I’ve been looking for ways to store knives safely in my kitchen that will replace my knife block, ever since I’ve read all the reports about knife blocks requiring about once-a-month cleaning to keep nasty bacteria from growing in those dark, deep knife slots. Eek.

To be honest, no way does this mom have time to be cleaning out narrow knife block slots in my regular routine, in addition to washing knives properly and keeping them sharpened. (This knife sharpener is chef-approved and wonderful, by the way!)

That said, I would kind of appreciate knowing that I’m storing my knives in a way that’s not totally disgusting before I slice up some carrots I’m about to hand to my kids. So I’ve found some beautiful knife storage solutions, that are hopefully less bacteria-laden than a classic knife block.

Some even make my kitchen look more like it came out of the pages of a magazine. (Provided you crop out the piles of bills and kid crafts stashed all over my countertops.)

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– Updated  for 2023 –

1. Hang your knives on a magnetic wall stripKnife block alternatives: The beautiful milk paint wall-mounted knife block from Peg & Awl at Food 52

Reclaimed, handcrafted walnut magnetic knife rack is GORGEOUS, and protects your knives better than a knife block while saving counter space

When I think of magnetic knife blocks for knife storage, my first thought is a wall mounted version like this one (shown in use up at top). But the milk-paint finish on this maple and brass wall-mounted knife mount exclusive to Food52–also in walnut–is anything but average. It comes in two sizes, depending on how many knives or other kitchen tools you want to display on your wall.

Looking for a super affordable alternative? The Gorilla Grip Stainless Wall Mount Knife Holder is a top-rated, commercial grade, no-fuss wall mount for knife storage that gets very high marks from consumers — all for under $15 for the 10″ strip. Wow. (There are multiple lengths up to a 26″ knife holder for around $26.) It’s not gorgeous per se, but does the job.

Bonus: Get a longer knife rack and you’ll have room to store other stainless items like poultry shears, herb scissors, a beautiful stainless bottle opener, and Liz’s all-time favorite kitchen gadget, this Microplane zester/grater.

2. Hang your knives on a magnetic counter standKnife block alternatives for knife storage: This Magnetic knife block from Henckels sits right on your countertop for easy access

I’m the type who likes to rearrange my kitchen — and okay, all the rooms of my house — regularly, so I admit I have a fear of commitment of attaching a knife block to a wall. As an alternative way to store knives, this magnetic stand from Henckels is a good option for people like me.

It sits right on your counter top like a traditional knife block, without any of the gross buildup and hard-to-clean-slats. But, of course, go ahead and give this one a quick wipe down when you’re cleaning the kitchen, too.

Related: 7 smart ways to care for knives and store them properly

Magnetic countertop knife block storage attracts less bacteria than a traditional knife block and so pretty!

Alternately, check out this gorgeous wooden countertop knife block handcrafted from Italian Beechwood by a small European family business. It takes up a smaller countertop footprint and allows you to store knives on both sides. We spotted it at the Made-In cookware shop, and wow — it’s hard to go wrong with that many five-star ratings.

Related: 5 foods you should never wash, plus 3 you always should!

3. Store your knives like a pro chefKnife storage: A Messermeister knife roll is how the chefs do it, whether or not you take your knives out of your kitchen

Stick with me here: Using a cloth chef’s knife roll like this Messermeister chef’s knife roll isn’t a traditional way for home cooks to store knives at home, but it’s the way pro chefs do it. (Hey, we’ve all seen The Bear by now, right?)  I actually love it for parents because you can wrap your sharp blades up in one small, portable package, then store them high above the kitchen counter or out of reach in the back of a drawer.

In fact, since my three-year-old has figured out how to pull a chair up to the cabinets and climb onto the counter, this is probably the best option for me. Plus, it’s super affordable. Yay!