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The Ultimate Guide to Different Nightstand Styles

Nightstands are right up there with your bed when it comes to bedroom essentials. Think of them as the workhorses in your bedroom, give you a convenient place to set down a glass of water and your phone at night.

With so many styles of nightstands to choose from, finding the right bedside table for your bedroom can feel daunting. There are Mid-Century-style designs, more traditional chest of drawers or glamorous burlwood pieces to name a few. Where do you even begin?

For some inspiration and guidance, we’re breaking down the most popular and common nightstand styles and what sets them apart. Find out more below!

The Ultimate Guide to Nightstand StylesTransitional Style

If simple and sleek is what you’re after in your bedroom, transitional-style nightstands offer that and more. Transitional nightstands are the most versatile, so they make for great foundation pieces in any style room. That also means they’re easy to accessorize with home decor in an array of styles, be it a traditional ceramic table lamp and or a modern vase.

The Perks: They’re usually made with wood, metal or lacquer so they always look polished.

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Traditional Style

These nightstands have an “antique” look that brings a more formal air into your bedroom. The ornate details make them perfect for classic interiors, but they’re also great in eclectic spaces, where they can balance out brighter colors and patterns. Traditional-style nightstands also often reflect the new traditional look.

The Perks: They’re often made of wood and have elegant details like brass pulls and turned legs, which give them Old World charm.

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The Ultimate Guide to Nightstand StylesFarmhouse Style

Similar to traditional nightstands, farmhouse-style nightstands lean formal but have a more rustic appeal. It’s in keeping with farmhouse style home decor and emphasizes natural materials and textures. Which means they always bring a touch of rustic elegance to farmhouse and country-style bedrooms.

The Perks: They’re usually made with treated woods that have a weathered look, which gives them a beautiful patina and a bit of vintage flair.

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The Ultimate Guide to Nightstand StylesDistressed Vintage Style

For those who want a softer farmhouse look, country-style nightstands gives you rustic with a bit of romance. It’s also known as the shabby chic look, which is all about the aged aesthetic and vintage appeal. Because of their flea market vibe, they go well with other vintage art and objects. Find out how to mix accents thoughtfully with our surface styling tips.

The Perks: Country-style nightstands usually have a painted distressed look, so scratches and scuffs only add to its worn beauty.

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The Ultimate Guide to Nightstand StylesModern Glam Style

These styles of nightstands, in keeping with their umbrella style hollywood glam design, are statement-maker and want to be seen. They work best in bold bedrooms, although glam nightstands can also add drama in a contemporary space. What’s great is that this style of nightstand is can be a focal point in a bedroom, but they also complement other equally eye-catching home decor as well.

The Perks: They’re often made with luxe materials, such as burlwood and brass. Some glam nightstands also feature lacquered and mirrored surfaces, which add a glossy high-style look.

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Coastal Style

These nightstands capture the beach-house look and are perfect alongside natural materials and woven textures in a relaxed bedroom. Coastal-style bedside tables have a way of evoking the ease and elegance of oceanside homes in a space. There’s no shortage of inspiring nightstand styling ideas, but you can never go wrong with beachy accents on a coastal-style nightstand, like a jar table lamp and nautical art.

The Perks: They’re usually made with painted or weathered woods, and they sometimes have seagrass and jute details that give them an extra sophisticated coastal look.

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Mid-Century Style

For fans of the Mad Men Mid-Century look, it’s all about nightstands that boast a simple modernist form, clean lines, and functional design details. Mid-Century-style nightstands are super versatile, so they’ll work in a wide range of interiors. That also means they’re great investment pieces and have staying power even if your bedroom taste changes over time.

The Perks: Very often they’re made with warm natural woods, such as acorn or walnut, and are designed with clean lines and tapered legs. It’s what makes Mid-Century nightstands iconic and they won’t ever go out of style.

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Modern Style

In most cases, modern nightstands can be identified by their sleek form and slight Danish appeal. They have simple silhouettes that work seamlessly in a contemporary or minimalist bedroom. They’re also easy to style it up with smooth white ceramics and a modern table lamp for an organic touch.

The Perks: Modern nightstands are often made with brass and acorn wood, which lend warmth.

