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What Makes a Good Bedside Lamp?

Every person has a different use and opinion over the best bedside lamp. Depending on how best you make use of the bedside lamps, what makes a good bedside lamp article will make you choose the right light fixtures for your bedroom.

  • If your bedroom is spacious, consider going for a better table lamp.
  • But if your bedroom is small and cannot fit a table, consider buying the wall mounted swing arm lamps or the wall sconces.

The bedside lamps will help you during night studies, duties like crocheting, and for a soft surrounding influence.

Features that make the right bedside lamp

what makes a good bedside lamp

  • Height

The height of the lamp should be ideal and more to scale in the bedroom. Especially if you are a bedtime reader, you need a taller lamp. Also, the perfect height for the lamp switch should be the same as your arms so that you do not strain to get out of bed to switch off the lamp.

  • Depth and width of the lamp

In case you need some other things on top of the table, you need a lamp that is deeper than it is wide to leave some plenty of space for books and even a glass of water. Do not choose a night table lamp that is smaller for the nightstand.

Ideally, the light should measure one-third of the width of the nightstand.

Also, the more comprehensive your mattress is, the wider the bedside lamp and the nightstand should be.

  • The functions of the lamp

The lamps should be surprising in having a variety of brightness. Touch lamps are great because you can touch the base and it goes on. They also have different settings like touching once for soft light, second touch for bright light, and a third touch for more brightness.

  • The lamp style

The lamp you select must work closely with the room style. For example, you can have a linen shade style or a chrome metal-based lamp for your modern room. The bedside lamp should match your bedroom décor.

  • The lampshade

The lampshade should measure two-thirds of the lamp and have a width twice that of the light. The base of the lampshade should be at the same level as your eyes when sitting down to read. The best size of the lampshade helps to balance the lamp.

Besides, it would be best if you avoided white lampshades as they always allow light rays to pass through. The colored lampshade is the best, and they also provide a sense of décor in your room.


Should bedside lamps be taller than the headboard?

In a word, yes. Bedside lamps should be taller than the headboard.

If the lamp is too short, then the room will not be light enough whenever the lamp is switched on. Conversely, you do not want the lamp to be too high, as it could then be brighter than it needs to be.

Experts in home care and decorating recommend that people measure their headboards before buying a bedside lamp, and therefore buy one that will be the ideal height.

The recommendation is that the height of the bedside lamp should be twice that of the headboard.

For example, if the headboard was 12 inches then you would have to purchase a lamp that has a height of 24 inches.


Do bedside lamps need to match?

The answer to this particular question could depend on how meticulous somebody is, some people simply have to get everything to match. Most people will match everything up, some prefer to do their own thing.

There is no right or wrong way, at the end of the day whoever sleeps in the bedroom needs to be happy with the decoration and nobody else.

Most people tend to buy bedside lamps that match each other as well as the decoration and color scheme within the rest of the bedroom.

It is the conventional way to decorate, as much as possible to have all items matching. Bedside lamps are often sold in pairs, though some can be bought as single units.

Bedrooms tend to be laid out in a symmetrical way, so in that respect lamps that match the color scheme of the room are more pleasing to look at.

In a double bedroom, couples may go for lamps with different styles yet often pick the same color to prevent the lamps clashing with each other ad the rest of the room.

There are some that do not want their bedside lamps to match, and opt to have lamps that clash with each other. Having mismatched lamps on either side of the bed allows each person to have a bedside lamp that reflects their personality.

People sleeping in a single bedroom do not have to bother, making sure that their lamp matches the rest of the room unless they prefer to do so.


How tall should bedside lamps be?

The height of the bedside lamp depends on the comparative heights of the headboard, besides the height of the table or the nightstand that the lamp rests on.

Ideally, if the table or stand is roughly 25 to 30 inches in height then the lamp needs to be 30 inches tall.

When the table or stand is a little shorter, then it is better to buy a bedside lamp that is a little taller, at around 32 inches.

The trick is not to buy a lamp that is too tall. If it is too tall then you will be able to see the bulb when sat up in bed.


How many lumens do you need for a bedside lamp?

Generally, you would need fewer lumens for a bedside lamp than for lights in other lights in the rest of your home. Even when you are reading, you would not particularly need a lamp with a high number of lumens, perhaps 20 at the most.

You can work out the ideal number of lumens by getting out a tape measure and working out the total square footage of your bedroom. ‘

Alternatively, if maths is not your thing buy a bulb at 10 or 20 lumens and see if it is bright enough for you.


What is the best bedside reading lamp?

Here are some of the desirable features that would contribute to have the best bedside reading lamps that you would like to use for reading in bed.

#1. Consider a headboard lamp with a longer and more useful power cable

Headboard lamps are arguably the perfect or ideal bedside lamp for those people who like to indulge in some late-night reading. This lamp hangs over the headboard and is placed back on the table after you finish reading. This kind of lamp provides a longer and more useful reach.

#2. Consider a bedside reading lamp and night lamp combo

Consider buying a dual purpose bedside reading lamp that is used for reading in bed, yet can also be used as the night lamp. Such a lamp is even more useful when you can vary the brightness of the lamp as it is dimmable instead of just having an on-off switch.

Make the lamp brighter for reading, and simply make it dimmer once you have read enough and want to go to sleep. You can have it as bright or as dim as you would like and not have to move before sleeping.

#3. Consider a rechargeable clip on lamp

Another feature that some people may find useful is a rechargeable clip on reading light. In other words, a mini lamp that you just have to clip on to the book you are reading. It is lightweight yet bright so that you can finish your nightly read.

Such mini lamps can be recharged and is highly flexible. This lamp is ideal if you are searching for a bedside reading lamp that takes up little space and is easy to tidy away.

#4. Consider a set of 2 lamps for your bedside

You could think about purchasing a reading lamp for each side of the bed. Both lights are fully adjustable allowing the person at each of the bed to extend their light for as far as it needs to go.

These dual bedside reading lamps have fully extendable arms making it easier to read in bed. When folded back these lamps take up a minimal amount of space.

#5. Consider a bedside lamp specially designed for E-readers

These days you can even purchase a bedside light specifically designed for ebook readers. The E-reader bedside light is designed for people that take tablets to bed to catch up on their bedtime reading.

It is fully flexible whilst your tablet or ebook reader can be safely rested on its stand. You can comfortably read ebooks at night and not have to worry about dropping your tablet.

#6. Consider dimmable lamps

There are dimmable bedside reading lamps that are designed to be used by children.

Such lamps have to be flexible and adjustable reading light that is ideal for children to use when reading to get tired enough to sleep.

Ideally, such child reading lamps would include touch control and also be a dimmable lamp.

#7. Consider lamps with multi heads

Some people prefer a lamp with two heads – having the two head lamps features allow you to shine twice as much light on to your book. This lamp is great for those people who like to read larger books in bed, or for letting two people read at the same time.

These are small yet powerful lights that can be folded away. Such lamps should be easier to put away than the books you would use it to read.

All these different features desirable in bedside lamps would be good enough to allow you to read books or ebooks in bed before going to sleep.



What makes the right bedside lamp is such a big impression that makes your bedroom appealing. You should always think of the nightstand lamp as a robust accent in your bedroom and choose wisely.

The perfect bedside lamps have the right height, the proper depth and width, and the best style that fits your bedroom. Also, the bedside lamps should make you comfortable when reading or when you are carrying out any other bedroom activities.

Your best choice on the right bedroom lamp will make your bedroom look great and provide a long-lasting solution for your bedroom style.