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Nightstands play an important role in most bedrooms. Not only do they add aesthetic appeal, but they’re also where many of us keep our bedtime essentials, like reading materials, alarm clocks, charging stations, and a nightly glass of water. For that reason, the best nightstands combine form and function, pairing ample storage space with beautiful designs to enhance your bedroom’s look.
Meet the experts
For this article, we worked with the following professionals to bring you the best tips and recommendations:
This pretty little bedside table features a spacious drawer offering extra storage by the side of the bed and is accented by rattan caning, giving it a warm textural appearance. It also comes in three different finishes, ranging from light to dark, so it can suit a wide variety of color schemes and interior designs.
Size: 19"D x 17"W x 22"H | Material(s): Rattan cane, particleboard, laminate, metal | Storage: One drawer
Coming in your choice of an Oak or Walnut finish, this modern nightstand rocks a classic design that will never go out of style. Made of MDF, the nightstand has ample storage, with a drawer and open shelf, along with plenty of surface area to safely hold all of your bedroom essentials, like reading materials, a table lamp, and a glass of water.
Size: 20"D x 17.7"W x 24"H | Material(s): MDF | Storage: e.g. One drawer
Thuma doesn’t mess around when it comes to beautiful, long-lasting furniture, and this upcycled solid wood nightstand is no exception. The bedside table features Japanese joinery, eliminating the need for metal hardware, and comes with a lifetime warranty, a trust testament to its quality. You can also choose to add legs for extra height or keep it as a lower profile, more minimalist piece. Either way, it’s Greenguard Gold certified, which means it meets some of the world’s most rigorous third-party emissions standards.
Size: 17”D x 13"W x 20-24"H | Material(s): Solid wood | Storage: One drawer
Inspired by the bluffs of Big Sur in California, this stunning bedside table (which is equally at home as a living room accent table) rocks sumptuous curves and a warm, organic finish that will complement a variety of furniture and home decor. It comes in two finishes—Walnut and Oak—and features a unique push-button drawer that gives it a smart, streamlined appearance.
Size: 16"D x 22"W x 20.5"H | Material(s): MDF | Storage: One drawer
This small but mighty nightstand won’t take up too much floor space, but it still packs a big, stylish punch thanks to its X-design legs and elegant hardware. In addition to a warm wood finish, the bedside table with a single drawer also comes in White, so it’s a great option whether you’re looking to add a wood or white nightstand to your bedroom furniture.
Size: 16"D x 19"W x 22"H | Material(s): MDF | Storage: One drawer
This white nightstand features a large open shelf that offers plenty of styling opportunities. According to Shoshanna Shapiro, “Having an open shelf can add visual interest to smaller spaces that don’t have much room or floor space for styling opportunities.” The nightstand also has a distressed finished, so it does a great job of concealing any potential damage from wear and tear.
Size: 16"D x 24"W x 28"H | Material(s): MDF and solid wood | Storage: One drawer
If you’re looking to complement a contemporary or glam bedroom design, then “Add some shape and form to your look with this black nightstand,” recommends Haley Beckham-Shetty. It also comes in White to suit many color schemes, and it features a sleek gold knob that punctuates it with a hint of high-end glamor.
Size: 18.1"D x 26"W x 22.1"H | Material(s): MDF and solid wood | Storage: One drawer
This solid wood nightstand has an aged, weathered finish that gives it a rustic look well-suited for a modern farmhouse bedroom. It also has two drawers, providing ample storage, along with dowel-joint drawer construction that helps ensure this beauty is built to last.
Size: 18"D x 24"W x 24"H | Material(s): Solid wood | Storage: Two drawers
When you need to conserve floor space, a floating nightstand is a great option. “The negative space around the floating shelf can make a space look much larger and airier,” advises Madison Adam. Made with high-quality veneer and solid wood, “It has plenty of storage within the drawer for any bedtime items you want to tuck away.”
