People have a lamp, a clock, books, medicine, glasses and other odds and ends by their bedside. You don’t realize how many things you need during the night until your bedside table has a mountain of things falling off it. So it pays to know some typical nightstand measurements so you can get one that’s practical for your space.
Standard nightstands range from 21 to 29 inches wide, but you can get narrower sizes that are 18 inches. The depth of the bedside table ranges from 14 to 24 inches, and the usual height is 25 to 29 inches. The height of your bedside table should be level with your bed or at least five inches from the top of the mattress.
You don’t want a bedside table to overwhelm your space, but you don’t want to get one that’s too small either. Think about what you absolutely must have on hand and get a bedside table with a surface that is suitable for it. If you are short on space, you can find many bedside table styles with storage to make them more functional.
Standard bedside dimensions
Usually, most bedside tables fall into a general size range, but you can still find many different styles and sizes. There are smaller nightstands that are ideal for small spaces, and oversized versions for large bedrooms. But first and foremost, most nightstand dimensions fall within a standard range.
Dimensions bedside table: height
Most nightstands range in size from 25 to 29 inches, which aligns well with an average bed height of 24 inches. Ideally, the height of your bedside table should be level with the mattress. But just like bedside tables, beds can also vary greatly in height.
For example, some low platform beds are only about 18 inches tall. But others with comfy pillow-top mattresses and built-in under-bed storage can be 36 inches. Therefore, when choosing a bedside table, opt for one that is only a few centimeters from the height of your bed.
The rule of thumb is to get a bedside table within 5 inches of your mattress height, whether it’s shorter or taller. But remember, if your bedside table is too much lower than your bed, it can become uncomfortable to reach for things. Usually, most people find it easier to stretch up a bit when they are lying in bed.
So the best height is one that matches your bed. But a bedside table that’s about two inches lower or higher than your mattress would still work well.
Going higher is more ideal than going too much lower. It’s best to stick with a bedside table that protrudes no higher than 5 inches above the top of your mattress.
width of the bedside table
On average, bedside tables are around 21 to 29 inches wide, but you can find smaller and larger ones. The main points to consider when deciding on width are the space available, bed size and intended use. If you tend to need a lot of things next to your bed, you want the widest bedside table you can get.
However, make sure that the scale of your bedside table does not deviate compared to your bed. For example, if you have a queen bed or twin bed, getting an oversized bedside table might look a bit odd.
But if you have a king-size bed, using a tiny bedside table can look just as unconventional. If you have a larger room and a large bed, you can get away with a larger bedside table. Some people even turn dressers into bedside tables when storage and larger size are top priorities.
Just make sure you have enough space to place the table next to your bed without pushing it against it. It’s much more aesthetic if you have a few inches left on either side of your bedside table.
Obviously you don’t want it too far away as you need to be able to reach it easily from the bed. But when pressed against it, it looks bad and makes the bed hard.
depth of the bedside table
The final dimension to consider for your bedside table is depth. The standard depth for most bedside tables is between 14 and 24 inches. However, just like width and height, the depth can vary.
Choose a depth that fits the size of your bed and gives you the space you need for your belongings. A bedside table that is too deep can make it difficult to get in and out. But if it’s too shallow, you might find it difficult to grab things you need.
The depth of the nightstand should allow you to position the nightstand a few inches from the wall without getting in your way. If you have curtains behind the bedside table, be sure to measure about 1 inch in front of the curtain.
This will give you the best idea of the depth you need. If you measure from the wall, you’ll end up with a bedside table that sticks out further than intended.
That’s because you want the furniture to sit in front of your curtains. Pushing it back against the wall and smoothing the curtains behind it makes it look messy and ill-planned.
Best bedside table dimensions for different beds
As a general rule, match the size of your bedside table to the size of your bed. It’s about proportions. Again, the height should be equal to or within a few inches of the bed height.
If you have a double bed, stick to bedside tables between 18 and 22 inches wide and deep. If your bed is full or queen you can go a little bigger. Choose bedside tables that are 23 to 27 inches wide and 22 to 24 inches deep.
A king bed goes well with a nightstand that is 23 to 25 inches wide and deep. A California king can fit a small chest or dresser that doubles as a nightstand.
Of course, it’s worth noting that it wouldn’t hurt to make sure your bed is the right size for your space, too. Trying to squeeze a king bed into a small master bedroom can set you up for failure from the start. Likewise, using a double bed in a spacious room can ruin one Master bedroom floor plan.
Bedside tables for small spaces
No matter what bed size you have when you are in one tiny bedroom, Space becomes particularly valuable. You want to maximize your space and storage, but you don’t want things to look cluttered. Smaller bedside tables are a must for small bedrooms.
Consider oval or round bedside tables, which can take up less visual space. You can also opt for slimmer bases, like a base or an open base as shown in this image. More clearance under the bedside table can help make the room appear larger.
If you don’t want to compromise on your storage, opt for a smaller bedside table with a single deeper drawer, like this Envelo bedside table. It still has 9 inches of clearance at the bottom so the piece doesn’t appear as heavy.
Other options would be to use floating nightstands or even install a floating shelf that doubles as a nightstand. If a bedroom has two single beds, consider putting a large bedside table between the beds instead of giving each bed its own table.
If you work in a tight space, you might want to use a vanity or desk as a bedside table. Basically, think about how you use the space, what you want from a bedside table, and plan accordingly. In the end, it has to work for you both functionally and stylistically.
Considerations when choosing the best bedside table
In addition to the dimensions of the bedside table, make sure that the bedside table you choose will work for you. If it doesn’t have the right storage or space, you’ll likely end up with things piled high. So go as big as possible while making sure everything looks good together.
Most bedside tables should have room for a glass of water, a lamp, a book, maybe a photograph, and reading glasses. If you tend to keep more things by your bedside table, you want a bedside table with drawers. If you like it more airy, opt for at least one drawer.
You can put the book in the drawer and leave space on top for everything else. Or if you can only accommodate a small table, you can use a floor lamp positioned behind it. Alternatively, you can hang a wall lamp instead of a table lamp.
If your space is limited elsewhere, perhaps opt for a nightstand with two or three drawers. This gives you a lot more storage space in your room. But it occupies the same footprint as an open-bottom bedside table.
Finding the right size bedside table is all about choosing one that fits proportionally to your bed. The standard bedside table dimensions range from 21 to 29 inches wide, 18 to 24 inches deep and 25 to 29 inches high. However, if you have a smaller bed, you may need a smaller bedside table.
Your bedside table should be the same height as your bed, or ideally a few inches higher. If you work in a small space, consider a floating bedside table or one with an open bottom. For larger rooms and beds, using a small dresser as a bedside table can work well.