We spent over 25 hours researching and testing 15 different styles and brands of nightstands and found that visual appeal, functionality, and cost were the most important factors consumers looked for when they were shopping for nightstands. The Winsome Wood Night Stand scored high marks above the rest in all categories and is our overall top pick. The Winsome wood nightstand has plenty of storage with a shelf underneath and a drawer for your personal things that you want to keep next to the bed. The dark finish and satin drawer pulls looks great in any bedroom.
Night Stand Buying Guide
Before you start shopping there are some things that you need to take into consideration. We have listed these things below so you can be prepared once you start browsing for your perfect nightstand.
Measure your space – Nightstands can add a finishing touch to your room by balancing the existing furniture that is there. It is important to measure the space you have designated for your nightstand so you can ensure that you do not choose one that is too small or too large for the space it will fit into. Don’t forget to measure from the floor to the top of the mattress. This will help you choose a nightstand that is the perfect height for your bed. You want the nightstand to be no higher than your mattress than 6”.
Decide on your features – What features do you want your nightstand to have? If you love to read in bed before you go to sleep you will want to have a place to keep your books. You may also want to look for a nightstand that has drawers for more storage.
Functionality – The functionality of your nightstand is very important. Most people want to have a neat bedside table but it can easily become a clutter catcher if it doesn’t have the right functionality. One thing you can do before you purchase your nightstand is to keep track of what ends up on your current bedside table if you have one. See which items you really use once you are in bed and what items are there simply because it was easier to stack them there rather than put them away. If you want your cell phone next to you at night, you will want to have a charger and stand there. If you love to read or write in a journal before bed make sure the nightstand you choose has drawers or shelves to accommodate these things. If you are a bedtime snacker you can keep snacks in a wicker basket underneath a drawer or on a slide out shelf. Make sure if you’re storing snacks by the bed you have them in air tight containers.
How many? – Typically, nightstands are on either side of the bed so both people can have one of their own. If there is only one person using the room then you could opt for one but keep in mind you will not have the same symmetry with only one nightstand that you will have with two.
Match your current furniture – If you are adding nightstands to a bedroom that already has furniture in it make sure that the nightstands blend well with the existing furniture. It is also important to make sure that the scale matches as well. If you have a large dresser you would want to ensure that the nightstands you choose are oversized as well. This helps to continue the continuity of the room.
What to Look for in a Nightstand
There are several things you will be looking at when you start searching through the various nightstand styles and brands. We have listed these considerations below along with some detailed information that will help make the entire purchasing process much easier.
Height – The height of your nightstand is important so it will keep the balance in the room or bring balance to the room if it does not already have it. If your bed has an added mattress pad or the base is very tall look for nightstands that are taller as well. If the bed is shorter look for nightstands that have a lower profile. Your nightstand should be placed far enough from the bed to allow the sheets and blankets to hang neatly and to prevent you from colliding with it during your sleep.
Surface – You want a nightstand that will have plenty of room for your bedside lamp, alarm clock and anything else you would like to keep on the nightstand such as a phone charger, vase of flowers, etc. You want there to be enough room on top of the nightstand for all the things you want to keep close to you at night without making the nightstand cluttered. You can make extra space on your nightstand by moving photos to the wall or a dresser and even using wall sconces instead of table lamps if you choose but if the surface area of the nightstand is large enough, this may not be necessary.
Storage – Storage space is always appreciated so choosing a nightstand that has drawers and shelves will provide you with some extra space you didn’t already have. The drawers in a nightstand are not large but they are more than sufficient for reading glasses, a journal and pen, and other smaller things that you want to keep close by the bed. Some nightstands have drawers and shelves which can provide space for more books and other odds and ends like knitting supplies if you like to knit in bed. If there is space you can place loose items in a basket and slide that into the space underneath the drawers.
Materials – One of the biggest factors that will determine the feel of your bedroom is the materials that are used to make your nightstand. Natural wood selections are great for traditional designs especially if the nightstand has iron or brass hardware. If you like contemporary or modern designs opt for metal or glass nightstands. If your bedside lamps are heavy or bulky, make sure your nightstand is solid enough to support it.
Color – Nightstands are available in a variety of colors depending on the material they are made of. If they are wooden you will more than likely have a choice of natural wood, white, black, espresso, and other wood stains. Metal or glass nightstands usually have silver, white, or black frames. Match your nightstands with the color palette in your room keeping in mind that darker colors absorb the light while lighter colors reflect it, letting more light into the room.
Sets – If you already have a bedroom set minus the nightstands you may be able to purchase nightstands that will be a part of your existing set. This creates a perfectly matched look that brings the whole room together. Some people prefer to mix and match their pieces and this is okay as well. The main thing to remember is to keep the nightstands you purchase from clashing with the existing furniture.
Guest Rooms – If you are looking for nightstands for a guest bedroom look for something that will be functional for your guests as well. It is super nice and welcoming to place items they may want on the nightstand or to have an alarm clock if they want one and attractive lamps that provide enough light to read by. Think of what you would like to find in a guest room nightstand and take care of those things for your guests unless you know specifics. Of course you don’t want to be TOO accommodating or your guests may stay a L-O-N-G time!
If You’re Sharing a Room – If you share the room with a significant other or spouse you want to think of their needs as well. If one of you loves to read in bed and the other is a TV watcher and snacker try to choose nightstands that will work for both personality types. You could opt to get entirely different ones but that can drive some people crazy to have two mismatched nightstands. The best way to keep the peace is for both of you to do the shopping together to see if you can come to a meeting of the minds.
Warranties – Look for nightstands that come with a satisfaction guarantee and a warranty of some kind. Warranties provide assurance that the company stands behind their products and when you are trying to purchase something that will last; this is an important thing to know about the company. Make sure you register your nightstand if the company requires it for the warranty and read over it so you know what is expected and what types of things are not covered.
Finding the right nightstand can be an adventure if you know what to look for and what to expect. With so many different nightstands on the market in different styles, materials, and finishes you can quickly go from excited to frustrated unless you have some know-how on how to sort through them and narrow the field.
The three top rated nightstand choices we featured above are examples of three different types of nightstands that you can choose. All three are high quality pieces of furniture that have been made from premium materials including steel and carb-compliant composite woods. Any of these three selections will provide plenty of style, functionality, and space for all kinds of needs.
If you want to look around more before deciding, use the information you have learned in the buying guide and apply the considerations to the different models you are interested in learning more about. It is also wise to set a budget which is a simple way to reduce the field immediately since you wouldn’t bother looking at nightstands that don’t fall into your budget amount.
The right nightstands will provide a balanced, cohesive look for your room as well as add some coziness by having your important things within reach whenever you want them. The right knowledge will help you confidently choose the best nightstands for your needs so you are happy with your purchase.