As the old saying goes, successful interior decorating is a marriage of form and function, and few rooms exemplify that ethos at work better than your bedroom. The best bedroom décor feels comfy, chic, calming and engaging – all at once. For all of those reasons, and to get the most out of your room’s form and function, brilliant table lamps are essential. They perform the oh-so-practical task of filling your room with light while adding to its overall style and ambience – a form-function win-win.
The best tableside lamps can light up your life (or your bedroom anyway), and here’s how.
Bedroom Table Lamp 101
Let’s start by getting the basics out of the way first – what makes for a good bedside table lamp? All three of those words need to be in play.
The lamp in question needs to fit near your bed, both spatially and aesthetically. It should not be so large as to crowd your bed, nor should it clash with your bedroom décor. If the whole decorating ethos of your bedroom is based around a rustic, Tudor, or Versailles scheme, choosing an ultra-modern lamp probably isn’t the way to go. That said, it won’t matter how aesthetically pleasing the lamp is if it doesn’t give off enough light by which to read or sit up in bed and see things without squinting.
Given those basic parameters, you can move on to parts of greater nuance, such as the color and size of the lampshade. What’s more, even if your lamp is on the small side, unless you are buying two very small matching lamps, a single table lamp should be enough. Buying more than one can clutter your table as well as your overall decorating vision.
In terms of size, your lamp should ideally sit a few inches higher than your mattress (so as to be more noticeable and give light to the whole bed) with the width being between 30-60% of that of the bed itself.
Reviewing the Best Bedroom Table Lamps
1. Globe Electric 12939 Remington 15-Inch Table Lamp, Black Finish, Exposed Gold Socket
One of the dynamics we will return to again and again throughout this list is that between lamps that look to the past and those which embrace the future. This offering from Globe Electric does an intriguing job of dabbling in both.
On the one hand, there is no denying that its sleek black finish and exposed gold socket are anything but a “traditional” table lamp. Unlike many of the options on this list, it does not come with a lampshade, nor is it intended for use with one. As such, it has a certain minimalist, modern feel to it.
On the other hand, however, it is undeniable that there is something “old” about its minimalism. This isn’t the kind of lamp that looks to the future of lighting technology, but rather one that makes use of a bare-bones style from the past and brings it into the present with aplomb and improved efficiency.
It can be used with different bulbs, some brighter than others, but none quite as bright as some of the biggest and most bulbous options on this list. It therefore makes for a great accent light. The five-foot cord is a nice touch, and makes it that much easier to plug it in wherever you have a power socket handy, even if that is far away from your bed.
2. Stone & Beam Ceramic Geometric Cut-Out Table Desk Lamp With LED Light Bulb
In contrast to the contemporary minimalism of Globe Electric’s offering, this piece from Stone & Beam offers an elegant display of ceramic shapeliness. Its base features lovely geometric patterns arranged in an off-white ceramic design.
This brings us to yet another theme to which we’ll be returning again and again, and it’s one that we’ve touched upon a bit already – that between form and function.
The first two lamps on our list do a great job of this divide. The Globe Electric one has a few modern touches, to be sure, but there can be no doubt that its minimalist design places the emphasis of its value on its functionality. By contrast, while this is no slouch in the lighting department, this table lamp from Stone & Beam does a great job of exemplifying what form and elegance are all about.
Which is better suited to your bedroom?
That depends on what your decorating tastes are as well as what you need in terms of lighting. The exposed lightbulb of the Globe Electric piece is ideally suited for those who want a bit more light in their space. On the other hand, to those for whom elegance and beauty is more important in a table lamp than raw lighting power, this offering from Stone & Beam can do a fantastic job of serving as a classic yet still understated centerpiece.
3. Philips Hue Go
One of the most important things to consider when looking into bedroom table lamps is how creative you want to get with the design. Because these aren’t large-scale lamps but small beside ones, you can afford to be a bit more creative with the lamp design you have sitting by your bedside.
