Sideboard  buying guide

Sideboard buying guide

Tess, painting & decorating consultant, Brighton

Guide written by:

Tess, painting & decorating consultant, Brighton

52 guides

Sideboards are ideal for adding storage and style to your living room. From traditional designs to Scandi or industrial style, there's a sideboard to match all tastes and budgets. Whether you're looking for a glazed sideboard or a highboard with built-in LEDs, read on to find the perfect sideboard for your space.

Important features

  • Sideboard style
  • Sideboard model
  • Different materials
  • Sideboard storage
  • LED strip lights and built-in spotlights
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Key criteria for choosing a sideboard


A popular choice for living rooms, sideboards offer the ideal storage solution and come in a range of different styles, sizes and designs. In order to find a sideboard that suits you, it's important to consider certain criteria:

  • the style of the sideboard: Scandinavian, industrial, traditional, rustic, designer, exotic, etc. ;
  • the type of sideboard: traditional, sideboard dressers, glazed, drinks cabinets, etc.;
  • materials: solid wood, painted wood, wood laminate, metal, glass, etc.;
  • storage: drawers, cupboards, open shelves and cubes;
  • lighting: LED strip lights, built-in spotlights.
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Traditional sideboards to sideboard dressers

Traditional sideboards


Traditional sideboards are low furniture items that usually measure around 90 cm to 1 metre in height.

They can feature drawers with different compartments or small cupboards and are often topped with decorative items such as lamps, photo frames, vases or candle holders.

Sideboard dressers


Taller sideboards can work well in more spacious rooms. Sideboard dressers offer a lot of storage but are narrower than other models.

Made up of drawers, cupboards and open shelves, sideboard dressers have long been a popular addition to living rooms and open plan kitchens. They can be made of one or two parts (in the latter case, a top unit rests on the sideboard).

Glazed sideboards


Glazed sideboards feature one or several glass elements.

While traditional sideboards can feature glass parts, it is more common to find glazed sideboard dressers.



Usually large and sturdy furniture items, highboards can be used to store entire sets of dishes.

They can feature cupboards, drawers, open storage slots or glazed doors.

Drinks cabinets


Whether in the form of a traditional narrow sideboard or a taller buffet, drinks cabinets are usually great for small spaces. They offer a handy solution for storing bottles and spaces for tidying away or presenting your wine glasses for a bar-style feel.

Some models even feature a pull-out door that can be used as a tray.

Choosing a material for your sideboard


Your choice of material is very important as it will determine your sideboard's care requirements and durability.

  • Painted wood: very attractive and modern in style; however, you will have to dust on a regular basis. These units are also easily scratched.
  • Solid wood: heavy and very hard-wearing, this material is easy to care for and can be refurbished. Your choice of wood species will dictate the colour of the wood.
  • Wood laminate: delicate but easy to care for. You will have to be careful, however, as this material is not shock-resistant and won't offer a very long service life.
  • Metal: this material is very durable and doesn't require a lot of care. It is usually painted.
  • Glass: used in combination with another material, glass gets dirty very quickly and requires regular or even daily cleaning. It is also fragile.

Sideboard storage solutions: drawers, cupboards and storage cubes

The type of storage system you choose will depend on what you want to store in your sideboard. Have a think about the items you want to stow away and choose between drawers, cupboards and storage cubes.



For storing cutlery, tea towels, etc.Be sure to fit your drawers with organisers to make sure your items don't get jumbled.



Equipped with hinged or sliding doors (for smaller spaces), cupboards offer more storage and can be equipped with a range of shelves, depending on the size of the sideboard.

Storage cubes


Open storage cubes are practical for storing items or utensils you use on a daily basis or to display decorative items.Available in a range of sizes, they can feature shelved compartments to maximise the amount of storage.

Sideboards with lights: practical and decorative


Whether for a glazed sideboard or a highboard, there are two main types of lighting:

  • LED strip lights for use with glazed units with shelves or to light up the units from beneath or over the top for a decorative touch.
  • Built-in spotlights: usually featured on highboards, sideboard dressers or other non-glazed models. It's a good idea to choose lights with varying intensity that can be turned up when you're looking for something inside the unit.

Explore the ManoMano catalog

Shop our sideboards

Guide written by:

Tess, painting & decorating consultant, Brighton, 52 guides

Tess, painting & decorating consultant, Brighton

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