It’s no coincidence that when the nights draw in the TV schedules start to look particularly tempting. Who doesn’t love curling up with a cuppa and a gripping box set on a dark chilly night? While our eyes are fixed on the flatscreen, we might want to consider its immediate surroundings, too.
With a wealth of design-led furniture pieces on offer, finding the right media unit for your telly doesn’t just come down to aesthetics; you’ll need to consider your new TV stand’s maximum weight capacity as well as its width, depth and height.
Plus, you’ll want to think about proportions. A large TV that overwhelms the unit it sits on is never a good look, nor do you want to risk it toppling over. And eyeline: consider where you’ll be watching from (aka your cosiest spot on the sofa) – after all, you’ll likely be there for hours.
If you’re looking for a space-saving solution, think about a wall-mounted unit that won’t impose on your living room’s square footage, or even a TV stand that doubles up as a large shelving unit with plenty of extra storage.
How we tested
We tried out a range of stylish media units, testing each on form and functionality. We looked for top-quality craftwork, storage capacity, excellence in design, how well the self-assembly products went up and affordability.
The best TV stands for 2021 are:
- Best overall – Made pavis wide TV stand natural rattan & oak effect: £199, Made.com
- Best mix of materials – Tikamoon temis acacia TV stand: £525, Tikamoon.co.uk
- Best for tight spaces – Swoon weaving small TV stand, acacia and black steel: £339, Swooneditions.com
- Best for extra storage – Shelved heslerton modular TV unit with shelf bridge and low cupboards: £1609.30, Shelved.co.uk
- Best industrial design – Ikea fjällbo TV bench, black: £129, Ikea.com
- Best style on a budget – Dunelm Oliver wide TV stand: £169, Dunelm.com
- Best woodwork – Dunelm Priya TV stand: £329, Dunelm.com
- Best retro design – Hykkon solid wood TV stand: £179.99, Wayfair.co.uk
- Best for hiding tech – John Lewis & Partners Grayson TV stand sideboard: £450, Johnlewis.com
Made pavis wide TV stand natural rattan and oak effect
- Dimensions: H 41cm x W 135cm x D 39cm
This pale wooden media unit from Made combines sleek and modern design with a hint of boho chic. The body is crafted from engineered wood but does a great impression of warm mid-toned oak complete with a natural grain that gives the piece a pleasing visual texture. The “oak” is met with natural rattan on the two sliding doors, while perfectly rounded pole-like legs offer contemporary flair. We loved the way the doors glide from side to side to reveal handy storage space, while cables can be neatly tucked away via generous holes at the back. This one comes flat packed but is simple to put together and we thought it looked and felt much more expensive than it is.
Tikamoon temis acacia TV stand
Best: Mix of materials
- Dimensions: H 40cm x W160cm x D 35cm
Arriving ready assembled, Tikamoon’s stylish offering brought instant glamour to our living space. At 160cm, the first thing you notice about this TV stand is its generous width. The temis offers a handy surface that’s not just for the telly but for objects and artworks, or indeed anything that gives the room a pleasing balance without putting the TV centre stage. The unit is crafted from an attractive mix of materials: a rich acacia wood with a smooth varnished finish, industrial curved black metal legs, and impressively, real stone veneer on the doors. The lowest sitting unit in our round-up, this one brings a cool, laid-back vibe to the room.
Swoon weaving small TV stand, acacia and black steel
Best: For tight spaces
- Dimensions: H 50cm x W90cm x D 35cm
Simple, boxy and stylish, Swoon’s new weaving TV stand is made from a rich acacia wood that’s been dark-stained to accentuate its natural swirling grain. This one features hidden storage space in the shape of two cupboards – one of which is split with a handy shelf and discreet semi-circular cable holes. The unit is elevated via a sturdy black steel underframe with slimline legs, which gives its piece a gravity-defying look. But what we love most about the weaving stand is its deeply textured slatted front: a hint at Scandi chic and a feat of intricate woodwork.
