The best kind of shelves to use depends on several different factors, including where the shelves will be, what will be stored on them, and how the shelves should look. Different shelves are better for particular uses, so having more information can help consumers pick the best type.
Shelving comes in many different types, with different brackets for different purposes. Brackets are the pieces, often made of metal, that secure the shelf to the wall. There are different types: adjustable brackets span the height of the wall and allow the shelf to be removed and replaced; simple brackets secure the shelf to the wall in a fixed position; and invisible brackets on "floating shelves" are hidden by the shelf itself.
When choosing function over style, especially in areas that aren't often seen such as in closets, laundry rooms, or other areas with high storage, adjustable shelves are the best option. They allow users to change the height of the shelving much easier than bracket shelves.
Bracket shelves should be used for a mix of style and function. They can hold more weight than floating shelves and are useful for holding books and other heavy objects.
Lastly, floating shelves are best used for decorations in a space where large brackets under the shelves would appear unsightly. Use these for small decorations, picture frames, or trophies to create a clean, minimalist look.