How Far Should A Bedside Table Be From The Bed?

A bedroom isn’t complete without a bedside table, but how far should they be from the bed? Well, we have investigated this topic, and have the answer for you. 

Your bedside table should be within reach of your bed. Spacing in a room is important, so it should be at least one or two inches from the side of your bed, level with your mattress, or a few inches taller. However, it can be further depending on your reach and your personal design preferences. 

So, now you know that your bedside table needs to be pretty close to your bed, but keep reading as we go into more detail about the benefits of spacing your bedside table and your bed. We’ll also answer whether you need two bedside tables, the standard size of a bedside table, and what other furniture pieces you can use as a bedside table. 

A small wooden nightstand placed next to a gray bed with gray and brown pillows, How Far Should Bedside Table Be From Bed?

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Having space between your furniture can help a room feel less cluttered and more open, but if you plan on using your bedside table, you need to be able to reach it from your bed. In this case, shoot for about one or two inches from your bed.

There’s also another reason to keep some space between your bedside tables and your bed— having them too close together can make it difficult to make the bed in the morning. Of course, not all of us care about whether our bed is made, so this may or may not apply to you!

If you don’t plan on needing to reach your bedside table from your bed, for example, you just want it as a decorative piece, or to hold other decorative items, or to hold lighting that you don’t mind getting up to turn off, you can space them even further away like in the image below!

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A small bedside table with a study lamp on the side

What Is The Standard Size Of A Bedside Table?

Beds are around 25 inches tall, so bedside tables are made to pair well with a bed and range in height from 24 to 28 inches. The standard widths and depths of a nightstand are 20 inches by 20 inches. 

With so many different heights of beds, there is also a demand for bedside tables of varying heights too. So if you have a high or very low bed, don’t worry, there are taller and shorter than standard bedside tables available! 

Low Bed

Interior of a minimalist bedroom with a king-sized bed, wooden flooring, small nightstand, and indoor plants on the side

Since platform beds are lower to the ground, it makes sense to choose shorter nightstands. The genreal rule is for the nightstand to be equal to the top of the mattress or just above, but if you prefer to reach down, you can always choose to have your nightstand lower.

Click here to see VASAGLE ALINRU Nightstand on Amazon.

High Bed

Mediterranean inspired bedroom with a cozy king-sized bed with a curtain headboard and small nightstand on the side

Some beds, like canopy beds, are higher up from the ground, so you may need to look for taller nightstands.

Click here to see SONGMICS nightstand on Amazon.

Do I Need Two Bedside Tables?

There is no set requirement that you have to have two, or one, or even any bedside tables in your room. It is your room, and you can have as much or as little furniture as you want. You may only want one bedside table because it’s just you who will use it, or you need to save space, or because you have your bed pushed against a wall and there’s only room for one.  There are, however, a few reasons you may want to have two bedside tables in your room.


If you have a partner, you may want to have two bedside tables— one for each of you, or his and hers, if you will, because you really don’t want to have to reach over each other in the middle of the night or early in the morning. Bedside tables are a great place to keep eyeglasses, the current book you’re reading, a glass of water, or more commonly, your phone. So it’s only fair there’s a spot for the both of you! 

Symmetry & Storage

Another reason to have two bedside tables is for overall symmetry. Symmetry has a large place in interior design. It can make a room feel organized and stable. If your bedside tables have a drawer, having two will also increase your storage space. Check out an example below!

Small contemporary bedroom with two small nightstands with lampshades on the side

These nightstands add both symmetry and storage to the room, and many nightstands are available for purchase in sets of two!

Click here to see JAXPETY Set of two wooden bedside tables on Amazon.

For more information on this topic, check out: “Do You Need Two Nightstands? [Design rules and suggestions].”

What Can I Use As A Bedside Table?

If you don’t want to purchase bedside tables, you can try some other creative options! All you need to think about is how much space you need for your bedside table and whether you need storage or not. 

Bar Stool or Chair

Using an old bar stool or chair is a great way to upcycle a piece of furniture you no longer need, and it can really add to the feel of your room. 

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You can paint it to match your bedroom decor and add shelves like in the image above, or you can keep it simple and leave it as is like in the image below!

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Free up floor space by adding a shelf to the wall behind your bed. You can use a regular floating shelf or purchase one specifically for being used as a nightstand. If you don’t want to add anything to your wall, consider buying a shelf designed to attach to the side of your bed.

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This freestanding nightstand even includes a drawer for storage, so you don’t have to worry about clutter accumulating on top!

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If you just need a small surface area to keep a few things, this shelf that attaches to your bed is a great idea!

Click here to see Amada bedside shelf on Amazon.


Make your dresser multitask by doubling it up as a nightstand! If you already have one in your room, just place it next to your bed for an instant bedside table. 

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If you’re lucky enough to have large windowsills in your room, you can also use them as a bedside table! This is a great space saver option if you have a bedroom on the smaller side. You can add lighting, storage, or decor and save yourself space and money by not having to buy a bedside table. 

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Bar Carts or Small Rolling Carts

Bar carts, or small rolling carts, are a great, quirky alternative to bedside tables! They provide a lot of extra storage and surface area for your things! Add some decor or use the extra space to store blankets and books. They are also available in different colors and styles, so you should have no problem matching them to your room!

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Click here to see 3-tier rolling cart on Amazon.

Bookcase Headboard

Another great bedside table alternative is a bookcase headboard! They give you the additional surface area to keep your items close to your bed without taking up any more space with additional furniture items! 

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Check out the bookcase headboard on Amazon.

Final Thoughts

You always have a lot of freedom when it comes to decorating and furnishing your home, and that’s part of the fun. Once you decide what exactly you need your bedside table for, you’ll be able to choose the perfect spacing and height for it from your bed. Hopefully, we’ve given you some ideas on how to do that and some fun ideas on how you can use other items as bedside tables! 

If you need even more help deciding what to keep on or inside your bedside table, check out our other post: “What Do You Put In Nightstands? [9 Nightstand Essentials].”

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