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How Tall Should Bedroom Lamps Be Near a Headboard?

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For lamps in the bedroom, you can use your headboard as the measuring stick. Believe it or not, the lamp-headboard measurement matters in the bedroom. It makes the bedroom look better when the headboard is leading the way.

How tall should bedroom lamps be compared to a headboard? Interior design experts say that lamps should be between 58″ and 64″ from the floor. However, those aren’t the measurements you should go by. You can figure out the right lamp height by paying attention to the bedside table and the headboard.

What Is the Proper Height for a Bedside Lamp?

Night lamp beside the headboard

There are two ways to find the right lamp height for your bedroom. Regardless of which way you choose to use, you’ll end up with the same answer.

One way to determine proper height is the headboard’s vertical height. Curved or pointed headboards need measurements from the floor to the highest peak. The other part is measuring the nightstand, side table, or end table height from bottom to top. Subtract the height from the headboard height to find the perfect lamp height.

You can also measure the bedside countertop to the top of the headboard. 

How Tall Should Bedroom Lamps Be Compared to a Headboard?

How Tall Should Bedroom Lamps Be Compared to a Headboard

Your headboard will show you how high your bedroom lamps should be. In most cases, your bedroom lamp shouldn’t be taller than the headboard. And that includes every part of the lamp, including the lampshade and decorative screw. 

Nightstands, end tables, and side tables can afford a tall lamp because they’re lower to the ground. However, a dresser or desk needs a shorter lamp to meet headboard height. A chest of drawers is a tricky place to put a lamp because they’re so tall. Generally, a short desk lamp or table lamp for the countertop is the best suitable solution.

Should Floor Lamps Be Taller Than the Headboard?

Floor lamps look better when they are taller than the headboard. They should be twice the size of the headboard height. So, take the headboard height you found earlier and multiply it by two for the floor lamp height. The floor lamp from base to lampshade and decorative screw should equal the number you calculated.

The exception is if the headboard is higher than halfway up the wall or if it touches the ceiling. It will be impossible for floor lamps to meet the ‘twice as tall rule’ if you have a tall headboard. In those cases, a floor lamp doesn’t need to match the headboard height.

Can Bedside Lamps Be Higher Than the Headboard?

Bedside Lamp Higher Than the Headboard

It will be better if the nightstand, end table, or side table lamp equals the headboard height. However, should it stand taller than the nightstand, it is acceptable. The table lamp can be three to four inches taller than the headboard. But, any height taller than that will look awkward in the room. 

Remember, the headboard is the centerpiece of the bedroom. No item should tower above the headboard, including lamps. 

Lamps near extremely tall headboards will be shorter than the headboard’s height. That’s fine because you can afford to add a few vertical inches to the bedside table lamps. Be sure the lampshade top or bottom end is still the same height as your eyes when your body sits upright on the bed.

How Tall Should a Lamp Be on a Bedroom Dresser?

Lamp on a white dresser

For dresser lamps, measure the dresser height from the floor to the countertop. Use the headboard height you calculated earlier and subtract that from the dresser height. You can also measure from the dresser countertop to the headboard top. While the answer is the same, the dresser lamp will always be shorter than the nightstand lamp. 

The reason for a shorter lamp is to keep the lamps on the same line as the headboard. Of course, the floor lamp won’t be, but that is the exception. The second reason is the dresser is taller than the nightstand. So, the dresser lamp needs to be shorter to meet the requirement.

What to Put Underneath a Lamp to Make it Taller?

Night lamp with tall stand

If the lamp you have is not tall enough, you can add something to it. The goal of adding something under a table lamp is to make it seamless. You want the addition to be part of the nightstand, dresser, or lamp. 

An example is adding a round wooden base to the lamp bottom. The wood connects to the wood nightstand, end table, or side table countertop as an extension. 

Another idea is to add books under the lamp. Books blend well in any room, so using them to prop up a table lamp is acceptable. 

Do Bedside Lamps Have to Match?

Matching bedside lamps

No, nightstand lamps do not have to be identical to one another for the bedroom to be visually appealing. The way to make them look more harmonious is to pick something both lamps have in common and emphasize it. 

Choose one or two (or more) from the list:

  • Matching base shape and lampshade shape
  • Matching base material (stainless steel, glass, wood, etc.)
  • Matching color (or two)
  • Matching lampshade fabric texture
  • Matching lampshade fabric pattern

An example is two tripod lamp bases with varying shapes, materials, and patterns. Another example is using two lamps sharing a similar color.

If you don’t want your lamps to match, that’s fine. The results will be eclectic. However, you should increase the cohesive ambiance by making all the lamps headboard level. The unity there should balance any imperfections.


How tall should bedroom lamps be compared to your headboard? For lamp height in the bedroom, the headboard sets the bar. Excluding floor lamps, lamps must be headboard level for cohesive and calming results. However, lamp height shortens as the furniture height increases.  

Boost lamp height by adding something underneath. And, you can embrace mismatched lamps as long as they share a common thread. Care to comment? In the box below, share your knowledge and feedback with like-minded readers.

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