How deep should my garage shelves be - my advice page!

If you want the best garage shelving for your buck, there are a few things to consider. From materials to size, here's what to compare when buying a garage shelf.

Table of contents

Material of the shelf

Plastic and metal garage shelves are both common, and they can be useful for a variety of things. If you need simple, lightweight shelving, plastic will suit your needs. However, we generally recommend metal shelves, which can carry much more weight and make the entire unit more stable and less prone to tipping over.

Weight capacity

The shelving material has an impact on the weight the device can support, but other things can also determine its capacity. Some models of garage shelves can support up to 2,500 pounds per shelf. Others, however, can only carry a fraction of it.

You should also consider whether there are any restrictions on the maximum weight. For example, some shelves can only carry so much that the weight is evenly distributed, or the load-bearing capacity is significantly lower when castors are installed.

Width of the shelf

Regardless of the weight, you should pay attention to how big the shelves are. If you have long items to store, you probably won't want any of the smaller shelves. Before buying, be sure to measure your garage and the location where you plan to place the shelves. Then you can choose the right size for the space and your storage needs.

Depth of the shelf

How deep your shelves are can also make a huge difference, especially in a small garage. Regardless of whether you have deep storage bins or a narrow space for the shelf, you should always consider the depth.

If you park your vehicle in the garage and you have little room on the sides to open the doors, a very deep shelf probably wouldn't make much sense.

Number of shelves

Another important point is the number of shelves on a shelf. If you have a lot of small items like aerosol cans or cans of food, you may want more compartments. However, if you have a few larger items like tires, a miter saw, or an air jack, a small number of shelves with good height would be ideal.

You should also pay attention to whether the shelves are adjustable. If you have a larger item, you can lower the shelf above or below it to fit it.


If you know where to put your shelf, consider buying one without wheels. However, castors can make your life easier in some cases if the shelf needs to be moved from time to time.

Easy construction

Most garage shelves are easy to assemble and you don't need too many tools (if any). But you will likely need some guidance to make sure everything is set up correctly for safety reasons. Because of this, in most cases, buying a used shelf is not recommended.