Also known as night tables, bedside tables, and end tables, nightstands are classified as any small table, stand, or cabinet kept next to the bed. They offer people who are lying in bed direct and easy access to items that they might need before falling asleep, after waking up in the middle of the night, or after waking up in the morning. Usually, nightstands are homes to lamps, alarm clocks, cell phones, glasses, medications, glasses of water, and more. Nightstands can have one or more drawers or shelves for extra storage, or even a small cabinet door or two. The actual size, shape, color, and embellishments of nightstands differ considerably to better match different needs and bedroom decors and styles. Therefore, nightstands serve a decorative as well as a practical function. If you’re in the market for a new nightstand or two, here are a few that we recommend.
Buying Guide for Nightstands
Why buy a nightstand?
Have you ever not had a nightstand? It’s the worst! There’s no place to set your phone to charge, a glass of water to drink, an alarm clock to wake you, or whatever else you like to have within arm’s reach during the time you’re in bed. Not having a place for a reading lamp is especially annoying—who can truly relax in bed under a ceiling light? You might want to store the magazines, books, or reading tablets that you enjoy using in bed there, too. Plus, nightstands can complete your bedroom aesthetic and offer decoration as well as convenience.
What should you look for in a nightstand?
- Type: What do you need from a nightstand? If you give that a little thought, it’s a lot easier to settle on the one that’s best for you. Maybe you like to keep it simple and want a nightstand with four legs and a flat surface for a few nighttime belongings. That’s easy enough to find! But if you want to branch out a little, some nightstands have half-sized drawers for items that you don’t want to leave out in the open. Some double as bookcases, so you can store your phone or clock on the tabletop and shelve books, magazines, or knickknacks below. Think about the amount of storage that you’d like to have and find a nightstand that accommodates that need.
- Size: This is an important consideration. A nightstand takes up space no matter how small it is. Ideally, a nightstand shouldn’t be more than 2 inches taller than your mattress. This will make it easier for you to reach over and grab something off your nightstand while you’re still in bed. You don’t want to be reaching uncomfortably high or bending down low to hit the snooze button, after all. Most nightstands will be somewhere between 24 and 28 inches tall since the most common bed height from floor to mattress is around 25 inches. You’ll want to measure the height of your mattress, especially if you suspect that your bed is taller or shorter than average. In terms of width, think of where you plan to keep your new nightstand and make sure that it isn’t too wide for the space. You don’t want it to be too big to fit in between your mattress and the wall or to stretch out so much that it blocks a bedroom or closet door. Again, taking at least cursory measurements of the space ahead of time will make it easier to find the correctly sized nightstand without a hitch.
- Design: What color do you want your nightstand to be? Do you want it to match the rest of your bedroom furniture, your comforter, or your smaller highlights and accessories? Do you prefer an asymmetrical look, or do you want to mix it up? Do you want it to be eye-catching and bold or subtle and understated? Do you want it to be made of wood, metal, or wicker? Are you looking for something that’s more unique or standard? Should it match a certain design aesthetic, like rustic, modern, or bohemian? Do you want a round, rectangular, or square nightstand? Should it have any decorations or embellishments, or do you want to keep it simple? All of these are factors worth considering when you’re picking out a nightstand.
What should you expect to spend on a nightstand?
Of course, there’s a wide price range among nightstands on the market. But if you need to be thrifty, perhaps it would help to write down a spending limit and go from there. On average, most nightstands cost at least around $50. The price increases with nightstands that feature more storage space, embellishments, charging outlets, or more premium materials. These higher-end nightstands will be closer to $100 or $200.
Our Picks for the Best Nightstands
Winsome Wood Eugene Accent Table
This handsome and sturdy wooden nightstand features a top drawer and bottom cabinet for storage.
Pros: The Winsome Wood Eugene Accent Table is much more than decorative, although it does have a certain elegance to its look. As a nightstand, it offers a spacious surface for a lamp and whatever accessories you need as well as a handy drawer and cabinet with a door. As the items that you store inside are behind a drawer or door, they remain private. The wooden nightstand is finished in walnut, making for a rich, dark hue.
Cons: If you want nightstands on each side of your bed, you’ll have to purchase a second one, because these nightstands are sold separately. It’s nice that purchasers can get replacement parts within 60 days from the date of purchase, but that’s a limited amount of time.
Bottom Line: The extra storage and aesthetic are both pluses, so if you’re on the hunt for a good-looking, dual-purpose nightstand while on a budget, this might be just right for you. However, if you’re looking for something that’s higher quality and you’re willing to spend more on it, you might want to pass on this model.
VECELO X-Design Nightstand
This striking nightstand features unique X-shaped side panels, a storage shelf, and a drawer.
Pros: The durable VECELO nightstand presents a glossy surface top that appeals to people who are looking for an eye-catching design. The side panels aren’t solid but are fashioned with two crossing wood pieces, creating a unique X-design. The nightstand offers two places in which to store items: a pull-out drawer and a bottom display shelf. It’s easy to clean, move, and assemble and comes in several colors.
