8 Billy Bookcase Alternatives

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Written by Vanessa Spilios

Sleek, versatile, and functional, IKEA’s Billy bookcase is beloved by newbie apartment dwellers and experienced interior designers alike. But with so many people eager to get their hands one, it’s frequently out of stock, leaving those in search of a simple, understated bookcase waiting months or looking elsewhere. Fortunately, Amazon sells an assortment of excellent Billy bookcase alternatives that cost about the same and feature comparably streamlined aesthetics and functionality.

What To Consider When Shopping For Billy Bookcase Alternatives

With a wallet-friendly price tag, adjustable shelves, and a space-saving footprint, the Billy is capable of storing a small library of books, decorative objects, folded clothes, and more. When looking for a similar option, keep these things in mind:


The standard Billy bookcase measures 79.5 inches tall, 31.5 inches wide, and 11 inches deep, but IKEA also offers a narrower version (at 15.75 inches wide) and a shorter version (at 41.75 inches tall). There’s nothing particularly magical about those dimensions, so keep your own storage needs in mind as you shop. For example, if you want to store large items like baskets, cookbooks, or photo albums, make sure that your bookcase’s overall depth will accommodate them without any overhang.

Just as you would when purchasing any sizable home furnishing item, it’s important to know your space’s dimensions before you make your choice. While all of the bookcases featured here will arrive unassembled for easy shipping, returning large items can be a pain, so it’s best to know how much space you have in advance to prevent any headaches.

Shelf Adjustability

Adjustable shelves allow you to customize your bookcase to your unique storage needs and aesthetics. Like the Billy, most of the IKEA alternatives below come with pre-drilled holes for repositioning the shelves to your desired height, whether you want them evenly spaced or varied to give your bookcase a more eclectic look. Keep in mind, taller bookcases generally consist of two main sections (or cases) for stability and weight-bearing purposes, so it’s common for one shelf in the middle to be fixed.


The clean lines of the Billy allow it to blend into both modern and traditional homes, and many alternatives boast a similar aesthetic. If you’re looking for something a bit more visually unique, you can opt for a bookcase with geometric, staggered shelves, or a floating, wall-mounted design that looks like a ladder. If you want the option of bonus hidden storage, some bookcases have closed cabinets on the bottom. Whichever style you choose, remember that your personal items will add a unique, personal touch to the bookcase.

With all that in mind, here are the best Billy bookcase alternatives on Amazon.

Shop Billy Bookcase Alternatives

In a hurry? These are the best Billy bookcase alternatives:

  1. A Basic Bookcase With Clean Lines: Sauder Beginnings 5-Shelf Bookcase
  2. A Narrow Bookcase For Tight Spaces: South Shore Axess Classic Space Saver Bookcase
  3. A Short Bookcase For Limited Storage: Furinno 3-Shelf Bookcase
  4. A Bookcase With Wider Shelves For More Storage: Bush Furniture Universal Bookcase
  5. A Wall-Mounted Bookcase That Looks Like A Ladder: Nathan James Theo Bookshelf
  6. A Unique Bookcase That Doubles As Decor: Function Home 6-Shelf Open Bookcase
  7. A Bookcase & Cabinet Combo: Sauder Cottage Road Library with Doors
  8. A Dual Bookcase With Plenty Of Storage: Tribesigns 10-Shelf Bookcase

1. A Basic Bookcase With Clean Lines

Boasting clean, simple lines, the Sauder five-shelf bookcase is almost a dead ringer for the Billy in the aesthetics department. It has deeper shelves — so make sure you have the wall clearance for it — and stands about 8 inches shorter and 7 inches narrower than the IKEA-famous version. Made from engineered wood, the bookcase has three adjustable shelves and one stationary shelf right in the middle — note that the shelf weight capacity maxes out at 25 pounds.

According to reviewers, it’s moderately sturdy, but you may need to reinforce it if you’re planning to store particularly heavy items. It comes in cherry and soft white, and it’s also available in a shorter size with a cinnamon cherry finish.

