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Are Nightstands Necessary? (Quick Answers for Beginners)

Nightstands are a common item in almost every household. To some, it is a waste of space, and to others, it has many uses. 

We spend so much time in our bedrooms which is why it’s important to make sure it’s comfortable. But do we really need a nightstand? Let’s find out.

Are nightstands necessary?

No. Nothing is necessary when it comes to decorating your home. It is a crucial feature of many bedrooms. Nightstands increase your comfort, but if your bedroom is small, a nightstand can take up too much space. At the end of the day, it all comes down to personal preferences and needs. 

Do you really need a nightstand? 

Nightstands can be a big commitment as it totally changes the room. Often in a good way. And it can be expensive too. The reason it’s so popular is that it has a plethora of uses. 

Reasons why you need a nightstand.

For home decor:

Nightstands are used by many people to add style and to decorate a bedroom. They are considered aesthetic and can be matched with the colors of your room and bed.

For accessibility:

You can easily keep a night-lamp on it to avoid getting up from bed to turn off the lights. You can keep things you need at reach to make it easier to grab them. For example, reading glasses, a glass of water, your medicine, lotion, and your phone. 


Nightstands don’t necessarily have to be used as bedside tables. You can place it in your living room and use it as a side table or an end table. 

Comparatively affordable:

Even with its countless uses, it is more affordable than a lot of other furniture. Starting prices can be very low but high-quality ones are usually expensive. 

For storage:

Typical nightstands come with drawers for storage. You can keep all your essential items there which you can grab while sitting on your bed. These items can be accessories, books, magazines, pens, and even flashlights for emergencies.

Readily available:

Since it’s a common piece of furniture, it can be found in any home improvement or furniture store. And if you want to stay home, you can also purchase nightstands online.

For variety and choice:

Sometimes people have to customize their furniture in the house due to the lack of options and design. But nightstands are so popular that the options are uncountable. You can find traditional ones as well as modern ones. Moreover, large manufacturers offer to change several things when you buy one. 

Different sizes:

If your bedroom is small, you probably don’t want to fill it up with more furniture. But nightstands come in plenty of sizes including small ones. It won’t make your bedroom look tacky.

Now you can decide if you really need a nightstand or not. It is convenient and as long as you pick the right one, it will make your lifestyle better. 

Why do bedroom sets come with only one nightstand?

Most furniture companies sell bedroom sets with only one nightstand. Even when it comes to a twin, queen, and king-sized bed. Why? They do that to save space.

A lot of bedrooms don’t have  space for two nightstands and some find it unnecessary. On the other hand, two nightstands can be a bit too much if you have other furniture in your bedroom. 

Nightstands do not have to be used by one person alone, it can be used by the person you share the bedroom with as well. They usually have more than one cabinet so you can divide the cabinets equally.

If you’re living with your partner, you can get an additional nightstand but these sets are usually made for 1 person. 

Do you need two nightstands?

This depends on if you live alone and your personal preference. If you live with your partner, chances are you’re going to want another nightstand.

You can share one as well. If you live alone, you could also have two nightstands if you want to separate your work and personal life. One of them can include your work items and on the other, things you need daily.  

However, it is once again, not necessary and completely up to you. There can be another reason why you might want two nightstands. If you spend a lot of time in the living room, you can have one of them in your living room and the other in your bedroom. 

How to pair nightstands with the bed? 

Pairing your nightstand with the bed can be important if you’re looking for style and elegance. Odd combinations of your nightstand and bed can ruin the whole outlook of your bedroom. To mix and match correctly, factors such as color, texture, scale, and height are important. 

Don’t match the colors of your bed and nightstand. Instead, go for a balance of colors. For example, white and beige, black and white, etc. Or one of them can be colorful and the other dull. 

Mix-up the textures. For a metal bed, get a nightstand made out of wood. 

Make sure your nightstand is not too deep because then you’ll have a hard time getting out of bed.

The height of the Nightstand should not be less than the mattress and can be higher but not excessively high. If you have a narrow bed, then your nightstand should also be narrow. And vice versa for wide ones. 

You can find images of nightstands and bed pairings for a clearer understanding. 

Do you have to have matching nightstands?

Not really. Having mismatched nightstands is quite a trend these days. They can be aesthetically pleasing. But having two nightstands that do not match nor look well beside your bed will definitely look unusual.

This is why it’s important to plan it out properly before making your bedroom look offbeat. 

Before buying nightstands that do not match, consider factors such as the size of the room, size of the nightstand, whether you have a partner, and the purpose of it. 

You have to make sure that the arrangement of your bedroom looks balanced. You can vary the shapes but the texture can be the same.

This can be a good combination. Another combination can be completely different shapes, textures, and heights. One could be a large traditional nightstand with drawers and the other one could be a small modern one with no drawers. 

People also match the lamps in order to synchronize mismatched nightstands. So you could match the accessories. 

How much do nightstands cost? 

  • Simple nightstand with no drawers or cabinets and one tray top. Easy assembly. $30 to $60. These look more like side tables and can be purchased as low as $15. 
  • One drawer nightstand. $70 to $100.
  • Combination cabinets. One open cabinet and one closed. $40 to $70.
  • Two drawers nightstand. $100 to $500
  • Multiple drawers/cabinets nightstand. $300 to $1000.
  • Antique design. $70 to $1000.

All the prices are collected from online stores. Readymade nightstands cost from $20 and can go as high as $1500. Customized ones cost even more. The online ones usually have to be assembled at home. 

How do you make a cheap nightstand? 

You will need some basic tools such as saws, wood glue, nails, and drilling machine.

Some things you will need:

  • Lumber
  • Nightstand legs
  • Drawer slides
  • Step 1: Cut your boards using a saw in the size you prefer. (Keep in mind to cut it straight, nicely)
  • Step 2: Assemble the sides together using nails and wood glue.
  • Step 3: Attach the legs to the ends using nails and glue.
  • Step 4: Add drawer slides to the sides. (Make sure they are installed in the exact same spot in both leg sets and maintain the level)
  • Step 5: Use 1 by 4s to build the drawers. 
  • Step 6: Cut some plywood for the bottom of the drawers.
  • Step 7: Build and attach the back. 
  • Step 8: Attach the back of the drawers using nails, including the drawer slides. You will need a drilling machine to make the holes.
  • Step 9: Attach the drawer and see if it fits and slides properly.
  • Step 10: Put up the top using glue and nails. 
  • Step 11: Sanding is required to get a nice finish.
  • Step 12: Add a knob to your drawer.

And you’re done! This might seem simple but it’s better to watch a video for a step-by-step guide on how to do this properly. 

What can I use instead of a nightstand? 

There are several things you could use instead of a nightstand. Accent, side, and end tables are the most common ones. But there are other alternatives that may surprise you. 

  • A bookcase
  • A desk
  • Wall shelves
  • Floating Shelves
  • A stool!
  • Antique suitcase or toolbox
  • Office cabinet
  • Reclaimed logs
  • Floor lamp
  • A chair!
  • Baskets
  • Hanging a mirror with a shelf

How far should a nightstand be from the bed? 

It should not be more than 5 inches because then you won’t be able to reach the top of your nightstand from the bed.

A lot of space between your nightstand and bed will make your room look empty. But we don’t want the bed and the nightstand to be touching because it makes it look rather constricted.

Besides, it will be tough for you to make your bed every day if your bedsheet gets stuck to your nightstand. This is why the ideal length would be within one to three inches from your bed. 

If accessibility is not important to you when reaching your nightstand, then you can keep it as a decorative piece 7-10 inches away from your bed. 

Hope it helps you decide if nightstands are necessary for you or not.