How Tall Should a Nightstand Be?

Choosing the Right Nightstand Height

Because it's often tied to the height of the mattress, there is no standard nightstand height. In general, it is easier to raise your arms with an extra-tall nightstand than it is to lower them when you are in bed. With that in mind, the rule of thumb is to have your bedside table level with the top of the mattress or within two to six inches higher. However, personal preference plays a big role. Some people like their nightstands short and lower than the bed.

How Tall Should a Nightstand Be?

Range of Options

Most commercially made nightstands are between 24 and 28 inches tall, corresponding to the average mattress height of 25 inches. This nightstand height alleviates the need for people who are standing up to bend over when reaching for items. However, since mattresses can be as low as 18 inches on a platform bed or as high as 36 inches on a canopy bed, there is a demand for a variety of nightstand dimensions.

Style Matters

Which nightstand will be ideal for your bedroom can also depend on the room's decor. For example, contemporary or modern design is typically minimalist with clean lines that air out a room and make it look larger. A lower bedside table would work well in this environment. In traditional bedrooms, the height of the nightstand can be greater. Something simple, like a transitional Shaker piece with minimal trim and detailing, is usually shorter than a more ornate nightstand in a Victorian or French Provincial style.

Consider Storage Needs

A lot of small items can gather around a bed, from TV remotes and books to eyeglasses, cell phones, pill bottles and water glasses. For this reason, it's wise to consider a bedside table with drawers or shelves for storage. Bedrooms with king beds can get away with something bulkier like a double-door cabinet. On the smaller end of the spectrum, consider a narrow table with a lot of room to complement a twin bed. If there will be a set of 2 in the room, don't feel the need to match them.

So, how tall should a nightstand be compared to your bed? As long as some element ties them together, like height relative to the bed, color, or material, feel free to mix and match nightstand dimensions and styles.

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