Choose a light that offers a sleep-ready warming glow
Soft, ambient lighting in the bedroom is key if you want to achieve a relaxing environment that leads to a good night’s kip.
When choosing a lamp for your bedside table, look for a smaller design that doesn’t take up too much space – an imposing table lamp can overwhelm a nightstand and aesthetics aside, you’ll want to make room for your morning coffee as well as that stack of paperbacks you’re slowly working your way through.
Innovations in lighting design never fail to impress with exciting new creations emerging year after year, so there’s always a wealth of styles to choose from in a bedside lamp.
With so much choice on offer, you’re guaranteed to find a nightstand light that perfectly complements your bedroom’s decor. Traditional designs with a fabric shade feature in our roundup, alongside the wholly contemporary and sculptural.
Invest in a good quality, frosted bulb for your bedside lamp and you’ll be rewarded with a warming glow so inviting you’ll want to dive straight into bed. There’s no need to go over 40 watts here – choose soft mood lighting over brightness.
And with the naked bulb trend seeing no sign of dimming, some bedside lamps demand a decorative LED bulb with a visible filament to give you the full effect, so factor this into your budget. They can be expensive. We put our best bedside lamps to the test, looking for design and functionality, quality and affordability.
You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps to fund journalism across The Independent.
BHS Romano marble E27 vessel table lamp with 80mm bulb, green
Simple, stylish and contemporary, this diminutive cylindrical lamp comes complete with an 80mm vintage-style LED bulb, proving incredible value for money. But don’t let its low price tag put you off: this is a quality piece that looks much more expensive than it is. (We won’t tell!).
Small but mighty, the marble lamp feels reliably heavy and offers an attractive forest green patina with a satin brass band and a felt base to keep it in place on the nightstand. Although the bulb is tinted, it is on the brighter side, so plump for a lower wattage if you prefer a gentler light.
Dunelm Tanner copper and glass table lamp
Similar in shape is this all-over copper number from Dunelm, which plays to the glamorous metallics trend yet offers a chic and pared-back contemporary form.
Featuring a curved faucet-like stem, the lamp takes up little space on the bedside table yet offers the perfect diffused light for reading. We loved the way the tinted glass shade colour matches the bright copper.
Dwell Luminos table lamp, metal green glass ball
One for minimalists who prefer a clutter-free bedside table, this clean and contemporary number offers a calming serenity to the bedroom with its simple shaping and gentle diffused light. The base is made from metal, although you wouldn’t think it from its warm, sage green finish.
We loved the chic contrast in colour with its pure white glass shade that, importantly, looks just as attractive when the light’s turned off.
Ella James elegant brass table lamp
Another lamp with a faucet-like arch, this stylish and contemporary number from Ella James cleverly maximises the nightstand’s surface area by neatly clasping itself to the edge. But where it makes space for books and coffee cups it offers an imposing and dramatic presence at almost 79cm in height.
The lamp is crafted entirely from brass and can be easily repositioned with a simple screw mechanism. Choose your bulb wisely as it quite exposed.
Life of Riley modest monkey table lamp
On the larger side for a nightstand (although its circular base doesn’t take up too much room), we think this delightful lamp is rather apt for the bedroom. A weighty and statuesque resin monkey hides his modesty behind a simple charcoal linen shade, which is tilted, and emanates softly diffused light from behind the bashful beast. We loved this quirky, sculptural addition to our bedside table.
RTG Lumi lamp with diamond bulb
We love the way this lamp mixes utilitarian shaping with an art deco-inspired diamond shaped bulb. It creates a down light on the nightstand, which is ideal for those who like to end the evening snuggled up with a book.
The contemporary metal base is available in black, white or grey and the pretty bulb is in fact made from plastic, making it a good choice for a teen’s bedroom where it’s likely to get a bashing. Although we’re claiming this one for ours.
Pooky Fred table lamp in natural whitewash with 16cm empire shade in saffron dupion silk
Pooky’s range of lamps and shades effortlessly mixes classic and contemporary styles. One of its smaller table lamps, Fred is perfect on the nightstand, offering a slimline but sculptural form.
The turned and carved wooden base is finished in an attractive whitewash, giving the lamp a beautifully aged look, while the simple, saffron silk shade awards the bedroom instant sophistication. We loved the detail of the vintage-style flex, too.
Abigail Ahern Saba table lamp in natural
From the designer that never shies away from global influences, this cylindrical number brings a stylish yet relaxed look to the nightstand.
Handcrafted, its delicate iron frame is hidden underneath a texture-rich natural raffia shade – save from three skinny iron legs, which give it personality. We loved this unusual boho beauty, which complemented our bedroom filled with houseplants.
houseof brass ellipse table lamp
You can always rely on houseof for innovative and wholly creative lighting design – this table top version of the brand’s striking Ellipse floor lamp being a prime example. The lamp boasts a slimline and contemporary frame in bright brass, which is offset by a single opal glass shade, the pleasing shape of a Softmint.
It glows with a warm ambient light, making it easy on the eyes for late night reading. We loved this simple, chic and modern addition to our nightstand.
The verdict: Bedside lamps
We were seriously impressed with BHS’s Romano marble E27 vessel table lamp, which includes a vintage-style filament bulb. It’s a diminutive lamp but it offers a big impact on the style front. In weighty marble with a pretty textured patina, it both looks and feels much more expensive than it is.
We also loved Life of Riley’s modest monkey table lamp for its eccentric design and its warming light that’s gently diffused through the black linen shade.
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