Mixing seating with storage, this is a furniture piece that will more than prove its worth in your hallway. More than just a place to keep hats, scarves and gloves, and a handy perch for pulling on your wellies, its uses are endless and will prove invaluable.
But a storage bench isn’t only for the entrance hall. As a fabric-covered ottoman, it’s as pretty as it is practical in the bedroom. And there’s no such thing as too much storage to keep our living spaces serene.
Read more: 9 best coat stands that keep hallways tidy
The beauty of a storage bench is that you can de-clutter in a matter of seconds. Most offer under seat storage and a commodious trough-like design, meaning you can simply throw your bits and bobs into it while keeping them easily accessible and close to hand. Other styles with pull-out boxes, baskets or drawers offer an extra surface on top without the need to keep it clear for access.
A lidded design is perfect for the bedroom as a handy blanket box at the foot of the bed. Look for a soft-close action to avoid heaving slamming, and if your priority is seating over storage, consider a bench that offers a comfy cushion pad you’ll want to stay put on.
We put a range of storage benches to the test, looking for great design, functionality and – as a multifunctional family furniture piece that’s in constant use – durability.
You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps us to fund journalism across The Independent.
Noa & Nani olsen storage bench with cushion in classic white
Dimensions: H 48cm x W 87cm x D 38cm
Offering excellent value for money is this Scandi-inspired bench from Noa & Nani – whose wider furniture output is always surprisingly affordable given its quality of materials, make and design. The painted wooden bench features plenty of storage space plus a cushioned seat in chic grey. The cover is removable and washable too, which is handy for use in a busy hallway.
The Olsen bench comes flat packed but assembles with ease and boasts a soft-close hinge – a welcome feature if you have kids prone to slamming things shut. A modern and versatile piece that suits multiple spaces.
Buy now £79.00, Noaandnani.co.uk
Maisons du Monde oliver anthracite bench with storage
Dimensions: H 45cm x W 100cm x D 40cm
We loved this sleek and chic upholstered bench for its simple design and easy functionality. In an almost black anthracite, the body of the piece contrasts beautifully with its pale, tapered wooden legs that give mid-century modern design a knowing nod. The fabric is suitably hard-wearing in a mix of poly-cotton, viscose and linen, while its padded top offers a comfy place to perch when you’re doing up your shoelaces. There’s ample storage, too: the lid opens up to reveal generous interior space and closes softly with a piston hinge.
Buy now £164.00, Maisonsdumonde.com
Dunelm bromley grey storage bench
Dimensions: H 44cm x W 90cm x D 35cm
Crafted from solid pine with oak veneers, Dunelm’s offering is a stylish and modern bench that works in the bedroom or living room as much as it does in the hallway to keep hats, gloves and scarves neatly stored away but close to hand. With its trio of deep drawers that open outward, the top acts as an additional surface, not just a seat. Compact and suited to tight spaces, the Bromley bench boasts quality craftsmanship with its waxed top and sturdy makeup (note the dovetail joints). And at under £150, it’s also pleasingly purse-friendly.
Buy now £149.00, Dunelm.com
Made Roscoe ottoman storage bench, Aegean blue
Dimensions: H 45cm x W 110cm x D 39cm
Made’s Roscoe storage bench is a mid-century beauty with its retro-styled curves and dark stained oak base that successfully mimics a rich walnut. At 110cm wide, this one’s designed to sit pretty at the end of a double bed and works wonderfully as a functional ottoman. But given its durable upholstery fabric – a woven mix of materials – it’s hard wearing enough to take heavy use in the hallway, too. We loved its nature-inspired blue/grey shade. It’s also sturdy, features good storage space and offers a comfy sit.
Buy now £229.00, Made.com
Cox & Cox round rattan storage bench
Dimensions: H 57cm x W 124cm x D 40cm
One of the larger furniture pieces in our round-up, this wonderfully rustic storage bench caught our attention for its unusual daybed-like shaping. The raised sides act as armrests, although you might want to pile up the cushions for a more relaxing sit. Intricately handwoven from a thick natural rattan, and reinforced with a wooden frame, the bench is sturdier than it looks. Lift the seat and you’ll find two handy storage spaces, separated in the centre. A beautifully made bench for first impressions in the hallway.
Buy now £325.00, Coxandcox.co.uk
Artisan Furniture diamond carved storage hallway bench
Dimensions: H 49cm x W 90cm x D 38cm
Hand crafted from 100 per cent solid walnut, this is a versatile furniture piece that looks more like a mini sideboard than a bench – although it does offer a place to perch. The front of the piece features an arresting pattern of triangles in contrasting wood finishes, celebrating the natural grain of the wood, while tapered and angled legs lend it a cool mid-century twist. This one opens up with a hinged door at the front revealing two storage spaces for bits and bobs. And with handy cable holes at the back, it can double as a TV stand, too. A multi-purpose beauty.
Buy now £257.00, iamfy.co
Fernleaf walker storage bench
Dimensions: H 46cm x W 130cm x D 36cm
Made from a mid-toned and wax-finished solid oak, and with a trio of strong water hyacinth baskets, this is a functional storage bench that manages to be both smart and homely. An ideal piece for decluttering the hallway – whilst scoring points on first impressions – the baskets are roomy enough to hold the family’s shoes as well as hats, scarves and folding brollies.
We loved this one for its ease of functionality. The baskets come all the way out, which is handy if you need to dig down to find smaller items, yet when they’re in place, they’re fit perfectly, which is pleasing to the eye. A good choice for neat freaks.
Buy now £254.99, Wayfair.co.uk
Oliver Bonas velvet mulberry storage ottoman
Dimensions: H 50cm x W 121cm x D 41cm
Handmade to order, Oliver Bonas’s offering is a classic plush ottoman with plenty of storage space. The beech-framed bench is upholstered in a Designers Guild Varese cotton velvet fabric, which proves super soft but super durable, too. With its all over fabric finish and its comfy buttoned seat, this one finds its natural home in the bedroom. But it doesn’t look out of place in a glamorous living room set up, either. Choose from a palette of rich jewel hues and soft pastels.
Buy now £395.00, Oliverbonas.com
Perch & Parrow cooper oak hall bench in storm grey
Dimensions: H 81cm x W 123cm x D 47cm (seat height 41.5cm)
Taking a design cue from a traditional monk’s bench with its high back and under-seat storage is this beautifully made piece from Perch & Parrow. It’s crafted from solid oak and offers an arresting contrast between the natural wood seat and the warm and homely “storm grey” paint. The seat lifts up to reveal a generous trough of storage space, making it a good choice for larger families. Pile it up with colourful scatter cushions to really up the cosy. This one’s currently available to pre-order but promises to be well worth the wait.
Buy now £435.00, Perchandparrow.com
The verdict: Storage benches
Noa & Nani’s Olsen storage bench proved a stylish and functional furniture piece that mixes sleek Scandi design with a homely aesthetic. Ideal for a busy family hallway, it offers plenty of storage space with easy access as well as a comfy pad with its washable cover. It’s also great value for money.
We loved Rosalind Wheeler’s Alden storage bench, too, a beautifully streamlined piece in a pleasingly warm mix of materials.
Why not invest in one of these coffee tables that are not only stylish but functional too