Having your favorite book ready to read before falling asleep and a glass of water at reach in case you wake up thirsty during the night… all without having to get up: nightstands don't get enough credit, but we think they're the true lifesavers in your bedroom! As well as being handy thanks to their practical function, they're another chance to showcase your attention to detail and good taste in décor.
Here are some tips on how to choose nightstands that complement your bedroom and offer you the right type of storage space for your needs and habits.
Can you imagine how out of place a mirrored nightstand would look in a white shabby chic bedroom? The right material depends on how you're planning on using your nightstands but, most importantly, the rest of the furniture: consider what you already own in order to match it or, alternatively, complement it.
Wood is a popular and durable option: while these timeless nightstands are the most traditional, they're also the most versatile and can match different décor style depending on their color and design;
Metal is another durable and heavier material that eliminates any risk of chipping or bug damage; its water-repellent surface is handy if you like to keep a drink on your nightstand, but you should be careful and avoid pointy metal edges if you've got kids running around;
Glass and mirrored nightstands have a smart modern look and can help make the room feel bigger; however, just like metal, they might not be the best choice if you've got young children;
If you're after a budget-friendly option, plastic nightstands will be the most affordable: they can sometimes look a bit cheap, but, being available in lots of different colors, they could still help you match your room's palette and ensure a cohesive feel;
Upholstered bedstands could complement the style of your bed frame, but avoid them if you usually have a drink while reading in bed, as they're more delicate and can actually retain water;
Wicker nightstands are rarer, but they might be worth scouting for if you've got other pieces of furniture in that style or if you're after lightweight models that can be easily moved around and rearranged.
How Big Should Nightstands Be?
To give you an idea, an average nightstand is 20" wide and deep, but these pieces of furniture come in lots of smaller and larger sizes, too.
To figure out the right one for you, measure the space between your bed and the wall or surface next to it, so that you know how much room you've got to play with;
Take into account the rest of the furniture too: if you've got a small room and it already feels quite full, go for thinner nightstands to avoid a crowded feel.
How Tall Should Nightstands Be in Comparison to the Bed?
There isn't a set rule that determines how tall your nightstands should be, as it mainly depends on personal preference.
However, it's usually more comfortable to have them slightly higher than your bed's level when you're reaching out to grab something: that's why between 2 to 6 inches higher than the top of your mattress is the most popular choice.
What Style of Nightstand Should I Go for?
Before you start browsing different models, it's essential to think of what exactly you're going to need your nightstand for:
If you're mainly after some extra storage room, look for nightstands with two or more drawers or, for taller items, with doors;
If you want to keep a few books next to your bed or would like to showcase a few selected items, go for a model with open shelves;
the combination of a small top drawer and a bottom shelf is one of the most popular layouts.
What Is the Right Nightstand for my Décor?
When choosing nightstands, you should first identify the décor style and palette of your bedroom and bed frame, so that you can choose the same color or a hue that complements it without clashing.
Sharp edges, clean lines and, potentially, thinner legs can help you achieve a distinctive modern décor; while more traditional materials will work too, why not experiment with mirrors or glass?
If you love mid-Century modern décor, stick to darker wood and retro designs, such as long but thin drawers or a combination of a single drawer and an empty space in the same style;
Opt for a single drawer, thin legs and monochrome wooden designs for a clutter-free minimalist look;
Minimalist nightstands work well in Scandinavian bedrooms too, but try and choose a combination of light wood and a natural color like white, yellow, forest green, dark blue or gray;
Aged or discolored white wood is an immediate indicator of shabby chic styles! Look for heavily decorated models with cute details and particularly ornate, harmonious legs;
Lots of details and harmonious shapes are perfect for French country styles too, especially when in lighter wooden colors and with decorative drawer handles;
Scout for simple, sleek designs and a combination of wood and metal for nightstands that are meant to accentuate the rawness of industrial décors;
Natural wooden nightstands with carved patterns or colorful drawers will allow you to create an eclectic bohemian feel.
Lily is a modern designer with great appreciation for sleek architecture, a love for art in its many forms, and a passion for sharing her experience with people. If you’re looking for advice on how to modernize your old-fashioned place or make your new restaurant a visual blast, she’s definitely the one to ask.