Menu Close

How Tall Should Bedside Lamps Be?

From convenience and decoration to enhanced illumination, having a bedside lamp is one of the best decisions you could ever make. Thanks to the reliability these bedside lamps offer, their surging popularity is impossible to overlook.

But various concerns have always sufficed. For instance, how tall should they be?

Here are a few insights into this element.

height of bedside table lamps


How Tall Should Nightstand Lamps Be?

There is hardly any one-dimensional answer to this. Thanks to the various aspects that go into determining where to place them, choices will always vary.

Bedside Table Lamps

The standard height of nightstand lamps is between 24 and 28 inches.

This height ensures that the lamp is not way too small or too towering, guaranteeing you the best experience in the bedroom.

Bedside Floor Lamps

On the other hand, you might have a floor lamp. This lamp needs to be approximately 58 to 64 inches. Its bottom should not be lower than the eye level of a seated person, preferably above or at the same level.

Further, if you have multiple floor lamps, it will be best to keep them within a similar height range. This way, your space will not have an awkward appeal in the long run.

Clip on Bedside Lamps

If you have a clip-on lamp, a 12- to 15-inch height will come in handy for bedside.

Usually, these lamps come when unassembled. That means you will be the one to assemble and install them wherever you feel is suitable for you.

For instance, if your side table or nightstand is 20 inches tall, the total height will be approximately 32 inches.

Above-Bed Pendant Lights

Suppose you have above-bed hanging lights. These lights need to be at least 7 feet above your bed.

Take the time to adjust this height accordingly, ensuring that the fixture does not hang too low to inconvenience your sleep. This height is standard, whether you center your chandelier or have it hanging above the bed.

Wall Sconces

How about if you have sconces next to your bed? In most cases, you need to hang your bedside sconce about 30 to 36 inches above the surface of your mattress.

You could also consider putting it at around 6 to 12 inches above your shoulder when seated on the bed.

Further, one can choose to have the sconce about a foot from the edges of the bed.


How to Find the Right Height for Bedside Lamps?

There is no denying that finding the right height for your bedside lamp could be a headache. Unless you understand what to observe, getting maximum utility will be a mirage.

Take the time and consider the following elements, and you will be sure of getting the right height for your bedside lamp.

1. What is your purpose?

Did you know that the purpose of the bedside table lamp will determine how tall it should be?

Thanks to the versatility they provide, these lamps have always come with distinct heights. This variance helps choose a size that matches how you want to use it.

Only for illumination

Suppose your bedside lamp is for providing light only. In this case, a regular lamp will suffice, as it can provide enough light and ambiance to allow you to sleep.

Perhaps, you could choose a bedside lamp that is about 20 to 24 inches tall. Its diameter, from top to bottom, should be uniform.

For Tasks

On the other hand, you could use this bedside lamp to read. This instance requires you to invest in a lamp that can comfortably provide enough task light.

You could also opt for an item that opens as a cone. This lamp will be a lot bigger, and you can rely on it for functional and decorative purposes.

As long as you intend to use the bedside lamp for more than light, ensure that you pick a bigger one.


2. What is the size of your bedside table? 

You will always need to consider the size of your bedside table. Undoubtedly, you will want a bedside lamp that comfortably complements the size of your bedside table, lest you end up with a compromised décor.

Your bedside lamp needs to occupy at least a third of the bedside table. If your light is smaller than this table, it is likely to appear less appealing.

Besides that, the height of your table will also have a significant impact on your final choice.

Mostly, you will need a table that is lower than your bed. This height allows you to place a relatively tall bedside lamp. Always ensure that it is at least two inches lower than the bed.

Whenever you want to place a lamp on top of this table, ensure that the combined height does not go way beyond the headboard.

It will also be wise to consider the weight of your bedside table.

  • Can you move it around effortlessly?
  • Is it way too bulky?

With a light bedside table, you can choose a relatively taller or even heavier bedside lamp.


3. Type of lamp?

Undoubtedly, the type of lamp you choose will determine the height you enjoy. While some lights are tall, some will barely go above 12 inches.

For instance, floor lamps will come with heights of between 58 and 64 inches. That is because you do not have to place it on any bedside nightstand.

On the other hand, you will have to put your above-bed hanging lamp at least 7 feet above the bed. Regardless of the light emitted, this height will suffice. This height allows you to get in and out of bed without too much of a struggle.

Clip-on bedside lamps are relatively short. That is because they barely provide more than light. If this is the light you have, it will be approximately 12 to 15 or 24 inches. If you intend to have them higher, invest in a taller bedside nightstand.

Then comes the sconces. These lamps will often be between 30 and 36 inches tall. Usually, you will place them above the surface of your bed. It is only through this that you will achieve enough light in the room.


4. Does the Lampshade matter?

Did you know that the lampshade determines how balanced the lamp will be in the long run? Take the time to ensure that it is of the right size, lest you end up disappointed.

Typically, your lampshade should be about two-thirds the size of the bedside lamp.

For instance, a 36-inch lampshade requires a 24-inch lampshade.

It will also be essential to measure the width of your chosen lampshade.

  • First, you will need to measure the widest part of your bedside lamp.
  • Ensure that your selected lampshade is twice this size.
  • Suppose your light’s widest part measures 10 inches. Your lampshade should be no more than 20 inches wide.

Sometimes, your lamp could be too small or too thin. In such cases, ensure that the lampshade is not broader than the height of the shade.

Further, the size of your lamp determines the size of the lampshade. Its height should be no more than a third of the height of the base of the light.

The diameter of this lampshade should be 3 to 5 inches bigger than the diameter of the lamp.

  • By the way,

Ensure that you choose a lampshade that appeals to your fancies. Preferably, it should complement your interior décor.

Usually, white and off-white lampshades allow more light to go through them, providing you with the experience you desire.

You will also need to match the shape of the lampshade and the shape of the lamp. This move ensures that the bedside lamp remains stable at all times.


Should the Bedside Lamp Be Taller than the Headboard?

The simple answer to this is yes.

Typically, if you have a floor bedside lamp, ensure that it is twice the height of the headboard. This bedside lamp should bear the same height as the headboard if it is a table lamp.

For instance, assuming your headboard is 18 inches tall, your lamp needs to be at least 36 inches if it is a floor light. On the other hand, it needs to be at least 18 inches if it is a table lamp.

A size that complements the bed allows you to have a harmonious interior décor. It also ensures that your room gets the maximum light.



In conclusion, you cannot overlook the significance of bedside lamps in any home. From illuminating to playing decorative roles, you will readily fall in love with these lamps. The only catch would be how to find the right match for you.

With the right height, however, this will no longer be an issue. The insights provided above will ensure that you make logical decisions without too much of a strain.