A reviewer wrote: “I needed a small shelf to add school and art supplies. It sits on top of a wooden filing cabinet that's full of family games. My apartment is small and I was looking for ways to expand storage space. This shelf does the job at a decent price. Now I will say it feels cheap and the backing is very thin. Mine is against the wall so it really doesn't matter as long as it is sturdy. I'd recommend this shelf to anyone on a budget with a small home.”

Dimensions: 71.2 x 24.5 x 11.5 inches | Material: Engineered wood | Adjustable shelves? Yes | Shelf weight capacity: 25 pounds | Available colors: 3

2. A Narrow Bookcase For Tight Spaces

If you’re trying to fit a piece into a tight area, this bookcase from South Shore Furniture is a great option that’s just 17.6 inches wide — about 1 inch wider than the narrow Billy option. It’s made from laminated particleboard and has three adjustable shelves and a single fixed shelf, each of which can hold up to 25 pounds. Its clean lines would work with a wide range of decors, while slightly heavier paneling on the upper and lower edges lend it a solid look — and many reviewers have reported that it really is sturdy.

This bookcase also comes in a shorter version that’s a nearly identical in dimensions to the small Billy — but it’s about twice as expensive as my previous pick for a smaller bookcase.

Besides modern-minimalist white, you can choose from unique shades like blueberry (pictured here) or weathered oak and ebony for a more rustic look.

A reviewer wrote: “I have a small home and needed extra storage in my bathroom. This fit perfectly. The instructions were easy to follow. Hardware provided was adequate and there were a few extras. I found cute baskets to fit the shelves. Definitely impressed.”

Dimensions: 68.8 x 17.6 x 11.4 inches | Material: Laminated particleboard | Adjustable shelves? Yes | Shelf weight capacity: 25 pounds | Available colors: 4

3. A Short Bookcase For Limited Storage Needs

IKEA offers the Billy in a shorter height — perfect if you want something that’s a little less towering. This IKEA alternative is nearly the same height as the small Billy, but it’s 10 inches narrower and has slightly shallower shelves, which makes it a superior option for particularly cramped spaces. Plus, it comes in 10 colors, ranging from natural shades like dark walnut and French oak gray to brights like pink and light blue. It’s important to note that the shelves are not adjustable, and while they can accommodate up to 25 pounds each, reviewers have reported this pick is on the less sturdy side.

Dimensions: 39.5 x 21.7 x 9 inches | Material: Engineered wood | Adjustable shelves? No | Shelf weight capacity: 25 pounds| Available colors: 4

4. A Bookcase With Slightly Wider Shelves For More Storage

This bookcase from Bush Furniture has a shorter and wider footprint than the Billy, but features 12-inch-deep shelves for maximum storage capacity. It is made from engineered wood, and it includes three adjustable shelves and one fixed shelf. Each shelf can hold a hefty 45 pounds, and reviewers were impressed with the overall sturdiness. The base of the bookcase features a heavy trim that gives it a polished look. In addition to this five-shelf style, the bookcase is available in shorter two- and three-shelf versions.

A reviewer wrote: “The thing is incredibly sturdy. I have a cat who likes to climb and jump on things, and I was terrified a bookcase this tall would topple over. NOT A CHANCE. I put my heaviest books on the bottom shelf to really anchor it to the floor and it works well. The cat climbs and jumps on it all the time with no problems. I put this entire bookcase together BY MYSELF in the amount of time it took me to drink two beers and listen to a few podcasts. It was definitely a project but totally doable...”

Dimensions: 72 x 37 x 12 inches | Material: Engineered wood | Adjustable shelves? No | Shelf weight capacity: 45 pounds | Available colors: 4

5. A Wall-Mounted Bookcase That Looks Like A Ladder

This bookcase from Nathan James has a wall-mounted design that gives it an airy, floating look that’s ideal for displaying your favorite items. It’s the tallest bookcase on this list, and while the shelves have a fixed height of 11.6 inches and can’t be adjusted, it has one more shelf than the Billy. The bookcase is made from engineered wood on a metal frame that mounts at two spots for stability. Thanks to the anchored design, multiple reviewers have reported the bookcase is “very sturdy” and the shelves have the highest weight capacity on the list at 50 pounds.

