Can Nightstands be Used as End Tables? (Beginners Guide)

The nightstand and the end table both are essential pieces of furniture in our house. Both look similar in a way but their purposes aren’t the same. If you want to use a nightstand as an end table, you have to know the differences and similarities between them.

Nightstands are used for bedside lamps and other important things besides the bed. Similarly, end tables are used beside the sofa for the light source and other essential items. Both of their functions have similarities. But you should consider their dimension for interchanging.

Can nightstands be used as end tables?

Yes, nightstands can be used as end tables if they have a plain and versatile pattern. Both of them have similarities that make them interchangeable. If you want to use a nightstand as an end table, you have to consider whether the height and shape of the nightstand match with the sofa or not.

For using a nightstand as an end table, the first consideration should be the height of the table. Generally, the height of a nightstand is a bit more than the height of an end table. So, if you want to use a nightstand as an end table, make sure the height goes well with the sofa.

Design variation is another important concern. If the design of your nightstand doesn’t match the sofa, it will look weird. However, you can use nightstands as end tables if the dimension and design match.

Can end tables be used as nightstands?

Generally, end tables can be used as nightstands if the end tables match with the bedroom decoration. For using an end table as a nightstand, the height and functions of the table should be the main concerns.

The height of the end tables varies with the height of the sofa. You might notice that the height variation of sofas is available in the market. That’s why end tables are also available in different heights. But the beds and the nightstands have an ideal measurement of height.

So, you might find out that the height of an end table is less than the height of a nightstand. If the height of the nightstand matches your bed, you can use the end table beside your bed without any hesitation.

Sometimes, the end tables have less storage capacity than the nightstands. You have to be creative and strategic to make space at the table.

Are nightstands and end tables the same?

Nightstands and end tables are not the same according to their storage capacity and height. Technically, their functions are similar. You also can interchange them. But they have also some differences.

Nightstands are used beside the bed for keeping lamps and other essential things. But end tables are placed beside the sofa in the living room for keeping trays, vases, and other decorative items.

Generally, the nightstands have more storage capacity and have one or more drawers. On the other hand, the end tables might not have drawers. Moreover, the nightstands are taller sometimes.

Are nightstands taller than end tables?

Generally, nightstands and end tables have similar dimensions. Even the ideal height for both of them is 25 inches. But they have differences in depth.

Sometimes, the height of the sofa varies. That’s why the end table heights are also changeable. But the bed and nightstand height don’t change so often. Thus the nightstands remain at the same height most of the time. From this consideration, nightstands are taller end tables sometimes.

However, common nightstands and end tables are of the same height. But the nightstands have to match the height of the mattress. So, you might find taller nightstands sometimes.

Difference between end tables and nightstands?

End tables and nightstands are two of the most essential and decorative pieces of furniture in our house. They have similar functions. Still, there are differences between them. Let’s see what makes them different.


Generally, people use end tables next to a sofa or couch in the living room. But nightstands are used on both sides of the bed in the bedrooms.


The standard height for end tables and nightstands are the same. But sometimes, the nightstands are a little taller than the end tables. The end tables should match the height of the sofa. But the nightstands’ height should match with the bed.


Generally, the end tables are deeper than the nightstands. 

Storage Capacity:

The nightstands have more storage capacity than the end tables. Typically, the nightstands have one or more than one drawer with them. But the end tables don’t have more drawers, sometimes with no drawer.


For having fewer drawers, end tables look like miniature tables. But nightstands have more drawers, that’s why they look bulkier than the end tables. 

How to turn the nightstand into an end table?

Nightstands can be used as end tables. For doing this, you have to decorate the nightstand as an end table and follow some general rules for making the end table suitable. Let’s see what you can do to modify a nightstand into an end table.

Make space:

Nightstands look bulkier than end tables for having more drawers. To turn the nightstand into the end table, make sure the living room has enough space. Put the table in a place where it looks suitable.

Adjust the height:

Generally, the nightstands are a bit taller than the end tables. If your nightstand is taller, you can trim the legs a bit to adjust the height with the sofa or couch.

Adjust the depth:

End tables have more depth than nightstands. For looking deeper, put fewer things over the end table. Thus it will look spacious and deep.

Decorate the table:

Nightstands and end tables have to match with the individual room decoration. If you want to use the nightstand as an end table, you can paint the table according to the color of the wall in your living room.

You can also decorate the table with a beautiful flower vase, some books, small showpieces, etc. You can also hang a portrait or piece of art over the table. For putting a coffee mug or snacks, you can also put a small tray over it.

Cover the top:

Covering the top with a glass cover or an aesthetic cover is not compulsory. But it can give a new look to the table. Glass tops are also easy to clean.

Moreover, if the color of the nightstand doesn’t match the wall of your living room, you can choose a cover for the table according to the wall.

What can I use as an end table?

It is not necessary to buy an end table specifically. You can use other tables as an end table with a little modification. Here we are giving some advice that you can follow to make an end table.

  • You can use a nightstand as an end table.
  • You can use a tree slice with hairpin legs to make a DIY end table.
  • You can use a side table as an end table.
  • You can use wooden crates to make a DIY end table.
  • You can modify a vintage suitcase into an end table.
  • You can use a bar cart as an end table.
  • You can use a small shelf to make a DIY end table.
  • You can use a part of a wooden staircase to make an end table.
  • You can decorate a terracotta pot as an end table.

You will find a lot more things to make DIY end tables if you think creatively. Anything that matches the height and environment of your living room can be used as an end table.

Nightstands and end tables are interchangeable furniture with some differences. You can use a nightstand as an end table considering some dimensions. You can mix and match any table if you can decorate it properly.

So, decorate and design your nightstand and end table aesthetically and increase the classic look of your house. 

Frequently Asked Questions:

Should Nightstands be Lower or Higher Than a Bed?

How to Make a Nightstand Taller?

How Much Does a Nightstand Weigh?

Do Nightstands Need Lamps?

Do Nightstands Need to Match The Bed?