Size: 15.25"D x 19.75"W x 6"H | Material(s): MDF and solid wood | Storage: One drawer
This high-quality, two-drawer nightstand rocks gold hardware that make it perfect for a glam or contemporary bedroom design. It also features a sneaky pull-out tray underneath the top that nearly doubles its tabletop surface area, so if your nightstand tends to fill up, this beauty is perfect for you. Plus, “The open cubby provides additional space for styling as well. It’s one of our faves,” says Shoshanna Shapiro
Size: 17.75"D x 35"W x 27"H | Material(s): Solid wood and MDF| Storage: Two drawers
Recommended by Kathy Kuo herself, this sleek marble and metal nightstand is made with stainless steel, providing plenty of durability. And the white marble is screen-printed with a Mondrian-inspired pattern, which further elevates it with subtle sophistication. Keep the open shelf bare to show off the pattern or style it with your favorite home decor to infuse it with your unique personality.
Size: 16"D x 16"W x 24"H | Material(s): Metal and marble | Storage: Three drawers
“Add in a pop of color from this West Elm side table,” recommends Haley Beckham-Shetty. The narrow cylindrical nightstand comes in five beautiful hues and also has a relatively small footprint, so it won’t take up too much precious floor space. However, it boasts ample storage for its size, including a slide-to-close drawer and a top and bottom shelf, offering lots of styling potential.
Size: 15.4"D x 15.4"W x 24"H | Material(s): Metal | Storage: One drawer
“Keep it sleek and modern with this beauty from Burke decor,” recommends Haley Beckham-Shetty. The modern nightstand is made with a lacquered Oak veneer in your choice of a Yucca or Ebony finish. It also features long, striking handles covered in top-grain leather that give it an elevated, sophisticated appearance.
Size: 19.5"D x 27.25"W x 26"H | Material(s): MDF and top-grain leather | Storage: Two drawers
This white nightstand has a modern farmhouse flair thanks to its distressed finished and antiqued hardware. Ideal for anyone who (like us) tends to fill up their bedside table with all sorts of nightly accoutrements, the 3-drawer nightstand can keep reading materials and devices tucked neatly out of sight until you need them. Speaking of devices, this bedside table also has built-in outlets and a USB port, so you can plug in your phone, tablet, and bedside lamps with ease.
Size: 18"D x 17"W x 30"H | Material(s): Solid wood and MDF | Storage: Three drawers
With four drawers, this mid-century modern nightstand can house all of your bedtime essentials and then some. The diamond carved drawers make a statement with a retro flavor, while its minimalist silhouette ensures it will enhance rather than overwhelm your look.
According to Shoshanna Shapiro, “The large size is the perfect pairing with a canopy bed. It’s more of a small dresser, actually, but it really works in a large room with such a star of a bed.”
Size: 23"D x 36"W x 34"H | Material(s): MDF and solid wood | Storage: Four drawers
Tasseled brass hardware gives this modern nightstand a unique edge, which is inspired by the regalia and decorated bridles of Moroccan horsemen. Meanwhile, beveled corners and chiseled wood add plenty of texture, while a lacquered tabletop helps protect the surface from spills and stains.
Size: 17.5"D x 26"W x 28"H | Material(s): Wood and MDF | Storage: Two drawers
Featuring a hidden drawer and two open shelves, this sleek bedside table will help you contain clutter and look great doing it. “I love how this nightstand has a drawer, as well as two spots to display any books you may want quick access to,” says Cathleen Gruver. It also comes with adjustable levelers to ensure its strong and stable even on uneven surfaces.
Size: 18"D x 30"W x 26"H | Material(s): MDF and solid wood | Storage: One drawer
“For people who are looking for more storage space, I recommend the Vireo two-drawer nightstand,” says Madison Adam, Interior Design Services Manager at Article. The mid-century modern-inspired table has ample storage space with its two side-mounted, soft-close drawers, and it comes in two organic finishes—Walnut and Oak—so it can complement all sorts of bedroom furniture and home decor.
Size: 15.5"D x 20.5"W x 20.75"H | Material(s): MDF and solid wood | Storage: Two drawers
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What should you consider when buying nightstands or bedside tables?
