Over the toilet storage: 7 ways to do it smartly

ikea over the toilet storage

When it comes to maximising storage in a smaller bathroom, don’t forget the space over the toilet cistern. The usual solution is to install floating bathroom shelves and cabinets above it.

But if you’re in a renter situation or you want to keep drilling to a minimum, a standing shelving unit is a good option.

IKEA may already have the answer to your bathroom storage needs. We’ll start with what IKEA has to offer in the bathroom department and then move on to a few hacks for storage above the toilet seat. Let’s go.

1. HEMNES bathroom shelf

An over toilet storage unit from the classic HEMNES range, with the same kind of detailing to match other pieces of furniture in the HEMNES series. The construction is simple: two doors open up to reveal an adjustable shelf to hold your bathroom essentials. An open shelf below it makes it easier to access frequently used items.

Material wise, it’s made from fiberboard, which means it won’t stand up to a lot of water and dampness. Always keep the area surround the HEMNES bathroom storage unit dry.

Best to secure the unit to the wall at 4 specified spots.

2. ENHET wall storage combination

The ENHET series is a great addition to IKEA’s bathroom solutions. Here they show an elegant combination of closed storage to store “less pretty” bathroom items and open shelving. We love open shelves for stuff we want on display — rolled up towels, a basket full of tasteful toiletries … you know the drill.

You can tailor the combination to the wall space around your toilet, choosing either the 24″ or 30″ wide wall cabinet at the top.

The cabinet is made from particleboard (as usual) while the open shelves are powder coated galvanized steel. The metal should hold up well in the damp bathroom situation. Nevertheless, don’t let it stand on puddles of water to minimise risk of rust.

3. DYNAN wall shelves

DYNAN over the toilet storage unit

IKEA used to sell a cheap over the toilet shelving unit with 3-tiers of storage space called the DYNAN. It was a great no-fuss solution. Made out of steel, you could probably use it over the sink too. But it seems to be discontinued but you may still be able to find them on pre-owned markets like FB marketplace or eBay.

Now for some over the toilet storage IKEA hacks

If IKEA’s readymade solutions don’t fit the bill, start hacking and DIY your own custom shelving to squeeze in more storage over the toilet.

4. IVAR bathroom space saver for renters

Having quite a small bathroom, without space for closet or an opportunity to replace any furniture, since we are renting, we have to be creative. There are many space-savers for bathroom on the market but most of them quite ugly and/or expensive ($100 easily).

We needed nice-looking closed storage with open access to the only power outlet which is place right above the toilet.

IKEA hack IVAR for storage over toilet

Supplies needed: 

IVAR side units x 2
IVAR shelf x 4
OBSERVATOR cross-brace x 2
LENDA fabric (1 yard)
Push-pins (2 dozens)

TIMING: 2 hrs

IVAR hack for bathroom

Hacking it was not difficult. I used the two side posts to build a tower with cross-braces. Then mounted shelves everywhere except the bottom. Lastly, covered the side panel with fabric and made a curtain to cover it all from the front side. Easy-peasy but very pretty looking if you are into Scandinavian design.

IVAR now has cane doors which makes this hack even easier.

~ by Natasha, NYC

5. IKEA bookcase over the toilet storage hack

My goal was to incorporate some storage in a very small bathroom in my condo. I found the bookcase for free on Craigslist and figured I would try to hack it for a storage unit.

Over the toilet storage unit IKEA hack

IKEA items used:

26.5 inch wide IKEA Bookcase found free on Craigslist. (I think it’s a KILBY, but the same can be hacked with a BILLY bookcase)
Hook from my toolbox

I kept the back panel off of the bookcase, but you could cut the back panel to fit to the middle shelf if you want a back panel. However, I also did not use the bottom shelf since this unit sits over the toilet. I used all other shelves. The affixed middle shelf was the perfect height to go over the toilet tank. I had a hook in the toolbox and installed it to hold the hand towel; again for free. Add a few more hooks if you need to.

Over the toilet storage unit IKEA hack
IKEA bookshelf hacked for over the toilet storage

Given it’s made of particleboard material, it’s probably not the best idea to place it next to the shower but I’ve been using it for a few months and it’s still holding up. Most important is to air your bathroom.

Safety Warning: This organizer unit should be attached to the wall with L-brackets if there are kids in the home.

~ by Annie Handley

6. DIY affordable, sturdy over-the-toilet storage

The HYLLIS shelf always looked too flimsy to be very useful, but it’s surprisingly sturdy. And was a good size for my bathroom. Slotted in right next to the bathroom vanity and toilet paper holder and offers plenty of storage. Best thing, it’s non-gratuitously priced like most toilet cabinets.


HYLLIS shelving unit


Bed risers/wood blocks
Extra fasteners/lashing materials

HYLLIS shelving unit used for storage in bathroom

1. Assemble HYLLIS using only the top 2-3 shelves, depending on the height of your toilet and whether or not you use risers to elevate the HYLLIS
2. Place HYLLIS over the toilet, securing to risers via glue or lashing materials.
3. Using one of the remaining shelves, screw the shelf in to the two rear unit legs so that the shelf goes behind the toilet (this is only possible with certain plumbing configurations – our plumbing goes into the floor, so it is possible, but yours may go in to the wall behind the toilet, possibly making it impossible to add this stability bar without using tin snips to cut the shelf, which may decrease its stabilizing abilities). The shelf will be vertical, and aligned flush with the rear unit legs.
4. Optional- stabilize the shelf to the wall. Our HYLLIS was stable enough and not tippy at all, so we deemed this step unnecessary.

~ by AJE, Ann Arbor, MI

7. LERBERG shelf into storage-over-toilet unit

I had been looking for an economic and aesthetically pleasing over the toilet storage unit. Unfortunately, most were over $80 and often not didn’t fit my needs. For example, often the spacing between slats of the shelf were too large and small items like medicines could fall through.

Previously, I used the LERBERG as a bookshelf. However, as I was frustrated with my search for over-the-toilet unit, I measured the height of the IKEA LERBERG (minus the bottom two shelves) and the width. Surprisingly, it fit the dimensions of my toilet and the limited space in my bathroom.

IKEA LERBERG shelving unit in bathroom

Steps to DIY a over the toilet storage with IKEA LERBERG

1. Assemble the LERBERG as usual with all 4 shelves.
2. Take out the bottom two shelves.
3. Place the bolts/screws in the holes that used to hold the 3rd shelf, otherwise
it may be a little ‘wobbly’.

*Note: this hack is entirely dependent on the space width of your toilet, measure the width and height first then compare with product dimensions/ information on IKEA product site.

Simple and easy IKEA hack. And I have a new bathroom cabinet.

~ Charlie