How Tall Should Console Table Lamps Be?

Wondering how tall your console table lamp should be? It's not just about picking a style you love—height matters too!

console lamp with black shade on top of a table against a white wall, How Tall Should Console Table Lamps Be

Lamps range from 4 to 30 inches high and can vary depending on the lamp's purpose—whether for task, mood, or decorative lighting.

But how exactly do you find the right fit for your space? Stick with us, and we’ll show you how to nail the perfect height for that lamp to make your room shine just right.

How Do I Choose A Table Lamp?

Choosing a table lamp can be exciting! There are so many different styles and designs to choose from, but how they look shouldn't be the only thing you consider.

You should think about the purpose of your lamp and whether you need it for more than just decoration.

We mentioned above that task, mood, and decorative lighting are some lamp purposes you should consider, and we will discuss each a little further. 

Task Lighting


When we use the phrase task lighting, we are talking about lights used to do something that requires direct light, such as reading.

If your console table is behind your sofa and you use it for reading, choose a lamp tall enough to light the area but low enough to switch on easily from a seated position.

Use a lamp that is 24 inches - 34 inches tall.

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Person reading a book with a lamp at the side on eye-level position

Tip: The base of the shade should be around eye level when seated.


Console tables by your front door are super handy.

If you usually flip on the light to drop off your keys, purse, or jacket when you get home, you'll want to put a light large and bright enough to see what you’re doing.

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Console table lamp in an entryway

If your entryway console table is more for decoration and you need some ambient light to help guide you through, smaller lamps will be adequate, around 10 inches or less. 

Mood Lighting

room interior with red wooden commode, mood lighting provided by a table lamp

If you wish to create ambient light in your room, smaller to medium-sized lamps are a great way to do this, or consider using buffet lamps.

Buffet lamps are usually taller, around 32-36 inches, but are a great option for console tables because of their thin, slender design. 

Decorative Lighting

If your lighting is just for decorative purposes, this is where you have the most freedom with the height of your lamp. When decorating a console table, you should have an assortment of decor with different heights. You can achieve this with lamps, vases, or other ornamental pieces. 

Focal Point

Console table lamp inn an entryway with a large canvas in the background

One way to decorate a console table is by adding a large focal point. You can use a canvas, a mirror, or a huge lamp.

Don't be afraid to "go big or go home!' Consider using a lamp that is above 30 inches tall with a wide decorative base to really attract the eye. 

Smaller Lamps For Accents

If you have large vases or canvases on your console, you might want to choose smaller lamps so as not to distract from them.

Smaller lamps are also great for highlighting sentimental decorations like framed photographs. You can even use small, non-traditional-shaped lamps like a lantern or sphere to add ambient light and warmth. 

This rattan ball lamp measures only 7 inches in height and doubles as a decorative object when not used.

Does Lamp Height Include Shade?

When you purchase a lamp with a shade, if the height is listed as "total height," this will include both the shade and the base.

The lamp height is measured from the bottom to the top of the lamp and lets you know exactly how much space it will take up. 

Do Table Lamps Have To Match?

You may be wondering whether table lamps have to match.

Ultimately, you are the designer in your home and can choose whether or not your table lamps match, but we have some suggestions and examples to show you below!

Same Two On A Table

If you have more than one lamp on a table, the easiest way to decorate is to have them match each other. After all, there's a reason lamps are so often sold in sets of two! 


Console table lamps symmetrically arranged

Symmetry is a common way to decorate when it comes to interior design.

It helps create a sense of calm and stability, and you'll often see symmetry being used when decorating with matching table lamps on the same table.

Having an equal amount of space between objects creates balance. However, this isn't mandatory, and you can incorporate two different lamps on the same table in some cute ways. 

Mix & Match

Different sized lamps next to each other

If you choose to be adventurous and have more than one lamp on the table and don't want them to be the same, try to choose lamps that contrast each other.

Pair a large lamp with a smaller one, or use two very different styles. For example, pair a traditional-style shaded lamp with a bronze desk lamp or another non-traditional lamp like a salt rock lamp. 

Matching Floor Lamps And Other Lights In The Room

Your table lamps do not have to match your floor lamps or each other perfectly, though you can often purchase table lamps and floor lamps as a set.

They should supplement each other either by similar design or color so that your entire look is cohesive. 

Not Matching Each Other

Modern living room with mismatched floor lamp and table lamp

In this modern living room, the table lamp and floor lamp do not match perfectly but are tied together because they match other colors in the room. 

Matching Shades

Modern living room with matching shades of table lamp and floor lamp but different bases

In this living room, the shades match, but the lights have different bases. 

Matching Bases

Modern living room with matching bases but different shades for table lamp and floor lamp

But in this living room, the opposite is true. The bases match, but the shades are different. 

As you can see, you have creative freedom when it comes to your home, and you can mix and match however you like.

Lights can be the same, similar, or drastically different as long as they match some other part of your decor,

Final Thoughts

We've given you lots of tips and ideas for choosing table lamps for your console table, but the main thing to consider is what you want their purpose to be!

Once you've decided on that, you should have an easier idea of how tall the lamps should be, and then you can narrow down your design options! Happy Decorating!

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