For many of us, style is a top priority when looking for the right nightstand, so it’s one of the first things to consider before adding one to your cart. Your bedroom’s overall aesthetic can inform the right piece for your space. For instance, “A classic wood nightstand with drawers might be the perfect fit if you have a traditional bedroom,” says Kelly Smith. “But if your bedroom has a more contemporary feel, a metal or glass nightstand with clean lines might be a better option.” Meanwhile, a boho bedroom lends itself to organic and textural pieces with rattan accents.
“A classic wood nightstand with drawers might be the perfect fit if you have a traditional bedroom."
In addition to the nightstand’s style, consider its shape. “The most common shape is rectangular, but next in line are round or oval nightstands,” says Shoshanna Shapiro. “You might consider mixing shapes for more interest. Mixing is the key to a well curated look.”
Speaking of mixing, while matching nightstand sets can be incredibly beautiful, there’s no rule that says you can’t mix and match two different bedside tables. In fact, according to Cathleen Gruver, doing so can really enhance your design and make your room feel more spacious: “Sometimes when you have too many matching pieces, they can lump together visually and make a space feel more crowded than it is.”
But if you do opt for a matching set, consider making it different than the rest of your bedroom furniture to give it a designer look: “I always recommend choosing a different style of bedside table than your dresser,” advises Haley Beckham-Shetty. “Doing so gives the room that true designer touch.”
Size and scale are incredibly important when it comes to the right nightstand. “Going too small in a large space can make the scale of the room feel off while cheapening the look” says Cathleen Gruver. And if you have a small space, adding a large nightstand can quickly overwhelm your design, making your space feel more cramped and crowded. “If your space requires smaller tables, consider mounting some sconces above them to eliminate the need for table lamps so that you can take advantage of the surface area.”
“Going too small in a large space can make the scale of the room feel off while cheapening the look."
When determining the right size, Shoshanna Shapiro recommends “Allowing for at least a 3-inch gap between the bed and any wall that the unit may fit up against. So if you have a 36-inch space, look for a unit no bigger than 30 inches.”
In addition to width, you should also consider the nightstand height that would be most convenient. “When you’re lying in bed, you never want to reach too far up or down to grab your book or take off your glasses,” says Haley Haley Beckham-Shetty.
If you’re anything like us, then your nightstand tends to fill up with all kinds of stuff, from reading materials and glasses of water to phones, remotes, and chargers. If that sounds like you, then look for nightstands that have plenty of storage space. “I typically like to make sure any nightstand I spec has at least one drawer,” says Cathleen Gruver.
But if one drawer isn’t enough, you can also find two-, three-, and even four-drawer nightstands on our roundup. In addition to drawers, you can use open shelves to keep clutter at bay or display design-enhancing home decor.
From solid wood nightstands to glass, metal, and MDF, this piece of furniture comes in many different materials. The right material for you depends on your needs. For instance, “Wood is a popular choice for nightstands, providing a warm and classic look,” says Keely Smith.
However, if you don’t have a habit of using coasters, then you might want a different material since water can warp the wood. “Many wood and MDF nightstands will not do a great job of withstanding the damage that come from leaving glasses of water or lotion on the surface,” says Shoshanna Shapiro. That said, if you have your heart set on a wood nightstand but you worry about damaging it, “you can add a piece of glass to the top,” to protect it from spills and stains, advises Shoshanna.
But function isn’t the only consideration when it comes to choosing materials. Different materials have different looks. For example, “Metal and glass offer a modern and sleek aesthetic,” says Keely Smith, which lends itself to contemporary and glam bedrooms. Meanwhile, organic materials, like wood and rattan, are great for elevating the warmth inherent in boho spaces.
Finally, consider your budget. “Nightstands can range from very affordable to very expensive. Determine how much you're willing to spend and look for options within your price range,” advises Mike Semegen. Fortunately, you can find beautiful nightstands at every price point so you never have to feel like you’re priced out of great style.
Kelly Weimert is a writer, editor, and interior design expert with 10 years of experience writing about design and home decor. She's written for interior design publications such as MyDomaine, Apartment Therapy, Domino Magazine, and Hunker. When she's not writing or editing, she's probably busy obsessing over how to beautify her home.
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