5 Important Things to Consider When Choosing Bedside Lamps

The process of choosing the right lamps for your bedside tables is, surprisingly, not nearly as simple as you may have thought. Quickly nipping down to your local décor store and buying the ones you love the most at that particular moment in time might not serve the best purpose for you.

Bedside lamps are often the last items we seem to think about when decorating our bedrooms, but they really form an important part of your overall interior design scheme.

As an interior designer, I usually spend weeks agonizing over which bedside lamps to finish off a bedroom.

With this in mind, here are the top 5 things to consider when choosing bedside lamps:

  1. Height

The height of your bedside lamps is important for two reasons: aesthetics and the amount of light the lamp is giving you (and thereby preserving your eyesight when reading in bed)!

There is no absolute right or wrong height, mainly because pedestals, headboards and mattresses come in so many varying shapes and sizes. However, as a guideline (if you’re taking this decision seriously), try and find where the bottom of the lampshade more or less lines up with your chin when you are sitting up in bed. This provides good reading light and ensures that you won’t be staring directly into the globe from a lamp.

HINT: When buying a globe, go for a cool white LED. This gives you the most natural feeling of light and puts less strain on your eyes when reading.

  1. Size

The lamp might be the perfect design and height, but if the lamp base to bedside tabletop ratio is off then it will disrupt the balance of the whole room. It’s all about scale!

A large lamp base that takes up most of the space on your pedestal would look odd and be impractical; similarly, a small lamp base on a large pedestal can only work if there are other objects on the table to balance it out. The same goes for the lampshade – use a larger lampshade on a large pedestal and a smaller lampshade on a small pedestal.

  1. Style

The base of the lamp can make a statement of its own, and this is often overlooked by the colour and size of the shade that you select.

Look around for different variations, pieces of art that might be used to create a bold statement or enhance a particular theme. Alternatively, if you have bold, statement artworks or a feature that you would like to use as a statement, then go for a more simplistic style lamp base to let the features stand out to create a focal point in the room.

  1. Material

One of the easiest ways of narrowing down the choice of a bedside lamp is to determine what material you would like to use. This normally goes hand in hand with style, but here are the basics:

Modern bedroom? Opt for a metal or glass base.

Traditional bedroom? Opt for a wooden base.

Country bedroom? Go for a wood or glass base.

  1. Colour

The colour that I’m referring to here is the colour of the lampshade. While you could opt for different coloured bases (if you are going for an eclectic feel), it’s so much easier and more cost-effective to chop and change the colour of the shade itself.

I love creating a dramatic feel with a black lampshade, but there are so many options out there to introduce texture, pattern, and depth into your bedroom.


While the above points are not exactly cut and dry, all of these decisions should be made after taking all of the elements of the style of your bedroom, as a whole, into consideration.

Remember to have fun with your décor choices. You can mix and match bedside lamps and tables on either side of your bed, or you could even hang them over your pedestals from the ceiling, as long as they are the same height. But also don’t limit yourself to traditional options. Remember, the lighting of a room can help create just the right ambience, and is also important for functionality, so take your time finding the perfect bedside lamps.

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