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How to Choose the Right Bedside Lamps

September 27th 2017

Never underestimate how important a good lighting scheme is — it can completely transform the look and ambience of a room, turning it from gloomy and cold to welcoming and cosy.


Bedroom lighting is particularly important — you need this space to feel like a retreat from the outside world, somewhere to switch off and the right lighting is key.


Table lamps are a fantastic way to introduce interesting design elements, colour, texture and inviting little pockets of light into a room — we show you how to choose the right bedside table lamp for your space.


Bedside Lamp Height


The height of a bedside lamp is important, not just from a visual point of view, but also from a practical one. Working on the basis that your bedside table height is roughly the same as the top of your mattress, aim to choose a bedside lamp with a shade that will be just about level with your chin when you are sitting up in bed. This should provide an idea reading light with no glare.


In general, the average bed measures around 25 inches from the floor to the top of the mattress. So, if your bedside table measures between 22 to 26 inches, aim to choose a bedside lamp that is around 24 to 28 inches tall — compensate for lower tables with taller lamps.


It is a good idea to choose a bedside lamp with an adjustable head, meaning you can alter the direction of the light source when you lie down or sit up.


Don’t forget to consider the height at which the lamp switch will be either — you want it roughly equal to your arm’s length to make it easy to reach and turn it off. Between 21 to 30 inches high is about right.

Bedside Lamp Size


With the height of the bedside lamp determined, you need to turn your attention to its size.


Buy a table lamp after you have bought your bed and bedside tables — not the other way round.


Consider the surface area of your bedside table — if you want space for a book and a drink, for example, choosing a bedside lamp with a base that takes up most of the table top is not practical.


Small rooms and dainty bedside tables benefit from leaner, more elegant styles of table lamp, with narrow shades — or wall-mounted bedside lamps that are adjustable.


Chunky, solid bedside tables look fabulous with statement lamps.


Styles of Table Lamp


There is an enormous range of table lamps out there, so much so that it can be hard to know where to begin. If you are struggling to know where to start, begin by getting to grips with the most common lamp styles:


Pharmacy or Task Lamp


These can be adjusted to shine light just where you need it and, depending on the finish you go for, from antique brass to those with industrial, caged shades and exposed bulbs, can suit most bedroom schemes.


Ceramic or Gourd Lamp


Characterised by their bulbous, solid ceramic bases, often in bold colours, this style of lamp sometimes comes in materials other than ceramic, such as metal and coloured glass. This is a style that is perfect for those after a classic style, offering the option to update the look with colour.


Candlestick Lamp


Tall and leggy, these lamps have a refined, tapered look that suit subtle, elegant spaces well. Wooden and glass bases tend to suit more traditional schemes, whilst metallic and Perspex looks great in contemporary bedrooms.


Statement Lamp


Following no particular design rules, these lamps range of those with bases shaped into animals of objects of nature, to those that change colour. They add an eclectic feel to a room and are a great fun option for children’s bedrooms.


Floor and Wall Lamps


Sometimes, a floor or wall lamp will work better, keeping your bedside table clear. Also consider clip-on lamps that can attach to brackets or shelves above or either side of the bed.


And finally, don’t feel your bedside lamps should be the same — a mix and match approach can add a nice sense of variety and eclectic style to the room.


Table Lamp Colour


Neutral, calming background interior schemes are popular in bedrooms — soft grey, beige, taupe and varieties of white are perfect for creating a calming feel.


Bedside lamps are a good way of injecting some colour and personality into your bedroom, without being overwhelming.


Coloured glass bases or shimmering metallic are currently very popular within more contemporary bedrooms, whilst ceramic bases in colours that stand out against neutral bed linen work well in more classic schemes.


If you have opted for a colourful bedside table, a simple bedside lamp, or wall-mounted lamp will allow its design to shine.

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