When we think of furniture necessities, a nightstand doesn’t usually make the top of the list. But these little bedside stands can add convenience to your day if they’re used right.

A good nightstand is equipped with features that allow you to store the essentials for your morning and evening routines. As a bonus, they come in many styles, so you’re decorating and creating a functional area at the same time.

Choosing the perfect nightstand and organizing it efficiently go hand in hand. Without knowing exactly what you’ll use it for, it’s hard to pick one that has everything you’ll need.

When shopping for a nightstand or rearranging your current one, keep these tips in mind.

1. Match Your Nightstand to Your Room (and Your Other Nightstand)

No matter how many nooks and crannies your bedside table has, if it doesn’t fit in with the rest of your bedroom, it’s got to go.

The aesthetics of your room are affected by everything in it, including your furnishings. So, your nightstand has to match the style you’re trying to achieve.

Sure, you could use a plastic storage shelf or something similar. It has all of the “features” of a nightstand: a flat surface, drawers, and the ability to squeeze in the small area by your bed. But, if it lacks style, it doesn’t matter.

A nightstand should be able to stand alone as a fashionable piece of furniture. You don’t have to spend a fortune to get a decent bedside table. Shop around until you find one that fits your room’s style and your budget.

2. Know the Size You Need Before You Buy

Walking into a furniture store without knowing what size nightstand you need is a problem. You may fall in love with the perfect table, only to get it home and find out it doesn’t fit where you want to put it.

It’s a big headache that could have been prevented with a little preparation.

Grab a measuring tape, a pencil, and a sheet of paper. Before you head out shopping, measure the empty area by the side of your bed. Then, measure how high your bed is off the floor.

Write the measurements down on the paper and tuck it safely away in your wallet or purse. When you get to the store, you’ll know exactly what size you need.

Remember that a nightstand should leave you a few inches of leeway between the wall and the stand. Another inch or two should separate the stand and your bed.

As far as height goes, the nightstand should be as tall as your mattress. If it’s any lower or higher, it will be awkward for you to use your bedside table comfortably.

3. Make Sure It’s Functional

While style is important, functionality is a crucial component of your bedside table, too.

Think about your preferences before you start shopping. There are hundreds of varieties, so you’ll get overwhelmed if you don’t know what you want ahead of time.

What are you planning to store in your nightstand? Would you prefer to have more drawers than shelves or an equal combination of both?

During your search, you’ll find a mix of options. Some will have one drawer, some will have multiple drawers, and some will have shelves. Choose the style you know you’ll get the most use out of.

Above everything else, your nightstand has to work for you. If it has a bunch of unnecessary shelves or awkwardly designed storage space, you won’t use it effectively.

4. Grab Some Organizers, Too

Once you get your nightstand home, you’ll need to make sure you organize it efficiently. Whether your stand has one drawer or several, you’ll need some accessories to keep everything neat.

Stop off at your local department store or go online shopping and look for these necessities:

  • Dividers to keep everything in your drawer from mixing together
  • Baskets for the bigger items on your shelves
  • An electronic docking station for your chargers and remotes
  • A decorative tray for any jewelry you take off at night

These accessories are worth the investment. When you have the right tools at your disposal, your day will run more smoothly.

5. Only Put the Bare Necessities in Your Stand

Even with handy-dandy accessories to help you get and stay organized, you have to watch what you use your nightstand for.

Only store things on the surface that you use first thing in the morning or last thing before bed. A clutter-free area helps you sleep better (and prevents you from having to fumble around for your phone while you’re still groggy).

Store your other essentials in your drawers or baskets. Things like books, magazines, prescription meds, and emergency items are nightstand necessities but don’t need to be out.

Personal items, like photographs, should go on lower shelves if you want them near you while you rest.


With a little research and preparation, you can buy a nightstand that makes your day run smoother.

You’ll find that the money you spend on the right bedside table is an investment that keeps on giving.

A perfect nightstand helps you start and end your days efficiently. And if it fits your style, it can make your room feel more like home.
About the author

Caitlin Sinclair is the Business Manager for 717 Olympic.