Most people put in the effort to find the best TV, but when it comes time to buy a new stand to match, they’re quick to jump to the first one they see. After all, it’s only a stand, so it can’t make that much of a difference, right?
You may not realize it, but the design of the TV stand can have an immense impact on the entertainment experience. And with all the different types of TV stands available, it’s easy to miss out on the perfect solution for your needs.
When you’re ready to upgrade your TV stand, don’t shortchange yourself. Follow this guide on all the types of TV stands so you can find the best one for your new setup.
Serving function and aesthetics, TV stand shelving is a critical consideration. The ideal shelving option will change depending on what you need to store in your stand.
Open shelving on a TV stand accommodates more devices, giving you a space for game systems, Blu-ray players, and receivers that need an unobstructed connection with remotes to operate.
If you use a soundbar, a long open shelf below the top shelf can hold it, keeping it from obstructing your view of the TV and making the top less cluttered. Many console-style TV stands, which often blend open and closed shelves, will have one just below the top to hold a soundbar.
Most glass TV stands are open-shelf designs, but you can find them in any material. If you want to use your TV stand for display and you’re able to keep it neat, open shelves are minimalist and aesthetically pleasing additions to a room.
Cabinet TV stands provide storage for items that don’t do much for the decor. When you want to use your stand to store Blu-rays, video games, or overflow items from the room, keeping them behind closed doors is usually the better look. Plus, because the shelves are hidden, they create fewer dusting opportunities.
An entertainment center combines a stand with bookshelves on either side and a bridge over the top, creating a box with the TV inside. These can be four separate pieces, or they could be part of a single unit.
Some four-piece sets and many single-piece cabinets have doors that can cover the TV when not in use, adding to the look of a room. And when you need tons of storage, a massive four-piece set gives you bookshelf space for curios, pictures, speakers, and books while the TV stand handles all of your entertainment gear.
An entertainment center is the bulkiest type of TV stand available, so it’s best left for family rooms with ample wall space.
TV Stand Construction
From the rustic and traditional to the modern and industrial, you can find TV stands to match any kind of interior design scheme. But depending on your needs and style, certain materials will be more ideal than others. Most TV stands are made of one of the following types of material:
- Medium-density fiberboard
The cheapest TV stands tend to be made of particleboard, which is notorious for lifting veneers and splits around the hardware. We generally recommend avoiding particleboard if your budget allows it.
There are all types of TV stands made of wood, running the gamut from small to large and from the most traditional to the ultra-modern. Real wood can be a more expensive investment, but there’s also no substitute for the quality it exudes. It’s sturdy, versatile, and a sound choice for nearly any setup.
Medium-density fiberboard (MDF) is composed of wood shavings bonded together with resin and solidified with pressure and heat. It’s a strong material that is unlikely to warp and is surprisingly scratch-resistant.
On case goods like TV stands and end tables, MDF is wrapped in a laminate with a print, often mimicking a wood grain. It’s an inexpensive alternative to the real thing that accomplishes much of the same look, and it’s durable enough for most families.
Despite its cost-effectiveness, MDF won’t be mistaken for real wood. And although it is tough, if the laminate gets scratched or stained, there’s no hope of refinishing it as you can with wood.
Glass shelves and windows can show up on wood, MDF, or metal TV stands, but a glass TV stand is an open-shelf design usually with metal or wooden legs. These are less cumbersome, so they’re ideal if you don’t want to overwhelm a small room. Their simple, clean style also aligns with a minimalist and modern design approach.
A glass stand works well for an entertainment room, but you need to be careful if you have kids. Not only will fingerprint smudges be a constant headache, but if the glass breaks, it can be a serious safety concern.
Like glass, metal can show up in mixed-media stands, often to give them industrial flair. A metal stand can be painted to match your color scheme, and it’s a stout material that can withstand breaks, scratches, and stains with ease.
Unique TV Stands
There are many offbeat styles of TV stands to consider that give you even more functionality and enhanced aesthetics.
TV lift cabinets are some of the more technologically impressive TV stands. These next-generation builds hide TVs within a cabinet and raise them out of the top of the stand in a dramatic reveal when you’re ready to watch. You can find high-quality lift cabinets to match any style and boost the look of your room.
A floating TV stand is a modern take that adds a layer of illusion to the room by hovering inches over the floor. The stand attaches to the wall while a wall-mounted TV sits above it, giving the whole setup a gravity-defying look. To get the cleanest effect, it’s best if you can run your component wires behind the wall.
Which Types of TV Stands Do You Prefer?
Don’t let yourself get overwhelmed by the countless TV stand options. Start simple by narrowing down the size you need for your TV and the size that will fit your space. From there, you can apply your newfound knowledge on all the different types of TV stands to land the perfect choice for your room.
The TV stand won’t be the last crucial design decision you make for your home. When you need help on future projects, check out our design and decor section for news and advice.