Does A Nightstand Have To Match The Dresser? [Bedroom Furniture Coordination Tips]

As more retailers offer furniture in stores and online, it's becoming less common to purchase full bedroom sets. Separate pieces appeal to consumers because they can choose the pieces they like. If you purchase your bedroom furniture separately, you may be wondering if the nightstands and dresser need to match. We have scoured the internet for tips from the best designers in the industry to answer this question for you. 

It is not mandatory for nightstands and dressers to match. Instead, the nightstands and dresser in your bedroom space should complement each other and coordinate with the other furniture and decor in the room. These pieces can complement each other through: 

  • Style
  • Color
  • Material
  • Finish 

If you still have more questions about the design considerations for nightstands and dressers, don't fret. In this guide, we'll show you how to coordinate your nightstand and dresser, discuss the placement of the two pieces, and more. Just keep reading! 

A modern bedroom with a white laced blanket, blue throw pillows, faux stone decorated header wall, and a brown colored nightstand, Does Nightstand Have to Match Dresser? [Bedroom Furniture Coordination Tips]

Design Elements For Coordinating The Dresser And The Nightstand


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A modern bedroom with a hardwood headboard with matching gray colored bedding sets and a nightstand with a plant placed on top of it

If you are going for a certain theme in your bedroom, you can match your dresser and nightstand using the theme. You can simply choose two pieces that match the theme but are not identical. The image above is a beautiful Scandinavian themed bedroom. The nightstands and dresser are not identical but they both fit the theme and have enough common elements that they work well together. 

You want to be careful with pairing items by theme, though. Just because two items are from the same theme, that doesn't mean that they will go well together. You still want to make sure there that their colors don't clash and that each piece fits with the rest of the room. 


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A panoramic photo of a gray themed bedroom with black & white bedding sets incorporated with a gray wall

An easy way to coordinate the dresser and the nightstand is to get each piece in a different color. The colors have to complement each other and the rest of the room, but they do not need to be identical to one another. The image above is a good example of mixing colors in furniture pieces. The white dresser matches the floor and the bedding while the wooden nightstand matches the bed frame. Since white and wood match each other, the room is perfectly coordinated. 

When working with color, it is a good idea to take the whole room into consideration. If all of the furniture pieces and decor items coordinate well with each other, they do not need to be the same color in order to match. 


A classic style bedroom with a dresser on the bottom section of the bed

This image is a great example of a few different design elements. The materials of the dresser and the nightstand are different but they match in other ways. They are both boho style and they have the same rectangular silhouette. The color of the nightstand also matches some of the detail in the dresser. 

Alternatively, you can purchase a nightstand and dresser that are the same material but have different design elements that make them unique. A very common and easily accessible example of this is wood. Both pieces can be wood but have a different color, finish, or detail. 


A woman using her tablet while sitting on an opaque blue colored chair

Another way you can coordinate your nightstand and dresser is to choose the same finish and let them be different in another way. In the image above, both the dresser and nightstand are a light wood finish. The nightstand is left plain and the dresser is painted with each drawer being a different color. The nightstand and dresser go well together because they do have a matching element but the dresser brings something different to the space. 

Painting the drawers of either the dresser or the nightstand is a great option if you have a bedroom set that you would like to keep but want to change so it isn't completely identical. You can draw color inspiration from other elements in the room, such as the curtains, carpet, or bedding. 

Be Creative! 

While this is not a design element, it can be a fun way to coordinate your dresser and nightstand. Take into consideration all of the details of each piece to help you find little ways to make the furniture more cohesive.

For example, if your nightstand has brass accents on it but your dresser doesn't, you can add brass drawer pulls to your dresser. 

Click here to see this cabinet pull on Amazon.

Another thing you can do to have the two pieces complement each other is paint them the same color. You could even cover only one drawer of the dresser while you paint the entire nightstand. Don't shy away from using stencils or scrapbook paper either. Use your creativity to determine the best look for your room.

Dark Teal Chalk Paint

Click here to see more on Amazon.

You can also be creative with the pieces you use to serve as your dresser or nightstand. They do not need to follow the formal definition of "dresser" or "nightstand" to be used that way. Do you want to use a trunk as your nightstand or cube storage as your dresser? Go for it! Again, the only rule for a cohesive bedroom is that all the pieces coordinate with one another. 

Additional Questions 

While you are planning your bedroom to include a dresser and nightstand, you will find that other design questions will come to mind. Here are some common ones, answered for you to make your planning easier. 

Where Should A Dresser Be Placed In A Bedroom? 

Unfortunately, there is no hard and fast rule to follow regarding where the dresser should be placed in the bedroom. Your bedroom's layout and the size of your furniture items determine the amount of space you have to work with.

Here are some tips that will help you make the best use of your space: 

  • Since the bed should not be underneath a window, consider placing a shorter dresser there
  • Placing a dresser in a corner will give you the greatest amount of floor space 
  • If you have your bed against one wall, consider putting your dresser against the opposite wall. Both are heavier pieces of furniture, so having them opposite each other creates a symmetrical look

Should A Nightstand Be Higher Than The Bed? 

The purpose of a nightstand is convenience. It's placed right beside your bed to hold the items that you want within arm's reach while you are in bed. Because of this, a nightstand that is taller than the bed is preferable to one that is shorter. Ideally, your nightstand should be at least the same height as your mattress. You will want to be able to reach the surface of your nightstand without having to stretch too far.

Should I Have Two Nighstands? 

From a design standpoint, having two nightstands is ideal. Remember, humans love symmetry, and having a nightstand on each side of your bed achieves that. If one side of your bed is against a wall, however, you only need one nightstand. 

For a more comprehensive look at this topic, check out our article Do You Need Two Nightstands? [Design Rules And Suggestions].

Is Matching Furniture Outdated? 

Design experts do consider matching furniture to be outdated. While matching bedroom sets used to be popular, they are now considered boring. We are getting more creative now with our design trends. We desire furniture pieces that go well together but are different. This creates a more personal and interesting room where the room's occupants can show off their personality and style.

However, with that being said, you can still go into any furniture store and purchase a matching bedroom set if you wish. Whichever look you feel best represents you is what you should go with.

In Closing 

If you are someone who prefers the look of a matching bedroom set, there is no shame in that. After all, your home is your sanctuary and you want to be comfortable in your environment.

If you are someone who wants to be able to choose each piece based on your preferences and style, though, it is a great time to be furnishing a bedroom. There are so many options for nightstands and dressers out there that you will have no trouble choosing each piece to match your personal taste. Creativity is encouraged and "coordinated" is the new "matching"! 

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