes and which size makes the most sense with your storage goals:

  • Smaller shelf designs: These come in dimensions around 8 inches in height by 12 inches in width by 14 inches in depth. If you’re looking for something to store more limited items like small toy pieces, such as figurines, matchboxes or Lego blocks, you’ll want to consider a smaller box. Sometimes you can even find types that stack on top of each other.
  • Floor toy boxes: When you think of a standard toy box sitting off to the side of a child’s room, dimensions can vary, but it’s common to see them around 20 inches high by 40 inches wide by 21 inches deep. These are meant for larger toys, like stuffed animals or toy trucks.
  • Full-sized toy benches: If you’re looking for your toy storage option to double as a piece of furniture, you’re going to want something that can seat one or two peopleand store larger toys inside. A common dimension of a toy bench is about 21 inches high by 30 inches wide by 18 inches deep. These most often seat about one person. Some go longer, at about 43 inches long, to seat more people.
Blue Handy Plastic Toy Box
Green Lego Plastic Drawer Toy Box
Brown Mid Century Solid Wood Toy Bench
White Classic Manufactured Wood Toy Box
Gray Classic Manufactured Wood Chalkboard Toy Box
Brown Traditional Solid Wood Toy Bench

These are only averages for dimensions. Be sure to measure the space you plan to place the toy box or bench, and shop around to find the best size for that space.

How to Pick a Toy Storage with Best Organizational Capacity?

Toy boxes and benches also have multiple organizational designs. Below we’ll explore the different organizational patterns and find out when each makes the most sense.

  • Slide-Out: Some toy boxes & benches actually have smaller boxes in them that slide out. If you have many different smaller toys you want to organize, a slide-out option might be your best bet. This kind of storage is also an opportunity to teach small kids some organization skills as they may have to try put their toys into different categories.
  • Lid: These types of toy boxes and benches simply open on the top and have one compartment for storage. If you have larger items, the lid design will work best. Also, if you want a sleeker design where you cannot see the toys once they are in the box, go with a conventional lid box. Obviously, this will not be the best choice if you plan to place books, other toys or decorative objects on top of the box.
  • Open style: Some toy boxes and benches are open on the front. If you want your kids to see the toys they can pull out and play with for more convenience or want the toys to be part of your kid’s bedroom decor, go with an open style.
White Classic Manufactured Wood Slide Out Toy Bench
Pink Classic Manufactured Wood Slide Out Bench
Brown Traditional Wooden Chest Toy Box
Blue Classic Solid Wood Toy Box
White Simple Manufactured Wood Toy Bench
White Modern Manufactured Wood Toy Bench

Quick Tips

Since there are so many designs and types of toy boxes & benches, it can still feel overwhelming. Here are some main points to keep in mind:

  • Toy boxes work best for placing on or under shelves and off to the side of a room.
  • If you need to save space, toy benches can add both sitting space and storage. The multifunctionality makes up for their bulky size.
  • Start with the room’s design to inform which style and material you’ll buy. For instance, wood grain toy boxes go well in rustic room styles.
  • Choose whether you plan to store smaller toys, larger toys or want added sitting space with storage. That will inform the size of the box or bench you select.
  • Closed styles with lids in toy boxes & benches give a sleeker design. Casual home spaces can get away with open or slide-out toy box designs.