How Tall Should a Bedside Table Be? A Guide

How Tall Should a Bedside Table Be?

The ideal height for a bedside table depends on various factors, including the size of the bed, the height of the mattress, and the individual’s personal preference.

However, the average height of a bedside table is typically between 24 and 28 inches.

It is important for the nightstand to be proportionate to the size of the bed and other furniture in the room.

The height from the floor to the top of the mattress is typically around 25 inches, so the nightstand should not be much higher or lower than this to ensure comfort and ease of use.

It is also recommended to leave a few inches of space between the nightstand and the bed to allow for proper bedding drape.

In terms of width, there are no strict rules, but it should be chosen based on personal preference and the amount of space available.

Key Points:

  • The ideal height for a bedside table depends on the size of the bed, height of the mattress, and personal preference.
  • The average height of a bedside table is usually between 24 and 28 inches.
  • The nightstand should be proportionate to the bed and other furniture in the room.
  • The height of the nightstand should be around 25 inches to match the height of the mattress.
  • It is recommended to leave a few inches of space between the nightstand and the bed for proper bedding drape.
  • The width of the bedside table can be chosen based on personal preference and the available space.

Did You Know?

1. The bedside table’s height is often determined by the height of the bed it accompanies. A general rule of thumb is that the tabletop should be level with the mattress surface, making it easier to reach and place items without straining.

2. In the 18th century, people used to have bedside commodes instead of tables. These commodes served as a combination of a nightstand and a portable toilet, making late-night trips to the outhouse unnecessary.

3. The world’s tallest bedside table was recorded in 2012, measuring a staggering 11.48 meters (37.65 feet) tall. It was built and exhibited in Italy, breaking the previous record of 8.62 meters (28.28 feet).

4. Anthropometry, the study of human body measurements, plays a crucial role in determining the ideal height for a bedside table. Ergonomically, it’s recommended that the table’s surface should be about 5-8 inches lower than the top of the mattress to ensure maximum comfort and functionality.

5. Feng Shui, the ancient Chinese practice of harmonizing energies within a space, has its own set of guidelines regarding the height of a bedside table. According to Feng Shui principles, the table should ideally be at the same level or slightly higher than the top of the mattress to promote balance and a free flow of energy in the bedroom.

Choosing The Right Height For Your Bedside Table

When selecting the perfect height for a bedside table, it’s important to consider the overall proportion and balance of your bedroom furniture. The average height for a bedside table typically falls between 24 and 28 inches. However, it’s essential to take into account the height of the mattress as well. A good starting point is to ensure that the height from the floor to the mattress is around 25 inches.

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While there are no strict rules on the exact width of a nightstand, it’s advisable to avoid selecting one that is significantly lower or higher than the height of the mattress. A nightstand that is too low may result in discomfort when reaching for items, while one that is too high can be awkward to use. Instead, aim for a nightstand that is within 5 inches of the top of the mattress for optimal comfort and ease of use.

Different styles of nightstands can be chosen based on personal preference and the overall aesthetic of the bedroom. Some individuals may opt for traditional wooden nightstands, while others may prefer sleek and modern designs. Additionally, unique and unusual pieces, such as antique vanities or vintage chests, can also be repurposed as creative and stylish nightstands.

For those looking for alternative options, floating shelves, bar carts, and even living room end tables can serve as functional and visually interesting nightstands. Interior designer Doris Roberts even suggests using a round, three-tiered mirrored table for a touch of elegance and versatility.

Alternative Options For Nightstands

While traditional nightstands are commonly used in bedrooms, there are plenty of alternative options that can add a unique touch to your sleeping space. Floating shelves, for example, are a popular choice for those who prefer a minimalist and contemporary aesthetic. They provide a sleek and open storage solution without taking up any floor space.

Bar carts, on the other hand, not only add a touch of sophistication but also offer versatility. They can hold your nighttime essentials while doubling as a small drink station or display area. Living room end tables can also be repurposed as nightstands, adding visual interest with their unique shapes and materials.

Furthermore, designer Doris Roberts suggests thinking outside the box and considering unconventional pieces for nightstands. For example, a round, three-tiered mirrored table can add elegance and a touch of glamour to any bedroom. It’s all about finding a piece that speaks to your personal style and complements the overall aesthetic of the room.

Styling And Decorating Your Nightstand

Once you have chosen the height and style of your bedside table, it is important to focus on styling and decorating it to make it feel personalized and inviting. Interior designer Caroline Agee suggests that nightstands do not necessarily need to match. In fact, mismatched nightstands can add a unique and eclectic flair to the bedroom.

To create cohesion between mismatched nightstands, Agee recommends adding symmetry by incorporating matching lamps or artwork. This creates a balanced and harmonious visual arrangement. Additionally, it is important to consider the scale of the nightstand in relation to the size of the bed and available wall space. You want to ensure that the nightstand doesn’t overpower the bed or appear too small in comparison.

