How to Pick The Perfect Bedside Table

When choosing the right furniture pieces for the bedroom, we immediately focus on the bed because it is the most functional and important piece in the space, right?

Arianne Bellizaire Interiors

However, choosing the right bedside table is EQUALLY important because what you place beside the bed affects not only how functional the space is but also how aesthetically pleasing!

Amy Studebaker Design

The old school way of thinking was to shop for a nightstand that matched your entire bedroom suite of furniture.

Same finish, color, style and design on everything from the bed to the chest of drawers to the nightstand and even the lingerie chest.


Thankfully, gone, gone, GONE are those days!

Now, the possibilities for bedside table are virtually endless and oh so much more appealing!

Here are a few options for bedside tables:

1. A Chest of Drawers

Bedroom with a high tray ceilingDesigner: Krista Watterworth Alterman

2. A Simple Nightstand

Kailee Wright Master Bedroom RevealDesigner: Becki Owens

3. A Small Bookcase

twin beds, guest room, round mirrors, photography

Designer: Andrew Brown

4. A DeskStyle Secrets: Warm up a bedside with an area rug. Use a small desk and chair instead of a nightstand to make the room multifunctional. Add a mirror to fill the wall space and make the room feel larger. Styling essentials like a lamp, books and floral arrangement always do the trick!

Designer: Kristin Jackson

5. A Console Table 

The Decor House

You have to agree that these options are much more appealing!

Now that I’ve got you excited about the possibilities, you’re probably wondering: “How will I know which of these options will work best for me?”

Well, the answer to that question depends on a few factors.

  1. Space– How much space do you have on each side of your bed, and how much surface area do you need on top of your bedside piece for things like lighting, alarm clock, smartphone charger, etc.?

    Gabrielle Johnson / Karyn McGee

  2. Symmetry– Do you prefer spaces that are symmetrical, or are you ok with mixing it up?elegant, tailored and refined master bedroom designed by suzanne kasler

    Designer: Suzanne Kasler

  3. Storage– How much storage do you need? Do you prefer something like a chest of drawers or a piece with doors to tuck away things you don’t want to see, or are you ok with open shelving that allows you to display things artfully?

    Love this neutral palette.Designer: Jane Lockhart

  4. Aesthetics– Are you drawn to unexpected pieces like vintage storage trunks and one-of-a-kind hand carved tables or do you prefer more traditional bedroom piece?

    C&S-2-4Designer: Mary Ross Custom Homes



Once you’ve decided which kind of bedside table would work best for YOUR space, you’ll need to do some space planning to narrow down your options even further!

The first thing you’ll want to do is to measure from the top of your mattress to the floor (which normally comes to about 25″).

The ideal height of your bedside table is no more than 2″ higher than the mattress.


You want a piece that is easy to reach when standing up and also when you’re laying in bed!

Two inches above the mattress makes reaching over for that glass of water (or the snooze button on the alarm) effortless!

I hope these tips have given you a head start on how to select YOUR perfect bedside table!

In fact, here are a few of my favorites:

Bernhardt Mosaic Nightstand / NOIR Forli Side Table / Redford House
Bennet Nightstand / Worlds Away Monica / Mr. Brown Home
Belmont Desk / Made Goods HESSA

 Let me know which one is your favorite in the comments below!

If you loved this post, check out the other posts in our Design 101 series:

Design 101: How to Hang Curtains

Design 101: Bathroom Heights

Design 101: How to Hang a Great Gallery Wall

Design 101: How to Pick The Perfect Bedside Table

Design 101: Creating a Luxe Bed

Design 101: Deciding on the Best Rug

5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Designing Your Space

How To Hire Your Dream Contractor

Want some ideas on how to refresh some bargain finds? Check out this video!

Author: Arianne Bellizaire

Interior designer, blogger, and public speaker Arianne Bellizaire creates spaces that are beautiful yet highly functional for her clients. She served as one of only nine 2015 High Point Market Authority Style Spotters, and she has been featured in Rue Magazine, House Beautiful Online, GoodHousekeeping, EditorAtLarge, U.S. News & World Report, Roomhints,, USA Today, and MyFitItUpLife!

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