Night Lights: Best Bedside Lamps

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Image: Room&Board 

Whenever you deal with someone who tries to give advice on the “best” of anything, you already know it’s going to be a subjective call. So, in order to qualify my list of best bedside lamps, I thought I’d provide some criteria. In other words, these are the qualities I look for in a bedside lamp, and these lamps meet those qualities really well. My criteria are: a small footprint—I don’t want my bedside lamp to take up all the room on my nightstand, so having a small footprint is important to me; the ability to provide both general light and reading light; a sense of style; and the flexibility to be used in rooms other than the bedroom. Let’s dive right in!

Desk Lamp

A desk or task lamp, like the one shown at the left in the above image, makes for a great bedside lamp. It should have a smaller base than most table lamps, and will be able to be used as general illumination when you need it and as a reading lamp as well.

Swing Arm Lamp

Night Lights: Best Bedside Lamps

Image: Crate&Barrell 

Swing arm table lamps (or floor lamps, which we’ll discuss in a minute) make terrific bedside lamps and meet all my requirements.

Other Table Lamps

Night Lights: Best Bedside Lamps

Image: Jacobsen Plus 

Most any table lamp will work really well as a bedside lamp, as long as you follow the qualities – or make up your own and follow them – for what makes a great bedside lamp.

Floor Lamps

Night Lights: Best Bedside Lamps

Design: Pulp Design Studios; Image: Kevin Dotolo 

Floor lamps make especially good bedside lamps because they take up no space on the nightstand. As is the case with the floor lamps shown above, they even have built in tables—saving you the need for a separate piece of furniture

What are the best bedside lamps for your needs?


  1. I do have a question regarding my own bedroom. I have a dark gray upholstered headboard in my bedroom and want to paint my walls with a color that would look good with the dark gray. I don’t want to keep the walls too neutral. I’d like a color that is soothing, since it is my bedroom, yet colorful. What do you envision?

  2. Hello! I’m new to the site and love all of the inspiration I’m getting from the site. Thank you!

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Dave Hime, founder/curator of, has been an interior design addict for as long as he can remember. In 2005, he bought a house-in-progress and missed several opportunities to have an influence on his own home decor–leaving him wanting more. With design heroes such as Blake Dollahite ( and Robert & Cortney Novogratz (, Dave began seeking out online resources that would exemplify the interior design practices he's most drawn to: using color, texture and simple materials well. Bringing all of this together, along with his specific focus on providing interior design inspiration from a man's point of view, is Dave's mission: masculine design.