A Guide to Buying Lockable Storage Boxes

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A Guide to Buying Lockable Storage Boxes

Storage boxes can be invaluable for securely storing possessions of all kinds and can help to protect delicate items from damage, provide a way of categorising belongings, and increase storage space in homes with limited storage. They are available in a wide range of materials, designs, and sizes, with varying types of lids and locks used to secure the boxes. Searching through various brands and types is essential when buying storage boxes in order to find the right one needed.

Types of Lockable Boxes

Lockable storage boxes are available in sizes from just a few inches square, for the storage of jewellery and small valuable items, to large trunks and stackable boxes designed to store larger possessions in an attic, outhouse, or garage. Waterproof metal and plastic storage boxes are also available for use outside, such as in gardens, playgrounds, or back yards.

Stackable boxes

These boxes are designed with specially shaped lids or tops and correspondingly shaped undersides, to make it easier to stack them in piles. They can be very useful for making the most of limited storage space.


Lockable wooden chests can be used for storing clothes, bedding or toys within the house. They are available in a range of designs from very plain to very ornate with decorative carvings and various finishes to fit in with home decor. Strong, waterproofed wooden chests may also be used for outdoor storage.

Keepsake boxes

Usually small, designed for the secure storage of jewellery and keepsakes. They may be fastened with a padlock or use a lock and key to close securely.

Hazardous material containers

These boxes are usually very strong and secure and are designed to ensure their contents are safely contained. They may be made from metal or plastic and are often fastened with padlocks.

Storage Box Materials

Storage boxes are available in a variety of materials, offering various levels of convenience, security, and protection from damage. Depending on the box's intended use, choosing the right material is important to ensure that it fulfils its purpose.

Wooden (solid)

Solid wood offers some protection from damage and may protect against damp, rain, and mould. Available in many attractive and novelty designs.

Wooden (crate)

Lighter than solid wood, with wooden slats forming a box and lid. Offers less security and protection for delicate items and does not protect from the elements, as the sides are open to the air between the slats. This allows easy identification of contents as they can be seen through the crate.


Among the strongest storage solutions, they may be extremely resilient and can be fitted with very strong and secure locks. Metal boxes can be made airtight and watertight, though some types of metal may be vulnerable to rust. These storage boxes may be very heavy and strong, although some metals such as aluminium are much lighter.


Comes in a huge range of designs, colours, and sizes, with varying levels of strength and security. Plastic storage boxes may be made watertight and airtight, and they can be very strong and resilient. Some plastic is transparent, allowing for easy viewing and identification of the box's contents. Generally lighter than metal.


Reinforced cardboard can make very light and portable boxes, usually small for storage of personal items like jewellery. Offers little protection from damage. Available in a wide range of prints, patterns, and colours.


A range of lockable boxes are available in combinations of materials such as metal, plastic, glass, wood, and even stones such as marble or soapstone.

Design Choices

The appearance and design of a lockable box may be important if the box is intended to be used for storage within the home, especially if it is likely to be on display. Storage boxes are available in a wide range of designs which are both attractive and practical, including antique-style wooden chests with hinged lids. These are available in clean, minimalist styles or with elaborate and detailed carving to suit various tastes and locations. Lockable boxes also come in various novelty designs for children's rooms, including wooden or plastic boxes made to look like pirates' treasure chests. Stackable boxes, which are designed to fit together securely, are useful for some storage situations. They can greatly expand storage space in a room or garage, as the ability to stack the boxes allows a large number of boxes to be stored vertically, making the most of available vertical space. This can make the items in lower boxes less convenient to access, and it is a better solution for storing items which are used infrequently rather than objects which will frequently need to be retrieved and replaced. Other types of boxes with curved lids, or handles protruding from their lids, cannot be stacked. Some are actually designed with sloping lids to prevent anything being left on top of the box, ensuring that the contents will always be easily accessible. The closure types of lockable boxes also vary: some boxes have hinged lids, others have lids which are completely removable. The latter may make it easier to pack and unpack the boxes, whereas hinged lids are convenient in that they cannot get lost and become separated from the boxes. Others have hinged front panels which lift or swing open, which may be more practical for a large box used for storing tools in a garden or shed.

Types of Lock

Lockable storage boxes also have a variety of different locks, which offer varying levels of security and convenience.

Lock and key

The traditional type of lock: a keyhole built into the box itself with a corresponding key which unlocks it. This ensures the box cannot be opened by anybody who does not have access to the key. However, there is the risk of the key being lost or stolen.


A padlock fastens on to part of the box, holding the lid shut until the padlock is unlocked with a key and removed. The padlock may come as part of the box or be purchased separately, and it is possible to use more than one for extra security. It is possible to purchase very small and lightweight padlocks, or very strong and heavy for more security. They offer many of the same advantages as an inbuilt lock, with the same risk of losing access to the box if the key is lost or stolen.

Combination locks

This type of lock relies on a number code being correctly provided before the lock opens. They may be digital, with a keypad to input the number, or mechanical locks with numbers on dials which must be turned to the correct position. One advantage of these locks is that unless the combination is written down, it cannot be stolen, however, there is also the risk of forgetting the code.

Child-proof locks

A child-proof lock is designed to prevent small children gaining access to the contents of the box, requiring the lock or handled to be manipulated in a specific, usually deliberately non-intuitive way. These locks can be opened by most adults regardless of whether they have a key or code to do so, and are not generally used to secure valuable items against theft, but rather on storage boxes within the house, to prevent young children from opening a box containing fragile items, or substances which could potentially harm the child such as medicines or cleaning products.

How to Buy Lockable Storage Boxes on eBay

To find and purchase lockable storage boxes on eBay, first go to the eBay homepage, and from the All Categories drop-down, select Home, Furniture & DIY and click Search. From this page, select Storage Solutions from the side menu, and then Storage Boxes. Browse for lockable storage boxes on this page, or use the side menu to narrow down the search and look at boxes by material, condition, features, colour, brand, or other factors. More specific searches can also be performed by using the search bar to look for specific keywords such as 'padlock' or 'keepsake box'.


Lockable boxes can be extremely useful for protecting valuable or delicate items, pack belongings when moving house, or to increase the storage space within a house. Selecting the right type of box is important: choose carefully by searching various types of box and different brands to find the right storage solution.

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