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Scandinavian Style

Minimalist and functional without sacrificing beauty, these bedside table designs stay true to Scandinavian design style. Their simple form and slender, tapered legs give them a contemporary touch, making them gorgeous accent pieces in any modern bedroom.

The Perks: True to Scandinavian aesthetic, this style of nightstand is made with simple but beautiful natural wood that gives them their chic and cool look.

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The Ultimate Guide to Nightstand StylesRustic Style

With rustic style nightstands, the emphasis is on bold natural materials and deep earthy hues. The result is a refined-rustic look that’s well-suited for any contemporary bedroom. Given their practical form and natural tones, rustic nightstands are not your typical statement pieces but they won’t go unnoticed.

The Perks: Many rustic nightstands have unique design details, such as a scalloped wood facade or black-steel hardware. It adds visual intrigue and makes them instantly eye-catching pieces.

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The Ultimate Guide to Nightstand StylesCraftsman Style

The detailed woodwork, tongue and groove joints, and no frills design make Craftsman-style nightstands easy anchor pieces for in any bedroom. The focus on craftsmanship means that you can rest assured that these practical beauties will not wear and will stay well intact for years to come. Craftsman-style nightstands are very versatile, so they can easily be worked in interiors, ranging from rustic and industrial to Americana traditional.

The Perks: Carefully crafted using the best woods with an attention to detail and function, these are timeless investment pieces.

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Minimalist Style

Minimalist design is characterized by function, geometry and simple color palettes. These sleek minimalist nightstands check all those boxes but also manage to have a modern feel without appearing cold. They often mix beautifully with other rustic, modern, and Mid-Century style furnishings in a bedroom.

The Perks: They’re often made with solid woods, like sleek espresso-toned wood, which give minimalist-style nightstands a thoroughly modernist feel. Opt for simple styling to maintain a spare look. For example, skip table lamps for pendants!

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Classic Formal Style

Classic elegance defined. Not only do classic formal nightstands have an elegant form, they also often provide ample storage. When it comes to nightstand alternatives, a refined classic formal console or vanity table can do no wrong. Any classic formal-style nightstand is also bound to stand out in a traditional, modern, or eclectic interior.

The Perks: They’re usually painted wood and come with ornate details, like ring pulls, carved motifs, and an elegant curved form.

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Eclectic Style

For those who crave an eclectic bedroom design that’s layered with color, pattern, and unique designs, eclectic-style nightstands is the way to go. Eclectic style often gives off a bold boho look, so you can expect nightstands of this aesthetic to be one-of-a-kind pieces in every sense. Think of eclectic nightstands as your answer to a bold-on-bold bedroom look, where it’s all about home decor with bright colors, textures, and shapes.

The Perks: With eclectic nightstands, you’ll always find them made with unique materials and details, be it carved wood motifs or inlaid geometric patterns. Talk about unexpected, captivating designs.

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Industrial Style

When it comes to bedside table styles that have an edge, you can’t beat the industrial look—which brings to mind a modern city loft. Simple, sculptural, and utilitarian, an industrial bedside table can bring an urban vibe to your bedroom.

The Perks: You’ll find that industrial nightstands are often made with cutting-edge modern materials, such as cement, stone, and dark polished metals. These add up to designs that are at once sleek and refined.

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The Ultimate Guide to Different Types of Nightstands and Bedside Tables

If you’re designing a bedroom at home, nightstands are likely one of the first bedroom essentials on your list! Nightstands are the coffee table of the bedroom—they are functional pieces that can also add style and pizzazz to a master bedroom, guest bedroom, or kid’s room.

Lots of questions are bound to come up when coming up with nightstand styling ideas for your bedroom. Do you need one with storage space? Will you need enough surface area for a lamp or other decor? Do you like a bedside table with drawers vs. shelves? There are so many different types of nightstands with styles and shapes to choose from, it can be difficult to pick the right one for your tastes!

This week we’re rounding up different types of nightstands to help you incorporate the right one into your bedroom design ideas. Take a look at some of the pros and cons of each to help you decide!

types of nightstands1. Bedside Cabinet

This bedside cabinet packs a lot of punch into a cool, contemporary nightstand design. The bedside table has room for a lamp and also features a combo of drawers and doors, covering shelves inside for plenty of extra storage space. It also has a low-maintenance design—you can’t see what’s inside so there’s no need to keep your clutter organized! It’s great for tucking away books, toiletries and other things we need handy in our nightstands. Plus you can have a ball decorating this nightstand—check out our guide to surface styling 101!

