How to Use a Nightstand

How to Use a Nightstand

JULY 13, 2016

by Andrew Schneider Furniture Specialist

Nightstands are both functional and aesthetically pleasing, as they coordinate with your bedroom furniture while keeping important nighttime items within close reach when you're in bed. Designed with sturdy tops and various storage options such as drawers and shelves, nightstands add ease and convenience to your bedtime routine. If you recently bought a nightstand, or you're shopping for the perfect bedside table to accentuate your bedroom decor, find out how to maximize space and get the most out of your purchase.


Blue Lamp

Add lamps for reading or soft light.

Bedside table lamps provide soft light while incorporating a pleasing accent into your bedroom. If you enjoy reading a few chapters or checking your email before bed, small table lamps are a great alternative to overhead ceiling lights, providing the right amount of light without the distraction of bright, overhead glare.

When choosing a bedside table lamp, accessibility is key. Look for lamps with pull chains, twist switches, push buttons, or motion detector switches to ensure that you can turn it on and off easily when you're in bed.

Brown Nightstand

Keep important items close at hand in single drawers or lower storage areas.

Keeping items such as cellphones, TV remotes, reading glasses, books, and magazines close at hand allows you to stay comfortable and relaxed when settling down for the night; everything you need is within reach. Choose a nightstand with drawers and open storage to ensure that your nighttime necessities are organized and easily accessible.

Pink Flowers in a Vase

Dress up the tabletop with a decorative floral arrangement.

In addition to serving as functional pieces, nightstands and bedside tables also provide plenty of space for decorative items to complement your bedroom design scheme. For a fun burst of color, consider dressing up your stand's tabletop with a silk flower arrangement in a small glass vase, or go the natural route with a bouquet of fresh cut flowers. Potpourri is another option that allows for a soothing aroma as you drift off to sleep, especially when the mixture includes dried lavender or sage.

Black Nighstand

Place the nightstand within arm's reach of your bed.

Place your nightstand one to two inches away from the edge of your bed. This allows a small gap, so you don't have to worry about bumping your arm or elbow in the middle of the night, but the nightstand is still close enough so you're not reaching around in the dark to turn on the lamp.

Modern Black Alarm Clock

Make room for an alarm clock.

If you're a heavy sleeper or you have a busy daily schedule, keep an alarm clock next to your bed to ensure that you're up when you need to be, even when your mattress is comfortable. Placing the alarm clock just slightly out of reach will help to reduce bedside table clutter, and it will also allow you to wake up a bit when reaching for the snooze button.

Multi-colored Glass Coasters

Place coasters on your nightstand to protect the surface from nighttime water glass rings.

Keeping a water glass on the nightstand or bedside table eliminates the need to rise from your cozy bed in the middle of the night, but it can also lead to rings and water damage on the top surface. Solve this problem by placing beverage coasters on the tabletop. When not in use, simply store them away in the nightstand's drawer or storage area.

A Frog Holding a Desk Fan

Place a small fan on stand top for a cool breeze and ambient sound while you sleep.

Small fans are ideal when it comes to circulating the air in your bedroom, especially during periods of warm weather. In addition to providing a cool breeze, table fans also emit white noise or ambient sound to help you relax as you drift off to sleep.