How to Choose Bedroom Table Lamps for Best Height

Not only a place to sleep, but the bedroom is also a welcome respite to read, watch TV, and maybe even exercise. No matter how you like to use your bedroom, good lighting is important when it comes to choosing a bedside lamp, dresser lamp, or desk lamp. Here are some suggestions on how to choose bedroom table lamps.

As with any lighting plan – it is best to mix a few different lighting types such as table lamps, floor lamps, sconces, chandeliers, and /or recessed lights.

Determine Bedroom Table Lamp Height

Typically, it is best to keep all of the table, bedside, and floor lamps in the same general height range – for any room:  between 58″ – 64″ up from the floors surface.  This gives a more cohesive flow to the lighting in a room.  For most bedrooms, the best height is usually in the middle or lower end of this height spectrum.  However, if the bedroom is large, the higher end of the height spectrum may be most appropriate.


1.  Measure the height of the table – and the distance front to back (depth) upon which the lamp is to set.  As this diagram above indicates, the higher the table, the shorter the lamp should be.

2. Subtract the height of the table from 58 and 64.  If your table is 30 inches in height – you would be looking for a table lamp that is approximately  58″- 30″ = 28″ and 64″ – 30″ = 34″.  For a 30″ high table, the table lamp height should be between 28″ – 34″ to top of the finial.  The finial is the decorative screw that holds the lampshade onto the harp. If the bedroom is small, a bedside or dresser lamp between 28″ – 30″ is probably the best height. This height is at the lower end of the height spectrum.

3. Test Height. Another way to determine the best height is to test out what height you like.  Take an existing lamp from around the house and place it on the area where you want to add a lamp. If you need, put books under the lamp to increase the height temporarily.  This can give you an idea as to what height you like.

In recent decades, the height used for bedroom lamps has increased.  You will likely see taller lamps in the bedroom now.  However, it is ultimately up to you.  Once you know the general height range needed for your bedroom lamp – you can narrow down your search and focus on other features of the lamp.


Choose Lamp Color

Identify the existing colors in your room – and the color of any metal accents.  This will typically be your palette.  Try to stick to 3 main colors at most. Occasionally, if you have a monochromatic color scheme (1 basic color), you might use a table lamp to introduce another color.  Choosing a metal such as silver, brass, gold, bronze is also a good option.  If your walls are white – you may want to consider using a lampshade that is a little darker so that there is some contrast to the wall.

Types of Bedroom Table Lamps

Often, bedroom tables consist of bedside tables and dresser tables.  These tables are often 16″ – 18″ inches in depth (front to back).   Because the bedroom tables are frequently narrow in depth,  choose table lamps for a bedroom that have lampshades that are at least no wider than the depth of the table on which it sets – so that the shade does not hang over the table.

Bedside Table Lamps

For bedside table lamps – it is often (but not always) desirable that the lamp base has some width to it (as opposed to thin a candlestick lamp) – so that the shape visually anchors each side of the bed.  Since a lamp with an 18″ round lampshade would not fit properly on a narrow 16″ deep bedside table, choosing a lamp that has a rectangular or oval shape lamp shade is often a good choice.


For a 16″ tabletop, look for a shade that is narrow in depth, preferably 15″ or less, to achieve the perfect look. If the bedside table measures 22” or more in depth front to back, the shade depth is not typically an issue.

Definitive Dresser Lamps

Since dressers are often taller in height than a bedside table – dresser lamps should typically be shorter in height than bedside lamps – in order to keep the lighting in the height range discussed above.    The example below shows a dresser lamp with a wide lamp base – and an oval shade.  Or, a matching pair of small or thin accent lamps could be placed at opposite ends of a dresser for a symmetrical look.  Again, don’t choose a large shade that hangs over the edges of the dresser.


A Word About Desk Lamps

Desks have been used in the bedroom for many decades, if not centuries.  When it comes to choosing the right size for your desk lamp, much depends on the size of your desk. A large desk has more space and can use a larger lamp, while a small desk needs a smaller lamp that is more proportioned to the size. If your desk is small, this may be the perfect place to introduce a floor lamp.

Lampshade Shape, Style, and Color

Shape and Style:  As a general rule of thumb,  bell and conical shape shades work well with Traditional style lamps, while drum shades are often used when Modern or Contemporary design is the theme.  If you want to update your traditional style lamp, consider changing you conical shape shade to a drum shade.  It can easily give your room an updated look.


Color:  Though the lamp base is often what draws the eye, the shade should be taken into account as well. Shades that are lighter in color should be chosen when you are looking to bring general (ambient) lighting to the room; shades that are dark can create mood and atmosphere when general lighting is not a factor.

How to Coordinate Different Lamps:  Find some way to relate the various lamps to each other.  Perhaps, all the shades have the same color and/or the same lampshade shape.  If one of the lamps is much shorter, consider putting something under the lamp to make it taller.

Your Home, Your Bedroom Lamp

There are no rules that say a bedroom lamp is only for the bedroom, or that a buffet lamp is only for the buffet. The way you use lamps in your bedroom or the rest of your home is up to you. The only rules that apply are those that are designated to keep the lamp you love looking good on the right tabletop, according to height, shape, color, and style.

Of course, keep in mind the amount of wattage that you need. Generally, you should have a socket that houses at least a 60-watt bulb, preferably 100 watts or more.   Otherwise, have fun with choosing the styles that you enjoy the most.


Fine Home Lighting and Fine Home Lamps are committed to providing customers with fine quality home accessories at the best possible prices along with providing knowledgeable and responsive customer service.


Let us help you find your best style!

Fine Home Lighting and Fine Home Lamps are committed to providing customers with fine quality home accessories at the best possible prices along with providing knowledgeable and responsive customer service.

About Fine Home Lighting and Fine Home Lamps has been in operation since early 2009. We carry over 10,000 hand-selected home accessories such as table lampsfloor lampschandeliers, including wall mirrors, wall clocks. and wall art. We continually expand our inventory in order to provide additional choices for our customers.


visualization service – that our customers find very helpful.


Share this post