Your Guide to Finding the Perfect Bedside Table

Time Several Hours

Budget $ $$$

Skill Level

WORDS BY Gillian Grefe

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Published on March 30, 2020

Your nightstand is a landing place for your bedtime essentials like a glass of water, reading lamp, and alarm clock or phone, letting you dream in peace knowing everything is within reach. That’s why a bedside table is one of the most important—yet difficult to select—pieces of bedroom furniture.

Our designers know the struggle. With nearly infinite options and a variety of sizes and styles, it truly can be overwhelming to pick just one or two. Rest easy with these tips to choosing the perfect bedside table from Havenly interior designer Dani Mulhearn.

Modern Bohemian Bedroom Interior Design

When selecting your perfect bedside table, consider two elements: functionality and aesthetics. The perfect nightstand for you provides more than just a surface to put your phone on, Dani says. “Are you in need of storage space? Go with some drawers for hidden storage. Open shelves on the bottom or top of a nightstand are great for displaying books — especially if you are a bedtime reader,” she says.

When it comes to looks, utilizing a collection of matching pieces, such as a bed, dresser, bookshelf, and bedside table, seamlessly ties your room together. If you’re going for a bolder, more bohemian feel, Dani suggests trying different styles of nightstands. “Having a mix of two different bedside tables can give a curated and unique feel to the space,” she says. 

Playing with different shapes and materials such as metal or lucite can also add interest to the room.

When shopping for a bedside table, Dani suggests taking any measurements beforehand. First, measure the space between either edge of the bed and the wall to ensure you’ll have enough clearance.

Next, measure the height of your bed. “Your bedside table should measure about the height of your mattress, give or take a few inches. Don’t forget to include the height of your box spring in your measurements, if you are using one,” Dani advises.

Imagine reaching out for a glass of water in the middle of the night or hitting your snooze button in the morning. Your table should be right within reach, not too low or too high.

The best part of bedside tables is their versatility. There are numerous ways to get creative with this piece of furniture to add character and whimsy to your space. Think outside the box when it comes to which items could become a table. “Trunks are always amazing and give the room a really eclectic and traveled look and feel,” Dani says. So do literal trunks—a tree stump table brings a touch of nature into your space. 

For smaller rooms Dani suggests opting for a multipurpose piece, especially if there isn’t enough room for tables on both ends of the bed. With this approach, a desk or vanity can also double as a nightstand. Add a small tray to organize your nighttime necessities for a cleaner look. 

Curious which bedside table best suits your style? Take our interior design style quiz to help you find out, and design the room of your dreams.

Words by Avery Johnson