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Does a Nightstand Have to Be Next to The Bed? (Explained)

Certainly, your bed is the most important piece of furniture in your bedroom but your bedroom will not give an aesthetic vibe without at least one nightstand, therefore, you must be thinking about where to place a nightstand, whether it should be placed next to the bed or not. 

Does A Nightstand Have To Be Next To The Bed? 

Yes, a nightstand has to be next to the bed at an arm-reach distance. Because it has been designed to be placed next to the bed so that people can store their bedtime necessities there. But in case of space shortage next to the bed, a nightstand can be placed somewhere else in a bedroom.

Nightstands or bedside tables are designed in such a way so that people can get their necessary stuff during the night time just right next to the bed. That is why it should be placed next to the bed for own convenience. 

But in cases, where there is not an adequate amount of space next to the bed, a nightstand can be placed somewhere else or somewhere not really far from the bed. 

Where To Place And Position Nightstands?

Nightstands are the most useful & necessary furniture during night-time because you definitely wouldn’t want to get up from your bed often and keep or take your belongings. 

Therefore, proper placing and positioning of nightstands is the significant factor that you must need to know to avoid inconvenience and a haphazard look inside your bedroom. 

So, for your convenience, a shortlist has been given below over where to place and position nightstands. 

Next to your bed

The most perfect and suitable place for placing and positioning your nightstand is just next to your bed. 

Place it at least two inches away from your bed, and position it near the socket if you want to keep a lamp on the top surface of the nightstand. Or position it mounting at the wall. But make sure it doesn’t block any door or window. 

Near electric socket 

If there is no electric socket nearby your bed, then you can place and position your nightstand near the socket only if you have a lamp on the top surface. 

Many people tend to turn the lamp on the whole night, so it is better to place nightstands positioning towards the socket, even if it’s out of hand reach, but at least the lamp will light all night. 

Avoid placing near door/window 

You should not place or keep your lamp in such a position where it is blocking the door or windows. 

Always choose a place with enough space to position your nightstand; if you keep it near or in front of any window or door, it will end up blocking the path for you and sunlight to come into the bedroom. 

If it’s the near door, sometimes you can even stumble over it and get hurt. So avoid placing and positioning them near doors. 

How Close or Far To The Bed Should A Nightstand Be? 

Your nightstand should be within an arm-reach distance from your bed. It should be kept at least two-inch away from your bed to have adequate space and to let your bed sheet or blanket to drop by side of the bed.

However, placing and positioning your nightstand completely depends on your personal preference. 

Keeping space between your and your nightstand is necessary as this way the room will feel more organized and open. 

Also, place it at least two inches away from your bed, as it will allow you to make bed easily in the morning and the bedsheet and blanket have a nice drop. 

But if you just want your nightstand to be a decorative piece of furniture then you surely can place it far from your bed. 

What To Do When You Don’t Have Room For A Nightstand?

When you don’t have enough room for a nightstand to be placed near your bed then the only solution is to find an alternative way to replace the need for a nightstand, and for that you can use the space above or behind or nearby spaces around your bed. 

And to help you to come out from such a dilemma while choosing an alternative to a nightstand for your small bedroom, 5 very effective as well as beneficial solutions have been listed below, do check it out for having a clear concept about alternatives to nightstands.


A chair is the cheapest and the easiest alternative to a nightstand. You may have extra chairs in your house,  you simply can grab one chair and decorate it with some decent small fur rugs and some small fairy lights around the handle and you are done with making your own nightstand. 

A chair doesn’t take up too much space and you simply can place it anywhere in your room and it’s a great solution and an alternative to a nightstand. 

Floating Shelves 

Floating shelves are another great alternative to nightstands, as they are wall-mounted. Even if you have a small space near your bed, you simply just can put a floating shelf there mounting against the wall with nails. 

Floating shelves have enough top surface so you can keep your alarm clock, watch, a glass of water, or your other small stuff there. And it makes an excellent solution. 

Corner Shelves 

Corner shelves are also a very useful alternative, just hand them up at the nearest corner from your bed. And corner shelves take nearly zero space on the floor so they go perfectly with your small room. 

Also, corner shelves are quite spacious with 4/5 tiers so you can keep lots of stuff there as well as some decorative piece of showpieces 

Console Table 

Console tables are basically designed to go behind sofas so they are narrow in size. But these are a perfect solution for your small bedroom too. Just measure the height and width of your bed and purchase a console table that you would use as a nightstand, and place it behind your bed. 

You can keep quite a lot of stuff such as a lamp, books, a clock, and your bedtime necessities over the shelf. And due to its skinny size, it won’t take space so you can choose a console table instead of a nightstand. 


Another very affordable yet beneficial alternative is using a pegboard as a nightstand. Pegboard takes zero space on the ground, you just need to hang them up with some pegs on your wall, above or beside your bed. And these have space too so you easily can keep your stuff that you need during the night inside the basket. 

How High Should A Nightstand Be Next To A Bed? 

The top of a nightstand should be equal to the top of the mattress, or about two or four-inch taller than the top of the mattress. This particular height is perfect for anyone who is lying on the bed and wants to grab something they want. 

The average height of a mattress is 25inch, therefore, you must choose a nightstand of 24-28 inches tall to match the level of your mattress. 

However, the height of your nightstand depends on your bed and mattress size so, if you have a bigger bed and mattress then choose your nightstand according to that height. 

How To Pair Nightstands With The Bed?

The easiest solution of pairing up nightstands with the bed is to buy an entire set of furniture for your room, so that design, material, and look will exactly the same and will maintain a balanced and sophisticated look inside the room. 

Or if you want to purchase a nightstand later then while pairing up, consider the color of your room and other furniture, the shape and design, mostly the materials, then choose a nightstand that would enhance the elegance of your bedroom. 

Just remember one small thing, no matter when or what kind of nightstand you purchase to pair up, it highly should be cohesive with other furniture. 

How Wide Should A Nightstand Be For A King And Queen Bed?

A king-sized bed requires a nightstand of 20-40 inches wide. And for a queen-sized bed, the standard width of a nightstand is 25-30inches. 

Generally, king-sized beds are bigger than queen-sized beds, therefore, the width of the nightstand should be wider so that it matches well with the size of the bed. 

And, as queen-sized beds are smaller, therefore, the width should be less and you can choose a nightstand of 25-30 inches wide to pair up with your queen-sized bed. 

Can You Use A Nightstand As An End Table? 

The answer is yes; you can use a nightstand as an end table. If you don’t have enough room for placing an end table inside your room or beside your sofas.

But you have a nightstand nearby them; you can use the nightstand as an end table to keep things like flower vases, showpieces, or whatever you want. 

So, nightstands are a good alternative to an end table. 

Read more about, Can Nightstands be Used as End Tables?

Nightstands are certainly meant to be next to the bed as you can have the facility of grabbing or keeping stuff easily.

But if your room is small or you just want to keep a nightstand as a decorative piece of furniture, you can place them somewhere else in the room as per your preference.