A good example of a design that’s creative without going “too far” is the “bowl” shape offered by the Philips Hue Go. Obviously, one doesn’t traditionally expect their lamps to come in a design like that, but this offering from Philips makes it work.
What’s more, this little bowl-shaped lamp features a bevy of features, with one of the most impressive being its ability to be set for different light routines. You can set it to light up and dim at certain times to help you wake up or fall asleep. You can, according to Philips, set it to one of 16 million colors (yes, really.) You can pair it with smart home mainstays such as Alexa or Google Assistant and tie it in with the rest of your smart home setup.
All of this makes for a lamp which, while on the unconventional side and certainly more suited for tech-friendly décor than more traditional setups, offers a ton of features and shines all the more brightly for it.
4. Ore International K313 White Glass Floral Touch Lamp
Let’s bring a couple of our trends together and take a look at this picture of table lamp elegance and modernity.
On the one hand, this lamp really is a thing of beauty. It boasts a brilliant metallic base that does a great job of reflecting the light emanating from the bulb, making the unit appear all the brighter.
Of course, the real eye-catching thing with this piece is its lovely floral lampshade. This can be a great way of adding a touch of color into a space without being too flashy. What’s more, the floral work itself can be paired wonderfully with ceramics, headboards, wallpaper, sheets, or any other floral-themed elements you may have in your bedroom. Theming is key to quality décor, so if floral themes appeal to you or you already have some in place, this lamp could be a great upgrade.
On the other hand, this table lamp is no slouch in terms of modern lighting technology, either. It is a touch lamp and so can be activated with the mere touch of a finger. It offers low, medium, and high settings, and makes use of a polarized plug in order to make it extra safe.
One of the most important things to consider when choosing a table lamp is what kind of lightbulb it takes. After all, you want to make sure you are getting the best performance out of the lamp. This particular table lamp, for example, requires a 40W bulb.
All in all, this table lamp does a great job of bringing together disparate strengths in a single, dynamic, elegant option. If you’re looking for a little lamp that does a lot, this could be the choice for you.
5. Lifeholder Bedside Nightstand Lamp
By far one of the most characteristic elements of this lamp is its enormous lampshade. Whereas the previous model features a big bulbous uncovered lightbulb, this lamp goes in the complete opposite direction, with a long lamp shade that covers the bulb and makes up the majority of the visible surface area of the unit. This has the effect of making it appear somewhat like an illuminated lantern, giving it a look that’s simultaneously quite modern and a vague throwback at the same time.
In terms of its size, this is another example of a good space-saving lamp. The long, vertical nature of its lampshade helps make this one of the slenderest options on this list, which contributes greatly to its space-saving nature.
In terms of the light it gives off, this unit doesn’t shine as brightly as others on this list, nor is it intended to do so. Rather, this is a great example of moderate, ambient light at work. The light it gives off is filtered by that aforementioned lampshade, which diffuses the light into a soft, ambient and welcoming warm glow. If you are looking for a bedside lamp that’s soothing and can help get you ready for bed at night, this is a superb choice.
6. Mathmos Astro Lava Lamp
At least one brief reference has to be made to that classic of groovy, far out, hey-remember-the-70s chic, lava lamps. The eternal favorite of college kids and those stuck in the era of Bell Bottoms, Hair, and the Age of Aquarius, this take on the lava lamp features a classic design, which is itself interesting to say given what a novelty the thing was when it first debuted in 1963. At the time, it seemed timely and even vaguely futuristic – now, it looks like a fun, kitschy product of its times.
With a sleek metallic exterior and blue and red “lava” inside, this unit certainly does a great job of bringing color into a space. If that is one of your primary goals with your lamp and you don’t mind embracing the kitschy side of décor, a lava lamp can be a fun and playful way to go.
But how well does it do in terms of giving off light? The fact of the matter is that this lamp isn’t anywhere near as bright as many of the options on this list. As with the Lifeholder lampshade, however, it isn’t necessarily meant to do so. It is a novelty, full-stop. If you’re looking to illuminate your bedroom with a touch of playfulness, this lava lamp can certainly help you do just that.