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types of nightstands2. Campaign Style Nightstand

Campaign style nightstands are Identified by the handsome brass hardware and corner caps. Historically, this style furniture was easy to break down and take on “campaigns” (i.e. long journeys). Furniture like this was used by traveling armies as long ago as the times of Julius Caesar! These days, the bedside tables don’t break down in the same way, but they still have the same distinctive brass pulls and corner covers. These types of nightstands offer extra traditional style to your space.

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types of nightstands3. Built-In Nightstand

For a totally unique look, we love nightstands like this that are built into the bedframe. It’s not so much a standalone nightstand, but part of the bed itself! Some headboards have built-in shelves like that that you can use as a nightstand. They are great for small spaces because they don’t take up as much extra room. Some even have built-in wireless charging stations for an extra modern touch. However, they are often only offered on low-profile, platform bed frames, so you’ll find there are fewer options to choose from.

Check out our bed frame buying guide to learn more about the different types of bed frames!

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4. Block Style Bedside Table

As the name suggests, these minimalist nightstands sit flat on the ground and form a solid block on either side of the bed. They often have one or two drawers for extra storage space. Block style nightstands tend to be larger in size—they are good for extra storage and work well in large master bedrooms. Because they are so sizable, they aren’t as great for small spaces. Block style nightstands are usually minimalist in shape, which means they can work well with many different styles! Check out our nightstand size guide to figure out what size nightstand is best for your bedroom.

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5. Bedside Cocktail Table

We love a bedside cocktail table for a funky, eclectic bedroom! This style of nightstand is often more ornate—check out the Cabriole legs, turned base, and overall antique vibe. It’s more of a side table, making it great for small spaces. Nightstands like this can be repurposed from a living room and they can have many different uses over time. One downside, however, is that they only provide a surface tabletop without any extra storage space.

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types of nightstands6. Open Shelf Nightstand

This contemporary nightstand has a super minimal design, with an open shelf and multiple tiers for storage space. There are no drawers and just a light frame, so these nightstands are often more affordable than heavier pieces. You can also add baskets to create a “drawer-like” feeling. The open space makes them a little higher maintenance because there’s no place to stash clutter—but if you like displaying personal items, these nightstands might be just right for you!

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7. C-Side Table

We can’t get enough of this gorgeous modern nightstand! The bedside table is shaped like a large C and offers just a small surface area for books, a glass of water, or spot of decor. It’s a great option for small spaces or studio apartments—the base can even slide under the bed frame and the surface can be used as a tray or lap desk. These bedside tables also work great in living rooms as side tables—you can repurpose them in other spaces later down the line!

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8. Shagreen Nightstand

It’s hard to get more unique than this beautiful Shagreen nightstand. The material is made of shark, stingray hide and has a scaled texture, almost like snakeskin. You can find it on different types of furniture, most often nightstands, dressers or console tables. Real shagreen is expensive and has a very luxurious look. It’s also possible to find faux shagreen, which is made of vinyl. This combo of gray and gold is great for classic formal or glam spaces.

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9. Drum Style Nightstand

For a super sturdy nightstand that’s high on style, check out this eclectic, solid drum shape bedside table. It only has a small footprint so it works well in small bedroom designs—although it doesn’t offer any storage space. Drum style nightstands often have fun patterns, textures or appliques on the surface so they can add a little pizzazz to any room. They need to be visually balanced with other furniture—too much low furniture that sits right on the ground will make the room feel heavy. But these nightstands are super versatile and can also be used as side tables in your living room.

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10. Nesting Nightstands

Nesting nightstands are great for a sophisticated bedroom style—and they offer a two for one (sometimes even 3) deal! One or two nightstands are tucked below a larger one—you can pull out the smaller table to extend available surface space as needed. These nightstands often come in more delicate frames, making them great for classic, formal or more traditional style interiors. You can also find some tables like this in more modern and contemporary shapes.

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types of nightstands11. Oval Nightstand

If you’re someone who likes to think outside the box, check out this stunning oval-shaped nightstand. Unusual shapes like this offer unexpected flair to a modern, chic bedroom. You can find different varieties—some with drawers for extra storage space and some without. Keep in mind that it won’t sit flush against the wall, so it’s better for bedrooms with more square footage.