Start by making a list of the items that you plan to keep on top of the nightstand and ensure they fit comfortably. This may include a glass of water, a book or two, a framed photo, and a lamp. If space is limited, you may opt for a wall sconce instead of a traditional table lamp. Another consideration is incorporating a lower drawer or shelf with a charging device for your electronic devices. This will ensure easy access and help keep the nightstand clutter-free.

  • Consider incorporating mismatched nightstands for a unique and eclectic look
  • Add symmetry by including matching lamps or artwork
  • Pay attention to the scale of the nightstand in relation to the bed and available wall space
  • Make a list of items to be placed on the nightstand and ensure they fit comfortably
  • Opt for a wall sconce if space is limited
  • Include a lower drawer or shelf with a charging device to keep the nightstand clutter-free.

“Mismatched nightstands can add a unique and eclectic flair to the bedroom.” – Caroline Agee

Factors To Consider When Selecting A Bedside Table

When selecting a bedside table, it’s important to consider various factors to ensure it suits your needs and preferences. The height of the nightstand should be determined based on several factors, such as the height of the mattress, the length of your arms, the space available on either side of the bed, and the height of your bedside lamps.

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To ensure comfort and ease of use, the nightstand should not be more than 5 inches higher or lower than the top of the mattress. It’s recommended to have the nightstand at the same height as the bed to make it easily accessible while sitting or lying down. Additionally, placing the nightstand a few inches away from the bed allows for proper drape of the bedding and prevents it from getting caught.

Furthermore, the scale of the nightstand should be considered in relation to the size of the bed and the available wall space. A nightstand that is too large may overcrowd the room, while one that is too small may appear disproportionate or lacking in functionality. Taking measurements and visualizing how the nightstand will fit into the space will help avoid any scale-related issues.

  • Consider the height of the mattress, length of your arms, space available, and height of your lamps when determining the nightstand height.
  • Nightstand should be no more than 5 inches higher or lower than the top of the mattress for comfort and ease of use.
  • Have the nightstand at the same height as the bed for easy accessibility while sitting or lying down.
  • Place the nightstand a few inches away from the bed to ensure proper drape of the bedding and prevent it from getting caught.
  • Consider the scale of the nightstand in relation to the bed size and available wall space.
  • Avoid overcrowding the room with a too large nightstand, or having a disproportionately small and less functional one.
  • Take measurements and visualize the nightstand in the space to ensure a good fit.

Tips For Organizing And Personalizing Your Nightstand

Once you have chosen the perfect bedside table, it’s crucial to keep it organized and personalized to meet your daily needs. Use drawer organizers to prevent clutter and ensure that small items are kept neatly in place. This will make it easier to find what you need and maintain a tidy and visually appealing nightstand.

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Consider using coffee table books as accessories for styling your nightstand. They can add a decorative touch and can be stacked or displayed in various creative ways. Additionally, incorporate personal items such as small trinkets, a favorite scented candle, or a vase of fresh flowers to add a personalized touch.

Selecting the right height for a bedside table is crucial for comfort and visual aesthetics in your bedroom. The average height falls between 24 and 28 inches, but it is important to take into account the height of the mattress and other factors mentioned earlier. Alternative options for nightstands such as floating shelves, bar carts, and repurposed furniture pieces offer diversity and creativity. Styling the nightstand using symmetry, appropriate scale, and personal touches creates a cohesive and personalized space. Finally, organizing and personalizing the nightstand with the help of drawer organizers and stylish accessories complete the overall look of your bedside table.


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Frequently Asked Questions

Should bedside table be higher or lower than bed?

To ensure convenience and comfort, it is advisable for bedside tables to be at the same height or slightly higher than the top of your mattress, rather than lower. This allows for easy access to items while laying in bed, as reaching across or slightly upwards is more ergonomic than bending down. By maintaining an appropriate height alignment between the bedside table and bed, you can effortlessly retrieve your belongings without any discomfort or impracticality.

What is the ideal height of a bedside table?

The ideal height of a bedside table should be around 24 to 28 inches, with a recommended distance of 25 inches from the floor to the mattress. This allows for easy access to items on the table while lying in bed, promoting convenience and comfort. Additionally, this height range ensures that the tabletop is at a suitable level for activities such as reading or placing a lamp, creating a balanced and functional bedside setup.

Should bedside tables be the same height as the mattress?

It is essential for bedside tables to be the same height or slightly taller than the mattress to ensure convenient access to items while in bed. When the top of the nightstand is aligned with the mattress or slightly higher, it allows for easy reaching and grabbing of essentials without the need to extend the arms uncomfortably. This positioning enhances convenience and functionality for those using the bedside table while lying in bed, allowing for a more comfortable and effortless experience.

Should bedside tables be shorter than bed?

It is recommended for bedside tables to be at an ideal height of 24”-27”, ensuring convenience and easy access to items from the bed. However, it is crucial for the height to be within a 5” range of the top of the mattress to prevent discomfort and inconvenience during nighttime activities, such as reaching for a glass of water. A nightstand that is too low might require one to awkwardly crawl out of bed, while a nightstand that is too high may strain one’s arm. Hence, maintaining an appropriate height for bedside tables relative to the bed is essential for a comfortable and seamless experience.

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