7. Kira Home Lucerna 13-Inch Touch Bedside Lamp
Here we have another great example of a touch lamp. Like the Lifeholder lamp, it features another design that emphasizes the size and prominence of the lampshade, giving it a vaguely lantern-esque appearance. Unlike the Lifeholder lamp, however, its design is boxy. Whether you find that a welcome change or not will depend on your aesthetic preferences.
It is the touch functionality of this lamp which truly “shines.” It’s one of the most responsible touch lamps out there, which is always a good thing. You don’t want to have to keep leaning over and slapping feebly at the base of the lamp to get it to light up. All it takes is a slight touch of your finger to light up this lamp.
To once more compare it to the Lifeholder, this unit likewise features the same tradeoff between giving up bright lighting in favor of a softer, more diffused light. This is great for those who hate bright, harsh lights and want something a bit warmer and more calming.
What’s more, this is another lamp that’s on the compact side, a fact emphasized by its boxy design. Its 13” size is just big enough to make an impact in your décor while still being small enough to fit neatly on most nightstands. If that’s what you prefer in your lamp design, this might be a good, compact light with a soft light to match.
8. House of Disaster Origami Woodland Night Light
This is another example of a wonderfully creative lamp design at work. Contrary to the product name, if you can successfully pull this off, not only will this not be a disaster, but it can add a real sense of uniqueness to your bedroom décor.
This lamp may have the most personality among the options on our list. It comes in bear, fox, and rabbit origami-inspired designs, each of which does an incredible job of reimagining the animal in question as a tabletop nightlight. In fact, its animal designs, as well as its tabletop status, make it a great choice for anyone looking to brighten up a child’s room.
The unit features a unique kind of plastic that’s semi-opaque and allows just enough light through to light up while still looking “paper-like” enough to approximate origami. Even better, that unique plastic paired with the light inside makes for a truly warm glowing light. It is incredibly soothing, putting another check in the kid-friendly column.
A potential strike against it would be the fact that, though the light it gives off is warm and comforting, it’s probably not enough to read by. If that is your intention, you would probably be better served looking into brighter, more bookworm-friendly options on this list. For what it is, however, this is a truly lovely tabletop lamp.
If you are a fan of Japanese aesthetics in general and origami in particular, this neat novelty lamp can be a great way to add a cute kawaii touch to your bedroom décor.
9. Brightech Grace LED USB Bedside Lamp
Along with touch lamp technology, USB and LED upgrades are certainly two more waves of the future which are finding themselves in some of the present’s most state-of-the-art lamps.
This offering from Brightech Grace does a great job with the USB functionality in particular. A USB port is located at the base of the lamp, situated in such a way as to make it highly accessible and convenient to use. The upside here is obvious. If you’ve ever had the misfortune of going to bed with a phone that’s not charged, this lamp allows you to charge it in a snap.
What’s more, it offers a more convenient way to charge phones than simply plugging them into your laptop. Doing that can work, but it may take longer and your laptop may be in an inconvenient spot.
With this lamp, you are always assured of having a convenient USB charger by your beside.
All of that is well and good, but what about the actual lamp part of this lamp?
Size-wise, this lamp strikes a good balance between being big enough to make itself noticeable while not being so big as to dominate your tabletop. It is another lamp that features a boxy design, and that once again extends to its lampshade, though this one stops a bit shorter of the base than the Lifeholder.
It emits a fair amount of light but does not feature the unbridled brightness of the Tala lamp.
10. Chloe Lighting Liaison Tiffany-Style Victorian 3 Light Double Lit Table Lamp
In contrast to the glimpse into the future offered by the Brightech Grace USB lamp, let’s close with a blast from the past. If your bedroom décor is a bit more classically inclined and you would like a tabletop lamp to match, this offering from Chloe Lighting could be just the thing to bring a touch of faux-Victorian elegance into your bedroom.
