Best Entertainment Centers

Updated October 2019
Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
Bottom Line
Pros
Cons
Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

39 Models Considered
8 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
433 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best entertainment centers

Last Updated October 2019

Your television may be the focal point of your home entertainment center, but surrounding your TV, there may be any number of supporting media devices: gaming consoles, soundbars, smart adapters, even background lighting. To accommodate your various multimedia gadgets and their respective cables and toggles, you need a functional and fitting entertainment center.

Most entertainment centers are crafted primarily with a television in mind. Manufacturers will specify the range of TV sizes most appropriate for their specific models. From there, however, entertainment centers vary from one to the next, with a great many options and features available.

Height, length, material, and the number and type of compartments are among the variables woven into your purchasing choice. The devices you have connected to your TV, the aesthetic you have in mind, and any other items you want to place in and around your entertainment all play a role in what you should buy. We’re here to help you through the shopping process.

“Entertainment center” is a bit of a catch-all phrase. These versatile pieces of furniture are also referred to as TV stands, media stands, and entertainment consoles.

Key considerations

Television size

Because the focus of an entertainment center is the television, the size of your TV is likely the biggest factor in which one you will purchase. An entertainment center that’s too small for your TV could collapse under a larger set. A larger entertainment center with a small-screen TV may be visually unflattering. Therefore, you’ll want to make sure you buy something appropriate. As mentioned, you can consult manufacturer literature to find out what the maker recommends.

Height

While the size of your TV will help narrow your search, the combined height of the TV and stand are also important to consider. How high will your TV sit in relation to where you’re watching it? You don’t want it to be too low or too high. Different people offer different opinions on what’s best, but ideally, the central third of your screen will be at eye level for all viewers.

Aesthetics

Entertainment centers can be minimalist or elaborate, sturdy or sleek. As for color, they can be dark or light: black, white, brown, cherry, charcoal, or a combination of colors. Determine if the entertainment center you’re considering would complement other pieces of furniture in your room.

Compartments

The number of items that will be placed near your TV will inform how many shelves, drawers, or compartments you’ll want with your entertainment center. Some have large spaces for objects. Others have narrow shelves where you might be able to fit a console or two.

Some entertainment centers have a more “open” concept, whereas others are closed. Consider the items that will be housed on or in the entertainment center: do you want them to be out in the open or hidden from view? For those people with lots of stuff — Blu-ray discs, games, music, and so on — a drawer or door may be best. Consumers with fewer items to store might appreciate open TV stand, which is also ideal for displaying plants, figurines, and other trinkets.

Mobility

Once you set up your entertainment center, how long do you think it will stay in that spot? More durable and complex entertainment centers may lose some of that durability if they are taken apart in order to be moved. The alternative would be to try to move the large center as a whole, which may prove difficult as well. Smaller TV stands tend to be lighter and therefore easier to move.

EXPERT TIP

From power adapters to HDMI, from USB to cable, cords can figuratively pile up and literally tangle. Invest in small zip ties or strings to keep the cord situation tidy.


Staff  | BestReviews

Features

Cable openings

TV stands with rear panels will likely have a small space to allow for the movement of cables to and from components or wall sockets. This helps you manage your cables and keep them organized without being particularly visible when you’re watching TV.

Drawers, doors, baskets, and windows

 The manner in which your items are stored and displayed is up to you — and there are lots of options. Some complex entertainment centers offer a combination of closed and open compartments. The closed ones may feature glass so you can see inside, while the open spaces may allow for baskets to be placed within. Some doors may latch with magnets or open with knobs.

Adjustable shelves

The ability to adjust shelving within your entertainment center may prove useful, depending on what you’re storing. This feature may be found on both small and larger stands.

EXPERT TIP

Strip lighting can cheaply and impressively enhance your entertainment center setup. The lights can run along the floor or wall and cast different colors on the background, creating a warm environment and a cool effect.


