clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

The 4 Best File Cabinets (2023 Review)

In this review, the This Old House Reviews Team researched the four best file cabinets on Amazon to help you find the one that’s right for you.

DEVAISE Vertical File Cabinet and BirdRock Home Rolling File Cabinet isolated on a green graph paper background Courtesy Amazon

Birth certificates, government IDs, passports, tax forms, and house deeds are some documents that still require physical—rather than digital—storage. The simple file cabinet is a smart addition to a home office, bedroom, basement, or garage that can keep your most important files safe and organized.

To help you find the storage solution that’s right for you, the This Old House Reviews Team researched the best file cabinets on Amazon. Explore our top file cabinet recommendations, learn what to look for when buying, and get answers to some common questions below.

Compare the Top File Cabinets

Product Storage Compartments Has Wheels Color Weight Dimensions
Product Storage Compartments Has Wheels Color Weight Dimensions
DEVAISE Vertical File Cabinet 3 Yes White 41 pounds 11.8 x 19.7 x 22.8 inches
BirdRock Home Rolling File Cabinet 1 Yes Tan 16 pounds ‎15 x 18 x 14 inches
Sauder Heritage Hill Lateral File 2 No Classic cherry 92 pounds ‎30.1 x 20.5 x 30.1 inches
Yaheetech Lateral File Cabinet 5 Yes Black 55 pounds 16 x 31.5 x 26 inches

In This Guide: Top 4 | Buyer’s Guide | What to Keep | FAQs | Why Trust This Old House


Top 4 File Cabinets


Most Secure: DEVAISE Vertical File Cabinet

DEVAISE white vertical file cabinet with included key to lock its three drawers

DEVAISE Vertical File Cabinet

  • $155

Prices taken at time of publishing.

This file cabinet has three full-extension drawers, including a bottom one for hanging files. All of the drawers lock with one turn of the included key. Two of the five wheels also lock to keep the cabinet in place once you have it in your desired location. 

Courtesy Amazon

Pros and Cons

✔ Features a removable organizing tray for pencils, paper clips, and other office essentials
✔ Comes with two keys in case you lose one
✔ Includes two locking wheels

✘ Has two drawers at the top, which are relatively small
✘ Has a front wheel that’s smaller than the rest

What Customers Are Saying

Customers liked how this cabinet could fit in cramped spaces because of its compact build. They also appreciated the rounded edges, which reduced the likelihood of injury. However, a few customers indicated that the cabinet wheels struggled to maneuver carpeting.


Most Stylish: BirdRock Home Rolling File Cabinet

BirdRock wicker rolling file cabinet and storage box

BirdRock Home Rolling File Cabinet

  • $110

Prices taken at time of publishing.

Metal file cabinets can be an eyesore, but this cabinet is made from handwoven seagrass to serve as both a decorative piece of furniture and a functional storage solution. It resembles a wicker basket with side handles and a hinged lid and easily rolls on its casters.

Courtesy Amazon

Pros and Cons

✔ Has an internal wire to hang files from
✔ Has handles if you want to pick it up
✔ Can fit letter- and legal-sized files

✘ Can’t secure or lock the lid
✘ Has one compartment, so you can’t organize the files

What Customers Are Saying

Satisfied users felt that this cabinet was as functional as it was decorative, stating that it was easy to move and sturdy. However, a small selection of customers said that it was lopsided and small.


Best Lateral Cabinet: Sauder Heritage Hill Lateral File

Sauder classic cherry-colored lateral file cabinet

Sauder Heritage Hill Lateral File

  • $310

Prices taken at time of publishing.

This elegant piece of furniture comes in a contemporary cherry finish. The drawers of the file cabinet hold letter, legal, and European-size hanging files and feature full extension slides to quickly and conveniently access what you’re looking for.

Courtesy Amazon

Pros and Cons

✔ Can lock the top drawer using the included key
✔ The safety catch prevents both drawers from being opened together
✔ Comes with a five-year limited warranty

✘ Only the top drawer locks
✘ The assembly process is more involved compared to other file cabinets in this review

What Customers Are Saying

Customers who properly assembled this lateral file cabinet said that it looked great in their home office, offering plenty of easily-accessible storage for their important documents. However, several users struggled with assembly, stating that there wasn’t enough glue or included hardware.


Best Combination Storage: Yaheetech Lateral File Cabinet

Black Yaheetech lateral file cabinet with printer, paper, and books

Yaheetech Lateral File Cabinet

  • $90

Prices taken at time of publishing.

For storage versatility, this file cabinet has three drawers on the left side for pencils, documents, and other office supplies and two cubbies on the right for textbooks and other miscellaneous items. You can also use the top to hold a printer, lamp, picture frame, and more.

