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Different types of nightstands and how to choose the perfect one for your dream bedroom

  • Interior Design
Sep 26, 2022
Freestanding night stand ideas for your bedroom interiors - Beautiful Homes

We explore the various types of nightstands based on storage, functionality and installation along with a few design ideas to up the ante

A nightstand or bedside table doesn’t only hold aesthetic value but is also an extremely useful piece of furniture in the bedroom. From the aesthetics point of view, the room can feel unbalanced with bedroom nightstands flanking the bed. From the functional aspect, nightstands provide a much-needed surface and extra storage. Modern nightstands can also incorporate features like outlets, wireless charging pads, USB ports and even Bluetooth speakers. The size of the table will definitely rely on the size and layout of the bedroom. A general rule of thumb is to have a table that is between 12 to 15 inches deep. The length should be a minimum of 15 inches while the height should be similar to that of the bed including the mattress. There are a wide variety of nightstand types, shapes and designs. In this article, we explore the popular varieties along with home interior design tips for your bedroom.



1. Bedside Table vs Nightstand

More often than not, we use the terms nightstand and bedside table interchangeably as they perform almost the same function. If you are being technical, there is a difference between the two. As the name suggests, a bedside table is just that – a small table bedside the bed and around the same height as the bed which can hold a lamp or clock and some small items that you are likely to reach for when you are in bed. As in the image, a bedside table provides a convenient surface for the basics but no extra storage.


A nightstand, however, incorporates some other form of storage along with the table surface. This can be one or more drawers, open shelves, cabinets or a combination of various types of storage. Both can help to balance the look or add visual symmetry to the room. As bedroom nightstands incorporate some form of storage, they can be different kinds based on the kind of storage they offer.

Bedside table ideas for your bedroom interior décor - Beautiful Homes

Image courtesy, Benjamin Voros/ unsplash

Nightstand chests for your bedroom interior décor - Beautiful Homes

Image courtesy, Divine Savages

2. Nightstand Chests

This is the most popular type of nightstand with drawers. This type is typically a 2 drawer nightstand, sometimes more, with a table top which makes it extremely useful for storage. They look like a smaller version of a chest of drawers.  A general rule of thumb is to get nightstands that aren’t too tall which might make using the top surface inconvenient to use when you are in bed. A few inches taller than the bed (with mattress) would work. 

3. Nightstand Cabinets

A type of nightstand that may not be as popular as the previous one but also offers plenty of storage is the cabinet style. Here a small cupboard is incorporated into the design sometimes with a drawer or open shelf above it. This cabinet comes in handy to store larger or taller items. 

Get plenty of storage by adding nightstand cabinet in your bedroom design - Beautiful Homes

Image courtesy, shutterstock



Freestanding night stand ideas for your bedroom interiors - Beautiful Homes

Image courtesy, Christopher Jolly/ unsplash

1. Freestanding Nightstand

A freestanding nightstand is a piece that is not attached to any other piece of furniture or wall. You can get these nightstands custom made to suit your room or choose from the abundant readymade options available in the market. These can be any style - a bedside table, open shelves, a 2 drawer nightstand, one drawer and open shelves, a nightstand cabinet, etc.

2. Built-in to the Headboard

These types are usually customised and built-in to the headboard. You can craft two nightstands flanking the bed and attached to the headboard, creating one big piece of furniture behind the bed. What makes them great is that not only can you customise them to match the style of your room but also to any shape or size you require. A built-in nightstand can have any kind of storage you require and can also incorporate features like an outlet.

3. Floating Nightstands

Floating nightstands are wall mounted pieces of furniture and don’t take up floor space. They bring about a more contemporary look and a lighter feel to the bedroom. Because floating nightstands are attached to the wall, you can’t rearrange the layout of the room with ease. Floating nightstands are minimal, hence offer less storage. 

Floating nightstands to make your bedroom look stylish - Beautiful Homes

Image courtesy, Max Vakhtbovych/ Pexels

Switch to smart functionable nightstand for your bedroom décor - Beautiful Homes

Image courtesy, Quirk Studio


The very basic function of a nightstand is storage. A simple bedside table provides a horizontal surface for basics while different types of nightstands proved extra storage as well. However, nightstands can also provide additional functionality when planned in advance and executed well. Smart nightstands come with added features like an electric outlet, Bluetooth speakers, USB ports, etc. These features come built in to the nightstand. Some even come with night lights or LED lights built in to the framework. You can also merge a nightstand with other functions to create a sort of hybrid or multi-functional piece. For instance, in this bedroom, the nightstands also double up as mini dressing tables. Each person gets their own dressing table-cum-nightstand area.


Now that we have covered the basic and popular types of nightstands, here are a few design ideas to consider in case you are looking for something a little different from the norm.

While two nightstands that are identical will bring balance to the visual, it is not always necessary to do so. Take a look at how the designer has incorporated two very different styles in this bedroom yet managed to bring about a cohesive look to the space. Don’t be afraid to experiment, for instance, a mirrored nightstand can add a little drama to the room. 

Two different styles of nightstands for your bedroom décor - Beautiful Homes

Image courtesy, 42MM Architecture

Customize your nightstand in various shapes & patterns to make your bedroom elegant - Beautiful Homes

Image courtesy, shutterstock

Instead of sticking to cubes (square-shaped) or cuboids (rectangular), let your imagination run wild with the shape. You can customise the nightstand shape to fit any nook or awkward angles or even go in for a circular shape like these wood nightstands seen in the image. 

If you don’t want extra storage and are just looking for a bedside table, consider a floor lamp with a built-in shelf where you can keep the basics.

Floor lamp with storage for your bedroom décor - Beautiful Homes

Image courtesy, shutterstock

Turn your nightstand into multifunctional piece for storage purpose in your bedroom - Beautiful Homes

Image courtesy, shutterstock

If space permits, turn your nightstand into a multi-functional piece like this one. Keeping the nightstand dark wood, the customised piece not only includes drawers and shelfs for storage but also a cosy seating area by the window.

Instead of one height, consider a multi-tier nightstand of varying heights. Not only does it add to the aesthetic but it also gives you additional storage and horizontal surfaces at different heights to work with.

Upgrade your bedroom with multi-tier nightstand of varying height - Beautiful Homes

Image courtesy, shutterstock

Use open book shelves, narrow shelves as nightstands for your bedroom décor - Beautiful Homes

Image courtesy, shutterstock

Tall and narrow shelves, ladder shelves, etageres or open bookshelves can also work as nightstands if you are looking for something a little different.


Nightstands can be extremely useful additions to the bedroom. You can consider a simple piece like this white nightstand seen in the image or get a little creative with the design. Not only can they add to the overall design sensibility or create visual symmetry with two nightstands, they also add storage and can be turned into multi-functional pieces to save space. Getting creative with your nightstand design, especially those that need to be customised, can be tricky and need special attention.

If you are unsure of how to effectively use this piece of furniture to your best advantage, you will need guidance from design experts and seasoned contractors to execute the details. 

Add simplicity to your bedroom by using simple white nightstand - Beautiful Homes

Image courtesy, Shutterstock

The experts at Beautiful Homes Service by Asian Paints will guide you with a plethora of home interior design ideas and can explore various styles, types and materials for the perfect nightstand to suit your bedroom. You will get the benefit of a panel of designers along with a dedicated project manager to work out each step of the way. You can also peruse the Beautiful Homes online shop or retails stores in various cities for an exceptional range of furniture, lighting, home décor, accessories and wallpapers.

Read more articles about bedroom designs.
Get Tailor-made bedroom interior designs at Beautiful Homes.

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