New School Lockers Buyers Guide - 9 Easy Steps

New School Lockers Buyers Guide - 9 Easy Steps

Are you buying new school lockers? There’s a lot of choices, so we’ve explained the main options to help you decide what you need.

We sell a broad range of great school lockers by leading manufacturer Probe. They come in a variety of materials, sizes, colours and designs, so here’s our guide to choosing the right option for your school.

Your nine things to consider are:

  1. What Material – Plastic, Laminate or Metal?
  2. What Size – Cube, Low or High Lockers?
  3. How many compartments should they have?
  4. Do We Need Flat Tops or Sloping Tops?
  5. Are 1 Or 2-Person Lockers Best?
  6. What’s The Difference Between Inset And Overlay Doors?
  7. What’s The Benefit of Laptop Lockers?
  8. What Colour Lockers Can We Get?
  9. Which Type Of Locks Would Be Best?


1 - What Material – Plastic, Laminate or Metal?

METAL School Locker - THE PROS: Economical Colour options Size options Anti-bacterial Finish Lock options THE CONS: Medium duty Indoor use only 1 THE PROS: Water resistant option ideal for damp areas Waterproof option ideal for outdoor Use THE CONS: More expensive Less size options THE PROS: Solid grade laminate doors Heavy duty Scratch resistant Inlay or overlay door options THE CONS: More expensive Indoor use only Which Locker is best for our school? Plastic, Laminate or Steel?

Where will your lockers live? If you need them to be damp or water-resistant, we recommend choosing plastic lockers. The Probe Ultrabox Plus range are fully waterproof, suitable for use in the playground.

Metal (steel) lockers are the traditional choice for a school locker room. They allow a lot of flexibility when it comes to size, shape, colour and configuration. An extra advantage of Probe’s steel doors is that they can be coated with an antibacterial layer effective against MRSA, E.Coli and other harmful bugs - ideal for reducing the spread of illness around a school. Steel doors are secure, but a good kick can still dent them or have graffiti scratched into them.

Laminate doors are a more hard-wearing option that makes sense for many schools. They’re a little more expensive but they can’t be scratched or dented and can withstand years of rough treatment. They look smart too.


2 - What Size – Cube, Low or High Lockers?

School Lockers CUBE LOW 2 WHAT ARE THE PROS AND CONS... CUBE, LOW OR HIGH LOCKERS? THE PROS: Economical Colour options Ideal height for 9 years upwards 8 options - 1-16 door Anti-bacterial finish Coat hooks in 1/2 door versions THE CONS: Medium duty Too high for under 9 years No hanging space in 3 door upwards THE PROS: Economical Colour options Ideal height for under 8 years 3 sizes -1,2 or 3 doors Anti-bacterial finish THE CONS: Medium duty No hanging space in 2 or 3 door THE PROS: Economical Colour options 3 Size options Connect together as required Anti-bacterial finish THE CONS: Medium duty Not spacious Cube, perfect for infants. Low, perfect for under 8-year-old. High sized lockers perfect for all ages and teachers.

The first thing to consider is how much stuff your students need to store. For primary schools, or where students only need to store a school bag or some books, cube lockers are the ideal size. You can stack and arrange them however you like.

High lockers are a good way to get lots of vertical storage space (including hanging space) without taking up too much floor area. You might need to think about whether smaller children would be able to reach the top shelf.

Low lockers are somewhere in between – more storage space than cube lockers, less than high lockers. You can fit even more lockers into a small space by stacking these in twos.


3 - How Many Compartments Should They Have?

School MULTI-DOORS Lockers - THE PROS: Space efficient Sizes to fit small valuables - phones etc Sizes to fit large backpacks - 3 and 4 door Colour options Anti-bacterial finish THE CONS: No hanging space 3 HOW MANY... COMPARTMENTS SHOULD I HAVE? THE PROS: Hanging space - 2 coat hooks Top shelf fitted Economical Colour options Anti-bacterial finish THE CONS: Medium duty Only one Student per locker SINGLE DOOR What is the objective? Store large items for fewer students or store small items for multiple students?

If you don’t think each student needs all the vertical storage space of a high locker, you can buy lockers split into up to 16 compartments, one for each student. It’s like having lots of smaller lockers, saving you space at the school. Bear in mind that smaller compartments for each student means no space for them to hang a coat or to store big items like sports equipment.


4 - Do We Need Flat Tops or Sloping Tops?

SLOPING-TOP THE PROS: Prevents clutter on top of Locker THE CONS: Adds extra cost 4 SHOULD I GO WITH A... FLAT TOP OR A SLOPING TOP LOCKER? THE PROS: Allows storage on top of Locker THE CONS: Clutter on top can be unsightly Hygiene or extra storage; What's your school's goal?

It’s a small extra expense, but it might be worth it to fit sloping tops to your school lockers to prevent rubbish and lost items getting thrown on top of them. On the other hand, you might value the extra storage space on top of flat-topped lockers.