One of the nice things about this lamp is how it manages to co-opt the Victorian spirit for the modern age. The bedroom was a unique space for Victorians, who felt it both an incredibly private space and yet couldn’t help showing off their opulence. This lamp functions in much the same way. On the one hand, it doesn’t have any gaudy bells or whistles and fits right in with traditional, Victorian-codified notions of the bedroom, but on the other hand, it’s quite an elegant piece and conversation starter.
In short, it’s the perfect lamp to show off just a bit without looking like you’re trying to show off – just like the Victorians.
The lamp itself boasts beautiful multicolored pieces that do a great job of approximating stained glass. In addition, its elegant curves and tortoise shell-shaped lampshade do a great job of making it appear larger than it actually is.
This is yet another lamp that veers more towards the form over function side, as the lampshade is thick enough to keep the light from filling your room. However, with a lampshade that thick with such a distinctive light-controlling tortoise shell-shaped design, that’s definitely the intention. Whereas other lamps are concerned with giving off a warm glow and others a bright burst of light, this Victorian-inspired light simply emanates elegance and style.
More on Finding the Right Table Lamp for Your Bedroom
Now that we’ve taken a look at some of the best table lamps for bedside tables in bedrooms, let’s break down some of the factors that can help you decide which of these is best for you.
Size of a Table Lamp
For one thing, you’ll need to decide right from the start how much space you want to dedicate to your table lamp. The last thing you want is to go through the trouble of purchasing one just to find that it’s too big or too small. The latter doesn’t get as much attention as the former, and indeed, we’ve mentioned above the risk of a table lamp being too big. That said, if a lamp is too small to make an impact in your décor, or else too tiny to adequately light your room, that’s a substantial problem as well.
As stated, a good general rule of thumb is for your table lamp to be between 30-60% of your bed size. That said, different proportions can make a lamp look bigger or smaller than its actual size. For example, lamps with long, thin bodies or wide lampshades can look bigger than they actually are.
Where to Place the Lamp
In addition, you want to make sure that your lamp is situated on your table in such a way as to make it convenient to access. This is especially important for lamps that feature touch technology. That technology won’t be very useful if you can’t reach over and actually touch the lamp, will it? Make sure that your table lamp is thus close enough to always be within reach without straining yourself, without being so close as to practically be “in bed with you,” as it were.
How Much Light Do You Need
Then there’s the matter of how much light is the right amount. As alluded to in the selections above, there is a real split between form and function here, which in turn belies a difference in philosophy.
On the one hand, you could opt for a lamp that offers quite a bit of light. It is a lamp, after all, and so its primary function should be to brighten up your room, right?
On the other hand, you need to remember that you aren’t just buying a lamp for just any space, but for your bedroom in particular. You thus need to keep the space’s unique needs in consideration, one of which being the fact that this is the place where you unwind and fall asleep. Will you really be able to do that with a lamp that’s blindingly bright? Even if you don’t need to set it at such a high setting, might it be better to instead opt for a lamp which specializes not so much in overall brightness as a soft, ambient, bedtime-ready glow?
The pros and cons of each of these table lamp philosophies are apparent. Which you prefer says something about how you view your bedroom and, indeed, how you approach the basic divide between form and function. It should be noted, however, that as postulated at the start, both are necessary for successful interior decorating.
As such, you are left with a choice. Either you opt for a lamp that veers more towards one side of the divide over the other, and commit to that choice, or you try to split the difference with a bedside lamp that offers a more all-around approach.
Another iteration of that form versus function debate presents itself in the contrast between the lamps that offer special features, set against those that instead focus on form. The final two lamps are a good example of this divide at work. The Chloe Lighting lamp is a great example of where the table lamp market is headed, and offers a good deal of value in terms of USB and other forward-thinking innovations. On the other hand, the Victorian lamp exemplifies where we’ve already been, and instead looks to bring an aesthetic and historic sense into the bedroom, along with the mood it conveys.
Which of these factors you ultimately prefer will determine the nature of your bedside table lamp, and the nature of your bedroom décor itself.