What Size Lamp For Nightstand?

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A nightstand isn’t complete without an attractive lamp. But, what size is best for a nightstand, and are there any design rules to follow? We researched how to pair lamps via size and style with nightstands that complement any bedroom. 

You want to strike a balance between the size of your lamp and the nightstand to create a look that avoids visually clashing elements. The range of heights and styles for a nightstand lamp vary, depending on your personal style and space. Check out the following considerations:

  • A lamp with a height between 24 and 27 inches is a safe bet and maintains a balanced look.
  • Lamps over 36 inches clash with a headboard, bed, and the bulb will show when reclining.
  • Tall nightstands between 25 and 30 inches should pair with a lamp around 30-inches in height.
  • Mind proportions and add a few inches to the height of a shorter nightstand with a shorter lamp.
  • Choose appropriately sized lighting based on in-bed reading, mood lighting, or soft illumination.

Ultimately, the best size lamp for a nightstand is determined by the height and style of the nightstand. Continue reading to learn how the size of your lamp can make or break your nightstand.

A comfortable bedroom with comfy beddings, lots of pillows, and a nightstand with a lampshade on top, What Size Lamp For Nightstand?

Pairing LightingWith A Nightstand

A modern contemporary bedroom with a bed with white beddings and a black colored nightstand with a black lampshade

Strike the right mood with an expertly paired table lamp for a nightstand. When it comes to bedside lighting, it should serve both a functional and aesthetic-pleasing purpose. Many enjoy using their nightstand table for hosting a reading lamp, keeping a book and plants, or displaying artwork next to their bed.

It is essential to choose a table lamp that doesn’t overwhelm the nightstand, or leaves little room on the top and creates an unbalanced look. Create visual harmony and seek to pair complementing lamps with a nightstand based on similar elements.

Lamps Measuring 24 To 27 Inches

A bedside table that measures between 24 to 27 inches falls into a visual sweet spot for the average nightstand. Indulge your bedroom with a single lamp or pair of table lamps that emits soft lighting for reading or relaxing in bed. Choose from a lamp with a thin stand for a smaller nightstand, or a wider base or tripod if the bedside table has more room.

Don’t fret if you only opt for a single lamp for one nightstand. Another nightstand can be used for keeping glasses, books, or a mug for convenience instead of hosting a second lamp.

Check out this set of USB table lamps on Amazon.

Check out this elegant Tiffany-style lamp on Amazon.

Lamps Around 30 Inches

A bed that has a taller headboard and a high-sitting mattress is best when paired with a taller lamp. Look for a nightstand lamp that is 30 inches or slightly taller when your bedside table is a bit taller than most.

Do play around with the style of the lampshade so the lamp will not shine in your eyes when in bed. Some styles are more suitable for bedtime lighting because they have a swing arm, or can be easily repositioned for personal comfort. Overall, a lamp that is around the 30-inch mark has a lot of visual appeal, but it should not challenge the bed itself or nightstand.

Check out this chic lamp with a swinging arm on Amazon.

Short Lamps Under 24 Inches

If your bed sits closer to the floor and you have a small nightstand that has a low profile, consider a shorter lamp under 24 inches in height. A smaller bedroom looks brighter and cozy when paired with a smaller lamp. You can find lamps that are modern, contemporary, industrial, or have a bohemian flair that provide ample illumination in a smaller package.

Check out this tripod style lamp on Amazon.

Check out this industrial style table lamp set on Amazon.

Should Bedside Lamps Be Taller Than A Headboard?

A bedside lamp should typically be shorter than a headboard unless you have a tall, embellished headboard that could use a complementing accent piece. A tall lamp is more likely to shine in your eyes and visually clash with a headboard in most circumstances.

If you desire a modern floor lamp that is tall to place by your bed on a side that you do not sleep, that is okay. Keep in mind, a floor lamp should not have a top that reaches more than 48 inches above the mattress height.

For more information on this topic, check out this post: Should Nightstands Be Taller Than The Bed?

Do Nightstand Lamps Need To Match?

A rustic themed bedroom with wooden bed frame, wooden front chair, and three mock up picture frames on the wall

If you had worries that nightstand lamps must absolutely match, throw that antiquated idea out of your mind. A nightstand lamp should reflect your personality and lighting needs. Some people want a nightstand lamp for pure aesthetic value, as a nightlight, soft, mood lighting, or for reading.

A couple may have different ideas about the type of nightstand lamp they desire, so an eclectic but complementing pair of lamps is a visual plus.

How Do You Choose A Nightstand Lamp?

Select a nightstand lamp based on your personal tastes and needs. Some lamps come with USB chargers for cell phones and computers or turn on or off with a touch. Choose a nightstand lamp that complements your bedroom’s decor and color scheme and is a height that is easy to reach.

The nightstand lamp should not be too high so the light shines in your eyes, nor so small and low in illumination that it cannot be used for nighttime reading. Remember to pair a lamp according to the dimensions of a nightstand.

How Many Lamps Should Be In The Room?

Interior of an ultra modern contemporary bedroom with a comfortable bed and a gray area rug

There can be a thing as too many lights, especially if your room has permanent fixtures. In a room that has a floor lamp or two, a main ceiling light, or a pair of sconces, keep your nightstand lighting to a minimum. A single light on a nightstand is more than sufficient. However, if a couple shares a bed, it is only fair that each person has a nightstand lamp for their personal use.

In Closing

Settling on the perfect nightstand lamp or two is a must for optimal bedside lighting. Whether you need a lamp that is the right style for reading in bed or you want an alternative to permanent light fixtures, you have options. One table lamp is enough for a solitary sleeper but a pair is necessary for a couple.

Choose a lamp that sits at a height that is easy to reach and doesn’t shine light in your eyes when in bed. It is easy to find lamps in various styles and sizes that complement a nightstand and don’t clash with your headboard and mattress.

For even more design tips, check out the following articles about lighting and bedroom decor:

11 Super Cool Bedroom Decor Ideas

Do End Tables Need Lamps?

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