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What Height Should My Bedside Table Be?

September 26th 2017

Although it is the bed that, quite rightly, takes centre stage in any bedroom, don’t underestimate the importance of choosing the right bedside tables for the room.

Although they often tend to be something of an afterthought, bedside tables not only add to the overall décor of the bedroom, but they also play a hugely practical role.

Bedside Table Height


There are no hard and fast rules or standards when it comes to bedside table height. The height of table you choose should first and foremost be based around the height of your bed, or, more accurately, the height of your mattress.


A bedside table that is too high, towering above you when lying in bed will not only look all wrong but will also make it extremely hard to reach your glass of water or bedside reading material.


A bedside table that is slightly lower than your bed is always preferable to one that is higher, although opting for one that is much lower than your will mean reaching anything from the comfort your bed can be awkward. From a visual point of view, however, many people like the look of lower bedside tables.


Most designers agree that bedside tables should be the same height as the top of your mattress to work well — plus from an aesthetic point of view this creates a nice visual line.

Bedside Table Size

You want to achieve a good visual scale between your bed and bedside tables. Bedside tables that are too large or too small in relation to your bed will look all wrong.


In terms of depth, don’t go above around 24” as it will be hard to get in and out of bed.


Other than that, think carefully about what you want to keep on your bedside table — a lamp, glass of water, books? Ensure the table you choose will be big enough to accommodate them all easily. As a rough guide, king size beds tend to look best paired with bedside tables that are between 20” and 40” wide. Common mistake: tables that are too skimpy.


And if space is tight, opt for a bedside table with storage, which brings us onto….



Something you can just never have enough of — and in a room that should be clutter free and calm, bedside tables with storage are a must. Even just one or two drawers or shelves incorporated into your bedside table will be useful, whether you use that space for nightwear, reading material or just bits and bobs that you like to have to hand.

Styles of Bedside Table

Although a matchy matchy approach to bedside tables is currently being shunned in favour of a more eclectic, mix-and-match look, a pair of matching tables either side of a bed complete with an upholstered headboard is also an option for those after a hotel chic style bedroom.


Looks aside, from a practical point of view it is worth considering how the table top finish will work for you. Solid timber can be a risk if you plan on keeping a glass of water on your bedside table, although coasters can go towards lessening the problem.


Mirrored and high-gloss finishes will need wiping down regularly to remove fingerprint marks and dust, whilst a matt finish will be more forgiving — consider your lifestyle before buying.


Double-duty Furniture

Where space is tight, consider using an alternative piece of bedroom furniture, such as a chest of drawers, nightstand, writing desk or dainty sideboard as a bedside table instead — keeping the bedside table height guides in mind.


And if you have no space at all for a bedside table, a floating shelf fixed into the wall either side of the bed is a brilliant alternative.

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