Staff  | BestReviews

Entertainment center prices

Due to the varied size and diversity of entertainment centers, the prices span a wide range. As a rule, the bigger your TV, the bigger the stand you need, and therefore the greater the cost.

Inexpensive: For $25 to $50, you will find minimalist entertainment centers that can hold modest TV sizes (no more than 50 inches). There will likely be shelves but no doors or drawers.

Mid-range: From $50 to around $100, you’ll find several varieties of entertainment centers. This price range features more robust stands with drawers and compartments that can hold TVs in the 50- to 60-inch range. You may also find smaller units that are uniquely crafted to make an aesthetic statement.

Expensive: Between $100 and $200, you’ll find larger entertainment centers made of a variety of materials. You are likely paying more for something particularly special, whether it’s brand name, construction materials, or unique design.

Tips

  • Consider the cables. The more items that will be connected to your TV, the more cables will exist … and they don’t always look pretty. An entertainment center that can discreetly feed cables to and from components will be preferred to an open TV stand where you can see everything that’s going on.
  • Prioritize the center’s space. It may be tempting, but not every piece of media needs a home on your entertainment center. Consider only displaying items that are frequently used (or of which you’re most proud).
  • You can still mount your TV. A wall mount for a TV doesn’t replace a TV stand; they are not mutually exclusive. An entertainment center can complement a wall-mounted TV in both aesthetic and functional terms. The necessary components can still reside in the center, and in fact, the top of the center will have more space for decorative elements.
  • Do not settle. The entertainment center is likely the focus of your room, and it can provide a great deal of functionality and storage, so don’t settle for anything you don’t absolutely love. There is something out there for you; choose wisely.
EXPERT TIP

Think outside the center. TV stands are great for featuring books, plants, ornaments, trinkets, board games, and any number of items you desire. You don’t even need a TV.


Staff  | BestReviews

Other products we considered

As mentioned, there are a lot of TV stands and entertainment centers out there. Here are a few more to help you get a sense of the possibilities. This simple espresso/brown TV Stand by Furinno is medium-sized, well-priced, and durable. Made from composite word, it offers open space underneath the top level and two storage bins at the bottom.

For a rustic feel, check out this TV stand by Accent Home Furnishings that features a farmhouse feel and barn-like doors. It’s a sizeable and heavy piece, but it can hold up to a 58-inch TV.

Lastly, here’s something sleek, modern, and especially fun: a shelving unit by DEVAISE that is also a TV stand and entertainment center — and really whatever you want it to be. That’s because it is actually two L-shape pieces that can be positioned in various ways to fit your (changing) needs. It comes in several color options and a thicker or thinner version, and there is always the option to buy two sets to create something even bigger and more impressive.

TVs are measured in inches on the diagonal from one corner to the other. In addition to this measurement, consider the length of the TV when envisioning how it would look atop an entertainment center.

FAQ

Q. How much assembly is required?
A.
Complex entertainment centers require a fair amount of time and effort to assemble. Stands that hold the maximum advertised weight need to be put together carefully and properly; any lapse could affect durability. Professional assembly is often an option, though it adds to your expense.

Q. How much weight can an entertainment center hold?
A.
This depends on the unit. A television, gaming console, Blu-ray player, and any number of other accessories can add up to substantial weight. Consult the manufacturer specs before purchasing an entertainment center to make sure it fits your needs.

Q. What is MDF?
A.
MDF stands for medium-density fibreboard, and it is an increasingly common product in furniture. Referred to as engineered wood, it is stronger and denser than particle board and made of a combination of wood, adhesives, resins, and fibers. 

The team that worked on this review
  • Devangana
    Devangana
    Web Producer
  • Eliza
    Eliza
    Production Manager
  • Jennifer
    Jennifer
    Writer
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer
  • Melissa
    Melissa
    Senior Editor

BestReviews wants to be better. Please take our 3-minute survey,
and give us feedback about your visit today.

Take Survey