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Best metal bookend

Which metal bookend is best?

Are you having trouble organizing your home library or office? Metal bookends can be a great way to keep all of your books, binders and notebooks in a neat row. From those with a simple utilitarian design to those resembling famous artworks, there are many bookends from which to choose. To know which bookends are the best choice for you, think about how many shelves you need to organize, if your shelf has any weight limits and whether you’d like to purchase a pair. 

The Design Toscano Rodin's Thinker Cast Iron Sculptural Bookends are heavy-duty cast iron and make a romantic addition to any room. They will hold any number of your hardbacks. 

What to know before you buy a metal bookend

Number of items you need to organize

Think about how many items you need to organize before purchasing your new bookends. If you only have one row of books or binders in your office, then one pair should suffice. However, for decorating and organizing an entire bookshelf, you might need more than that. This depends on how you shelve your books and whether or not you have enough volumes to span the shelf’s entire length. 

Shelf weight limit

If you are considering a heavy pair of bookends, check the weight limit of your shelves. Some shelves can only hold around 35 pounds per foot. Large hardcover books can weigh up to 7 pounds. If you have several big volumes and you add heavy bookends as well, you might find yourself over the weight limit pretty fast. 

Using bookends as a pair or individually 

Bookends work well when you don’t have a bookshelf or the bookshelf you have doesn’t have sides. You can use them on your desk, the counter in your kitchen, or on a side table in your living room. You don’t always have to use both bookends in a single stack of books. Using one side of a shelf on your bookcase and one bookend, you can split the bookends across two different shelves. 

What to look for in a quality metal bookend

Plain bookends

If you want something simple, there are plain L-shaped bookends that resemble those you’d find inside your public library. These can work just as well and be just as heavy-duty as more decorative versions. These are also usually the most cost-effective option, especially if you are buying multiple pairs. 

Art bookends

For something fancier, many bookends feature sculptures. You can find imitations of famous works, animals, artistic nudes, knives appearing to impale your books, objects like sewing machines, chess pieces and globes. These are often heavier and work well if you have many hardback books to hold up. 

Cutout bookends 

A popular form of bookends is those featuring a metal panel with decorative cutouts. These cutouts have a variety of patterns. You can find them with pictures of trees, buildings, flowers and geometric patterns. 

Popular culture bookends 

If you have a favorite fandom, TV show or movie, there are bookends inspired by your favorite popular culture worlds. You can usually find these in the form of cutouts that resemble famous characters and environments. Some bookends feature fun illusions, like the appearance of a book stack that is about to collapse. 

How much you can expect to spend on a metal bookend

You can buy a pair of plain metal bookends for around $6. For heavy-duty bookends that double as art pieces, expect to spend $30-$100. 

Metal bookend FAQ

Do I need really heavy bookends?

This depends on the weight of the items you are trying to hold up. For paperbacks or notebooks, lighter bookends should work just fine. If you organize large, unstable items like binders or heavy hardback books, you will probably need heavy bookends to keep your items upright. 

How many books can my bookends support? 

If you buy heavy-duty bookends, they should be able to hold as many books as you want. Bookends made of more flimsy metal might buckle under the weight of heavy hardback books. 

What's the best metal bookend to buy?

Top metal bookend 

Design Toscano Rodin's Thinker Cast Iron Sculptural Bookends

What you need to know: For the book lover that also loves art, these bookends feature Rodin’s famous sculpture “The Thinker.” 

What you’ll love: Made from cast iron and painted in faux bronze, these bookends will hold up a number of books. Multifaceted, they serve as a beautiful piece of art while also performing the duty of keeping your books upright.  

What you should consider: There have been rare comments from buyers wishing that the bookends were a little larger. 

Where to buy: Sold by Wayfair

Top metal bookend for the money

The Rongji Jewelry Store Bookends

What you need to know: You get three attractive pairs of bookends in this set for a great price. 

What you’ll love: These two of these bookends feature cutouts mimicking modern art, and the third features a tree with birds. Padded with rubber on the bottom, they have round ends to not scratch you, the bookshelf or your books. 

What you should consider: Some customers have noted that these are best used for lighter books and may not hold up to heavy books. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out 

Artori Design Bookend Shaped as a Superhero

What you need to know: This bookend features superman holding up a stack of books while flying through the air. 

What you’ll love: You’ll love the amusement this bookend will inspire in your friends as they wonder how the superhero manages to hold your books without touching the shelf. The bookend wall is hidden within a book, and magnets hold the superhero to the outside. 

What you should consider: This bookend only supports books from one side. 

Where to buy: Sold by Etsy


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Morgan Freeman writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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