What Do You Put In Nightstands? [9 Nightstand Essentials]

The nightstand is a classic piece of bedroom furniture, but many people fail to use it to its fullest potential. While it makes for wonderful decor, a nightstand also serves as an excellent storage space for various essential items. But what are these items that go perfectly in a nightstand? For your convenience, we brought you the answer.

There are 9 essentials that should go in every nightstand. They include:

  1. Reading material
  2. Notebook
  3. Flashlight
  4. Lip balm
  5. Lotion
  6. Medication
  7. Tissues
  8. Sleeping mask
  9. Headphones

If you want to learn more about the items you absolutely must keep in your nightstand, you're in luck. In this guide, we'll discuss the topic at length, and we'll answer some additional questions you might have. Without further ado, let's get into it, shall we?

Cropped shot of an empty and neatly arranged bedroom at home during the day with nightstands, What Do You Put In Nightstands? [9 Nightstand Essentials]

9 Nightstand Essentials

Here we'll talk more about the essentials that should be in every nightstand. We'll also recommend some excellent products so you can start stocking your nightstand!

1. Reading Material

Reading is one of the best ways to wind down at the end of a long day. When you crack open a good book or magazine while you sit in bed at night, the stresses and troubles from the day will melt away, making it easier to fall into a restful sleep. Thus, it's critical to have some good reading material handy in your nightstand drawer.

2. Notebook

Sometimes our best ideas hit us when we least expect it, and that includes when we're laying in bed. Whether you think of the next best invention or simply remember something you need to do the next day, having a place to write such thoughts down is critical. Place a notebook or two in your nightstand for the most convenience. 

Moleskine Large Classic Notebook

This Moleskine notebook is a great place to jot down thoughts, to-do lists, and more. The size is perfect for a nightstand drawer.

Click here to see more on Amazon.

3. Flashlight

It's always a good idea to have a flashlight in your nightstand drawer. After all, you never know when you might have to get up in the middle of the night, and the last thing you want to do is wander aimlessly in the dark. There are flashlights available in varying brightnesses, so you're sure to find the best one for your needs.

Maglite LED Flashlight

This flashlight by Maglite boasts 168 lumens and superb build quality. 

Click here to see more on Amazon.

4. Lip Balm

Chapped lips are always a nuisance, but it's especially unpleasant to have chapped lips at night. To prevent such discomfort, keep a stick or two of quality chapstick in your nightstand; simply apply it before bed to keep your lips moisturized and soft.

Burt's Bees Lip Balm

Burt's Bees has become extremely popular over the years and for good reason. The company's natural beeswax lip balm will keep your lips feeling great. 

Click here to see more on Amazon.

5. Lotion

Lotion is another great thing to keep in your nightstand. It's recommended to apply body lotion before bed for the best skin results, so it's a good idea to have it in the nightstand drawer for easy access. Dry skin is especially prevalent during the winter months and having lotion handy is ultra advantageous. 

Jergens Body Lotion

Jergens body lotion contains a myriad of vitamins that are essential for skin health. Keep this 32-ounce bottle in your nightstand for your convenience. 

Click here to see more on Amazon.

6. Medication

If you take medication, you understand the importance of having a pill organizer. These organizers are a nightstand essential, especially if you take medication in the morning and at night. 

Pill Organizer

This pill organizer has 14 color-coded compartments that simplify your medicine schedule. 

Click here to see more on Amazon.

7. Tissues

Having a box of tissues handy makes all the difference when you wake up in the middle of the night with a runny nose. There's no need to make a trip to the bathroom when you have a handy box of tissues right next to you.

Kleenex Ultra Soft Tissues

These 3-ply Kleenex tissues are super soft, so they're perfect for nighttime use.

Click here to see more on Amazon.

8. Sleeping Mask

A sleeping mask is another item that belongs in every nightstand. These masks significantly improve sleep quality by blocking out pesky sources of light. No matter what time of day you snuggle into bed, a sleep mask is a perfect sleeping companion. 

Silk Sleep Mask

This dual-sided mulberry silk sleeping mask will help you get the best sleep of your life. It's available in over 20 colors and patterns, so you can choose the one that best suits you.

Click here to see more on Amazon.

9. Headphones

A good pair of headphones is another nightstand essential. Listening to your favorite music is a great way to unwind at the end of a long day. Simply stow them in your nightstand drawer for easy access. 

Rechargeable Wireless Headphones

These rechargeable wireless headphones boast impressive sound quality, and they are available in seven different colors. 

Click here to see more on Amazon.

How Do You Declutter A Nightstand?

If you're like most people, your nightstand quickly becomes cluttered with miscellaneous items (and mostly junk). The best way to declutter this messy space is by stowing all of your nightstand essentials in the drawer(s) and reserving the top of the nightstand for the items you use regularly (like chargers) and decor (more on that later). Take some time to go through all of the clutter on top of and in your nightstand and get rid of the non-essentials.

Do You Need Two Nightstands?

Simply put, your design preference and storage needs will determine whether or not you need two nightstands. If you prefer a symmetrical look and need more storage space, go with two nightstands. If not, one is perfectly fine.

For a more comprehensive discussion of the topic, check out our guide titled Do You Need Two Nightstands? [Design Rules And Suggestions].

How To Decorate The Top Of A Nightstand

Not only is a nightstand a great place to store nighttime essentials, but it also enhances the bedroom's aesthetic when properly decorated. For the best results, decorate the top of your nightstand with one or a combination of the following:


Consider putting a lamp on the top of your nightstand. A lamp dresses up the top of a nightstand, and it also provides necessary nighttime light. 

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Plants go great virtually everywhere, but they make a particularly notable aesthetic impact when placed on top of a nightstand; they add a splash of vibrant color to the space. Pick a plant or bouquet of flowers that is proportionate to the size of the nightstand top. 

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Candles Or Diffuser Sticks

Candles are a timeless decor item, and they go perfectly on top of a nightstand. The vast selection of candles allows you to establish a signature scent.

If candles aren't your thing, consider using diffuser sticks instead. They look great, and they'll keep your bedroom smelling nice and fresh.

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Earlier we talked about putting a good book in your nightstand drawer, but books also serve as decor. Consider adding a couple of books to the top of your nightstand for a sophisticated look.

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In Closing

We hope this guide has inspired you to stock your nightstand with these nightstand essentials. Before you go, be sure to take a look at these other guides that might be of interest:

13 Stylish Coastal Nightstands That Will Add Charm To Your Bedroom

10 Awesome Layouts For A Bedroom With A Desk

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