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Your Complete Guide to Picking the Right Nightstands

Feb 16, 2022

While often thought of as secondary pieces, nightstands are actually integral to the look of a bedroom. The right nightstands can really bring a room together — whether it’s a master bedroom, a guest bedroom or a kids’ bedroom. Of course, the bed itself anchors the look and feel of a bedroom — but nightstands are arguably a close second.

M­ost bedrooms feature some kind of nightstands. They may also be called bedside tables, day stands or night tables, but these terms all refer to the same thing: small tables or cabinets for holding lamps, books, glasses, alarm clocks and other items regularly found in bedrooms. The cabinet areas of many nightstands also serve as storage spaces. In other words, if it weren’t for handy nightstands, everything you need, touch or look at right before bed would end up sprawled across the floor.

But, if you’re only thinking of the function of a nightstand, you’re missing out on a vital opportunity to elevate the style of your bedroom. If you’re in the market for nightstands, follow this guide to ensure you bring home the right pieces for your specific space.

How Many Nightstands Should I Get?

Whether you should acquire one or two nightstands can depend on the size of your room and how much space you have, but the general rule of thumb is that you should shop for nightstands in pairs (one for each side of the bed). While you’ll want nightstands that offer functionality, you won’t want to shop for two if they’re going to overwhelm your space or make the room feel crowded from both sides. Often, a small bedroom (such as one in a city apartment) will require one side of the bed to be pushed against the wall. If this is the case, consider purchasing a single nightstand, then attaching a floating shelf to the other wall.

What Type of Nightstand Should I Choose?

Of course, there are many different sizes and styles of nightstands to choose from, including traditional nightstands, simple side tables, bedside chests, small dressers and minimalist modern designs. No matter what you’re looking for, our name-brand furniture retailers have you covered.

What Size Nightstand Should I Get?

You’ll also want to consider the dimensions of your nightstand so that it will fit in your bedroom and that it’s proportionate to your bed frame. A good rule to follow is to look for one that’s about the same height as the top of your mattress. If you have a low bed, your mattress will likely measure around 18 – 22 inches from the ground, so aim for nightstands with a similar low profile. If your bed is of medium height — around 22 – 25 inches from the ground — opt for a nightstand that’s about 23 inches from the ground. And if your bed is considered high, 30 – 34 inches tall, you’ll want a proportionately tall nightstand of about 28 inches in height.

What’s the Best Material for My Nightstand?

Now for the fun part: the more stylistic considerations! Wood tends to be the most common material used for nightstands. While wood can require some care, the great thing about this material for nightstand pieces is that it offers texture and color to your space. Other popular materials include metal, glass, stone, wood laminate and even acrylic. The larger aesthetic of your space can help in determining which material is best. For example, if your bed frame is of a sleek metal design, wood may not be the best option for you.

What Style Should I Choose?

Just as every other furniture piece contributes to your interior design style, so too do your nightstands. From modern to traditional to glam and everything in between, a nightstand can help enhance the look and feel you’re going for. But maybe you haven’t quite decided what that overarching design is? Use this guide to help you determine what your interior design style could be.

How Important Is Storage Space?

Some — not all — nightstands have drawers. And some are obviously bigger than others. If storage is important to you, make sure to shop for nightstands with deep drawers or cabinets. Storage can be handy for holding things you might not want to display, such as medications, heating pads or magazines. However, nightstands with storage space are generally bulkier than simple tables, so you’ll want to consider this factor.

How Much Surface Area Do I Need?

Because there’s a lot that might be set on top of your nightstand, surface area is an important consideration. If you’re someone who likes a glass of water, a book (or several), flowers, framed photos, an alarm clock and a lamp next to you, you’ll want to make sure to opt for a nightstand with plenty of surface area. Just remember to make sure the size of your room allows for a larger nightstand.

So, What’s My Next Step?

Now that you know which factors to think about as you shop for nightstands, what are you waiting for? Acima’s lease-to-own* program means you can shop for your favorite nightstands and make smaller manageable lease renewal payments as you work towards ownership. Shop our name-brand furniture retailers today, and let a pair of beautiful new nightstands take your bedroom to the next level.