Nightstand Dimensions: A Guide to Selecting the Right-Sized Piece

Last Updated on September 17, 2023 by Kimberly Crawford

A nightstand, also known as a bedside table, is an essential piece of furniture in any bedroom. It serves various practical purposes – from providing a surface to place your alarm clock, lamp, or bedtime reading material, to offering storage space for personal items you would like to keep within arm’s reach.

Apart from its functionality, a nightstand also contributes significantly to the overall aesthetic and feel of your bedroom.

However, to maximize these benefits, it’s crucial to understand the dimensions of a nightstand. The right size can contribute to your comfort, optimize your bedroom space, and enhance the room’s overall design.

This article aims to provide a comprehensive guide on nightstand dimensions, helping you make an informed decision when choosing the perfect bedside companion.

Understanding Nightstand Dimensions

nightstand size

Nightstand dimensions refer to the measurements of a bedside table, including its height, width, and depth.

Definition of Nightstand Dimensions

Typically, the dimensions are expressed in inches or centimeters and include:

  1. Height: This is the measurement from the floor to the top surface of the nightstand. The standard height ranges from 24 to 28 inches (60 to 71 cm), but it can vary depending on the bed’s height and your personal preference.
  2. Width: This is the measurement across the top of the nightstand from one side to the other. The average width is usually between 16 to 20 inches (40 to 50 cm), although there are narrower or wider options.
  3. Depth: This is the measurement from the front to the back of the nightstand. It’s often similar to the width, but it can be less if you’re looking for a more compact piece.

Why Nightstand Dimensions Matter

The dimensions of your nightstand matter for several reasons:

  • Comfort: The height of your nightstand should be roughly level with the top of your mattress. This makes it easier to reach items on the nightstand without straining. If it’s too high or low, you might have to awkwardly stretch or bend to reach your belongings.
  • Aesthetics: The size of your nightstand can influence the overall look and feel of your bedroom. A nightstand that’s too large can overpower the room, while one that’s too small may seem out of place. The right dimensions can create balance and harmony in your space.
  • Functionality: The width and depth of your nightstand determine how much storage space you have. If you have a lot of items to store, you might prefer a wider or deeper nightstand. On the other hand, if you’re short on space, a narrower or shallower nightstand might be a better fit.

Standard Nightstand Dimensions

standard nightstand size

Standard nightstand dimensions are typically established based on the average height of beds and the practical requirements of users.

  1. Height: The standard height for a nightstand ranges between 24 to 28 inches (60 to 71 cm). This is because the average bed height, including the mattress, also falls within this range. Having a nightstand at this height makes it easy to reach items from your bed.
  2. Width: The standard width for a nightstand is usually between 16 to 20 inches (40 to 50 cm). This width provides sufficient space to hold a lamp, alarm clock, phone, and other small personal items without taking up too much room space.
  3. Depth: The depth of a standard nightstand often mirrors the width, falling between 16 to 20 inches (40 to 50 cm). Like the width, this offers enough surface area for essential items and adequate storage without the nightstand protruding too much into the room.

How These Standards Were Established

These standards were established based on the average height of beds and the practical needs of most users.

The height of the average bed, including the mattress, tends to fall within the 24 to 28-inch range. Therefore, having a nightstand that’s the same height makes it easier to access items on it from the bed.

The standard width and depth were determined by considering the amount of surface area needed for common nightstand items (like a lamp or alarm clock) and the typical space available in bedrooms.

A nightstand that’s too wide or deep can take up too much room, while one that’s too small may not provide enough storage or display space.

Factors Influencing Nightstand Dimensions

Choosing the right nightstand is more than just picking out a design you like. Several factors should influence your decision, including the size of your bed, the space available in your room, and your personal needs and preferences.

Size of the Bed

The height of your bed plays a significant role in determining the ideal height for your nightstand. Ideally, your nightstand should be approximately the same height as your mattress top to allow easy access to items on it from your bed.

If your bed is high, such as a taller platform bed or a bed with a thick mattress, you’ll likely need a taller nightstand. Conversely, if your bed is lower to the ground, a shorter nightstand may be more appropriate.

Room Size

The size of your room can also impact the ideal width and depth of your nightstand. In a large bedroom, you might have the luxury of choosing a larger nightstand with more storage space.

However, in a smaller room, every inch counts, and a bulky nightstand could make the space feel cramped.

