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All About Curio Cabinets: Overview, Uses, Types, and Other Factors to Consider

Photo credit: Bigstockphoto
Photo credit: Bigstockphoto

A curio cabinet is a glass case used to display any item. The cabinet features clear glass panels on the front and on either side to give a full view of the collectibles. The cabinet also features glass shelves, mirror backs for optimal viewing of the content. Some curio cabinets come with installed lighting to highlight the collectible.

Curio VS China Cabinets: What is the Difference?

A curio cabinet is often mistaken for a china cabinet because both types of cabinets are used to display valuable items. The difference between a curio cabinet and a china cabinet is the contents. A china cabinet is used to display fine china, such as dish sets, dining sets, cutlery, etc. A china cabinet is constructed of a combination of wood and glass for extra sturdiness.

On the other hand, curio cabinets are made from an all-glass material or glass and metal material to store smaller collectibles. Curio cabinets are not designed to showcase heavier items like a complete dish set or glassware!

Benefits of a Curio Cabinet

Display Heirloom Items/Collectibles

Usually, curio cabinets are designed to display important items, such as heirloom pieces, collectibles, vintage items and so much more. The idea is to display items that hold sentimental value to the owner.

Protection from Dust, Damage, and Pests

Important items need special cases to protect the material from damage, dust, and pets. This goes especially for very rare collector items with delicate materials, like baseball cards, antiques, crystal figurines, etc. A curio cabinet protects valuable heirlooms from the elements.


Curio cabinets come in an array of designs and sizes, each one has its own useful features. These cases do more than keep your valuables in pristine condition. Curio cabinets pull double duty as home decors too! It’s the perfect case to show off your collectibles to guests.

Types of Curio Cabinets

Corner Curio Cabinet: As the name implies, this curio cabinet is designed to be placed in unused corners of a living space. A corner curio cabinet usually comes in a triangular shape so it fits the corners perfectly.

Wall Mounted Curio Cabinet: This curio cabinet is designed to be mounted high on a wall. It is perfect for protecting collectibles and heirloom pieces from children and pets. Wall mounted curio cabinets work better for displaying smaller items!

Standard Curio Cabinets: This standard, freestanding curio cabinet features multiple shelves to store collectibles. The size will vary from a couple of feet in width or more.

Decorating Ideas with Curio Cabinets

As far as decorating with a curio cabinet goes, you want to place the cabinet in a spot that gets a lot of traffic. This way, your precious collectibles are always in full view. Of course, you want to make sure the cabinet is not in the way to avoid accidents!

You can use a small or medium-sized curio cabinet to showcase your miniature doll collection, rocks, or toy cars. You can also use it to store velvet ring boxes, beautiful shells, or your vintage bracelets. For large curio cabinets, you can use it to display precious rocks like jade, crystals, etc. You can also use it to store antique lunchboxes, ornate tins, old books, and a variety of items in various sizes.

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