Design: Jewelry organizers fall into two categories: open storage (stands, catchalls, trays) and closed storage (boxes, drawers, cases). The general guidance is that the finer the jewelry, the more careful you want to be.
Pieces with semiprecious stones or precious metals (silver, especially) should be stored in a soft, lined box (velvet is popular). Costume jewelry is a little more forgiving, so it can be left out in the open. Two caveats, though: (1) Beware of dust bunnies, and (2) keep stones away from the sun, as shine fades. Use small catchall trays as resting places for rings and anything you take on and off frequently. A jewelry stand — usually meant for bracelets and necklaces — prevents tangles and knots.
Then there’s the presentation to consider. “Storage is really about compliance,” explains Ope Omojola, founder of Octave Jewelry. “If there’s a really amazing piece of storage that is perfect and works really well in the abstract, but you’re never going to use it or you hate how it looks, then it’s not for you.” There’s an argument for clear organizers to get a glimpse of everything you own (but these can feel a little crafty) — a see-through lid might be more than enough to see your most-used pieces. Meanwhile, a mirror makes trying on easy, like you’re sitting at a jeweler’s counter.
Division of storage space: We’ve covered the exterior, but the interior’s just as important. Sure, you can do what Jennifer Behr, founder of an eponymous accessories line, does: Keep pieces that are fine or demi-fine in the boxes they came in and tape a small picture of the contents to the outside to know what’s what. Or follow Jill Martinelli of Lady Grey’s example: She stores her treasures individually in tiny plastic bags. But the best jewelry organizers will do this job for you with different compartments, tiers, rows, and partitions — the goal is to have each piece in its own place. As we considered which of the below organizers deserved which titles, this is what separated the ones that earned the top spot from others that were included as options. For each pick, we made sure to mention if the organizer has earring slots, necklace hooks, sections for bracelets, and so on.
Size: For practicality’s sake, a jewelry organizer should be able to hold a lot without taking up a whole lot of space. Here’s where I have to confess that I’m anti-armoire. They seem smart in theory, but the problem is that they’re full-on pieces of furniture, meaning an armoire is hard to move around (and even harder to match with the rest of your furnishings). Instead, free up floor space with a wider, wall-mounted organizer. Also take into consideration that your dresser countertop might need rearranging if you choose a box, while catchalls can sit on top of anything. To help you choose between our picks, we included the measurements for all the organizers on this list.