It comes in a range of colors and styles: Keep things simple with white, channel a more traditional look with oak, or go glam with gold side rails.

A reviewer wrote: “I purchased 3 of these for my office. They look very nice and hold all my books with room to spare. I like that they have quite a lot of clearance to allow me to vacuum underneath. The matte white looks good with my mid century style desk. Very happy with these so far!”

Dimensions: 85 x 30 x 11.7 inches | Material: Engineered wood and metal | Adjustable shelves? No | Shelf weight capacity: 50 pounds | Available colors: 15

6. A Unique Bookcase That Doubles As Decor

The fixed 11.5 inch-tall shelves of this étagère-style bookcase are staggered, giving the piece visual interest that will add modern style to your space. The bookcase is made from engineered wood and features six open-back sections with 9.25-inch depths that are best suited for holding small to medium books and objects — just make sure you don’t pile more than 20 pounds onto each shelf. And keep in mind that reviewers reported the unique style makes it a little less sturdy than a standard bookcase — so you may want to anchor it to a wall with the included hook.

A reviewer wrote: “We have so many books we could be our own library. We just rebuilt our home and ordered 3 of these for our house. They are sturdy and secured to the wall. Simple to assemble (the teenager did one). They look great in all 3 places in our home, bedrooms and living area. Holds books and trinkets.”

Dimensions: 74.8 x 27.6 x 9.3 inches | Material: Engineered wood | Adjustable shelves? No | Shelf weight capacity: 20 pounds | Available colors: 2

7. A Bookcase & Cabinet Combo For Lots Of Versatility

If you’re looking for discreet storage for certain items while displaying others, this bookcase and cabinet from Sauder offers both. The upper half features two adjustable shelves for a total of three sections, which sit atop a roomy lower cabinet with a removable shelf. The adjustable shelves can take on up to 35 pounds while the fixed shelf and cabinet can handle up to 40 pounds.

This bookcase has the greatest overall depth on this list (at approximately 14 inches), so you’ll have plenty of space to display large decorative pieces, or hide bulky or awkward items below. The bookcase’s framed panel doors give it a high-end, custom look that will accent any room, and reviewers raved about the overall sturdiness.

A reviewer wrote: “The shelf exceeded my expectations for a shelf bought on Amazon. Super sturdy and well made. It’s withstood near constant use as it stores my 4 kids homeschool items that are used daily. A bit of a hassle to build, but totally worth the purchase. I bought a second because I loved the first so much.”

Dimensions: 71.5 x 29.3 x 14 inches | Material: Engineered wood | Adjustable shelves? Yes | Shelf weight capacity: 35 pounds (adjustable shelves), 40 pounds (fixed shelf and cabinet) | Available colors: 2

8. A Dual Bookcase With Plenty Of Storage

This dual bookcase from Tribesigns has a total of 10 fixed shelves of varying heights, giving you a number of ways to store and display your favorite possessions. It is made from heavy-duty engineered wood and supportive metal, and reviewers were pleased with its sturdiness. This bookcase has a shorter and wider footprint than the Billy and slightly deeper shelves, each of which can hold up to 35 pounds. Due to the open sides of this pick, bookends may be necessary if you plan to store books upright, however items can be leaned against the center point joining the two bookcases.

Available in clean white and rustic wood finishes, this is a great pick for anyone wanting to display items of various sizes, but the open design and lack of height adjustability may be a drawback for some.

A reviewer wrote: “Bought this over a year ago and it still looks great, even after moving apartments. I enjoy how tall the bookshelf is and appreciate each side being on a different level. The initial setup was not hard but it took some time due to all of the different parts.”

Dimensions: 70.8 x 39.4 x 11.8 inches | Material: Engineered wood and metal | Adjustable shelves? No | Shelf weight capacity: 35 pounds | Available colors: 2