Cons: If you’re looking for a hardwood nightstand, you might be disappointed. Because the engineered wood is both dense and strong, at 20 pounds, the nightstand might be too heavy for some individuals to move. It’s also smaller and shorter than other models.
Bottom Line: If you like the look, functionality, and low price of this nightstand, give it some thought. The engineered wood is known to be sturdier than other wood composites, and its design details are unique, so it could work out wonderfully for your bedroom.
VASAGLE Set of Two Industrial Style Nightstands
Looking for a sturdy nightstand with a trendy, minimalist look? These nightstands offer the aesthetic and excellent performance.
Pros: Two three-tiered nightstands mean that you can place one on either side of the bed, so both you and your partner can have access to your own stuff. The shelves provide more room on which to place a multitude of objects. Although these nightstands aren’t colorful or flashy, their minimalist design, industrial black steel frames, and greige (a color between beige and gray) tint are distinctive. Another unusual feature is the adjustable mesh shelves, which you can set flat or at a slight slant to display your books or other items according to your preference. The feet are adjustable, too, to address uneven surfaces. There’s no need to prop one of the legs up with folded paper to keep the nightstand flat.
Cons: If you don’t like the trendy minimalist look in general, you won’t love these nightstands. They offer a number of adjustable features, but looks aren’t one of them. The final drawback: The wooden material is just particleboard.
Bottom Line: The VASAGLE nightstand set has a lot going for it. The construction and function of the nightstand are high quality. The nightstand has a clean, sparse look that could inspire you to keep your bedroom tidier. In essence, it’s sturdy, attractive, and useful.
mDesign Storage Nightstand
Check out this nightstand with extra-spacious storage that comes in multiple colors.
Pros: The mDesign nightstand is compact, slim, and lightweight, and it features two reinforced, deep drawers for whatever items you want to keep out of the way in your bedroom. The non-woven synthetic fabric drawers are removable for easy rearranging. Built with steel and an MDF wood laminate top as well as adjustable nonskid feet, this nightstand offers a reliable sturdiness that you want in a good nightstand. Another nice asset is that the nightstand comes in 16 colors.
Cons: The mDesign nightstand is perhaps less of a nightstand and more of a compact drawer set. The synthetic fabric might not wear well over time. If you want a larger tabletop and a classier look, this isn’t the option for you.
Bottom Line: Make sure you take note of the mDesign nightstand’s dimensions and check the space in your bedroom that you have to work with. It’s a great option for a college dorm room, small apartment, or kid’s bedroom.
Brightech Madison Narrow Nightstand
Read your favorite book in bed using the built-in lamp and charge your phone at the same time with this nightstand.
Pros: You have arrived in the modern era, the time of smart devices. Even the nightstands are smart now. Seriously, this narrow nightstand by Brightech is more intelligent and in tune with our current needs than your average nightstand. The compact 4-foot, 8-inch nightstand comes with a built-in lamp, two USB ports, and an outlet so that you can charge your mobile devices or plug in your computer. If you have a smart outlet, the nightstand is compatible with Alexa, Google Home Assistant, or Apple HomeKit to turn on and off. This floor lamp looks great in a living room beside a couch or reading chair, too. Its built-in lamp comes with an LED bulb rated to last for 20,000 hours, and the lampshade comes in three colors.
Cons: If you’re not looking for a modern-looking nightstand, you’ll want to look elsewhere. If you already have a lamp for your nightstand, you won’t be able to use it, since it comes with a built-in lamp. It doesn’t have a large surface area to keep things on it, either.
Bottom Line: Brightech’s nightstand is a great buy for people who are looking for a nightstand that provides the option to charge their devices right there in the furniture. It gets a gold star for the technological functionality that it promises. However, if you simply want a basic or traditional nightstand, you might want to look at other options.
FURINNO Just 3-Tier Nightstand
Looking for an attractive, low-cost, low-maintenance nightstand with shelves? This one might be your new favorite bedroom accent.
Pros: Leonardo da Vinci said it best: “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” Furinno seems to design its furniture according to the same principle. This three-tier nightstand can bring serenity to the bedroom with its clean lines. The nightstand is composed of engineered particleboard, and the legs are PVC tubes. Both sides of each panel are laminated and are water-resistant, anti-scratch, and easy to clean. When assembled, the nightstand offers three rectangular shelves for books, a lamp, and other odds and ends. Finally, it’s available in two other colors.
Cons: While the three shelves offer decent space, they’re open on all four sides, so items can slide or fall off. Since it’s 22.8 inches in height, you might have to reach down awkwardly in order to access a nighttime water glass, lamp, or magazine. And it might not hold up over time.
Bottom Line: If you like the look, features, dimensions, and price, what’s holding you back? Nothing, that’s what! The quick and easy assembly, look, lighter weight, and shelving are all great assets for this affordable nightstand.
There are many styles, materials, and functionalities available in nightstands. It seems like the options are endless. Just be sure to consider your personal preferences and the space that you have available. Although it’s a piece of furniture that has a practical purpose, a nightstand can serve as a fashion statement or decorative accent as well.