A bedside light of some kind is a necessity, at least for me.
I like reading in bed or watching Netflix on my phone or iPad before going to sleep. I prefer not doing any of that in the dark.
Sometimes our young kids show up in the middle of the night where I need to flip on the light to see what’s going on.
Come to think of it, the bedside lamp is one of those lights I use daily – often twice a day – in the evening and in the morning.
While I’m not terribly particular about which lamp I use, there are many different types of bedside lamps. Here they are.
Below I don’t cover the different types lightbulbs – read our expansive article setting out all the different types of lightbulbs here.
A. Types by Design and Style
1. Regular lamp-style
Nothing fancy here except the usual table lamp with shade. It works, but not ideal for reading since the light doesn’t shine downward. Here’s an example:
The wall-mounted bedside lamp is a great option because it keeps your bedside table clear for other things like phone, book, etc. However, if you move your bed, you need to move the lamp. These are also great for bunk and loft beds (we bought our sons wall-mounted lamps for their loft beds).
Here’s an example:
This is my preferred style because I like light shining downward for reading. Basically you want a light with some form of an adjustable arm. Here’s an example:
If you like the industrial or antique look, go for the torchiere. It emits a decent amount of light, is narrow (doesn’t take up too much surrounding space) and is relatively tall (works as a reading light). Here’s an example:
I’m not a big fan of the banker style lamp as a bedside light. It’s not adjustable, it’s fairly short and simply doesn’t offer the functionality I look for with a bedside lamp.
This is a viable option since it arches above the bed which is good for reading. It’s not quite as convenient as desk lamp, but it’ll do the job and the more traditional style might be more to your liking for your bedroom’s decor.
This is much like a standard lamp so it’s not my first choice. It’s a table lamp with three legs.
In some instances you have a place to clip a lamp to something which keeps your bedside table free from clutter without having to bust out the tool box and mount it. This can b a very convenient and useful option. The only catch is that you have a place to clip it to.
I have a super cool vintage desk/reading style lamp that I use for my bedside lamp. I love it. It’s very much adjustable and shines an incandescent light instead of a blinding LED light.
Here’s the exact lamp I have:
10. Ambient light
If you prefer just ambient light in your bedroom for some minimal illumination consider something like the following:
11. Bedside floor lamp
An alternative to a bedside lamp is a floor lamp. This is not bad as it sounds because it keeps your bedside table clear plus emits light downward for reading. It’s actually a very good option. Of course, there are many different types of floor lamps. The following is a good example:
There are loads of fun bedside lamps for kids. Our boys have two each. A regular lamp and now a wall-mounted lamp for their new loft beds. We also have outlet powered night lights in their rooms just in case they get up at night – they can see where they’re going.
B. Types by Feature
1. USB charger
You can never have enough device chargers in the house so if buying a bedside lamp, you might as well get one with a USB charger so you can plug your phone and/or iPad into it. This save using an additional outlet and just might free you up from having to use some multi-outlet power cord.
Here’s an example:
I have a touch desk lamp at work. It’s pretty good because it’s easy to turn on. I just tap the top. Here’s an example:
3. Bluetooth with speaker
If you like smart gadgets, consider a Bluetooth, touch bedside lamp with speaker and UBC port. Check it out:
A dimmable option can be great. Use a brighter setting when reading and dim it for watching devices. It’s no surprise this is one of the most sought-after bedside lamp features. Fortunately many lamps these days are dimmable. Here’s an example:
Being adjustable is one of my main feature requirements for such a lamp. I like being able to position it above me when reading and then turn the bulb away when not reading.
While I prefer avoiding battery-powered stuff just because changing batteries is a drag, there may be instances where you prefer a battery-powered bedside lamp (camping for example). Here’s an example:
How tall should your bedside light be?
I like them tall or elevated – at least 2 feet above me. However, it really boils down on how you plan on using it. If you just need some light, a short lamp will do. If you like reading or working in bed, you will want a taller lamp.