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Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Perfect Bedside Table for Your Bedroom

Bedside tables, also known as nightstands, have their origins in 17th-century Europe. Initially, they were small cabinets or tables used to hold chamber pots for night-time convenience. Over time, they evolved into more decorative pieces, designed to hold lamps, books, and other bedroom essentials, becoming a staple in modern bedroom decor.

In today's age, having bedside tables or nightstands in the home is quite important. They provide a convenient spot for essentials like lamps, books, and alarm clocks, helping to keep the bedroom organised. Plus, they add to the room's aesthetic, creating a balanced and cohesive look. Whether you're placing a glass of water within reach or storing your nightly read, nightstands enhance both functionality and style in the bedroom.



How Important Is a Bedside Table? Why Should You Buy a Bedside Table For Your Bedroom?


A bedside table is more than just a piece of furniture; it's a bedroom essential that adds functionality to your night routine. Here’s why you should consider adding one to your bedroom:


  • Convenience: Keeps essentials like lamps, books, and alarm clocks within arm's reach.

  • Organisation: Helps maintain a clutter-free space by providing storage for small items.

  • Aesthetics: The right bedside table adds style and balance to your bedroom decor.

  • Functionality: Offers a surface for a glass of water, phone, or anything else you need at night.

Investing in a bedside table can greatly enhance the comfort and functionality of your bedroom, making it a worthwhile addition to your home.



Nightstand or Bedside Table — What’s the Difference?

The terms "nightstand" and "bedside table" are often used interchangeably, but there are subtle differences:

  • Nightstand: Typically, a nightstand includes one or more drawers or shelves for extra storage. It's designed to hold items you might need at night, such as a lamp, alarm clock, and personal belongings.

  • Bedside Table: A bedside table is usually more minimalistic. It might not have drawers or shelves and can simply be a small table placed beside the bed to hold essentials like a book or a glass of water.

In essence, while all nightstands can be considered bedside tables, not all bedside tables are nightstands. The choice between the two depends on your storage needs and bedroom style.


Ideal Bedside Table Height - Why it Matters and What to Consider when Choosing a Bedside

Should bedside tables be the same height as the bed? Are bedside tables supposed to be higher than the bed? Yes, we've been there. Sometimes we get all excited about a stunning bedside table we saw somewhere and completely forget to consider if its height will be an issue.  

The height of your bedside table plays a crucial role in both comfort and functionality. A table that’s too high or too low can be awkward to use and disrupt the overall aesthetics of your bedroom.


What to Consider


  • Bed Height: The top of the bedside table should be level with or slightly higher than the top of your mattress for easy access.

  • Functionality: Consider what you'll be placing on it. Ensure it's the right height for reaching items like lamps, books, or your phone without straining.

  • Proportions: The bedside table should complement the size of your bed and room, not overpower it or look too diminutive.

  • Storage Needs: If you need extra storage, choose a design that offers drawers or shelves at a comfortable height.

  • Aesthetics: A well-matched height contributes to a balanced and cohesive look in your bedroom decor.

Choosing the right height for your bedside table is primordial as it ensures the harmonious equilibrium and pleasant aesthetics of your bedroom and the convenience of having your night essentials within reach.


How Close Should Bedside Tables Be to the Bed?

dark wood bedside table in a white and grey cosy bedroom

Bedside tables should ideally be positioned close enough to the bed to be functional and accessible, but the exact distance can vary based on personal preference and the size of your bedroom. Here are some general guidelines:

  • Place the bedside tables within easy reach of the bed so you can comfortably access items like a lamp, alarm clock, or book without stretching too far.

  • Typically, bedside tables are positioned directly alongside the bed, either touching the bed frame or with a small gap for ease of movement.  

  • Consider the size of your bed. For larger beds, such as king or queen sizes, you may want slightly larger bedside tables to maintain proportion and functionality.  

  • Take into account the overall layout of your bedroom. Ensure there's enough space around the bedside tables for easy movement and cleaning.  

  • If you have two bedside tables, ensure they are placed symmetrically on either side of the bed to maintain balance and visual harmony.

Ultimately, the distance between the bed and bedside tables should allow for practical use and complement the overall design of your bedroom. Adjust the placement based on your comfort and aesthetic preferences to create a cohesive and functional sleeping area.



What Are the Different Types of Bedside Tables?


There are various types of bedside tables to suit different needs and styles. Here are some popular options:

  • Classic Nightstands: Featuring drawers or shelves, these provide ample storage for books, personal items, and more.

classic sage green wood bedside table in a country style sage bedroom

  • Minimalist Tables: Simple in design, these tables have a clean look and usually lack additional storage. Ideal for a modern, clutter-free bedroom.

minimalist open wood and black metal bedside table

  • Floating Bedside Tables: Wall-mounted tables that free up floor space and add a contemporary touch to your room.

  • Bedside Cabinets: Larger than typical nightstands, these offer substantial storage space and often feature cabinet doors.

  • Open-Shelf Tables: These have open shelves instead of drawers, offering easy access to items and a more casual, airy look.

  • Bedside Chests: With multiple drawers, these chests provide extensive storage, perfect for those who need more room for their belongings.

  • Multi-Functional Tables: Combining features like built-in charging stations or pull-out trays, these tables add extra functionality to your bedside.

Choosing the right type of bedside table depends on your storage needs, bedroom style, and personal preferences. Think about what you need to store and your design preferences, and it will be much easier to find the right partner for your bed. 

How to Use/Style Bedside Tables?


Styling your bedside tables is easy and fun! Here are some tips to achieve a unique and personal decor:

1. Balanced Decor

country style wood bedside table with table lamp

  • Lamps: Place a stylish lamp to add both light and visual appeal.

  • Books: Stack a few of your favourite reads for easy access and a cosy touch.

2. Personal Touches

modern wood bedside table with a flower vase

  • Photos/Frames: Add framed photos or art to personalise the space.

  • Plants/Flowers: A small plant or vase of flowers can bring life and colour to the room.

3. Functional Items

light wood scandi small bedside table one drawer in a nordic style bedroom

  • Alarm Clock: A chic alarm clock is stylish and practical.

  • Trays/Bowls: Use small trays or bowls to organise jewellery, glasses, or other small items.

4. Symmetry and Asymmetry

grey traditional paneled bedroom with a pair of grey traditional bedside tables

  • Matching Pair: For a classic look, use matching lamps and decor on both sides of the bed.