Should Nightstands Be Taller Than the Bed?

You’re finally settling into your home sweet home, and what’s better than a warm and inviting bedroom to welcome you each morning and evening? While you’re planning that perfect space, the question of how tall your nightstand should be is sure to come up. Should they be taller than the bed? Well, we have your answers right here! In this post, we will share with you the way to pick your perfect nightstand and let you in on some other tricks to build the bedroom set of your dreams!

While there are no real rules regarding the height of a nightstand, they are typically the same height as the mattress or a few inches taller. The average mattress height generally is at 25 inches, with most night tables coming in at 24 to 28 inches tall. 

When choosing your nightstand, you want to make sure that it aids your restful reaching, compliments your decorative choices, and doesn’t overwhelm the space. You want your nightstands to work for you both functionally and aesthetically. That may seem like a lot to take into consideration, but keep reading, and we will give you the tools you need to make choosing your nightstand simple and fun!

A cozy white bedroom with a box shaped nightstand and lampshade placed on top, Should Nightstands Be Taller Than the Bed?

How to pair nightstands with your bed?

The primary thing to consider when buying your nightstand is the height of your mattress. Standard bed frames put mattress heights between 18”-36”, with most mattress tops sitting at 25” from the floor.  These numbers are critical because you want your nightstand to sit in that same range to make it easier to utilize from the bed.

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King size bed with bedside lamp


For example, consider this Merax Furniture set. The nightstand sits just above the mattress, allowing for easy access to both the drawer and the table from the bed.

Click here to see this on Amazon.

By contrast, King’s Brand has their nightstands tables at the same height as the mattress, giving you easier access to the bedside lamp.

Click here to see on Amazon.

Can nightstands be different heights?

Can nightstands be different heights

They absolutely can be different heights! Nightstand sellers need to be able to accommodate a variety of bed heights. The average height of a nightstand is 24”-28” inches, but they can be over 30”. This broad range allows you to have some flexibility based on the size of your space, the height of your specific mattress, or what height feels comfortable for your utility.

Your nightstand should be 2”-6” taller than the top of your mattress. This is because reaching up and over to interact with objects on your nightstand is more comfortable than reaching down when reclining, sitting, or lying down. If you have one on each side of the bed, then each user may have different needs that would warrant having tables that do not match in height. 

Can nightstands be taller than the window?

Old nightstand near bed inside of lovely house

Due to the configuration of some rooms, you may have to put your nightstand in front of a window. Many nightstands will sit at or above the window sill, but some may be large enough to cover most of the window. In these cases, you should make some special considerations. Make sure that your nightstand does not post a hazard if you need to reach your window in cases of emergency. Another thing you may want to keep in mind is the impact the nightstand has on your natural light. 

Are nightstands and end tables the same height?

Many end tables fall into the same height range as their nightstand counterparts, and they are often suggested alongside nightstands for bedroom sets. If you match them to your bed using the same formula outlined above, then you should have no problems. However, end tables are used for various sitting or standing configurations, so their size range (11.9”-48”) reflects that. They may be a good solution in a small room, or if you’re having trouble finding the perfect nightstand for a shorter bed frame.

How tall should my nightstand lamps be?

The lamp against the background of the bed

Now that you’ve chosen the perfect nightstand, it’s time to give your room some light! Your bedside lamp should be the same height as your nightstand plus 2”-3”. This allows it to cast light across your bed and the room without the lampshade getting in the way. Just make sure you consider the decorative style of your nightstand and headboard.

A large bedroom set is complemented by a heftier lamp base like these lamps:

Click here to see these on Amazon.

A thin, ornate decoration style or a small table will look better with a smaller, thinner lamp like this one from Haitral.

Click here to see this on Amazon.

Should your lamp be taller than your headboard?

Bedroom interior in the night with warm light of lamp on table near wooden cupboard

The height of your lamp can vary. If your room is very spacious, a taller lamp might serve you best.  The worry here is often in choosing one that is too small, rather than too large. You may also want to consider a floor lamp or wall-mounted lamps if your space is too cramped.

Your room is a reflection of you!

Make sure that you’ve chosen to fill your space with things that make you happy to return there. Your room is a reflection of who you are, and that individuality and creativity should shine through. With these tips, you should build a space that will welcome you home each day. 

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