The 5 Best Milk Crates [Ranked]

A milk crate is a square or rectangular box that was, originally, used to ship milk from a distributor to different commercial sites such as retail stores or even schools (Source).

Traditionally, these have been used in commercial and industrial settings. However, you can also use milk crates for storage and aesthetic purposes as well (Source). Some people have even gotten creative enough to make their milk crates into furniture!

No matter if you are using metal milk crates, vintage milk crates, or even just plastic milk crates– what you can do with them is nearly endless (Source). If you aren’t quite sure what you want to do, though, there are plenty of ideas out there to help you. From furniture to bookshelves to even bike baskets, the possibilities are limitless (Source).

Buyer Advice

Now, though, let’s take a look at some of the advice that other customers have for you: the new buyer. First and foremost, they say to keep your mind open and don’t be afraid to get creative with your milk crates since there’s really no wrong way to use them- whether for storage or to function as an impromptu TV stand!

Secondly, many customers say that these are fantastic for storage and the collapsible options are especially convenient since you can fold them up when you don’t need them.

Milk Crates Compared

How They Compare


What we really want to know, though, is what the difference between the five milk crates we are looking at. The major difference between them is the type of milk crate they are.

First, we have the Sterilite milk crate and the Akro-Mills rectangular milk crate. Both these options are plastic mesh which is what most people think of when they consider getting a milk crate for storage.

The bare wire milk crate is a unique, metal mesh milk crate. This offers a fantastic but minimalist design to store your things in or decorate as you wish.

Finally, we have the two CleverMade options. Each of these are collapsible options that are fantastic if they aren’t being used all the time. Some customers have even suggested using these models for dorm rooms since they can be used during the school year and when they come home, the milk crates can simply be folded up until they are needed again.

Milk Crate Benefits


  • Repurposing old milk crates is an excellent way to add a unique and homey charm to your house.
  • Larger, rectangular milk crates can be used to store plenty of items, helping you get more organized.Since they can be so small, square milk crates are perfect for bedrooms and college dorms.
  • Milk crates can be repurposed into furniture so you could an ottoman or small seat at only a fraction of the price you would usually pay for it.
  • If you are interested in gardening, one of these can be used as a planter to hold the plants you need.
  • Milk crates can even be stacked or mounted to the wall to make beautiful and unique shelving.

Best Milk Crates For 2017

Effectiveness

Price

Ease of Use

The Sterilite 6-Pack Milk Crate is a solid option if you need a crate which provides the most versatile storage solutions for your home or office. Users like the handiness of the milk crate, but many do complain about receiving a misshapen item.

This set includes 6 plastic file crates which can hold folders, letters, papers, books, supplies and other essentials. Thanks to a unique indexing feature you can create a modular system, arranged either vertically or horizontally, i.e. stack them on top of each other. The crate is available in black, white and clear color. This item seems like a solid choice if you want stackable crates which keep everything close at hand for easy access.

In general, users are happy with the SteriliteMilk Crate and find it very handy for sorting and storing all kinds of things. They state that it is heavy duty, strong and sturdy. Many users say that it looks nice and professional (great for classroom or office).

However, many buyers complain about receiving the item with distorted sides which prevents the file folders from fitting. Another frequent complaint is that you only get one crate for the price posted instead of six, contrary to the title and description which clearly state you get a 6-pack of the crates.

Pros

  • Very handy for sorting and storing all kinds of things
  • Heavy duty
  • Strong and sturdy
  • Look nice and professional

Cons

  • Many buyers complain about receiving a misshapen item (the file folders do not fit)
  • Frequent complaint –one crate delivered instead of six

Effectiveness

Price

Ease of Use

If you are looking for top-rated milk crates, you might want to consider the CleverMade 62 Liter Milk Crate. Users like the usefulness of this milk crate, but some do complain about it not being very heavy duty.

This product is an all-purpose utility crate that increases the ease and efficiency of daily tasks and storage, both indoors and out. It features a sturdy bottom base with solid walls, which makes it ideal for heavy-duty projects.

Thanks to the interlocking nesting system the crates are stable enough for vertical stacking. You can collapse it down to 2.8″ H for compact storage, when not in use. You can choose between black, kiwi green and royal blue color. This item could be a good choice if you need a sturdy milk crate with a load capacity of 132 pounds.

In general, users have a favorable opinion of the CleverMade Collapsible Storage Bin. They agree that it is sturdy and strong. Users conclude that it is a convenient collapsible storage solution.

