• Go to First Slide
  • Pause
  • Play
  • Go to Last Slide


Besides your bed, what is perhaps the other most important piece of furniture in your bedroom? Your nightstand. You rely on the way it holds essentials such as your lamp, phone, reading material, medicines and that little sip of water. At Pottery Barn, we know the importance of your bedside table, so let us give you tips on how to choose the design that suits your needs.


If you’re a minimalist, you’ll love a stool because there’s limited surface space and no drawers to hide clutter, but it makes a design statement. A stool holds a small reading lamp plus a vase of flowers, or consider conserving table space with a floor or wall-mounted light. Pair a ceramic or metal clad stool with a metal bed frame for a rich and sparkling atmosphere. A stool should reach at least 18" tall for comfortable use.

Nesting Tables

A nesting table set including one small and one large table makes an ideal alternative bed stand that saves space. The small table slides underneath the large table and can be retrieved and expanded to hold reading materials, devices or other items you want out of the way while sleeping. Use the smaller table as a breakfast tray that can then be slid back when it’s no longer needed. Look for nesting tables that have glider feet to make it easier to push back and forth without damaging your carpet or floor.

Circular Nightstands

If you have a lot of space to fill beside your bed, consider a circular nightstand with a large amount of surface space. You’ll find elegant round nightstands with pedestals that can reach as large as 40" in diameter but are still well proportioned to flank a bed. Smaller circular nightstands may come in a range of between 24" to 30" in diameter; many also have small drawers and an extra shelf in the base to hold a small pile of books.

Rectangular Nightstands

The rectangular, sometimes square, nightstand is the most common shape for a bedside table. Not only does this shape fit well next to the bed, it also takes up less floor space than just about any other style. The beauty of a rectangular nightstand is the vast amount of storage and surface built into the design, even if it’s a small table. Slide a small basket with a lid underneath a nightstand with legs to add even more storage into your bedroom.

Even the smallest rectangular nightstand, as small as 16" to 18" wide, will likely have a shelf or two, plus a drawer or door to a cabinet space, to hold more than enough nighttime essentials. If your stand has legs, there’s even enough room underneath the table to place a basket filled with reading material that will help your bedroom to look neat and uncluttered. For more space, look for larger stands with multiple drawers and shelves that can go up to 32" wide.

Vintage Shapes

To add an eclectic touch to your bedroom, look for atypical shaped and architecturally-inspiring nightstands. Opt for a vintage-style bar tray look with a marble top, mesh brass shelf held together by a slim crisscross bar legs and frame that offers a hint of mid-century modern design. Or go for an Italian Carrara marble top table that has an Old World look complete with tiered étagère-style shelving. If you love the look of British campaign furniture, consider a nightstand that looks like a foldable luggage rack, but it’s most durable when held up by a fixed X-base.

With a nightstand by your side, you’ll be more comfortable climbing into bed. You may not want to put down that good book, but at least it has a place at the table!