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How Wide Should Your Nightstand Be?

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So, you’re trying to decide what size your nightstand should be. What size will you need if you have a king bed? What about a queen bed?

We’ve put together a list of answers to common questions so you can avoid the frustration and confusion that comes with nightstand sizing. Find out what size your nightstand should be.

How Wide Should a Nightstand Be?

How Wide Should a Nightstand Be

Let’s start with standard sizing. A standard nightstand is 20″ wide by 20″ deep. This size should work in most bedrooms.

But, nightstand widths can vary greatly. You could find nightstands as narrow as 15″ – 18″ in width, which is perfect for small rooms. You can even find nightstands up to 30″ wide that work best with large king-size beds.

A nightstand should be wide enough to hold your bedtime essentials. This means you need to know what you’ll need in bed. Most individuals will need a bedside lamp and enough room for a book or a charging station for their phone, tablet, or smartwatch.

Start by figuring out what you really need on your nightstand. Then, set it out on a surface area and measure how much space you’ll need. This will give you a great starting point to knowing the smallest nightstand size you can work with.

How Wide Should a Nightstand Be for a Full Bed, Queen Bed, King Bed, etc.?

How Wide Should a Nightstand Be

Smaller bed sizes can have smaller nightstands. For example, a room with a twin bed can be paired with a 20″ wide nightstand, or possibly one that’s smaller. The size of the nightstand is suitable for a smaller bed.

Again, it depends on your needs. For a room with a twin bed that is rarely used, feel free to go small. For a room with a twin bed that is a permanent bedroom, make sure all bedtime essentials fit on the nightstand. You ultimately want the nightstand to feel comfortable for the needs of the person in that bedroom.

A queen bed should have an average-sized nightstand or two average-sized nightstands. This allows for one or two sleepers and a comfortable setup. If your room is big enough, you can go up to a 24″ nightstand on each side. This still allows your room to look balanced.

A room with a king bed can handle larger nightstands. Depending on the bed frame style, it can pair with nightstands up to 30″ wide. We don’t suggest going under 24″ wide on a nightstand for a king-sized bed.

If you are using two nightstands with a king bed, average sizing is fine. Two nightstands will help balance the space. Smaller-than-average nightstands next to a king bed will look out of place and unbalanced. So, make sure to go with the scale of the bedroom furniture.

What is the Average Size of a Nightstand?

What is the Average Size of a Nightstand

Nightstands on average are 20″ x 20″. Nightstand sizes will depend on bedroom styles as well. Larger scale king bed sets will have larger average nightstand sizes.

Although most nightstands are 20″ x 20″, the style will really dictate the size. Modern and contemporary looks are smaller scale. Nightstands could be much smaller to accommodate small spaces like apartments.

How Far Should a Nightstand Be From the Wall?

We suggest placing your nightstand 3″ away from the wall. Usually, there are outlets behind nightstands, so make sure to leave these fully accessible for chargers or anything else you need to plug in.

Keeping your nightstand a few inches away from the wall also helps prevent damage. You won’t have to worry about knocking your nightstand into the wall and causing scratches or damage on either.

In addition, always make sure your nightstand placement doesn’t block anything important. For example, be sure to consider air vents, extra room units, and even floor outlets.

How Do You Know What Size Nightstand to Buy?

The size of the nightstand you need will depend on two things— your personal needs and the size of your room. Below, we’ll discuss details for both considerations for your nightstand size.

Personal Needs

How much stuff do you want to keep on your nightstand? To have this be a functional piece of furniture, you must consider this. Think about what you will keep on your nightstand. Consider pieces like lamps, books, alarm clocks, chargers, pictures, etc.

If you plan on buying a nightstand with a drawer or door, also consider your storage needs. If your room needs extra storage space, you might opt for a wider nightstand to increase your storage area.

Room Size

Your room size will largely decide the width of your nightstand. Once you’ve decided what size bed you will have, measure your space accordingly. Remember that if you want two nightstands, you’ll need to measure for both.

Sizing can be deceiving on paper. It can add up to the right amount of feet and inches, but actually, be tight in practice. A great and easy tip is to lay out your furniture pieces with painter’s tape. This allows you to gauge the space more accurately.

Once you’ve laid the pieces out with painters tape, walk around. Make sure your setup is comfortable. Have you blocked the opening or closing of doors or drawers? Laying out your space will help you decide on the best size for your nightstand.

How Many Inches Should a Nightstand Be from the Bed?

How far should a nightstand be from the bed?

We suggest between 2″ – 4″ from your nightstand to your bed. How many inches you’ll leave is more of a comfort choice. 2″ – 4″ allows for plenty of space for your pillows, comforter or sheets to be moved and not get caught on the nightstand.

You definitely don’t want to place your nightstand too far away from your bed. If you do that, it will be uncomfortable to reach over. Take into consideration your outlets and lamp placement. These should help guide you to find the most comfortable distance between your bed and nightstand.


Choosing the right width for your nightstand can be challenging. You must consider factors like your bedtime needs as well as the size of your room. Once you know what you’ll need, you can measure your space. This will help you make the best choice for what size your nightstand should be.

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