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What is the Rule for Bedside Tables?

Bedside Table

Bedside tables can easily fade into your room’s décor if you don’t get it right; or worse, make your bedroom look cringy. The right bedside table not only offers convenience, but aesthetics as well.

Bedside tables aren’t one-size or one-style fits all, and that’s why they are usually available in different styles and sizes. 

Buying a new bedside table can be fun, the thrill of going to different stores – both physical and online – looking for the right piece of furniture that’ll transform your space is exciting. 

But as much as you might enjoy finding the right bedside table, there are rules you must follow – no debate. Let’s get into it.

Bedside Table

Height and Width

Rule no.1 when choosing a bedside is “always consider the height of your bed”. A bedside that’s too tall or too short will look ridiculous in any space. You should be able to have easy access to your bedside table from your bed.

Yes, it’s up to you to decide what size of bedside table to go for, but ensure that it’s no taller or shorter than 4 inches of your mattress, so you don’t end up reaching awkwardly for things. 

For the width, you can get a bit flexible, and this usually depends on how much space you have in your room. But make sure it’s not looking out of place either. 

Whatever choice you are making, make sure the width of the bedside table is balanced throughout the room to give it a sophisticated appeal. 

Consider Your Room Space

It’s important to get your proportions right, as you don’t want to have to return a bedside table simply because it was too big or too small for your bedroom setting.

You might think no size of a bedside table can be too big or too small especially if you have a big space, but that’s not true. 

Let’s give an instance; if you have a large room, getting a queen-sized bed might be too small, and if you have a small room, getting a queen-sized bed might look too overcrowding.

The same applies to bedside tables; understanding the scale of bedside tables will help you make a more informed choice. If your room is between 400 to 600mm in width, then you might want to consider having two bedside tables. 

Ensure There’s Enough Surface Space

Assessing your storage needs is an important rule when buying a bedside table. Before you get distracted by the drawers or shelves, look at the size of the surface space. Bedside tables serve as practical furniture, and not just as decorative.

Think about the essential items you need to place on your bedside table and make your choice based on that.Some people prefer putting books/magazines on the table, while others prioritize electronics and gadgets.

If you don’t have too many essentials or items that need storing, then it’s best to opt for bedside tables with a minimalistic and sleek look. But, if you are the type to accumulate a lot of clutter, then maybe you should go for a bedside table with drawers. 

So, when choosing a bedside table, be sure there’s enough surface area to place the essentials you use regularly – a lamp, bottle of water, scented candles, and books. 


If you don’t feel like there’s a need to match your bedside tables, then that’s fine. 

Bedside tables don’t need to match. What a matching set offers is a nice balance and symmetry, but you can get away with putting two different pieces on each side. 

We know that the default setting is choosing identical bedside tables, but this shouldn’t always be the case. 

Placing two different styles of bedside tables on both sides of the bed frame can work as long as there’s a common factor that brings them both together – color or material. 

If you are considering using tables with clear height differences, then it’s best to use wall scones to create a balance and compensate for the height gap.

You can decide to put a masculine-themed bedside table on one side of the bed, and the feminine version on the other side, but with either similar color or shape. 

There’s no standard when it comes to bedside tables; all you need to do is experiment with different options and find one that reflects your personality. 

Bedside Table

Choose Quality Over Style

It’s a golden rule to never prioritize design over durability or quality, no matter how aesthetically pleasing the bedside table may look. 

When going for quality, your first options should be metal and wood, because they have the longest lifespan. These options might cost a bit more, but in the long run, you’ll get to save more.

Also, look out for premium craftmanship as well, because it plays an important role in durability as well. If your bedside table is constructed well, it can serve you for years. 

Be Creative

It helps to add your personal touch when getting a bedside table. If your bedside table positioning and design look the same as everyone else, it becomes a catalog. 

Bedside tables don’t have to be a particular style; a ladder shelf, a stack of vintage suitcases, or even a bar cart can serve as a bedside table, while still providing function. 

Keep It Simple

While you might have a lot of decorative accents to place on your bedside table, don’t!

Cluttering your bedside table gives your room a scattered look, so remember to keep it simple and showcase only necessary items.

Some of the items you can place on your bedside lamp include a reading lamp, alarm clock, flowers, candles, etc., just try to avoid clutter. 

Check out our article on How to Design a Bedside Table.

Think About Your Bedroom’s Style

There’s no need to hurry when choosing a bedside table. Carefully take in the décor and style of your bedroom, as this will help you choose the ideal bedside table.

Your bedside table needs to complement other pieces in the room like the bed frame and vanity dresser. If you want to go for a luxurious look, there are bedsides with metallic accents that draw attention to any space they are in.

Or you can buy a vintage-themed bedside table if you want your room to have a rustic charm. For more inspiration, check on Pinterest to find styles that align with your room’s overall look.

Try Out Colors

No rule forbids you from adding a colorful bedside table to your bedroom space unless you are looking to maintain a monochrome layout. 

When you select bedsides with the same color as other pieces of furniture in your room, it just gives off a normal look. But, adding a pop of color makes it an eye-catching addition.

A rule of thumb when using colorful bedside tables, ensure the color complements your space without dominating it. You can go for a few shades darker or lighter than your bedroom’s overall color. 

Bedside Table

Factor in Additional Features

Your need for additional features shouldn’t be overlooked, because then you’ll be compromising on comfort. 

Some models of bedsides come with charging ports, and if you usually need to use a humidifier, or even charge your electronics overnight, then this might be a good option for you.

Other models of bedside tables feature integrated speakers and even adjustable lighting – this will be helpful if you don’t want to purchase a lamp. 

Don’t Exceed Your Budget

Having a budget helps make your search a lot easier, plus you get to save time. Setting a budget is the first step to commitment, because without one, what are you even searching for?

Remember that higher-quality bedside tables will be on the costly side, but eventually, you’ll save more money on repairs and replacements.

Also, you can browse for stores that sell pre-owned bedside tables, and you’d be surprised at the good deals you’ll get. You might end up buying a high-valued bedside table for half its price, but carefully inspect it before paying to be sure it’s in good condition. 


Are you seeking a vintage-themed or a more modern-looking table? Do you want to go for a sleek or minimalistic vibe? Do you want a bedside table with drawers or without? We fully introduced Types of Bedside Tables in our previous article, we hope it will be helpful to you.

There are so many questions that need to be answered, but the truth is you can freestyle your answers to choose the perfect bedside table.

The goal is to have a bedside table that’s both decorative and practical. Once you have decided on what you need a bedside table for, it becomes easy to make a selection. 

Remember that at the end of the day, your bedroom belongs to you, and no one should have a say on how it looks.Our tips are just to guide you, but nothing stops you from thinking outside the box. 

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