In this case, a narrower nightstand would be a better fit. It’s essential to measure your space before making a purchase to ensure the nightstand fits comfortably in your room.

Personal Needs and Preferences

Your individual needs and preferences will significantly impact your choice of nightstand dimensions. If you have many items that you like to keep close at hand — like books, glasses, medications, or electronics – you might prefer a wider or deeper nightstand with ample surface area and storage space.

On the other hand, if you only keep a few items by your bed, a smaller nightstand might suffice. Your aesthetic preferences will also play a role. For instance, you might prefer a minimalist look with a small, sleek nightstand, or a more traditional look with a larger, more robust piece.

Choosing the Right Nightstand Dimensions

Selecting the right nightstand dimensions requires careful thought and consideration. Here are some tips and advice to guide you through this process:

Bed Height

As a rule of thumb, your nightstand should be roughly the same height as your mattress top. This allows for easy access to items on the nightstand when you’re in bed.

Measure from the floor to the top of your mattress to get an accurate measurement.

If your bed is unusually low or high, you may need to look for a custom-sized nightstand or consider other options like using a small dresser or stacking books to achieve the desired height.

Scale and Balance

Consider the scale and balance of your bedroom furniture when choosing nightstand dimensions. Your nightstand should not only match the height of your bed but also its scale.

For example, a large, bulky bed might look off-balance next to a tiny nightstand, while a delicate, minimalist bed might be overwhelmed by a massive nightstand.

You should also consider the balance between your nightstand and other furniture pieces in your room, like your dresser or wardrobe.

Available Space and Room Layout

Before deciding on a nightstand, take into account the available space in your room and the layout. Measure the space where you plan to place the nightstand to ensure it fits comfortably and doesn’t obstruct pathways.

If you have a smaller bedroom, consider a narrower or shallower nightstand to save space. Alternatively, if your room is large, you might opt for a wider nightstand that can double as extra storage.

Custom Nightstand Dimensions

While standard nightstands can suit the needs of many, sometimes a custom dimension nightstand is the best fit for your space and lifestyle. Here’s an exploration into custom nightstand options, and a discussion on their advantages and disadvantages.

Custom Nightstand Options

Custom nightstands come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and designs. They can be built to fit specific dimensions, match a unique bed height, or accommodate special storage needs.

Whether you need a taller nightstand for a high bed, a wider one for extra surface space, or a narrow one for a small room, custom options can meet these unique requirements.

You can find custom nightstands from specialized furniture makers, or you may choose to DIY if you’re handy with tools.

Some companies even offer semi-custom options, where you can choose from a range of predefined sizes, styles, and finishes to create a piece that fits your needs and preferences.

Advantages of Custom Dimensions

  1. Perfect Fit: The most significant advantage of custom dimensions is that they ensure a perfect fit for your specific requirements. If your bed is unusually high or low, or if your room has an awkward layout, a custom nightstand can solve these issues.
  2. Personalization: Custom dimensions allow for personalization. You can design a nightstand that not only fits your space perfectly but also matches your style and meets your storage needs.
  3. Quality: Often, custom-made furniture offers superior quality compared to mass-produced pieces. You can choose high-quality materials and finishes, ensuring your nightstand is durable and long-lasting.

Disadvantages of Custom Dimensions

  1. Cost: Custom furniture tends to be more expensive than off-the-shelf options. The cost of materials, labor, and the time taken to create the piece can add up.
  2. Time: Custom pieces often take longer to produce and deliver. If you need a nightstand immediately, this may not be the best option.
  3. Less Flexibility: While custom pieces are perfect for your current space, they may not fit as well if you move to a new home or decide to rearrange your furniture.


Understanding nightstand dimensions is crucial when selecting the perfect piece for your bedroom. Your nightstand should not only complement your decor but also serve practical purposes and fit seamlessly into your room’s layout.

The height of your bed, the size of your room, and your personal needs and preferences should all influence your decision. Whether you opt for a standard size or custom dimensions, ensure your nightstand is proportionate to your bed and other furniture, provides necessary storage, and does not impede movement around the room.

Remember, there are no one-size-fits-all solutions when it comes to furniture. Every space is unique, and so are your needs and preferences. So, take your time, measure carefully, and consider all factors before making a choice. With careful planning and consideration, you can find or create a nightstand that perfectly suits your needs and enhances the comfort and aesthetics of your bedroom.