Shelved heslerton modular TV unit with shelf bridge and low cupboards
Best: For extra storage
- Dimensions: H 205.5cm x W 242cm x D 42cm
Combining a TV stand with modular shelving is this stylish unit from Shelved. The asymmetrical piece features a series of three low-sitting double cupboards that open up to reveal nifty adjustable shelves and rear cable access (you won’t want to upset the clean contemporary lines of this furniture piece with messy leads). While the TV will happily perch, there’s enough space to incorporate a well-mounted flatscreen within the unit, too. What we loved most about the heslerton was that despite its heft – and this is a large unit – its slimline metal frame and open shelves keep the look bright and airy. Mix and match from three frame and panel shades.
Ikea fjällbo TV bench, black
Best: Industrial design
- Dimensions: H 54cm x W 150cm x D 36cm
With its black industrial cage-like frame, this one’s a bit of a design diversion for Ikea – and we are all for that. The three-door TV unit is made from steel with an epoxy/polyester powder coating which softens the dark material, while its solid pine top panel and interior shelf make a pleasing contrast. Arriving flat packed, the TV stand proves simple to assemble and cleverly, the back of the unit is kept completely open to allow cables to go where they’re needed without the faff. While the latticed body of the unit offers an attractive texture, it also allows remote control signals to get through with the doors shut, giving us even less reason to haul ourselves off the sofa.
Dunelm Oliver wide TV stand
Best: Style on a budget
- Dimensions: H 51cm x W 120cm x D 38cm
Funky, modern, compact and affordable, this vibrant number from Dunelm ticks a lot of boxes. The self-assembly piece is made from a mix of medium-density fibreboard (MDF) and particle board with a smooth ochre painted finish and a contrasting oak effect top. We loved its brilliantly utilitarian design, and that it offers a cheery colour pop in the living room. The body of the unit is elevated on a strong metal frame in black, which illuminates the simple handles, while functional storage space comes in a mix of open and hidden shelving, plus a handy drawer for cables and remotes. Well-crafted and easy to assemble, regardless of its purse-friendly price.
Dunelm priya TV stand
- Dimensions: H 45cm x W 110cm x D 42cm
For those with deeper pockets, this is another design triumph from Dunelm, this time taking design cues from stylish Art Deco furniture pieces. The priya TV stand is a beautiful piece of engineering with its striking grooved door design that adds an eye-popping texture. But it’s not just about the frontage: crafted from solid mango wood, the piece boasts impressive woodwork throughout, while brass effect pull-handles and angled legs offer glamorous accents. On the practical side, this one features generously wide open shelving complete with cable holes at the back, plus hidden storage in the shape of two boxy cupboards on either side.
Hykkon solid wood TV stand
Best: Retro design
- Dimensions: H 47cm x W 90cm x D 35cm
With its playfully curved mid-century lines and angled pin legs, this is one retro furniture piece that belies the modern-day tech it’s designed to hold. The TV stand is hand-crafted from rich and warm chestnut with a pair of small brass knobs that bring out the wood’s golden tones. We loved this one for its simple design: an open, backless shelf gives us versatile storage space for the consoles, while the pair of drawers keep bits and bobs tidied away and offers a pleasing symmetry. Fun, funky, and functional.
John Lewis & Partners grayson TV stand sideboard, dark
Best: For hiding tech
- Dimensions: H 57.5cm x W 120cm x D 40cm
Fashioned from a mix of walnut veneers and MDF, this is a modish media unit that’s as Scandi chic as it is mid-century inspired. Mimicking the best walnut furniture pieces of yesteryear, the slatted wrap-around effect doors open up to reveal two adjustable glass shelves inside. Everything except the telly is completely hidden with this one – ideal if you don’t want an ugly DVD player upsetting the aesthetic. The grayson is generous in width and storage space and is beautifully crafted.
The verdict: TV stands
Made’s pavis wide TV stand got our top marks for its sharp contemporary design with a hint of boho. The oak effect body looks and feels like the real thing, keeping the price down. This is an impressive furniture piece all around. On the more expensive side, we also loved Dunelm’s priya TV stand for its beautifully intricate woodwork and glamorous brass accents.
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