However, some buyers complain that it breaks under medium to heavy duty load. Others wish there was some sort of a snap-on cover for it.

Pros

  • Sturdy
  • Strong
  • Convenient to store when collapsed

Cons

  • Some buyers complain that it breaks under medium to heavy duty load
  • Users wish there was some sort of a snap-on cover

Effectiveness

Price

Ease of Use

The Akro-Mils Straight Walls Container is a solid option if you need an efficient shipping, storage, and work-in-progress container.Users like the airflow of this utility crate, and so far only have a complaint regarding the bottom reinforcement.

This product features open mesh sides and mesh base, as well as ergonomically designed hand-holes on all four sides that allow you to grab it from any angle. Its strong 1’’ wide stacking rims and external ribbing provide added strength. You can choose between grey and red color. This crate might be a solid choice if you need a lightweight mesh container with high visibility and good airflow.

In general, users have a favorable opinion of the Akro-Mils Crate and they agree that it is very strong. They appreciate the open sides and bottom since they provide free movement of air and less chance of mold. As one satisfied user says, the crate is strong enough to stack heavy veggies and open enough to keep them from rotting early. In addition, buyers share that the edges aren’t sharp and won’t hurt your hands.

The only issue reported from an online reviewer concerns the bottom reinforcement which could be a bit stiffer so that it doesn’t bow when lifting the crate full of bottles.

Pros

  • Very strong
  • Good ventilation – no mold
  • No sharp edges

Cons

  • Complaint – the bottom bows when lifting the crate full of bottles

Effectiveness

Price

Ease of Use

If you’re looking for a milk crate,you might want to consider this one offered by Threshold. So far none of the purchasers have left a feedback for this item.

This product is a wire milk crate which measures 14” X 13” X 11”H. It could be a perfect storage option for your kitchen, bathroom, office or closet. The crate is easy to clean with a damp cloth.This multi-purpose storage bin could be a solid choice for all your storage needs.

Pros

  • No feedback from the buyers

Cons

  • No feedback from the buyers

Effectiveness

Price

Ease of Use

The CleverMade 46 Liter Collapsible Container is a good option for keeping your home or office organized and clutter-free. Users like the handiness of this crate, but some complain about its flimsiness.

This product is a collapsible container that is made of recyclable materials and is easy to clean. It offers a smart, space-saving solution to simplify all of your activities, trips and day-to-day tasks. You can pop it open when you need it and simply fold it flat when you don’t. The item is available in black, iris blue and royal blue. If you want a sustainable alternative to plastic and paper bags, totes, and boxes, this milk crate might be a good option.

In general, users have a positive opinion of the CleverMade Utility Basket and they agree that it is durable and well-built with thick plastic.

However, some buyers complain that the item arrived broken. Several purchasers state that the crate feels quite flimsy.

Pros

  • Durable
  • Well-built with thick plastic

Cons

  • Some buyers complain that the item arrived broken
  • Several purchasers state the crate feels quite flimsy

Creative Milk Crate Uses


Besides storing milk, many handy recyclers find creative uses for milk crates. If you're in need of one, you can find them at Walmart, Home Depot, Target, Lowes, on Amazon, and even on Craigslist. We did some research online and found that IKEA actually sells faux milk crates that function as shabby chic storage bins.

The folks over at Wisebread.com say that they themselves use milk crates to organize their vinyl record collections, to function as impromptu seats for apartment parties, and stackable storage cubby solutions for winter clothing.

Besides that, we've seen them recycled to function as bike baskets so that when you ride your bicycle to the grocery store you can load it up with the week's groceries.

If you're down on your luck and don't have money for a proper television stand or an upmarket entertainment center, you can flip a milk crate over and have it function as an improvised television stand.

Try lining your crate with plastic, fill it up with soil, throw some flower bulbs in there or even grow a vegetable garden on your rooftop. If you're short, it's handy to keep the crates around to use them as a step stool to reach up into your kitchens cupboards for that recalcitrant milk glass.

Who can forget the indelible imagery of a milk crate functioning as a basketball hoop in urban areas- that is another interesting use we've seen for milk crates.

Milk crates can be lined up together into a square or rectangle to function as a desk-providing a level surface to eat dinner or play a game of cards.

These are some creative uses we've seen on the Internet- leave a comment below if you have any other ideas for creatively upcycling your milk crates.

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