Courtesy Amazon

Pros and Cons

✔ Features distressed wood finish on the drawers
✔ Includes three drawers and two shelves
✔ Has one drawer for hanging files

✘ Engineered wood is lower quality than genuine wood
✘ Takes up a lot of space

What Customers Are Saying

Customers thought that this cabinet made the perfect addition to their office space. They also liked its rustic design. However, the cabinet did receive customer complaints about being difficult to assemble. Other users said that the lock broke easily.


Buyer’s Guide

For many, a file cabinet is an indispensable piece of office furniture. From size to material, various factors affect what file cabinet works for your storage needs. Here we’ll explore these elements to help you make the most informed purchase possible.

Cabinet Size

Think about how many files you need to store. Do you only need space for a few key documents? Or do you have multiple folders?

Also, consider how much space a file cabinet takes up. For an office with ample room along the walls for storage, choose a larger cabinet. However, if you need to store your cabinet in a closet or under a desk, make sure that it’s compact enough to fit.

Paper Size

The standard size for a piece of paper is 8.5 by 11 inches. Most filing cabinets can fit this letter-size paper in their compartments. However, if you have several documents that are printed on legal-size paper—8.5 by 14 inches—your cabinet drawers need to be slightly larger.

Compartments

Most filing cabinets have drawers for your documents. The drawers may be skinny to hold stacked papers or tall to store hanging files. Some cabinets offer a combination of both.

For a piece of furniture that can store all of your office essentials, including pencils, pens, and sticky notes, look for a cabinet that offers drawers and shelves.

Material

Most file cabinets are metal to hold the heavy weight of documents with no problem. However, some cabinets are made from plastic, laminate, or wood.

Plastic and laminate cabinets are more affordable but less durable.

Though sturdy and decorative, wood cabinets are expensive and require upkeep.

Security

There’s no point in having a storage cabinet if it can’t keep your files safe. Look for a model that has a locking mechanism to deter burglars and nosy visitors. You can also find cabinets that are impact- and water-resistant.

Mobility

In case you want to change the location of your files, most cabinets have wheels or casters, as well as handles.

Most moveable filing cabinets come with looking wheels, which keep the cabinet secure once you have moved it to your desired location.

Traveling file cabinets are also an option and function similarly to accordion-style binders.

Design

Functionality, size, and safety are the most critical elements of a file cabinet but don’t overlook its design. Just like any other piece of furniture in your home, your file cabinet should match the rest of your home decor. For this reason, they typically come in neutral colors.


What to Keep in a File Cabinet

You can use a file cabinet to add extra storage space to any room in your home. But what exactly should you keep in it? Read our list below for some ideas.

  • Bank and credit card statements
  • Birth certificates
  • Children’s drawings
  • Citizenship papers
  • Custody papers
  • Estate records
  • Holiday cards
  • Instruction manuals
  • Insurance policies
  • Letters
  • Marriage licenses
  • Medical records
  • Military records
  • Passports
  • Pay stubs
  • Postcards
  • Receipts
  • Social security cards
  • Stock certificates
  • Tax documents
  • Wills

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the most secure file cabinet?

Any file cabinet with a locking mechanism is more secure than storage solutions that don’t have a lock. In this review, we’ve featured the DEVAISE Vertical File Cabinet as the most secure due to its interlock system. Additionally, look for a file cabinet that’s fireproof and water-resistant to protect your vital documents against the elements.

How should I organize my file cabinet?

There’s no one way to organize a file cabinet, but some common methods include by type, date, or letter. If you’re worried you might forget your system, you can add labels to the different sections.

What’s the difference between lateral and vertical filing?

Lateral filing involves adding and removing documents from the side, whereas vertical filing indicates adding and removing forward-facing papers. Your filing cabinet will be labeled as one or the other, with lateral cabinets being wider than vertical ones.

Do I need a file cabinet?

Every home needs at least some storage space for documents. If you don’t want to use a file cabinet, you can opt for a safe, bookshelf, box, bin, or other storage solution.


Why Trust The This Old House Reviews Team

This Old House has empowered homeowners for more than four decades with top-notch home improvement content in the form of television programs, print media, and digital content on its website and social media platforms. The This Old House Reviews Team focuses on creating in-depth product and service review content to help inform your purchasing decision for just about any item or resource that you might need for your home. The This Old House Reviews Team has written over 1,000 reviews on products in the home space, from cordless drills to kitchen trash cans, lawn mowers, and dining room decorations.

We recommend products in each review using an intensive research process, spending hours combing through the best available models on Amazon. For a product to make our list of top picks, it must hold a solid sales record on Amazon, have consistently positive customer reviews, and offer unique features, among other factors. After narrowing down our list of recommendations, we conduct additional research and sometimes in-person testing to ensure that the products meet our standards. Once we conclude the research phase, we craft a well-rounded, user-friendly article that includes our recommended products and additional information to help homeowners like you make the right purchase.

To share feedback or ask a question about this article, send a note to our Reviews team at reviews@thisoldhousereviews.com.