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12. Bedside Stool

Instead of a proper nightstand, you can use a small stool—it’s one of our favorite nightstand alternatives. The flat surface works to hold essentials, like decor or reading material. This option works better with a floor lamp because the surface can be uneven. It’s a great option if you need to keep extra seats handy but also don’t need to make use of them all the time.

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types of nightstands13. Dresser Style

The dresser style bedside table is not actually a nightstand but a small chest of drawers. This is a good option for large master bedrooms with plenty of extra space. You can keep smaller clothing items like socks and underwear here. They take up too much space to make sense for smaller bedrooms—but if you love the style, you could opt for just one dresser and save on space!

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types of nightstands14. Etagere Style

Etagere furniture is a perfect touch for classy, contemporary bedrooms. These nightstands are made of open shelves and designed to display ornaments. They are often made of gold/brass with glass shelves and are very delicate pieces—so they don’t offer a lot of storage. They’re great for small spaces because they add no visual weight. However, keep in mind that they might require more cleaning to keep them polished and bright—and they’re definitely a little too fragile to make sense for a kids’ bedroom!

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types of nightstands15. Trunk Nightstand

For a beautiful rustic bedroom, we love a nightstand like this that looks like a trunk. These bedside tables usually have drawers with leather strap pulls. The body is often leather with metal capped edges for a more industrial style. They are sturdy furniture pieces and can be on the pricier side because they are so substantial and well-made.

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16. Floating Nightstands

If you want to save on floor space, or just like the look of minimal nightstands, try a wall-mounted bedside table that floats off the ground! It can be a single shelf or even have drawers, like this one. It’s a great look for small spaces as it doesn’t take up floor space or add any weight to a room. These nightstands can be more work to install, however—they have to be drilled into the wall and it makes it hard to rearrange the room layout as a result. But if you’re confident about the bedroom layout you’ve chosen, these can make a great addition to a space!

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types of nightstands17. X-Base Bedside Tables

Rather than 4 straight legs, these nightstands have legs forming an X, for a sleek and sophisticated look. They often feature a campaign-style top (see above!), but come in a variety of different styles. These nightstands work well with both glam and coastal design schemes. They definitely add a little visual intrigue to your bedside—something unexpected to spice up your bedroom a bit!

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bedside table

Rest Assured: A Guide to Finding the Perfect Bedside Table

bedside table

When it comes to the bedroom, tracking down a good bedside table is a common hurdle many of our homeowners face.

If this sounds like a familiar struggle, don’t stress. We’ve totally been there and we feel your pain. Nightstands and beds come in all sizes, shapes, and styles, which makes finding the perfect pairing a bit difficult, not to mention time-consuming. But it doesn’t have to be that way. We’re here to help!

To start, here’s an easy rule of thumb: When choosing any nightstand, find one that’s around the same height as the top of your mattress.

Read on for more on how to find the perfect nightstand to go with your bed, no matter the size.

If you have a low bed…

The top of your mattress usually will measure around 18”–22” off the ground. You’ll want to look for a nightstand that’s similarly low-profile at around 16”–18” tall. You can even try some bedside table alternatives, like a stool, a short side table, or even a mini ottoman.

For a perfect pairing, we opted for CB2’s Alchemy Bronze Bed with the Hans End Table from Lumens.

bedside tableIf you have a medium-height bed…

It’s probably about 22.5”–25.5” from the ground to the top of the mattress (25” for most standard beds) Choose a nightstand that’s approximately 23.5” high for the perfect fit.

For a stylish combo, we recommend pairing together West Elm’s Andes Deco Upholstered Bed and Penelope Nightstand, which has an open base that can help to keep the bedside feeling open and spacious.

bedside tableIf you have a tall bed…

You’re looking at a mattress that’s 30”–33.5” off the ground. This means you’ll want a nightstand that’s at least 28” or taller to ensure that it’s easy to reach.

The best part about a tall bed is that it’s pretty substantial in scale so you can even pair it with a small dresser that adds storage instead of the table—just as we did here with a wrought-iron Mason Bed from Crate & Barrel and Washed Wood Nightstand from Anthropologie.

 

Ready to test out nightstands in your own bedroom?