5 - Are 1 or 2-person Lockers Best?

1 STUDENT SCHOOL LOCKER THE PROS: A wider model gives user more capacity Good size for school bags THE CONS: Uses more physical space in school MULTI-DOOR LOCKER = 2 STUDENT SCHOOL LOCKER THE PROS: 2 Students occupy space of one standard locker Cost effective solution THE CONS: Less storage space How much floor space do you have? This will answer the question about 1 or 2-person locker.

Sometimes, a 2-person locker takes up the same amount of space as a 1-person locker. 2-person lockers are split in half so that two people use half of the locker each. This is a good way to save space in your locker room, but each student has less storage space.


6 - What’s the Difference Between Inset and Overlay Doors?

THE PROS: Student vandal resistant Heavy duty doors and hinges Durable THE CONS: Less attractive Steel frame visible INSET DOORS 6 WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN... INSET DOORS OR OVERLAY DOORS? THE PROS: Smart appearance No metal frame visible Furniture “look” THE CONS: Less robust Less secure What is your maintenance budget for safes? This is a serious consideration when choosing Inset or Overlay doors.

You’re probably used to seeing inset locker doors – the steel frame is visible around the door. You can get the frames and doors in matching colours for a more stylish look.

With overlay doors, the door hides the framework to create a smart finish, especially if you’re installing a wall of lockers. They’re a little less secure as they’re easier to prise open.

7 - What’s the Benefit of Special Laptop Lockers?

SCHOOL LOCKER LAPTOP CHARGING STORAGE ONLY THE PROS: Only secures laptops Less expensive THE CONS: No charging facility 7 SHOULD I GO WITH... LAPTOP CHARGING OR LAPTOP STORAGE THE PROS: Charges and secures laptops PAT tested electricals THE CONS: More expensive Are charging hubs available around your school? How long are your school laptops lasting charged? These are questions to consider when choosing Laptop Storage.

There are some excellent reasons to invest in purpose-built laptop lockers to store class laptops or IPads overnight or between lessons. Firstly, each laptop can be securely locked away. There’s a separate compartment for each notebook, so they won’t be damaged by being stacked on top of each other. An empty compartment helps you quickly spot when someone hasn’t handed in their iPad. Rear perforated panels prevent laptops overheating. And some laptop lockers come with fitted charging points too, so that you can leave devices charging in safety.


8 - What Colour Lockers Can We Get?

With countless colours to choose from, there is a possibility we can match closely your school colours. What are your school colours? There are more locker colour options depending metal, plastic or laminate.

Locker doors come in a range of colour options, and the steel bodies can be a stylish white or black as well as the regular silver-grey. You might want to create a colourful wall of different coloured doors (this is especially easy to do with plastic cube lockers), or a tasteful room full of lockers that go with your paintwork. See the slide for the commonly-available colours.

9 - Which Type of Locks Would Be Best?

KEY COIN RETURN PADLOCK HASP COMBINATION THE PROS: Highly secure Two keys for each lock Master keys give emergency access Keys easily replaced THE CONS: Students can lose their keys Ongoing cost of replacing keys THE PROS: Can be used as a latch lock without padlock Choice of padlock, key, code or master key option No need to have a designated locker THE CONS: Extra cost for padlocks Security depends of quality of padlock THE PROS: No keys to lose and buy Lower running cost Emergency teacher access Reprogrammable THE CONS: More expensive up front Forgotten codes 9 WHAT ARE THE VARIOUS... LOCK TYPES FOR LOCKERS? THE PROS: Keys less likely to be lost Accepts £1 or tokens Multi-user operation No need for specific lockers for each student THE CONS: More expensive up front Most caretakers gripes revolve around locker locks. Selecting the correct option can reduce wasted hours repairing locks.

There are four types of locks you can use for school lockers:

  • key locks;
  • padlock hasps;
  • coin/token operated locks;
  • or combination locks.

The slide above summarises the pros and cons. Key locks and combination locks share the disadvantage of students being able to lose and forget things – either their key or their code. But they both have the advantage of a master key that a member of staff can use in these situations. You won’t have to buy new keys in the case of combination locks, as they can simply be reprogrammed – but the locks cost more initially.

You can ask students to bring their own keys and padlocks if you choose padlock hasp lockers. This puts the responsibility into their hands, but might result in the caretaker having to cut off padlocks when keys get lost.


Make a Good Choice

It’s great that there’s a lot of choice in school lockers; it means you can kit out your school with the right facilities without having to compromise on space or security. So before you place an order, think about the amount of space you have, what items your students need to store, how durable or waterproof you need your lockers to be, what you'd like them to look like, and what type of locks you want to issue your students with. The information above should help you choose the right features for your new school lockers bearing all those factors in mind.

Give us a call to discuss your school locker requirements.

Please get in touch for more advice or to place an order. Call Freephone 0800 567 7549 or email us – our experts are always happy to help.


Subscribe to Receive 5% Discount Code